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Learning languages as a native English speaker - Richard Simcott at the Polyglot Gathering 2015

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    the 2015 polyglot gathering is brought
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    to you by I talkie become fluent in any
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    language
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    ever Gaja on more games non mahir nobody
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    gets people going actually when I start
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    singing my dulcet tones okay so thank
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    you all for for coming
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    I feel very lucky to have so many people
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    in the room and so some of you are
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    probably sitting in this audience
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    thinking I'm not I need to finger of
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    English what the hell am I doing here
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    hands are fifty fall into that category
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    Oh actually okay not as many as I
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    thought so they probably all gone to
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    somewhere else more interesting so in
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    case you didn't recognize me this is me
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    my name is Richardson cop for those of
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    you don't know who I am and then I quite
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    like languages and that's why I'm here
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    today and these are a few the things
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    that I'm engaged in online speaking
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    fluently actually the Facebook page is
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    probably more active and the polyglot
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    workshops and polyglot conference which
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    I'm sure some of you in the room may
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    have heard of and but my story today
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    about learning language is a native
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    English speaker that doesn't actually
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    just hold true for speakers of English
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    as a native language it actually goes
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    beyond the borders of other countries as
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    well where there's a dominant single
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    language and they don't tend to learn
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    many of the languages or any of the
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    languages so hopefully they'll be
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    relevance in this for other people the
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    idea and the goal for me is to actually
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    explain some of the difficulties in
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    learning languages for people from these
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    countries particularly from my
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    experience as a native English speaker
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    that from the United Kingdom
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    and I hope that it will help to make
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    people and/or understand and be more
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    aware of of those difficulties so they
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    can help language learners when they're
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    speaking to them
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    so that's the the goal for me for this
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    talk but let me just demonstrate what I
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    mean by this not being true just for
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    native English speakers and for other
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    people with a little story so a Spanish
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    man walks into a clothes shop in London
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    and he goes he wants to buy some socks
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    so he walks in he says I'll allow one at
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    the EM get a comparable didn't I put
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    forward he's from the south of Spain and
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    then the shopkeeper looks for in case
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    I'm sorry I don't understand what you're
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    talking about
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    it's red posh and Spanish guys like
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    quiero comprar una cadena sport for
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    speaking out a little more clearly and
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    the English guys well it's a closed shop
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    so it's gonna want clothes isn't he so
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    comes back with a shirt he goes no no no
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    no no es una camisa yo quiero calafate
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    Ynez por favor
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    see okay pop see wrong so comes back
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    with a pair of trousers no no no no no
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    es un pantalones
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    yo quiero calcetines por favor see Chris
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    back again eventually comes back with a
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    pair of socks he goes s o ck s because
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    we bloody knew how to spell it in
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    English why don't you do that in the
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    first place so as you can see this isn't
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    a thing just for the native English
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    speakers so one thing that we always
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    hear is what you call somebody who
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    speaks many languages what we call them
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    oh yeah first one up that was very good
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    who would have known you'd have said
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    that first Oh
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    multilingual or Luxembourgish right
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    representing the looks and burgers how
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    many in the room there we go
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    they don't need to be here they're
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    already experts what you call somebody
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    who speaks two or three languages well
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    there we go look at this
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    bilingual it's like you wrote these
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    flies it's amazing okay I'll go thinking
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    man thana but saying Apple and what do
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    you call someone who speaks one language
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    I love it it's like you really seriously
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    oestrogen and there's a lovely flag that
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    I found thank you google okay so but why
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    why do English natives find it so hard
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    to learn language why why is that a
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    problem well through this presentation I
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    wanted to discuss the following things
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    grammar vocab accent pronunciation
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    practice picking a language oops and
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    we'll start with grammar but let's just
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    look through that quickly
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    whoa so these are all aspects of what
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    makes it difficult and as I say this
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    applies not just to native English
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    speakers but to other people as well
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    people who are native speakers of other
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    languages but why why is this problem
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    well from my point of view speaking as a
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    native English speaker born and raised
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    in the United Kingdom
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    grama is a problem because in English we
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    don't have gender in the same way as we
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    do in other languages so when you get to
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    Loula in French lessons and people say
