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lovingpartner's avatar

How to be good in English conversation? both formal and informal?

Asked by lovingpartner (68 points ) January 5th, 2013

why do the people I met doesn’t even think but has clearly composed their thoughts and put into beautiful English words. I am good at speaking English, but I wanna be better at it! Hope you could help me at it, thank you!

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19 Answers

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

Just hang on here for a while. Welcome to fluther. And it’s “people I meet don’t even think but have clearly composed, and I want to be better at it. And Hope you can help me”... Good luck.

Pingu's avatar

Is English your first language?
Read English language books and newspapers. Each time you encounter a new word, look it up. Practice using the new words in conversation with your friends. Soon you will find that your vocabulary will be much greater and your fluency will come more naturally to you. If you make it a habit to practice using new words in conversation every day, it will become easy to compose and express those complex thoughts inside your head.

bookish1's avatar

Welcome to Fluther.
I think after you’ve studied a language enough to express yourself (as you clearly have), the key to speaking well is confidence and practice.
The confidence comes in because you are going to make mistakes. And people will be understanding of that. You need to keep going and practice as much as possible.
In my opinion, fluency in a language means that you can think and compose your thoughts in that language directly, instead of translating from your native language in your head. And the only way to develop this skill is to practice as much as possible. Speak with native speakers if you can.
Can you listen to English language radio stations or watch English TV where you live? Listen especially for idiomatic phrases and figures of speech that might not make sense to you. You can look those up and work those into your vocabulary. Word Reference is a wonderful free dictionary for many languages, containing many expressions and idioms. You can even post a question in the forums if you can’t find the translation you are looking for. Working on English idioms will force you to think in English, because there often won’t be a direct translation in your native language.
It’s a really good sign if you have dreams in English :)
Good luck and keep on trucking!

CWOTUS's avatar

I don’t want to bust your bubble, but you are not good at speaking English, at least judging from your writing.

That is not to say that you can’t get better, keep learning and practicing – and accepting criticism and correction – and always improving. You can. But you have to keep working at it.

SadieMartinPaul's avatar

@CWOTUS There’s no need to be so harsh. @lovingpartner wants to learn English and is willing to work hard and try. Let’s not make him/her too uncomfortable and shy to ask for help. I guess you must be fully fluent and literate in @lovingpartner‘s first language?

@lovingpartner Have you tried watching English-speaking movies with subtitles in your own language? That’s a great way to develop an ear and improve your skills. After a while, when you’re ready, you can watch English-speaking movies with English subtitles. Eventually, you can drop the subtitles entirely.

gailcalled's avatar

Your command of written English, while not perfect, is really very good.

The best way to have a conversation is simply to talk to someone. Let the mistakes fall where they may. If your partner can understand you (and vice versa, you’re halfway home.

Talk to anyone and everyone. At the subway, grocery store, park, school, café, gas station. Keep a notebook and write down some of the idioms if you have time. If not, do it next time.

cazzie's avatar

Practice. I speak Norwegian as a second language and I thought I wrote it horribly, until I saw someone else’s example. Keep at it. Read and listen to the language you are trying to learn. Make a point to increase your vocabulary and to hell with the grammar for a while. The grammar will come with practice, but increasing your vocabulary is most important.

cazzie's avatar

NO ONE can judge how you speak a language based so much on how you write it, so don’t sweat it.

SadieMartinPaul's avatar

Learning a new language is about 30% effort (studying and memorizing) and 70% courage. It’s very normal to be reticent (terrified, maybe?) about speaking and hearing another language, outside of the classroom and in the real world, but that’s how you grow comfortable and develop your skills.

A few of my own observations:

—It’s very possible to speak badly but communicate well. Recently, a man asked me “Where stop bus?” So what if his English wasn’t good? His question was clear, and I was happy to help him.

—Nobody expects you to be perfect. If you make some grammatical or structural errors, people won’t care. They’ll know that you’re doing your best and making a real effort to learn. No one will think you’re stupid; to the contrary, any reasonable person will admire you.

—Most people are very pleased to meet someone who’s trying to speak their native language. They’re flattered that you respect and are interested in their culture and heritage.

—Most people are kind and patient. They might offer some gentle corrections, but only to be helpful and encouraging.

—Avoid anyone who interrupts you with constant corrections. That isn’t constructive criticism; it’s nit-picking, and it’ll embarrass you and destroy your self-confidence.

burntbonez's avatar

There’s no substitute for practice. Speak it as often as you can. Preferably hours every day. It’s best if you live in an English-speaking country.

cazzie's avatar

I completetly concur with @PaulSadieMartin he is sooo right!

CWOTUS's avatar

I agree with that last, @PaulSadieMartin. As for my comment earlier, it wasn’t intended to be harsh, only accurate. Nothing stops learning faster than thinking that one already knows all that needs to be known.

SadieMartinPaul's avatar

@CWOTUS Thank you. So often, the written word can distort the writer’s intent. I’m grateful that you clarified.

@cazzie I’m actually a she! Paul, Sadie, and Martin are my husband, dog, and cat, respectively. When I was inventing a Fluther username, I simply joined the names of my three favorite beings on this planet.

Pachy's avatar

Try a speech class. Not only will you increase your grasp of English, equally importantly you’ll gain experience speaking in front of, and hearing, other people.

2davidc8's avatar

Try to find an ESL (English as a Second Language) class in your area. In many countries, the Rotary Club International offers these classes.

newtscamander's avatar

Immerse yourself in English.
Read English books (start small, with easy books, maybe even children’s ones),
watch English movies,
try to find a native speaker who is willing to have some conversations with you in English,
and, if you can afford it, spend a few days in an English speaking country.
And don’t lose the motivation that you show, it will really help with the learning progress.

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KeepYourEyesWideOpen's avatar

If you want to enhance your English and grammar further, the most advice I can give you is to continue doing what you’re doing now—answer questions in English, speak with people in English, and even read books in English too. The best way to completely become fluent in a language, I was always told, is if you immerse yourself in it completely. You seem like you’re on the right track.

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