How do native speakers truly feel when speaking with nonnative English speakers

How do native speakers truly feel when speaking with non-native English speakers?

I am a native English speaker, and I have the utmost respect for non-native English speakers for the hardships they have had to endure with learning and utilising a foreign language.
One of the major hurdles is conquering the insecurity and fear of making mistakes that will make them look or feel stupid.
I get this myself when speaking my limited amount of Spanish to native Spanish speakers, however my issue is cushioned as I am safe in the knowledge that a native Spanish speaker who can also speak in English, knows full well the difficulties of attempting to speak in a foreign language, whereas a great deal of native English speakers are not so familiar with these difficulties.
My personal opinion is that it is the communication that matters; conveying one idea to another via the medium of language.
It’s a shame that non-native English speakers get so hung up on the mistakes they make.
Mistakes do not matter when we are having a simple conversation.
Communicating effectively and having an enjoyable flow of conversation is much more important than grammatical accuracy.
A lot of non-native English speakers will ask for their mistakes to be corrected during conversation, and I always refuse to do this unless their mistake is a grave one, which could cause offence or severe misunderstanding.
Imagine how a conversation would go when someone corrects your grammar every other sentence – you would not be able to absorb most of the information, nor would I particularly enjoy the flow of information to be interrupted so often.
One Italian guy I knew was brilliant – he would simply speak so fast and with so much passion that any mistakes he made were so inconsequential because he was so involving and so enjoyable to converse with.
My advice to non-native English speakers is to just keep talking and talking, don’t ask people to correct your mistakes.
Feel free to make mistakes.
Listen to the native English speakers communicate with each other.
Read up on grammatical and cultural nuances.
The information is all online.
We learn another language to communicate with others from other cultures, and grammatical mistakes are absolutely meaningless.
There are those that will correct you all the time.
These are people who care not about the flow of conversation, but more about their own pedantry for accuracy.
Correcting others makes us feel like we are experts in a given subject and should be listened to (how many of us native English speakers could hand on heart say that we are experts on our own language anyway?)
The most important thing is simply to share ideas and enjoy the communication, otherwise – why do it?

What’s Fine
First off, it depends on the quality of the English of the Non-Native Speaker.
I work with quite a number of people who were born outside of the United States in Non-English speaking countries.
However, they speak English fluently now and I generally have no problem communicating with them.
Some of these foreigners speak better English than many American-born people.
(This is especially true because I work with a number of translators.
)
If someone is struggling to find one word, but speaks the rest of the sentence easily, then, again, I have no issue.
Native speakers also lose track of words or might forget a word.
There is no difference for me.
If someone who speaks Broken English needs a simple piece of information, there is no problem.
I can provide that and then let them go on their way.
What’s Irksome
What irks me is if someone is trying to communicate with me, but doing so in such a slow way that by the time that they finish their sentence, five minutes has elapsed.
I find it especially annoying if I speak that person’s native language and they simply keep trying to say whatever it is in Broken English in order to “practice speaking English”.
If you would like to practice English, more power to you, but I am interested in communicating with you, so if we can more effectively communicate in your native tongue, let’s switch to that.
Finally, it is very difficult to talk about an emotionally charged topic like a personal failure or a relationship break up when someone keeps asking you to define your terms and help them with pronunciation.

“How do native speakers truly feel when speaking with non-native English speakers?”
I like accents (foreign and domestic) and I’m interested in the mistakes that speakers make because they’re characteristic of their various original languages.
But two things bother me when I hear English spoken as a second language:
> The habit of over-elaborating.
What a sentence means is so important to non-native speakers that sometimes they don’t give native speakers a chance to understand their spoken English even if it is elliptical, partial, ungrammatical or whatever.
I think they should state the idea briefly, and then allow the listener to ask for an elaboration if necessary.
> The tendency to speak in baby talk.
I think that picking through a limited vocabulary makes non-native speakers “talk down” to the listeners.
One of my students was referring to people who “did bad things.
” I asked her if, when she said “did bad things,” she meant “committing crimes”? She said yes, so why she decided to say “did bad things” instead of “committing crimes” I do not know.
She clearly knew the word “crimes.
” I think she just got into the habit of talking simply, with a limited vocabulary, so she ended up talking baby talk even when it was not necessary.
I also cannot understand why anyone would feel so irritated when two people are conversing in a foreign language.
When Americans are abroad, they obviously speak to their traveling companions in English, so it’s only natural that other people do the equivalent.
I was on an elevator when an American woman burst out screaming “This is America! Speak English! Don’t jabber like that! Speak English!” The two foreign women looked startled and even fearful — as I would too — and shrank cringing against the wall.
What did she care what they said? Did she think they were saying, “Let’s put a knife in the ribs of that American in the blue coat and take her pocketbook!”

My parents were immigrants to this country but I was born here.
I was actually in ESL classes up till third grade, because though they tried to assimilate (my stay-at-home mom was even a part of the PTA), they were still learning English.
I grew up around many people who weren’t native English speakers… but I also had my fair share of native English speaking friends.
I consider myself a native English speaker because it is my primary language and the only language I’m fluent in and even when I listen to native English speaking people, no one’s English is perfect.
I come from a household where English is spoken (primarily on the part of my sister and I), but the other half consists of other languages as well, so I find that some things in the English language were never fully grasped by me.
Even so, there are some people I’ve encountered who clearly aren’t native to the English language that, quite frankly, annoy me.
Obviously not everyone, of course.
For the most part, mistakes and accents are all a part of learning a new language and I expect it.
Sometimes, I even like the accent.
If you’re not making a mistake (or are too afraid to) while learning and practicing a language, you’re doing it wrong.
However, there are some people that really rub me the wrong way.
Mainly, I really dislike it when someone comes, uses bad English….
and you discover that they’ve been here for years.
It’s fine if your English needs work – all languages need work on a daily basis to keep it up.
However, it’s not very understandable that your English still needs a lot of work after having had lived here for 5 years.
Then again, it’s like those ex-pats I’ve heard of but have thankfully never personally encountered who live in another country for 5+ years and never took the time to learn or understand their host country’s culture or language.
Why are you even there???
Fortunately, I’ve only personally met one person who fits that criteria and I have a thing with keeping my distance with people who tweak me the wrong way.
Otherwise, I have no real issues with non-native English speakers.
In fact, I even enjoy talking to them to get a different perspective on things!

When you’re talking to an older man in America, it almost always has seemed to me that they get perturbed when hearing broken English.
That’s simply because they grew up in a time period where “you’re in America.
Either speak English or go back to where you came from”.
This isn’t always true, though, as some were raised differently and took different languages themselves and henceforth knew how difficult it was.
As of today, some youth and adults will still get irritated, but not the majority.
Most children are required two years of foreign language so they’re much more accepting because, as I said earlier, they know exactly how difficult learning a language can be.
As for myself (being a teenager who has studied Spanish among other languages for four+ years), I can say that I actually feel happy hearing broken English.
It makes me happy because not only have they invested a lot of their time in the language, but they’ve built up the confidence to try to speak it.
We have an exchange student from Spain in my high-school, and the first time I heard her speak broken English (with half of the class silently laughing at it), I wanted to give her my phone number as soon as possible and tell her that if she ever needs help with assignments or understanding anything, she can either find me or call me.
So I suppose I truly feel sympathy and joy at the same time.

Honestly, I feel impressed.
I feel kind of guilty when someone who isn’t a native speaker apologises for “their bad English” because even if it isn’t perfect, I understand what they’re saying and I admire the effort.
I’m near-monolingual, so I’m conscious of the fact that you’re doing better than me.
If it seems like you’re struggling, then I feel admiration for your perseverance.
This isn’t to minimise the experience that I know many non-native English speakers have of encountering people who are annoyed with them because “They can’t speak the language” or who assume they lack intelligence because their English isn’t perfect.
Those kind of attitudes exist.
But some native-English speakers honestly don’t feel that way at all.
English is an unusually flexible language in the sense that you don’t need to speak it perfectly to get your meaning across.
You don’t need to have perfect verb conjugations or use of prepositions (usually).
It takes a little while to get used to someone using English in a non-conventional way though (or even in an accent you aren’t used to).
So, it might be helpful to think about it in those terms.
Someone who keeps asking you to repeat yourself a few times at the start of a conversation may simply get used to your speech patterns once their ears attune to it.
I find that it’s easier to understand someone who has been talking to me for a few minutes than someone who has only said a couple of words to me.
Also, in most English-speaking countries, it’s considered rude to correct others’ English.
After all, as long as what you’re saying makes sense, it’s good not to be too pedantic about ‘which’ or ‘that’; ‘I’, or ‘me’; etc.
But this convention can be a problem for people actively looking to improve their English.
On a few occasions, some of my friends who speak English as a second (or sometimes third, or fourth!) language have asked me to correct their grammar, pronunciation, word choices, etc.
I’ve actually really enjoyed doing that, it helps them learn and it has helped me pick up what aspects of the language are difficult for non-native speakers, which, in turn, helps me with future encounters when I’m not quite sure what someone is saying.
It might not be appropriate in a professional situation, but if you’re willing to be corrected by a friend, this might be a helpful way forward.

I am not a native English speaker, but I have been living in the US for 2 years and now I am working on a daily basis with the expat community in China, where a lot of westerners are learning and practicing Chinese.
So, I wanna share my feeling regarding both perspectives.
First, I admire and respect English/Spanish/Arabic…speakers who are learning mandarin from the bottom of my heart.
In linguistic senses, mandarin is significant different from their mother tongue, which makes it extremely difficult to learn for an adult.
But they are very willing to practice and asking suggestions from the natives.
Hardly did I ever get bothered by their broken Chinese.
Also, it’s actually quite easy for a native speaker to understand a non-native (in my opinion), as long as you get a few keywords, you can basically guess the meaning of the sentence.
From a non-native speaker perspective.
I don’t speak perfect English, but my spoken English is at least quite understandable for daily communication.
In general, I felt comfortable talking to Americans even if sometimes they asked me to repeat myself.
And I really appreciate it when I was misusing a word/phrase and someone would correct me in a kind and polite way.
However, one of the few things that ‘bothered’ me was when the locals were using slang and they expected me to understand it.
I remembered one time when I stepped into a USPS store (one of the most annoying place in the world), and the staff said to me ‘hey! what’s the (or a) good word?’ And I was like ‘??????????’ Then she put on a slightly teasing face and said aloud ‘Madam, I am saying hello to you’, and everyone around was looking at me.
I was embarrassed and dis-encouraged and pissed off at the same time…
Anyway, I think it’s a matter of understanding.
It takes a lot of effort working/living in a second language, and people who do so deserve a lot of respect.