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    the wrong gender and then you get to
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    German you think okay I've cracked this
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    gender with French okay it's lawful as
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    you see nota an old form yep a problema
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    Mia
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    duh skinned vow home why is it neuter
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    why is it then change gender in German
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    all of this is kind of weird for native
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    English speakers and you often hear that
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    they'll make mistakes with the gender
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    because it's for this reason but this
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    also applies to finish speakers to
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    Turkish speakers who don't have gender
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    as well in their languages verbs
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    English speakers fluff the verbs that
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    they already have and they don't change
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    that much anyway and through the the
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    pronoun so you know I see you see he
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    sees oh wow big change but you know then
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    you get to some of the Latin languages
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    and the changes are huge they are
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    there's beer very much
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    etc etc etc in case oh I love the
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    reaction in the roof who likes cases you
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    sick sick sick individuals seriously
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    there is something we can do for you
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    later it's in the back room I think
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    there's a talk on Esperanto it's only
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    got one case so you'll be quite happy
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    but it will make it a lot easier ok
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    grammatical rules and terminology when I
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    went to university in the UK I went to
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    study languages so who here thinks that
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    language students tend to be quite good
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    at grammatical terminology and what
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    things mean and getting nods you see
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    it's the wrong audience for these things
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    people going yeah definitely they're all
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    fantastic one of the first things that
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    they did is took us all aside and said
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    ok we need to teach you English grammar
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    because you don't get taught it in the
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    school in the UK you're not taught
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    English grammar in the same way as you
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    you're taught French grammar or German
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    grammar so often you have a better
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    understanding of of a foreign languages
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    grammar than you will of your own but
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    that isn't that actually is is it is a
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    problem because when you get to things
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    like cases if you don't know what a
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    direct object is then the accusative
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    sounds really strange or an indirect
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    object or who here is taught and what a
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    verb is by saying it's a doing word what
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    does that mean
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    none of these or nouns and naming word
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    ok and then you give a few examples that
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    you need to write down in a test right
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    that's it then you get to the vocabulary
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    and it's vast it's often exotic unless
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    you're talking about French and then
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    it's basically 60% of English ok and
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    this is my picture that I took in
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    Albania just want to show you and such
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    an attention [ __ ] that's terrible but
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    it there the idea is the vastness you
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    get me yet the imagery right but it is
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    its vast I mean if you look at language
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    and who has had people come up to you
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    say ok I speak French or I speak German
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    they go oh so you know everything right
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    I get that all the time so so what's the
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    word for this and then they'd like to
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    test you so you can translate it but
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    actually what they don't realize and
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    what you don't realize yourself as a
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    native speaker of a language is that
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    sometimes what you need to do is a sort
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    of a mind flip when you talk about
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    vocabulary so you don't always have the
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    words in the language that you're
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    learning or language you're speaking
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    just to give you an example I live in
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    the Republic of Macedonia Macedonian is
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    my home language but there's no word for
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    bookmark they sell them they have them
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    but there's no real word that people
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    that use for bookmark there's no real
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    word that everybody uses for chives
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    there are these kind of bits of
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    vocabulary that you want to say and then
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    you don't really have a word so you have
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    to bend your mind to express things in a
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    way that the natives will understand and
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    that is one of the big stumbling blocks
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    for native English speakers because
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    we're used to dominating with exact
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    precision what we want to say and how we
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    want to say it and you can't always do
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    it the exotic thing relates to the
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    sounds or how the word is made and and
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    and whether it trips off the tongue
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    whether it's easy to pronounce it can
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    just sound weird to native English
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    speakers and it can be confusing because
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    sometimes very small change
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    in a word means something completely
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    different
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    there's anyone got any good examples of
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    words that they've heard there's a word
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    for Cheers in Hungarian and a word that
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    means something very different that's
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    very close yes what is it come over and
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    speak a con come on I take I take active
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    volunteers you can come up you've just
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    volunteered by saying it now here we go
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    I know you love this I guess you gather
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    - eggy zeg editor I guess sugar is
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    choosing their gates check out those
