Understanding spoken English like a native speaker: Do you think it's possible?

Leonardo96 4420 10 98
This question and discussion is aimed towards the advanced learners here,I would like some of you guys' input on this and I apologize in advance If this turns out to be too long in case you're not that much of a reader and i'm using English here because i'm actually more comfortable and able to come up with better words for the subject at hand this way. I've been focusing on my listening skills a lot lately and i've come to the realization that listening is a very hard skill to master when It comes to a foreign language. Anybody who is hoping to ever achieve native speaker level of listening comprehension in English is in for long ride, that's for sure. There's a lot of factors that make understaning spoken English to the maximum difficult but I'll try to narrow It down into the two main ones:

Combination of words you're not used to.
It can be two words you first came in contact with years ago and you've known what they mean forever, but If they usually don't go together in a sentence right after one another then it becomes pretty much impossible for yours ears to recognize that sound pattern right away, especially if it's spoken fast (and make no mistake about It, most English native speakers don't care for speaking slowly.)

Weak/non-emphasized words.

I would say this is probably the hardest one. Do you know those little words like prepositions, pronouns, modal verbs and such which are the most commonly used words in all languages? You would think they are easy for your ears because they come up in conversations all the time and getting used to their sounds would be a piece of cake, right? Well, think again. They are actually the ones who for the most part will give you the hardest time when It comes to understaning spoken English. This is because native speakers tend to put emphasis on nouns and longer words and the type of words I mentioned gain very little stress when being spoken and go pretty much unnoticed. Add to It the fact that most people speak fairly quickly like I said, and it'll be HELL for your ears to catch those weak little words with ease (not all the time, It's mostly when people speak fast and unclearly, but unfortunately a lot of native speakers mumble their words and as fast as they can, so...)

So, do you think It's at all possible to achieve that level of mastery regarding listening comprehension? Have you met a non-native speaker who's been able to, or perhaps you've done it yourself? If so share your approach to it and how long It took you, we'd be happy to read It.
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3 respostas
Ordenar por: Votos

Redseahorse 13415 2 20 275
Para tentar responde-lo e de alguma maneira ajuda-lo, eu enrevesaria um pouco a vertente. Até hoje, ainda não conheci nenhum estrangeiro que não tendo tido contato com a língua portuguesa como um nativo, ou seja desde criança, a compreenda sem restrições, a fale sem sotaques, ou que a escreva como um jornalista nativo qualificado e com formação de excelência.

Isto compreenderia qualquer língua que não seja a sua nativa.

A linguagem é dinâmica e possui variáveis, que algumas vezes torna a compreensão intricada até para um nativo, tais como expressões, gírias, sotaques regionais e até mesmo os possíveis problemas de dicção do falante e, destarte, carecem de consideração no processo da esperada "compreensão irrestrita'.

Curiosamente, num trecho da sua pergunta, você refere que preferiu escreva-la em Inglês porque se sente mais confortável e por ter um vocabulário mais refinado desta maneira, restando subentendido que você possui um conhecimento melhor, ao menos na linguagem escrita, do Inglês do que Português, supostamente sua língua nativa. Isto parece ser um padrão observado em pessoas, cujo contato mais frequente com línguas não nativas é a escrita e, de certa maneira corrobora com essa dificuldade de compreensão oral.

Tendo dito isto, demonstro algumas considerações personalíssimas...

- Não acredito em 'compreensão irrestrita' de uma língua, pra mim isto é uma quimera;
- Não concordo que para que você seja tido como fluente numa segunda língua, você tenha que entender e falar com um nativo com excelente formação acadêmica e cultural. Você precisa sim, é ter repertório léxico/gramatical e ser capaz de fluir conversas formais ou informais, se comunicar, entender e se fazer entender;
- Desconheço qualquer outra maneira de melhorar a compreensão da linguagem falada, que não seja a de ter contato diurno e diuturno com a língua falada;
- Considero que, manter o sotaque estrangeiro enquanto se fala uma segunda língua, além de ser bonito, é referencial, é cultural e identifica o eruditismo do individuo. Mantenha-o, por misericórdia!

PPAULO 55930 6 43 1003
So, do you think It's at all possible to achieve that level of mastery regarding listening comprehension? Have you met a non-native speaker who's been able to, or perhaps you've done it yourself? If so share your approach to it and how long It took you, we'd be happy to read It.
It´s an interesting question indeed.
Well, I don´t regard myself good at any skill at all (like a duck, don´t run graciously and swim awkwardly), but answering that question seems like doable to me.
Well, plenty of Brazilians go abroad and they communicate, the people in the industry tourism, guides and all that jazz.
I met Brazilians speaking to natives at shoppings, beaches and other places in several northeastern capitals, so they can get by (a good percentage of the conversation I would understand).
I can get by, and at least once a guy rushed to me searching for some kind of tourism information and general things about the city. Since he had tried to communicate and was met by blank looks and baffled stares!
Sometimes the communication wouldn´t go well, as you said, there´s the case of rhythm of the speaking. So I would change the tack, would ask to repeat or I myself would try to repeat what he meant, we would change the choice of words, use gestures and all that.
In real life you can´t afford the luxury of stopping the flow, so you change tacks, you make yourself understood in another way. You redo your sentences, your choice of words, the show must go on!
You know what? They are very understanding (at least the guy in need, ha ha)!

PPAULO 55930 6 43 1003
I had professors that had a good grasp of Portuguese, my brother had a teacher that didn´t (one had to learn Spanish - in the middle of the university course - to communicate).
Many Brazilians have this perfectionism towards (mainly) the English language, curiously we don´t such perfectionism with Portuguese itself. :-)
Chill out, guys, never let perfect be the enemy of the good (enough)!
I am not saying that one doesn´t have to do their best, but let´s not compare our best with the best of natives or someone else. We are learning, aren´t we? So this is some important already. One step at a time!

On the other hand I can see what you mean. You are having a first-hand experience of "English is easy but not effortless!", every day we struggle with something new, just when we thought we had learned a lot!
You will get there, be patient and not so hard on yourself.