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Questions tagged [non-native-english]

The tag has no usage guidance.

33
votes
18answers
10k views

Are there any words whose spelling was deliberately changed to make them non-offensive?

I am looking for some examples of words that, possibly due to their non-Latin origin, would have sounded offensive if they went through the English language rules. For example, if a specialty Bohemian ...
32
votes
3answers
6k views

Term like air lock, but underwater?

I am looking for the right term for... well, like an air lock on a space station, but for an underwater station. You open the outer hatch, get in, close the hatch, water gets pumped out, you open the ...
24
votes
10answers
66k views

Do native English speakers use the word “touristic”?

A word usage that always annoys me and feels like Euroenglish to me is "touristic". I don't believe I've ever seen it printed or heard it used by a native English speaker and I've travelled in most ...
20
votes
5answers
139k views

“Please advise” — why is this a common turn of phrase for foreign speakers of English?

I was just browsing through StackOverflow just now, and randomly hit on this question, where the question-asker signed off his request with a "please advise." Certain I'd heard this turn of phrase ...
17
votes
6answers
34k views

Why do non-native English users often spell “standard” as “standart”?

I've seen this incredibly often on StackOverflow, but also on a few other internet sites. "Standart" is an extremely common misspelling of "standard". Is there a reason in how English is taught to ...
13
votes
7answers
31k views

“Close the light” — regionalism or mere oddity?

If I want the room in darkness, and wish to announce my intent, I would say I'm going to turn off the light. But occasionally here in America I hear people say I'm going to close the light. It'...
11
votes
3answers
26k views

Do people from India consider English their primary language?

I was watching an rerun episode of the Big Bang Theory the other night. And, a character who is from India (Rajesh) is losing an argument with the following dialog: Raj: Okay, well, let me just ...
11
votes
3answers
51k views

What does “rising senior” mean and what countries use it?

I know it is something to do with universities, but as I have never come across the term before today (and have lived in England all my life including going to an English university), I am assuming it ...
10
votes
3answers
4k views

Why do non-native English speakers get the present participle wrong?

I see people saying things like this: With a new infusion of cash it allows to make the film. ...instead of... With a new infusion of cash it allows making the film. I can't find a ...
9
votes
5answers
2k views

Recommendations for non-native English speaking bloggers [closed]

What if someone who is not a native English speaker wants to write for a blog in English, but is not sure about the correctness of his writings? How could one ensure that the article won't annoy ...
9
votes
3answers
4k views

What makes a non-native English speaker sound foreign? [closed]

I'm not a native speaker. However, I have tried a lot during last 10 years to learn English at a high level of proficiency and to become fluent in conversation. However, when I talk to some of my ...
8
votes
5answers
76k views

Visit of, to, or at a research department?

A non-native speaker needs help with the following phrase to be used in the acknowledgments section of a research paper: "Parts of the this research were conducted during a visit of the ...
8
votes
2answers
1k views

Expressions that are not words, but sounds

Jamaican-style patois and derivations thereof seem to be on the rise again in British cities after a lull (I remember it being very popular in the 70s and early 80s). While on a trip to London I was ...
6
votes
3answers
541 views

If a word is coined / popularized / used only or mainly by second-language speakers of English, is it still considered to be an English word?

It seems that there are quite a few terms that look like English and are used in English spoken by non-fluent or fluent but nonnative speakers of English as a second language amongst themselves, but ...
5
votes
5answers
2k views

Are there words native speakers don't use? [closed]

This question reminded me of a question I've often asked myself: is there such a thing as a non-native vocabulary? I can think offhand of three words that I have only heard from foreigners: the one ...
5
votes
1answer
171 views

Use definite article or not in conjunction with a German institution's name which contains a strongly declined article?

Picture some German university's arthistory department, and its official title would be "Kunsthistorisches Institut". "Kunsthistorisch" is an adjective, and "kunsthistorisches" is its nominative case. ...
5
votes
3answers
975 views

The influence of non-native speakers on the English language

I can’t lay my hands on the reference, but David Crystal has reported an increase in the use of informations by native speakers, as a result of its use by non-native speakers. The OED has 59 citations ...
4
votes
2answers
132 views

Is there a word for a subset of English specifically designed to be easily understood by non-native speakers?