I am a native English speaker.
It is the only language I speak (in school I took 5 years of Latin.
) I know a few words and phrases in Spanish and French, and hope people will be kind to me when trying to communicate with them when I am in countries where not everyone speaks English.
(Luckily my husband speaks multiple languages.
)
How do I feel when I speak to a non-native English speaker? I’m impressed.
Broken English doesn’t annoy me.
It is hard to learn a second language.
That someone knows enough to be able to communicate is an impressive skill; it would be silly to expect perfection.
I tutor immigrants, who usually have a low education level from their home country, and they often apologize anytime they get something wrong.
But everyone gets things wrong! Even those of us who have spent our whole life learning English make mistakes.
I also work with professionals (generally with PhDs in their fields) who are non-native speakers.
They usually write very well but their speech is stilted.
It doesn’t bother me at all.
They work with us because they are experts in their field.
The only time I have been annoyed was when a person’s job duty also included copy-editing and her (written) English was not strong enough to do that (ironically, her spoken English was fine).
She was too arrogant to realize that she was making mistakes in her work and refused offers of help.
So really, broken English doesn’t bother me at all.
Because I know that if I travel to another country, my language skills are barely more refined that point and grunt.

My general practitioner has a very strong Cuban accent, but his grammar is perfect.
I’m embarrassingly bad at understanding people with accents, and I see my doctor once a month.
I have to concentrate really hard to make out his words, and although it’s frustrating, it makes me feel embarrassed and frustrated at myself to have to ask him to repeat himself so often.
He’s more educated than I am, incredibly intelligent, and has much more life experience, and it makes me feel embarrassed to essentially be telling him that he doesn’t speak English well enough for a native speaker to understand him.
I can tell sometimes he gets annoyed when I ask him multiple times to repeat himself.
Most people understand what he says much better than I do; most people are significantly better at understanding most accents than I am.
So when I fail to understand something a non-native English speaker says, I feel it’s mostly my fault for not understanding — after all, it’s English they’re speaking, and I feel I should be able to understand their meaning even if it’s not spoken perfectly.
And it’s not like I have a lack of exposure to different dialects; I live in California and talk to Mexicans who have accents all the time, yet I still have a lot of trouble having fluid conversations with them.

I am impressed with anyone attempting to speak U.
S.
English.
It isn’t an easy language to learn when you consider how many diphthongs, colloquialisms, and sound alike words we have such as “red” and “read”.
Most western countries and emerging countries teach standard English as a second language because it’s the language of business.
I wish that we could convince the U.
S.
Department of Education to make it mandatory to begin teaching a second language to kindergartners, or even preschoolers, because high school is too late to develop an accurate accent.
A yougov survey from 2013 indicated that 75% of U.
S.
Americans speak and understand only U.
S.
English.
That’s shameful and embarrassing.
I’ll tell you what I don’t like.
I don’t enjoy listening to U.
S.
Americans who have developed a bad habit of speaking in a post Valley Girl accent—-you know, like wow, it’s so totally awesome, dude! Particularly, when I hear that patois emanating from the mouth of someone old enough to know better.
Let’s give 22 years old as the cut off, but I’d like to make it 14.
When I hear it coming from someone in their fifties, I shake my head in bewilderment.
And one final note about that accent, it seems to go hand in hand with women, in particular, adding an upspeak to the end of each sentence as if asking a question.
Stop it! You sound as if you have no confidence in your statements and you are asking me for permission for you to speak about your knowledge or opinion.

There are so many varieties of “non-native English” that it’s very difficult to generalize.
People who know rather little of the language and are simply struggling to be understood are in some ways simpler to interact with, as it’s usually just an exchange of nouns and unconjugated verbs: if someone says to you “Please, where supermarket?”, you know what they want, and can simply use hand gestures to help them.
It’s another story in business communications where subtleties of language can translate to legal headaches down the road.
In such cases, even people who speak the language more-or-less perfectly can present problems.
But I’d like to highlight a distinct issue: native speakers who are essentially clueless about how to communicate with people whose English is a work in progress.
For example, I just used the terms “clueless” and “work in progress”, which any native speaker knows, but are rather difficult to parse out if you don’t know their precise meaning, tone, and context.
That is, native speakers need to learn to use short, declarative sentences as the default option when speaking to those who are still mastering the language.
For example, I deal with a lot of graduate students from Asia and elsewhere who are exceptionally diligent and obviously quite intelligent.
They can make themselves understood perfectly.
Yet, in research meetings, I often have to re-phrase remarks from colleagues that non-natives would not understand.
I recall instances where people said things like “That ship has sailed”, called difficult equations “those puppies”, decided to “absolve” someone of a supposed sin, or used ambiguous prepositional phrases like “put up” (which can mean “I put up with that behavior”, “I put it up on a shelf”, “I put them up at my home”…) In each case, I had to say the same thing over using much simpler, unambiguous language, e.
g.
, “It’s too late to do that now” for the first example.
Declarative English should be taught essentially as a second language to anyone working in large organizations.
It involves word choice, sentence construction, and clear pronunciation, and ensures that everyone has a chance to follow what’s being said.
It can also help native speakers learn to organize and slim down their oratory.
As well as avoid words like “oratory”.

I’m a native speaker of American English; in particular, the accent and pronunciations found in the Greater Philadelphia Area.
The first thing to note is that people who speak one dialect of English often cannot understand people who speak another dialect.
Ask someone born and raised in Maine to tell you what someone born and raised in Alabama is saying.
Ask someone from Arizona to tell you if they have any difficulty understanding what someone is saying who has a Boston accent.
As the saying goes, “England and the United States are countries separated by a common language.
” Start with the Standard American dialect (spoken by some television and radio news anchors and some articulate people in the Midwest) and compare that with what’s spoken in Sydney, Australia or Capetown, South Africa.
Most people need, at the very least, for the other person to speak more slowly so that they can understand the words.
I love hearing diverse dialects and accents when people speak English.
I’ve taught students from quite a few countries and always enjoyed the way that people from certain parts of India (like Mumbai) speak a signature type of English that blends their first language (often a local language), Hindi, and British English.
And this is the British English of the early 20th century, not the way Brits speak and write English today.
Transfer that symphonic blend to California, where these students do their best to learn how their neighbors and colleagues who were born in California speak the language, including local idiomatic expressions.
Of course, not everyone has the ear to “translate” someone’s accent that is very different from what they grew up hearing.
That can be mentally tiring, to say the least.
The people I have exceptional admiration for are people from the Far East (like China, Vietnam, Korea, and Japan) who take on the challenge of learning any form of English.
Their native languages are so linguistically different in every way from the Latin languages and the languages that were derived from ancient Arabic (which influenced English more than most people realize) that it takes a great deal of determination, especially learning as an adult (long after our brains have switched from being language sponges during our first few years of life).
What do I “really” feel when listening (not speaking) to people who are not native speakers of American English? I love it! I celebrate their efforts.
That said, when I taught graduate school business courses and had students for whom American English was their 2nd or 3rd language, students who wanted to be Silicon Valley entrepreneurs, I pushed them to a higher level of American English mastery— not in their accent, but in their grammar and diction (choice of words and phrases)— both written and spoken.
Most did not like that; it’s hard work; it’s not business strategy or financial forecasts.
Also, they had neither an appreciation of the way that people unconsciously equate articulateness with intelligence nor an appreciation of the ways that language mastery enables one to persuade more effectively.
I had the same expectation of “native speakers” of American English… and they didn’t like it either.

I really don’t mind it.
Sometimes I worry I come off as condescending by trying to make sure they understand me.
My girlfriend is from Italy.
When I first met her, she had very little practical experience with English.
Aside from the classroom, all she had was a few weeks in England and the fact that she liked to watch “Friends” in English.
When I met her, her English was good, but was often difficult to understand because she spoke very proper and also had a particularly strong accent.
I did my best to speak a little slower around her and avoid using idioms.
But she was very eager to perfect it, so eventually I just started talking normally and she would just ask me to explain when she didn’t understand something.
It was much better for her.
That was a year and a half ago.
Now she’s very good.
It’s interesting when you look at her writings/notes, it’s now a combination of Italian and English, just based on what word is shorter.
Truth be told, I barely think about it anymore.
That’s not to say I’ve forgotten about it.
There’s plenty of times where we’ll be watching a movie or tv show and she’ll ask me to explain a word or phrase.
There’s some things that may never totally click (to this day she doesn’t understand the difference in pronunciation between “bed” and “bad”) but it’s really no big deal.
I find it particularly interesting when she’s tired.
A couple times I’ve asked her a question in English and she groggily responds in Italian, only for me to stand there waiting for her to realize I have no clue what she said.
Like I said, I’m always worried I come off as condescending or a jerk.
I’ll say something, and then pause because I don’t know if she knows the word or not.
If I ask and she says yes, I worry she thinks I don’t think her English is good.
If I don’t ask and she doesn’t she may have no clue what I’m saying.
Luckily for me, she’s gotten to the point where she really doesn’t mind asking, so I do my best to not ask her and just keep talking unless she says otherwise.

My reaction depends on the level of brokenness of their English.
If they just have an neat accent, I think “Cool, fun accent” and move on.
If they make a couple minor errors, some habitual grammar errors, fumble a word every so often, I note what they do wrong, consider letting them know, and almost always decide that it would be disrespectful to point it out, and unnecessary.
I don’t mind it at all, but I do notice.
If they have a thick accent that is hard to understand, but are using the right words and stuff, I do my best to decode the dialect and try not to have to ask them to repeat what they said too much.
I often have this problem with my dad’s extended family, as they have rather harsh southern accents.
I don’t want to make them feel self conscious about the way they talk.
If they speak extremely broken English, I just have to try my best.
If someone is struggling about how to say something, I attempt to suggest a phrasing, if I can and it seems appropriate to do so.
If I misunderstand someone, I make a point to apologize.
I’m not bilingual.
They are at least trying to be, which is better than I’m doing.
If they are willing to go to the effort of speaking the Charlie Foxtrot that is the English Language in order to communicate with me, I’m willing to go the extra mile to understand what they want to say.
Native English speakers are like black bears.
They’re more afraid of [annoying] you than you are of [annoying] them.
(Annoying you by asking you to repeat yourself for the fourth time, that is.
)

Grammar and pronunciation.
Then again, I am an English Teacher so…
But basically if what came out of someone’s mouth is so garbled that I can’t even begin to dissect it into a coherent sentiment and yet they expect me to understand it perfectly and, worse, to try to psychically guess at their meaning and turn it into a coherent sentence… yeah, that’s more than a little annoying.
It is particularly bad when they do it in text.
At least verbally in a situation context could give me some sort of idea.
But giving someone a totally garbled message using wrong vocabulary, wrong spelling, wrong grammar… basically just passing as English in so far as the words one is attempting to use come from English… and you don’t include the message in your native language as well… don’t expect anyone to be able to understand or fix it for you.
In fact, often in these cases I end up asking for the person to just write it in their native language too.
If I don’t know all the vocabulary myself, I can plug it into Google Translate and while what I get out is still garbled, I can work it into a feasible sentence and with some finagling get it to give me the precise definition of certain words in case homonyms are the cause of the confusion.

