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    How irritating is a non-english speaker to an english speaker?

    Hi,

    Regardless how much i tried and how long i have lived outside my home country, my English remains non-native and it will...
    I hear everything when i speak and even when i write...
    It goes from fresh and jovial with some people to vintage and irritating with others.

    I believe it depends on the reader - open-minded or not.
    Does it truly mean that the Internet is forbidden to foreigners... Sad conclusion for the world wide web...

    Please tell me how you feel reading at few mistakes in a post or a content...

    Cheers

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    Mouse catcher silver trophy Stevie D's Avatar
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    What I find much more irritating than mistakes by non-English people are serious mistakes (or just really bad writing) by native English speakers. When reading something that isn't perfect English, it's usually pretty easy to tell whether the author is a native English speaker or not – the style is very different – and I have much more patience with someone who is writing in a foreign language than someone who hasn't made the effort to master their own.

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    Thanks. The conclusion is half encouraging - no one will never think i am native!!!
    The funny thing is to go to Starbuck and order "chocolate". The lady has 3 options in mind - something tea, something coffee, something chocolate but still she would make me say it 3 times!!!!
    I still hope i can order a coffee without asking 3 times!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Stevie D View Post
    What I find much more irritating than mistakes by non-English people are serious mistakes (or just really bad writing) by native English speakers. When reading something that isn't perfect English, it's usually pretty easy to tell whether the author is a native English speaker or not – the style is very different – and I have much more patience with someone who is writing in a foreign language than someone who hasn't made the effort to master their own.
    Absolutely. You practically "took the words right out of my mouth", @Stevie D

    I have witnessed a gradual but continuous degradation in spelling and grammar in America (and on the Internet). There are numerous discussions (and arguments) against the merits of proper spelling and grammar. Although I agree the root issue is 'getting your message across' I am a staunch proponent of correct language usage.
    The English language (and let me disclaim that I do not speak English. I speak American) possesses the richest vocabulary. This is primarily attributed to the fact that it has 'borrowed' from almost every other language that has existed!! I propose that it is mere laziness to avoid stretching your vocabulary and seeking ways to express yourself more precisely.
    **steps off soapbox

    As is the case with anything, if you are learning English (of course, I just made the point that we ALL are constantly learning English) mistakes are to be expected. And it is easier to be tolerant of mistakes over laziness. There are many very confusing words and uses in English. And numerous common spelling and grammar mistakes. But, as I have done here, you should learn ways to overcome the human tendency to err and not be content with "good enough".
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    SitePoint Enthusiast Albablue89's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stevie D View Post
    What I find much more irritating than mistakes by non-English people are serious mistakes (or just really bad writing) by native English speakers. When reading something that isn't perfect English, it's usually pretty easy to tell whether the author is a native English speaker or not the style is very different and I have much more patience with someone who is writing in a foreign language than someone who hasn't made the effort to master their own.
    Absolutely!!!! I was going to say something pretty similar to this before reading the replies but now I feel this reply by Stevie D sums up my thoughts!

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    Well, I'm not a native speaker, but I'm easily irritated by the many non-native speakers(writers?) online that are almost impossible to understand sometimes. I'm not talking about a few typos and grammar errors. It's like they're not even trying to make it look like English!

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    Quote Originally Posted by attractsp View Post
    Well, I'm not a native speaker, but I'm easily irritated by the many non-native speakers(writers?) online that are almost impossible to understand sometimes. I'm not talking about a few typos and grammar errors. It's like they're not even trying to make it look like English!
    Hm, I must say, I rarely find that. I'm mostly amazed at how well non-native English speakers/writers use English. It puts me to shame, as one who can't do the same in any other language.

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    Word Painter silver trophy Shyflower's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ralph.m View Post
    Hm, I must say, I rarely find that. I'm mostly amazed at how well non-native English speakers/writers use English. It puts me to shame, as one who can't do the same in any other language.
    Exactly. I often wonder if the web were mostly Spanish, German, or Farsi (hope I spelled that right!) how many 'native' English speakers would be using it. We are most fortunate that other countries put emphasis on their citizens learning English.
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    Quote Originally Posted by ralph.m View Post
    Hm, I must say, I rarely find that. I'm mostly amazed at how well non-native English speakers/writers use English. It puts me to shame, as one who can't do the same in any other language.
    Well, maybe you're not reading enough web hosting forums There's some pretty funny posts that are in "English"... You're generally right though - most non-native speakers/writers are very good. Language is like everything else, if you put time and effort in it, you become better. Also, I find that it's very important at which point of your life you learn a foreign language and weather you keep at it later. With most people I know the skills learned at the age of 12 or so, stay for life and are very easily recalled/used later on.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Stevie D View Post
    What I find much more irritating than mistakes by non-English people are serious mistakes (or just really bad writing) by native English speakers. When reading something that isn't perfect English, it's usually pretty easy to tell whether the author is a native English speaker or not – the style is very different – and I have much more patience with someone who is writing in a foreign language than someone who hasn't made the effort to master their own.