Looking at examples like Basic English or Simple English, I see phrases like "controlled language" or "controlled vocabulary". Is there a simpler word?
3
votes
3answers
795 views

Grammar: What does it really take to be “very good” at it? [closed]

I will try to formulate this question so that it makes sense for a wider audience and suits the style of the QA here. Feel free to suggest changes. I am a non-native English speaker living in the US ...
3
votes
2answers
323 views

Respective Use of “Respective” in English of German Speakers

Can anyone familiar with English use by German speakers explain the use of "respective" as in the list of examples below? I see this frequently from German government bureaucrats and the like, and ...
3
votes
1answer
4k views

Is “research” as a countable noun actually used by native speakers?

I see this phrase being used often by non-native speakers, and it never fails to strike me as incorrect: "In this research, [...]" I also note that Wiktionary and Merriam-Webster consider that ...
3
votes
1answer
1k views

Does “prioritary” exist outside technical texts?

As a non-native speaker, I'm struggling to express correctly the sense of priority of a given population in a sentence. Is it correct to refer to "prioritary cities in the scope of the XYZ policy", ...
3
votes
2answers
3k views

the and thee (I prefer to pronounce it as thuh all the time) [closed]

My question is can I always pronounce THE with thuh instead of thee? Because unlike "a" "an" rule, pronouncing "thee" seems cumbersome for some people (including me) Note that I know the "emphasis" ...
3
votes
2answers
940 views

Letter-writing tone as perceived by other nationalities

A question that has been bugging me for quite a while was raised by some communication between my employer and a partner organisation based in Dubai. It turned out that more than once, it's been ...
3
votes
1answer
371 views

“Of any mall” vs. “of any malls”

I am an English native speaker working with non-native English teachers. In one of our texts, we came across the following sentence: ABC Mall has the most comprehensive loyalty rewards program of ...
2
votes
3answers
671 views

how do you say disillusioned using a word “fantasy”?

I am writing an essay, but I am having a hard time using the word, fantasy, right. "I had fantasy about living abroad, but when I arrived there, my fantasy was " I want to continue with that ...
2
votes
2answers
553 views

Idiomatic idiosyncracies

On the TV show NCIS, Ziva often makes humorous mistakes using idiomatic expressions (English is not her first language - she is Israeli). I would expect the most common way a non-native speaker would ...
2
votes
1answer
192 views

I wonder if the speaker of the speech is native or not [closed]

I'm a student studying English as a foreign language that means I'm studying English in the place where everyone else doesn't speak English at all. So it is really hard for me to have a chance to use ...
2
votes
1answer
858 views

Learn correct English pronunciation by non-verbal facial expressions [closed]

I met a guy who was born deaf and learned to pronounce and speak English by watching peoples muscle structure change in their face (i.e., their cheeks moving and lips being manipulated) Is there a way ...
2
votes
3answers
656 views

Is “wanna” more common with non-native speakers?

Is the word "wanna" (as opposed to "want to") more common in the writing of non-native speakers than in the writing of native speakers of English? Is this effect more pronounced when you exclude ...
2
votes
0answers
121 views

How do I go about writing and pronouncing my name if it has non-english letters [closed]

So I'm soon going to England to study and I'm not quite sure how should I write or pronounce my name in English, which includes Lithuanian letters. I can't imagine anyone spelling my full name ...
2
votes
0answers
161 views

Which word can honestly portray a non-native's language abilities [closed]

I have often been intrigued by the following questions in various documents across the Indian sub-continent: Ability to read, speak, and write - Yes. Fluency level- Beginner, Intermediate, ...
1
vote
3answers
1k views

Can you be a native speaker in two languages? [closed]

I was not born in an English-speaking country, but since birth, my mom spoke to me in one language and my dad another. It was and still is a bit of a mishmash, but I started kindergarten in America, ...
1
vote
2answers
2k views

Why do non-native speakers consider “bitch” to mean “prostitute”? [closed]

Why do so many non-native speakers from very different linguistic backgrounds seem to understand the term bitch as being a synonym for prostitute?-- I have never heard a native speaker use the former ...
1
vote
4answers
84k views

What is the expected response to someone saying “Happy Vacations” to you? [closed]

Someone has messaged me: Happy vacations. Are the following replies correct? Now it would be good. Same to you too! Or should it be Same to you too! Now it would be good. I want it to sound that ...
1
vote
1answer
2k views

What is the best way of asking someone his or her strongest language?

