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How to approach English native speakers?

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How to approach English native speakers?

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I know. When you are speaking with a English native person you don't feel very confident. You think your accent is so bad, your grammar is not perfect, your fluency is everything but good. You feel you are in a inferior position. The person in front of you speaks so quickly that you don't even understand everything he says. And his accent is so perfect! You wish to speak English as well as he does, but you don't and you probably never will. You are frustrated and mortified. You ask him to excuse your English. "Sorry, my English is so terrible...".

This approach, as you might expect, is the worst you can use. However, many people studying English as a second language (including me, many times) act in this way. If you are in this position, I hope this article can be of some help.

You should get used to think about this matter from a different perspective: when you speak in English, you are actually in a position of superiority with respect to your conversation English native speaker partner. It is so because you are able to speak in a language different from your own one. It does not matter you make many mistakes, you are not fluent, your accent is not a proper British one. YOU ARE SPEAKING A FOREIGN LANGUAGE!! Think how much you are good. You are perfectly able to speak your mother tongue and you also manage to cope with a conversation in English. You are great! Don't fall then depressed if you have difficulties in approaching English native speakers. You don't have to. You can speak in more languages than any English does. They usually don't study foreign languages because they are so lucky their own language is the international one. Ask them to speak your language. They simply can't. On the contrary, you are able to speak theirs: did you get now why your position is better than theirs?

Finally, if the English people desire their language to be the internationally used one, they cannot blame other people for speaking with different accents and in different ways. It is simply absurd to think everyone should have the same accent the Queen has. If they want their language to be the most used in the world they can't ask everyone to be able to use it with a proper British accent. That would be unfair. Try to improve your pronounces, because you will get more understandable. But if you are able to understand and to be understood, why should you care about something else? You reached your goal, which is communicate. That's it!

Do you feel better? I hope so...

Written by: Luca Ferrini
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