Depends on whether I speak their native language or not, and whether they’re better at English than I am at their language.
This is a pretty common situation for me when talking to French people…
If it’s someone being friendly and showing off their 40-year out of date schoolboy English I may well jokingly reply in English, deliberately limiting my vocab to the phrases they stand a chance of understanding… But eventually I’ll shift to French (in most cases this is after the first “Hello, How are you?” exchange.
If it’s someone who’s just trying to show off or use me as a free English lesson, then in the majority of cases I’m just not patient enough – especially if I want to communicate something specific and I know they won’t understand me in English… I’ll shift to French straight away, ignoring the fact they’re speaking English…
(I know – this is my fault – not the fault of the person speaking to me – I’m just not patient enough to struggle through a conversation in broken English when I know we have a better alternative available).
I want the person to talk to me in a language that everyone understands
This leads to some odd situations.
I’ve in a room with two Englishmen amongst a large group of French, and you end up with the two Englishmen speaking French to each other… In fact, in one particular situation, the only time I met a particular Englishman was in the company of non-English speakers – eventually it got to the stage where we were so used to speaking French with one another so that other people in the group would understand, that we ended up ‘hardwired’ to speak French, and even when we found ourselves alone it was incredibly difficult for either of us to speak English.
Then my instant response when someone speaks to me in English, regardless of their level, is “Oh Thank God! – we can communicate”.
I’m extremely grateful that they’ve made the effort to learn my language (and generally feel slightly guilty about not speaking theirs).

Who? What? Where? When? and Why?
This question is a bit vague, so I’ll just give an “in general” answer.
As an ESL teacher in Asia for the past 5 years or so, it’s my job to listen to broken English and correct it as necessary.
As long as the context of the conversation is clear, the following are not major barriers to communication: Mistakes in tense, errors in verb conjugation, absence of helping/auxiliary words, dropping pronouns, minor word order mistakes, singular/plurals confusion, overformality/confusion of register, among others.
I think that the big barriers are pronunciation and the inability of the native speaker to grade their language properly.
In my case, it’s my job to be able to correct errors and grade my language, so I’m comfortable speaking with ESL learners.
On the other hand, I know someone who works in IT and often has conference calls with programmers from India who speak grammatically correct English with thick accents.
He sits through the calls without speaking and walks away gaining no new knowledge.
He doesn’t have any training or experience with non-native speakers and he shouldn’t be expected to.
I can understand his frustration.

As a native English speaker I love speaking to non-native English speakers! I particularly love the differences in our Englishes.
For example, here in Europe I find a lot of people use the word “touristic”, use recommend as a transitive verb (“he recommended me to xyz”) and other little things like this.
I find these differences really interesting, and I feel that it makes my life richer.
Regarding any negative feelings I might have:
So any negative feelings I have are aimed at myself, definitely not the person I’m speaking with!
I hope you’re not discouraged from developing your English by feeling that people are annoyed at you! Even if they do find it difficult, if they’re being really nice, they’re probably just trying to be friendly and help as best as they can.
You can only improve with practice so don’t give up :)

In my experience, the vast majority of them here in the US seem nice and understanding and they are often impressed at my own English fluency, and they often say that I have very little accent.
However, I have, on occasion, run into those who could definitely use better people skills, particularly when I happen to slightly mispronounce certain words that are not used in everyday speech, but with which they happen to be more familiar because they are native speakers.
It is perfectly fine to correct my pronunciation of a certain word, but I don’t think it’s appropriate to laugh at my pronunciation afterwards.
Some native English speakers, like native speakers of any language, often underestimate how difficult their native language actually is for nonnative speakers.
They often overlook the fact that, in some cases, literally 10–15 words can mean the same thing and that there are no rules for pronunciation of each word and that pronunciation is based on memorization.
This is very different from my native language because in my native language, it goes: one letter, one sound.
Plus, if you don’t use certain words for a while, it’s easier to forget their pronunciation if you’re a nonnative speaker.
These things should be taken into consideration more.

Usually quite pleased that they can speak English at all.
I myself speak two foreign languages, so I am fully aware of how difficult and frustrating language can be, particularly when speaking it, because when speaking you have to interact with people in real time.
If you’re writing or reading, you have more time to think and hone your answers.
In live speech, no such luxury.
I’ve spent several years of my life as a EFL teacher.
You don’t do that if broken English annoys you or if you can’t be encouraging about it.
A lot of how I feel about it depends on how advanced the person is.
If they’re a non-native speaker who’s fluent but just drops a few words here or there, then generally it’s no different than speaking with an Anglophone with the slight exception of me adjusting for accent.
If they have a thicker accent, it usually will take me a couple of moments to adjust to their speech patterns.
After that, no problems.
With upper-intermediate or lower, it requires more of my attention because I’m not just monitoring my speech and formulating answers, but I’m paying far more attention to their speech and trying to judge the trajectory of the conversation.
If I’m outside of the classroom I’m not going to correct people (I am off the clock), but being anticipatory allows me to help out when the speaker can’t think of a word or fumbles with grammar.
If you let people flounder for too long, they’re going to lose confidence.
If you’re reading the conversation and understand what the speaker is getting at, you can introduce substitute words or sentence structure very quickly and the speaker often won’t even realize that you’re propping ’em up a bit.
It’s a smooth conversation, just with a bit more support from me.
And I don’t mind.
I like talking to people.
Paying attention to what people are telling me is not a problem.

How do native speakers truly feel when speaking with non-native English speakers?

I am a native English speaker, and I have the utmost respect for non-native English speakers for the hardships they have had to endure with learning and utilising a foreign language.
One of the major hurdles is conquering the insecurity and fear of making mistakes that will make them look or feel stupid.
I get this myself when speaking my limited amount of Spanish to native Spanish speakers, however my issue is cushioned as I am safe in the knowledge that a native Spanish speaker who can also speak in English, knows full well the difficulties of attempting to speak in a foreign language, whereas a great deal of native English speakers are not so familiar with these difficulties.
My personal opinion is that it is the communication that matters; conveying one idea to another via the medium of language.
It’s a shame that non-native English speakers get so hung up on the mistakes they make.
Mistakes do not matter when we are having a simple conversation.
Communicating effectively and having an enjoyable flow of conversation is much more important than grammatical accuracy.
A lot of non-native English speakers will ask for their mistakes to be corrected during conversation, and I always refuse to do this unless their mistake is a grave one, which could cause offence or severe misunderstanding.
Imagine how a conversation would go when someone corrects your grammar every other sentence – you would not be able to absorb most of the information, nor would I particularly enjoy the flow of information to be interrupted so often.
One Italian guy I knew was brilliant – he would simply speak so fast and with so much passion that any mistakes he made were so inconsequential because he was so involving and so enjoyable to converse with.
My advice to non-native English speakers is to just keep talking and talking, don’t ask people to correct your mistakes.
Feel free to make mistakes.
Listen to the native English speakers communicate with each other.
Read up on grammatical and cultural nuances.
The information is all online.
We learn another language to communicate with others from other cultures, and grammatical mistakes are absolutely meaningless.
There are those that will correct you all the time.
These are people who care not about the flow of conversation, but more about their own pedantry for accuracy.
Correcting others makes us feel like we are experts in a given subject and should be listened to (how many of us native English speakers could hand on heart say that we are experts on our own language anyway?)
The most important thing is simply to share ideas and enjoy the communication, otherwise – why do it?

What’s Fine
First off, it depends on the quality of the English of the Non-Native Speaker.
I work with quite a number of people who were born outside of the United States in Non-English speaking countries.
However, they speak English fluently now and I generally have no problem communicating with them.
Some of these foreigners speak better English than many American-born people.
(This is especially true because I work with a number of translators.
)
If someone is struggling to find one word, but speaks the rest of the sentence easily, then, again, I have no issue.
Native speakers also lose track of words or might forget a word.
There is no difference for me.
If someone who speaks Broken English needs a simple piece of information, there is no problem.
I can provide that and then let them go on their way.
What’s Irksome
What irks me is if someone is trying to communicate with me, but doing so in such a slow way that by the time that they finish their sentence, five minutes has elapsed.
I find it especially annoying if I speak that person’s native language and they simply keep trying to say whatever it is in Broken English in order to “practice speaking English”.
If you would like to practice English, more power to you, but I am interested in communicating with you, so if we can more effectively communicate in your native tongue, let’s switch to that.
Finally, it is very difficult to talk about an emotionally charged topic like a personal failure or a relationship break up when someone keeps asking you to define your terms and help them with pronunciation.

“How do native speakers truly feel when speaking with non-native English speakers?”
I like accents (foreign and domestic) and I’m interested in the mistakes that speakers make because they’re characteristic of their various original languages.
But two things bother me when I hear English spoken as a second language:
> The habit of over-elaborating.
What a sentence means is so important to non-native speakers that sometimes they don’t give native speakers a chance to understand their spoken English even if it is elliptical, partial, ungrammatical or whatever.
I think they should state the idea briefly, and then allow the listener to ask for an elaboration if necessary.
> The tendency to speak in baby talk.
I think that picking through a limited vocabulary makes non-native speakers “talk down” to the listeners.
One of my students was referring to people who “did bad things.
” I asked her if, when she said “did bad things,” she meant “committing crimes”? She said yes, so why she decided to say “did bad things” instead of “committing crimes” I do not know.
She clearly knew the word “crimes.
” I think she just got into the habit of talking simply, with a limited vocabulary, so she ended up talking baby talk even when it was not necessary.
I also cannot understand why anyone would feel so irritated when two people are conversing in a foreign language.
When Americans are abroad, they obviously speak to their traveling companions in English, so it’s only natural that other people do the equivalent.
I was on an elevator when an American woman burst out screaming “This is America! Speak English! Don’t jabber like that! Speak English!” The two foreign women looked startled and even fearful — as I would too — and shrank cringing against the wall.
What did she care what they said? Did she think they were saying, “Let’s put a knife in the ribs of that American in the blue coat and take her pocketbook!”

