I’ve noticed recently that posters are using “is English your second language?” as a way of putting down someone’s response. It would be nice to think that it was a compliment (mastering another language is quite a feat although fairly standard outside the USA) but I doubt that it is.
It has coincided with “this is an American site” if someone dares to post something that is disagreed with and has revealed themselves as not being American.
There has always been an element of parochialism about the DL - it’s often rather amusing - but why the surge in chest-beating now?
And just to get in first - English is my first language although I’ve been asked if it’s not a couple of times in the past week, hence this post. I also have a degree in English literature so I’m pretty comfortable in my English language skills.
Oh, and my second language is Bahasa Indonesia but I’m pretty rusty.
|by Anonymous||reply 73||May 26, 2023 3:44 AM
I’m definitely not pretty (great truncation in my OP!).
|by Anonymous||reply 2||May 23, 2023 12:19 AM
Oh, brother. Making a mountain out of a molehill. I asked that ass licker of Greek Fake Royals, as a PUT DOWN, yes, because he's being such an annoying twat. So it was amusing and petty for me to point out his careless grammar mistake.
|by Anonymous||reply 4||May 23, 2023 12:27 AM
Spare us your sanctimonious, PC drivel. No one here cares.
|by Anonymous||reply 5||May 23, 2023 12:34 AM
Not necessarily parochial—let’s call it default mode (and it is not unreasonable to assume that U.S. posters are a huge majority of The DL.
|by Anonymous||reply 6||May 23, 2023 12:45 AM
Always bizarre to me when someone puts down a non native speaker’s English language skills. How many of the people that do that have a basic understanding of any language other than English? I’ve been (slowly) learning some Spanish the last couple of years and it’s a lot of work to get to any basic understanding of a second language, so I’m very impressed by non English or American people that have even broken English.
|by Anonymous||reply 7||May 23, 2023 12:50 AM
What r5 said. Fuck off OP.
|by Anonymous||reply 8||May 23, 2023 12:53 AM
There's a (relatively small) subset of DL posters that meltdown every time they see my username because it has 'European' in it, and I had no idea that was going to happen when I picked the name, but I find it so much fun I make sure to authenticate on almost every post now.
|by Anonymous||reply 9||May 23, 2023 12:55 AM
OMG how satire and snark blind are some of you? "ESL?" is yes almost always a put down of someone for being a troll. It's not really about them having imperfect English. It's not going around in real life making fun of non-native speakers' language accuracy. It's reading a troll.
Perhaps stick to your sheltered workshop for autists and leave DL if you can't manage the nuance.
|by Anonymous||reply 10||May 23, 2023 12:56 AM
I’ve been volunteer-teaching ESL for about six months, and it’s showing me just how complicated and self-contradictory English can be.
|by Anonymous||reply 11||May 23, 2023 12:59 AM
Tell us you're a little bitch without telling us you're a little bitch OP.
Thank you for holding a town hall meeting and bringing it to all of our attention.
|by Anonymous||reply 12||May 23, 2023 1:01 AM
R11 Yeah I taught ESL for a few years too, English is genuinely a lot harder than many of its near neighbour languages.
The worst thing to teach is phrasal verbs. Think about the different meanings of 'to put off', 'to put up', 'to put out', 'to put through', and 'to put down' and then imagine how you'd go about teaching that to students.
|by Anonymous||reply 13||May 23, 2023 1:02 AM
^ I don’t have to imagine how to go about how to teach such things…I readily learned them, in school! I lived it …
|by Anonymous||reply 14||May 23, 2023 1:05 AM
Phrasal verbs are not difficult at all. It's just vocabulary. Vocabulary is something learners pay attention and time to learn, or not. Yes there are thousands of such vocabulary challenges in English. Verbs+prepositions, nouns+prepositions, adjectives+prepositions. Also the huge range that is infinitive vs gerund. But that's all vocabulary and not challenging conceptually, at all. Aspect is notoriously difficult.
|by Anonymous||reply 15||May 23, 2023 1:06 AM
R14 learning something isn't the same as learning how to teach it...
