How do you prefer english speakers pronounce your language?

Chimpzy_v1legacy

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Generally, when a foreign person who hasn't lived here for several years tried to speak (Flemish) Dutch, it usually goes like this: foreign person tries, usually messes up pretty hard, Flemish person automatically defaults to English or the foreigner's language (it's very common for Flemish to speak 1 or more foreign languages, usually French and/or English).)

(Flemish) Dutch, while not an easy language, is supposedly not an exceptionally hard one either. But non-natives seem to have the hardest time speaking it. I suppose that partly because, unlike bigger languages like French, Spanish or German, people generally have little or no exposure to it through media and such, so they go in without having any idea of how it's supposed to be pronounced.

bartholen said:
See, in finnish you can basically create insanely long words by just sticking them together.
That's not unique to Finnish tho. German has the same trait. Dutch technically does too, since there is no grammatical rule really preventing you from just slapping on more nouns, but in practice it's only very rarely done.
 
Oct 22, 2011
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Whatever manner that will result in being communicative. Not a lot of foreigners speaking polish, even less so trying to nail the pronounciation right, so as long as you won't try to immitate russian accent, it should be fine.

Otherwise, if you aren't in Bumfuck Nowheretown, just tell you're an english speaker.
 

Poetic Nova

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Chimpzy said:
Generally, when a foreign person who hasn't lived here for several years tried to speak (Flemish) Dutch, it usually goes like this: foreign person tries, usually messes up pretty hard, Flemish person automatically defaults to English or the foreigner's language (it's very common for Flemish to speak 1 or more foreign languages, usually French and/or English).)

(Flemish) Dutch, while not an easy language, is supposedly not an exceptionally hard one either. But non-natives seem to have the hardest time speaking it. I suppose that partly because, unlike bigger languages like French, Spanish or German, people generally have little or no exposure to it through media and such, so they go in without having any idea of how it's supposed to be pronounced.

bartholen said:
See, in finnish you can basically create insanely long words by just sticking them together.
That's not unique to Finnish tho. German has the same trait. Dutch technically does too, since there is no grammatical rule really preventing you from just slapping on more nouns, but in practice it's only very rarely done.
The problem I have, and see with the dutch language since it is actually my second language, is not that you can basically slap nouns onto words, but rather that every rule is broken more than once. It makes things very confusing, atleast for me.
Mind you, I'm grown up in a language that's not official, and who's spelling can be taken liberties on.
 

McElroy

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Chimpzy said:
bartholen said:
See, in finnish you can basically create insanely long words by just sticking them together.
That's not unique to Finnish tho. German has the same trait. Dutch technically does too, since there is no grammatical rule really preventing you from just slapping on more nouns, but in practice it's only very rarely done.
Yeah, compound nouns are cheating. However, 'ep?j?rjestelm?llistytt?m?tt?myydell?ns?k??nk?' (yes, I know that's a lot of ????s) is not a compound noun. It means 'even without his/her anti-system-dearranging' (and it's a question). An actually cool and useful example is 'lienee nukkuvinaan' which means 'seems to be pretending to be asleep'.
 

Chimpzy_v1legacy

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Poetic Nova said:
The problem I have, and see with the dutch language since it is actually my second language, is not that you can basically slap nouns onto words, but rather that every rule is broken more than once. It makes things very confusing, atleast for me.
Mind you, I'm grown up in a language that's not official, and who's spelling can be taken liberties on.
True. I'm pretty sure Dutch has several rules where there are more exceptions to the rule than cases where it does apply. That's not particularly unique, since there are other languages that are also rife with rules exceptions, but Dutch seems to be particularly bad about it. I took me years to become fluent enough to the point where people don't notice I'm not native Flemish.
 

Pseudonym

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Ehm, I would attempt to either speak the language or not. That is, either just speak proper English and hope the other persons understand or speak the native language as good as you can. I wouldn't attempt accents, that just seems like a weird way to stereotype a language you don't speak. Unless the other person doesn't understand because of your pronunciation or the word doesn't exist in English in which case I'd try to pronounce it as much as possible like the locals do.

Chimpzy said:
(Flemish) Dutch, while not an easy language, is supposedly not an exceptionally hard one either. But non-natives seem to have the hardest time speaking it. I suppose that partly because, unlike bigger languages like French, Spanish or German, people generally have little or no exposure to it through media and such, so they go in without having any idea of how it's supposed to be pronounced.
Well, I'm more familiar with regular Dutch but I think part of the problem is there are some sounds here which not everyone can pronounce or distinguish. The Dutch W, H and G are sometimes found impronouncable or in the case of the W, undistiguishable from the V. Now I imagine the G is less of a problem if you speak flemish Dutch.

I recall trying to explain to a Czech girl how to say 'Hoe gaat het' which became either 'ChoeChaaChe' or 'HoeHaHe'. I've also tried to explain the difference between king Willem (I skipped the Alexander part) and king Villem to Americans who genuinely didn't hear any difference.
 

