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English usage?

英語を勉強している方のためのフォーラムです。練習のために英語の文章を投稿してもかまわなく、英語の文法・語彙に関する質問をしてもけっこうです。

English usage?

Postby AJBryant » Mon 10.31.2005 10:38 am

Something has been more and more annoying me, and just out of curiousity I'd like to know...

What is the point of trying to learn a second language before one has learned one's own? I have seen so many marginally literate posts that it astounds me. Problems like simple words being misspelled, the most basic grammar rules being violated, syntax going south, no capitalization, and so on, are rife.

Does no one study spelling or grammar anymore? In some forums I'm on, I've taked to occasionally asking if English was the poster's native language before responding, so I know the skill-level of the poster.

This isn't an online game where seconds matter and typing "g2g, brb!" is okay. This is a forum where opinions are exchanged, information is sought, and advice is offered. If you want help, it would benefit you to show enough respect to actually write a real message.

If you're not a native speaker of English, I'm not talking to you so don't be insulted. If, however, you are in HIGH SCHOOL or are beyond that and are still writing like an elementary school student, feel free to be insulted. But it's your own fault.

Come on, people. Please. Let's have a *little* pride in our communications.

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RE: English usage?

Postby Kates » Mon 10.31.2005 10:46 am

Here here! I'm afraid I have to agree with you. -_- 'Net speak' drives me batty, in most cases. I agree that it has a time and place, but a post on a forum (especially when asking a question/for advice/etc) isn't one of those places. You aren't rushed here, nor do you have to use a cell phone keypad to type in your post. And on a board that is read by not just native-English speakers, I think it would be common courtesy to write in easy-to-understand English.

And it's hard to explain to someone what a gerund is in Japanese when they don't even know how the term relates to English. ): I'll say one thing, learning foreign languages has helped me understand my native language better. I think studying a new language, and reviewing your own go hand-in-hand.
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RE: English usage?

Postby Sukebe Uchuujin » Mon 10.31.2005 12:47 pm

feel free to call me unpleasant names for this but...........

Does no one study spelling or grammar anymore? In some forums I'm on, I've taked to occasionally asking if English was the poster's native language before responding, so I know the skill-level of the poster.


'taked'.......not sure thats correct english..........

I know this is pedantic but i just wanted to make my first post and i couldnt be of help anywhere else so i thought id add my 3Y's worth.

Sorry AJBryant ive been reading lots of your posts today and you seem like an intelligent fellow so i would like to make it clear im not criticising just thought it was slightly amusing given the topic of your post.

{uchujin feels slightly stupid for having written this at all....but is going to leave it just to get my virgin post out of the wayB)}

EDITED
{God i hope i havent made any spelling mistakes!!!}
Last edited by Sukebe Uchuujin on Mon 10.31.2005 12:48 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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RE: English usage?

Postby JoshM » Mon 10.31.2005 1:39 pm

I'm Brazilian, so, my native language is not English and I'm prone to commit such mistakes. Even so, my opinion is necessary at this topic, because I agree with what AJBryant has written.
People everywhere when using internet as communications are more and more forgetting how important is to write properly. To a world which is going to change the old paperbook for a more intelligent tool as an electronic notebook, I see a real worrying future. To become a writer, a publisher, an editor, you'll must learn your language quite well. But nowadays, at least in my country, internet-users are insistent to make use of a poor language, with any imaginable sort of shortened words, an arising number of foreign words being assimilated into casual speech, and that kind of thing that makes me dwell.
Language is an important thing. A language is also something that should be well-kept; if people goes by defiling it and changing our usual and beautiful language (and any language is beautiful, I really believe so) into something topsy-turvey, how good is to learn your own language? Also, why do these people even care to learn new languages if they don't even have a taste by their Mother's tongue?
I'm strictly a traditionalist when writing Portuguese 'cause I'll not even dare to call the "internet slang" that some of my acquaintances use as "Portuguese".
Last edited by JoshM on Mon 10.31.2005 1:52 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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RE: English usage?

Postby Harisenbon » Mon 10.31.2005 7:49 pm

Just want to throw my hat in and say I completely agree.

Although some of us are rapidly forgetting english due to non-usage ;) , people who are HS or above and living in an English speaking country have no reason to write like monkeys banging on a typewriter.