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    like to spank your ass person like that
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    so look that's one Thank You Vlad okay
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    thank you very much kissing him seven
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    and one of the typical things I used to
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    hear when I was at school as a school
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    boy and in French was merci beaucoup
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    instead of merci beaucoup so one is
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    thank you beautiful bum and this leads
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    me on to accent to pronunciation so
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    especially for native English speakers
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    but also again for other speakers of
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    other languages this is true and there's
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    kind of a sounding weird saying these
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    things like saying these weird sounds
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    that you sound it sounds a bit strange
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    and to go and get it into the right word
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    at the right time and then not
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    overcompensate and say Mel C book you is
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    not always easy for for a native English
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    speaker because they don't always relate
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    to okay how do I actually use this and
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    make it sound normal and then when
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    you're in a classroom environment
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    especially at school you can be seen as
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    putting on the talk so if you're the
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    only child well where I grew up there's
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    kind of a mix of accents but if you
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    imagine a school in Liverpool with a
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    learning French and they say yeah
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    bonjour je m'appelle Richards and just
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    SWE's to Liverpool
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    your pal fronts area beyond and I've
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    just gone over to Yorkshire by the way
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    sorry but then the point is you've got
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    this local accent and then you're the
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    only kid that goes boardroom a perfect
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    shot and the other kids can start
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    laughing at you because they think oh my
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    god what are you doing it's it's like
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    you're giving up your identity so when I
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    talk about prestige accents and keeping
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    your identity
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    it doesn't mean you sound posh and you
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    sounds sort of all highfalutin in your
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    language what it actually refers to is
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    the group language the pack language and
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    that is the accent and that's the
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    vocabulary that you use so as soon as
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    you move away from that especially in a
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    language society like the English
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    language in the world where we very much
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    judge people on their accents from the
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    standard to where they're from it can
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    take you away from that group and it can
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    it can make you feel isolated or people
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    can make you feel isolated because of it
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    so sometimes it's a badge that you wear
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    with pride this strong accent and you
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    think it's fun to do it especially as
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    kids when we will learn the numbers in
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    French I remember I had to go through
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    the basics of French even though I'd
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    studied it as a smaller child I had to
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    go through it with with my peers and
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    they were they got through the numbers
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    and they were going on dicks twice,
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    Quattro Cinque six
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    tweet nerf dicks and that was hilarious
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    still is actually my mum came over to
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    actually talking on this my mum came
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    over to visit me in Poland when I was
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    staying there in Poznan and I've got
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    into this really weird mindset if I
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    don't see the natural English link
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    always straight away so who here knows
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    polish okay so it was a place where you
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    sell alcohol in Poland and it will have
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    written alcohol oh yeah
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    in Polish my 24 alcoholic yeah and my
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    mum came over he's a native speaker of
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    English too and monolingual and she said
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    I wasn't that really clever they've
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    called it the alcohol so then practicing
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    the language so you know this is a thing
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    that native English speakers have a real
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    issue with everybody speaks English
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    everyone I mean that they want to speak
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    it they want to practice and this can be
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    an issue and the level of English in the
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    target languages language etiquette and
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    reactions so just to explain some of
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    what I've written on on here and who
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    here has been in a situation where you
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    want to learn the language you go to the
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    country and then it goes and yeah you
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    get your your Dutch is very good sir
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    sure it's really where were you from in
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    England I
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    okay explain a longsword this curve a
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    fairly man a Lanza and the but they look
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    in the game yes but I think is probably
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    easier in English right
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    and then it's not that they always want
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    to force you to speak English it's that
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    they enjoy it and sometimes it's native
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    English because we forget this and you
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    can get offended as I need to English
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    speaker as well because you think oh god
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    they won't even let me speak but it's
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    not always the case so from the one side
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    they're trying to make your life easier
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    by speaking English because they know
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    that you're not going to stress but from
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    the other side you're seeing is Wow is
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    it really that bad that I can't even
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    speak to you for more than five minutes
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    without you turning this conversation
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    into English and it leaves the English
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    speaker feeling very sad disappointed
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    and bit embarrassed and oh dear maybe I