It seems that the term 'first language', 'native language', 'mother tongue' each may have some different connotations or unnecessary implications of political correctness to some people. 'L1' seems to ...
1
vote
1answer
10k views

What’s so funny about “You are winner”? [closed]

I came across one slang thing: http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=You%27re%20Winner! While understand that it is grammatically incorrect and you must say "You are the winner", I don't get ...
1
vote
1answer
50 views

“a food-hygienically acceptable substance”: Grammatical syntax?

In a document (written by a native Japanese speaker), I see the following phrase that sets off my acceptability and grammaticality alarms: a food-hygienically acceptable substance Google shows ...
1
vote
0answers
52 views

Play and hang out

I noticed a lot of Asian people use the word "play" when they want to say "I'm hanging out".. Like this one friend said she was playing with her friends. And sent me a picture of them drinking and ...
1
vote
2answers
197 views

Identify English accent

My English teacher speaks, as far as I can tell as a native speaker of the German language, some really weird English. However, I'm not entirely sure if this is just my twisted perception or really a ...
1
vote
0answers
340 views

Same, same but different

If anyone has been to S.E. Asian countries there is a familiar English phrase, Same, same but different. It always brings a smile to my face when I hear it as you kind of know what the person is ...
1
vote
0answers
53 views

When or where did “sth” come to mean “something”? [duplicate]

This is not the same question as What is meant by "sth"? although one of it's answers is a partial answer to this question. This question does not relate to "what does sth mean?" but those ...
1
vote
1answer
392 views

pronouncing foreigner's names [duplicate]

I want to ask you if there's some special rule about pronouncing foreign names with or without accent. For example, can I say Fedor or Andrey in native russian manner and with russian accent or should ...
1
vote
3answers
898 views

Use of punctuation of “First,…”

I am uncertain if and how to punctuate if I use only one sentence for the following idea: We conducted two varieties of an experiment. First, we left used method A. Second, we used method B. Can I ...
0
votes
5answers
406 views

When do we consider English speakers' familiarity as a proof? [closed]

English, like many other languages, has its own usage of words and convention that can only be captured by practicing and speaking with natives. For instance, if a non-English-speaker comes up with a ...
0
votes
2answers
184 views

What is the actual difference in the following statements [duplicate]

Sentence 1: Many Hindus study Sanskrit,but only a few Parsees study Avesta. Sentence 2: Many Hindus study Sanskrit,but only few Parsees study Avesta. I fail to understand the difference ...
0
votes
1answer
2k views

Many non-native speakers pronounce 'azure' like 'Asia' or like 'essure' when naming Microsoft's product Azure - wrong pronounciation or am I mistaken? [duplicate]

I live in Austria and I am a student in computer science and there is a specific thing that drives me bonkers: Everytime when a person in my vicinity or I am coversing with is mentioning the procuct "...
0
votes
1answer
144 views

Understanding of racism in a sentence [closed]

Recently there was a quite an argument in certain group of people coming from various countries, each having different English skill and obviously different understanding of things in English. The ...
0
votes
1answer
32 views

Run “as” normal user vs. Run “with” normal user

On Linux Mint 19, I have a Makefile with a command which should output a sentence: Target 'distrib' has to be run as normal user! in case the user has run it as / with the root user. Since I am ...
0
votes
1answer
24 views

Does it make sense in English? [closed]

The sentence is "I can't picture playing without putting my middle finger on W" and I'm talking about playing video games on pc.