    Having worked for close to half a dozen call centers in India, I thought it right to say something here,

    well this question, reminds me of a discussion we had at a training session for AT&T ,Bell south training program for new joinees. we were going through communication skills training , and the trainer explained the reasons , why Indian's needed training on communication skills, though they speak good English is because of the 18 different dialects this country has every language has different set rules of the way the language is spoken etc, some languages do not have certain sounds etc, and therefore arises a need to neutralise the accent.

    Well, I asked her, in that case , I heard America has 6-8 different accents, like the NY accent, Texan accent and so on and so forth, also America being land of opportunity's people from across the globe live, work there, now these guys could be customers, or even call center reps ( which makes them non native speakers of English , in America . I have known couple of Indian's who went to USA for Graduate studies, worked for call centers there) She had no answer for that question .

    Now this situation makes it equally important for even American representatives to be trained in language, communication skills etc ( so they leave their regional accent behind and speak a neutral, universal accent).

    Now the biggest barrier in customer service with outsourcing , I feel is culture and lifestyle kind of issues, than language, if an agent understands what a customer is complaining of, then he doesn't need the customer to repeat and frustrate the customer .

    For example, I have worked for more than a year with a satelite tv services company and I still do not understand or know what black out means, regional and national etc. now in calls relating to black outs , I used to be lost completely, and frustrate the customers, by probing more or talking something else than what customer is trying to tell me.

    Well if this discussion is not just about call centers and outsourcing , as the title of the thread says

    "How irritating is a non-English speaker to an English speaker?"

    It could also be the other way round , I mean

    How irritating is an English speaker to a non -English speaker?

    Well I am a racist, but I am fine with everyone except one religion and this discussion has no remote reference to them now back to discussion

    An Afro Americans nasal accents used to be irritating , while we were on job, with hectic calling schedules etc.

    And as one of the beginning posts here says, mistakes English speakers makes, yeah

    some of the funny statements mocked at in these call centers are

    Agent :::Mam, May I please have your card number ( or some information say)
    Customer : You want my whaaaat

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by pkwrite78 View Post
    why Indian's needed training on communication skills, though they speak good English is because of the 18 different dialects this country has every language has different set rules of the way the language is spoken etc, some languages do not have certain sounds etc, and therefore arises a need to neutralise the accent.
    They also need to familiarize themselves with the accents of the people they will be helping. A lot of our companies here in Australia outsource their call centers to India, and the people on the phone often can't understand our Australian accents, making the communication all the more frustrating.

    Off Topic:


    it equally important for even American representatives to be trained in language, communication skills etc ( so they leave their regional accent behind and speak a neutral, universal accent).
    "Hey maw, I cain't git my head 'round what this here dude is talk-in 'bout. Ifn he thaynks we goan learn ta speak diffrn, I thaynk he gut rucks in hees heyd."

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    SitePoint Wizard Stomme poes's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pkwrite78
    Well, I asked her, in that case , I heard America has 6-8 different accents, like the NY accent, Texan accent and so on and so forth, also America being land of opportunity's people from across the globe live, work there, now these guys could be customers, or even call center reps ( which makes them non native speakers of English , in America . I have known couple of Indian's who went to USA for Graduate studies, worked for call centers there) She had no answer for that question .
    I knew this before, but got a better explanation when I read an autobiography of Dan Rather, a somewhat well-known US tv news anchor. He came from Texas, which has what Americans consider an obvious and strong accent. When he broadcast locally in Texas, this was fine, but when he went nationwide (I forget which network he worked for, but at the time there were only 3 major networks across the US), he was required to get training to remove his accent. Specifically the words he pronounced being misunderstood by non-Texans: one example he was picked on for was pronouncing "deputy" as "deppity".

