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Practice English Speaking&Listening with: EXPLAINED! Why Can’t I Understand Native English Speakers? Shall I Learn British OR American English

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Hello guys, today in this special lesson you can learn about, “how to understand native

speakers.” I know even after studying English for several years, some English learners find

it difficult to understand native speakers, is that true for you as well? However there

are some simple things that you can do to improve your English and not only that, there

are certain things that you can do to improve your listening skills as well which in turn

makes it easier for you to understand native speakers. So if you want to improve in this

area of your English then you need to watch this complete lesson with me, you'll see five

simple tips that you can use to understand native English speakers more easily, my name

is Michelle and you're watching me on Let's Talk, the place to learn real communication.

Look at this sentence, “I am from Indiaimagine you're talking to someone, how would

you say it? Well you have two options, would you say the sentence like, “I'm from India

with the contractionI'mor would you say the full sentence speaking every word

separately more like, “I am from Indiaokay, which one sounds more natural? Now think

about a few more sentences, listen to this, “he has already told me”, “I would like

to meet you”, “they will not be here until tomorrowdo you know all of these sentences

can actually be contracted? Listen to these, “he's already told me”, “I'd like to

meet you”, “they won't be here until tomorrowdid you see the difference? So would you pronounce

the contractions or would you say the full form of the sentence? Think about it and be

honest, it's not a test, how would you say it? What's your answer? Well I guess your

answer may be a, ‘Noand that's where the problem is. So many English learners don't

use enough contractions and they speak. So they might actually know what contractions

are but they don't use it when they speak, they use the full form instead, for example,

he hasinstead ofhe's”. If you don't use contractions when you speak, it'll

be difficult to understand them when you're listening, what do you think, isn't that true?

And that's why it gets hard for you to understand what native speakers are saying because they

often, I mean really often use contractions and if you find it difficult to understand

them then possibly you need to start using contractions yourself, I hope you got this

point. Use contractions more in your daily speech. Try to stay sayI'llinstead

ofI will’, “she'llinstead of she'llshe will’, “hesinstead ofhe

has’, “I'dinstead ofI would’. If you start using contractions yourself,

I'll start becoming easier for you to actually understand them. So this is my first step

for you, that you should start using contractions yourself. So here is a simple question in

English which is often difficult for English learners to understand and the question is,

what are you doing?” Well did you understand it this time? Do you know why do so many people

find it difficult to hear this question correctly, well let me tell you why, for this we need

to look at every word separately, first of all the letterTin the word what is

usually not pronounced, yup it actually changes to aD’, it's more like whad instead

of what with aT’. Secondly the word are is not pronouncedareand it doesn't

rhyme with car or far it changes to a very short soundah’, yes so it's notare

butahand next the wordyouis not pronounced as you it does not rhyme with

toordo’, it actually becomes a very short soundyaand finally the

words are not pronounced with spaces in between them, yes you write them with spaces but you

don't speak these words with spaces the whole question is pronounced like one long word,

so the question which is written iswhat are you doing?” But the question which is

spoken, sounds likewhadayadoin?” I hope you got me there. So, ‘what are you doing

it's very different fromwhadayadoin?” of course if you thinkareshould be

pronounced asahandyoushould be pronounced asyouand so on you will

expect to hear something like, ‘what are you doing?’ and if you're expecting to hear

that you will definitely not hear that from a native speaker and of course that's the

reason you probably won't understand the natural pronunciation of the sentence. So what should

we do now about this? What can you really do? Well here are two suggestions I have for

you, okay the first suggestion is, “learn about weak forms”. So weak forms are like

ah’, this is what happens to the wordare’, it takes a weaker form and it becomes

ahand the same wayyoutake the weaker form and becomesya’, so you need

to know a little bit more about weaker forms and secondpay attention to how people

speak”, don't think about what you read in your English textbook, listen to how people

actually pronounce and sentences in real life and you realize that there is a big difference

between the way English is written in textbooks and the way natural English is spoken, so

that's my advice for you and another good exercise here is possibly a dictation, no

I'm not talking about a dictation that used to happen in your school but I'm saying that

you should choose something to listen to like a podcast or probably a YouTube video which

is not too difficult for you and listen to one minute and try to write down everything

you hear and pause as much as you need to. What happens this way? Well this way you can

train yourself to follow native English speech and later on you can replay the video with

the subtitles to check how far will you write. Okay so that's my advice for you in order

to understand native speakers better. Look at this question with a missing word, “_____

you ready?” What is the missing word_____ you ready?” If you're an average English

student you would say that the missing word probably is, Are you ready? Well that's the

correct answer, but it's not the best answer. Well you must be wondering how can the correct

answer not be the best answer? Well that's quite possible. What I'm talking about is

actually the best answer is that, there are no words missing I know I caught you off guard.

