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Old 11th February 2008, 11:05   #571
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Originally Posted by condor View Post
That's possibly because we often do not speak a language. We Translate into the language from our primary (not necessarily native) language.
Many of us also do not learn the formal grammar of our own language, as we do when learning a foreign one.

This is particularly true of English. Although I was taught all that technical stuff (I'm old enough), it is long since gone out of fashion in UK schools.

Whilst I remember very little of the grammar, and never (yet) succeeded in learning a second language, I am convinced that teaching it lays down a foundation of understanding of good use of language.
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Old 11th February 2008, 16:31   #572
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That's possibly because we often do not speak a language. We Translate into the language from our primary (not necessarily native) language.
How can this apply to us?
Most of us on the forum are educated in English, with English as our primary language (the language in which we learn History, Geography, Mathematics and more.)
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Old 11th February 2008, 17:04   #573
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How can this apply to us?
Most of us on the forum are educated in English, with English as our primary language (the language in which we learn History, Geography, Mathematics and more.)
It very much does. Until I was 15 I could barely speak in proper spoken English eventhough I studied in English medium right from kindergarten, but mostly in small towns. I mostly managed with Kannada and broken English. It was only in 11th (PUC) I came across classmates with whom I was forced to speak only in English. I was pathetic at it and was often butt of jokes, not just me, many of us. Then one of our language professors told us that most of us think in Kannada, translate and then vocalise in English. So I started to think in English, started reading lots of English novels (until then I only read Kannada novels, lots of them), and in a couple years it got much better. But my foundations are still weak as a result.
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Old 11th February 2008, 17:08   #574
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It very much does. Until I was 15 I could barely speak in proper spoken English eventhough I studied in English medium right from kindergarten, but mostly in small towns.
Was English your primary language of education?

To be more specific: Apart from the study of English as a language subject, were your text books written in English? Maths, Geography, Science, History and the rest of your subjects?

If yes, then how could you have studied and passed these without proficiency in English? Forgive me if I sound naive, I find this difficult to understand.
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Old 11th February 2008, 17:23   #575
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If yes, then how could you have studied and passed these without proficiency in English? Forgive me if I sound naive, I find this difficult to understand.
Yes for everything. Reading and writing was not a problem, my problem was with speaking which needs fluent sentence formation. Lots of people have this problem. My parents still have this problem, in fact lots of people in their generation have this problem. My dad, uncles, etc are retired now, they did all their office paperwork in English, yet they would find it very difficult to hold a conversation in English.

Sam, I am surprised you don't know this, you should travel outside of cities.
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Old 11th February 2008, 17:41   #576
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In India, you don't need to understand what you study. So you can just 'mug', regurgitate, and excel.

Samurai, it isn't limited to small towns. I know enough people in BLR who have the same issue.
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Old 11th February 2008, 19:45   #577
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Sam, I am surprised you don't know this, you should travel outside of cities.
no wonder sam gets charged as a foreigner at taj mahal .
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Old 11th February 2008, 21:34   #578
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Completely OT but still..

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the language in which we learn History, Geography, Mathematics and more
Quote:
Apart from the study of English as a language subject, were your text books written in English? Maths, Geography, Science, History and the rest of your subjects?
I was taught maths and science in English, history, geography, civics and economics in Hindi. Add to that a wonderful language of Sanskrit.

Now, what language should ( or is it shall ) i think in ???
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Old 11th February 2008, 21:47   #579
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Originally Posted by Sam Kapasi View Post
Was English your primary language of education?

To be more specific: Apart from the study of English as a language subject, were your text books written in English? Maths, Geography, Science, History and the rest of your subjects?

If yes, then how could you have studied and passed these without proficiency in English? Forgive me if I sound naive, I find this difficult to understand.
Sam you dont have to travel to the smaller towns to experience this.

I have had experience in mumbai schools as well. students who learn all their subjects in English (at prominent English medium schools) but cant hold a even a small conversation in English. When I address this issue with the parents of these kids they explain it away by saying "atleast our kids can speak their native tounge and are in touch with their culture".
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Old 11th February 2008, 23:05   #580
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Originally Posted by anupmathur View Post
I always have my lunch with as many appalams as I possibly can.

