This might be a strange topic, but let see how it comes out. I know English as a second language and not surprisingly, people can detect that even from my written work. Just the other day I was having a chat at a foreign message board, when a person came by claiming that she’s an Irish and wants to talk to us (in English). What was funny though, is that her way of expressing her self in English didn’t really sound like that of a native speaker. I challenged her on that, but people (who could speak even less English than I do) don’t seem to agree with me. I thought, why don’t I post some of those examples among native English speakers and see what they think. Can you help me?
Here’s some examples of the Irish girl (ignore the spelling mistakes, just the sentence structure):

"…and that is why my dear friends that I am joining you in the English chatroom because I do not understand basically anything on the other chatroomsEmotion: smile). I live in Belgium and I am taking classes starting from September. I just joined this site today and I am shocked at some of the English on here. I mean, what planet are some of you coming from? This chatroom needs some spice added to it. Anyone got any ideas? If not, I have got loads.

I know I am English mother tongue and most of you are probably foriners on here and it is easier for me. I do not want to take over your chatroom but folks English is thee international language of communication and it should be used properly. I just want you to use good English, thats all. Leann, I am waiting on your reply Emotion: smile) Anybody want to play, name that tune? "
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This person speaks very well. Maybe someone who lived in Ireland (or another country) for a number of years but still with the odd mistake here and there. There are not many mistakes but they are there. Uses idioms in the correct way.

You must also remember that even native speakers make mistakes, some more than others. If you look at some of my posts, every now and then a wrongly used word slips out, maybe because I'm typing too fast and in a hurry to post my thoughts. Though this doesn't mean I'm not a native speaker. Do you always speak 100% correctly in your own language? I doubt anyone does.

The attitude of the person is another thing though. It leaves a lot to be desired! Sounds like someone who has learnt a lot and wants to prove it.
Thanks Woodward for your post. Yes, undoubtedly she speak English very well, but what would you identify as the unmistakable evidence that English is not her native tongue? That is what 'm struggling with, I see that it doesn't sound right as a whole, but picking out the pieces is harder..Emotion: smile
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Very interesting subject!
Texas, yes.. I would guess that she wasn't a native speaker; but as WW said her English isn't bad at all.
You're looking for evidence? Well, here are a few things that sound wrong to my ears:
1. "... that is why my dear friends that..." First of all, there should be commas around "my dear friends." But then, lots of native speakers have comma issues, unfortunately, so that doesn't mean anything, and neither do any of her other comma mistakes. But the "that" at the end is silly. Perhaps she was typing quickly.
2. "...starting from September." I would say "starting in September," myself, but then, people from different English-speaking regions say a lot of things slightly differently.
3. Though she has an informal tone, she doesn't use contractions. This is surprising, since most English speakers would. For example, "I have got loads" sounded particularly funny. Usually, if people want to be formal, they will say, "I have loads." If they are being informal enough to use "got," then they would usually say, "I've got loads."
4. "I am English mother tongue." This is just weird.
5. Her failure to use an apostrophe when she says "thats all" actually doesn't indicate that she isn't a native speaker. Too many native speakers do that. Ick.
Still, if she says she is a native speaker, I see no reason not to believe her. These things strike me as weird, but then, I have never been to Ireland and so I don't know how people speak there.
Nonetheless, I must say that her hypocrisy amuses me.Emotion: wink
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Thanks Kitkattail,

I concur with you 100%
Well i would say that even native speakers have spelling mistakes,i have seen many foreigners who misspell words and some have difficulty in grammar as well.Plzzzz moderaters and the other users please always correct me when i have written wrong spelling or grammar.
There seems to be some confusion here. As a native English speaker (I was born and educated in England) and having been a teacher of English for many years, I can say that there is no doubt in my mind that the quoted words were written by a native English speaker.

Please remember that not all native English speakers speak or write perfect English, and everyone has their own ways of expressing themselves. Also remember that they speak English in Ireland (just as they speak English in America). They may speak it with an Irish accent, but they speak English.

That is why my dear friends that I am giving you this explanation. (Not perfect grammar, but acceptable and understandable by most people.) I have got loads of things I could tell you about the way native English speakers write.

(Incidentally, I teach my pupils to avoid contractions when writing, unless they are reporting speech or writing very informally to close friends.)
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