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    should just not bother everyone speaks
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    English and the level of English does
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    play a part because sometimes when you
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    go when I went to Poland the level of
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    English is generally quite low compared
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    to say the Netherlands or Sweden or
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    Norway or Iceland or somewhere like that
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    where I'd say the average level is a b2
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    upper echelons of a b2 whereas in
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    somewhere like Poland it's probably an
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    a2 level the functional they get by is
  • 17:27 - 17:31
    you can go to Poland n' and talk to
  • 17:29 - 17:34
    people generally but you can quite
  • 17:31 - 17:36
    quickly overcome like Alex was talking
  • 17:34 - 17:38
    about yesterday you know when you get to
  • 17:36 - 17:40
    that level you can then quite easily
  • 17:38 - 17:42
    just speak in the target language that's
  • 17:40 - 17:46
    more difficult for some languages than
  • 17:42 - 17:47
    others and that can be intimidating but
  • 17:46 - 17:48
    as a native English speaker as well
  • 17:47 - 17:51
    we're always very used to having the
  • 17:48 - 17:54
    upper hand and we use this to our
  • 17:51 - 17:55
    advantage of course because you can
  • 17:54 - 17:58
    dominate a conversation very easily
  • 17:55 - 18:00
    because you have a rich vocabulary
  • 17:58 - 18:02
    automatically because you is you're an
  • 18:00 - 18:05
    educated native speaker of English you
  • 18:02 - 18:07
    know you you're used to learning how to
  • 18:05 - 18:11
    debate or or talk or put your points
  • 18:07 - 18:12
    across in a very eloquent way whereas if
  • 18:11 - 18:14
    you've learned English as a foreign
  • 18:12 - 18:17
    language then naturally it's more of a
  • 18:14 - 18:18
    struggle to get to that stage so as a
  • 18:17 - 18:21
    native English speaker you can get
  • 18:18 - 18:23
    complacent with this ability to express
  • 18:21 - 18:25
    yourself without any boundaries and
  • 18:23 - 18:28
    sometimes actually the practicing the
  • 18:25 - 18:31
    language is an issue internally because
  • 18:28 - 18:33
    you feel restricted for all the reasons
  • 18:31 - 18:35
    we talked about before of grammar
  • 18:33 - 18:37
    vocabulary that you don't have the same
  • 18:35 - 18:40
    domination of the language that you do
  • 18:37 - 18:42
    in English but then also some of the
  • 18:40 - 18:44
    things come into place language
  • 18:42 - 18:48
    etiquette has anybody heard me talk
  • 18:44 - 18:50
    about language etiquette before no
  • 18:48 - 18:53
    for me there is a real strict language
  • 18:50 - 18:55
    etiquette that goes on with learning a
  • 18:53 - 18:57
    language or speaking a language and
  • 18:55 - 18:59
    practicing a language and it relates to
  • 18:57 - 19:00
    where you are and what you're doing in
  • 18:59 - 19:03
    who it's with
  • 19:00 - 19:06
    so for me personally if I'm sitting at
  • 19:03 - 19:09
    home in the United Kingdom and a German
  • 19:06 - 19:13
    or a Spaniard or whoever else walks up
  • 19:09 - 19:17
    to me and speaks to me in English maybe
  • 19:13 - 19:18
    a low level of English but my instant
  • 19:17 - 19:20
    reaction is not to go
  • 19:18 - 19:23
    I had vamos vamos all learn it but
  • 19:20 - 19:26
    you're not because I know how that feels
  • 19:23 - 19:28
    from the other side so I sit there and I
  • 19:26 - 19:30
    okay let's speak slowly take this slowly
  • 19:28 - 19:33
    and help them out because they're making
  • 19:30 - 19:34
    an effort to speak my language so this
  • 19:33 - 19:37
    is the thing that native English
  • 19:34 - 19:38
    speakers don't always get abroad because
  • 19:37 - 19:42
    the reactions are what the hell are you
  • 19:38 - 19:48
    learning my language for this is Iceland
  • 19:42 - 19:50
    well the people is I want 300,000 you
  • 19:48 - 19:51
    get it in all sorts of places waiting
  • 19:50 - 19:53
    whales as well sometimes you'll get it
  • 19:51 - 19:56
    where people you know a native English
  • 19:53 - 19:58
    we call them Welsh and it's like why
  • 19:56 - 20:01
    you're speaking Welsh it's like you can
  • 19:58 - 20:03
    just be English in Wales some people are
  • 20:01 - 20:05
    now the attitudes are changing slightly
  • 20:03 - 20:06
    especially because of immigration and
  • 20:05 - 20:08
    people wanting people to immigrate to
  • 20:06 - 20:12
    assimilate into the culture so they
  • 20:08 - 20:14
    don't know always but the the language
  • 20:12 - 20:16
    etiquette of speaking the language of
  • 20:14 - 20:19
    the country you're in I think should
  • 20:16 - 20:21
    hold true so when I'm abroad I don't
  • 20:19 - 20:23
    feel the need to have to speak English
  • 20:21 - 20:25
    to accommodate somebody if they want to
  • 20:23 - 20:29
    just practice their English but I can
  • 20:25 - 20:31
    compromise I can be nice about it yeah
  • 20:29 - 20:31
    visit Yeti and Iceland each kind of toy
  • 20:31 - 20:34
    train
  • 20:31 - 20:38
    you must be linked nor English bleedin
  • 20:34 - 20:40
    either your masters I need NICs hours
  • 20:38 - 20:42
    each mine explosions or weasel fish pond
  • 20:40 - 20:46
    to house on does this me you have kind
  • 20:42 - 20:49
    image manage can often low English so I
  • 20:46 - 20:51
    don't really worry so much personally
  • 20:49 - 20:53
    anymore I used to when I was learning
  • 20:51 - 20:55
    the languages but now I live in in
  • 20:53 - 20:56
    Skopje with my with my wife and my
  • 20:55 - 20:58
    daughter we speak five languages at home
  • 20:56 - 21:01
    on a daily basis and then other
  • 20:58 - 21:02
    languages outside I don't worry so much
  • 21:01 - 21:06
    but I understand why people do and and
  • 21:02 - 21:07
    it is important to show that support for
  • 21:06 - 21:12
    people learning your language
  • 21:07 - 21:14
    the reactions actually in
  • 21:12 - 21:17
    english-speaking countries particularly
  • 21:14 - 21:19
    the UK there is soft and very strong
  • 21:17 - 21:23
    reaction against speaking a foreign
  • 21:19 - 21:27
    language socially it's I'm not going to
  • 21:23 - 21:29
    say unacceptable but people and do do
  • 21:27 - 21:32
    have a reaction Polish people definitely
  • 21:29 - 21:33
    pick up on it in the UK and a lot more
  • 21:32 - 21:36
    reluctant men to speak Polish to
  • 21:33 - 21:38
    somebody who's not Polish speaking in
  • 21:36 - 21:40
    public as well sometimes they feel the
  • 21:38 - 21:42
    eyes going to them what are you talking
  • 21:40 - 21:45
    about you're talking about me aren't you
  • 21:42 - 21:46
    foreigner and I've experienced this
  • 21:45 - 21:49
    myself
  • 21:46 - 21:51
    and as a native British person and
  • 21:49 - 21:53
    you're growing up speaking English as a
  • 21:51 - 21:57
    first language when my wife and I moved
  • 21:53 - 21:58
    to the UK to live for 3 years and we've
  • 21:57 - 22:01
    only ever spoken Macedonian at home
  • 21:58 - 22:03
    we've never used English when we went
  • 22:01 - 22:07
    out into the city this is my home city
  • 22:03 - 22:09
    of Chester and people actually almost
  • 22:07 - 22:10
    psychologically there's a psychological
  • 22:09 - 22:12
    barrier to refuse to believe that I was
  • 22:10 - 22:16
    really British because they heard me
  • 22:12 - 22:18
    speaking Polish Slavic language it
  • 22:16 - 22:20
    sounds lovak and the amount of people
  • 22:18 - 22:22
    that came up to me in the UK to say
  • 22:20 - 22:28
    excuse me at which language you speaking
  • 22:22 - 22:32
    there and I'd say Macedonian okay you're
  • 22:28 - 22:35
    not polish then I thought you polish no
  • 22:32 - 22:40
    I'm actually British no and you're
  • 22:35 - 22:43
    speaking Macedonian because and people
  • 22:40 - 22:46
    actually did this to me it's been in the
  • 22:43 - 22:50
    curious realms to the blatant rude
  • 22:46 - 22:52
    realms and it's it's a strange it's a
  • 22:50 - 22:55
    strange thing to see of your own country
  • 22:52 - 22:57
    so you think you know people have these
  • 22:55 - 22:59
    great reactions all you speak all these
  • 22:57 - 23:01
    languages fantastic but sometimes the
  • 22:59 - 23:03
    reality of speaking all these languages
  • 23:01 - 23:05
    it actually makes people a bit
  • 23:03 - 23:07
    suspicious sometimes and why would you
  • 23:05 - 23:08
    do it why would you actually speak all
  • 23:07 - 23:11
    these languages why would you speak it
  • 23:08 - 23:13
    in front of me when I can't understand
  • 23:11 - 23:15
    and and it goes back to the language
  • 23:13 - 23:20
    etiquette as well it's like hmm there's
  • 23:15 - 23:24
    a tight sort of line to tread with with
  • 23:20 - 23:26
    these kinds of things and you know I've
  • 23:24 - 23:28
    had people say all sorts all sorts of
  • 23:26 - 23:30
    things the only language in the UK that
  • 23:28 - 23:33
    I found got really positive reactions
  • 23:30 - 23:35
    generally was French because it's seen
  • 23:33 - 23:40
    as a as either a cultural equal or
  • 23:35 - 23:43
    slightly posh still but and the other
  • 23:40 - 23:45
    language is Spanish and German so so but
  • 23:43 - 23:48
    but speaking a Slavic language was
  • 23:45 - 23:51
    definitely I got more negative reactions
  • 23:48 - 23:53
    and positive unfortunately so that comes
  • 23:51 - 23:55
    takes me to picking languages so how do
  • 23:53 - 23:57
    you actually pick the languages you want
  • 23:55 - 23:58
    to speak bearing in mind all of this you
  • 23:57 - 24:00
    know the thing that we're talking about
  • 23:58 - 24:02
    a you know pronunciation how easy it is
  • 24:00 - 24:05
    for you to actually learn the vocabulary
  • 24:02 - 24:06
    to learn the grammar to speak it for
  • 24:05 - 24:09
    that to be then acceptable where you're
  • 24:06 - 24:13
    living to get the practice that you need
  • 24:09 - 24:16
    well sometimes the languages are picked
  • 24:13 - 24:19
    for you so you go to school you start
  • 24:16 - 24:22
    and you have in the UK French German
  • 24:19 - 24:24
    possibly Spanish or some other language
  • 24:22 - 24:26
    that's quite commonly used and they're
  • 24:24 - 24:28
    picked for four good reasons there
  • 24:26 - 24:30
    they're quite you know well spoken
  • 24:28 - 24:32
    languages in the world and are useful
  • 24:30 - 24:37
    for the job market later on so there is
  • 24:32 - 24:39
    some some method to the madness but