My parents were immigrants to this country but I was born here.
I was actually in ESL classes up till third grade, because though they tried to assimilate (my stay-at-home mom was even a part of the PTA), they were still learning English.
I grew up around many people who weren’t native English speakers… but I also had my fair share of native English speaking friends.
I consider myself a native English speaker because it is my primary language and the only language I’m fluent in and even when I listen to native English speaking people, no one’s English is perfect.
I come from a household where English is spoken (primarily on the part of my sister and I), but the other half consists of other languages as well, so I find that some things in the English language were never fully grasped by me.
Even so, there are some people I’ve encountered who clearly aren’t native to the English language that, quite frankly, annoy me.
Obviously not everyone, of course.
For the most part, mistakes and accents are all a part of learning a new language and I expect it.
Sometimes, I even like the accent.
If you’re not making a mistake (or are too afraid to) while learning and practicing a language, you’re doing it wrong.
However, there are some people that really rub me the wrong way.
Mainly, I really dislike it when someone comes, uses bad English….
and you discover that they’ve been here for years.
It’s fine if your English needs work – all languages need work on a daily basis to keep it up.
However, it’s not very understandable that your English still needs a lot of work after having had lived here for 5 years.
Then again, it’s like those ex-pats I’ve heard of but have thankfully never personally encountered who live in another country for 5+ years and never took the time to learn or understand their host country’s culture or language.
Why are you even there???
Fortunately, I’ve only personally met one person who fits that criteria and I have a thing with keeping my distance with people who tweak me the wrong way.
Otherwise, I have no real issues with non-native English speakers.
In fact, I even enjoy talking to them to get a different perspective on things!

When you’re talking to an older man in America, it almost always has seemed to me that they get perturbed when hearing broken English.
That’s simply because they grew up in a time period where “you’re in America.
Either speak English or go back to where you came from”.
This isn’t always true, though, as some were raised differently and took different languages themselves and henceforth knew how difficult it was.
As of today, some youth and adults will still get irritated, but not the majority.
Most children are required two years of foreign language so they’re much more accepting because, as I said earlier, they know exactly how difficult learning a language can be.
As for myself (being a teenager who has studied Spanish among other languages for four+ years), I can say that I actually feel happy hearing broken English.
It makes me happy because not only have they invested a lot of their time in the language, but they’ve built up the confidence to try to speak it.
We have an exchange student from Spain in my high-school, and the first time I heard her speak broken English (with half of the class silently laughing at it), I wanted to give her my phone number as soon as possible and tell her that if she ever needs help with assignments or understanding anything, she can either find me or call me.
So I suppose I truly feel sympathy and joy at the same time.

Honestly, I feel impressed.
I feel kind of guilty when someone who isn’t a native speaker apologises for “their bad English” because even if it isn’t perfect, I understand what they’re saying and I admire the effort.
I’m near-monolingual, so I’m conscious of the fact that you’re doing better than me.
If it seems like you’re struggling, then I feel admiration for your perseverance.
This isn’t to minimise the experience that I know many non-native English speakers have of encountering people who are annoyed with them because “They can’t speak the language” or who assume they lack intelligence because their English isn’t perfect.
Those kind of attitudes exist.
But some native-English speakers honestly don’t feel that way at all.
English is an unusually flexible language in the sense that you don’t need to speak it perfectly to get your meaning across.
You don’t need to have perfect verb conjugations or use of prepositions (usually).
It takes a little while to get used to someone using English in a non-conventional way though (or even in an accent you aren’t used to).
So, it might be helpful to think about it in those terms.
Someone who keeps asking you to repeat yourself a few times at the start of a conversation may simply get used to your speech patterns once their ears attune to it.
I find that it’s easier to understand someone who has been talking to me for a few minutes than someone who has only said a couple of words to me.
Also, in most English-speaking countries, it’s considered rude to correct others’ English.
After all, as long as what you’re saying makes sense, it’s good not to be too pedantic about ‘which’ or ‘that’; ‘I’, or ‘me’; etc.
But this convention can be a problem for people actively looking to improve their English.
On a few occasions, some of my friends who speak English as a second (or sometimes third, or fourth!) language have asked me to correct their grammar, pronunciation, word choices, etc.
I’ve actually really enjoyed doing that, it helps them learn and it has helped me pick up what aspects of the language are difficult for non-native speakers, which, in turn, helps me with future encounters when I’m not quite sure what someone is saying.
It might not be appropriate in a professional situation, but if you’re willing to be corrected by a friend, this might be a helpful way forward.

I am not a native English speaker, but I have been living in the US for 2 years and now I am working on a daily basis with the expat community in China, where a lot of westerners are learning and practicing Chinese.
So, I wanna share my feeling regarding both perspectives.
First, I admire and respect English/Spanish/Arabic…speakers who are learning mandarin from the bottom of my heart.
In linguistic senses, mandarin is significant different from their mother tongue, which makes it extremely difficult to learn for an adult.
But they are very willing to practice and asking suggestions from the natives.
Hardly did I ever get bothered by their broken Chinese.
Also, it’s actually quite easy for a native speaker to understand a non-native (in my opinion), as long as you get a few keywords, you can basically guess the meaning of the sentence.
From a non-native speaker perspective.
I don’t speak perfect English, but my spoken English is at least quite understandable for daily communication.
In general, I felt comfortable talking to Americans even if sometimes they asked me to repeat myself.
And I really appreciate it when I was misusing a word/phrase and someone would correct me in a kind and polite way.
However, one of the few things that ‘bothered’ me was when the locals were using slang and they expected me to understand it.
I remembered one time when I stepped into a USPS store (one of the most annoying place in the world), and the staff said to me ‘hey! what’s the (or a) good word?’ And I was like ‘??????????’ Then she put on a slightly teasing face and said aloud ‘Madam, I am saying hello to you’, and everyone around was looking at me.
I was embarrassed and dis-encouraged and pissed off at the same time…
Anyway, I think it’s a matter of understanding.
It takes a lot of effort working/living in a second language, and people who do so deserve a lot of respect.

I am a native English speaker.
It is the only language I speak (in school I took 5 years of Latin.
) I know a few words and phrases in Spanish and French, and hope people will be kind to me when trying to communicate with them when I am in countries where not everyone speaks English.
(Luckily my husband speaks multiple languages.
)
How do I feel when I speak to a non-native English speaker? I’m impressed.
Broken English doesn’t annoy me.
It is hard to learn a second language.
That someone knows enough to be able to communicate is an impressive skill; it would be silly to expect perfection.
I tutor immigrants, who usually have a low education level from their home country, and they often apologize anytime they get something wrong.
But everyone gets things wrong! Even those of us who have spent our whole life learning English make mistakes.
I also work with professionals (generally with PhDs in their fields) who are non-native speakers.
They usually write very well but their speech is stilted.
It doesn’t bother me at all.
They work with us because they are experts in their field.
The only time I have been annoyed was when a person’s job duty also included copy-editing and her (written) English was not strong enough to do that (ironically, her spoken English was fine).
She was too arrogant to realize that she was making mistakes in her work and refused offers of help.
So really, broken English doesn’t bother me at all.
Because I know that if I travel to another country, my language skills are barely more refined that point and grunt.

My general practitioner has a very strong Cuban accent, but his grammar is perfect.
I’m embarrassingly bad at understanding people with accents, and I see my doctor once a month.
I have to concentrate really hard to make out his words, and although it’s frustrating, it makes me feel embarrassed and frustrated at myself to have to ask him to repeat himself so often.
He’s more educated than I am, incredibly intelligent, and has much more life experience, and it makes me feel embarrassed to essentially be telling him that he doesn’t speak English well enough for a native speaker to understand him.
I can tell sometimes he gets annoyed when I ask him multiple times to repeat himself.
Most people understand what he says much better than I do; most people are significantly better at understanding most accents than I am.
So when I fail to understand something a non-native English speaker says, I feel it’s mostly my fault for not understanding — after all, it’s English they’re speaking, and I feel I should be able to understand their meaning even if it’s not spoken perfectly.
And it’s not like I have a lack of exposure to different dialects; I live in California and talk to Mexicans who have accents all the time, yet I still have a lot of trouble having fluid conversations with them.

I am impressed with anyone attempting to speak U.
S.
English.
It isn’t an easy language to learn when you consider how many diphthongs, colloquialisms, and sound alike words we have such as “red” and “read”.
Most western countries and emerging countries teach standard English as a second language because it’s the language of business.
I wish that we could convince the U.
S.
Department of Education to make it mandatory to begin teaching a second language to kindergartners, or even preschoolers, because high school is too late to develop an accurate accent.
A yougov survey from 2013 indicated that 75% of U.
S.
Americans speak and understand only U.
S.
English.
That’s shameful and embarrassing.
I’ll tell you what I don’t like.
I don’t enjoy listening to U.
S.
Americans who have developed a bad habit of speaking in a post Valley Girl accent—-you know, like wow, it’s so totally awesome, dude! Particularly, when I hear that patois emanating from the mouth of someone old enough to know better.
Let’s give 22 years old as the cut off, but I’d like to make it 14.
When I hear it coming from someone in their fifties, I shake my head in bewilderment.
And one final note about that accent, it seems to go hand in hand with women, in particular, adding an upspeak to the end of each sentence as if asking a question.
Stop it! You sound as if you have no confidence in your statements and you are asking me for permission for you to speak about your knowledge or opinion.

