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

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

Post by Freightdog » Sun Dec 01, 2019 11:05 pm

hunter8 wrote:
Sun Dec 01, 2019 11:14 am
The biggest problem Cambodians and other SEA nations have with English is not grammar but mispronouncing, especially when they completely omit consonant endings, sometimes half the word. You hear it all the time from waitresses “Sir, you fini?” Of course, from the context we understand they mean the word “finished”.
I initially blamed the French for this particular linguistic flaw. The French have a habit of using half the alphabet in a single word, and then pronouncing only a quarter of it. I therefore concluded that a hundred years or so under the French colonial yoke had thus buggered them up a bit. “If it’s good enough for the French, it’s goo enou fo me”
Now, I still blame the French for this particular linguistic flaw- except now, it’s in failing to adequately prepare the Cambodian nation for its encounter with English speaking tourists, who can’t quite decide which version of Ingli to use. The queen’s ingli, or the colonial.

I still take a little perverted pleasure when getting the other-(better) half’s family to say Freightdog Jr’s full name*. Some sounds simply aren’t natural to Khmer, in the same way as some of their vocal sounds aren’t natural to us.



*bit of double edged sword, though. The Sangkat clearly had major difficulties with his name, resulting in much lost time.
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explorer
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Re: How much do you guys correct your girlfriend's English?

Post by explorer » Sun Dec 01, 2019 11:33 pm

hunter8 wrote:
Sun Dec 01, 2019 8:02 pm
I am curious where these hundreds and thousands of good English speakers are hiding. I have a hard time understanding hotel or restaurant staff most of the time and they are supposed to be trained on that subject, and have a lot of experience dealing with tourists.

By far, the best speakers of English i have seen so far are bar girls but those who speak well are rare even among them. Not that i care much as i prefer to practice Khmer.
They are in many different places. Some have good jobs. Some have ordinary jobs where they don't use English. Some are students. Some live in the village. Some teach English in the village. Some are not working. If you meet a lot of girls you will meet them. I have had some approach me, and want to talk English with me, because they can see I am a foreigner.
Anthony's Weiner wrote:
Sun Dec 01, 2019 7:58 pm
It is best to meet English speaking girls in the village. For example, one day I was walking in the village and a Khmer came up to me and said "what a big smile you have!" and another day I was in Phnom Penh and walked around smiling all day and no one said anything to me.
It is easier to meet people in a village than in a City, but you can still meet them in the city.

Different people have different levels of English. There are many who speak enough English to talk with you about just about anything. Those who speak the best English are normally those who have gone to a school or university with a lot of foreign teachers, and had classes in English. A lot of girls have worked in Malaysia, and been spoken to in English while they were there. They speak with a Malaysian accent.
## I thought I knew all the answers, but they changed all the questions. ##
TeachingForPeanuts
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Re: How much do you guys correct your girlfriend's English?

Post by TeachingForPeanuts » Sun Dec 01, 2019 11:49 pm

armchairlawyer wrote:
Sun Dec 01, 2019 8:09 pm
hunter8 wrote:
Sun Dec 01, 2019 11:14 am
The biggest problem Cambodians and other SEA nations have with English is not grammar but mispronouncing, especially when they completely omit consonant endings, sometimes half the word. You hear it all the time from waitresses “Sir, you fini?” Of course, from the context we understand they mean the word “finished”. In other cases there is no context or it’s unclear and I often have to ask them to say again. Which is a loss of face for many of them, that is why your girlfriend shuts down after you correct her. I am sure I sound as awful when I try to speak Khmer.
Agree hugely. And it is not only Asians. There are many people in the UK now to whom English is not a first language. But they have been there so long that their vocab and grammar is excellent and their fluency is superb. The problem is their thick accent. You can understand them when they speak slowly but as their fluency improves, they become incomprehensible. Latin and African first language speakers are the worst.
I don't find myself correcting her pronunciation a lot. It's grammar. Like conjugating verbs in the third person singular. I do, you do, we do, they do, he . . . does. Which is a two pronged problem for Cambodian learners because they don't conjugate verbs in Khmer and they don't have "s" sounds at the end of words.

Also, "If everyone understands what I mean when I say "he do" why would you correct me?"

Maybe this is a cultural difference. I think it's important for her not just to be understood, but also to sound professional and polished. Maybe in Khmer people don't judge each other on speaking improper Khmer. In my country, people are judged on speaking bad English.
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Re: How much do you guys correct your girlfriend's English?

Post by jubo2 » Sun Dec 01, 2019 11:53 pm

hunter8 wrote:
Sun Dec 01, 2019 8:02 pm
I am curious where these hundreds and thousands of good English speakers are hiding. I have a hard time understanding hotel or restaurant staff most of the time and they are supposed to be trained on that subject, and have a lot of experience dealing with tourists.

By far, the best speakers of English i have seen so far are bar girls but those who speak well are rare even among them. Not that i care much as i prefer to practice Khmer.

This is the only truth. Just as in Thailand where guys told me that they girlfriends English was good, when actually she could not make any correct sentence !
I don't know if it's because of love but guys really seem to see life through pink hear shape glasses...
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Re: How much do you guys correct your girlfriend's English?