Of course, it should be noted that there are a LOT of elementary school kids on here too.
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RE: English usage?

Postby InsanityRanch » Mon 10.31.2005 8:01 pm

Sigh. I understand what motivates this kind of post. It is awfully easy to spot the people (on this board, online, and in the world) who seem never to have learned the basics of written English.

However... I doubt it does any good to point it out to them. For the most part, they are either unwilling to fix their writing or they lack so many basic skills that they will probably never catch up. It's easy to place blame for such failure. There's plenty to go around, so the school system, parents and lazy students can each take their fair share. But placing blame won't fix any problems, so why bother? Especially, why bother HERE? Go vote for your local school board instead...

My own position is, if someone asks a question and seems to genuinely want to understand something better, I'll do my best to answer, even if they can't write, and even if the question has been asked and answered elsewhere. I answer for my own sake more than theirs: I learn a lot by trying to write a clear explanation of something I know.

To be honest, I'm more offended by the twits who would rather whine than put in the effort to learn something. (Usually, their grammar sucks, too!)
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RE: English usage?

Postby AJBryant » Mon 10.31.2005 8:03 pm

taked'.......not sure thats correct english..........


Well, I generally will make allowances for obvious typos like dropped or oddly repeated letters, transpositions ("teh" instead of "the"), and so on. ;)

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RE: English usage?

Postby nprz » Mon 10.31.2005 8:08 pm

Sukebe Uchujin wrote:
feel free to call me unpleasant names for this but...........

Does no one study spelling or grammar anymore? In some forums I'm on, I've taked to occasionally asking if English was the poster's native language before responding, so I know the skill-level of the poster.


'taked'.......not sure thats correct english..........

I know this is pedantic but i just wanted to make my first post and i couldnt be of help anywhere else so i thought id add my 3Y's worth.

Sorry AJBryant ive been reading lots of your posts today and you seem like an intelligent fellow so i would like to make it clear im not criticising just thought it was slightly amusing given the topic of your post.

{uchujin feels slightly stupid for having written this at all....but is going to leave it just to get my virgin post out of the wayB)}

EDITED
{God i hope i havent made any spelling mistakes!!!}


I'd just as well complain about your lack of capitalization and use of apostrophes. Tony is not talking about nitpicky English mistakes, he is talking about people who have no idea how to use their native language.

--- edit ---
I'd just like to add that I think every forum I've visited has had people who think that online forums are an extension of MSN Messenger (or AIM). There are also people, who like Tony, who complain about these people.

I think the only time I've seen any difference made was when the forum had a rating system that members didn't abuse. Usually when a person living in an English speaking country posted with unreadable English, that person would usually get a negative rating because more people do not want to tolerate it.

I guess the only way to make people want to use English correctly is when there is a possible punishment when they don't :)
Last edited by nprz on Mon 10.31.2005 8:18 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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RE: English usage?

Postby InsanityRanch » Mon 10.31.2005 10:13 pm

nprz wrote:

I guess the only way to make people want to use English correctly is when there is a possible punishment when they don't :)


Huh? That seems a completely illogical statement.

The way to make people want to use English correctly -- in fact, the way to make people able to use English correctly -- is to provide models of excellent usage and to reinforce correctness consistently. That's just scientific fact.

You don't say what happens to people who are "punished" for using incorrect English, but I seriously doubt that most of the folks who get negative ratings on the forum you mentioned go on to write brilliant or even lucid prose. Moreover, I predict that a community that rates its members' grammar is likely also to rate their opinions and their likeability. Sounds like a recipe for creating a very small circle of smug pedants.
Last edited by InsanityRanch on Mon 10.31.2005 11:05 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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RE: English usage?

Postby Matsuiichi » Mon 10.31.2005 11:07 pm

I do have to agree that it is very difficult to see the point of learning another language when one doesn't know their own. I am the last in my community to stand up to the "netspeak menace," and it's a nightmare trying to trudge through a conversation because I have to remember what things mean (personally, I think netspeak is a language in and of itself---thus enhancing my argument :P), and that's just a hassle.

Anyways, you're right. I know people who can't spell even simple words, such as "feal" (feel), "bordome" (boredom), "there" (there and their)... "ur l8, dude, wutz ^".
I have a serious belief that people do that because they honestly can't spell. Not to mention, some of these are coming from some of the people in my Japanese Language club... Oy vey.