There are so many varieties of “non-native English” that it’s very difficult to generalize.
People who know rather little of the language and are simply struggling to be understood are in some ways simpler to interact with, as it’s usually just an exchange of nouns and unconjugated verbs: if someone says to you “Please, where supermarket?”, you know what they want, and can simply use hand gestures to help them.
It’s another story in business communications where subtleties of language can translate to legal headaches down the road.
In such cases, even people who speak the language more-or-less perfectly can present problems.
But I’d like to highlight a distinct issue: native speakers who are essentially clueless about how to communicate with people whose English is a work in progress.
For example, I just used the terms “clueless” and “work in progress”, which any native speaker knows, but are rather difficult to parse out if you don’t know their precise meaning, tone, and context.
That is, native speakers need to learn to use short, declarative sentences as the default option when speaking to those who are still mastering the language.
For example, I deal with a lot of graduate students from Asia and elsewhere who are exceptionally diligent and obviously quite intelligent.
They can make themselves understood perfectly.
Yet, in research meetings, I often have to re-phrase remarks from colleagues that non-natives would not understand.
I recall instances where people said things like “That ship has sailed”, called difficult equations “those puppies”, decided to “absolve” someone of a supposed sin, or used ambiguous prepositional phrases like “put up” (which can mean “I put up with that behavior”, “I put it up on a shelf”, “I put them up at my home”…) In each case, I had to say the same thing over using much simpler, unambiguous language, e.
g.
, “It’s too late to do that now” for the first example.
Declarative English should be taught essentially as a second language to anyone working in large organizations.
It involves word choice, sentence construction, and clear pronunciation, and ensures that everyone has a chance to follow what’s being said.
It can also help native speakers learn to organize and slim down their oratory.
As well as avoid words like “oratory”.

I’m a native speaker of American English; in particular, the accent and pronunciations found in the Greater Philadelphia Area.
The first thing to note is that people who speak one dialect of English often cannot understand people who speak another dialect.
Ask someone born and raised in Maine to tell you what someone born and raised in Alabama is saying.
Ask someone from Arizona to tell you if they have any difficulty understanding what someone is saying who has a Boston accent.
As the saying goes, “England and the United States are countries separated by a common language.
” Start with the Standard American dialect (spoken by some television and radio news anchors and some articulate people in the Midwest) and compare that with what’s spoken in Sydney, Australia or Capetown, South Africa.
Most people need, at the very least, for the other person to speak more slowly so that they can understand the words.
I love hearing diverse dialects and accents when people speak English.
I’ve taught students from quite a few countries and always enjoyed the way that people from certain parts of India (like Mumbai) speak a signature type of English that blends their first language (often a local language), Hindi, and British English.
And this is the British English of the early 20th century, not the way Brits speak and write English today.
Transfer that symphonic blend to California, where these students do their best to learn how their neighbors and colleagues who were born in California speak the language, including local idiomatic expressions.
Of course, not everyone has the ear to “translate” someone’s accent that is very different from what they grew up hearing.
That can be mentally tiring, to say the least.
The people I have exceptional admiration for are people from the Far East (like China, Vietnam, Korea, and Japan) who take on the challenge of learning any form of English.
Their native languages are so linguistically different in every way from the Latin languages and the languages that were derived from ancient Arabic (which influenced English more than most people realize) that it takes a great deal of determination, especially learning as an adult (long after our brains have switched from being language sponges during our first few years of life).
What do I “really” feel when listening (not speaking) to people who are not native speakers of American English? I love it! I celebrate their efforts.
That said, when I taught graduate school business courses and had students for whom American English was their 2nd or 3rd language, students who wanted to be Silicon Valley entrepreneurs, I pushed them to a higher level of American English mastery— not in their accent, but in their grammar and diction (choice of words and phrases)— both written and spoken.
Most did not like that; it’s hard work; it’s not business strategy or financial forecasts.
Also, they had neither an appreciation of the way that people unconsciously equate articulateness with intelligence nor an appreciation of the ways that language mastery enables one to persuade more effectively.
I had the same expectation of “native speakers” of American English… and they didn’t like it either.

I really don’t mind it.
Sometimes I worry I come off as condescending by trying to make sure they understand me.
My girlfriend is from Italy.
When I first met her, she had very little practical experience with English.
Aside from the classroom, all she had was a few weeks in England and the fact that she liked to watch “Friends” in English.
When I met her, her English was good, but was often difficult to understand because she spoke very proper and also had a particularly strong accent.
I did my best to speak a little slower around her and avoid using idioms.
But she was very eager to perfect it, so eventually I just started talking normally and she would just ask me to explain when she didn’t understand something.
It was much better for her.
That was a year and a half ago.
Now she’s very good.
It’s interesting when you look at her writings/notes, it’s now a combination of Italian and English, just based on what word is shorter.
Truth be told, I barely think about it anymore.
That’s not to say I’ve forgotten about it.
There’s plenty of times where we’ll be watching a movie or tv show and she’ll ask me to explain a word or phrase.
There’s some things that may never totally click (to this day she doesn’t understand the difference in pronunciation between “bed” and “bad”) but it’s really no big deal.
I find it particularly interesting when she’s tired.
A couple times I’ve asked her a question in English and she groggily responds in Italian, only for me to stand there waiting for her to realize I have no clue what she said.
Like I said, I’m always worried I come off as condescending or a jerk.
I’ll say something, and then pause because I don’t know if she knows the word or not.
If I ask and she says yes, I worry she thinks I don’t think her English is good.
If I don’t ask and she doesn’t she may have no clue what I’m saying.
Luckily for me, she’s gotten to the point where she really doesn’t mind asking, so I do my best to not ask her and just keep talking unless she says otherwise.

My reaction depends on the level of brokenness of their English.
If they just have an neat accent, I think “Cool, fun accent” and move on.
If they make a couple minor errors, some habitual grammar errors, fumble a word every so often, I note what they do wrong, consider letting them know, and almost always decide that it would be disrespectful to point it out, and unnecessary.
I don’t mind it at all, but I do notice.
If they have a thick accent that is hard to understand, but are using the right words and stuff, I do my best to decode the dialect and try not to have to ask them to repeat what they said too much.
I often have this problem with my dad’s extended family, as they have rather harsh southern accents.
I don’t want to make them feel self conscious about the way they talk.
If they speak extremely broken English, I just have to try my best.
If someone is struggling about how to say something, I attempt to suggest a phrasing, if I can and it seems appropriate to do so.
If I misunderstand someone, I make a point to apologize.
I’m not bilingual.
They are at least trying to be, which is better than I’m doing.
If they are willing to go to the effort of speaking the Charlie Foxtrot that is the English Language in order to communicate with me, I’m willing to go the extra mile to understand what they want to say.
Native English speakers are like black bears.
They’re more afraid of [annoying] you than you are of [annoying] them.
(Annoying you by asking you to repeat yourself for the fourth time, that is.
)

Grammar and pronunciation.
Then again, I am an English Teacher so…
But basically if what came out of someone’s mouth is so garbled that I can’t even begin to dissect it into a coherent sentiment and yet they expect me to understand it perfectly and, worse, to try to psychically guess at their meaning and turn it into a coherent sentence… yeah, that’s more than a little annoying.
It is particularly bad when they do it in text.
At least verbally in a situation context could give me some sort of idea.
But giving someone a totally garbled message using wrong vocabulary, wrong spelling, wrong grammar… basically just passing as English in so far as the words one is attempting to use come from English… and you don’t include the message in your native language as well… don’t expect anyone to be able to understand or fix it for you.
In fact, often in these cases I end up asking for the person to just write it in their native language too.
If I don’t know all the vocabulary myself, I can plug it into Google Translate and while what I get out is still garbled, I can work it into a feasible sentence and with some finagling get it to give me the precise definition of certain words in case homonyms are the cause of the confusion.

Depends on whether I speak their native language or not, and whether they’re better at English than I am at their language.
This is a pretty common situation for me when talking to French people…
If it’s someone being friendly and showing off their 40-year out of date schoolboy English I may well jokingly reply in English, deliberately limiting my vocab to the phrases they stand a chance of understanding… But eventually I’ll shift to French (in most cases this is after the first “Hello, How are you?” exchange.
If it’s someone who’s just trying to show off or use me as a free English lesson, then in the majority of cases I’m just not patient enough – especially if I want to communicate something specific and I know they won’t understand me in English… I’ll shift to French straight away, ignoring the fact they’re speaking English…
(I know – this is my fault – not the fault of the person speaking to me – I’m just not patient enough to struggle through a conversation in broken English when I know we have a better alternative available).
I want the person to talk to me in a language that everyone understands
This leads to some odd situations.
I’ve in a room with two Englishmen amongst a large group of French, and you end up with the two Englishmen speaking French to each other… In fact, in one particular situation, the only time I met a particular Englishman was in the company of non-English speakers – eventually it got to the stage where we were so used to speaking French with one another so that other people in the group would understand, that we ended up ‘hardwired’ to speak French, and even when we found ourselves alone it was incredibly difficult for either of us to speak English.
Then my instant response when someone speaks to me in English, regardless of their level, is “Oh Thank God! – we can communicate”.
I’m extremely grateful that they’ve made the effort to learn my language (and generally feel slightly guilty about not speaking theirs).

Who? What? Where? When? and Why?
This question is a bit vague, so I’ll just give an “in general” answer.
As an ESL teacher in Asia for the past 5 years or so, it’s my job to listen to broken English and correct it as necessary.
As long as the context of the conversation is clear, the following are not major barriers to communication: Mistakes in tense, errors in verb conjugation, absence of helping/auxiliary words, dropping pronouns, minor word order mistakes, singular/plurals confusion, overformality/confusion of register, among others.
I think that the big barriers are pronunciation and the inability of the native speaker to grade their language properly.
In my case, it’s my job to be able to correct errors and grade my language, so I’m comfortable speaking with ESL learners.
On the other hand, I know someone who works in IT and often has conference calls with programmers from India who speak grammatically correct English with thick accents.
He sits through the calls without speaking and walks away gaining no new knowledge.
He doesn’t have any training or experience with non-native speakers and he shouldn’t be expected to.
I can understand his frustration.

As a native English speaker I love speaking to non-native English speakers! I particularly love the differences in our Englishes.
For example, here in Europe I find a lot of people use the word “touristic”, use recommend as a transitive verb (“he recommended me to xyz”) and other little things like this.
I find these differences really interesting, and I feel that it makes my life richer.
Regarding any negative feelings I might have:
So any negative feelings I have are aimed at myself, definitely not the person I’m speaking with!
I hope you’re not discouraged from developing your English by feeling that people are annoyed at you! Even if they do find it difficult, if they’re being really nice, they’re probably just trying to be friendly and help as best as they can.
You can only improve with practice so don’t give up :)

In my experience, the vast majority of them here in the US seem nice and understanding and they are often impressed at my own English fluency, and they often say that I have very little accent.
However, I have, on occasion, run into those who could definitely use better people skills, particularly when I happen to slightly mispronounce certain words that are not used in everyday speech, but with which they happen to be more familiar because they are native speakers.
It is perfectly fine to correct my pronunciation of a certain word, but I don’t think it’s appropriate to laugh at my pronunciation afterwards.
Some native English speakers, like native speakers of any language, often underestimate how difficult their native language actually is for nonnative speakers.
They often overlook the fact that, in some cases, literally 10–15 words can mean the same thing and that there are no rules for pronunciation of each word and that pronunciation is based on memorization.
This is very different from my native language because in my native language, it goes: one letter, one sound.
Plus, if you don’t use certain words for a while, it’s easier to forget their pronunciation if you’re a nonnative speaker.
These things should be taken into consideration more.

