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Why lie about native English speaker?

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43 messages over 6 pages: 1 2 3 4 5 6  Next >>
leosmith
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 Message 1 of 43
04 July 2011 at 7:37am | IP Logged 
I think it's really cool that there are so many non native English speakers who could pass for native on this site. But
I wonder about the ones who can't, but still make the claim. Is it some sort of challenge? Does it push you to a
higher level? I hope you keep on doing it, because it's just one more thing that makes this board interesting.



Cainntear
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 Message 2 of 43
04 July 2011 at 9:50am | IP Logged 
leosmith wrote:
I hope you keep on doing it, because it's just one more thing that makes this board interesting.

It would be better if they stopped, because learners try to copy the patterns used by natives, and if people with bad English claim to be native... well, it's just not fair on the others.
6 persons have voted this message useful





Iversen
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 Message 3 of 43
04 July 2011 at 10:37am | IP Logged 
Two remarks:

1) It is difficult for me to see why anybody would want to hide their true native language. I can - with some difficulty - understand why some people want to pretend that they are perfectly fluent in a secondary language, but why hide the one and only language which they really should know well?

2) In principle you should be able to judge from the types of errors whether a certain writer is a native Anglophone or not, but given that you can grow up in a non-Anglophone environment in an Anglophone country, given that native Anglophones may have lived abroad for a long time AND that some persons simply can't express themselves in writing in any language then there will inevitably be natives who can't write like natives.


Edited by Iversen on 04 July 2011 at 12:25pm

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Saim
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 Message 4 of 43
04 July 2011 at 10:56am | IP Logged 
Shouldn't that read "Why lie about being a native English speaker?"?
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w1n73rmu7e
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United States
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 Message 5 of 43
04 July 2011 at 12:03pm | IP Logged 
Cainntear wrote:
leosmith wrote:
I hope you keep on doing it, because it's just one more thing that makes this board interesting.

It would be better if they stopped, because learners try to copy the patterns used by natives, and if people with bad English claim to be native... well, it's just not fair on the others.
Shouldn't that be "fair to the others", supposed native English speaker? :P

Edited by w1n73rmu7e on 04 July 2011 at 12:03pm

2 persons have voted this message useful





Iversen
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 Message 6 of 43
04 July 2011 at 12:17pm | IP Logged 
The Google test:
"being fair on": 204.000 hits
"being fair to": 4.620.000 hits

.. though some of those hits represent non-native bunglers (like me). Apart from that: our languages would become poor indeed if we only used the most common constructions in all cases. Kudos to Cainntear for confirming that "being fair on" is possible.

The misleading syntax in leosmith's original question is caused by a limitation on the length of thread titles.

Edited by Iversen on 04 July 2011 at 12:24pm

1 person has voted this message useful



Solfrid Cristin
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 Message 7 of 43
04 July 2011 at 12:34pm | IP Logged 
I have several times been surprised to see people claim to be native in languages where they make a lot of mistakes. My personal favourite was the one who claimed to have 7 native languages, 2 of which were dead languages.

I do not know why people think it gives them more prestige to claim to be native in more languages than their actual one. I would think it has more merit to have learned a language to near native level, with the effort and talent which that involves, than just to have learned it growing up.

And anyone who finds spelling errors or other mistakes in this post is free to keep them :-)



Biscuit
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 Message 8 of 43
04 July 2011 at 1:20pm | IP Logged 
To me being mistaken for a native is the highest form of praise, so I quite understand why people would strive to reach that level. I still wouldn't make that claim myself, and when native speakers have chatted with me long enough they too will no doubt discover the shibboleths that reveal my Scandinavian origin :)

What I don't understand is why anyone would claim to sound native if it wasn't true but I guess lots of people exaggerate their skills not just when it comes to languages.



Edited by Biscuit on 04 July 2011 at 1:21pm




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