So you can just say, “you ready?” yes, so instead of saying, ‘are you ready?’,

you could simply sayyou ready?’ because in spoken English you don't need to sayare’,

in fact you can make the question even shorter and just sayready?” yes, because it's

understood that you're talking about someone being ready for possibly going out or something

else. Native speakers very often leave out words like these. Again if you're expecting

to hear a full question these shorter questions can be very confusing for you. So when can

we leave words out like that? Well in questions which areyesornoquestions

and which have the wordyou”. So these kind of questions, there's a high possibility

to make shorter questions. Well to understand it better, let's look at some examples, “have

you finished?” okay, “are you going?”, “do you want to come?” all of these questions

are actually correct, but that's not the best way to say because these questions can actually

be shortened, for examplehave you finished?’ can becomeyou finished?” orfinished?”,

are you going?’ can becomeyou going?” orgoing?”, ‘do you want to come?’

would beyou want to come?” or even simplerwant to come?” so what should you do?

Well, try to use these shortened questions when you speak. Like all of my advice today,

you need to use it yourself. If you use it when you speak it will be easier for you to

understand others who speak in this manner. Remember that native speakers very often shortened

questions like this. Here's a question, “do you need to understand every word that someone

is saying?” What do you think? Do you know, very often English learners focus on the part

they don't understand, instead of the parts that they understand and that's natural. But

it's not quite helpful, well to answer my question, ‘no you do not need to hear and

understand every word to understand someone's message’. So imagine that you're in the

kitchen with your friend, okay who is cooking something and your friend asks you a question

and you hear something like, “can you ***#**!!**?” Okay so it's more like you didn't understand anything

aftercan youwell I couldn't display it in a more funnier manner so you can laugh,

so basically you didn't understand here so you didn't understand or hear the full question

but that's often not a problem, first of all you heard the wordscan you’, so obviously

you know that your friend wants you to do something, it's sort of a request and they're

asking you to possibly pass something to them or bring something to them. Secondly you're

in the kitchen, you're cooking... so whatever your friend wants it's almost, you're almost

certainly connected to that. Probably your friend needs you to help with something or

give them something. By using thecontextyou can often understand someone bycontext

I mean the situation. So even if you haven't heard all the words by knowing what the situation

is, you can understand what they're saying. But, but, but... you say that's not really

understanding native speakers, I want to understand native speakers, not guess what they mean.

Well native speakers do this too, do you know that? And you probably do it in your own first

language, so basically there's no reason why you shouldn't do it in English. We all often

try to understand things from the context. Many times it may not be the pronunciation

but just that the person isn't audible and that's why you don't understand. So don't

think I don't know the word, so I can't understand the sentence... it's not true. None of it

and none of this works. So use another simple trick, “ask”. Yeah! If you cannot use

any of the strategies that I've told you, “just ask”. Ask the person, “what did

you say?” orcan you say that again?” Here's another question, “what does native

English sound like?”, “do you prefer the sound of British English or American English?”

Actually those are both terrible questions, which make no sense do you know why? The reason

these are terrible questions is, because there's no such thing as British English or American

English, yeah. So if you want to talk about British English, if you think about British

English, most British people don't sound the same and they don't sound British at all.

It's the same for American English, people from America are from different places and

they have their own native accents from their own local places. So basically people from

different places and different backgrounds will speak in different ways, that's quite

obvious. Then of course there are many other countries where English is the first language,

I mean the official language of the country, for example Ireland, Zambia, Australia, Kenya,

Canada, New Zealand, Belize, South Africa, so there are many more countries where English

is the first language and they have their own native accents which are different from

the American or the British accent, so the world of English is actually much bigger than

the UK and the US and you'll be a better English speaker and listener if you realize this.

Unfortunately many English learners react negatively when they hear a native speaker

speak in a manner that they don't understand and they often complain about their pronunciation,

their accent, sometimes I've heard students say things like, “I don't like that person's

pronunciationorthat person doesn't speak good”, “I prefer British English

or if I prefer American English”, I prefer only English... “that person's English sounds

wrong, I can't understand”, have you used any of these statements? But here's the thing,

in a real-life situation like a job or an interview, a meeting, a party you'll meet

native speakers from all over the world, different places, with again different accents and it's

your responsibility to understand them and to communicate with them, instead of it being

their responsibility to make sure that you understand and don't complain about their

accent, they aren't going to change how they talk to you, so you don't need to change either

just develop and expose yourself to different English accents so you can understand native

speakers better. So what can you do about this? Don't just listen to one kind of English

if you love the sound of classical British English, then it's fine but listen to other

accents too. You can train yourself to understand almost anything, but you need time, yeah and

you also need practice. So I suggest that you listen to a range of accents, or range

of voices regularly and you'll be able to understand more of what native speakers say

to you. So this is my final tip for you and here we are at the end of the video, I hope

by following the tips that I've shared with you, it'll be easier for you to understand

native speakers from now on. So be sure that you listen to a wide range of accents, that

you practice weak forms and you also try to improve your listening skills and not just

your spoken English skills. So all the best I hope your journey of understanding native

speakers will be better. See you soon with another interesting video till then take care

and keep learning English, bye-bye.

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