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User Polls Daily polls where users can vote and give their opinion!

Is English your native language?

Type: Personal
Yes 79% 34 Votes
No, but I'm fluent in it 16% 7 Votes
No, but I struggle along 5% 2 Votes

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43 Votes Total

Aug 4, 2012

Poll Replies (25)

Replies to the user poll above.

Msg # User Message Date


hodayathink (18) US born and raised. I struggle along in Spanish, though.
08-04-12  01:01am

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RustyJ (145) No but everything has been in English so long in my life that I have no trouble at all. I could produce even more careful text if I really wanted but I think in the net you can be a bit more relaxed.
08-04-12  01:30am

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gaypornolover (38) As I said to a US immigration official who shouted "Can... you... speak... ENGLISH?" to me once..

"I AM English!"

08-04-12  01:40am

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Claypaws (44)
Yes. UK born and raised. I am very aware that, with English being the world's standard international language, I am privileged that it is my native language.

I am also full of admiration for all the non-native users of English who post or write reviews with the added difficulty of having to do it in what is, to them, a foreign language.

When I think of how much effort it would take me to to that in French or German, my admiration increases. I have only ever once done that, in French, and it took all day to say what I could have done in 15 minutes in English.

Some non-native speakers might be encouraged to know that the average standard of written English in native UK speakers is rather poor. Many non-native writers achieve a higher standard than the average native speaker.

I would add that the native English speakers in PU seem to write better English than the average UK native speaker.

08-04-12  03:43am

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HeatherMcXxx (10) REPLY TO #4 - Claypaws :

Very well said, Claypaws.
08-04-12  04:13am

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marcdc1 (174) Interesting question. I wonder which non-English languages are most popular on PU?
08-04-12  04:16am

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pat362 (375) My first language is French but I learned English at a very young age and I've been using it for such a long time that I'm fluent in both languages.
08-04-12  07:20am

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BadMrFrosty (56) I am a native English speaker but also speak fluent Czech.
08-04-12  08:31am

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tangub (155) I would echo everything that Claypaws said.
08-04-12  09:38am

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messmer (137) My first language was German.
08-04-12  10:40am

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Drooler (220) Yes, except in Texas and Massachusetts. ;)
08-04-12  12:08pm

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Claypaws (44)
REPLY TO #8 - BadMrFrosty :

Czech has to be one of the world's most difficult languages for anyone to learn. You must either have lived and worked there or are related to a native speaker by blood or marriage. Or you are just very good at languages!

Czech would be remarkably useful for communicating with some of the most beautiful models on the planet, should you ever wish to photograph them or carry out any other activity with them.

08-04-12  05:06pm

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lk2fireone (196) English is my native language. But the older I get, the more I struggle with it.
08-04-12  10:28pm

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elephant (67) English born and raised too but not great at English in schools only got a C grade.
08-05-12  03:21am

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BadMrFrosty (56) REPLY TO #12 - Claypaws :

Correct, I live in the Czech Republic and have been here for over 6 years. I can count on one hand the number of ex-pats that I know who have actually bothered to learn the language even after living here many years too.

I like to chat up the very attractive Czech girls but don't let on straight away that I understand what they are saying to their friends. They don't think that a foreigner has learnt the language and are quite candid in what they say even though you are standing right next to them. Seeming like a psychic is a slightly underhand but very effective pick up technique...

08-05-12  05:58am

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otoh (54) I'm another native english speaker in awe of - and humbled by - the many non-native english speakers who write such good reviews here. I'm similarly shamed by my lacking language skills when I travel un Europe - particularly in Germany and Scandinavia, where everyone speaks english so well!
08-05-12  06:42am

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Denner (235) Wow, what a lot of different languages PUs manage - impressed.
As a Scandinavian I really struggled along with the written English in the beginning here at PU....it's the written deal, I think - a lot of difference between talk and write proper in a language that's not yours from birth.
Oh, I speak and write Danish fluently, speak Swedish, Norwegian, German and some French....but when it comes down to really try to express yourself in a different language, it can be a struggle..........

