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ClumsyDoomer

Non-native English speakers

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As I can see, there are many of those. Everyone who learned English as their second / third / whatever language, how did / do you learn it?

Here in Russia, for example, it's a mandatory subject and most kids start to learn it in elementary school, just like I did. But classes were a lot more boring than playing games with English interface / subtitles, reading stuff in them and slowly grasping the grammar. I've been skipping English lessons a lot, but I'm still doing kind of fine (better than my classmates, at least, but that's irrelevant) just because I always wanted to know what do those things say in the game / in lyrics for some song. For several years, there was a huge dictionary near the computer, lol.
As for speaking / writing stuff... you can check out my older posts from 2011-2013 and see how bad I was until I had discovered doomworld, lol. actually I had met real people from Britain a while ago, but it only happened thrice and I didn't use English as an ordinary / communicative language in real life since then.
(tell me if there are any mistakes, it's important for me, lol)

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Hi. I not native English speakser my self. I learn English since 7 ears old and i do big progress in learning it. I think i know English good. I have no problems to speak with peoples. And peoples understand me well and good.

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ClumsyDoomer said:

But classes were a lot more boring than playing games with English interface / subtitles, reading stuff in them and slowly grasping the grammar.

Same. And especially playing oldschool CRPGs with lots of text in them.

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ClumsyDoomer said:

As I can see, there are many of those. Everyone who learned English as their second / third / whatever language, how did / do you learn it?

ClumsyDoomer said:

Here in Russia....

ClumsyDoomer said:

in Russia....

ClumsyDoomer said:

Russia....

Оп-па-па...

School... well, bad experience, mostly. And yeah, from games and eng-speaking forums of my interest such as Doomworld, Zdoom.org, many sites about GFX and art.

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I learned English as my 2nd language since I was around 5.
At first, my parents were teaching me some basic words and sentences (Present Simple and stuff), then they hired a private teacher when I was 7, so yeah, you can see the result of all that. I still get confused when translating between languages though. Also, I played a lot of smart video games, namely Star Control 2. That game is a real alternative to traditional textbooks :]
EDIT: also, as I live in a pretty small country, all the movies on TV are with subtitles (only cartoons are synchronised), which has also helped me a lot.

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Hmm... am I a native speaker?

I was born in the US.
I have US citizenship.
My mom also have US citizenship(my dad did too).
But they were born in Bangladesh.
We usually rotated back and forth between the two countries for some reason(right now, BD. Probably longer stay this time. Maybe permanent).
But I'm very good in English compared to most of the students in our class/grade.
I'm actually more fluid in English instead of Bengali(I sound like a child when trying to speak Bengali)! Ironic isn't it?

So am I or am I not a "native" speaker? :|

OP, I learned a good deal of VOCABULARY from those educational TV shows while others watched Cartoon Network XD. And that's only in the vocabulary section. The rest felt like basic knowledge/instinct.

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School was of little to no help. I didn't understand any of the grammar stuff, and exersises were typically either too easy or too hard (in other words, mostly useless).

Like 95% of my knowledge came from watching CNN\BBC\Discovery\etc, listening to people on Youtube talking about games\movies\politics\whatever, reading websites and forums, trying to write my own posts using words and constructions I've learned from other users, stuff like that. When I first came to Doomworld, my English was really crappy, but over time all these experiences accumulated and now it seems like I can speak coherently enough. And I didn't really have a goal to get better at the language, it's just that English is everywhere nowadays, I encounter it all the time, so I'm learning it kind of naturally.

I still suck at grammar though. Especially if I have to describe a hypothetical situation that takes place in the past, I'm really not sure what to do. I'd like to finally learn that stuff but at the moment I'm much more interested in Japanese.

I'd say my best teachers were AVGN and Doomworld. :) I've spent countless hours on both and learned sooo much from them, especially AVGN. I probably still can recite a good portion of his reviews. I rewatched most of them several times, gradually understanding more and more, first with Russian subtitles, then without them.

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kuchitsu said:

I still suck at grammar though. Especially if I have to describe a hypothetical situation that takes place in the past, I'm really not sure what to do.

Just learn all the tenses and conditional sentences, it's not really hard i think, but i admit i also had problems with them in the past..

A lot of people here seem to complain that learning English in school is meh.., but i dunno, English was one of my favourite subjects, if not the most favourite, and i have to say that i learned a lot about English from school. Mostly because i was genuinely interested in it, and also probably because the teacher was awesome.
But of course, playing games/watching films/reading books helped a great deal. I actually have to admit the reading all 7 Harry Potter books in English improved my English a lot, even though when i started reading those, i already knew English quite well..

