SitePoint Sponsor

User Tag List

Page 1 of 5 12345 LastLast
Results 1 to 25 of 115
  1. #1
    SitePoint Member
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Posts
    17
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    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

  2. #2
    Mouse catcher silver trophy Stevie D's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Yorkshire, UK
    Posts
    5,888
    Mentioned
    122 Post(s)
    Tagged
    1 Thread(s)
    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.

  3. #3
    SitePoint Member
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Posts
    17
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    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!

  4. #4
    Avid Logophile silver trophy
    ParkinT's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Central Florida
    Posts
    2,332
    Mentioned
    192 Post(s)
    Tagged
    4 Thread(s)
    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".
    Don't be yourself. Be someone a little nicer. -Mignon McLaughlin, journalist and author (1913-1983)


    Git is for EVERYONE
    Literally, the best app for readers.
    Make Your P@ssw0rd Secure
    Leveraging SubDomains

  5. #5
    SitePoint Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Posts
    1
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    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.

  6. #6
    Barefoot on the Moon! silver trophy Force Flow's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Location
    Northeastern USA
    Posts
    4,606
    Mentioned
    56 Post(s)
    Tagged
    1 Thread(s)
    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.
    Visit The Blog | Follow On Twitter
    301tool 1.1.5 - URL redirector & shortener (PHP/MySQL)
    Can be hosted on and utilize your own domain

  7. #7
    SitePoint Wizard bronze trophy
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Augusta, Georgia, United States
    Posts
    4,147
    Mentioned
    16 Post(s)
    Tagged
    3 Thread(s)
    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.

  8. #8
    Mouse catcher silver trophy Stevie D's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Yorkshire, UK
    Posts
    5,888
    Mentioned
    122 Post(s)
    Tagged
    1 Thread(s)
    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.

  9. #9
    SitePoint Zealot Lieto's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Location
    Ukraine. Kiev.
    Posts
    106
    Mentioned
    3 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    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

  10. #10
    SitePoint Member SmilingAnny's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Posts
    8
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    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

  11. #11
    SitePoint Member Michael27's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Location
    London, UK
    Posts
    13
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    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.

  12. #12
    SitePoint Member SmilingAnny's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Posts
    8
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    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

  13. #13
    Word Painter silver trophy Shyflower's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    Winona, MN USA
    Posts
    10,053
    Mentioned
    142 Post(s)
    Tagged
    2 Thread(s)
    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.
    Linda Jenkinson
    "Say what you mean. Mean what you say. But don't say it mean." ~Unknown

  14. #14
    SitePoint Member SmilingAnny's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Posts
    8
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    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 ).

  15. #15
    SitePoint Zealot Lieto's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Location
    Ukraine. Kiev.
    Posts
    106
    Mentioned
    3 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Potential clients see errors on your website
    Ehm... but content is provided by client, designers dont make things up.

  16. #16
    Mouse catcher silver trophy Stevie D's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Yorkshire, UK
    Posts
    5,888
    Mentioned
    122 Post(s)
    Tagged
    1 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by Lieto View Post
    Ehm... but content is provided by client, designers dont make things up.
    That depends ... some designers do write the content based on notes/briefings from the client, or by taking the client's printed materials and revising them for the web.

  17. #17
    SitePoint Zealot Lieto's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Location
    Ukraine. Kiev.
    Posts
    106
    Mentioned
    3 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    This is true, however taking responsibility to revise something =/= making a mistake in "lorem ipsum". In the later case one shouldnt really start thinking stuff like "hmm, this designer cant speak english, maybe his design got hidden flaws as well?", that would be counter productive most of the times imo and being counter productive is bad for business =)

  18. #18
    Word Painter silver trophy Shyflower's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    Winona, MN USA
    Posts
    10,053
    Mentioned
    142 Post(s)
    Tagged
    2 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by Lieto View Post
    This is true, however taking responsibility to revise something =/= making a mistake in "lorem ipsum". In the later case one shouldnt really start thinking stuff like "hmm, this designer cant speak english, maybe his design got hidden flaws as well?", that would be counter productive most of the times imo and being counter productive is bad for business =)
    This question isn't about dummy content like Lorem Ipsum... the question was mistakes in "a post or content". I doubt if many clients these days read through the lorem ipsum to check the Latin.
    Linda Jenkinson
    "Say what you mean. Mean what you say. But don't say it mean." ~Unknown

  19. #19
    It's all Geek to me silver trophybronze trophy
    ralph.m's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Melbourne, AU
    Posts
    24,171
    Mentioned
    454 Post(s)
    Tagged
    8 Thread(s)
    Off Topic:

    Quote Originally Posted by Shyflower View Post
    I doubt if many clients these days read through the lorem ipsum to check the Latin.
    Ha ha, this is really embarrassing to say, but the first time a graphic designer sent me a layout to code, it had little decorative text boxes all over it with bits of Lorem Ipsum text (which I'd not heard of at that stage). I delicately tried to convince him that it wasn't a very good idea to hit site visitors with Latin like that, and that it was lousy, non-grammatical Latin anyway. Boy was I embarrassed when I discovered it was placeholder text. At least I gave someone a good laugh.