    National television anchors, and some musicians and public speakers, have schools or courses where they are taught to imitate the flattest accent, that of the MidWest. It sounds similar enough to parts of the south like Florida, parts of the west like California, and large parts of the urbanised middle. It was not considered acceptable for a nationwide news anchor to have an "obvious" accent like New York, Boston, southern or Texan accent (even though there are some who still did and were known for it).

    Quote Originally Posted by pkwrite78
    Now the biggest barrier in customer service with outsourcing , I feel is culture and lifestyle kind of issues, than language, if an agent understands what a customer is complaining of, then he doesn't need the customer to repeat and frustrate the customer .

    For example, I have worked for more than a year with a satelite tv services company and I still do not understand or know what black out means, regional and national etc. now in calls relating to black outs , I used to be lost completely, and frustrate the customers, by probing more or talking something else than what customer is trying to tell me.
    It's absolutely the job of the company hiring the call center (or the call center itself) to be 100% familiar with the terms used by customers. It's not *your* job to just know what these mean: you should have training in the terms and a place where you can look them up while on the job. "Black-out" being an example of a term with region- and nation-wide use. Wikipedia even uses the term for black- and brownouts.

    When we were trying to get my uncle in the States out of the Internet black hole he was living in (Windows 98 machine running dial-up AOL, barely), he had to get a router from the cable company (I think ComCast). When we got the router, something wasn't working. Now it ultimately turned out the the issue was an answering machine someone'd forgotten about interfering with the line (adding a splitter there fixed everything) but since the cables of the router were kinda brown and melted, we figured it was defective and should send it back.

    So a new one came a few days later and now the problem was, how to send the old one back. This wouldn't have been a problem if the company had simply supplied a return form with an address, but they didn't. Instead somewhere deep in small print it mentioned using a special number and writing that on the box and then dropping it off at a UPS center somewhere. Problem was, there were several numbers that could have matched. A call to the company led to a call center worker in the Phillipines whose problem was she could only follow a script, which didn't help us as at the point where we were supposed to add a number, there was no (matching) number available. She could only keep going back to step one which frustrated my uncle, who ultimately decided that he would just keep the router, decorate the table with it or something, until they asked for it back.

    So far as I know it's still there. Telecom, cable and credit card companies are the worst companies to have to call, evar.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Stomme poes View Post
    I knew this before, but got a better explanation when I read an autobiography of Dan Rather, a somewhat well-known US tv news anchor. He came from Texas, which has what Americans consider an obvious and strong accent. When he broadcast locally in Texas, this was fine, but when he went nationwide (I forget which network he worked for, but at the time there were only 3 major networks across the US), he was required to get training to remove his accent. Specifically the words he pronounced being misunderstood by non-Texans: one example he was picked on for was pronouncing "deputy" as "deppity".
    Now that proves language barrier is universal, not just limited to Asian country's or so
    Last edited by ScallioXTX; Feb 24, 2013 at 10:08. Reason: fixed bb tags for quote

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    "Hey maw, I cain't git my head 'round what this here dude is talk-in 'bout. Ifn he thaynks we goan learn ta speak diffrn, I thaynk he gut rucks in hees heyd."
    [/ot][/QUOTE]


    All I can say is that's John Howardism,

    Anyways, as we agreed that Language barrier is universal, its more about product knowledge, listening skills, Training etc

    Even native speakers of English may frustrate you, like as a customer when I call for assistance , my internet company or my mobile company, they talk Greek and latin, not that they dont understand what i want or I dont understand what they speak, but its all about their inability to give me what I need, now thats business policies, business never frames policies in consultation with customers, but they want customer service representatives to convince the customer and get a go ahead for the policies devised against customer.

    And yeah speaking of outsourcing in India, US, UK,asutralian call centers are killing this country, economy and the future of this country .

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    SitePoint Wizard Stomme poes's Avatar
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    but its all about their inability to give me what I need
    ^
    THIS

    Every company who fails to understand this, fails, period. Or full-stop, if your British.

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    Attitude and patience play a big factor in the listener's role. Ask the listener to be patient and give the permission to ask for clarification as needed. Be honest. Tell them that you are not a native speaker. Invite suggestions should they have any. Take some time to write out the 100 phrases you use most often in you non-native language and ask a native speaker to review and correct them as necessary. Always keep learning and improving.

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    Barefoot on the Moon! silver trophy Force Flow's Avatar
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    Taking this in another direction: If I'm paying for tech support for a product or service and a representative that is exceedingly difficult to understand comes on the line, yes, I will get annoyed.