|by Anonymous||reply 16||May 23, 2023 1:07 AM
Don’t stop by the Gays and Tennis threads. We’ve had a poster for years who called himself ESL before he was banned several years ago for racism and xenophobia. He has a distinctive writing style, and we still refer to him as ESL even if he no longer posts/signs as such. His posts are easy to recognize because of the writing style. He’s from Poland and posts pro-Putin, pro-Trump, and anti-Western posts on innocuous tennis threads. I don’t want to see what he posts on non-tennis threads.
|by Anonymous||reply 17||May 23, 2023 1:07 AM
Oh you Language teachers know this .Just relate everything to sex and the students will understand right away. Language learning is the raciest profession out there. A good Language school gives out free condoms.
|by Anonymous||reply 18||May 23, 2023 1:08 AM
You're a stupid cunt, that's the reason really.
|by Anonymous||reply 19||May 23, 2023 1:09 AM
R15 drawing timelines on the board is a good way to teach aspect/temporal categories.
With phrasal verbs, I'd suggest a good ESL teacher wouldn't just say to students 'well you just have to learn these', it might make sense to devise some kind of game or exercise to help them learn!
|by Anonymous||reply 20||May 23, 2023 1:12 AM
English is one of the easiest languages to learn, but probably one of the most difficult to master given its inconsistent spellings/pronunciations, rules/exceptions to the rules, etc. Therefore it’s pretty obvious when a person doesn’t have a complete grasp of English although it’s easy to decipher what the person is intending to say.
|by Anonymous||reply 21||May 23, 2023 1:21 AM
R21 Do you really think it is much easier for a foreigner to pass for a native-speaking Chinese?
|by Anonymous||reply 22||May 23, 2023 1:32 AM
I'll take this opportunity to point out that people should avoid referring to a "third," "fourth," or "fifth language" they may have acquired in the context of "second languages." It's a misunderstanding of the concept of "second language." Any language you learn other than your first language is A second language. ESL = English As A Second Language, even though students in such a class may already speak multiple other languages.
|by Anonymous||reply 23||May 23, 2023 1:35 AM
Being called ESL is still better than being called EST.
|by Anonymous||reply 24||May 23, 2023 1:38 AM
OP, illiteracy and poor English skills are not the domain of non-native speakers alone.
For example, despite your claimed degree and "EFL" status, you use "comfortable in my English skills."
and meriting an "Oh, dear" for your presumption.
|by Anonymous||reply 25||May 23, 2023 1:46 AM
R22 - Now you’re differentiating between written and spoken language. This thread was started because of DL message posts - written language. Accents and tonal languages fall under a different genre of discussion.
I’ve known many nonnative English speakers who have mastered English grammar, syntax, vocabulary, idioms, etc. PERFECTLY but still speak with a pronounced accent. However, were they to post here you would have no clue that they weren’t native English speakers because their writing would be flawless.
|by Anonymous||reply 26||May 23, 2023 2:09 AM
With all the bots and trolls, the question must be asked.
|by Anonymous||reply 27||May 23, 2023 2:11 AM
There is no flawless writing here on the DL
|by Anonymous||reply 28||May 23, 2023 2:11 AM
I make it that the senior Barr was a poor judge of character. Like father, like son.
No big conspiracy there …
|by Anonymous||reply 29||May 23, 2023 2:15 AM
What’s wrong with “comfortable in my English skills”? Dead giveaway of what, R25?
|by Anonymous||reply 30||May 23, 2023 2:58 AM
R39 I think they mean it should be ‘comfortable with’, not trying to neg you idc but that’s what I think they meant.
|by Anonymous||reply 31||May 23, 2023 3:30 AM
For someone who claims to have a degree in English Lit, OP certainly doesn't seem to grasp basic literature concepts like satire, irony, context, or subtext. Your interpretation of “is English your second language?” as a way of putting down someone’s response reflects such a literal and cursory understanding of the question that I question that your post is not itself some sort of satire.
