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Native English Speakers Should Dumb Down Their Language

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posted on May, 20 2021 @ 09:38 AM
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More from the land of PC nonsense. Have you ever had a non-native English speaker misunderstand something you said? Well that's your fault.

www.bbc.com...


It was just one word in one email, but it triggered huge financial losses for a multinational company.

The message, written in English, was sent by a native speaker to a colleague for whom English was a second language. Unsure of the word, the recipient found two contradictory meanings in his dictionary. He acted on the wrong one.

Months later, senior management investigated why the project had flopped, costing hundreds of thousands of dollars. “It all traced back to this one word,”

When such misunderstandings happen, it’s usually the native speakers who are to blame.



Before i continue, just take that basic premise in. An employee got a message from a coworker about something that was clearly fairly crucial, the person is confused about an ambiguous word, doesn't ask for clarification, doesn't double check with anyone, makes a huge mistake costing hundreds of thousands of dollars, but it's the person who sent the message's fault.



The non-native speakers, it turns out, speak more purposefully and carefully, typical of someone speaking a second or third language. Anglophones, on the other hand, often talk too fast for others to follow, and use jokes, slang and references specific to their own culture,


I live in a place with an decently high level of non-native English speakers I spent 6 years of my life working alongside a bunch of Chinese people, some Vietnamese people an Iranian guy, they all spoke broken English, they spoke fast, used slang and references to their culture and pretty much all those things only us native English speakers apparently do.


Non-native speakers generally use more limited vocabulary and simpler expressions, without flowery language or slang. Because of that, they understand one another at face value. 


Again, more bull#. Not only did some of the Chinese people i worked have trouble communicating in English with eachother, they couldn't speak Chinese together because they spoke different dialects and could barely communicate with eachother. I'd end up translating their broken English to eachother for them.


Too many non-Anglophones, especially the Asians and the French, are too concerned about not ‘losing face’ — and nod approvingly while not getting the message at all,” he says.

That’s why Nerriere devised Globish — a distilled form of English, stripped down to 1,500 words and simple but standard grammar. “It’s not a language, it’s a tool,” he says. Since launching Globish in 2004 he’s sold more than 200,000 Globish text books in 18 languages.

“If you can communicate efficiently with limited, simple language you save time, avoid misinterpretation and you don’t have errors in communication,” Nerriere says.



Yes rather than the simple age old tradition of asking someone if they could repeat something or clarify what they meant, the solution is to use a dumbed down version of English called newspeak Globish, that native English speakers should learn so nobody else has to put effort into understanding them.

Maybe I'm overreacting and putting too much thought into this, but i just see this as one of the more subtle attempts at attacking the English language and continuing to push the idea that a single 'word' can be responsible for huge problems and of course everything could just be avoided with we learned to avoid these dangerous words and spoke simply.



posted on May, 20 2021 @ 09:48 AM
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a reply to: dug88

It is nonsense and more to the point is looks terrible for any company to conduct actions that could have big amounts of money attached to them solely by email.

Im a non-native English speaker and I’m always cognizant of the fact that my accent and understanding at points can be a hinderance. For big important items I always like to do either face to face, zoom, phone call and then FOLLOW with an email to make sure everyone is on the same page.


edit on 20-5-2021 by Bunch because: (no reason given)

edit on 20-5-2021 by Bunch because: (no reason given)



posted on May, 20 2021 @ 09:48 AM
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a reply to: dug88

I work for a very large global corporation and I purposefully don't use extraneous or overly verbose phraseology when I communicate with my overseas counterparts so they are better able to comprehend and process the underlying message without misinterpretation.

Did that seem ponderous? Yeah? Because it was.



posted on May, 20 2021 @ 09:54 AM
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a reply to: dug88

Why someone couldn't understand is beyond me. English is such a clear language to understand.

Just listen to Stanley.




posted on May, 20 2021 @ 09:57 AM
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If we could all understand eachother better all over the world I think that would be great! I don't see it as an attack on any language. A guide for a more universal language so we can all communicate effectively would be cool



posted on May, 20 2021 @ 09:59 AM
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a reply to: dug88

They should suck it up like I have to do when I call customer service for [insert any big company] and get someone overseas on the other end, or like last time, a hood speaking female who told me to hold on a second. I heard a kid crying in the background and heard the woman breathing heavily, then a door squeaked as it shut (I'd assume), and she grunted as she sat down. Barely understandable. Maybe Jennifer Jenkins or some of the other people in the article should try that sometime. This may sound unfathomable and insane, but like all normal people, when I have an issue, I'd rather speak to someone I can understand - and who can understand me - while searching for a solution.



posted on May, 20 2021 @ 09:59 AM
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When such misunderstandings happen, it’s usually the native speakers who are to blame. Ironically, they are worse at delivering their message than people who speak English as a second or third language, according to Chong.


Chia Suan Chong is a UK-based communications skills and intercultural trainer.

I'd wager a billion dollars that if it had been a Chinese person delivering the message, and a British or American co-worker misinterpreted the message, the fault would be placed squarely on the Brit or American for the misinterpretation. Chong would have said the Chinese person was clear, concise, and unmistakeable, but the ignorant westerner made an error.



posted on May, 20 2021 @ 10:02 AM
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originally posted by: Alicat12
If we could all understand eachother better all over the world I think that would be great! I don't see it as an attack on any language. A guide for a more universal language so we can all communicate effectively would be cool


We speak different languages for a reason. It's probably best we don't try to change that.