You can't punish people for spelling and writing incorrectly. We have teachers for that.

But onto the focal point of my post:

Really, to be honest, if there's one language that should be learned by those people, it should be Japanese. Why is that a good idea?

Because it's a syllabic language.

Look at how it's assembled. Each character is based on sound and meaning, not spelling. We are a social people, so it makes sense. You can't get into much trouble with spelling... unless you use rooma-ji, which I personally think is cheating.

Japanese is a very good language for people to learn because people don't have to remember what goes where, how to spell this or that. It's all based on sound, and sound is a sense tied much more strongly to memory than sight. That makes certain languages difficult. English, we have multiple sounds for each letter. In Japanese, if you see a character, you know that it's concrete and won't change on you.

You know that ま will always sound the same, こ will always sound the same, て is always the same, etc.

こんにちは。いいおてんきですね。
It will always be "Konnichi wa. Ii otenki desu ne."
It will always sound the same and mean the same thing.

Japanese is a really good language to learn because not only is it a good challenge for the person learning to speak it... it's also an easily written language (provided that you don't cheat with rooma-ji :P).

^^
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RE: English usage?

Postby InsanityRanch » Mon 10.31.2005 11:12 pm

Matsuiichi wrote:

Japanese is a really good language to learn because not only is it a good challenge for the person learning to speak it... it's also an easily written language (provided that you don't cheat with rooma-ji :P).

^^


blink blink blink...

And here I've wasted YEARS learning these kanji thingies...
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RE: English usage?

Postby nprz » Mon 10.31.2005 11:15 pm

InsanityRanch wrote:
nprz wrote:

I guess the only way to make people want to use English correctly is when there is a possible punishment when they don't :)


Huh? That seems a completely illogical statement.

The way to make people want to use English correctly -- in fact, the way to make people able to use English correctly -- is to provide models of excellent usage and to reinforce correctness consistently. That's just scientific fact.

You don't say what happens to people who are "punished" for using incorrect English, but I seriously doubt that most of the folks who get negative ratings on the forum you mentioned go on to write brilliant or even lucid prose. Moreover, I predict that a community that rates its members' grammar is likely also to rate their opinions and their likeability. Sounds like a recipe for creating a very small circle of smug pedants.


It is, but we all try to excell at proper grammar. Most people "punished" with lower ratings shape up or drop out. To me, it is the equivalent of using a ruler.
This is usually only with people who don't make sense consistently.
I don't see the point in telling the same people over and over that "no" does not equal "know".

I guess some people don't try when they fail classes (a form of punishment), but I think the majority learn to try harder when they receive an F on a test.
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RE: English usage?

Postby InsanityRanch » Mon 10.31.2005 11:31 pm

nprz wrote:

It is, but we all try to excell at proper grammar. Most people "punished" with lower ratings shape up or drop out. To me, it is the equivalent of using a ruler.
This is usually only with people who don't make sense consistently.
I don't see the point in telling the same people over and over that "no" does not equal "know".

I guess some people don't try when they fail classes (a form of punishment), but I think the majority learn to try harder when they receive an F on a test.


The question would be, how many people shape up and how many drop out? I have a pretty good idea that the great majority of people who get negative ratings simply drop out. Or to put it in scientific terms, "criticism is not positively correlated with improvement." But if your goal is simply to reduce the number of ungrammatical messages that you have to wade through, a rating system would probably do it.

If your goal is to "make people want to use correct English", or even just to improve one person's use of English, then you need different tools.
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RE: English usage?

Postby nprz » Mon 10.31.2005 11:33 pm

Matsuiichi wrote:

Because it's a syllabic language.

You know that ま will always sound the same, こ will always sound the same, て is always the same, etc.



That is true, except when you bring in kanji. Then it is a mess!

Other languages that are written phonetically are Arabic and Korean. They get my vote as well. ;)
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RE: English usage?

Postby InsanityRanch » Mon 10.31.2005 11:41 pm

Spanish and Italian, too.

(A friend of mine often points out that there IS no word for "spelling" in Italian.)

I believe Finnish is phonetic as well, at least I've read that somewhere. But the only Finnish word I know is "sauna" so I could be wrong!
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