  20. #20
    SitePoint Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Posts
    14
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by PallaviSingh View Post
    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
    What a great question. I think it depends on the nature of the article itself, but I can say I've personally suggested not to hire non-native English writers for US English targeted audiences, because there are major gaps in grammar and tone. I can also say that the biggest gripe is how hard it is to find clients who are willing to pay a decent wage for content BECAUSE there are so many overseas writers willing to write for so much less. I mean no offense in calling the results ineffective and low quality, but to write well you should stick to your native language or master the natural flow of a specific language in addition to overall quality copywriting guidelines.

    There are certain phrases I see all the time (I am often hired to "repair" content written by a non-native English writer) that are very similar to phrases used in article spinning software. Things like "moreover" which seem to fluff up word count and decrease reability/value.

  21. #21
    Word Painter silver trophy Shyflower's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    Winona, MN USA
    Posts
    10,053
    Mentioned
    142 Post(s)
    Tagged
    2 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by ralph.m View Post
    Off Topic:



    Ha ha, this is really embarrassing to say, but the first time a graphic designer sent me a layout to code, it had little decorative text boxes all over it with bits of Lorem Ipsum text (which I'd not heard of at that stage). I delicately tried to convince him that it wasn't a very good idea to hit site visitors with Latin like that, and that it was lousy, non-grammatical Latin anyway. Boy was I embarrassed when I discovered it was placeholder text. At least I gave someone a good laugh.
    Off Topic:

    I missed your post at first. That is funny and I never would have believed it of you if you hadn't admitted it yourself!
    Linda Jenkinson
    "Say what you mean. Mean what you say. But don't say it mean." ~Unknown

  22. #22
    SitePoint Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Posts
    2
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I mean it was seriously downright embarrassing moment while communicating to a foreigner for the first time. But I think that constantly watching hollywood movies and reading over the Internet can help a lot in dominating english speaking skills.

  23. #23
    Word Painter silver trophy Shyflower's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    Winona, MN USA
    Posts
    10,053
    Mentioned
    142 Post(s)
    Tagged
    2 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by snigdhajoshi View Post
    I mean it was seriously downright embarrassing moment while communicating to a foreigner for the first time. But I think that constantly watching hollywood movies and reading over the Internet can help a lot in dominating english speaking skills.
    Probably the first thing you (meaning someone) should do is to admit that English is not your first language. It surely will become apparent in your communiqué. I always marvel at even the limited English skills of those outside of native-English speaking countries. I only speak one language and that is English. Many of my European friends speak more than two languages and I find that phenomenal. There is no shame in not being completely fluent in English. Many native-English speakers aren't. Just look at Facebook and Twitter and you'll find loads of grammar, punctuation, and spelling mistakes.

    That said, the 'shame' comes in trying to pass off poor English as native English. I understand why some feel the need, but if you are trying to build a business, it is no way to build your credibility.

    Second, if English is not your first language and you are unsure of how well you communicate your ideas, there are many text checkers online that can help you write, not perfect, but better English. Many of them give you the ability to check what you write from emails to web content. The trick is to not just rely on one, like the grammar checker in Word. Use a couple of different ones and look for those that will tell you why it 'thinks' you have made an error. None of them are always right so often it's a judgment call for you. One I like is paperrater.com. It's free for non-commercial use and was built for students to help them improve their writing skills.

    Third, keep a list of the mistakes you frequently make. This is good practice even if English is your first language. Although I have looked it up multiple times, I still often write seperate instead of separate. I now have it on a list so that I can easily scan down and make sure I have used the right one. Aside from also being good to catch spelling errors, author lists like this are also good places to catalog styles you want to use to keep your writing consistent. Even resources like the AP style guide can't tell you whether or not web site is better as one compound word (website) or two words (web site). Another word up for grabs is whether or not to capitalize International or not. Both are correct, but if you want to add polish to your writing, you'll make sure you do it the same way each time you write.

    Fourth, when writing for clients some may prefer American English and some U.K. English or other English variants. Don't be afraid to ask them their preferences and how different words are written in their country of origination. I keep separate lists for clients to make sure that I add the 'u' to honour when its needed or replace a U.S. 'z' with a U.K. 's' as it is warranted.

    Fifth, if you are writing for clients, don't assume that they want their own English variant. Never be afraid to ask and ALWAYS tell them what your native tongue is. Some businesses want their content written to reach an American audience and some American businesses may be trying to extend their brand over seas. In actuality, it isn't content that is king. It's communication that is the key to successful writing.
    Last edited by Shyflower; Nov 5, 2012 at 21:53. Reason: fixed homonym mix up.
    Linda Jenkinson
    "Say what you mean. Mean what you say. But don't say it mean." ~Unknown

  24. #24
    SitePoint Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Posts
    2
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    You're absolutely right. Thanks for your precious suggestion.

  25. #25
    SitePoint Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Posts
    8
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    People should be encouraged to speak more of English in this Global economy that's dependent on one universal language, "English". Where quite often many people tend to lose out because of their comprehension of the language. With so many web tools available over the internet people should be encouraged to learn the language.


Tags for this Thread

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •