Chinese speakers speaking English
Thread poster: Anna Blackab (X)

Anna Blackab (X)  Identity Verified
Local time: 02:39
German to English
+ ...
May 16, 2007

Hi

I am developing some training for public sector organisations to help them communicate better with people whose first language is not English.

For the purposes of the course, I would be interested to know if there are any common mistakes that native Chinese speakers make when they are speaking English or any words/phrases/grammatical constructions that they have difficulty with. An example from another language would be Russian where there is no word for ‘the’ consequently Russian speakers of English often miss out the word ‘the’ when speaking in English. Can you think of any examples of mistakes speakers of Chinese might make?

Any response would be gratefully appreciated.


 

pkchan  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 21:39
Member (2006)
English to Chinese
+ ...
From the Web you will find...http://www.englishdaily626.com/c-mistakes.php?001 May 16, 2007

English pronunciation practice for Chinese speakersCorrection of common English pronunciation mistakes made by learners with ... EXTERNAL LINKS: Non-native pronunciations of English: Cantonese (Chinese) L1 ...
www.btinternet.com/~ted.power/l1chinese.html - 17k - Cached - Similar pages

Typical mistakes of Chinese speakers. Learn English with Free ...Learn to avoid typical mistakes of Chinese speakers. ... "A map of the city" is common fixed expression that English people always use. ...
www.languageproject.co.uk/learn_english/typical_mistakes/typical_mistakes_chinese.htm - 26k - Cached - Similar pages



[Edited at 2007-05-16 18:34]


 

isahuang
Local time: 21:39
English to Chinese
+ ...
a common mistake May 16, 2007

Anna Blackaby wrote:

Hi

I am developing some training for public sector organisations to help them communicate better with people whose first language is not English.

For the purposes of the course, I would be interested to know if there are any common mistakes that native Chinese speakers make when they are speaking English or any words/phrases/grammatical constructions that they have difficulty with. An example from another language would be Russian where there is no word for ‘the’ consequently Russian speakers of English often miss out the word ‘the’ when speaking in English. Can you think of any examples of mistakes speakers of Chinese might make?

Any response would be gratefully appreciated.


A common mistake almost all Chinese make, including those with near-native fluency though less frequently, is mix up he and she. This is because in spoken Chinese, he and she have the same pronounciation. So when we speak, we don't really think very hard into whether to use he or she.


 

Bill StJohn  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 21:39
Chinese to English
Three pronunciation tips. May 16, 2007

Here are a few tips I've passed to my Chinese friends, whose grammar and vocabulary are OK, but who struggle with pronunciation:

1) Whenever you want to say the word "and", simply say the letter "n".
My friends often insert vowels, usually at the ends of words ending in consonants. A sentence like "I like steak and salad" can come out like "I like-uh suh-take-uh an-dah sa-lah-dah". English has far more consonant clusters than Mandarin, and it's unfortunate that the word "and", one of our most common, often comes out "an-dah". No one, except maybe those diction coaches in "Singin' In The Rain", pronounce the final D in "and". No one says "rock anD roll" or "You anD me anD a dog named Boo"; everyone says "rock 'n' roll" and "You 'n' me 'n' a dog ..."

2) The 'W'' sound is not a substitute for the 'V' sound.
I've had mixed success pointing out that V is simply a voiced F, i.e., you get a V sound by expressing an F sound and then ADDDING YOUR VOICE. It sometimes helps if they watch an English speaker start hissing out a long 'F' sound, then, without breaking their airflow, add their voice to make the 'V' sound: "FFFFFFFFVVVVVVVVV". I tell my friends if their lower lip tickles a little bit (yangyang yidian), then they're on the right track.

3) The long `e' sound is not a substitute for the short `i' sound.
This, too, might require a little coaching in person. In the following pairs, the speaker should note how the short `i' sound in the first differs from the long `e' sound in the second:
pill/peel
bin/bean
sick/seek
pitch/peach

Hope this helps.

Bill


 

Jianjun Zhang  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 02:39
English to Chinese
+ ...
Wow. May 16, 2007

Bill StJohn wrote:
Hope this helps.
Bill


Bill,

You have great tips for these things. When I was teaching English at school, I had a hard time teaching students these pronunciations. Another difficult one for many Chinese students is the sound Usual. Many people pronounce it as Euro, but it's not.icon_wink.gif


 


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