How many of you are native speakers?

xprain   Wed May 30, 2007 12:41 pm GMT
Just out of curiosity, I happend to think of it.

I come to this website to ask some questions or learn from others questions.

If you are a native speaker what made you come to this website?
Because my Irish friends who speak English as their first language don't really care about grammar or foreigners struggling to learn Englsh.

It may be a personal question but if it doesn't bother you much please let me know. Oh if you are not a native speaker would you be able to tell me where you are from or how long and how you studied English?

Is there any bilingual speaker, too?
James   Wed May 30, 2007 2:36 pm GMT
I am a native speaker of American English. I came across the antimoon website inadvertently a few years back, and was impressed with the antimoon method. I started reading both forums.

Even though I’m obviously interested in learning languages other than English, I’ve found some excellent advice on both forums. Granted, one has to wade through all the trolls, bigots, and other nonsense, but if you’re patient, you can find something useful. It used to be better when people like Steve K, Easterner, Boy, Mxsmanic, and Tom were regular contributors, but there are still some good threads: Check out Sonh’s May 16 entry in “what are the practical steps to speak english fluently,” or Guest’s entries in “Studied English for 8 years, will Antimoon method still work,” also on May 16.

And I can be of occasional use in answering an English learner’s questions.
furrykef   Thu May 31, 2007 1:03 am GMT
I'm a native American English speaker as well, and I'm here because I found that much of the Antimoon website applies as much to English speakers learning foreign languages as it does to foreign speakers learning English. Indeed, if the Antimoon website makes any sort of mistake, I think it's that it doesn't make that clear enough.

- Kef
Uriel   Thu May 31, 2007 2:40 am GMT
I'm a native speaker and I googled something on accents in a moment of idleness (wait -- actually ALL my moments on the internet are technically ones of idleness!). I stick around because there are some fun people here who give you little glimpses of their personalities and environments -- like Damian -- because there are people I know from other sites (ya'll know who you are!), and because, honestly, the fighting's kind of fun!

To be honest I have only a passing interest in linguistics and never learned my parts of grammar, so when people start going off on present pluperfect or scribbling in weird code, my eyes glaze over and I move on. But answering beginners' questions is kind of fun, so I try to help out when I can. (And not take the rest of it so seriously!)
James   Thu May 31, 2007 4:52 pm GMT
Uriel and furrykef,

Glad to see you're still around. As I wrote above, many of the more literate writers have left. And furrykef is right--Antimoon should stress that they are as much for English speakers studying foreign languages as for English learners.

Two questions, for you and any other native English speakers:

What other languages do you speak or have studied? I find that the monolingual American stereotype is not quite accurate nowadays.

Uriel mentioned other sites (maybe that's where Sander et al have gone). What other sites similar to Antimoon do you recommend?
furrykef   Thu May 31, 2007 6:50 pm GMT
I currently have some facility with written Spanish, though I need the aid of a (preferably bilingual) dictionary. I have two pen pals with whom I can converse entirely in Spanish about meaningful subjects, and we can easily make ourselves understood, but I do find reading and especially writing Spanish mentally exhausting. I'm also extremely unskilled in the spoken language, but I could probably carry on a conversation if it's at a very slow pace. I'd say that in the written language, I'm an intermediate, and in the spoken language, I'm more or less right at the beginning, which is fine with me, because my main goal is to use the written language anyway.

I'm also studying Japanese, but, due to the path I have chosen to take (learning how to write and recognize all the kanji before learning vocabulary and grammar), it will be quite some time before I get beyond the Japanese equivalent of "See Spot run". In fact, I don't even know how to say "See Spot run". :)

- Kef
James   Thu May 31, 2007 7:50 pm GMT
I'm similar to Kef's level in Spanish and French, and slightly behind in Hebrew. I know some Chinese and Japanese from classes way back. (I've also thought about going back and concentrating on characters first.) And I have a little self-taught German and Yiddish.

I know MANY native-born Americans and Brits who are fluent in one or more foreign languages. And not from a bilingual home. And not just Spanish or French, but Hebrew, Mandarin, Italian, German, Japanese, Korean, Indonesian, etc.

The most impressive was a friend's grandfather who knew 52(!) languages. (Among other things--including teaching several languages--he deciphered Chinese and Japanese secret messages during World War II.) He was the real deal, but despite urging from his family and friends, he shunned publicity, so very few folks knew of his skills.
Guest   Thu May 31, 2007 8:09 pm GMT
Why dont Brit males try to learn Arabic? Girls from Arab countries will attack them like honey bees. Haha!

