Learning English With Movies – The downside
I just wanted your ideas about this. Some people have said learning English by watching English movies does have its downsides.
1. Is it true that in reality, Americans don’t speak like those dialogues we hear in American movies? Because in movies they don’t use much fillers like “uhm, uh, like,…..etc” since the actors memorized the scripts, and that the language used tend to be contrived or too flowery or decorated (which seems unnatural unlike in real life) especially in Hollywood movies?
2. Are there any movies (please name them) out there you think really reflect the way Americans ACTUALLY speak?
Learning English from movies has its advantages and disadvantages, firstly it has the advantage of allowing you get to learn how English is spoken, it may not be real, but it does give an indication and will acclimatise you to different speakers. However you may pick up 'incorrect' English that is English containing Slang, contractions for example.
I can't help you apart from the above since I'm English and not American, however you could use YouTube, or try the thread "Site containing real situation dialog in English" or preferably find someone to voice chat with, however if you want only Americans, you better state this at the start.
P.S. Your written English seems fine, perhaps you should try naturally reading out loud what you write.
You are right there but it is better than having no native speakers at your disposal for getting some kind of listening exposure to the language. Most of the time, the kind of language is used in those movies, is not appropriate and you have to use it gingerly when you are communicating in real life. On the other hand, sitcoms are much better than movies. The kind of English is used in such sitcoms is very much closer to what we hear in real life. A lot of dialogues and less fighting scenes. Sitcoms like Friends, Seinfield, and Sex in the city are very helpful for learning English. They contain a lot of dialogues. Also, listening to a variety of podcasts is the besy way to get real life conversations.
In a nutshell, watching hollywood movies is a good way to acclimatize yourself with American accents(but they should not be your only resource for learning the language, they are limited in terms of the language) and you can learn some useful expressions here and there. They are not entirely waste of time though.
For getting real and proper English, you need to read books, newspapers and watch channels like Reality TV and CNN/BBC.
<< Is it true that in reality, Americans don’t speak like those dialogues we hear in American movies? Because in movies they don’t use much fillers like “uhm, uh, like,…..etc” since the actors memorized the scripts, and that the language used tend to be contrived or too flowery or decorated (which seems unnatural unlike in real life) especially in Hollywood movies? >>
I'm sure this is true of any language to some extent. I don't think it's a problem... if you learn English as it is spoken in movies, then learning it as it's spoken in real life should be easy. Language
Most movies do use everyday language without getting too flowery in terms of vocabulary and grammar, but the way of speaking may not really be natural. A good example of this is Clerks (a very vulgar but very funny film)... it's about two ordinary people working at a convenience store and the sort of situations they get themselves into. Most of the vocabulary and grammar is very ordinary English, but the two main characters don't really talk and behave like real, ordinary clerks, because nobody wants to see people who just sit around and grunt for a few hours. ;) But I don't think it really paints a false picture of how English is actually spoken. If you understand English as it's spoken in movies like Clerks, you'll understand it on the streets.
<< Are there any movies (please name them) out there you think really reflect the way Americans ACTUALLY speak? >>
If you include speaking naturally all the way down to saying "uh" and "um" all the time, there aren't very many, because such things usually don't add anything to the dialogue. Your best bet would probably be something like a documentary with interviews... interviews are somewhat unrehearsed, so they tend to reflect English as it's normally spoken.
On TV rather than in movies, there are many more opportunities... game shows, talk shows, and so on have plenty of unrehearsed dialogue.
<<I can't help you apart from the above since I'm English and not American>>
Well, I had also wanted to ask if British people speak the way English is spoken in British comedies such as “My family” or drama such as “Judge John Deed” from BBC Entertainment or movies with British actors like “Chronicles of Narnia”, “Harry Potter series” etc. ( I did not ask this in my first post for reason of simplicity).
Perhaps the RP accent was generally used in those shows/movies rather than the actors’ or actresses’ real regional accent????
''Are there any movies (please name them) out there you think really reflect the way Americans ACTUALLY speak?''
Average Americans speak much faster than the one in movies.
And they accents tend to be ''different'', that is, more uniform:
in Hollywood movies you can see NYC cops with Chicago accent, Californian girls with New England accents, Midwestern people with Californian accent...it's weird...
I think the real bottomline would be to be in such kind of atmosphere where people read, write & speaks english. Its just a matter of 3-4 months and you could get all that required to be an almost perfect speaker of english. This is so because no one can be regular in reading news papers, magazines or watch english movies and if once this link breaks you gotta have start from the scratch. What I am currently doing is reading news paper loudly and watching as much english movies as I can on Star Movies and HBO through weekends. I think its helping me though slowly.