If Your First Language is NOT English...

United States
February 4, 2009 7:17pm CST
Many people usually start discussions about how some people from other countries use broken English in their discussions and how its difficult to understand. Now I want to flip the script and ask Do you have trouble reading the English on myLot? This is for the people with English as their second language. I am learning spanish and sometimes I have trouble with reading it because I am a beginner. The sentence structure is so different in Spanish. Do you have trouble reading the English on myLot?
4 people like this
25 responses
@chingbeem (910)
• Philippines
5 Feb 09
In my country,English cannot be considered as a second Language anymore. Here in the Philippines...Beginning Reading for the schoolers are taught in English (I am speaking for private schools-I am not aware of the public school system unfortunately. We learn how to read in English first..then as we reach the first grade,that is the time our national language is taught--Filipino. So basically,if a Filipino like me spoke English at home and studied in a private school,chances are--communicating in English will be easy. Through out school life...from pre-school to College,our medium of instruction is in English. It is very ironic that most Filipinos get very high grades in English but flank in the Filipino subject just like my 2 kids. It is very unfortunate that this is happening. I think,we should master our own National language---There was a time when the government required both public and private schools to use text books in Filipino. But I think the plan did not materialize. Now,even our civics (Philippine history)is in English,which I would admit had been a relief for my kids. As for your question whether I have trouble reading discussions in broken English-yes. Sometimes I get frustrated especially if the mylotter is a friend and I would like to give comments. Actually,lanlan-broken english doesnt just come from non english speaking countries--even those native english speakers make mistakes too. Usually the mistakes fall on the "verb to be's"---usually the mixed up of present/past tenses to perfect/progressive forms of the verb-to-be's. Also the absence of conjunctions. This will leave me assuming what the right message is being conveyed,giving me a headache really. As for the non-english speakers,I noticed,the common mistake is the absence of the preposition-to-. Without this changes the meaning of the text so much. Lastly the punctuation marks. Most mylotters ignore placing correct punctuation marks,making me read twice so I can comprehend right away. My grandparents spoke spanish as my grandfather is half spanish. His father being a true blooded spaniard. I know a little spanish,which I do not get to practice so much. Practice is the most important thing in learning a language. I studied spanish in college. My kids had spanish in high school too but just for one semester. They had Mandarin and Korean languages too...making them so confused. The secret for spanish is to learn the conjugation of the verbs...you will be overwhelmed at first,but later on as vocabulary progress...it will be easy. Also dont forget to remember the masculinity and the feminity of the nouns... I know their are lots of Filipinos who-as we call-has,---tumbling english---I know they are trying their very best. Good luck to them...also to my friends from China...just practice,dont worry...in time,you will perfect your english.
• Philippines
8 Feb 09
Hi again-yes-the national language in the Philippines is Filipino. But since our country is composed of 7,107 islands-there are hundreds if not thousands of different languages here in the Philippines. Its not one island-one language,its just that according to history,the distance of the landforms caused the birth of these languages---these languages were considered as dialects before. That was in my younger days. Then when I took up Linguistics in the year 2000 as one of my requirement in graduate school at the University of the Philippines,---Itwas fascinating to learn that the dialects evolved to Languages. I can only speak a few===Filipino/Tagalog,Visayan/Waray/Hiligaynon. My husband could speak Pangasinensi too.Very Hard.For this reason---its much better to speak English all the time. Good luck to your Spanish...Mandarin is hard because of their alpahabet...not alphabet actually,characters-one character holds several meaning...a slight addition of a marking would mean a change in meaning. I can only count in Mandarin...thats it.
@se7enthbird (8322)
• Philippines
5 Feb 09
english is not the first language in our country, but most of us understands english. but i have to admit it is different when you start writting it down already. i can say that there are people here were english is not there first language and hard to understand but atleast trying. i am sure there are people also who english is there first language but has difficulty on typing it or writting it down. i do have trouble sometimes reading the english on mylot for i have troubles reading my english also har har har.
• United States
5 Feb 09
I never really thought about it until I started taking Spanish. I realized that the sentences were written differently and that a few words could mean the same thing. So I wondered if other people had trouble learning English as I had Spanish.
• Philippines
5 Feb 09
thanks for understanding the difficulty of us people who english is not the first language. my wife knows how to speak japanese. and i find it diificult also to understand it for it is all backwards. " I am happy" is "tanoshi watashi wa" if you will translate now the japanese sentens it sounds like happy i am. it is all backwards. some of the people here in the philippines speaks spanish. the only spanish i know is que ora e. i dont know if the spelling is right. har har har. whats the time? right?
• Canada
6 Feb 09
No I dont have trouble reading the english on mylot. BUT I find that people that use broken english are usualy actually american. I can not stand when people type "U" instead of you and "r" instead of are and "y" instead of why. Because I spent soo much time learning english it was very difficult, and they go and butcher it up..
• United States
7 Feb 09
Its sort of funny how non natives find our broken english irritating. Its just easier to type a "u" "r" or "y". I only do that when I am texting someone. I try not to make it a habit.
