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Difficulties in understanding chinese english


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I feel that some native english speakers actually can't fully understand what the english spoken by their asian friends, but they intend to nod their heads by pretending they know everything, to avoid having embarassment.

In fact, what are the major difficulties you confronted in understanding their english?

Please do give some EXAMPLES here so that we can know better on it.

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imron

The most commonly mispronounced word I used to hear all the time was "usually". Often the way it was pronounced came across as if the person was saying "urally" or "yearly". Quite funny if the sentence is: "I usually take a bath" :mrgreen:

In fact any word with the ʒ sound was commonly mispronounced, because it seems that everyone gets taught that it's close to the 'r' sound in madarin chinese, when in actual fact it's probably closer to the "sh" sound. After all ʒ is just the voiced version of ʃ (i.e. the English "sh"), and if someone means to say "usually" then for a native speaker, it's easier to understand them saying "ushually" instead of "urually"

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xuechengfeng

I often find people whom have Chinese as their native language will omit certain words in their sentences to make it sound gramatically awkward, such as : I go to store.

They also have interesting pronunciations of "r," which is probably because of the way it is pronounced in Chinese.

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roddy

TH

'th' represents two sounds in English, the voiced one in 'this' and the unvoiced one in 'thumb', and as this comes up pretty often, it can be quite intrusive. No need to say 3Q . . .

As far as pronunciation goes, one major problem I think is connected speech. For example, if a word ends in a consonant and is followed by a vowel -

I studied in . . . / a pound of

the pronunciation will tend towards

I studie din . . . / a poun dof

also,

Some money

becomes

som oney

with the m only sounded once.

It's been a while since I looked at any of this and I can't remember any of the technical terms - but if you want to make your English a LOT easier on the ear and natural-sounding, this is worth looking at.

Roddy

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try "beach" and "bitch"

Funny~. So how do you differentiate the sound

of 'son of a bitch' and 'sun of beach'?

and xuechengfeng, how should we say 'i go to store' correctly?

it should be "I go to a store"?

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Funny~. So how do you differentiate the sound

of 'son of a bitch' and 'sun of beach'?

Bitch has a distinct t sound in it -- the tip of your tongue should touch the back of your upper teeth as you're saying it. With beach, the tip of your tongue should remain at the bottom of your mouth.

And roddy, how should we say 'i go to store' correctly?

it should be "I go to a store"?

I go to a store. (This would be said if you were narrating your actions, and you are going to no particular store, just some store.)

I go to the store. (This would be said if you were narrating your actions, and you are going to a specific store.)

However, the most common scenario is: I am going to the store. (This would be said if you were letting someone know that you are just about to leave to go to the store.)

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I think sounds are only one of the problems. You may also encounter hundreds of conservations in confusing grammar and misuse of vocab too.

Did you face any of them that seriously leads to breakdown in the communications and you have to ask for clarification again and again before you finally got it?

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I think one of the frequent confusion about Chinglish is the wrong use of yes and no.

Q: You don't love me anymore?

A: Yes (= I don't love you anymore. )

A: No (= I still love you very much.)

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I sometimes have a problem pronouncing English. "millenium", I find it a bit difficult to distinguish between the syllables. I also think it is easier to pronounce the British way than to pronounce the American way. If you ask me to say sister with the -r, I would make it sound like Beijing siste儿, and probably a roomfull of 拉福特儿 :-?

I am not good with the yes/no questions. When someone asks me a yes/no question, I would always repeat the question if affirrmative, or add "not" or "do not" if negative. I think this is why some languages have a second "yes" for yes/no questions if the question was asked in the negative. Like French "si".

-Shibo :mrgreen:

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Green Pea

Here are some of my additions.

1. Saying "Hello!" I don't think native English speakers say this much except on the phone.

2. Asking "How do you do?"

3. Mixing up he and she, and her and him.

4. Not using enough prepositions.

5. Saying "My name is...." rather than just "I'm...."

6. The 'r' sound is too harsh. The 'ch' as in 'China' is usually too strong.

7. Not really a grammar or pronunciation problem, but asking what country I'm from right off the bat. I've been asked this thousands of times and I really get tired of it.

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1. Saying "Hello!" I don't think native English speakers say this much except on the phone.

5. Saying "My name is...." rather than just "I'm...."

7. Not really a grammar or pronunciation problem, but asking what country I'm from right off the bat. I've been asked this thousands of times and I really get tired of it.

damn those uncivlized chinese!!

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