Tag Info

Hot answers tagged

27

In any discourse, speakers measure numbers of this sort by a (presumably) common standard. On the Chicago Board of Trade, for instance, soybean, soyoil and soymeal prices are quoted on three different scales, but there's no problem, because everyone knows what they mean: Beans quoted in cents and eighths/bushel, so 1341'6 = $13.4175/bu Meal quoted in ...


22

"One fifty" can mean $1.50, $150, $150,000, or other amounts depending on the context (candy, a paintball gun, a house).


14

I used to feel the same. I'm not a native English speaker either. I think I got used to reading the subtitles when I was younger and didn't speak English. And even when my English became good enough to understand most of what was being said in the movies, I would still turn subtitles on because I didn't want to miss any lines. That's how you become ...


7

I'm a native English speaker (American) and have trouble with American movies. The younger the actors, usually the worse it is. I believe it has to do with mumbling and slurring and rapid speech (sometimes dependent on the way the actor does the character, rather than the actor's natural speech patterns). It also has to do with hearing loss that comes with ...


5

If you listen carefully, the narrator is not saying "one fifty dollars," which would be quite uncommon. Coincidentally, the quote in question appears at about 1:50 into the clip: If I could sell my vote, I probably would. How much? How much? Psssh… Umm… Like, one fifty? One fifty. (laughs) A hundred and fifty dollars? I… I just… I ...


5

I think it's not just English-language movies. I'm a native English-speaker, and my Spanish is pretty good, but I had to turn on the Spanish-language subtitles for the movie "El Laberinto del Fauno" (Pan's Labyrinth). This helped me understand that the word was "un hada" (fairy) and not "un nada" and "sofocarlos" (quell them), not "sobrecarlos".


4

You could argue about which is the easier variety to learn and which is the more useful, but ultimately that depends on you. Are you more likely to interact with people from Commonwealth countries or the USA? Documentaries are great, and they'll certainly help to widen your vocabulary. Because they also involve "experts" from around the globe if ...


3

I'm going to hazard a guess that what he actually said was "all of those things, for me, remind me as I sort of lived into the story that reason is about 17th on a list of the attributes that define us as a species." If so, what he probably meant was that there are many things more central to human nature than reason. Please also note that about 17 is ...


3

I know exactly what you mean, but frankly I think it is less a matter of accents or dialects and just that the sound mixing of a lot of recent movies is especially bad. They have so much going on with the soundtrack and bass heavy sound effects that the dialogue gets drowned out. A good example of this was Pandorum (2009), nobody had any pronounced accent ...


3

I'm not a native speaker, been taking (American) English seriously for only 1 year (after 8 of "School English") and usually have no problem watching American movies. In fact, I hate subtitles. That video with quotes from "The Wire;" I understood almost everything. Though I think it's impossible not to have trouble understanding some African Americans ...


3

For me the big difficulty is the tendency for the director to make the vocals too quiet, and the background noises too loud. So in a very much native English speaking household, you will find the channel clicker being not only used to replay dialogue in rented movies, but you will find the native English speakers arguing over what's been said. And then we ...


3

The word is "disavow." It means to break a connection with. The author is essentially saying, "If you think writing a book will be all fun, and little work, then disavow yourself of that silly, unrealistic notion."


2

Inaudible dialogue and incomprehensible actors seem to be a mounting problem in the US as well as in the UK. More and more native speakers watch movies and series with subtitles on! See the following articles and comments: The rising problem of inaudible dialogue SPEAK UP! Or why mumbling actors are ruining TV drama


2

As a non-native English speaker, I can understand very well American movies. But it depends on the kind of movie. There're some things you can do to improve your comprehension: Select the lower audio's quality. Usually there're two options the 5.1 and 2.0. The higher quality has a lot of effects that will disturb you to hear the words clearly; Try to ...


2

As a TV series maniac and a person who learns English, I would like to recommend to watch almost any sitcoms, such as "Friends", "How I met your mother", "Two and a half men". Also, "Futurama" and "Lost" were surprisingly easy to understand.


2

I agree with Shinto Sherlock's answer, but I might add "telephone conversations" to that list as well. My French is good enough that I can sometimes be mistaken for a native speaker (at least until I make a gender error -- English brains aren't wired to store genders for nouns), but I find certain French films quite difficult to follow. Even some ...


2

I felt this way when I started to watch the The Wire, and English is my first language. It got better after a while, though I still struggled with the gangster slang. Which is all anyone can advise, I think; it gets easier with practice.


2

Consider "nonconversational English." I'm not a certified teacher, but an American student, and could help with conversational and nonconversational English. To tell someone you're nonconversational in English, you could say: I'm not conversational in English, but I can read it and write it without any difficulty.


2

Oh man! You have touched on one of my greatest bugbears concerning the comprehensibility of speech in films and TV, partly because so many of the problems are avoidable if only the makers would pay proper attention to what they are doing. These are the factors I have identified as making it hard to understand speech, in no particular order: Mumbling or ...


2

I think biopics can be wel understood. I used "Gifted hands" successfully with my elementary students (very good students, though).


1

You can tell them that you are not proficient when it comes to verbal communication. Or your verbal communication skills are to be improved.


1

Here in India, it is actually common for 'one fifty' to mean 'one hundred fifty'. That is, we are not changing units of parlance in this case like we might change when talking in bigger numbers, e.g. 5-6 instead of 5-6 thousand (talking in terms of thousands, understood by both speaker and listener). Rather, we are actually dropping the hundred to shorten ...


1

Whenever it is available, you can try to use English subtitles (if possible, not those for the hearing-impaired). Although hardly any subtitles are always exactly accurate, the visual feedback to what you (think) you are hearing really helps a lot in getting accustomed to the spoken language. I have used this a lot (being in the lucky position that I get ...


1

There is another way to use films for learning language. It is a bit difficult to find scripts of films, I mean printed scripts of films, not scripts that you find as download on the Internet. These downloads can sometimes be dangerous and may cause a computer crash. The film Casablanca, USA 1942, by director Michael Curtiz is a wonderful film with good ...


1

Go for Seinfeld. Simple language, plain story-line and pretty enjoyable. http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0098904/


1

I copied my answer from ELL here, because you seem to be watching this page at the moment. One way is to focus on the sound, rather than the words. A technique I found especially useful is to try to transcribe something non-English. For example, you can challenge yourself to transcribe the lyric of some song that you are sure its lyric is easy to find on ...


1

Understanding a particular accent comes along when our ear is not trained for it. So, the more you listen to that accent, the more you get trained for it. You are already on the right path. Keep watching movies/videos. You can start listening to songs and may be start following a particular band. Start watching videos of important people from your field. ...



Only top voted, non community-wiki answers of a minimum length are eligible