Observation - English level is poor
Thread poster: RHELLER
RHELLER
United States
Local time: 12:52
French to English
+ ...
Apr 23, 2003

Dear Colleagues:



Please do not get upset. I am not attacking anyone.



I would just like to offer my observation to see if any other \"prozniks\" have noticed something similar.



English is my native language, so perhaps I am more sensitive.



I sometimes respond to \"English-French\" questions, even though I specialize in French-English. It seems to me that the level of English has gone down.



Today\'s example



http://www.proz.com/index.php3?sp=h&id=418454&rfc=y



I enjoy hearing other points of view.

Cordial, I hope.



Thanks to everyone,

Rita
[addsig]


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Spencer Allman
United Kingdom
Local time: 19:52
Finnish to English
To help out Apr 23, 2003

English is my native language. I recently replied to a request for help in Finnish. To help out, because they requested an answer in Finnish.



But I should be most hurt and put out if anyone complained about my attempts to write in Finnish.



Best



Spencer
[addsig]


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Bob Kerns  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 20:52
Member (2002)
German to English
Not all English text is written by native speakers Apr 23, 2003

Hello Rita,



I normally translate from German into English but also monitor the English to German questions here and almost every day we have cases of English phrases or sentences which have definitely NOT been written by native speakers of English. We all have experience of bad translations of, for example, instruction manuals for equipment which has been produced in specific parts of the world. However you should not draw a general conclusion from this that \"the level of English has gone down\".

There are certainly examples in other language pairs where the German or French or whatever source language leaves something to be desired but that is not an indication of a reduction in the quality of text produced by native speakers in the respective countries but that there are people all over the world who can get the gist of something across in a (to them) foreign language and still attract \"criticism\" from \"perfectionsits\" (not meant personally).



This is a personal view which I would have loved to write in French but there I would have made too many mistakes


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xxxxeni
English to Russian
+ ...
Native speakers of English Apr 23, 2003

I guess sometimes it could be even native speakers of English. I know it happens a lot with native speakers of Russian when people use wrong idioms or something like that. Or do you remember my question about \"a wallet of androgynous men\"? It was a phrase from the book of a British author, Steve Erickson. In most cases though you can tell if it is a native speaker whose language is kind of lame or a foreigner.

But sometimes a phrase out of the context can be a real riddle and you do not know what to do with it



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Paul Lambert  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 11:52
French to English
+ ...
I think i'd have to agree with Bob Apr 23, 2003

At the end of the day communication is a multi-faceted issue - although there are times when only exact terms will do (life-and-death situations such as hospital interpreting or legal translation for example), a lot of the time it\'s getting the message across that counts. I came across this when I went to France on a school exchange when I was 14 - the family I stayed with laughed and made fun of me every time I spoke French, and this left me constantly wary of speaking French (something that still bugs me slightly even to this day!). So yes - on the one hand, accuracy is important, but if the message can be understood, should we really be so critical?

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xxxCaner
Turkish to English
+ ...
Different Cultures... Apr 23, 2003

Different ways of thinking... Different feelings... Different conditions... Different education... Different PEOPLE who try to speak ENGLISH as a foreign language. Nobody may expect a perfect written expression from another in the to-day world





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Maureen Holm, J.D., LL.M.
United States
Local time: 14:52
German to English
+ ...
"Linguist" Apr 23, 2003

If this term is to mean anything, I suggest that at a minimum, one must have a highly sophisticated command and deep appreciation of the history and potential of one\'s native language. The inability to use one\'s own language surely and imaginatively is quickly reflected in one\'s knowledge and treatment of any other.

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xxxCaner
Turkish to English
+ ...
Sure Apr 23, 2003

Nothing to say Rita



Quote:


On 2003-04-23 17:17, MHolm wrote:

If this term is to mean anything, I suggest that at a minimum, one must have a highly sophisticated command and deep appreciation of the history and potential of one\'s native language. The inability to use one\'s own language surely and imaginatively is quickly reflected in one\'s knowledge and treatment of any other.



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Ursula Peter-Czichi  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 14:52
German to English
+ ...
Defining the "level of the English language" Apr 24, 2003

Quote:


On 2003-04-23 16:14, lanpl wrote:

At the end of the day communication is a multi-faceted issue - although there are times when only exact terms will do (life-and-death situations such as hospital interpreting or legal translation for example), a lot of the time it\'s getting the message across that counts.





I agree 100%.

I wonder about something: Is there as much lament about quality among native speakers of languages other than English? US friends will sometimes show off their German. Minor details will go wrong sometimes - so what, as long as people think before they talk (write).

What exactly defines the \"level of a language\"?

An excursion through history will clearly show how fast language conventions change. They are not important enough to remain constant.

That does not mean that language does not matter to me. A well excecuted presentation of a topic is a work of art, indeed.



Lets appreciate the differences,



Ursula

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George Hopkins
Local time: 20:52
Swedish to English
Poor? Jun 12, 2003

'English level is poor' or 'Level of English is poor'?
Nobody is perfect -just keep trying.


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Observation - English level is poor

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