Usually quite pleased that they can speak English at all.
I myself speak two foreign languages, so I am fully aware of how difficult and frustrating language can be, particularly when speaking it, because when speaking you have to interact with people in real time.
If you’re writing or reading, you have more time to think and hone your answers.
In live speech, no such luxury.
I’ve spent several years of my life as a EFL teacher.
You don’t do that if broken English annoys you or if you can’t be encouraging about it.
A lot of how I feel about it depends on how advanced the person is.
If they’re a non-native speaker who’s fluent but just drops a few words here or there, then generally it’s no different than speaking with an Anglophone with the slight exception of me adjusting for accent.
If they have a thicker accent, it usually will take me a couple of moments to adjust to their speech patterns.
After that, no problems.
With upper-intermediate or lower, it requires more of my attention because I’m not just monitoring my speech and formulating answers, but I’m paying far more attention to their speech and trying to judge the trajectory of the conversation.
If I’m outside of the classroom I’m not going to correct people (I am off the clock), but being anticipatory allows me to help out when the speaker can’t think of a word or fumbles with grammar.
If you let people flounder for too long, they’re going to lose confidence.
If you’re reading the conversation and understand what the speaker is getting at, you can introduce substitute words or sentence structure very quickly and the speaker often won’t even realize that you’re propping ’em up a bit.
It’s a smooth conversation, just with a bit more support from me.
And I don’t mind.
I like talking to people.
Paying attention to what people are telling me is not a problem.

I’m a native English speaker, and I don’t always get annoyed by “broken English”.
The reason is that English is not even the most common spoken language in the world, and I am not an expert at the native language of the person I am speaking to.
I appreciate them because they are taking the time and effort to learn another language, and let’s say if I spoke something like Spanish, I may not be able to communicate on the same level as they would in English.
In my opinion, learning a foreign language in England (where I live) is not stressed enough.
I learn Spanish at school but that is only from the start of high school whereas I know some people in Spain who are near fluent in English as they have been learning it for years and years.
Yes, English is the official language in many countries but learning other languages really helps you understand someone’s culture and connect with them on that level.
Therefore, I would attempt to be nice to a non-native speaker at give them time so I don’t rush them.
However, sometimes I may not understand what they are saying and if they react rudely, then it does annoy me.
I would say, “could you repeat that please” and if they make a tutting noise or a noise signifying displeasure, I would be annoyed.
Also, sometimes people can use the wrong words.
I would say something like, “oh did you mean this…” nicely because then they will know the correct word

It doesn't annoy me at all! (well, sometimes.
But the days when broken English annoys me are also the days when I woke up annoyed that I have to breathe, and it has nothing to do with someone's English abilities and everything to do with what Allie Brosh ingeniously called the Sneaky Hate Spiral.
A day off work usually fixes this.
) But, I'm in the habit of making very odd faces, because I'm both autistic and hard of hearing.
Often I don't even know I'm doing it.
You know what DOES annoy me a little, though? People whose English is barely intelligible who speak Spanish, know I speak Spanish, AND WON’T LET ME SERVE THEM IN SPANISH.
If my Spanish is better than your English, that's fine! Your English will unquestionably be better than my German.
The languages you speak are only a measure of your opportunity and your linguistic ability, not your intelligence.
But please allow me to assist you in a language that's comfortable for both of to speak.

How do native speakers truly feel when speaking with non-native English speakers?

I am a native English speaker, and I have the utmost respect for non-native English speakers for the hardships they have had to endure with learning and utilising a foreign language.
One of the major hurdles is conquering the insecurity and fear of making mistakes that will make them look or feel stupid.
I get this myself when speaking my limited amount of Spanish to native Spanish speakers, however my issue is cushioned as I am safe in the knowledge that a native Spanish speaker who can also speak in English, knows full well the difficulties of attempting to speak in a foreign language, whereas a great deal of native English speakers are not so familiar with these difficulties.
My personal opinion is that it is the communication that matters; conveying one idea to another via the medium of language.
It’s a shame that non-native English speakers get so hung up on the mistakes they make.
Mistakes do not matter when we are having a simple conversation.
Communicating effectively and having an enjoyable flow of conversation is much more important than grammatical accuracy.
A lot of non-native English speakers will ask for their mistakes to be corrected during conversation, and I always refuse to do this unless their mistake is a grave one, which could cause offence or severe misunderstanding.
Imagine how a conversation would go when someone corrects your grammar every other sentence – you would not be able to absorb most of the information, nor would I particularly enjoy the flow of information to be interrupted so often.
One Italian guy I knew was brilliant – he would simply speak so fast and with so much passion that any mistakes he made were so inconsequential because he was so involving and so enjoyable to converse with.
My advice to non-native English speakers is to just keep talking and talking, don’t ask people to correct your mistakes.
Feel free to make mistakes.
Listen to the native English speakers communicate with each other.
Read up on grammatical and cultural nuances.
The information is all online.
We learn another language to communicate with others from other cultures, and grammatical mistakes are absolutely meaningless.
There are those that will correct you all the time.
These are people who care not about the flow of conversation, but more about their own pedantry for accuracy.
Correcting others makes us feel like we are experts in a given subject and should be listened to (how many of us native English speakers could hand on heart say that we are experts on our own language anyway?)
The most important thing is simply to share ideas and enjoy the communication, otherwise – why do it?

What’s Fine
First off, it depends on the quality of the English of the Non-Native Speaker.
I work with quite a number of people who were born outside of the United States in Non-English speaking countries.
However, they speak English fluently now and I generally have no problem communicating with them.
Some of these foreigners speak better English than many American-born people.
(This is especially true because I work with a number of translators.
)
If someone is struggling to find one word, but speaks the rest of the sentence easily, then, again, I have no issue.
Native speakers also lose track of words or might forget a word.
There is no difference for me.
If someone who speaks Broken English needs a simple piece of information, there is no problem.
I can provide that and then let them go on their way.
What’s Irksome
What irks me is if someone is trying to communicate with me, but doing so in such a slow way that by the time that they finish their sentence, five minutes has elapsed.
I find it especially annoying if I speak that person’s native language and they simply keep trying to say whatever it is in Broken English in order to “practice speaking English”.
If you would like to practice English, more power to you, but I am interested in communicating with you, so if we can more effectively communicate in your native tongue, let’s switch to that.
Finally, it is very difficult to talk about an emotionally charged topic like a personal failure or a relationship break up when someone keeps asking you to define your terms and help them with pronunciation.

“How do native speakers truly feel when speaking with non-native English speakers?”
I like accents (foreign and domestic) and I’m interested in the mistakes that speakers make because they’re characteristic of their various original languages.
But two things bother me when I hear English spoken as a second language:
> The habit of over-elaborating.
What a sentence means is so important to non-native speakers that sometimes they don’t give native speakers a chance to understand their spoken English even if it is elliptical, partial, ungrammatical or whatever.
I think they should state the idea briefly, and then allow the listener to ask for an elaboration if necessary.
> The tendency to speak in baby talk.
I think that picking through a limited vocabulary makes non-native speakers “talk down” to the listeners.
One of my students was referring to people who “did bad things.
” I asked her if, when she said “did bad things,” she meant “committing crimes”? She said yes, so why she decided to say “did bad things” instead of “committing crimes” I do not know.
She clearly knew the word “crimes.
” I think she just got into the habit of talking simply, with a limited vocabulary, so she ended up talking baby talk even when it was not necessary.
I also cannot understand why anyone would feel so irritated when two people are conversing in a foreign language.
When Americans are abroad, they obviously speak to their traveling companions in English, so it’s only natural that other people do the equivalent.
I was on an elevator when an American woman burst out screaming “This is America! Speak English! Don’t jabber like that! Speak English!” The two foreign women looked startled and even fearful — as I would too — and shrank cringing against the wall.
What did she care what they said? Did she think they were saying, “Let’s put a knife in the ribs of that American in the blue coat and take her pocketbook!”

My parents were immigrants to this country but I was born here.
I was actually in ESL classes up till third grade, because though they tried to assimilate (my stay-at-home mom was even a part of the PTA), they were still learning English.
I grew up around many people who weren’t native English speakers… but I also had my fair share of native English speaking friends.
I consider myself a native English speaker because it is my primary language and the only language I’m fluent in and even when I listen to native English speaking people, no one’s English is perfect.
I come from a household where English is spoken (primarily on the part of my sister and I), but the other half consists of other languages as well, so I find that some things in the English language were never fully grasped by me.
Even so, there are some people I’ve encountered who clearly aren’t native to the English language that, quite frankly, annoy me.
Obviously not everyone, of course.
For the most part, mistakes and accents are all a part of learning a new language and I expect it.
Sometimes, I even like the accent.
If you’re not making a mistake (or are too afraid to) while learning and practicing a language, you’re doing it wrong.
However, there are some people that really rub me the wrong way.
Mainly, I really dislike it when someone comes, uses bad English….
and you discover that they’ve been here for years.
It’s fine if your English needs work – all languages need work on a daily basis to keep it up.
However, it’s not very understandable that your English still needs a lot of work after having had lived here for 5 years.
Then again, it’s like those ex-pats I’ve heard of but have thankfully never personally encountered who live in another country for 5+ years and never took the time to learn or understand their host country’s culture or language.
Why are you even there???
Fortunately, I’ve only personally met one person who fits that criteria and I have a thing with keeping my distance with people who tweak me the wrong way.
Otherwise, I have no real issues with non-native English speakers.
In fact, I even enjoy talking to them to get a different perspective on things!