  • 24:37 - 24:40
    there are also these prestige languages
  • 24:39 - 24:42
    that you think of you know people will
  • 24:40 - 24:44
    talk about I want my child to speak this
  • 24:42 - 24:46
    really good rationale or you get these
  • 24:44 - 24:48
    you know posh private schools that will
  • 24:46 - 24:51
    teach Japanese or Chinese because it's
  • 24:48 - 24:54
    seen as a prestige language in addition
  • 24:51 - 24:57
    to the prestige language of French and
  • 24:54 - 25:00
    then there's heritage so in places like
  • 24:57 - 25:02
    Wales you have to learn Welsh to some
  • 25:00 - 25:05
    degree if it's is the first language or
  • 25:02 - 25:06
    a second language its I think now
  • 25:05 - 25:07
    they've changed it so you only learn it
  • 25:06 - 25:09
    till about fourteen or something like
  • 25:07 - 25:12
    that but you you have to do some Welsh
  • 25:09 - 25:15
    because it's obviously with the official
  • 25:12 - 25:19
    language of the country next English and
  • 25:15 - 25:20
    but there's often a lot of stigma
  • 25:19 - 25:22
    attached to some of these heritage
  • 25:20 - 25:25
    language languages
  • 25:22 - 25:28
    people don't want to seem different so
  • 25:25 - 25:29
    I've met people who are either from
  • 25:28 - 25:33
    Welsh extraction who are actually very
  • 25:29 - 25:37
    against and the Welsh language I've met
  • 25:33 - 25:38
    people who who speak languages from from
  • 25:37 - 25:41
    India or penguin Bangladesh or Pakistan
  • 25:38 - 25:42
    and their parents spoke them at home but
  • 25:41 - 25:46
    they speak them with a very strong
  • 25:42 - 25:48
    Yorkshire accent or but other regional
  • 25:46 - 25:50
    accents and they become very British and
  • 25:48 - 25:52
    it's it's not it's not that they shun
  • 25:50 - 25:54
    the language because they use it at home
  • 25:52 - 25:56
    but you you get these reactions of
  • 25:54 - 25:59
    wanting to fit in so anyone seen East is
  • 25:56 - 26:02
    East it's a really good film in the UK
  • 25:59 - 26:04
    British film that demonstrates this this
  • 26:02 - 26:10
    struggle between a Pakistani father and
  • 26:04 - 26:12
    a Yorkshire nun who and the children are
  • 26:10 - 26:14
    sort of caught between the two cultures
  • 26:12 - 26:16
    I like what they're speaking and they go
  • 26:14 - 26:19
    to they go and they read the Koran and
  • 26:16 - 26:21
    they learn Arabic and they but they
  • 26:19 - 26:23
    don't take the language so seriously
  • 26:21 - 26:25
    because then I suppose the scene being
  • 26:23 - 26:28
    seen is different to the local community
  • 26:25 - 26:31
    and these are things that I find really
  • 26:28 - 26:33
    quite sad because that the diversity and
  • 26:31 - 26:35
    and actually having these these
  • 26:33 - 26:39
    additional heritage things are really
  • 26:35 - 26:42
    nice and and quite quite good for myself
  • 26:39 - 26:45
    personally I actually I heard Welsh as a
  • 26:42 - 26:48
    child and nun and I always knew I grew
  • 26:45 - 26:50
    up with speaking English but there were
  • 26:48 - 26:52
    always sort of elements of Welsh put
  • 26:50 - 26:56
    into the English as well like we knew
  • 26:52 - 26:57
    Qaeda gag shut your mouth you know
  • 26:56 - 27:00
    lovely lovely little things like that
  • 26:57 - 27:04
    like the Irish people that learn point
  • 27:00 - 27:05
    Mahorn yeah gets my bum but they learn
  • 27:04 - 27:06
    all it's one of the first things that
  • 27:05 - 27:11
    you learn right how'd you learn Irish
  • 27:06 - 27:12
    and but the there are other things that
  • 27:11 - 27:15
    motivate you learning languages I mean
  • 27:12 - 27:17
    you know even in my later stages of
  • 27:15 - 27:19
    language learning when I had who has
  • 27:17 - 27:22
    language lists that they want to learn
  • 27:19 - 27:24
    all right [ __ ] room isn't it's a
  • 27:22 - 27:26
    great audience for this and you've got
  • 27:24 - 27:28
    like Burmese you got more so just
  • 27:26 - 27:30
    because you can say it
  • 27:28 - 27:32
    Zulu all these fantastic languages that
  • 27:30 - 27:36
    you'll probably not learn but you dream
  • 27:32 - 27:39
    of it and never in my wildest dream
  • 27:36 - 27:43
    did I ever put Macedonia on the list and
  • 27:39 - 27:45
    because of this this last reason it's
  • 27:43 - 27:49
    like one of the best languages that I
  • 27:45 - 27:53
    speak and just because yeah not now my
  • 27:49 - 27:56
    family is half Macedonian and and we use
  • 27:53 - 28:00
    it at home and we use it all the time
  • 27:56 - 28:02
    the road ahead so the first one is the
  • 28:00 - 28:04
    hardest the first language so anybody
  • 28:02 - 28:05
    out there are notes like in this room
  • 28:04 - 28:07
    it's like preaching to the converted
  • 28:05 - 28:09
    right but there are people that look on
  • 28:07 - 28:10
    this on YouTube look at the video and
  • 28:09 - 28:13
    they're struggling with the first
  • 28:10 - 28:15
    language and I think bear in mind the
  • 28:13 - 28:17
    first one is is often the hardest one to
  • 28:15 - 28:18
    learn and people often come to you and
  • 28:17 - 28:24
    say well isn't it really easy after that
  • 28:18 - 28:26
    and yes it is no it isn't it is because
  • 28:24 - 28:27
    once you've learned one you can imagine
  • 28:26 - 28:30
    what it's like to speak another language
  • 28:27 - 28:33
    and I think that mindset and that
  • 28:30 - 28:35
    ability to to consider what it is to
  • 28:33 - 28:39
    speak another language stays with you
  • 28:35 - 28:40
    then for further learning and the other
  • 28:39 - 28:42
    thing that's really important when you
  • 28:40 - 28:44
    learn a language is language bridges
  • 28:42 - 28:47
    created so when you go through the
  • 28:44 - 28:50
    process again grammatical terms often
  • 28:47 - 28:52
    repeat themselves or have similarities
  • 28:50 - 28:55
    you can you can sort of associate things
  • 28:52 - 28:56
    better we go back to the vocabulary it
  • 28:55 - 28:59
    doesn't seem as vast anymore I've learnt
  • 28:56 - 29:01
    French now I'm going to Spanish oh okay
  • 28:59 - 29:04
    it's quite a lot of words here are the
  • 29:01 - 29:06
    same or even if you go to Turkish and I
  • 29:04 - 29:11
    found lots and lots of French words in
  • 29:06 - 29:12
    Turkish so what the hell and the same in
  • 29:11 - 29:15
    Russian you know you get all these
  • 29:12 - 29:17
    French words that go through because
  • 29:15 - 29:22
    it's it was a it was the English of
  • 29:17 - 29:24
    before English times right it was French
  • 29:22 - 29:26
    so it's permeated all of these different
  • 29:24 - 29:29
    societies in different ways and and it
  • 29:26 - 29:30
    really helps my advice is always if
  • 29:29 - 29:33
    you're a native English speaker learn
  • 29:30 - 29:34
    French it helps you with English it
  • 29:33 - 29:37
    helps you understand English literature
  • 29:34 - 29:39
    it helps you to expand your vocabulary
  • 29:37 - 29:41
    without having to work very hard because
  • 29:39 - 29:42
    you have French and you have a better
  • 29:41 - 29:44
    vocabulary in your own native tongue and
  • 29:42 - 29:46
    it's one of the reasons I chose French
  • 29:44 - 29:48
    as a native language for my daughter as
  • 29:46 - 29:49
    well because I knew that it would be
  • 29:48 - 29:54
    really important
  • 29:49 - 29:55
    and taking on new languages so when you
  • 29:54 - 29:56
    when you've got all of this you've got
  • 29:55 - 29:59
    this new mindset you've got all these
  • 29:56 - 30:01
    links and bridges from the new language
  • 29:59 - 30:03
    that you've learned then you don't feel
  • 30:01 - 30:05
    so scared to take on a new language and
  • 30:03 - 30:08
    you can also pretend that you're no
  • 30:05 - 30:08
    longer a native English speaker
  • 30:08 - 30:15
    an interesting thing actually on this
  • 30:11 - 30:17
    link to some of the cultural things we
  • 30:15 - 30:20
    talked about in the UK my wife and I
  • 30:17 - 30:24
    were in Scotland I was working on the
  • 30:20 - 30:28
    Antarctic Treaty and we went to a
  • 30:24 - 30:30
    restaurant and the the the guy working
  • 30:28 - 30:33
    there I came over to take our order and
  • 30:30 - 30:34
    he had he had a strong accent and at
  • 30:33 - 30:36
    that time Polish people only started
  • 30:34 - 30:38
    arriving into the UK so we weren't
  • 30:36 - 30:41
    really clear we hadn't really been
  • 30:38 - 30:44
    following you know the immigration that
  • 30:41 - 30:45
    was to follow and I think Poland only
  • 30:44 - 30:48
    been here for a little bit of time so it
  • 30:45 - 30:51
    was anything possible to come over and
  • 30:48 - 30:53
    the guy was speaking this Slavic accent
  • 30:51 - 30:56
    my wife and I was speaking in Macedonian
  • 30:53 - 30:58
    and we said excuse me where are you from
  • 30:56 - 31:00
    because we thought maybe there's a
  • 30:58 - 31:04
    chance he's from the Balkans and he went
  • 31:00 - 31:07
    and from Croatia had thought of Brad
  • 31:04 - 31:08
    there modulo the Givaudan joaquina
  • 31:07 - 31:14
    janosh gone we can speak our language
  • 31:08 - 31:18
    and he just looked horrified as Annie
  • 31:14 - 31:20
    went and then Alan had also mish-mosh
  • 31:18 - 31:21
    died over well caught you what we
  • 31:20 - 31:23
    couldn't understand why didn't
  • 31:21 - 31:25
    understand this Croatian guy was like we
  • 31:23 - 31:26
    were speaking in the language why can't
  • 31:25 - 31:28
    you understand us and at first we
  • 31:26 - 31:33
    thought maybe we were standing too
  • 31:28 - 31:34
    serbian so we know have we crossed some
  • 31:33 - 31:37
    sort of line etiquette boundary here
  • 31:34 - 31:41
    that we shouldn't be doing with okay we
  • 31:37 - 31:43
    didn't use the infinitive sorry and but
  • 31:41 - 31:45
    we we had soon started to realize this
  • 31:43 - 31:50
    guy didn't understand the word we were
  • 31:45 - 31:50
    saying anywhere actually I'm from Poland
  • 31:50 - 31:55
    and then it clicked and we went why did
  • 31:53 - 31:57
    you say you were from Croatia because
  • 31:55 - 32:01
    because I get less negative reactions if
  • 31:57 - 32:04
    I say I'm from Croatia than Poland yeah
  • 32:01 - 32:05
    and you can you can use this trick but
  • 32:04 - 32:08
    make sure you speak the language that's
  • 32:05 - 32:10
    kind of the moral of story so if you go
  • 32:08 - 32:11
    to a new country and you want to say I
  • 32:10 - 32:14
    don't speak English you want to pretend
  • 32:11 - 32:18
    just what one of my tricks
  • 32:14 - 32:19
    was always I'd go I don't understand and
  • 32:18 - 32:21
    then they just get they got to get
  • 32:19 - 32:22
    nervous about their own level of English
  • 32:21 - 32:25
    and then turn back to their native
  • 32:22 - 32:27
    language there's a really good trick by
