T Nation

Diet Advice for Skinnyfats


Well I guess learning English from my country and never traveling abroad can only get you so far. I was suspecting some of my phrasing could come off as weird and that’s definitely something I need to work on.

Maybe going to the US for some time will help with that… I’m definitely looking forward to it. If I manage to actually do it, it’ll be next summer.


Any idea where you’ll be spending time in the US?


Not even close yet. I’ll be going with a friend who has already been there numerous times and we’ll probably visit different states.

He’s been to LA, Las Vegas, and Texas last year. Next time, who knows. But I’ll let you guys know here.


sounds good, definitely let me know if you make it to Texas, we can meet up if you do.


Yeah who the fuck cares about getting grammar 100% accurate every paragraph. I finished college English composition classes with all As, but even then this is not important. What is important is that, so far none of my colleagues have trouble understanding my business emails and my scientific work and most of my friends here in the states thought that I was born here because of my fluency and accent. Your opinion and the guy’s above mean absolutely nothing to me.

So, you should be more concerned about you incapability of saying, “how are you?” in another language than English. Meanwhile I can enjoy my high paying job because of my multilingual skills and able to move around to three different countries comfortably. If you don’t think someone that can communicate complex ideas in 3 different languages, albeit some grammar mistakes, is impressive, you are just an insecure idiot. I know you just have a hate towards me because of my previous posts that hurt your feelings. But I don’t care. Stay in your trailer, so that a global citizen who like me can even be more valuable in the market. さようなら.


I don’t care - you just were outraged that someone could think English wasn’t your first language because of one mistake. I’m happy for you for being trilingual - that’s a gift and a blessing. Honestly though I wouldn’t have even remembered who you were if you hadn’t posted that diatribe. You’re the one who insults everyone’s intelligence then says “case closed”. You also haven’t communicated any complex ideas that I’ve come across.


Bumping a many day old thread to respond to an even older post to write this much conveys the opposite of what you intend to convey here.


I like it when people let me know how impressive they are. I hate it when I overlook it.

Funnily enough, the people who actually impress me never seem to want, or need, to let me in on the secret.


I grew up in London and I’ve lived and worked abroad for a couple of multi-national countries. While I’ve met literally hundreds of non-native English speakers who speak excellent fluent English, the number of those whom I would consider totally fluent to a native level (in other words, as proficient in English as myself) is maybe five. It’s really rare and extremely impressive.

These people may have an accent, but their speech is 100% native-level with none of the small giveaways that they didn’t grow up speaking it. Based solely on your written English you’re probably 95% there especially given your age, but that last 5% will take years. If it’s something you’re really serious about doing then there’s no substitute for living in an English-speaking country for a short period.

NB: I’d still consider you “a fluent English speaker” if your spoken English is as good as your written English, so don’t take this the wrong way! It’s just that getting beyond “fluent” to “perfect/native-level” is a big task.

Maybe we should change this thread title to “English advice for foreigners”?


Definitely not taking it the wrong way, in fact I appreciate what you said!

Saying that I’m 95% of the way to something you called “extremely rare and impressive” is a compliment in my book. And yes, it’ll probably take me a long time before I get to “native speaker level” but that is something I see myself achieving in the future.

My written English is most likely ahead of my spoken English to some degree, if nothing else for the fact that I get to use written English WAY more than I get to speak. Hopefully I’ll have a chance to spend some time in English-speaking countries in the future.


That’s probably true of most language learners. Actually, my written English is significantly ahead of my spoken English as well but I do it for a living, haha!

There’s a book by an Irish polyglot, Benny Lewis, in which he describes various levels of fluency and talks about language learning. I found it really interesting, though it is a little low-level as language learning texts go. Might interest you if you can pick it up though.


I wonder if you could tell across accents? Like, if someone grew up in India, but learned English in England and spoke with any of those accents, I likely would not know the difference.

Likewise, you may not be able to tell if someone from Mexico or South America learned English in the Southeastern United States.

Just pontificating.


That’s fair. I suppose if I met someone who was 100% fluent in British English, accent and all, to the point of being indistinguishable from a native speaker then I wouldn’t realise without being told.

They’re obviously even rarer, though; plenty of British people who grew up in London still have somewhat African/Indian/insert country here accents mixed into their idiolect from their parents because English is still their second language, despite it being essentially their native tongue outside the home.


I guess I just mean I likely wouldn’t notice, because I can’t distinguish different British accents anyway. So British (whatever region) plus a little of anything else probably just ends up “British” to me.

I’m not even sure this is real - I haven’t given it much thought before now.


yea, particularly if the language is learned and applied mostly in an academic setting. I can read French well, I write it ok, and I feel like an idiot when I speak it, because I just can’t compose my own thoughts in another language fast enough to feel conversationally adequate. I have to pause too much and search for words too often. I’m also many years removed from having any reason to use the language now, so that makes it even harder. I assume that if I had used French more frequently in real-world conversation that I’d be waaaay better at speaking it.


Really? I can hold a conversation in Mandarin (in China) yet my writing level is probably that of a first grade China kid


Ohhhh really? Maybe it is because I actually have other things to do and don’t check this forum every time you bimbo.


You are right. I should have been more considerate of your unique circumstances. I am sorry if my comment hurt your feelings. That was not my intent.


I feel the same way about English. I just wish I had more chances to speak in English in real life. I can’t remember the last time I had an actual conversation with someone in English.

Spanish also. I really want to bring it up but I don’t get to use it that often outside of when I want to jokingly say something in Spanish to my few latino friends. But I can’t recall the last time I wrote or read anything in Spanish. Guess I need to work on that since it’s something that is important for me.