When you’re talking to an older man in America, it almost always has seemed to me that they get perturbed when hearing broken English.
That’s simply because they grew up in a time period where “you’re in America.
Either speak English or go back to where you came from”.
This isn’t always true, though, as some were raised differently and took different languages themselves and henceforth knew how difficult it was.
As of today, some youth and adults will still get irritated, but not the majority.
Most children are required two years of foreign language so they’re much more accepting because, as I said earlier, they know exactly how difficult learning a language can be.
As for myself (being a teenager who has studied Spanish among other languages for four+ years), I can say that I actually feel happy hearing broken English.
It makes me happy because not only have they invested a lot of their time in the language, but they’ve built up the confidence to try to speak it.
We have an exchange student from Spain in my high-school, and the first time I heard her speak broken English (with half of the class silently laughing at it), I wanted to give her my phone number as soon as possible and tell her that if she ever needs help with assignments or understanding anything, she can either find me or call me.
So I suppose I truly feel sympathy and joy at the same time.

Honestly, I feel impressed.
I feel kind of guilty when someone who isn’t a native speaker apologises for “their bad English” because even if it isn’t perfect, I understand what they’re saying and I admire the effort.
I’m near-monolingual, so I’m conscious of the fact that you’re doing better than me.
If it seems like you’re struggling, then I feel admiration for your perseverance.
This isn’t to minimise the experience that I know many non-native English speakers have of encountering people who are annoyed with them because “They can’t speak the language” or who assume they lack intelligence because their English isn’t perfect.
Those kind of attitudes exist.
But some native-English speakers honestly don’t feel that way at all.
English is an unusually flexible language in the sense that you don’t need to speak it perfectly to get your meaning across.
You don’t need to have perfect verb conjugations or use of prepositions (usually).
It takes a little while to get used to someone using English in a non-conventional way though (or even in an accent you aren’t used to).
So, it might be helpful to think about it in those terms.
Someone who keeps asking you to repeat yourself a few times at the start of a conversation may simply get used to your speech patterns once their ears attune to it.
I find that it’s easier to understand someone who has been talking to me for a few minutes than someone who has only said a couple of words to me.
Also, in most English-speaking countries, it’s considered rude to correct others’ English.
After all, as long as what you’re saying makes sense, it’s good not to be too pedantic about ‘which’ or ‘that’; ‘I’, or ‘me’; etc.
But this convention can be a problem for people actively looking to improve their English.
On a few occasions, some of my friends who speak English as a second (or sometimes third, or fourth!) language have asked me to correct their grammar, pronunciation, word choices, etc.
I’ve actually really enjoyed doing that, it helps them learn and it has helped me pick up what aspects of the language are difficult for non-native speakers, which, in turn, helps me with future encounters when I’m not quite sure what someone is saying.
It might not be appropriate in a professional situation, but if you’re willing to be corrected by a friend, this might be a helpful way forward.

I am not a native English speaker, but I have been living in the US for 2 years and now I am working on a daily basis with the expat community in China, where a lot of westerners are learning and practicing Chinese.
So, I wanna share my feeling regarding both perspectives.
First, I admire and respect English/Spanish/Arabic…speakers who are learning mandarin from the bottom of my heart.
In linguistic senses, mandarin is significant different from their mother tongue, which makes it extremely difficult to learn for an adult.
But they are very willing to practice and asking suggestions from the natives.
Hardly did I ever get bothered by their broken Chinese.
Also, it’s actually quite easy for a native speaker to understand a non-native (in my opinion), as long as you get a few keywords, you can basically guess the meaning of the sentence.
From a non-native speaker perspective.
I don’t speak perfect English, but my spoken English is at least quite understandable for daily communication.
In general, I felt comfortable talking to Americans even if sometimes they asked me to repeat myself.
And I really appreciate it when I was misusing a word/phrase and someone would correct me in a kind and polite way.
However, one of the few things that ‘bothered’ me was when the locals were using slang and they expected me to understand it.
I remembered one time when I stepped into a USPS store (one of the most annoying place in the world), and the staff said to me ‘hey! what’s the (or a) good word?’ And I was like ‘??????????’ Then she put on a slightly teasing face and said aloud ‘Madam, I am saying hello to you’, and everyone around was looking at me.
I was embarrassed and dis-encouraged and pissed off at the same time…
Anyway, I think it’s a matter of understanding.
It takes a lot of effort working/living in a second language, and people who do so deserve a lot of respect.

I am a native English speaker.
It is the only language I speak (in school I took 5 years of Latin.
) I know a few words and phrases in Spanish and French, and hope people will be kind to me when trying to communicate with them when I am in countries where not everyone speaks English.
(Luckily my husband speaks multiple languages.
)
How do I feel when I speak to a non-native English speaker? I’m impressed.
Broken English doesn’t annoy me.
It is hard to learn a second language.
That someone knows enough to be able to communicate is an impressive skill; it would be silly to expect perfection.
I tutor immigrants, who usually have a low education level from their home country, and they often apologize anytime they get something wrong.
But everyone gets things wrong! Even those of us who have spent our whole life learning English make mistakes.
I also work with professionals (generally with PhDs in their fields) who are non-native speakers.
They usually write very well but their speech is stilted.
It doesn’t bother me at all.
They work with us because they are experts in their field.
The only time I have been annoyed was when a person’s job duty also included copy-editing and her (written) English was not strong enough to do that (ironically, her spoken English was fine).
She was too arrogant to realize that she was making mistakes in her work and refused offers of help.
So really, broken English doesn’t bother me at all.
Because I know that if I travel to another country, my language skills are barely more refined that point and grunt.

My general practitioner has a very strong Cuban accent, but his grammar is perfect.
I’m embarrassingly bad at understanding people with accents, and I see my doctor once a month.
I have to concentrate really hard to make out his words, and although it’s frustrating, it makes me feel embarrassed and frustrated at myself to have to ask him to repeat himself so often.
He’s more educated than I am, incredibly intelligent, and has much more life experience, and it makes me feel embarrassed to essentially be telling him that he doesn’t speak English well enough for a native speaker to understand him.
I can tell sometimes he gets annoyed when I ask him multiple times to repeat himself.
Most people understand what he says much better than I do; most people are significantly better at understanding most accents than I am.
So when I fail to understand something a non-native English speaker says, I feel it’s mostly my fault for not understanding — after all, it’s English they’re speaking, and I feel I should be able to understand their meaning even if it’s not spoken perfectly.
And it’s not like I have a lack of exposure to different dialects; I live in California and talk to Mexicans who have accents all the time, yet I still have a lot of trouble having fluid conversations with them.

I am impressed with anyone attempting to speak U.
S.
English.
It isn’t an easy language to learn when you consider how many diphthongs, colloquialisms, and sound alike words we have such as “red” and “read”.
Most western countries and emerging countries teach standard English as a second language because it’s the language of business.
I wish that we could convince the U.
S.
Department of Education to make it mandatory to begin teaching a second language to kindergartners, or even preschoolers, because high school is too late to develop an accurate accent.
A yougov survey from 2013 indicated that 75% of U.
S.
Americans speak and understand only U.
S.
English.
That’s shameful and embarrassing.
I’ll tell you what I don’t like.
I don’t enjoy listening to U.
S.
Americans who have developed a bad habit of speaking in a post Valley Girl accent—-you know, like wow, it’s so totally awesome, dude! Particularly, when I hear that patois emanating from the mouth of someone old enough to know better.
Let’s give 22 years old as the cut off, but I’d like to make it 14.
When I hear it coming from someone in their fifties, I shake my head in bewilderment.
And one final note about that accent, it seems to go hand in hand with women, in particular, adding an upspeak to the end of each sentence as if asking a question.
Stop it! You sound as if you have no confidence in your statements and you are asking me for permission for you to speak about your knowledge or opinion.

There are so many varieties of “non-native English” that it’s very difficult to generalize.
People who know rather little of the language and are simply struggling to be understood are in some ways simpler to interact with, as it’s usually just an exchange of nouns and unconjugated verbs: if someone says to you “Please, where supermarket?”, you know what they want, and can simply use hand gestures to help them.
It’s another story in business communications where subtleties of language can translate to legal headaches down the road.
In such cases, even people who speak the language more-or-less perfectly can present problems.
But I’d like to highlight a distinct issue: native speakers who are essentially clueless about how to communicate with people whose English is a work in progress.
For example, I just used the terms “clueless” and “work in progress”, which any native speaker knows, but are rather difficult to parse out if you don’t know their precise meaning, tone, and context.
That is, native speakers need to learn to use short, declarative sentences as the default option when speaking to those who are still mastering the language.
For example, I deal with a lot of graduate students from Asia and elsewhere who are exceptionally diligent and obviously quite intelligent.
They can make themselves understood perfectly.
Yet, in research meetings, I often have to re-phrase remarks from colleagues that non-natives would not understand.
I recall instances where people said things like “That ship has sailed”, called difficult equations “those puppies”, decided to “absolve” someone of a supposed sin, or used ambiguous prepositional phrases like “put up” (which can mean “I put up with that behavior”, “I put it up on a shelf”, “I put them up at my home”…) In each case, I had to say the same thing over using much simpler, unambiguous language, e.
g.
, “It’s too late to do that now” for the first example.
Declarative English should be taught essentially as a second language to anyone working in large organizations.
It involves word choice, sentence construction, and clear pronunciation, and ensures that everyone has a chance to follow what’s being said.
It can also help native speakers learn to organize and slim down their oratory.
As well as avoid words like “oratory”.

I’m a native speaker of American English; in particular, the accent and pronunciations found in the Greater Philadelphia Area.
The first thing to note is that people who speak one dialect of English often cannot understand people who speak another dialect.
Ask someone born and raised in Maine to tell you what someone born and raised in Alabama is saying.
Ask someone from Arizona to tell you if they have any difficulty understanding what someone is saying who has a Boston accent.
As the saying goes, “England and the United States are countries separated by a common language.
” Start with the Standard American dialect (spoken by some television and radio news anchors and some articulate people in the Midwest) and compare that with what’s spoken in Sydney, Australia or Capetown, South Africa.
Most people need, at the very least, for the other person to speak more slowly so that they can understand the words.
I love hearing diverse dialects and accents when people speak English.
I’ve taught students from quite a few countries and always enjoyed the way that people from certain parts of India (like Mumbai) speak a signature type of English that blends their first language (often a local language), Hindi, and British English.
And this is the British English of the early 20th century, not the way Brits speak and write English today.
Transfer that symphonic blend to California, where these students do their best to learn how their neighbors and colleagues who were born in California speak the language, including local idiomatic expressions.
Of course, not everyone has the ear to “translate” someone’s accent that is very different from what they grew up hearing.
That can be mentally tiring, to say the least.
The people I have exceptional admiration for are people from the Far East (like China, Vietnam, Korea, and Japan) who take on the challenge of learning any form of English.
Their native languages are so linguistically different in every way from the Latin languages and the languages that were derived from ancient Arabic (which influenced English more than most people realize) that it takes a great deal of determination, especially learning as an adult (long after our brains have switched from being language sponges during our first few years of life).
What do I “really” feel when listening (not speaking) to people who are not native speakers of American English? I love it! I celebrate their efforts.
That said, when I taught graduate school business courses and had students for whom American English was their 2nd or 3rd language, students who wanted to be Silicon Valley entrepreneurs, I pushed them to a higher level of American English mastery— not in their accent, but in their grammar and diction (choice of words and phrases)— both written and spoken.
Most did not like that; it’s hard work; it’s not business strategy or financial forecasts.
Also, they had neither an appreciation of the way that people unconsciously equate articulateness with intelligence nor an appreciation of the ways that language mastery enables one to persuade more effectively.
I had the same expectation of “native speakers” of American English… and they didn’t like it either.