The most impressive speaker of Arabic that I had heard was from Britian. He was around 28 years old. He sounded so mellifluous on my ears. I can not describe my feelings. His slight British accent made the whole language a worth to listen to.
Damian in Edinburgh   Thu May 31, 2007 9:11 pm GMT
I'm a native and a speaker - Scottish English in both cases. Scotland is my homeground so I talk in the typical accent of English of the Edinburgh/Lothian area in the south easternmost part of my country. It's quite clear and soft and easy to understand if you are not familiar with Scottish accents - one or two of these can be a wee bit harsh, such as parts of Glasgow.

This part of Scotland was the first to see the incursion of the English Language from England as the Scottish Borders Region is tacked onto the border with England as the name implies. It's a very, very pretty run down through the Borders to either Coldstream or to Carter Bar, two places right on the border crossings into England. Before the "English invasion" Scots was the local lingo, and to this day a modified form of colloquial Scots (called Lallans...of the Lowlands) is quite widely spoken by us natives and I can lapse into this when I feel like it and especially when I meet up with an English guy I dinnae care for too much or when I'm feeling homesick when awa' fae hame or when I've had one pint too many.

Arabic - I wonder what that would sound like with a Scottish accent? Arabic itself sounds totally incomprehensible to me - but it would do wouldn't it considering my knowledge of it is zilch.. Will we all have to learn Arabic in due course? What with compulsory Polish as well we're going to have our work cut out will we no? :-) I'm beginning to recognise some words of Polish already from the signs in the supermarkets. They say the best way to learn a Language is to mingle with the native speakers but our experience here with the Poles is that they all seem to insist on speaking in English, and how well they speak it, too. Maybe they think we don't stand a cat in hell's chance of even pronouncing the basic words of Polish with all those Zs and Cs and strings of consonants.

Uriel - you're so sweet. Here's a sprig of Highland heather.........
Shatnerian   Fri Jun 01, 2007 1:00 am GMT
I am a native English speaker, but I can understand quite a bit of Swedish, Norwegian, and German.
Uriel   Fri Jun 01, 2007 6:08 am GMT
I was bilingual in German and English as a small child (born there to American parents), but lost the German when I moved to the US. I took three years of Spanish in school, one year of French, and a semester of Chinese (but that class was way too early for me -- I'm not a morning person!). I liked them all, but never kept up with them, and I'm still functionally monolingual.

My mom still remembers her German, though, from the 10 years she lived there. My dad's from Massachusetts, so his first language was Portuguese (and it was pretty much his only language, until he hit the public school system), but he has been away so long that he has now forgotten much of it as well.

Of course, around here (New Mexico) there are tons of bilingual Spanish and English speakers. Wish I had paid more attention in class!

Love the heather, Damian. :)
Damian to Uriel   Fri Jun 01, 2007 10:17 am GMT
Ceud Mile Failte!

A hundred thousand welcomes from Scotland!

Here you go - just for you!
Travis   Fri Jun 01, 2007 3:17 pm GMT
I am for all practical purposes monolingual in North American English (I have tried to learn Japanese and German, but my Japanese is extremely rusty and my German requires the use of a dictionary to say anything non-trivial in it even though I can often get the gist of written German without needing to resort all too often to a dictionary). I have been mistaken for a non-native English-speaker at times, though, primarily due to my particular dialect and my generally having a rather progressive and non-standard phonology on top of that. Of course then, I really couldn't give the least bit of concern as to how standard my speech is, as I haven't had many problems communicating with people in it in Real Life (aside from the occasional person not from this area mistaking my /l/ for /w/, being confused by final devoicing of /d/, or being confused by some of my usual elisions), and such is basically how people speak here to begin with (even if I am a bit more progressive than many).

On another note, I found Antimoon when searching on the web for some linguistics topic that I have since forgotten. As much as I dislike the trolls and other obnoxious personalities which are endemic here, this site isn't nearly as *slow* as some linguistics forums that I have encountered, which is largely why I stick around here, and while there are the trolls and obnoxious people here there are also other people with a serious interest in linguistic topics (especially English-language linguistics).
Skippy   Sat Jun 02, 2007 4:20 pm GMT
I'm a native speaker of Southern American English (the Urban Texas variant with a minimal Southern Californian twist).

I came to this website because I was searching for linguistic discussions because I'm always coming up with random questions that I'm too lazy to search around for on Google.
Uriel   Sat Jun 02, 2007 6:35 pm GMT
Wow, Damian -- how gorgeous was that!

James, you'll see familiar names at Langcafe (version 4.0, or whatever it is that we're up to now!) There's a linguistics area and a general BS area. It's not as good for teaching languages as this site -- it's more for conversational practice and tidbits, and it's pretty laidback.