Captain Obvious

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Big_Dog, Sep 28, 2014.

  1. Big_Dog

    Big_Dog Administrator Staff Member

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    Ever been studying a language for several years, and then brusquely receive some piece of information about it that you learned in the first few hours of study? Please share your experiences in this thread.

    Mandarin. Regardless of how long I've studied, or how well I seem to be communicating, I still get "There are 4 tones in Mandarin, you know!" every once in a while. This used to happen when I made tone mistakes. Native speakers thought it was necessary to teach me about tones, which was a little embarrassing. These days when I hear it, it's usually a random statement from natives that, I assume, are used to "helping" beginners by saying it, so they think I will also appreciate it. Lot's of natives, maybe even most, aren't aware of tones and their associated rules; they just use them naturally. So I suspect it's sort of like new information about their own language that they are eager to share with learners.
  2. garyb

    garyb Member

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    "Did you know that French has genders: some words are masculine and others are feminine."

    Really? I never noticed during all those years of studying!

    At a meetup once, someone made an adjective agreement mistake, so one of the French people there felt the need to not only point out the mistake (which in itself isn't a bad thing, although we all know that that sort of silly mistake is easy to make when speaking even when one knows the rules well in theory) but also give a lecture on the whole gender system.
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  3. Bob

    Bob Active Member VIP member

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    I can't think of a mistake I made where someone did that, but there's, " Cebuano has a lot of Spanish in it, you know", even though I'm usually the one that points out when that happens.
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  4. tastyonions

    tastyonions Member VIP member

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    I guess I must have made a few mistakes when I was speaking, because a Spanish tutor felt compelled to inform me of the existence of the subjunctive and told me that I should check it out sometime. She then evaluated my level as being A2.

    Well, who knows, I have never taken a CEFR test, but it was a bit deflating in any case.

    :)
    Last edited: Sep 30, 2014
  5. tastyonions

    tastyonions Member VIP member

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    At a French meetup we were taking turns reading from a news story and a French guy was repeatedly correcting a woman's pronunciation of the R, which clearly embarrassed her.

    When it was my turn I deliberately pronounced all the Rs as forceful Spanish RRs.
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  6. Cainntear

    Cainntear Active Member VIP member

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    Which is perfectly natural French, if something of a dying feature. Damn Parisians want everyone to speak like them....
  7. tastyonions

    tastyonions Member VIP member

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    Yeah, I love the old southern French and Quebec accents. But I wasn't using other features of those accents when I read, just using my Rs to mess with him. :)
  8. Wise owl chick

    Wise owl chick Active Member

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    Yes, but also the foreigners think that if you are a french speaker, then you are French. :mad: I suppose that if you are african ethny, then they would think that you are congolese or senegalese, or haitian, but as a european, in my experience the foreigners never ask, they always think that we are french.

    If a Walloon (Belgian french speaker) move to France, it's usual to adapt yourself to speak exactly France's French.. or they will criticise or mock. esepcially I suppose if you have a strong regional accent. But when I was in France, the people were very nice!! We have spoken like we speak at home, which is like Parisian French's pronunciation generally, but some other words and nobody was nasty at all, but we were in Normandy. Maybe in Paris it would be different, certainly the Parisians are known...they want that all the world do all the things like they, and different would be wrong.
  9. Big_Dog

    Big_Dog Administrator Staff Member

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    I was just informed that the plural word for собака (dog) is собаки! Sweet.
  10. Big_Dog

    Big_Dog Administrator Staff Member

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    Today I learned that the Russian word for forum is форум.
  11. Big_Dog

    Big_Dog Administrator Staff Member

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    After only 4 years of Russian study, I finally learned:
    буква ё - всегда ударная в русском языке :D
  12. luke

    luke Member VIP member

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    I would think the native speakers are trying to be helpful. On lang-8, I will provide notes like "use a space after a comma" or "no space before a period at the end of a sentence". Some people haven't learned this yet. At a minimum, it's a suggestion to "up the ante". On the other side, I'm thankful even if the correction is something I see as a typographical error, rather than a knowledge gap. I have plenty of knowledge gaps. It's nice when someone takes the time to offer a hand.

    With French gender though, it's a challenge to get right on every word, especially if you are pushing your limits, such as at a meet-up. It's not as straight forward as Spanish. If the correction was in French, I'd still appreciate it :) Sometimes it's not though and then the missed opportunity may sting a little.

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