Now i kinda want to learn French, it's a very beautiful language, but i'm not sure where to begin..

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I'm french, but I've had the luck of starting to follow English classes in primary school. As a teenager, I started watching movies and reading books in English (I still do, for that matter). I think over half the internet content I've browsed since about ten years is in English. One thing I have to say is that understanding more than one language is very useful in order to gather complete information on certain topics.

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kuchitsu said:

School was of little to no help. I didn't understand any of the grammar stuff, and exersises were typically either too easy or too hard (in other words, mostly useless).


I'm a native English speaker, but this is mostly true for me for French class (though I generally understand what is taught there). I think the fact that I only do it for an hour a day, five months out of the year, makes it worse.

I've been trying to immerse myself in French just a bit more recently, and I can understand a fair amount of (not all that complex, admittedly) written French. I can't actually speak or write it for shit yet, though.

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First, I learned to read english. It was very handy during college because of the extensive material on the internet. - Gaymes (Resident Evil 2 comes to mind)
Then Writing (MMORPGs, my main motivation was to improve team work), but there is no benefit in writing english other than shitpost, so it will remain "good enough" until i find a reason to improve (my writing skills is deteriorating already). Never really learned how to hear/speak though, and probably never will due to lack of a good reason (for myself) to do so.

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most of what i know i learned in high school. But my biggest incentive to study in depth was trying to understand guns and roses songs. What i did as an exercise 'on my own' was leave the tv on with a movie playing, with english audio and spanish subtitles and not look at the tv. Play a solitaƬre game with cards maybe, or anything that would keep my eyes off the screen but allow my attention to stay on what they were saying and not loose track of the story. So i was constantly trying to 'get' what they were saying, and whenever there was something i missed i would look at the screen for a second to read No screen the translation of what i didn't get. Soon after a while of doing this the 'flash checks' would come to be fewer and further between. come to think Me it now i guess this method would result better if done with an english-subtitled video. Back in the day all i had was broadcast cable tv, it must be easier now to find a video with english subs and see how much you can make out from just listening to it and check the screen only when something.

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I learned the very basics in an english course I took. I never finished it, but I did start watching more and more shit in english on youtube. But my greatest teachers were the grammar nazis, who constantly corrected my inane comments.

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I'm non-native speaker and it's a little embarrassing me. I always think that I've somewhere made a mistake and always feel like i write so complicated or so strange that native speakers must use his inner force to understand me. Because of it i always check my sentences in Yandex translator, much rarely in Google translator. Even with this i still not sure about correctness.
I would never have became interested in English if i didn't found out about Editor tool inside Quake 4. I said: WOW! I can make my own maps and mods... Heh...
There i got the purpose and reason to study English as hard as i could. What is really surprised me that i was the best pupil in class room at English lessons. Only I could translate some sentences in book without any problem.
Even after school in University i was the best, annnndd it's so disappointed me. No one knew English as i do, no one speak =(
Also it's kind a funny that most of speedrunners are from Russia including me.

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ChekaAgent said:

Now i kinda want to learn French, it's a very beautiful language, but i'm not sure where to begin..

Well there's no shortage of French-language movies, books, and games in wide varieties of genres.

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Mostly from school, especially grammar and spelling. Half my family are Danish so I was exposed to English from a young age and I have a natural accent.

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Azuruish said:

I'm non-native speaker and it's a little embarrassing me. I always think that I've somewhere made a mistake and always feel like i write so complicated or so strange that native speakers must use his inner force to understand me. Because of it i always check my sentences in Yandex translator, much rarely in Google translator. Even with this i still not sure about correctness.

To be honest, your English is still broken as f., but that's ok, that's actually good, because mistakes can sometimes be funny.

Also it's kind a funny that most of speedrunners are from Russia including me.

Damn, there so many Russians here.. i mean, when i came to these forums, i expected the 99.9% of people would be americans.. hahah.

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I also forgot to mention.

During the time in the US (Grade 1-5 during that time), I would go to the library to borrow books, read em, return em, get new books.
I once found Halo Contact Harvest that time and couldn't read shit though (now I read all the way up to Halo The Thursday War, and it hurts to know I don't have the next 8-9 books in the series).

Reading helped me indirectly A LOT. And I enjoy it.

