Lesson 50 Don't betray yourself… 

I began to learn English when I was about 12 years old. In fact it was much later than the children do it nowadays. But after 3 years of primary school; plus 3 years of high school and 4 years of university studying English, I still could not speak it, which is the main problem for most of the Chinese people today. Because I lacked opportunities to really use this language in my daily life, naturally I forgot a big part of what I had painstakingly learned. 

In fact, I relearned my English from Jose, including listening; speaking and writing. At the very beginning of our relationship I could only say something like "How are you? Fine, thank you; and you?" But after a few years of practice with him, Jose says that my English was about 8.5 out of 10, which was not bad at all for a Chinese person. 

But recently, as we were talking quietly with each other, Jose looked at me and asked gently, "Yuan, I am sorry, but… what did you say just now? The … what was the word?" I repeated but he still looked very confused, and then I repeated again, then…"Oh!" said he, showing plainly the enlightenment which had come to him. 

This happened more and more often in our conversation. So much so, in fact, that I finally asked him, "Jose, what is happening? Can you not understand what I am saying now? Because these are all very simple words." 

Jose said, "Yes, recently, especially after you began to go to school full time to learn French, more often than usual I could not really get a clue on what you were talking about. I don't want to be impolite but… Yuan, I am sorry to tell you that the quality of your English pronunciation decreased a lot… so much so that I don't get what you are saying now." 

"How come?" I was astonished. 

"Well, I don't know." Jose said, "But your spoken English was very good before and I must say that it was about 8.5 out of 10. It was a decent English and everybody could understand you very well, but lately it seems that you have stopped to open your mouth wide enough when you talk. I remember that in the beginning I kept telling you that you should never forget that you needed to talk as if you were under a mask. I told you to open your mouth, pronounce fully, and take the time to fully taste the language when you are talking." 

I thought for a while; feeling a little bit ashamed. I said, "This might be happening because when I am in my French class, everybody is talking in English. But they speak very fast and I am trying to talk like them, without making any effort, and it seems to me that talking like that is very fashionable." 

Jose asked me, "When they are talking like that, can you understand them clearly?" 

"No." I said. 

"Ah !, they are talking in slang, which is not the right way to speak English." Jose said, "I know that today's young people have a strong tendency to talk in slang and believe that it is fashionable to do so. But it is not true. Why do we use language? We use it for communications purposes. Then, when you try to communicate in English and all you use are slang words, you can not understand each other well. Do you think that it is right to talk like that? Besides, English is a very decent and businesslike language. When you talk English you need to make your message crystal clear so anybody could understand what you are saying. Talking slang doesn't require any efforts, but pronouncing well takes a lot of efforts. You need to remember my little trick and imagine that you are wearing a mask as you are speaking and you should not be afraid to "Talk through the "mask"." 

"And the other thing is, " Jose said, "Don't betray yourself by following the others. Unfortunately, the majority of people are the ones that are pulling you downwards. They are pulling you down towards the average level of expression, or even worse. Don't follow them. Just shut up; learn well; pronounce well and speak well; fully tasting the language when you talk and keep being who you really are."

Lesson 51 The Last Class…

Lesson 49 Touch

Lesson 48 Be Proactive

Lesson 47:Stop Complaining;Start doing something.

 Lesson 46 Happiness is only a choice


21/10/2012 08:02 分类: 评论(1) 阅读()

一条回应:“Lesson 50 Don’t betray yourself…”

  1. dont betray yourself by follwing the others~~fully tasting the language when you talk and keep being who you really are…


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