If it's genuine, we condole you for your poor choice of university which gave you a degree in a subject without providing an education in said subject. If it's satire, you may want to review your course notes on Gulliver's Travels, A Modest Proposal, Catch-22, Candide, or The Importance of Being Earnest to gain a better mastery of the form.
|by Anonymous||reply 33||May 23, 2023 3:46 AM
For some reason this site is Brit-heavy. Maybe they're just envious that their own ancestors didn't emigrate and become U.S. Americans like us.
And you know how the British hate foreigners; they destroyed their own country over it.
|by Anonymous||reply 34||May 23, 2023 3:59 AM
Saya juga bisa bahasa indonesia. Anda mengapa bisa bahasa indonesian? Pernah tinggal di sana? Atau suka laki laki indonesia saja?
|by Anonymous||reply 35||May 23, 2023 4:08 AM
Of course Americans assume that if someone speaks English and isn’t American then they must be British.
The majority of the replies here pretty much confirmed what I said regarding chest-beating and parochialism - congrats on meeting my expectations, guys!
Of course I knew that you would come after me re my saying that English was my first language, that I have a degree in English and speak rusty Bahasa, although well done with discovering Google Translate, R35.
All that I was doing was making my own observation in my post - I should have predicted that it would touch a nerve for many of you. Your problem (you’ll never change) not mine.
|by Anonymous||reply 36||May 23, 2023 4:15 AM
R34 this site HAS become Brit heavy, it didn't used to be. I don't know what happened but now it's infested with butter toothed British frauen. They use single quotes around phrases, and say things like bloody, arse, and tell gross disgusting stories about childbirth and their periods.
They can go die in a grease fire.
|by Anonymous||reply 37||May 23, 2023 5:30 AM
R37 I don't think that's true. I'm a Brit (gay, male, 42 but look 24) and we can spot a fellow Brit a mile off. There are a few who pretend to be British for some reason but they always get it wrong. They'll use words or phrases they heard in an episode of Downton Abbey and think it'd be perfectly acceptable for a modern Brit to use those words in everyday conversation.
|by Anonymous||reply 38||May 23, 2023 6:10 AM
I made peace with the fact that I'll probably never pass as a native speaker, OP. My theory is that how condescending people are in this regard is inversely proportional to the number of languages they speak themselves. I am always surprised when even educated Americans or Brits proclaim they don't speak any second language. I get it, English is a world language so you get along fine with just the one but you're still missing out. Languages are fun, interesting, they teach you a whole new way of thinking about the most basic concepts like how we frame possibility, the past or our future. They teach you history, in many cases our joint history, already by their etymology. Becoming fluent is hard (at least for me), but nevertheless, the process is rewarding, especially when you get past the point of translating in your head and just read a foreign text or hear a joke and understand.
tl;dr: Pay the haters no mind, OP. Will I make mistakes as a non-native speaker? Yes I will, constantly. No shit, Sherlock. This said, snarky comments on the DL are pretty soft in this regard.
|by Anonymous||reply 39||May 23, 2023 6:12 AM
Are you threatened by these mythical English frauens’ use of quotation marks because they differ from yours, R37?
You do realise that, in particular, English spelling and grammar are often applied differently in other countries to what is in use in the USA?
Neither better nor worse, just different. Besides, what sort of lunatic would get bent out of shape by a couple of quotation marks?
Besides you, I mean.
|by Anonymous||reply 40||May 23, 2023 6:27 AM
R40 if you took that as being offended by the use of single quotes, you're painfully stupid.
|by Anonymous||reply 42||May 23, 2023 6:34 AM
R36 Dude, what the fuck? That was literally my first post in the thread, and I didn’t use Google Translate (if I die, I am sure it would have been a lot better). I was just excited to use Indonesian on DL.
|by Anonymous||reply 43||May 23, 2023 7:32 AM
Oy. English is me first language too and I think you're a toffee nosed cunt. Piss off OP.
|by Anonymous||reply 44||May 23, 2023 7:56 AM
^^^ Proof people pretending to be British never get it right.
