You Can Learn to Speak


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Have You Ever Wondered...

I have probably dealt with thousands of people speaking a foreign language. There are people who speak well, but almost always they can eventually be identified as foreign. It might be pronunciation or an awkward turn of phrase. But there will be something. No only is it not realistic to expect to speak like a native, it is not necessary. We learn languages either to enjoy them and the related culture, or to communicate with the natives of that language, for pleasure or work.

None of this requires us to sound like a native. But we do not realistically expect to play golf like Tiger Woods, nor should we expect to speak like a native. The natives do not expect it either. We can try to get as close as possible to the ideal, to speak with as few mistakes as possible , to continuously improve. But if we fall short, we can still be satisfied.

Non-natives can be better than natives in some aspects of the language. Joseph Conrad apparently had a strong Polish accent and yet was an outstanding novelist and writer of classics of literature in the English language. A highly educated non-native speaker can be more literate than some of the less well educated natives, or, especially in the case of English, spell better and be more grammatically correct than a native.

But even the semi-literate native speaker will sound more native than most of these highly educated non-native speakers. It is often the case that a slightly exotic accent, or a lingering structural pattern that betrays a foreign speaker, can seem charming. Whenever I hear people express themselves comfortably, and not self-consciously, in a foreign language, I am impressed. These fluent speakers of a language are not just performing to demonstrate their prowess, nor pretending to be a native speaker.

They are just using the skill they have acquired through a lot of hard work, in order to connect with people of a different culture. If we have acquired a skill through hard work, if we can notice how much progress we have made in something important to us, this gives us a sense of achievement. When we think back to how difficult the language seemed at first, and compare this to whatever ability we now enjoy, there should be a great sense of satisfaction.

I know there is in my own case. There are enough frustrations in language learning, along with many rewards. If you enjoy the language learning process, you are more likely to continue, and if you continue you are more likely to achieve a comfortable level of fluency. A friend of mine is Serbian. She speak french and english with a french canadian accent. Only output can do the job.

Input is the important part. Lots of input first, and after almost all the communication must be in the target language.

If you can speak a language after few years, it take few more years of communication in a language to be perfect. Important part, you have to live in the target language, get rid of your native language, need a commitment.

Can We Learn to Speak a Foreign Language Like a Native Speaker?

Without changing country and way of life, it quite impossible to speak like a native. No one speak like a native while learning a language, it happens when we lived in the language. I believe that learning to speak like a native is an important and quite possible thing. When I learn a language I like to focus on accent and slang words that help one sound like a native. I like how you touched on the difference of Fluency and Native Sounding. But with the English language, there are quite a few varieties. For example, I speak English as a foreign language and people usually think that I am a native but just from a different English speaking country.

But it is possible. Learn a useful phrase to do just that in this programme. Drink to celebrate the good things in life, drink to forget the bad. Here's an expression for people who like a drink. Both work and home are demanding lots of your time but what you really want is a few hours to yourself.


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Here's an expression to help you deal with that. Is there someone tormenting you online? Here's an expression for when people hide behind a computer to attack others. What two colours do we use to describe something that's official? Learn a phrase that leaves you in no doubt! What's a razor got to do with Rob's bike ride to work? Here's an expression for when you've had a narrow escape.

Why did Rob ask Feifei to meet him in the studio? Here's an expression for when you've forgotten something. Who's the wild card in the office? Rob and Feifei use a phrase to describe an unpredictable colleague. Feifei thinks someone's been killed but then discovers taking a stab in the dark doesn't involve using knives! Neil tells Helen to kill time but she smashes up a clock. Find out why and learn a useful expression. Do you celebrate Christmas? Do you like eating turkey?

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Do you think turkeys like Christmas? Learn this humorous idiom.


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There's something Neil's forgotten to do and now he has to face the music. Listen to the programme to find out why. Li's cat video has gone viral. Will she be happy about it? Learn an expression from the internet age. Is Feifei's designer shawl a solution to her problems with Lisa? Listen to the programme to find out. Feifei has a thing or two to learn from the ducks in the park.

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So do you. Listen to the programme. Cars that run on air? Sounds too good to be true. But Li thinks they're the future and wants to invest in a company that makes them. Will she lose her money? Rob challenges Helen to a word game about a funny-sounding phrase. But what has it got to do with frogs? Feifei doesn't like Rob's cooking. But Rob wants Feifei to try his dumplings and promises 'the proof is in the pudding'. What does he mean?

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English at Work intermediate Business.

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You Can Learn to Speak You Can Learn to Speak
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