Just my opinion.



posted on May, 20 2021 @ 10:05 AM
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a reply to: alldaylong

Is that Ozzy's uncle?



posted on May, 20 2021 @ 10:06 AM
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originally posted by: ColeYounger
a reply to: alldaylong

Is that Ozzy's uncle?


LOL.

I think he is actually a speech therapist.




posted on May, 20 2021 @ 10:09 AM
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originally posted by: ColeYounger



When such misunderstandings happen, it’s usually the native speakers who are to blame. Ironically, they are worse at delivering their message than people who speak English as a second or third language, according to Chong.


Chia Suan Chong is a UK-based communications skills and intercultural trainer.

I'd wager a billion dollars that if it had been a Chinese person delivering the message, and a British or American co-worker misinterpreted the message, the fault would be placed squarely on the Brit or American for the misinterpretation. Chong would have said the Chinese person was clear, concise, and unmistakeable, but the ignorant westerner made an error.


Exactly right. F# em.

I have a German friend I talk to via email all the time and he studied English during High School several years back but can still communicate with me. I also have a Chinese contact for business and I can understand what she's trying to say and vice versa. Ol dude messed up and needed someone to blame so he used the race that gets blamed for everything.



posted on May, 20 2021 @ 10:12 AM
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a reply to: dug88

In my world when we get any instructions we need to repeat back what we are going to do so we ensure everyone is on the same page. It's called being an HRO (High reliability organization). A misunderstanding in my job leads to death. Part of being an HRO is actually a reluctance to simplify, which means knowing things are complex and rather than simplifying them which is impossible, it's about safeguards put into place with the expectation complex things can and will go wrong.

The premise of this article actually goes against real world research and the proper way to conduct business.



posted on May, 20 2021 @ 10:14 AM
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This is ridiculous.

Ban books because of 'wrong" words.

Ban people for what they say.

Now, let's change an entire language.

At this rate, in a few generations, we'll be back to pointing and grunting.



posted on May, 20 2021 @ 10:15 AM
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a reply to: dug88

To address the actual topic of the thread: it is equally incumbent on the speaker AND listener to ensure adequate understanding prior to action. That is essential logic.

To address the topic you are trying to insinuate into the thread: when speaking with other native speakers, i use whatever vernacular arises naturally. The one exception is a friend who is Jamaican, and whose "native english" is barely recognizable as english to begin with. With him, i resort to the first point: its up to both of us to ensure we understand each other.



posted on May, 20 2021 @ 10:15 AM
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originally posted by: OccamsRazor04
a reply to: dug88

In my world when we get any instructions we need to repeat back what we are going to do so we ensure everyone is on the same page. It's called being an HRO (High reliability organization). A misunderstanding in my job leads to death. Part of being an HRO is actually a reluctance to simplify, which means knowing things are complex and rather than simplifying them which is impossible, it's about safeguards put into place with the expectation complex things can and will go wrong.

The premise of this article actually goes against real world research and the proper way to conduct business.


Miscommunication in my field doesn't lead to death, but could lead to the loss of hundreds of thousands of dollars. Even when we communicate on the phone, we use emails so we always have that "paper trail" which has saved/covered my ass more times than I can count. I can always pull an email chain up to clear myself.



posted on May, 20 2021 @ 10:16 AM
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The problem always hinges on which English Accent you use when talking 😃

There's hundreds 😃



posted on May, 20 2021 @ 10:17 AM
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who didn't reveal the tricky word because it is highly industry-specific and possibly identifiable


One would think that since this is an industry specific word that the folks working in that industry would be familiar with it, or at the very least understand the fact you may need to ask for further clarification. I get choosing unambiguous words when working with those who speak English as a second language, but it sounds like this was a specific edge case where there is probably not another word available. I lay the blame for this on the person not asking for clarification, and I can give an example even between two English speakers here. I was working with a banking system the other day and discussing database transaction logging, they took transaction to mean banking transaction but did ask for clarification if that was what I meant. Simple misunderstanding just based on the two different meanings based on context, so this isn't an issue with English speakers, it's an issue with someone not asking for clarification and going to a dictionary to look up a word.



posted on May, 20 2021 @ 10:18 AM
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Because god forbid anyone ASK for clarification, before acting on something?

People are stupid, no matter their language.

edit on 20-5-2021 by chiefsmom because: spelling



posted on May, 20 2021 @ 10:19 AM
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a reply to: dug88

Wow.

They can twist anything around.

I'm pretty sure ALL cultures use slang and jokes specific to them.

Ever hear a slow talking Italian?

Me either...



posted on May, 20 2021 @ 10:23 AM
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a reply to: dug88

Why would a person put the responsibility of understanding a statement in English on someone that English is a second language to? That’s a recipe for disaster no matter how you look at it.

As the one who natively speaks the language it should be on you to make sure it’s understood.


Maybe I'm overreacting and putting too much thought into this


Definitely. The things you guys whip yourselves into an angry frenzy over are comical at this point.




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