This is the 6th video of Speak Global English series. There are all together 22 video in the series. In the sixth video, Hansen talks about how native and non-native speaker hear English. Let's find out what she has to say in this video.
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How native and non-native speakers hear English:
A lot of my clients come to me quite confused saying that some people understand them perfectly while others don't seem to understand a word they say.
This divide is normally along the lines of native and non-native speakers. Jean-Paul Nerriere, a Frenchman living in Japan and working for IBM was one of the first people to recognize that non-native English speakers were actually able to understand each other better when they spoke to each other than when they spoke with native English speakers!
How could this be true when they were all speaking a foreign language? Well, most (not all, but most) native English speakers grow up hearing only one language -- their own variety of English. Non-native speakers hear many different kinds of English as they learn the language, and therefore have a "better ear" when it comes to understanding others.
Native speakers also listen for subtle nuances of the language that non-native speakers don't particularly care about. We listen for word stress and intonation patterns to give us more information. Non-native speakers ignore all of that to focus more on vocabulary.
So this is why we can end up having more miscommunication when native speakers are involved. We hear the English language differently.
This is why it's just as important for native speakers to pay attention to their speech in international settings and also make an honest effort to understand others. Non-native speakers, I'll also be sharing some tips with you in upcoming videos as to how you can speak in a way that native speakers can better understand.