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How to learn good English?

Old 12-14-09, 08:31 AM
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How to learn good English?

same as title.
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Old 12-14-09, 08:34 AM
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Leaving Foo is a good start.
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Originally Posted by colorider View Post
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Old 12-14-09, 08:35 AM
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Move to England. Ain't no good English to be found here.
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Old 12-14-09, 08:35 AM
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English? Yo hablo spanglish.
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Old 12-14-09, 08:37 AM
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Originally Posted by jsharr View Post
Leaving BikeForums is a good start.
Fixed.
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Old 12-14-09, 08:40 AM
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Read.
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Old 12-14-09, 08:40 AM
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Try rosseta stone. I'm using it to learn german as a 3rd language and it's a very good software.

I learn my English at school. One hour of English is mandatory from kinder garden to the end of high school. And some more English awaits you in college. But my teachers all had thick puertorican accents... not good. I got a lot better at understanding spoken English by watching a lot of cable TV with the close caption on.

Once in the states my main problem was to be clear enough so that others could understand what I was saying. It take practice.

But nothing beats working full shift with actual grammar nazi gringos.
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Old 12-14-09, 08:44 AM
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Speak it a lot, read, learn the necessary phonemes, and practice, practice, practice.

What's your 1st language?
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Old 12-14-09, 08:55 AM
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Originally Posted by Tom Stormcrowe View Post
Speak it a lot, read, learn the necessary phonemes, and practice, practice, practice.

What's your 1st language?
Cantonese, similar to Chinese, is a Hong Konger's language.
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Old 12-14-09, 08:59 AM
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Originally Posted by DataJunkie View Post
Move to England. Ain't no good English to be found here.
depends.

Originally Posted by Velo Vol View Post
Fixed.
correct.

Originally Posted by RubenX View Post
Try rosseta stone. I'm using it to learn german as a 3rd language and it's a very good software.

I learn my English at school. One hour of English is mandatory from kinder garden to the end of high school. And some more English awaits you in college. But my teachers all had thick puertorican accents... not good. I got a lot better at understanding spoken English by watching a lot of cable TV with the close caption on.

Once in the states my main problem was to be clear enough so that others could understand what I was saying. It take practice.

But nothing beats working full shift with actual grammar nazi gringos.
oh, really?
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Old 12-14-09, 09:10 AM
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Originally Posted by RubenX View Post
Try rosseta stone. I'm using it to learn german as a 3rd language and it's a very good software.

I learn my English at school. One hour of English is mandatory from kinder garden to the end of high school. And some more English awaits you in college. But my teachers all had thick puertorican accents... not good. I got a lot better at understanding spoken English by watching a lot of cable TV with the close caption on.

Once in the states my main problem was to be clear enough so that others could understand what I was saying. It take practice.