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The year of school in which i had english class for the first time was hell, typical teacher that just reads the book and follows the silly activities laid out by some idiotic neckbeard that doesn't know shit about teaching anything, paired with frequent headaches and depression, i barely made it through that year to the next.

Thus that year went by and somehow i had learned english during the summer vacations, as from that year on i always got perfect grades in english.

I blame video games :V.

Now for spoken english, i suck at pronouncing my native language (Spanish) so you can guess how much of a mess my spoken english is...

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I learned English since the age of 6 i think, i didn't understand what the words were, but as time progressed i started to understand the English language, so i can speak fluent English and with different accents, although i'm interested in learning Arabic.
Speaking of which, i know a little Japanese and German.

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If I recall correctly, I mostly learned by playing English video games and browsing the internet. No wonder that from age 9 onwards or so I regularly aced English in school.

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It's funny in Greece we had no dubbing of our tv series or movies. We had subs, so we got to listen to English and read the subs. It's funny this could have helped with being familiarized with english. And then school. And old adventure games. And later the internet for me. I mean some Spanish or French people with dubbed movies as childern, and later they had more problems with the english language.

So, we were lucky the TV didn't tried much to dub movies or series. There are not even dubbing for video games, I don't remember much games. I had a spanish friend playing Borderlands and it was freaking hilarious listening to the Spanish dubbing. I wish though sometimes I would have some greek translation or dubbing of some video games or Doom just for the laughs (did anyone ever make greek font and text replacements for Doom? It will be nice even for the giggles). It just strangely hilarious even though it doesn't make sense why.

I never had a problem with english. It's like a second mother language now because of the internet. In another side, I learned German but have trouble speaking them although I understand or can read.

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My English really sucked for a very long while. Nobody gave a damn in school so teachers just rehashed the same thing every year since the basics weren't there. Thus the average student didn't make any progress.

Hanged on #nightmare, understanding half of what was said. Used my broken English here on DW for a while. Then for some reason I was huge on futurism and stuff like this, and I was so focused into reading the wealth of material available in English despite its relative complexity that I could read fluently before I even realized my progress.

After that it was discussing a lot on social networks and extensively watching English shows with ENG subs, until I felt confident into removing their assistance. Right now my speaking skill is still subpar so I might work on that.

Bottom line: finding something I enjoy reading in English saved me with this matter.

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My first language Is English, my second would be Spanish (though I need to get some lessons for It, since some of my family knows Spanish), I know a bit of French as well.

But I'm mainly English.

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Voros said:

So am I or am I not a "native" speaker? :|

Did your close family and friends speak english with you at home when you were young? Were you speaking or writing bengali and english both at an early age? How common is english spoken by people in bangladesh?

I would just consider you naturally bilingual all things considered.

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My native language is Czech but I'm slowly losing grasp of it. Having trouble forming sentences because I think in English 24/7 these days. Thankfully I still have a dictionary at hand, and my mother mostly understands me even though I constantly slip English words into conversations by accident.

Started learning English in 4th grade, got infinitely better at it by being in contact with English-speaking people over the internet and watching streams with commentary. Last year the English teacher even said that he has nothing to teach me and I know more than him, and just let me do whatever in his classes. (Not joking, he actually did say that.)

I plan to move to the UK one day and forget Czech entirely. I can't speak it properly anyway, got a few speech impediments that no one bothered to fix when I was a kid.

Unrelated to English but I also learned a bit of German, can't actually speak it but can read a few words here and there. Know enough of it to at least know when people tell me to fuck off. :^)

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language-classes were great. i really liked Swedish and English classes here, and the latter i played a lot of English games like old FPS games and whatnot. i just really liked the subject, i guess it clicked very well with me; i could probably pursue a career in language if i so desired to, and if i could stand all the goddamn paper-work. i really disliked doing essays and i almost burned out completely in senior-high because of it.

wish i had the same enthusiasm with a third language. German classes sucked because they had to be taken at another school, which had a really horrible and stressful atmosphere, so i dropped out on that. should have taken classes again when i was in senior-high, but oh well. now i'm not nearly enough motivated to learn a new language. but i like Swedish and English.

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I reckoned pretty early on that if I didn't, I'd be missing out on literally everything. Good thing, too, because I learned so early I don't have an accent (unless having a Cajun/Southern American English accent counts).

As a consequence, though, I have forgotten "pure" Cajun French. So when people ask me if I'm bilingual, I literally have no idea what to say. Because I'll catch myself code-switching randomly; where I start talking two languages at once. Ugh.

</murica>

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