  • 32:25 - 32:29
    the way it works really well you go
  • 32:27 - 32:30
    strain and then they may repeat it once
  • 32:29 - 32:35
    or twice now if you do it three times
  • 32:30 - 32:37
    ago oh my god my English is crap should
  • 32:35 - 32:40
    maybe stay with the language that he's
  • 32:37 - 32:42
    trying to speak to me instead but make
  • 32:40 - 32:44
    sure you can speak hit me if you can and
  • 32:42 - 32:52
    they happen to speak the language that
  • 32:44 - 32:55
    you claim to be a native of ich and so
  • 32:52 - 32:56
    if this is going to go for there we go
  • 32:55 - 32:58
    there's a lovely little thing I like
  • 32:56 - 33:00
    this I like bridges there they're a nice
  • 32:58 - 33:01
    little thing to add on
  • 33:00 - 33:03
    I thought pictures would make you
  • 33:01 - 33:07
    interested in what I was saying was
  • 33:03 - 33:10
    boring okay so multilingual vs. polyglot
  • 33:07 - 33:12
    does anybody else make this distinction
  • 33:10 - 33:13
    nowadays for me these has changed in my
  • 33:12 - 33:15
    head so anybody else make the
  • 33:13 - 33:19
    distinction anymore you make
  • 33:15 - 33:21
    distinctions yeah for me the
  • 33:19 - 33:24
    multilingual is the Luxembourgish person
  • 33:21 - 33:27
    who has had to speak three four
  • 33:24 - 33:28
    languages through necessity they go to
  • 33:27 - 33:30
    kindergarten in Luxembourgish than they
  • 33:28 - 33:31
    do primary secondary school in French
  • 33:30 - 33:33
    German German French whichever way
  • 33:31 - 33:34
    around the duets and they learn English
  • 33:33 - 33:36
    because everyone learns English and they
  • 33:34 - 33:37
    may learn a foreign language like
  • 33:36 - 33:40
    they've got the largest number of
  • 33:37 - 33:42
    immigrants from Portugal in anywhere
  • 33:40 - 33:44
    else in Europe outside Portugal and in
  • 33:42 - 33:45
    Luxembourg I believe that wasn't a
  • 33:44 - 33:48
    statistic ten years ago when I first
  • 33:45 - 33:49
    learnt it and I'm sticking with it it's
  • 33:48 - 33:52
    a good one so they may have a home
  • 33:49 - 33:53
    language like Portuguese or Serbian
  • 33:52 - 33:56
    there's quite a lot of Serbian speakers
  • 33:53 - 33:58
    that moved over during the war and so
  • 33:56 - 34:00
    they have four or five languages just
  • 33:58 - 34:02
    without starting but does that make them
  • 34:00 - 34:04
    particularly a polyglot in the way we
  • 34:02 - 34:06
    think of polyglots in all
  • 34:04 - 34:08
    online community well the question I
  • 34:06 - 34:13
    asked a minute ago who hears from
  • 34:08 - 34:15
    Luxembourg no one answered and I think
  • 34:13 - 34:16
    there is one there's one person that I
  • 34:15 - 34:19
    have met called Christine I think her
  • 34:16 - 34:20
    name is who is from Luxembourg and is in
  • 34:19 - 34:23
    the community but I don't come across
  • 34:20 - 34:25
    them very often and I think because for
  • 34:23 - 34:27
    me polyglot doesn't just mean speaking
  • 34:25 - 34:29
    languages and people often ask how many
  • 34:27 - 34:31
    languages is it for me it's not the
  • 34:29 - 34:34
    amount of languages per se
  • 34:31 - 34:35
    yes it's speaking more than maybe one or
  • 34:34 - 34:38
    two but beyond that is it really
  • 34:35 - 34:41
    important no it's actually this
  • 34:38 - 34:44
    deliberate action going forward and
  • 34:41 - 34:46
    picking languages and learning them that
  • 34:44 - 34:49
    is what a polyglot is for me it's
  • 34:46 - 34:52
    somebody who does this deliberately and
  • 34:49 - 34:52
    for no apparent reason
  • 34:53 - 35:05
    yeah am I right or am i right
  • 34:56 - 35:07
    haha so we see people like these you
  • 35:05 - 35:12
    know natural multi linguist from America
  • 35:07 - 35:14
    you know professor aguas our very own
  • 35:12 - 35:20
    Alex
  • 35:14 - 35:20
    Benny Inman ola you did because Germany
  • 35:20 - 35:22
    as well
  • 35:20 - 35:24
    pretty monolingual country you learn a
  • 35:22 - 35:25
    bit of English but you don't always
  • 35:24 - 35:27
    learn the languages so for me these like
  • 35:25 - 35:29
    all these countries count it's not just
  • 35:27 - 35:31
    about english-speaking countries who
  • 35:29 - 35:34
    knows who that is
  • 35:31 - 35:38
    yeah Hungarian Katherine yeah
  • 35:34 - 35:39
    hunger Hungaria hungry is also one of
  • 35:38 - 35:42
    those countries where they tend just to
  • 35:39 - 35:47
    speak Hungarian right but these are the
  • 35:42 - 35:52
    people err Tim yeah there we go she's
  • 35:47 - 36:00
    there at the back Lindsey at Lucca noses
  • 35:52 - 36:04
    Steve Suzanna David its - Jay yeah oli
  • 36:00 - 36:06
    Mike Campbell and Donovan and these are
  • 36:04 - 36:10
    all people from pretty monolingual
  • 36:06 - 36:12
    backgrounds and yeah they may have
  • 36:10 - 36:15
    had languages a little bit younger they
  • 36:12 - 36:16
    may not but these people all went on to
  • 36:15 - 36:17
    do something incredible with learning
  • 36:16 - 36:20
    lots and lots of languages these are
  • 36:17 - 36:22
    just examples that I chose randomly
  • 36:20 - 36:24
    because of you know they're known in the
  • 36:22 - 36:26
    community and they're their faces that
  • 36:24 - 36:30
    you will instantly recognize and maybe
  • 36:26 - 36:31
    attach a meaning to straightaway but I
  • 36:30 - 36:34
    could equally have used a number of
  • 36:31 - 36:43
    faces in this room and have the same
  • 36:34 - 36:46
    effect so really that is me and I'm
  • 36:43 - 36:46
    happy yes
  • 37:13 - 37:17
    okay let's take another country as an
  • 37:16 - 37:19
    idea instead of Luxembourg because they
  • 37:17 - 37:21
    do education in in a number of languages
  • 37:19 - 37:23
    so if anybody didn't hear that the
  • 37:21 - 37:24
    argument was whether or not there are
  • 37:23 - 37:27
    differences in levels between
  • 37:24 - 37:28
    multilingual and polyglot so whether or
  • 37:27 - 37:31
    not you would have a bilingual as a
  • 37:28 - 37:32
    perfect bilingual I'm guessing you mean
  • 37:31 - 37:34
    by this or a trilingual perfect
  • 37:32 - 37:36
    trilingual or multilingual
  • 37:34 - 37:40
    and extension of that beyond these three
  • 37:36 - 37:42
    languages and I think probably a better
  • 37:40 - 37:44
    maybe maybe a better country to pick
  • 37:42 - 37:46
    would be somewhere like India or some
  • 37:44 - 37:48
    African countries as well where they
  • 37:46 - 37:49
    will learn languages of people around
  • 37:48 - 37:53
    but they'll learn them for different
  • 37:49 - 37:54
    reasons it will be for business for just
  • 37:53 - 37:56
    having a coffee trade whatever they
  • 37:54 - 37:58
    doing they'll do it for different
  • 37:56 - 38:00
    reasons so they don't need the same
  • 37:58 - 38:02
    level in the language and they didn't
  • 38:00 - 38:03
    means necessarily they can't necessarily
  • 38:02 - 38:06
    say the same things in all of the
  • 38:03 - 38:09
    languages either they may not even have
  • 38:06 - 38:12
    one mother tongue that's very strong it
  • 38:09 - 38:14
    may be a mixture of languages and this
  • 38:12 - 38:17
    happens in a lot of places outside
  • 38:14 - 38:18
    Europe and even in Europe as well I know
  • 38:17 - 38:21
    people in in the Republic of Macedonia
  • 38:18 - 38:24
    who who just go in a conversation
  • 38:21 - 38:25
    between five languages and they do it
  • 38:24 - 38:27
    because that's just the way they talk
  • 38:25 - 38:29
    where they live because they'll mix
  • 38:27 - 38:31
    Turkish in with Albanian with Macedonian
  • 38:29 - 38:33
    with Serbian and then they may know a
  • 38:31 - 38:37
    smattering of German and whatever else
  • 38:33 - 38:38
    and but it's it's it's that's why I
  • 38:37 - 38:39
    would say they were they are
  • 38:38 - 38:42
    multilingual for me and there are
  • 38:39 - 38:45
    different levels so I wouldn't make that
  • 38:42 - 38:47
    distinction myself and if you talk about
  • 38:45 - 38:49
    other languages like French Belanger
  • 38:47 - 38:50
    everyone's belonging French if they
  • 38:49 - 38:54
    speak about in three words of English
  • 38:50 - 38:55
    they belong who I mean I remember people
  • 38:54 - 38:58
    saying that all the time I teach younger
  • 38:55 - 39:01
    let go my OC yeah
  • 38:58 - 39:05
    okay so which one of your parents is
  • 39:01 - 39:08
    from is from the UK oh no more clearly :
  • 39:05 - 39:13
    okay so your you'll be lying you'll
  • 39:08 - 39:14
    that'd be lying you and it's nothing
  • 39:13 - 39:17
    nothing wrong with being belong in that
  • 39:14 - 39:19
    way but it's a it's not all in English
  • 39:17 - 39:21
    term bilingual it's not what we
  • 39:19 - 39:23
    understand we understand and assume that
  • 39:21 - 39:25
    it's a perfect bilingualism but actually
  • 39:23 - 39:26
    even in even in these countries where it
  • 39:25 - 39:30
    seems like a very good bilingualism
  • 39:26 - 39:33
    almost perfect it doesn't take long to
  • 39:30 - 39:35
    scratch the surface as a very competent
  • 39:33 - 39:38
    fluent speaker of a language to see that
  • 39:35 - 39:41
    it's not quite the reality even for the
  • 39:38 - 39:43
    people that seem very very very
  • 39:41 - 39:45
    bilingual there is often a stronger
  • 39:43 - 39:47
    language in areas and it will it will do
  • 39:45 - 39:49
    the same thing as happening in India or
  • 39:47 - 39:51
    African countries where where this is
  • 39:49 - 39:54
    the norm between tribes or between
  • 39:51 - 39:56
    regions of the country for just general
  • 39:54 - 39:58
    conversation but it will be be maybe a
  • 39:56 - 40:02
    high educated level because they've
  • 39:58 - 40:07
    studied maybe in all the languages okay
  • 40:02 - 40:09
    I'm open to other questions as well yeah
  • 40:07 - 40:09
    please
  • 40:11 - 40:21
    hello hello and you said that mmm
  • 40:18 - 40:24
    do you mind the second language was the
  • 40:21 - 40:25
    most difficult and then after that it
  • 40:24 - 40:28
    got easier
  • 40:25 - 40:30
    I actually thought perhaps the third
  • 40:28 - 40:32
    language was the challenge because this
  • 40:30 - 40:35
    is the point at which you consolidate
  • 40:32 - 40:37
    how to learn a language
  • 40:35 - 40:40
    yeah I know what you're talking about
  • 40:37 - 40:43
    and it's kind of went up when I said I
  • 40:40 - 40:46
    kind of went ish and sort of winced a
  • 40:43 - 40:48
    little bit because it's true that it's
  • 40:46 - 40:51
    the first is the hardest in terms of
  • 40:48 - 40:52
    that mental barrier of understanding how
  • 40:51 - 40:54
    to speak and communicate in a different
  • 40:52 - 40:57
    language and that's the one thing that
  • 40:54 - 41:01
    you do you do once in terms of that
  • 40:57 - 41:03
    mental flip but you're right and this