But nothing beats working full shift with actual grammar nazi gringos.
English class is also mandatory in Hong Kong, everyday we keep on learning gramma items and doing exercises, but whenever I open my mouth to speak to the English, I have found quite a lot of difficulties, especially lack of vocabulary, incapable of delivering ideas, wrong gramma. :'(
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Old 12-14-09, 09:25 AM
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From the above statement I can see your written English is very (good for a second language). The difference in writing and speaking is the difference in the amount of time you have to think about what you want to say. I have seen this same issue with a German friend. She is well spoken and fluent in her native tongue but she stammers when speaking English while "looking for the right word". American Conversational English is more forgiving than you may be led to believe.
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Old 12-14-09, 09:27 AM
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Originally Posted by qwerasdfcr View Post
English class is also mandatory in Hong Kong, everyday we keep on learning gramma items and doing exercises, but whenever I open my mouth to speak to the English, I have found quite a lot of difficulties, especially lack of vocabulary, incapable of delivering ideas, wrong gramma. :'(
Immersion is the best way to learn. If you can, spend some time in a strictly English speaking country. It will force you to learn, you will learn faster, and you will learn everyday English.
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Old 12-14-09, 09:49 AM
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Originally Posted by qwerasdfcr View Post
English class is also mandatory in Hong Kong, everyday we keep on learning gramma items and doing exercises, but whenever I open my mouth to speak to the English, I have found quite a lot of difficulties, especially lack of vocabulary, incapable of delivering ideas, wrong gramma. :'(
Yup... I had that same problem. It took practice, lots of practice. Speaking the language is more difficult because is real time. Sometimes you are explaining something and then stop in the middle of a sentence because you either forgot that one word, or you are not sure of the pronunciation. Verb tenses are a bit of a problem too. It gets better with time. The more you speak it the better you get at it.
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Old 12-14-09, 09:54 AM
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Originally Posted by qwerasdfcr View Post
English class is also mandatory in Hong Kong, everyday we keep on learning gramma items and doing exercises, but whenever I open my mouth to speak to the English, I have found quite a lot of difficulties, especially lack of vocabulary, incapable of delivering ideas, wrong gramma. :'(
grammar.
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Old 12-14-09, 10:47 AM
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From a conversational point, I find that I can get through a lot of not quite right words (which I may or may not choose to correct), but that I have a hard time understanding a thick accent. Your written skills appear to be acceptable (better than my 2nd language ever was), but you probably need some time talking with a native speaker. A friend of mine used to do this by watching TV shows. He would assume one of the characters, then say their lines while they did as he did not have a native speaker to converse with.
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Old 12-14-09, 11:39 AM
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English uses a lot of mouth/tongue shapes that is not used in Asian languages. And Vice Versa. It can be very hard to get those sounds down. This is true of most disparate languages. Like rolling Rs in Spanish.

A Language teacher once told me to pretend to make fun of the other language when speaking it. Overemphasize sounds. What sounds over the top to a non native speaker, sounds like the real thing to a native speaker.

Good Luck.
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Old 12-14-09, 08:14 PM
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I second jccaclimber's comment about accent. I've talked with a few people that have English as a second language and I have more problems understanding the accents than the word choice or grammar.
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Old 12-14-09, 08:16 PM
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I'm familiar with Cantonese (but no, I don't speak it). I'd also suggest Rosetta Stone, and do look into an ESL class.

Originally Posted by qwerasdfcr View Post
Cantonese, similar to Chinese, is a Hong Konger's language.
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Old 12-14-09, 08:41 PM
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Good English does not exist. Proper English does.
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Old 12-14-09, 08:58 PM
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Gooder more bestest english ftw.
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Old 12-14-09, 09:32 PM
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Next to your native language of Chinese, English is considered the most difficult language to learn to speak properly. As strange as it may sound, many native speakers can not speak English correctly although they still manage to communicate without too much difficulty. The best way to learn any language is immersion, join an English studies club, hang out with English speakers, and take English courses, the more the better. If those options aren't available to you then listening to English language television and radio broadcasts will help as well as sitting down with a dictionary and translating English newspaper articles and reading English books. Expose yourself to as much English as possible, practice it as much as possible, you will makes mistakes but don't let that stop you. It can take a very long time to learn this language.
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Old 12-15-09, 09:33 AM
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As a native English speaker (ok, as an Australian this might be seen as a debatable point) who lives in Hong Kong, my only suggestion is to be brave.

Too many HK Chinese are so worried about losing face that they will not ask for help or for something to be clarified/repeated.

You should be brave and ask that gweilo to repeat or explain some phrase you don't understand. Don't be afraid to say 'sorry, I didn't quite understand that' or 'my English is not perfect'.

We (the expat gweilos) are very bad at forgetting when we are using idiom. Learning the "Idiom of the Day" (as it is called - as a joke - in my office) is one of the best ways to capture the nuance of the language and also improve your vocabulary.

PS - your written English is a lot better than my Canto (written or spoken) so don't feel so bad! I can get a cab to go where I want and get the change right at the bar, but that is about it!
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