    However, if you are communicating in informal venues (like a forum or chat room), I have no problem with it.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Force Flow View Post
    Taking this in another direction: If I'm paying for tech support for a product or service and a representative that is exceedingly difficult to understand comes on the line, yes, I will get annoyed.

    However, if you are communicating in informal venues (like a forum or chat room), I have no problem with it.
    ditto

    I hate talking to most indians on the phone. Half the time I can't understand a damn thing they say even though they speak "english". yeah… right. A few weeks ago I had to call Comcast for an issue and I just about wanted to give up. I think that is the gimmick though. Eventually you just get so frustrated that you say f**k it. When I'm calling for a service I pay for I should not have to deal with a language barrier.
    The only code I hate more than my own is everyone else's.

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    Mouse catcher silver trophy Stevie D's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by oddz View Post
    I hate talking to most indians on the phone. Half the time I can't understand a damn thing they say even though they speak "english". yeah… right. A few weeks ago I had to call Comcast for an issue and I just about wanted to give up. I think that is the gimmick though. Eventually you just get so frustrated that you say f**k it. When I'm calling for a service I pay for I should not have to deal with a language barrier.
    I generally don't find the language barrier to be too much of a problem when I'm on the phone to people in India ... probably less of a problem than Tyneside, Glasgow or Belfast, which is where a lot of British call centres are based (for anyone not familiar with UK accents, these three are generally accepted to be among the most unintelligible speech patterns known to man). What can be difficult is when there's a cultural barrier rather than just a language barrier. Some things, like IT, are pretty universal – when my router breaks, it doesn't matter if the technical support is in Bradford, Bangalore or Bulgaria (as was actually the case), because it works the same wherever you are. On the other hand, there are some services where you really do need a better understanding of UK life, culture or geography to be able to provide an effective service, no matter how proficient you are at the language.

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    Since i am not a native speaker either i am not getting annoyed.
    In fact its easier to understand american english or even russian english than lets say Shcoutlaaand' english xD

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    The majority of bloggers are not native English speakers. India and Pakistan are in charge. I guess they can tell us smth new and if there are several small mistakes, ok, let it be

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    Mistakes are not a good sign for any article or writing over the web. An English language speaker or writer may consider that the website team is not serious in their work that is why they have low quality content website. Now clients consider your website as portfolio of your work especially if you are providing web designing or development services or even other online businesses.

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    SitePoint Member SmilingAnny's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Michael27 View Post
    Mistakes are not a good sign for any article or writing over the web. An English language speaker or writer may consider that the website team is not serious in their work that is why they have low quality content website. Now clients consider your website as portfolio of your work especially if you are providing web designing or development services or even other online businesses.
    Sorry, but if someone is a cool web developer people don't care about his/her language. That's not the key point

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    Quote Originally Posted by SmilingAnny View Post
    Sorry, but if someone is a cool web developer people don't care about his/her language. That's not the key point
    I disagree. Skill in web development is not enough. If you can't effectively communicate your skills, then you won't succeed since the web is primarily a communications medium. Potential clients see errors on your website and can't help but wonder if the websites you build will also have errors. Although your syntax may differ from that of either a native UK or US writer, if you are misusing words, such as homonyms and synonyms incorrectly, those errors will spell your doom. Other red flags are blatantly poor punctuation, capitalization, run-on sentences, and content inconsistencies. Your clients want to know that their websites will be pristine in appearance. Your opportunity to show them is your own website.
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    "Say what you mean. Mean what you say. But don't say it mean." ~Unknown

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    SitePoint Member SmilingAnny's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shyflower View Post
    I disagree. Skill in web development is not enough. If you can't effectively communicate your skills, then you won't succeed since the web is primarily a communications medium. Potential clients see errors on your website and can't help but wonder if the websites you build will also have errors. Although your syntax may differ from that of either a native UK or US writer, if you are misusing words, such as homonyms and synonyms incorrectly, those errors will spell your doom. Other red flags are blatantly poor punctuation, capitalization, run-on sentences, and content inconsistencies. Your clients want to know that their websites will be pristine in appearance. Your opportunity to show them is your own website.
    You're absolutely right. If a 'professional' makes many silly mistakes that's awfully bad It's really hard to understand texts and ordinary messages which are written with a lot of mistakes. But I just wanted to say that some native speakers don't know their language quite well and their spelling is disgusting. I guess it doesn't matter where you are from (or what you look like ).


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