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Hi simplyblessedwithlove,

You wrote:
And I think the punctuation also counts. Even the advanced non-native English speakers sometimes punctuate their sentences wrong.
I really wouldn't think so. Of course, non-native speakers make mistakes when punctuating sentences. However, far from all native speakers have perfect punctuation skills. Many a native speaker struggle with semicolon, colon, and dashes, for example.
MrPedantic I agree about the effect of second language proficiency upon your first language.
Well, upon the language you learnt first, yes. But, like I said, I suppose a person can become more proficient in a language they learnt at a later stage in their lives than they are in the language they grew up with. For instance, a person who speaks French natively might have a vaster vocabulary, a better grasp of idioms, and better grammar skills in English than in French.

Englishuser
Students: We have free audio pronunciation exercises.
Yeah, but the thing is when they don't know where to punctuate their sentences, they would leave them running as in an informal conversation-wise. However, the non-natives tend to punctuate their sentences in their native ways if they don't know how. And I agree this is not a big deal to distinguish if you don't check one sentence after another. Emotion: stick out tongue
What about the use of adjective and adverb words? Emotion: thinkingEmotion: rolleyes
Hi simplyblessedwithlove,

You said:
Yeah, but the thing is when they don't know where to punctuate their sentences, they would leave them running as in an informal conversation-wise. However, the non-natives tend to punctuate their sentences in their native ways if they don't know how.
Yes, that's probably true.
Students: Are you brave enough to let our tutors analyse your pronunciation?
I am a Chinese, now, I want to make an addition point about the difference between the native English speakers and us.



PS: English is scattered to many countries, but I have not the sense about all of them, which results the comparison is limited in American English, British English and chingish(Chinese+English),sorry!



I learned a passage about how to improve your English at the school. At the last item, it shows that we should learn the way of thinking of native English speaker, for example, when writing a essay, we should think how to express opinion in the English in our mind rather than draw it out in Chinese first and then translate them into English. It is works, but it is hard to reach, especially expression, we always add our Chinese custom into English. It is not only in ouyr oral English , but also exists in the formal examination, for instance, CET-4 (College English Test Band 4). At least, I think it is and it leads difficulties we will meet in the contact with the native English speaker. In addition, the education in Chinese is very far away in America. The post I emitted at last time with the name what should I do has made the very right example, though it could not stand for all.

OK, needless for more, I guess you have gotten it through my English, sorry, I am very poor in English!





















EnglishuserA second language can become your first language in the sense that you may be more proficient in a language that you don't speak natively.
Hi EU, where and how did you pick up the expression to speak a language natively? Also, why are you interested in knowing whether or not you might be able to "sound" like a native speaker? I mean, what kind of native speaker do you have in mind? Age, educational background, IQ, profession, character, life experience, etc.? What do you think would be the use of sounding like a native speaker? It might be a good thing for people who lack self-confidence.
IvyzhangAt the last item, it shows that we should learn the way of thinking of native English speaker, for example, when writing a essay, we should think how to express opinion in the English in our mind rather than draw it out in Chinese first and then translate them into English.

That's a very interesting point. I have read somewhere that second, third, etc. languages are stored in separate regions of the brain. I wonder whether we make things more difficult for ourselves, when we learn languages by painstakingly translating vocabulary, etc. back into our native tongues.

MrP
Site Hint: Check out our list of pronunciation videos.
Just out of curiosity, Mr. P, how do you distinguish a native speaker who's learned a non-standard form of English from a decent non-native speaker? (e.g. How can you tell if a speaker born in India, Singapore or other Asian countries is native?)
MrPedantic1. Discrepancies of register. A non-native speaker's English may be impeccable, for the most part; but slight failures of tone or register are most noticeable, in impeccable English. For instance, the non-native may use a word which a native speaker of that kind of English would never use in that context. Or a word may be used in a grammatical but unusual way. The commonest words are the most treacherous, in this connection: "quite", "nice", etc.

2. Absence of context. It's very difficult to provide sample sentences or chat for any length of time without revealing something about your background. When non-native speakers are writing naturally, they reveal something of their native background. When they are writing carefully, however, and perhaps do not wish to be taken for a native speaker, they reveal nothing. There may be literary references, for instance; but the little everyday details are missing.

3. Literary echoes. Sometimes non-native speakers use phrases they have come across in Shakespeare, Dickens, etc., or unwittingly catch the rhythm of well known writers.

4. Overly pure or consistent diction. By which I mean the kind of vocabulary we find in e.g. Jowett's translation of Plato. Non-native speakers who have reached a certain proficiency often dislike recent additions to everyday vocabulary, for instance.

5. Rhythm. Non-native speakers often bring a little of their native rhythm into English. The clauses may be not quite the right length; the pauses may sound mannered.

6. Grammatical regularity combined with inappropriate idioms. Grammar is the weakness of native speakers; idiom is the weakness of non-native speakers.

Maybe other members will have other ideas.

MrP

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