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Old 12-04-2013, 09:35 AM
 
Location: Gatineau, Québec
18,473 posts, read 22,792,236 times
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How did your English get so good? Where did you learn it?
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Old 12-04-2013, 09:50 AM
 
186 posts, read 213,679 times
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80s tv
90s net
after that never felt the need to look back
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Old 12-04-2013, 09:57 AM
 
Location: Buenos Aires, Argentina
627 posts, read 512,790 times
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A long way until I got my current level (which I couldn't say how good it is).

I studied English for one year and a half when I was a child, but my behaviour was apparently poor and my parents gave up sending me there. Then I had three years of English (and two years of French) at the secondary school. Still a very basic English I'd say. When I started college I had the need to improve my knowledge of the language and I studied on myself a lot. Just several years ago I got really interested in speaking fluently a second language so I took more serious English courses at the University of Buenos Aires, so here I am.

A related question I wonder is how native speakers see/deal with us non-native speakers whose writing skills are obviouly not as good as theirs and might commit many grammar and spelling mistakes. How annoying is it?
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Old 12-04-2013, 10:19 AM
 
Location: Melbourne, Australia
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I'm a native Anglophone but I'm equally fascinated about how people become fluent in other languages.
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Old 12-04-2013, 01:27 PM
 
Location: Gatineau, Québec
18,473 posts, read 22,792,236 times
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I grew up in French Canadian family but we lived in various part of "English Canada" during my childhood and youth. For the most part, life was in French at home and in English outside the home. Though some years I did get to go to school in French in minority schools that were being set up outside of Quebec in the 1980s - but even there a lot of the kids tended to speak English in the schoolyard anyway.

I don't actually remember NOT knowing English, so I was probably bilingual by age 3 or 4.

By the time I was in my late teens it was more my native French that needed shoring up, and some relatives in my family remarked that my French was getting a bit broken.

As a young adult I moved to Quebec, a much more francophone environment than I had ever lived in before.

In the 15 years or so that I have lived here my spoken English has gotten more accented (whereas I never had an accent as a child or a teen), but my writing skills have remained as strong as ever.

The result of this "diglossy" for some members of my family has been that some are bilingual but with both so-so French-accented English and so-so English-accented French.

For my part, I have had to work hard in order to maintain a good level of French (in my younger years), and in my later years (since moving to Quebec) to maintain a good level of English.
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Old 12-04-2013, 02:30 PM
 
6,218 posts, read 6,644,335 times
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English is an easy language to learn by virtue alone of the fact that everyone regardless of nationality is highly exposed to movies and music which are largely in English

Last edited by irish_bob; 12-04-2013 at 03:22 PM..
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Old 12-04-2013, 02:33 PM
 
24,988 posts, read 20,059,141 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Acajack View Post
How did your English get so good? Where did you learn it?
Moved to the mainland US, so learned it in the school environment being immersed in it. Video games, and TV
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Old 12-04-2013, 02:46 PM
 
Location: Gatineau, Québec
18,473 posts, read 22,792,236 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by irish_bob View Post
English is an easy language to learn by virtue alone of the fact that everyone regardless of nationality is highly exposed to movies and music which are largely speaking in English
This is a popular misconception. You won't gain any level of fluency in a language via passive exposure to popular music in that language. Plus the lyrics in much of the English-language music popular these days are either mangled, slangy or both. It's sometimes difficult for even a native English speaker to follow.

And as for TV and movies, the stuff produced originally in English is all translated for local markets, so you don't need to know English to access that.
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Old 12-04-2013, 02:54 PM
 
667 posts, read 741,151 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Acajack View Post
I grew up in French Canadian family but we lived in various part of "English Canada" during my childhood and youth. For the most part, life was in French at home and in English outside the home. Though some years I did get to go to school in French in minority schools that were being set up outside of Quebec in the 1980s - but even there a lot of the kids tended to speak English in the schoolyard anyway.

I don't actually remember NOT knowing English, so I was probably bilingual by age 3 or 4.

By the time I was in my late teens it was more my native French that needed shoring up, and some relatives in my family remarked that my French was getting a bit broken.

As a young adult I moved to Quebec, a much more francophone environment than I had ever lived in before.

In the 15 years or so that I have lived here my spoken English has gotten more accented (whereas I never had an accent as a child or a teen), but my writing skills have remained as strong as ever.

The result of this "diglossy" for some members of my family has been that some are bilingual but with both so-so French-accented English and so-so English-accented French.

For my part, I have had to work hard in order to maintain a good level of French (in my younger years), and in my later years (since moving to Quebec) to maintain a good level of English.
And still you'd be a willing capo for the language police

What psycho-drama would explain this?

You been stung by wasps too many times or is it something else ?

Doctor Jon is here for you
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Old 12-04-2013, 02:57 PM
 
Location: Philadelphian-transplant from Miami
2,258 posts, read 1,839,549 times
Reputation: 2552
TV and practicing everyday.
And try to limit mingling with people who speak your mother tongue.
Even after doing all those, they still think that I have a little accent. Although they cannot really pin it down.
The way I see it is that it adds character.
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