|17 messages over 3 pages: 1 2 3 |
Joined 3088 days ago
747 posts - 1122 votes
Speaks: Cantonese*, English, Mandarin
Message 17 of 172017 24 January at 6:34am | IP Logged
1 of the challenge of learning a language is that you need to be around native speakers to get your fluency up. There are a number of expat Chinese, Japanese & Koreans in the US & Canada. Many speak their native language at home with relatives. Even with constant exposure to the language, there are words & phrases that are used in their native language they don't get exposed to. In this part of the world, practically everybody speak English when they're not using their native language. And when it comes to technical terms, people tend to substitute with the English equivalent instead of their native language.
There are people who moved to the East and became very fluent including Jerome White the Afro-American who became a Japanese Enka singer Jero, Gregory Rivers (河國榮) from Australia who worked as an actor for TVB in Hong Kong and Mark Rowswell from Canada who became the Chinese actor Daishan (大山).
The last person I came across is from Ghana in W. Africa and studied in China for a few years. He has a YouTube channel with the name "Wode Maya". Half of the time he would be speaking Chinese with English translations on the screen and the other half of the time he would speak English to introduce China to his audience. In 1 of his videos, he was talking to a group of Chinese in public claiming he was from N-E (Dongbei 東北) part of China. People speak with different accents in different parts of China so did he pass the test as a native speaker from the N-E? Mr. Ghana does not claim to be a native speaker. The way he learn to speak is mostly by talking to everybody he came across when going out shopping, the people at the places he rented including the landlord while living in China.
All 3 languages (Chinese, Japanese, Korean) use certain amount of Chinese characters. Korean you can probably write entirely with an alphabet while the Japanese prefer a mixture of both alphabetic & Chinese characters. There are people who learned to speak Chinese phonetically using Pinyin without acquiring many characters. The test of your fluency is mainly in a social setting. Some people can write and translate very well but cannot communicate and be understood.
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