08-05-12  12:11pm

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jberryl69 (Disabled) Well I answered yes, but the real answer "Yes, but I struggle with it" wasn't available.
08-05-12  02:06pm

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slutty (111) I agree, well said ClayPaws, I am very impressed with the English abilities of all the non-native speakers around here, probably better than mine, and certainly much better than my only other language of French.
08-05-12  10:17pm

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Claypaws (44)
REPLY TO #15 - BadMrFrosty :

6 years residence. I am so glad you did not just say you learned it in 2 weeks from a language CD :-) How long was it before you were reasonably comfortable in a conversational situation?

Czechoslovakia is one place I would not mind emigrating to now that Russia appears to be relatively well behaved. Germany and Scandinavia are too expensive to contemplate.

But the language is a huge obstacle and I would not be prepared to join the ranks of non-speaking ex-pats.

Your description of your use of your linguistic ability in pick up confirms that you are indeed a very, very bad Mr Frosty ;-)

08-06-12  03:43pm

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BadMrFrosty (56) REPLY TO #20 - Claypaws :

How quickly you can pick up Czech will depend on many things. Firstly Czech is completely different to English so its helpful if you know another Slavic language or even knowing German will help. Secondly it will obviously come easier if you have a natural ability to learn languages. Thirdly, while its hard to become fluent in English, you can get by on relatively few words and still be understood without worrying too much about grammar. In Czech, grammar and vocabulary are tied so close that it does not matter if you know the word, you also need to know how to change it in order to reflect tense, time or the subject in order to be understood.

Personally I am appallingly bad at languages and didn't know German. I tried learning from a book and from friends but didn't pick things up too quickly. What really helped was getting a Czech girlfriend who spoke very little English and also getting out of Prague and living in a smaller town where next to no one spoke any English. When you have no choice but to speak the language its surprising how quickly you learn. I would say that after a year living in a pretty much English free environment I was at a decent level.

08-07-12  04:54am

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Claypaws (44)
REPLY TO #21 - BadMrFrosty :

That is very interesting. And great if you can get a Czech girlfiend!

A year sounds about right in an English-free environment. I know how much my French improved when I spent a mere ten days on a cross country skiing trip with a group of French people - no English speakers - living and sleeping in communal huts so it was French from waking to sleeping.

I have some German too and I did take classical Latin and classical Greek (all of which I have forgotten) so I understand grammatical systems. Still, I am sure that does not overcome the sheer terror when confronted with an earful of Czech that you can make no sense of. Maybe some of that year is simply overcoming the terror.

But I notice you are 25 years younger than I am - which makes a huge difference both to fluency and girlfriend appeal :-)

Well done for sticking with it.

08-07-12  08:36am

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BadMrFrosty (56) REPLY TO #22 - Claypaws :

The first step in understanding Czech is being able to pick out the individual words. That first time when you can recognise the gaps and not hear just a constant stream of noise is a eureka moment :) Also, like Latin, its a very rule based language, pick up enough words and learn the rules and you are half way there.

And I would not worry about your age. One of my very good friends here is in his 50's and does very well with ladies half his age. You will be surprised how many ladies want to practice their English given half the chance.

If you ever take a trip over to check things out let me know and I will buy you a beer :)

08-07-12  08:54am

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Claypaws (44)
REPLY TO #23 - BadMrFrosty :

That thing about recognising the gaps is of course common to all languages, including one's mother tongue. There are actually no gaps unless you can identify words from your vocabulary. My favourite example is "Catch it" and "Cat shit". I think the Czech eureka moment must be very satisfying.

Ladies half my age sounds like a good incentive.

Thank you for the offer of a beer. If I ever do go to Cz, I will take you up on that.

08-07-12  04:06pm

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mbaya (366) I am a native speaker of English. I have helped many non natives with English, so I really appreciate the effort by PUers.
08-08-12  01:32pm

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*Message rows highlighted in light orange are replies to replies.

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