This implies that I enjoy the company of appalams and have lunch with a large number of them being present (to give me company).
What about :

How do you take your tea?

(where do you go with it ? )
Is the above not "propah english" ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sam Kapasi View Post
How can this apply to us?
Most of us on the forum are educated in English, with English as our primary language (the language in which we learn History, Geography, Mathematics and more.)
Sam,
I guess i would summarize what everyone is saying as : Being able to comprehend and express yourself adequately in a language is fairly different from having complete gramatical control.

Also, to add to condors points, if you notice the most commonly used gramatically incorrect sentences, and translate them into the native language of that region, they translate fairly well.

eg. You came from where?

cya
R
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Old 11th February 2008, 23:36   #581
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Quote:
Sam Kapasi : How can this apply to us?
Most of us on the forum are educated in English, with English as our primary language (the language in which we learn History, Geography, Mathematics and more.)

Sam Kapasi : To be more specific: Apart from the study of English as a language subject, were your text books written in English?

If yes, then how could you have studied and passed these without proficiency in English?
English was the medium of instruction, and this only reinforced my command on & use of the language.

It does apply to us.
Consider my example: I fluently speak two styles of my 'mother tongue', Kannada. I speak in Hindi & Tamil and understand both better than I speak. I can contextually understand two other languages. BUT:

* When I speak, I often translate from English to Hindi. Unless it is a simple sentence. This is because now, I even think in English
* Neither English nor Kannada uses gender like Hindi does. And I mess up big time with gender when I speak Hindi.
* While I am good at both styles of Kannada that I speak, I still am not as fluent as I am with my English.

Quote:
Rehaan : Also, to add to condors points, if you notice the most commonly used gramatically incorrect sentences, and translate them into the native language of that region, they translate fairly well.
Rehaan has summarized it perfectly. And to add to it, the observation about translating back into one's native language with out much errors.

Last edited by condor : 11th February 2008 at 23:39.
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Old 11th February 2008, 23:43   #582
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Originally Posted by vivekiny2k View Post
no wonder sam gets charged as a foreigner at taj mahal .
Please do not misunderstand me. I am not a person that holds English in higher regard to our native languages.

I am very Indian and speak Hindi fairly well (though my English is better than my Hindi) with no accent and in clear and polite tones.
I love English, as a language. I do not consider myself as an expert in the language and I'd place myself lower in proficiency than many other contributors on this thread.

BUT - perhaps I was naive in expecting people to read, study and learn subjects in grammatically accurate English (as one will normally find in prescribed text books) and yet not know conversational English.

Also to clarify, Hindi is the preferred means of communication in my home.
My Dad thinks in Gujarati (he was admitted in a Gujarati village school, when his family migrated from Italian-speaking Eritrea/North Ethiopia, he was 2 years old) and my Mother (God bless her soul) held a Masters Degree in Hindi Literature from the University of Jaipur. I was born in Jaipur, for your information.

Neither of my parents spoke English well when I was younger. Gramatically incorrect English is a common means of communication where I come from.
"Do you have office today?"

To me, English is a language of choice and I enjoy it thoroughly. I have a penchant for languages (not comparable to Der Alte's polyglotism) and speak and understand some Latin based European languages.
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Old 11th February 2008, 23:49   #583
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When I was in a convent school in Coorg, we were supposed to speak only in English, at least in spirit. But the language we really spoke was Coorglish. Kids just added ------ing or ------ed to Coorgee (Kodava) words. I had such a hard time understanding this brand of English in the first year since I didn't know coorgee language (Kodava Thak). Anyway, after 3 years there I had become fluent in Kodava thak while my level in English remained the same or more screwed up.
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Old 11th February 2008, 23:57   #584
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Originally Posted by Sam Kapasi View Post
Neither of my parents spoke English well when I was younger. Gramatically incorrect English is a common means of communication where I come from.
"Do you have office today?"
Actually, that would be considered fairly high level of English going by the standard I am talking about. I was talking about something like "Have office?" or "Going office?" or worse "Office?"
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Old 12th February 2008, 00:10   #585
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Sam Kapasi : Gramatically incorrect English is a common means of communication where I come from.
"Do you have office today?"
Actually, this kind of usage, and the examples Samurai has quoted are very common & wide-spread.
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