How much do you guys correct your girlfriend's English?

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Nicolas
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Re: How much do you guys correct your girlfriend's English?

Post by Nicolas »

TeachingForPeanuts wrote:
IraHayes wrote: Sun Dec 01, 2019 10:20 am I would just like to add, for clarity, that my wife constantly berates me for not having a much better knowledge of the Khmer language after living here for so long. She speaks Chinese and Vietnamese fluently with English not far behind and she knows the reason my Khmer is not good is because I don't put the effort into practising it!

Also what is her level of education? And is she outgoing? The reason being if she is a bit of a shrinking violet type she may be a bit withdrawn once you go home and this will lead to more issues. If, however, she is reasonably well educated and outgoing she may well learn quickly once exposed to English in her day-to-day life.
Thanks. I don't want to be an asshole. I don't want to control her. I just want her to commit to learning English. It's important, it's not just something I think is important.
It’s important for you.
I think she will be great with her khmerglish, people are kind and will find her English level very cute.


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Duncan
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Re: How much do you guys correct your girlfriend's English?

Post by Duncan »

Sweet Lemon wrote: Sun Dec 01, 2019 11:17 am
hunter8 wrote: Sun Dec 01, 2019 11:14 am
Language environment will not magically help when you move to an English speaking country.
I know a longtime expat who moved to Australia with his ex-bargirl Cambodian girlfriend. She has been there 2+ years now and he says her English is now worse than it was when she arrived.

I think he probably meant she has learnt all the swear words.
Cambodia,,,, Don't fall in love with her.
Like the spoilt child she is, she will not be happy till she destroys herself from within and breaks your heart.
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Kammekor
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Re: How much do you guys correct your girlfriend's English?

Post by Kammekor »

When I arrived in Cambodia and was 'immersed' I did not learn that much Khmer, and looking back now most of the Khmer I learned was either very basic Khmer which nobody uses outside of kindergarten or i pronounced in the wrong way.

Things only changed when I started taking classes, with a teacher explaining the structure of the language and the correct pronunciation. I don't think it will be any different for your girlfriend.

Another subject, how does your GF think about moving to a foreign country, far away from family and friends? To a country where you have have to ask 'are you finished' instead of 'you fini?' in order to be understood? From my experience quite a few Khmer girls will be bored as hell once the initial excitement wears off.
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Bitte_Kein_Lexus
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Re: How much do you guys correct your girlfriend's English?

Post by Bitte_Kein_Lexus »

How old is she? It's unlikely she'll get much better, especially with difficult stuff like articles. I'd just correct the odd reoccurring mistake and leave it at that. I can't think of them now, but my lady has the odd verb shell confuse or a gerund/infinitive form that's always wrong which I'll make a point of working on. Your wife will improve her vocabulary once she gets over and also hopefully her pronunciation, but a lot of those grammatical mistakes are probably heavily fossilized already.
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Re: How much do you guys correct your girlfriend's English?

Post by explorer »

You see students in a village. You can tell them it is beneficial to learn English. You can offer to teach them. Most of them just don't get it. It is easy to speak Khmer. It takes effort to think about what to say when they speak English.

But if they get a job in a place where they interact with foreigners, such as a restaurant, they learn to speak English faster than they do attending English classes. They also understand the benefits of speaking English.

Is there something like that you can do with your girlfriend? Can you get her in an environment where she is exposed to English a lot more?
## I thought I knew all the answers, but they changed all the questions. ##
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newkidontheblock
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Re: How much do you guys correct your girlfriend's English?

Post by newkidontheblock »

Don’t underestimate the value of a good English teacher. Missus has been in English classes for years. Most of it has been heavily supplemented by YouTube videos.

Last semester she had a stellar teacher. His brother is a brain surgeon back home. He didn’t waste class time by going over lessons in the book. Instead he taught from handouts focusing only on the confusing stuff, forced them to speak only English, and eliminated distractions. Her grammar, vocabulary, etc., increased by leaps and bounds and she looked forward to every class.

Of course she has every intention of working at the hospital here. She knows how to speak, read, and write correctly. But, good English isn’t an automatic response. She has to think about it. And so she finds it easier (and faster) to do the Khmer standard broken English, outside of class.

No doubt when she gets here she’ll be forced to use proper English (or at least the Slang that Khmer DJ’s use) and will grow comfortable with it.

OP - you keep correcting her out of love. She’ll appreciate all your hard work later on.
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Re: How much do you guys correct your girlfriend's English?

Post by angkorjohn2 »

How is your Khmer @TeachingForPeanuts ? I do correct (not criticize) my ladies English when needed, most often than not she asks for correct words and vice versa she will correct my Khmer. It is usually done in a fun way rather than admonishment, especially if the word she has said (or I) makes the sentence take an unintended humorous turn

I think as you are planning going in 2021 it is long enough away that if you aren't speaking reasonable Khmer and attending classes perhaps you should. certainly useful for families and will be appreciated by her to be able to speak sometimes in her native language to you when away. If you are both putting effort into learning each others languages it becomes less of a chore and a bit more fun and a level partnership.

Do you know what she plans to do when you move? Her employment opportunities will of course be severely limited unless she can speak, read and write English to a reasonable level.
I do agree with IH's post and it can be a tricky one to navigate, especially as I often observe that the default setting for, certainly younger Khmer's, when criticized/challenged or offered advice is to clam up and react like a 5 year old.
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j57
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Re: How much do you guys correct your girlfriend's English?

Post by j57 »

I say don't sweat it..
once she is immersed she will learn and grow.
I studied Spanish for years...spent a great deal of time in Mexico. I had to think in Spanish at work.
But, it wasn't until I lived in Argentina that I was forced to adapt. My best friends did not speak English.
I am not learning Khmer at the pace I thought I would. old dog new tricks.
My wife speaks decent English for a person who had very little formal education. She is just motivated.
I don't correct her much. I can understand your concern. I know I am never taking my wife to the USA.
I think you should play it cool and when you get to your home country...just let her learn..
I think people will be delighted at what she knows.
best of luck.
jubo2
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Re: How much do you guys correct your girlfriend's English?

Post by jubo2 »

I gave up ! so boring ! they never learn, it's hopeless.
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Re: How much do you guys correct your girlfriend's English?

Post by explorer »

jubo2 wrote: Sun Dec 01, 2019 4:49 pm I gave up ! so boring ! they never learn, it's hopeless.
They are all different individuals. Some do learn. Some are keen to learn.

The real questions are: What is the best approach to take, to be most effective? What will motivate them the most? What will result in them learning the most?
## I thought I knew all the answers, but they changed all the questions. ##
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