|by Anonymous||reply 45||May 23, 2023 7:58 AM
I remember this great TV programme I saw once about a group of English pensioner 'expats' in Spain who loved mocking the mistakes waiters and barmen in their little resort town made in English without bothering to learn more than two words of Spanish. The final delicious piece of the cake was that they were all planning to vote Brexit without having any fear at all that it would impact their own living situation, since 'the government over here couldn't do without our money'.
|by Anonymous||reply 46||May 23, 2023 8:12 AM
R37, that is why I have become sensitive to the need to differentiate between
Klan Grannies and
Racist Tory Cunts.
One must be culturally inclusive.
|by Anonymous||reply 47||May 23, 2023 8:17 AM
R46 It's always hilarious when you go to Turkey or Greece and the locals start quoting Only Fools and Horses at you.
We frequented a gay bar in Berlin that was next to our hotel and got friendly with one of the staff. He seemed quite excited to be showing off his English swear words. He'd spent time in London so had an idea of how we often use bad language as terms of affection so would arrive with our order with things like "Here's your fucking drinks, you fucking English cunts!". He meant it in a nice way but it was quite startling.
|by Anonymous||reply 48||May 23, 2023 8:23 AM
R48 hahahahahahaha, Yep, accurately judging the degree of offensiveness/appropriateness/intensity of words in a foreign language is sadly pretty much the most difficult of all language skills to acquire.
|by Anonymous||reply 49||May 23, 2023 8:42 AM
The class I teach is on Zoom, and we use a canned curriculum from God knows where. In a unit on the present continuous, students were asked to look at photographs and identify what the people in them were doING. In the case of one, students had trouble understanding the concept of “flirting” until I said “How YOU doin’” in my best Joey baritone. FRIENDS is truly our international language!
|by Anonymous||reply 50||May 23, 2023 10:13 AM
r43 "literally my first post"
|by Anonymous||reply 52||May 23, 2023 10:47 AM
Apakah bahasa Inggris adalah bahasa kedua Anda?
|by Anonymous||reply 53||May 23, 2023 11:05 AM
I’ve noticed on Reddit that someone with perfect written a English skills will add at the bottom of his post something like, “sorry for any errors, English is my second language.” I figured it was a meme.
|by Anonymous||reply 54||May 23, 2023 11:36 AM
My class loves the VOA videos starring every gay man’s gal pal Anna and her clearly gay new best friend Pete.
|by Anonymous||reply 55||May 23, 2023 12:32 PM
R52 I literally used literally correctly.
And that was my first post in this thread. If you don’t believe it, make a new account and block just me and only me and see if for yourself.
Anyway, bragging that you speak rusty Indonesian is pathetic. It is an extremely easy language. I speak that plus three other languages.
|by Anonymous||reply 56||May 24, 2023 5:31 AM
R56, I’m not R52. And I wasn’t bragging about my Bahasa, just stating a fact in anticipation of the inevitable pile on, which, inevitably, happened.
Good for you re your four languages!
|by Anonymous||reply 57||May 24, 2023 6:17 AM
R57 Then why the hell did you yell at me at R36 or was that also not you?
|by Anonymous||reply 58||May 24, 2023 7:38 AM
[quote] There's a (relatively small) subset of DL posters that meltdown every time they see my username because it has 'European' in it, and I had no idea that was going to happen when I picked the name, but I find it so much fun I make sure to authenticate on almost every post now.
