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English never feels natural to me?


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Hello folks. As the title says, i speak English and it was taught to me from when i was small but whenever i speak it i never feel the same as when i'm speaking my native language. Does anyone else feel the same way when speaking a language that is not their native language?

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I always do when I speak french or cantonese. I grew up speaking Hakka and English, but I never speak cantonese because I feel like my accent is really off or else fear that I may say something wrong, even though people around me have been speaking it my whole entire life.

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Your native language is the language in which you think, and different languages actually create different thought patterns. So speaking a different language isn't just about speaking differently, often it's about thinking differently too. It's very difficult to change the way we think. You may never feel as comfortable speaking a different language as you do when speaking your native tongue. I've heard it said that a person's native language is the "language of his/her heart."

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  • 3 weeks later...

Most times whenever a person feels that way they are having doubts about their accent because they may want to sound just like the natives of that language. They may also feel unsure about words or phrases. This may just need more mastering of the language or reassurance to change that feeling.

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English didn't supposed to feel truly natural (most of the cases) if it's not your mother language, when it's a second language is common for a language not to feel natural. So don't worry about it. If the language you speak most of the time at home isn't English, then is normal this happens.  Don't worry, most of us feel this way, some people just never get to feel so natural speaking English, even me after all those years!

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English feels natural to me, even though it's my second language. I spend a lot of time on the internet, 99% of the time reading or listening to English, not my mother tongue.

I find myself thinking in English quite often. When I'm out with my friends talking about current affairs, I might even have problems coming up with the right Slovene term, so I use the English one instead. It's quite frightening.

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You obviously do not feel it normal because it is not you mother language, therefore you do not sense it natural. But the more you use it, the more natural you will feel it, but keep in mind that you should never forget about your tongue language because preserving it means preserving their people, feelings, religion, and all their ways.

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English feels natural to me, even though it's my second language. I spend a lot of time on the internet, 99% of the time reading or listening to English, not my mother tongue.

I find myself thinking in English quite often. When I'm out with my friends talking about current affairs, I might even have problems coming up with the right Slovene term, so I use the English one instead. It's quite frightening.

I'd never really considered it like that. I mean, the internet, at least the most popular sites on the web in general, are English based, so there's going to be a lot of people like yourself, who speak English as a second language, but spend more of their time speaking it than they do their own mother tongue!

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Yes, I can relate to your feelings. I four different languages, and each one makes me feel different. The language that I speak every day, is English. But it isn't my mother tongue. I grew up bilingual, but over the years I have also lost the deeper connection with those two languages. So that now I find myself distant to a certain degree from all the languages I know. I only ever feel close to myself when I am totally silent. :)

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I am not sure how English is used in your country, but in my case, it is a very mainstream language, and you can't help but not hear it when you go out, like you see most of the signs and buildings have English words and phrases, when you watch tv there are a ton of English programs being shown, when you go to school it is the same, you have an English class, so over here no one really takes English lessons, maybe unless they were a foreigner like a Korean for example. Because I noticed that along with Filipino, I naturally learned it too without being taught at all.

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I'd never really considered it like that. I mean, the internet, at least the most popular sites on the web in general, are English based, so there's going to be a lot of people like yourself, who speak English as a second language, but spend more of their time speaking it than they do their own mother tongue!

Exactly! I find it next to impossible to talk about certain topics in my mother tongue. I've learned all my pick up lines and such compliments online. When I try to translate them, they sound plain weird. Even the ones that are used in my language sound foreign to me!

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Most times whenever a person feels that way they are having doubts about their accent because they may want to sound just like the natives of that language. They may also feel unsure about words or phrases. This may just need more mastering of the language or reassurance to change that feeling.

I think you're right about the accent part. But I'm working on my accent and i think it's fairly good. Just needs polishing.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Same here. Even though I write, think and understand English well, whenever I try to speak I always end up butchering it because it doesn't feel right in my tongue. I think this is more of an accent and culture thing but you'd think 10 years of living in an English speaking country would  make you live the language.

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I think a lot of this depends on the people we interact with. We may see a lot of people who talk well, but its the ones we interact the most with, that cause an impact on the way we speak. I am comfortable about the way anyone speaks, as long as they get the message through.

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It will feel natural if you use it all the time. If you live in an English speaking country for a long time I guarantee you that it will be second nature to you but if you're not practicing it the obviously it's not going to feel natural. The key here is to always use and be familiar with the language, speak English, write English and think in English. If that doesn't make you familiar with the language then I don't know what will.

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Absolutely. I am currently learning German and no matter how well I am conversing in the language, I never feel completely natural speaking it because it's not my native tongue. I think it may vary from person to person but I understand your perspective because it is one I share as well. It's one thing to learn a language taught in the classroom versus a language you knew once you began talking as a small child. My friend is fluent in German and visited the country about 10 years ago. Although he got around fine, he still felt a little unsure when speaking German to other citizens in the country. What you describe is completely normal.

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