sadness
Westerners speak English need to follow grammar?
Jun 4, 2010 9:41 AM
Answers · 12
A "native speaker" is somebody who learns a language from birth. No, you are putting words into my mouth. The fact is, even those native English speakers who speak badly, do use the correct grammar 99% of the time. If they didn't then we wouldn't understand them at all. Please don't think that English grammar can be ignored and used as you wish. It cannot. English has extremely strict grammatical rules which must be followed by everybody who speaks the language. Yes, some people may get lazy and ignore a small number of the rules, but those people are generally regarded as uneducated. Most of us know what correct grammar is, and most of us use and respect it.
June 4, 2010
In many ways Chinese is much easier than English (verbs, past tense, sentence structure, lack of articles, lack of phrasal verbs, irregular pronunciations and spellings due to diverse cultural and linguistic background, etc), whilst in other ways it is more difficult (writing system, tones). I don't however think it's a simply case of saying A is easier than B. After all, any language can be mastered. Globish is, to quote wikipedia: "...a subset of the English language formalized by Jean-Paul Nerriere. It uses a subset of standard English grammar, and a list of 1500 English words. According to Nerriere it is "not a language" in and of itself, but rather it is the common ground that non-native English speakers adopt in the context of international business." If you think English grammar is easy or non-existent, then I recommend you read "Practical English Usage" by Swan.
June 4, 2010
一一一, I don't believe that Chinese is more difficult than English. If westerners studied Chinese from age 5 or 6 until university (like you do with English), as well as having the exposure to and the necessity to learn Chinese for business or travel purposes (again, like you with English), then we would be able to speak Chinese just as well as you can speak English. Furthermore, I have met many foreigners in the UK who have lived here for many years, yet their English is still riddled with errors. For what it's worth, most Asians (including Chinese) speak grammatically very bad English. Many of you may be able to communicate but 99.9% of people studying English around the world, and especially in Asia, are a long way away from being able to speak correct English. Most non-natives speak only Globish, not English.
June 4, 2010
Don't be misled by our slang & word-play (which is basically bending the rules of the language). Native English speakers who ignore grammar are considered uneducated. Or making a joke. Adding to James' comment I'll add: it's not unknown to find grammar mistakes even from good native speakers. We all need a standard grammar so we can understand each other clearly!
June 4, 2010
一一一, I don't agree with you. English is a very difficult language grammatically. I have rarely met a non-native speaker who could speak it correctly without mistakes. I have taught English to many people from many different countries over the last decade, and it is my opinion that English is a fairly easy language to speak badly (just as with any language), but an incredibly difficult language to speak well.
June 4, 2010
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sadness
Language Skills
Chinese (Mandarin), English
Learning Language
English