@zandi458 (28124)
• Malaysia
5 Feb 09
English is my second language and I have been here long enough to be understood by the native speakers of English. And I have no problem understanding the written words of the native speakers but certain times the native speakers do not write good english as expected of them. I believe written and spoken english is different. When it comes to writing we need to be more careful on the grammatical side and spelling. But it only take common sense to figure out what the writer is trying to convey. That is where the brain power comes to work an extra effort. But so far we understand each other well. But why be so error free as this is not a competition of any kind, as long as we can read and be read then that will be fine here.
• United States
5 Feb 09
Wow you write well. You dont write as if English was your second language. If I didn't know any better, I would have thought English was your native tongue. I know its not easy to learn another language, so I cut people some slack. I have trouble structuring sentences in Spanish, so I know other people might have trouble with sentence structure in English. I'm okay as long as I can understand what is writtien.
@kellyjeanne (1576)
• United States
12 Feb 09
Like you lanlan, I'm also in the process of learning Spanish, but, it's not so difficult for me because I'm Sicilian and I'm used to the Latin sentence structure. It is a beautiful language isn't it? Good luck with your learning the language, my friend! Purrs, Catwoman=^..^= & Mija
• India
8 Feb 09
My first language is not English basically i m from India but as Indians have learnt the really english that is the british one we don`t find it difficult because its a basic form from where actually english was born so and after when britishers made their colonies in different countries it broken off so as an indian we do understand english of any such forms i mean a diiferent in grammar.....
• India
6 Feb 09
Ya I have seen a lot of discussions here with a lot of broken English, and I can tell you, its quite tough to make out what they really meant to write. But for me, here in India, yes English is not my mother tongue, but since I have been studying in an English medium school since the very beginning, I don't have much of a problem in letting out my thoughts in my second language. Not that I don't mistakes in the posts I make, but most of those mistakes are due to typing errors and ya I am a little weak at spelling as well but then I try my level best to come out more easily understandable. Take Care May GOD Bless YOU
• Canada
5 Feb 09
my first language is Visayan but I can say its not that hard to keep up with the ENGLISH language. its commonly used in most schools from where I grew up (Philippines) so I kind of learned it already. most teachers would really encourage us to learn how to speak the language as it would make it easier for us to communicate with people when we get out to the real world. happy mylotting! :D
• Tunisia
5 Feb 09
well,not really,no problem with reading and understanding english,actually is simpler than arabic and french ,my 1st and second language :)
@daddyfree (122)
• Philippines
5 Feb 09
English is not my first language but I am not having a hard time reading discussions here in my lot so far. I haven't come across broken english or something. English is a wonderful language and all other language also if you have someone to use it with.
@itsmine (104)
• United States
5 Feb 09
English is not first language in our country. Even though 60% of people are well in english. They can speak and write english very well. In the same country itself, even some of them are having UG/PG, not good in english, because they are coming from rural areas. I think, depending on the person and where or which city he got his education determines one person's 2nd language skill. I am talking about writing part only.
@kumarpslv (3216)
• India
5 Feb 09
Everybody will be having this trouble with all other languages, except their own. But as for as my self concerned, "English on Mylot" means english of mylot users. It is natural that other will feel difficult to read and understand the languages of beginners like me. I think now it is clear(?).
@dik_an (475)
• Malaysia
5 Feb 09
Yes, sometime broken English is troublesome. I try to understand that there are some people who join this community to learn English and try to write English. It's very good community right? I realize that my English not that good, so I try to push my self to practicing English by read and write in this mylot. It's very interesting to help other people to learn English by write here. Moreover, I'm Indonesia and English is my second language. One of my purpose to join mylot is to practicing English especially in reading and writing. I get some practices and fun to read and reply in interesting topic, so that I do not feel to push my self to study English in bored way. Happy my lotting!
@checapricorn (16049)
• United States
5 Feb 09
H[i]i lanlan, English is not my first language but I have no trouble in understanding any post here, I can get it not unless they are going to write it in their own short cut way! I also love to learn Spanish, I wish we have short courses here! [/i]
@jd107nette (1456)
• Philippines
5 Feb 09
English is not really my first language but I have learned to appreciate it as it has been the medium used in education ever since I was in school. I'm trying to learn Japanese and I understand, the same way, how the sentence structure deviates from the usual... It's fun to get to know a lot of languages though...
@annjilena (5620)
• United States
5 Feb 09
well we are not suppose to belittle anyone because they cannot speak proper english it aganist the policy here.i think we all make mistake when typing and spelling.
@mammamuh (582)
• Sweden
5 Feb 09
I have Swedish as my first language and I have not a big problem to understand the English here - but I don't like the posts that uses U instead of you and that type of stuff since I get frustrated with it. I also tend to skip posts that are written in one sentence and no spaces in them - but I guess that goes for both English speakers and us from other countries. I think it's a great way to learn to be here and it makes me sad that people pick on the broken English since it's not the easiest way to communicate in a 2nd language - I would love if they wrote everything in Swedish instead *lol*
• China
5 Feb 09
english is not my native language.pelple in my country have been paying more and more attention to english.i have studied english for 10 years from the junior high schoole.but i still have trouble reading the english on mylot.i feel ashamed.
• China
5 Feb 09
english is not my native language.but people in my country have been paying more ande more attention to english.i study english since junior high school,but i stil have trouble reading the english on mylot.
@zwitdh (47)
• Malaysia
5 Feb 09
I have no problem in understanding English here, Engslih is my second language, and noawadays i m trying my best to improve my english. My lot is good place to improve my english.