  • 41:01 - 41:05
    happened to me when I started off with
  • 41:03 - 41:07
    the Romance languages and that was my
  • 41:05 - 41:09
    first group of languages and when I
  • 41:07 - 41:11
    started learning Germanic languages I
  • 41:09 - 41:11
    started Swedish from my first Germanic
  • 41:11 - 41:17
    language
  • 41:11 - 41:19
    naturally so I I had Swedish at
  • 41:17 - 41:20
    university but I didn't have German at
  • 41:19 - 41:24
    school at all
  • 41:20 - 41:28
    I spoke no German until I was 22 and
  • 41:24 - 41:30
    never studied it but Swedish I found
  • 41:28 - 41:32
    more similar to English because of the
  • 41:30 - 41:35
    structure and the way it was flowing and
  • 41:32 - 41:37
    the the putting different article the
  • 41:35 - 41:39
    end was a bit weird but it was more or
  • 41:37 - 41:42
    less okay when I got to German and this
  • 41:39 - 41:44
    whole flippin Lee the sentence round and
  • 41:42 - 41:45
    putting verbs at the end of the sentence
  • 41:44 - 41:48
    yeah we do it in English as well
  • 41:45 - 41:49
    sometimes but in German the way of doing
  • 41:48 - 41:53
    it was a bit of a mind flip
  • 41:49 - 41:54
    and for me there was a real I felt I
  • 41:53 - 41:57
    would describe it as a physiological
  • 41:54 - 42:00
    change in my brain from the the Romance
  • 41:57 - 42:01
    language set to the Germanic and once
  • 42:00 - 42:02
    you go through that change there's no
  • 42:01 - 42:05
    going back
  • 42:02 - 42:06
    and so that's that's kind of what I'm
  • 42:05 - 42:09
    getting out with the first ones the
  • 42:06 - 42:10
    hardest because that going forwards and
  • 42:09 - 42:12
    then not being able to go back from
  • 42:10 - 42:14
    understanding that and and visualizing
  • 42:12 - 42:15
    speaking in a language that's why I say
  • 42:14 - 42:18
    it's the hardest but there's definitely
  • 42:15 - 42:20
    struggles with each new family because
  • 42:18 - 42:23
    there are new grow new ways of thinking
  • 42:20 - 42:25
    that that change completely and you have
  • 42:23 - 42:27
    to make that flip again interesting that
  • 42:25 - 42:28
    you should mention German I think
  • 42:27 - 42:30
    because that was actually my third
  • 42:28 - 42:32
    language it's sort of like tasting from
  • 42:30 - 42:35
    the tree of knowledge mm-hmm yeah yeah
  • 42:32 - 42:43
    exactly yep
  • 42:35 - 42:46
    thank you great presentation loved it
  • 42:43 - 42:48
    thank you I wanted to ask you I'm not
  • 42:46 - 42:52
    I'm definitely I'm Italian not a native
  • 42:48 - 42:55
    English speaker and not Anna but I've
  • 42:52 - 42:57
    lived there before I lived in Finland
  • 42:55 - 43:00
    and now I've been living in Lavinia and
  • 42:57 - 43:02
    I like this the concept of dominance
  • 43:00 - 43:04
    that I use English you know to dominate
  • 43:02 - 43:06
    conversation because both literally and
  • 43:04 - 43:09
    finish are never strong but I also found
  • 43:06 - 43:11
    out that Lithuanian and Finnish they're
  • 43:09 - 43:13
    not used to people speaking their
  • 43:11 - 43:15
    language as a second language so for
  • 43:13 - 43:18
    them it's very awkward and when I try to
  • 43:15 - 43:20
    learn Russian in Lithuanian for me was
  • 43:18 - 43:22
    way easier to practice Russian because
  • 43:20 - 43:25
    Russian as Italian I think they're used
  • 43:22 - 43:28
    maybe to see other people
  • 43:25 - 43:31
    struggling so themselves they're used to
  • 43:28 - 43:32
    adapt in a way to somebody speaking
  • 43:31 - 43:36
    their language as a second language so
  • 43:32 - 43:39
    my question is what can we how can we
  • 43:36 - 43:40
    help these societies maybe to open their
  • 43:39 - 43:42
    eyes and to realize that look there are
  • 43:40 - 43:44
    lots of people that would love to speak
  • 43:42 - 43:49
    your language and what can you do
  • 43:44 - 43:52
    natives - yeah this is really true as an
  • 43:49 - 43:56
    English language native we're used to a
  • 43:52 - 43:57
    huge wide variety of different accents
  • 43:56 - 43:59
    and people from different cultures
  • 43:57 - 44:01
    speaking our language so our air can
  • 43:59 - 44:03
    tune in and can adapt quite quickly and
  • 44:01 - 44:04
    a lot of other smaller countries where
  • 44:03 - 44:06
    they're not used to people learning the
  • 44:04 - 44:09
    language and I live in a country exactly
  • 44:06 - 44:11
    the same you know in the Republic of
  • 44:09 - 44:13
    Macedonia people didn't really study
  • 44:11 - 44:15
    Macedonian and it's it's there aren't
  • 44:13 - 44:19
    many that speak it well you know now
  • 44:15 - 44:22
    from abroad that come in and I remember
  • 44:19 - 44:24
    when I first went there and they that I
  • 44:22 - 44:26
    went to the school to try and learn
  • 44:24 - 44:28
    Macedonian that way to have proper
  • 44:26 - 44:29
    lessons and they went yeah we've we've
  • 44:28 - 44:31
    taught really successfully beyond the
  • 44:29 - 44:33
    basics we've got this American guys been
  • 44:31 - 44:36
    over two years he's fantastic but he
  • 44:33 - 44:38
    calls we don't stand a word he says but
  • 44:36 - 44:42
    it's because it's because of the accent
  • 44:38 - 44:44
    how you can combat that it's tough it's
  • 44:42 - 44:45
    this is one of the reasons why I wanted
  • 44:44 - 44:46
    to make this presentation because I know
  • 44:45 - 44:49
    it will go on YouTube but I know that
  • 44:46 - 44:50
    within the community people will see it
  • 44:49 - 44:52
    and they'll understand this struggle and
  • 44:50 - 44:56
    it's taking the time to be patient and
  • 44:52 - 44:58
    listening to it and sometimes I find it
  • 44:56 - 45:01
    quite hard to understand why a native
  • 44:58 - 45:03
    can't bend their ear a little bit to
  • 45:01 - 45:07
    understand but it's it does seem to be
  • 45:03 - 45:09
    something that's pre-programmed and how
  • 45:07 - 45:12
    you would do it I think is just with
  • 45:09 - 45:14
    with actually making people more aware
  • 45:12 - 45:16
    that this is okay to do and and and
  • 45:14 - 45:17
    getting more used to people learning the
  • 45:16 - 45:20
    minority languages and you as a
  • 45:17 - 45:22
    foreigner living in Lithuania speaking
  • 45:20 - 45:24
    to more people in Lithuanian so that
  • 45:22 - 45:26
    then because you are an ambassador for
  • 45:24 - 45:27
    foreigner speaking Lithuanian when you
  • 45:26 - 45:30
    learn any language you will then an
  • 45:27 - 45:32
    ambassador for a foreigner learning that
  • 45:30 - 45:34
    language and that's how you need to see
  • 45:32 - 45:36
    yourself so don't get scared when they
  • 45:34 - 45:36
    reply to you in English or in another
  • 45:36 - 45:41
    language
  • 45:36 - 45:44
    that you may speak just you know be
  • 45:41 - 45:48
    important as you say just carry on and
  • 45:44 - 45:49
    and and and you know and actually stand
  • 45:48 - 45:56
    by what you're trying to do and
  • 45:49 - 45:57
    represent represent so hi
  • 45:56 - 46:00
    Richard thank you for the go talk I
  • 45:57 - 46:02
    would like to dig into a little bit
  • 46:00 - 46:03
    about this distinction between Multi
  • 46:02 - 46:05
    multi lingual and polyglots
  • 46:03 - 46:08
    and we've had this conversation before I
  • 46:05 - 46:12
    self identify as a multi lingual I call
  • 46:08 - 46:14
    it accident or polyglots but I like it
  • 46:12 - 46:18
    but for the sake of clarity I would call
  • 46:14 - 46:21
    them circumstantial language or
  • 46:18 - 46:24
    circumstantial polyglot or intentional
  • 46:21 - 46:27
    polyglot and I find as a circumstantial
  • 46:24 - 46:30
    polyglot I would love to be intentional
  • 46:27 - 46:33
    polyglot and from from what I've heard
  • 46:30 - 46:36
    from many intentional polyglots how they
  • 46:33 - 46:37
    managed to become poly or how sorry how
  • 46:36 - 46:39
    intentional polyglots managed to become
  • 46:37 - 46:41
    in terms of public polyglots is they
  • 46:39 - 46:43
    check themselves into being
  • 46:41 - 46:45
    circumstantial polyglots you know they
  • 46:43 - 46:48
    create environment but they create this
  • 46:45 - 46:49
    as it includes the the things that you
  • 46:48 - 46:51
    mentioned yourself you know these are
  • 46:49 - 46:54
    all the different reasons people learn
  • 46:51 - 46:56
    languages so I think maybe the the
  • 46:54 - 46:58
    distinction really isn't that clear and
  • 46:56 - 47:01
    there's a lot of back and forth between
  • 46:58 - 47:03
    yeah the two domains oh I agree that
  • 47:01 - 47:05
    this isn't a clear distinction it's just
  • 47:03 - 47:09
    something I perceive and I wanted to
  • 47:05 - 47:11
    express in a public way because I this
  • 47:09 - 47:13
    is a shift in in my thinking
  • 47:11 - 47:15
    more recently actually a process in the
  • 47:13 - 47:17
    last year or so I started making this
  • 47:15 - 47:19
    distinction in my head and I think it
  • 47:17 - 47:22
    comes from people asking am i a polyglot
  • 47:19 - 47:24
    and probably yeah there's probably a
  • 47:22 - 47:26
    crossover it's like when people talk
  • 47:24 - 47:29
    about being as agnostic theist and
  • 47:26 - 47:33
    atheist you can actually be an agnostic
  • 47:29 - 47:33
    theist and an agnostic atheist
  • 47:33 - 47:39
    it's not it's not one of the other it's
  • 47:36 - 47:41
    it's all and I think probably this may
  • 47:39 - 47:43
    fit into that kind of category of you
  • 47:41 - 47:47
    could be a polyglot multilingual
  • 47:43 - 47:48
    polyglot why not you I said there's one
  • 47:47 - 47:50
    person from Luxembourg who would
  • 47:48 - 47:53
    probably I would define as that
  • 47:50 - 47:56
    a natural multilingual because of
  • 47:53 - 47:59
    environment because of heritage who then
  • 47:56 - 48:00
    also went on to learn other languages hi
  • 47:59 - 48:03
    Richard
  • 48:00 - 48:04
    hello this behind him thank you so much
  • 48:03 - 48:07
    for this presentation I wanted to ask
  • 48:04 - 48:09
    you since I'm a native English speaker
  • 48:07 - 48:12
    from America and there's several of us
  • 48:09 - 48:15
    in the room now which is great I think
  • 48:12 - 48:17
    it's amazing I was wondering if you have
  • 48:15 - 48:19
    experienced or if you'd like could share
  • 48:17 - 48:22
    with us any psychological boundaries or
  • 48:19 - 48:23
    like obstacles you faced being a native
  • 48:22 - 48:27
    English speaker because I know for
  • 48:23 - 48:29
    Americans there's a reputation around
  • 48:27 - 48:31
    the world for being either unable or
  • 48:29 - 48:33
    unwilling to learn other languages and
  • 48:31 - 48:34
    so it kind of comes to my mind every now
  • 48:33 - 48:36
    and then like while you're American so
  • 48:34 - 48:37
    you're supposed to have these problems
  • 48:36 - 48:42
    have you experienced anything like that
