Friday, December 01, 2006

Why no understand

Today, I tried to say in Japanese something like, "That is the same thing Mr. Kuma said" and was not immediately understood. Afterwards, thinking about it, I thought maybe I was not speaking loudly enough. No, that couldn't be it.

Then I realized that I must not have said it the natural way. That's right! I don't know how that would normally be said. In order to be understood, you need to speak the way people usually speak. Even if it's hard to hear, the mind can process the audio and fill in the _______. But when you speak in an unnatural way, people can't understand you so easily.

So the key to being understood is to speak like a native! :D I mean, you have to use natural expressions and phrasing. Should we study them? No! Instead, we can just expose ourselves to lots of the language. This is what is known as massive input. I first learned about massive input from Steve Kaufmann.

By the way, the title of this article is an example of unnatural phrasing. The difference between, "why no understand" and "why they don't understand" is that one is natural and the other is not.

So the next time someone doesn't understand you, it might not be your accent. It might just be your wording. So now you know... why they don't understand.


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