Post by jubo2 » Sun Dec 01, 2019 11:57 pm

armchairlawyer wrote:
Sun Dec 01, 2019 10:36 pm
hunter8 wrote:
Sun Dec 01, 2019 9:26 pm
Very intriguing.
I think it's true that tourist jobs are generally not that well paid and only demand a certain level of English, even in the luxury hotels.
Levels of English can be a lot better in other professions, e.g. banking and international business. In my opinion, that level is still well below that of a well-educated Westerner, but that does not matter if the necessary level of communication can take place. On the other hand, in Hong Kong and Singapore you will notice quite a difference.
Another thing worth mentioning is the low level of international knowledge here. Spoken and written English may be good but literacy is rarely strong. People here do not have a culture of reading books and acquiring general knowledge for its own sake. That does not stop them being very well versed in whatever they need to function on their particular job. But if you are looking for social relationships, you are likely to notice a difference from people in similar jobs in the West. Again, in HK and SG it is different.

But compared to Thai I find khmer more aware of what happens in the world. Thai do not care anything outside their borders and can only speak about food or shopping.
Khmer are better it seems, am I correct ?
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Re: How much do you guys correct your girlfriend's English?

Post by hunter8 » Mon Dec 02, 2019 12:00 am

In a village. Do you realize how much practice it normally takes to advance to a good level? What are the opportunities for that in a village? Maybe I am too strict. All the girls I talked to who had sort of decent English had had foreigner boyfriends before. One or two exceptions to this rule. It’s like a litmus test. Not all of them were bar girls, but foreigner boyfriend or two (or five, who counted? Lol) were always prerequisite ghosts hanging in their past.

I can believe it if they work in an international company using English daily. But you don’t meet these girls in a village. Maybe they are not worth meeting at all, too westernized for my taste.
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Re: How much do you guys correct your girlfriend's English?

Post by explorer » Mon Dec 02, 2019 12:11 am

hunter8 wrote:
Mon Dec 02, 2019 12:00 am
But you don’t meet these girls in a village.
There are a lot of girls who speak English in villages. They are all different. Some just had a good English teacher, and learnt English in class.

I have been to some out of the way villages, thinking nobody will speak English here. Then I find out there is an English school in the village.
## I thought I knew all the answers, but they changed all the questions. ##
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Re: How much do you guys correct your girlfriend's English?

Post by adders28 » Mon Dec 02, 2019 12:19 am

explorer wrote:
Mon Dec 02, 2019 12:11 am
hunter8 wrote:
Mon Dec 02, 2019 12:00 am
But you don’t meet these girls in a village.
There are a lot of girls who speak English in villages. They are all different. Some just had a good English teacher, and learnt English in class.

I have been to some out of the way villages, thinking nobody will speak English here. Then I find out there is an English school in the village.
I found the same in the villages, when i was helping out in a school in SHV for the poor they really wanted to learn, especially english, the boss said the rich kids are less enthusiastic , they prefer sitting in an internet room playing games.
I went to a barber in a village in kampong cham his english was superb
To the OP ,find some western TV she enjoys , have to keep them interested
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Re: How much do you guys correct your girlfriend's English?

Post by SternAAlbifrons » Mon Dec 02, 2019 3:23 am

armchairlawyer wrote:
Sun Dec 01, 2019 8:09 pm


Agree hugely. And it is not only Asians. There are many people in the UK now to whom English is not a first language. But they have been there so long that their vocab and grammar is excellent and their fluency is superb. The problem is their thick accent. You can understand them when they speak slowly but as their fluency improves, they become incomprehensible. Latin and African first language speakers are the worst.
Agree hugely too, Armchair - And it's not only Asians Africans Latinos and Australians. You neglect to mention the worst offenders.
ie, British nationals who's ancestors have lived there for 5000 years or more.
Many totally incomprehensible, not only from the accents but from the grammar, vocab, pronunciation, word endings and all those fookinell foulmouthings.

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

Post by armchairlawyer » Mon Dec 02, 2019 10:12 am

SternAAlbifrons wrote:
Mon Dec 02, 2019 3:23 am
armchairlawyer wrote:
Sun Dec 01, 2019 8:09 pm


Agree hugely. And it is not only Asians. There are many people in the UK now to whom English is not a first language. But they have been there so long that their vocab and grammar is excellent and their fluency is superb. The problem is their thick accent. You can understand them when they speak slowly but as their fluency improves, they become incomprehensible. Latin and African first language speakers are the worst.
Agree hugely too, Armchair - And it's not only Asians Africans Latinos and Australians. You neglect to mention the worst offenders.
ie, British nationals who's ancestors have lived there for 5000 years or more.
Many totally incomprehensible, not only from the accents but from the grammar, vocab, pronunciation, word endings and all those fookinell foulmouthings.

:stir:
Ha, yes. The Brits can be totally incomprehensible. In the Bangkok Post I once read an educated Thai commenting that if you want to improve your English, talk with a German. His English will be almost perfect and his enunciation will be excellent. He said the English swallow their words and the Americans use too much slang. Recently I was on the London underground. Two Londoners were sitting opposite each other on the side-facing seats. There was noise from the tracks. One would mumble a comment, also swallowing the last part. The other went "Uh?". The first one repeated what he had said. The second one nodded (but I think he was just too embarrassed to ask for another repeat). Then the second one mumbled something, in response to which the first one went "Uh?" and so on. I certainly couldn't catch a single word of the entire conversation.
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