  • 48:37 - 48:44
    um yeah kind of I suffer the thing that
  • 48:42 - 48:47
    I think many of us native English
  • 48:44 - 48:48
    speakers suffer and that you take this
  • 48:47 - 48:51
    time and you make this effort to learn
  • 48:48 - 48:53
    languages but actually the picking the
  • 48:51 - 48:55
    language is very difficult because
  • 48:53 - 48:59
    there's not always a natural language to
  • 48:55 - 49:01
    pick and it doesn't matter how many you
  • 48:59 - 49:02
    pick you'll still learn a native English
  • 49:01 - 49:05
    speaker when you go to the country that
  • 49:02 - 49:07
    you don't speak the language of and you
  • 49:05 - 49:10
    still feel lazy and you still feel that
  • 49:07 - 49:12
    you're representing a stereotype and I
  • 49:10 - 49:14
    definitely feel that as well when I go
  • 49:12 - 49:17
    to like when I go to hungry and I just
  • 49:14 - 49:19
    know like you know a few words and I
  • 49:17 - 49:21
    feel are why can't I just become Gareth
  • 49:19 - 49:22
    but then you think like I can't do this
  • 49:21 - 49:25
    in every single country in the world
  • 49:22 - 49:27
    either that's to me one psychological
  • 49:25 - 49:29
    barrier potentially not what you were
  • 49:27 - 49:31
    getting out with your question but one
  • 49:29 - 49:33
    of the things that for me is is an
  • 49:31 - 49:36
    important thing sort of linked to that
  • 49:33 - 49:37
    idea in terms of people people's
  • 49:36 - 49:40
    reactions
  • 49:37 - 49:41
    yeah I've certainly had like in the
  • 49:40 - 49:44
    Netherlands when I lived there first six
  • 49:41 - 49:47
    months were very hard for speaking Dutch
  • 49:44 - 49:49
    because I didn't have the vocabulary to
  • 49:47 - 49:51
    say everything I wanted and I didn't
  • 49:49 - 49:53
    have maybe the right grammar and maybe
  • 49:51 - 49:56
    maxint was a bit off and I don't know I
  • 49:53 - 49:58
    mean I don't worry too much of accent to
  • 49:56 - 50:01
    be honest I like to go to be clear in my
  • 49:58 - 50:05
    pronunciation if I can and
  • 50:01 - 50:09
    but after the six-month period of people
  • 50:05 - 50:13
    constantly turning back to English and
  • 50:09 - 50:16
    it started to ease off but if ever I got
  • 50:13 - 50:17
    to a point where I went to buy tickets
  • 50:16 - 50:19
    or anything that I had to show my
  • 50:17 - 50:22
    passport to write my passport thing they
  • 50:19 - 50:24
    go oh yeah we're speaking in Dutch for
  • 50:22 - 50:25
    like half an hour about where I'm going
  • 50:24 - 50:28
    to fly to what I'm going to do and why
  • 50:25 - 50:32
    need it and they go oh show her you're
  • 50:28 - 50:33
    from United Kingdom yeah and they only
  • 50:32 - 50:36
    give manator long side leg needs the
  • 50:33 - 50:38
    hater and I can still speak Dutch
  • 50:36 - 50:39
    haven't forgot met just because I gave
  • 50:38 - 50:41
    you a passport and it says I'm British
  • 50:39 - 50:46
    does not mean I can no longer speak
  • 50:41 - 50:48
    Dutch and they went our sorry old so but
  • 50:46 - 50:51
    it's a natural thing that you get as a
  • 50:48 - 50:53
    native English speaker people like to
  • 50:51 - 50:55
    speak to native speakers it's just the
  • 50:53 - 50:57
    way it is I mean it's it's a rare thing
  • 50:55 - 51:00
    for a lot of people a lot of communities
  • 50:57 - 51:02
    so they go oh you're from the US or
  • 51:00 - 51:03
    you're from the UK you're from Australia
  • 51:02 - 51:05
    Wow we can practice English with
  • 51:03 - 51:08
    somebody who speaks it really well and
  • 51:05 - 51:12
    you know don't judge me on that could be
  • 51:08 - 51:14
    awful but it's it is an issue and I
  • 51:12 - 51:17
    think it's being polite and saying you
  • 51:14 - 51:18
    know yeah if you you know it's really
  • 51:17 - 51:19
    good you want to speak English it's
  • 51:18 - 51:21
    great you know what I really like your
  • 51:19 - 51:23
    language and I really like your culture
  • 51:21 - 51:26
    and I'd love to speak to you and
  • 51:23 - 51:27
    actually improve and most people are
  • 51:26 - 51:29
    actually quite nice when you say that
  • 51:27 - 51:31
    you know I've taken the time to come
  • 51:29 - 51:33
    here it's really nice if you could carry
  • 51:31 - 51:35
    on in your language that I can improve
  • 51:33 - 51:38
    and that's kind of what I do that's my
  • 51:35 - 51:39
    trick when I first go to a country even
  • 51:38 - 51:43
    if I know they speak better English than
  • 51:39 - 51:44
    I speak their language I don't think
  • 51:43 - 51:47
    that should be an issue I think it
  • 51:44 - 51:47
    should be a language etiquette thing and
  • 51:47 - 51:49
    that takes me back to the language
  • 51:47 - 51:52
    etiquette because I think that even if
  • 51:49 - 51:56
    people unaware of that to themselves you
  • 51:52 - 51:57
    can you know sort of passively show that
  • 51:56 - 51:59
    there's a language there to get here
  • 51:57 - 52:01
    this is the boundary I've come to your
  • 51:59 - 52:04
    country and and I've come for the for
  • 52:01 - 52:07
    the reason of learning your language so
  • 52:04 - 52:11
    therefore please do me that favor and
  • 52:07 - 52:14
    speak to me in your language hello hello
  • 52:11 - 52:16
    um this is relating to what you said
  • 52:14 - 52:18
    about language etiquette
  • 52:16 - 52:20
    one situation that always feels really
  • 52:18 - 52:23
    awkward to me is being on an airplane
  • 52:20 - 52:26
    especially if it's like a Japanese or
  • 52:23 - 52:28
    Chinese airline and everybody around me
  • 52:26 - 52:30
    is Asian and so of course the flight
  • 52:28 - 52:33
    attendants take one look at my face and
  • 52:30 - 52:35
    they speak to me in English this always
  • 52:33 - 52:36
    makes me feel just really awkward
  • 52:35 - 52:38
    because I don't want to be like you know
  • 52:36 - 52:40
    the foreigner on the plane
  • 52:38 - 52:44
    who needs to be spoken to in English and
  • 52:40 - 52:48
    my ex my instinct is to reply to them in
  • 52:44 - 52:49
    their language but at the same time I
  • 52:48 - 52:51
    don't want to make this person feel bad
  • 52:49 - 52:53
    you know feel like maybe their English
  • 52:51 - 52:55
    isn't good enough and I know you know
  • 52:53 - 52:57
    they're only doing their job it's only
  • 52:55 - 52:59
    natural for them to think that you know
  • 52:57 - 53:03
    I would prefer to speak English and so
  • 52:59 - 53:05
    I'm just wondering if you have any sort
  • 53:03 - 53:07
    of protocol for this type of situation
  • 53:05 - 53:09
    okay a good question I think of the very
  • 53:07 - 53:10
    short interactions and you know that
  • 53:09 - 53:12
    it's not going to be a comic become a
  • 53:10 - 53:15
    conversation depending on how confident
  • 53:12 - 53:18
    you feel or how uneasy you feel about
  • 53:15 - 53:21
    the situation you could do one of two
  • 53:18 - 53:22
    things just say okay I'm just going to
  • 53:21 - 53:23
    say something back in English and be
  • 53:22 - 53:27
    done with it
  • 53:23 - 53:29
    or you could say in English and then say
  • 53:27 - 53:32
    something nice like thank you or just a
  • 53:29 - 53:35
    couple of words in that language after
  • 53:32 - 53:36
    the English to show that you have an
  • 53:35 - 53:40
    awareness of their culture in their
  • 53:36 - 53:42
    language and that night spark and a
  • 53:40 - 53:44
    reaction in return that they say oh
  • 53:42 - 53:46
    you've learned some some Japanese or
  • 53:44 - 53:48
    you've learned some Chinese and that's
  • 53:46 - 53:50
    really nice and then you go then you say
  • 53:48 - 53:52
    oh yeah I studied it over Beauvoir and
  • 53:50 - 53:54
    they may it may spark a tiny
  • 53:52 - 53:56
    conversation in those situations it's
  • 53:54 - 53:59
    unlikely to spark a huge dialogue
  • 53:56 - 54:00
    because it's it's a plane ride right and
  • 53:59 - 54:01
    they've got a job to do and they're
  • 54:00 - 54:03
    doing their job to the best of their
  • 54:01 - 54:06
    ability and if they went up to some
  • 54:03 - 54:09
    every every every person on the plane
  • 54:06 - 54:11
    white who was white or or black and just
  • 54:09 - 54:13
    randomly spoke to them in Chinese or
  • 54:11 - 54:15
    Japanese they probably make more enemies
  • 54:13 - 54:19
    than friends
  • 54:15 - 54:21
    do you like what the hell you know and
  • 54:19 - 54:23
    it is the language of the sky English is
  • 54:21 - 54:25
    used in the sky so they're trained to
  • 54:23 - 54:27
    make the announcements in English so
  • 54:25 - 54:28
    there's kind of that mindset going on in
  • 54:27 - 54:34
    that space
  • 54:28 - 54:36
    pick environment but that's what I yeah
  • 54:34 - 54:39
    but that's not I mean it's a natural
  • 54:36 - 54:40
    thing to do right I mean were the only
  • 54:39 - 54:43
    sort of language is where you wouldn't
  • 54:40 - 54:45
    do that as English because anyone can be
  • 54:43 - 54:48
    British anyone can be American
  • 54:45 - 54:50
    it doesn't really depend on your outward
  • 54:48 - 54:54
    appearance because we're all mixed right
  • 54:50 - 54:57
    but but how many white Japanese people
  • 54:54 - 55:00
    do you see you just don't you just don't
  • 54:57 - 55:02
    come across them it's it's not it's not
  • 55:00 - 55:06
    them yeah there we go got one in the
  • 55:02 - 55:10
    back there but you you don't get that
  • 55:06 - 55:11
    many and and so it's it's fair it's fair
  • 55:10 - 55:14
    enough today I mean I get that every day
  • 55:11 - 55:16
    pretty much in the Balkans people look
  • 55:14 - 55:19
    at me and I'm too white to be Balkan I
  • 55:16 - 55:22
    am I mean you know it's like I went
  • 55:19 - 55:23
    round with and I'm sure Danny won't mind
  • 55:22 - 55:25
    me saying this but I went round Skokie
  • 55:23 - 55:28
    with Danny Ferguson and Danny Ferguson
  • 55:25 - 55:30
    as as black as I am white and and we
  • 55:28 - 55:34
    went round and it was like the circus
  • 55:30 - 55:36
    had come to town ha ha ha everyone's
  • 55:34 - 55:40
    heads were turning who are these people
  • 55:36 - 55:42
    and then you know we started speaking in
  • 55:40 - 55:46
    Serbian which freaked them out even more
  • 55:42 - 55:50
    ha ha these policemen went speaking
  • 55:46 - 55:54
    Serbian what's going on the world's gone
  • 55:50 - 55:56
    crazy but it was late time's up returned
  • 55:54 - 56:00
    yeah sorry yeah we have to finish oh
  • 55:56 - 56:02
    sorry ok I can't see where you are okay
  • 56:00 - 56:02
    okay
  • 56:05 - 56:08
    thank you
Title:
Learning languages as a native English speaker - Richard Simcott at the Polyglot Gathering 2015
Description:

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Video Language:
English
Duration:
56:17

English subtitles

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