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If students think in Chinese, or we learn English in Chinese, then we'll naturally produce a lot of Chinglish expressions
Because there's a lot of English in Chinese translations that defy direct translation or literal translation if you will
For example, in Chinese, we say, " 機率很大," but in English, they say "chances are high," not "chances are big"
Though, if I wanna say like, " 藥效沒了," " 藥效消退," students tend to use disappear
Although people won't say that is ungrammatical, they tend to use "the drug effect wore off"
That sounds a lot more natural
I think two most marked differences between Chinese and English are "number" and also "time"
So you really have to constantly pay attention to those two aspects
Ask yourself whether this word is countable or uncountable
Otherwise you'll constantly produce Chinglish
For example, when you think of the word "feedback," a lot of students use "thank you for your feedbacks" without realizing that the word feedback is not countable
That's because you're not paying attention to this word, how it is used in context
So I think this awareness is very important, the awareness of the gap between our mother tongue, Chinese, and English, the target language
But when you encounter a word, you have to ask yourself, "How do I use this word in context?"
So I think English-English dictionaries are really good
For example, if you look up the word "lessen," and it will tell you what you can use it with
For example, "lessen some of the power this country has." You come up with an association between this word and the representation that it has
When you use "lessen," it's a little bit different from "decrease," because it's often used with more abstract words
and then naturally you acquire collocation knowledge
Besides, you can also use COCA, that is a very well-known corpus
It's like a big data pool, so when you just type in the word, it will generate thousands of hundreds of sentences,
And you can sort of try to deduce something from it
To illustrate, if you type in the word "splitting" into COCA, and then it will automatically generate, say, a thousand sentences for you
Probably one has the sentence followed the word "splitting" by headache
So "splitting headache," and you know that means " 劇烈的頭痛 " in English
So naturally that is a very strong collocation
Of course I completely agree with the importance of motivation or personal interest in learning, but I think it's more about how to learn than about what to learn from
It's more about how you read a magazine, how you read an article, than about what magazines I should read
So a lot of people have said, you know, through watching movies, you can really improve your English,
but actually in my opinion, if you don't know how to watch a movie, that will just become one of your entertainments
It wouldn't serve the purpose of improving your English if you don't know how to watch it
What leads to the most effective way of learning English, you may wonder
I think this question boils down to one word: observation, or attention
You really have to pay attention to things, for learning to occur, for learning to come about
because if you don't pay attention, no learning will happen
I highly encourage those who want to improve their English to constantly pay attention to their environment, to their surroundings, to all the linguistic input in their environment
Especially to the gap. Why does this native speaker express it that way, but I would prefer it this way, then what's the difference?
I think noticing this gap is very important, to constantly compare your own utterance, your production, with those of native speakers
Then you will start to build an awareness, and this awareness is key to learning English
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ProTip // Say Goodbye to Chinglish: Learn about Collocation!

247357 Folder Collection
Chloe Tyan published on December 8, 2016    Chloe Tyan translated    Kristi Yang reviewed
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