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Degradation of English Abilities With Time Overseas


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Mikala

Has anyone else noticed that your English capabilities are being slowly lost? At first I noticed that my English abilities degraded somewhat when I was home in Hawaii (compared to mainland USA). For the past 3 years, I've noticed that my (spoken and written) English abilities are getting much worse now that I spent 51 weeks a year away from America.

 

Is it just me? Do I have dementia? Alzheimers? Brain cancer?

 

Note: I do technical writing in English 6 days a week. It's not like I don't use the language.

 

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Seven years here and I find my English being mutated with American words, such as trash instead of rubbish.      Thankfully it's no longer the case, but I did spend a few years living with a Filipin

After several years here, I find myself using phrases like "no worries" and "good on ya" to people. I hope my English skills aren't going to degrade to the point where I am speaking Aussie...     

My English (READ: American) skills have always remained the same. I can say this, though. After having lived such a long time in the Philippines, I did find myself, when asked directions to a given lo

Davaoeno

I find that posting - and interacting - on Linc is a big help in keeping my English abilities current .  

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Paul

My English (READ: American) skills have always remained the same. I can say this, though. After having lived such a long time in the Philippines, I did find myself, when asked directions to a given location, to point with my lips and instruct them to, "Just go straight." 

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Has anyone else noticed that your English capabilities are being slowly lost? At first I noticed that my English abilities degraded somewhat when I was home in Hawaii (compared to mainland USA). For the past 3 years, I've noticed that my (spoken and written) English abilities are getting much worse now that I spent 51 weeks a year away from America.

 

Is it just me? Do I have dementia? Alzheimers? Brain cancer?

 

Note: I do technical writing in English 6 days a week. It's not like I don't use the language.

 

Yes. No. Don't know. Don't know. Don't know.  (Please forgive brevity of answers but my word power has been degraded over the years.)

 

I find that posting - and interacting - on Linc is a big help in keeping my English abilities current .  

 

Really!  :yahoo:

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burnttoast

Good point, my girlfriend said she hoped her english would improve over the years but often finds I bring my level down to communicate with her.

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Brucewayne

Good point, my girlfriend said she hoped her english would improve over the years but often finds I bring my level down to communicate with her.

 

Not my wife, I keep a cane pole handy so I can smack her on her little head every time she misses a beat when she is speaking English!

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NOSOCALPINOY

I'm a Fil/Am and been married 26 years now, have lived in the Philippines for 16 yrs since 1998 and I have adapted to speaking Tagalog 99% of time all the time and anywhere in the Philippines, since I do not hang around with a bunch of English speaking expats here where we live! 

So, when I do have to speak the English language, I sometimes get a little tongue tied! :idontknow:  

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Since I have been a member of this forum its not only my English that has degraded. 

 

According to this web page there are over 1,025,000 words in the English language currently.  It passed the one million mark on June 10th 2009.   It might be instead of your vocabulary declining its possible you are not keeping up with the new words entering our language.   Just saying some of us are slowing down. :)

 

http://www.languagemonitor.com/new-words/number-of-words-in-the-english-language-1008879/

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I have noticed that my wife's spoken English, which was excellent when overseas, has worsened slightly now she has been back in the Philippines for over 2 years. What is worse is my daughter is gaining an American accent!

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Seven years here and I find my English being mutated with American words, such as trash instead of rubbish.   

 

Thankfully it's no longer the case, but I did spend a few years living with a Filipina whose English skills were all over the place, and it started rubbing off on me after a year or two. Picking up strange ways of saying something and even occasionally pointing with my lips.  Been with my wife 3 years now and thankfully she has very good written and spoken English and doesn't point with her lips or communicate with her eyebrows, so there's no more strange influence on my communication skills at home.

 

Edit: The effect I've had on my wife?  She's preparing dinner now and forgot something.  'Bollocks' just came from the kitchen.

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Paul
'Bollocks' just came from the kitchen.

 

Oh well. You can't expect her to be completely free of that inferior version of our language, spoken in the UK. :D

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'Bollocks' just came from the kitchen.

 

And what a great Anglo Saxon word it is. Been around a lot longer than some nationalities. :yahoo:

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Paddy

My sister, brother and myself, having grown up in the UK, have all been in Canada for over 30 years. All of us use North American word equivalents (hood vs bonnet etc), all of us are becoming less and less familiar with English as it is spoken back in Blighty but only my sister seems to have truly lost her UK accent and sounds more Canadian than English.

 

It is reasonable to assume that, as a native English speaker, if you live in a non-English speaking environment for any significant length of time your English language skills will either freeze at a point in time or change. Similarly, the more effort you put in to modifying your own English so that others around you might understand, the more chance there is of modifying your own common use of English. 

 

Assuming you are still thinking and speaking, I don't think your language skills will degrade. I think they will just change.

 

 

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Headshot

After several years here, I find myself using phrases like "no worries" and "good on ya" to people. I hope my English skills aren't going to degrade to the point where I am speaking Aussie... 

 

:ROFLMAO:  :ROFLMAO:  :ROFLMAO:

Edited by Headshot
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bkkmarlowe

English skills still the same after 23 years living in Asia. But I noticed how we expats in the Philippines adapt our English vocabulary to suit local conditions. For example:

- ref (refrigerator)
- in front of (facing opposite)
- good noon (twelve mid-day greeting)
- out of stock (no product available)
- crossing (intersection)

Can't think of other examples right now... but there are several words and phrases we use in daily life here in the Phils, that folks back home would not understand at all.

.

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