Are native english speakers better than second language speakers?

@chrysz (1603)
Philippines
October 14, 2008 5:54am CST
I just noticed that some native English speakers are indeed "fluent" in the sense that they can speak the language without having to think of the right word to say but for most us second language speakers, there are instances that we have to search for the proper word to mean what we really want to say.BUT, in the written language, it seems that most native speakers are not good in grammar and spelling. Does this have to do with our being cautious in things that we say and write that native speakers do not? Native speakers seem to be confident that they won't go wrong with what they are talking. WHat about you? WHat have you observed?
2 people like this
12 responses
@cheongyc (5075)
• Malaysia
14 Oct 08
I have always admired how all those native english speakers speak. But it's normal for them to speak fluently, it's their mother tongue after all. But for second language speakers like us, much effort is needed to improve our fluency. But I have some people whose mother tongue is not English could speaks very well too. I agree that some of the native English speaker might make grammar mistakes when comes to writting. It's same like we might make mistakes in writting in our own language too. So, it's not surprising that people who could speak fluent English, could make many mistakes in writting.
@jelai24 (221)
• Philippines
15 Oct 08
yeah i agree with you....
1 person likes this
@cheongyc (5075)
• Malaysia
16 Oct 08
Thanks for agreeing with me . It's not easy to speak fluent English. I have tried to improve it over the years but it seemed like not easy. Right now, I consider my speaking is averagely good.
• Mauritius
14 Oct 08
I actually agree with you. They indeed have that fluency becuase they have been speaking that language for so long and for us as it is our second language we tend to take some time before we familiarise ourselves completely with the language. Its also true that our written language is often better than theirs. That probably because, as the language is not known to us, we have to learn it from the very basis. And we double our efforts in so doing! What do you think?
@chrysz (1603)
• Philippines
15 Oct 08
I agree with all of you because we, second language speakers indeed learned the basics - from phonics, spelling to grammar - and we tend to be cautious in using the language. Native speakers are fluent in the sense that they don't care whether they can spell the word that they are correctly or not. At this point, I remember a joke where somebody was asked what is his fave color and he responded "fuschia" then the interviewee asked him to spell it. He thinks for a few minutes and said, "its actually RED." Thanks for all your responses.
@saraL84 (14)
• China
15 Oct 08
There is no doubt that most native english speakers are better than second language speakers,esp.in oral english, because they are using their mother language. However,maybe some of the native english speakers are not good at writing,they just don't care too much about the grammar and spelling.Sometimes we take tiny mistakes in our language as well,though we could still understand each others, but to a second language speaker,it may confuse him esp.when he happens to be a learner.That is to say,some of them make mistakes not because they don't know the grammar or spelling,they just don't care about it. Language is a tool,on my opinion, and speaking is the most important(unless you are linguist or something).DO NOT care about the grammer and spelling,just SPEAK ALOUD!
@tobepure (187)
• China
15 Oct 08
um,i think native speakers have made English part of them,like the fingers.when you want to do or mean sth,you do not have to think about it.to fingure out the question,we can place ourself in their shoes and think about our own language.we don't have to think before speak something out.english-spaeking peopele is just like we do when we use our own language!AND if we practise we can also make English part of ourselves!
@yuna15 (2707)
• Philippines
15 Oct 08
[i]Most of the native speakers of English are obviously good in speaking the said language but it doesn't mean they are good in grammar and spelling. In the entire years of talking to Americans, most of the people who are actually good are the ones who finished college. Some of them will say, "The Who?" when they are referring to "something." The original best speakers and writers of English are the Brits. [/i]
• Canada
15 Oct 08
You are right on that. English is my second language, and i started learning it 3 years ago. I didn't go to any fancy schools did most of it online while having a job. I do have a blog on learning new languages its thatfrenchdude.blogspot.com
@myhllim (272)
• Malaysia
15 Oct 08
Yes, I do think so. They have been talking in that language since they were borned. For sure they could speak more fluently than second language speaker. By listening to the conversation without seeing the faces, I could guess who are native English speakers and who are not. My guess is always 90% accurate. Well, I think for second language speaker, more time and effort needed to be in par with native speaker.
@aisaellis22 (6449)
• United States
14 Oct 08
Well definitely, english native speakers are really good in speaking english because that is their language from the time they were born. All of us are entitled to commit mistakes. Come to think of it, in our first language, we often commit mistakes especially in grammar and spelling. I am from davao and we have our different language that if i write something using "bisaya"(our language) sometimes it's hard for me because i don't really don't know how it was spelled. I think it is just the same as english native speakers. Sometimes they are not aware of it because they are not studying that much unlike us who studied english.
@Bluepatch (2480)
• Trinidad And Tobago
14 Oct 08
Not necessarily and it depends on how much you put into it. If you are going to communicate in a second language you will have to put in enough or what is necessary to become proficient. That's obvious.
@maximax8 (28559)
• United Kingdom
14 Oct 08
I admire people that speak a second language fluently. They have to learn all the verbs but a native speaker justs knows them off by heart. My home country's national language is English and we are not known for our ability to learn foreign languages. Typical choices are French, German, Spanish or Italian. So I spent five years at secondary school learning French and currently I go to evening classes once a week to learn Spanish. I studied in the Netherlands for four months and met many local people with a better command of English than some native speakers that I know. Even if a second language English speaker makes a mistake it is fine and I think that it is by trying that they will improve. In the Netherlands there are some perfect English speakers. In my home country I know some native speakers that write your instead of you're and the spelling can be terrible. When talking everything is correct.
@lucy67 (819)
• China
14 Oct 08
i agree that some native speakers are not so good at grammar and spelling and make some mistakes but when we none native speakers find some so called mistakes, perhaps they are actually not mistakes because native speakers have accepted them. languages keep changing. perhaps it is up to native speakers who have the right to say which expression can be accepted.
@underdogtoo (9599)
• Philippines
14 Oct 08
Generally, first-language speakers would be better or more fluent than second-language speakers. This is something that might be obvious but there sre surely going to be exceptions. Cheers!!