Satinavian

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Saelune said:
German seems to be a very throaty language, and I personally would have trouble speaking it even if I could I think (I have nose and throat problems s: ). I however, have had my curiosity poked further, so now you got me looking into German pronunciation and the language in general. Not to go up to a native German speaker and try to impress them or anything, I just am fascinated by language.
German has a grammar that tends to be problematic for English speakers. It still has cases (four) which inform about the function of a noun in a sentence, while word order seems far less relevant. Verbs tend to be at the end of a sentence which can be really long in practice and that takes time getting used to. Then all nouns are gendered and the gender of a noun can change other words too. The genders often seem quite arbitrary and have to be learnded. There are even words that are completely the same outside of the gender and have utterly different meaning, so getting the gender wrong might make a phrase ununderstandable.

But the bigger problem (for beginners)is pronounciation. German has a couple of sounds that simply do not exist in English. While the consonant ones are harder to learn, the mising vowels are more of a problem in practice . Again, using the wrong vowel makes it a completely different word with differet meaning. And some people with very little German just speak as if no single umlaut had its dots. Those dots are important.



As for the original question, it is nice if an English native speaker tries to speak my language. But for a longer conversation, i prefer that we can actually communicate well. So we should use the language that works best. I am also switching to English whenever i think the foreign speaker is uncomfortable.

As for "French Fries", well, that is not exactly school vocabulary. It is quite possible that no one would know what this is supposed to be. Actually never heard it myself before the freedom-fries-debacle. You would probably have better luck trying to ask for "fried potatoe pieces" if the English of your restaurant employees is not superb. Btw the local name is a mangled version of the French name "Pomfritz" and you might actually have luck trying the original French.


Another things with restorants, menus and pronaunciation : It is possible and accepted to point to the written dish you want to order instead of pronouncing it or to just say the number. That is, if you at least can read/guess it.
 

Nickolai77

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Dornedas said:
Or use only sentences you learned from Rammstein. You could make new friends with this approach.
Given the lyrical content of Rammstein songs I'd be cautious if reciting Rammstein songs to random strangers in the street- they might think you're weird or call the police!

Many of the students in my high school German class were Rammstein fans, which the teacher didn't really approve off. Never the less, Rammstein have publicised the German language a huge amount around the world and have inspired many to learn the language. They're a huge exporter of German language and culture even though they're not to the taste of most people.
 

DoPo

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Saelune said:
So, in short, for those who do not speak English as your first language, if an English speaker tried talking to you in your native tongue, how would you prefer they try to speak?
If in doubt and not in easy way to ask other people, a good counter question would actually be - what if it was the opposite situation: how would you prefer a non-native speaker to talk in English? That should give you a decent idea of how to communicate with others.

Of course, that's not the point of this thread but I just wanted to mention it as a sort of "hack", in case anyone finds themselves in a situation where that kind of thinking might help.

OT: I would definitely not demand perfection. If a foreigner tries to be understood and they are, that is good enough for me. Communication is already hard enough without the language barriers - giving a further disadvantage to those who haven't spent most of their lives practising the absolute "correct" way of pronunciation (which also tends to be quite arbitrary) feels like a dick move.
 

Saelune

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DoPo said:
Saelune said:
So, in short, for those who do not speak English as your first language, if an English speaker tried talking to you in your native tongue, how would you prefer they try to speak?
If in doubt and not in easy way to ask other people, a good counter question would actually be - what if it was the opposite situation: how would you prefer a non-native speaker to talk in English? That should give you a decent idea of how to communicate with others.

Of course, that's not the point of this thread but I just wanted to mention it as a sort of "hack", in case anyone finds themselves in a situation where that kind of thinking might help.

OT: I would definitely not demand perfection. If a foreigner tries to be understood and they are, that is good enough for me. Communication is already hard enough without the language barriers - giving a further disadvantage to those who haven't spent most of their lives practising the absolute "correct" way of pronunciation (which also tends to be quite arbitrary) feels like a dick move.
Not really good for me cause I find people of any level of multilingualness to be impressive and am impressed by every person here who is.

Plus apparently the French are really protective of their language, while others not so much. And English is the most wide-spread language.
 

Major_Tom

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English speakers really suck at pronouncing foreign words. I think that's because their language has such fucked up rules and they assume other languages have too so they give up immediately, when in fact many common languages have very consistent rules and it takes about 5 minutes to learn how to pronounce them fairly accurately. So, English speakers, take 5 minutes to learn stuff.
McElroy said:
Yes. Learn Finnish. Please. The swearwords first. Then hello and thank you.
Haista vittu!
 

Dreiko_v1legacy

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I'm Greek so I have no hope of English speakers pronouncing my tongue right so I just don't mind it when they make mistakes. There's so many languages out there and you can't expect someone to know them all. Thinking of yourself special in that regard makes little sense to me.
 

Kae

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I find it irritating when they speak awful Spanish but otherwise, I do not care.
 

Drathnoxis

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In the most exaggerated "Canadian" accent they can muster.
 

Creator002

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Porygon-2000 said:
As an Australian learning German in my spare time, I would probably make a native speaker cry.

But, at the same time, I would like to at try speaking German, if only at first. I realise that the other person most likely speaks English wonderfully, but it still makes me feel a bit shitty that they have to use it to effectively communicate. I'm not going to get better at speaking German by not speaking it, if you see what I mean
Same boat here, but I've been learning German on and off since primary school (I'm 25 now, for reference). I'd do the exact same because I'd appreciate someone trying English even if it were terrible, switching back for more serious language barrier problems.[footnote]Like I'll speak in English if I'm explaining the dangers of a task or need to think quickly[/footnote]