No, it’s probably because since you made your debut (what was it? Back in 2014 or so?) you’ve been an obnoxious pontificating know it all.
|by Anonymous||reply 59||May 24, 2023 8:12 AM
Only Muriel would know the exact percentages, but I'd wager that about 75% of posters are American, another 15% British, and the remainder being primarily Canadian, Australian, and from other English-speaking countries. The site is hosted in the US, and there are never threads in foreign languages. I don't think most people care about grammar mistakes or idiomatic mistakes. But we know that international trolling is a thing. When the writer of an inflammatory post makes mistakes that identify him as Slavic (difficulty with definite and indefinite articles, problems with syntax, word order, or capitalization) and the post itself seems designed to divide or cause dissension, we have all been trained to look at such posts with jaundiced eyes. The OP of the thread beginning "Why majority of gay pornstars are bisexual" is a perfect example. In the second sentence, he used the word "woke" which is a dead giveaway that this isn't some random non-English-speaking poster, but someone with an agenda. Gay people are, almost by definition, "woke", so someone using that term to inflame identifies him, again, as a troll, probably from a Russian disinformation site. I think under those circumstances, it's perfectly appropriate, and in some cases, absolutely necessary to point that out before continuing on in the thread.
The whole point of trolling is to provide cover/support for ideas that really don't belong in a forum specifically designed for gay men. Lots of such posts are meant to divide the gay community or splinter off sub-groups. Sometimes they are anti-lesbian, very often anti-trans, and occasionally anti-bisexual. Also common is isolating an already marginalized group (black people, latino people, gypsies (as in a recent thread) and using techniques of scapegoating, making it seem appropriate to malign such people. Pointless bitchery is one thing, but many of these types of posts go for the jugular. I think they should be exposed for what they are.
|by Anonymous||reply 60||May 24, 2023 9:13 AM
R60 You might want to see a doctor about your paranoia.
|by Anonymous||reply 61||May 24, 2023 3:32 PM
half of the posters here are russian and chinese slaves
|by Anonymous||reply 62||May 24, 2023 3:42 PM
OP, on a website where the most blistering forms of racism and sexism are displayed hourly, this is a ridiculous complaint. Fuck off.
|by Anonymous||reply 63||May 24, 2023 3:56 PM
I don't think its Americans who are primarily doing it. (also if any Americans are doing it, the USA does not have an official language anyway). But my impression was it was coming from another English speaking country based on the certain terms they used.
|by Anonymous||reply 64||May 24, 2023 4:00 PM
R61, you might want to not be such an obvious troll.
|by Anonymous||reply 65||May 24, 2023 4:01 PM
R34 & R37 are 100% correct
|by Anonymous||reply 66||May 24, 2023 4:05 PM
The Brits here are the worst. Conservative monarchists with extreme classism.
|by Anonymous||reply 67||May 24, 2023 4:16 PM
R59 Oh, you're adorable. Thank you for your feedback and I look forward to providing you with my content for many years to come :)
|by Anonymous||reply 68||May 25, 2023 3:23 AM
BTW the most amazing gatekeeping I've had on this site came from an anonymous moron who objected to me posting in the 'Four students found dead in Idaho' threads. He demanded I explain why I was interested in an American serial killer(!) Honestly it made my day.
|by Anonymous||reply 69||May 25, 2023 4:34 AM
[quote]BTW the most amazing gatekeeping I've had on this site
Counterargument: We don't "gatekeep" on DL.
We mock. We ridicule. We force people to look in the mirror while we mock and ridicule. DLers don't care about opinions unless people are willing to defend them. We don't think that all opinions are valid and don't let people slide with pablum like "it's what I think." DLers are the mean sorority girls who force new girls to stand in their underwear in front of a mirror while we circle all the parts of their bodies which are fat with black Sharpees.
People post as they will and DLers decide whether to post, reply, or punch and delete. But, "gatekeeping" is a frau notion. DLer's won't stop anyone from having an idiotic take on something.
|by Anonymous||reply 70||May 25, 2023 3:51 PM
[quote] DLer's won't stop anyone from having an idiotic take on something.
Well at least you proved your own point.
|by Anonymous||reply 71||May 25, 2023 5:56 PM
R70 I always try to respond well to wit. If only we were offered some wit rather than neverending autistic demands for Poster X from country Y to justify his presence in threads A, B and C.
|by Anonymous||reply 72||May 25, 2023 8:40 PM
Nobody was yelling at you, R58. How odd that you thought otherwise.
|by Anonymous||reply 73||May 26, 2023 3:44 AM