I really don’t mind it.
Sometimes I worry I come off as condescending by trying to make sure they understand me.
My girlfriend is from Italy.
When I first met her, she had very little practical experience with English.
Aside from the classroom, all she had was a few weeks in England and the fact that she liked to watch “Friends” in English.
When I met her, her English was good, but was often difficult to understand because she spoke very proper and also had a particularly strong accent.
I did my best to speak a little slower around her and avoid using idioms.
But she was very eager to perfect it, so eventually I just started talking normally and she would just ask me to explain when she didn’t understand something.
It was much better for her.
That was a year and a half ago.
Now she’s very good.
It’s interesting when you look at her writings/notes, it’s now a combination of Italian and English, just based on what word is shorter.
Truth be told, I barely think about it anymore.
That’s not to say I’ve forgotten about it.
There’s plenty of times where we’ll be watching a movie or tv show and she’ll ask me to explain a word or phrase.
There’s some things that may never totally click (to this day she doesn’t understand the difference in pronunciation between “bed” and “bad”) but it’s really no big deal.
I find it particularly interesting when she’s tired.
A couple times I’ve asked her a question in English and she groggily responds in Italian, only for me to stand there waiting for her to realize I have no clue what she said.
Like I said, I’m always worried I come off as condescending or a jerk.
I’ll say something, and then pause because I don’t know if she knows the word or not.
If I ask and she says yes, I worry she thinks I don’t think her English is good.
If I don’t ask and she doesn’t she may have no clue what I’m saying.
Luckily for me, she’s gotten to the point where she really doesn’t mind asking, so I do my best to not ask her and just keep talking unless she says otherwise.

My reaction depends on the level of brokenness of their English.
If they just have an neat accent, I think “Cool, fun accent” and move on.
If they make a couple minor errors, some habitual grammar errors, fumble a word every so often, I note what they do wrong, consider letting them know, and almost always decide that it would be disrespectful to point it out, and unnecessary.
I don’t mind it at all, but I do notice.
If they have a thick accent that is hard to understand, but are using the right words and stuff, I do my best to decode the dialect and try not to have to ask them to repeat what they said too much.
I often have this problem with my dad’s extended family, as they have rather harsh southern accents.
I don’t want to make them feel self conscious about the way they talk.
If they speak extremely broken English, I just have to try my best.
If someone is struggling about how to say something, I attempt to suggest a phrasing, if I can and it seems appropriate to do so.
If I misunderstand someone, I make a point to apologize.
I’m not bilingual.
They are at least trying to be, which is better than I’m doing.
If they are willing to go to the effort of speaking the Charlie Foxtrot that is the English Language in order to communicate with me, I’m willing to go the extra mile to understand what they want to say.
Native English speakers are like black bears.
They’re more afraid of [annoying] you than you are of [annoying] them.
(Annoying you by asking you to repeat yourself for the fourth time, that is.
)

Grammar and pronunciation.
Then again, I am an English Teacher so…
But basically if what came out of someone’s mouth is so garbled that I can’t even begin to dissect it into a coherent sentiment and yet they expect me to understand it perfectly and, worse, to try to psychically guess at their meaning and turn it into a coherent sentence… yeah, that’s more than a little annoying.
It is particularly bad when they do it in text.
At least verbally in a situation context could give me some sort of idea.
But giving someone a totally garbled message using wrong vocabulary, wrong spelling, wrong grammar… basically just passing as English in so far as the words one is attempting to use come from English… and you don’t include the message in your native language as well… don’t expect anyone to be able to understand or fix it for you.
In fact, often in these cases I end up asking for the person to just write it in their native language too.
If I don’t know all the vocabulary myself, I can plug it into Google Translate and while what I get out is still garbled, I can work it into a feasible sentence and with some finagling get it to give me the precise definition of certain words in case homonyms are the cause of the confusion.

Depends on whether I speak their native language or not, and whether they’re better at English than I am at their language.
This is a pretty common situation for me when talking to French people…
If it’s someone being friendly and showing off their 40-year out of date schoolboy English I may well jokingly reply in English, deliberately limiting my vocab to the phrases they stand a chance of understanding… But eventually I’ll shift to French (in most cases this is after the first “Hello, How are you?” exchange.
If it’s someone who’s just trying to show off or use me as a free English lesson, then in the majority of cases I’m just not patient enough – especially if I want to communicate something specific and I know they won’t understand me in English… I’ll shift to French straight away, ignoring the fact they’re speaking English…
(I know – this is my fault – not the fault of the person speaking to me – I’m just not patient enough to struggle through a conversation in broken English when I know we have a better alternative available).
I want the person to talk to me in a language that everyone understands
This leads to some odd situations.
I’ve in a room with two Englishmen amongst a large group of French, and you end up with the two Englishmen speaking French to each other… In fact, in one particular situation, the only time I met a particular Englishman was in the company of non-English speakers – eventually it got to the stage where we were so used to speaking French with one another so that other people in the group would understand, that we ended up ‘hardwired’ to speak French, and even when we found ourselves alone it was incredibly difficult for either of us to speak English.
Then my instant response when someone speaks to me in English, regardless of their level, is “Oh Thank God! – we can communicate”.
I’m extremely grateful that they’ve made the effort to learn my language (and generally feel slightly guilty about not speaking theirs).

Who? What? Where? When? and Why?
This question is a bit vague, so I’ll just give an “in general” answer.
As an ESL teacher in Asia for the past 5 years or so, it’s my job to listen to broken English and correct it as necessary.
As long as the context of the conversation is clear, the following are not major barriers to communication: Mistakes in tense, errors in verb conjugation, absence of helping/auxiliary words, dropping pronouns, minor word order mistakes, singular/plurals confusion, overformality/confusion of register, among others.
I think that the big barriers are pronunciation and the inability of the native speaker to grade their language properly.
In my case, it’s my job to be able to correct errors and grade my language, so I’m comfortable speaking with ESL learners.
On the other hand, I know someone who works in IT and often has conference calls with programmers from India who speak grammatically correct English with thick accents.
He sits through the calls without speaking and walks away gaining no new knowledge.
He doesn’t have any training or experience with non-native speakers and he shouldn’t be expected to.
I can understand his frustration.

As a native English speaker I love speaking to non-native English speakers! I particularly love the differences in our Englishes.
For example, here in Europe I find a lot of people use the word “touristic”, use recommend as a transitive verb (“he recommended me to xyz”) and other little things like this.
I find these differences really interesting, and I feel that it makes my life richer.
Regarding any negative feelings I might have:
So any negative feelings I have are aimed at myself, definitely not the person I’m speaking with!
I hope you’re not discouraged from developing your English by feeling that people are annoyed at you! Even if they do find it difficult, if they’re being really nice, they’re probably just trying to be friendly and help as best as they can.
You can only improve with practice so don’t give up :)

In my experience, the vast majority of them here in the US seem nice and understanding and they are often impressed at my own English fluency, and they often say that I have very little accent.
However, I have, on occasion, run into those who could definitely use better people skills, particularly when I happen to slightly mispronounce certain words that are not used in everyday speech, but with which they happen to be more familiar because they are native speakers.
It is perfectly fine to correct my pronunciation of a certain word, but I don’t think it’s appropriate to laugh at my pronunciation afterwards.
Some native English speakers, like native speakers of any language, often underestimate how difficult their native language actually is for nonnative speakers.
They often overlook the fact that, in some cases, literally 10–15 words can mean the same thing and that there are no rules for pronunciation of each word and that pronunciation is based on memorization.
This is very different from my native language because in my native language, it goes: one letter, one sound.
Plus, if you don’t use certain words for a while, it’s easier to forget their pronunciation if you’re a nonnative speaker.
These things should be taken into consideration more.

Usually quite pleased that they can speak English at all.
I myself speak two foreign languages, so I am fully aware of how difficult and frustrating language can be, particularly when speaking it, because when speaking you have to interact with people in real time.
If you’re writing or reading, you have more time to think and hone your answers.
In live speech, no such luxury.
I’ve spent several years of my life as a EFL teacher.
You don’t do that if broken English annoys you or if you can’t be encouraging about it.
A lot of how I feel about it depends on how advanced the person is.
If they’re a non-native speaker who’s fluent but just drops a few words here or there, then generally it’s no different than speaking with an Anglophone with the slight exception of me adjusting for accent.
If they have a thicker accent, it usually will take me a couple of moments to adjust to their speech patterns.
After that, no problems.
With upper-intermediate or lower, it requires more of my attention because I’m not just monitoring my speech and formulating answers, but I’m paying far more attention to their speech and trying to judge the trajectory of the conversation.
If I’m outside of the classroom I’m not going to correct people (I am off the clock), but being anticipatory allows me to help out when the speaker can’t think of a word or fumbles with grammar.
If you let people flounder for too long, they’re going to lose confidence.
If you’re reading the conversation and understand what the speaker is getting at, you can introduce substitute words or sentence structure very quickly and the speaker often won’t even realize that you’re propping ’em up a bit.
It’s a smooth conversation, just with a bit more support from me.
And I don’t mind.
I like talking to people.
Paying attention to what people are telling me is not a problem.

I’m a native English speaker, and I don’t always get annoyed by “broken English”.
The reason is that English is not even the most common spoken language in the world, and I am not an expert at the native language of the person I am speaking to.
I appreciate them because they are taking the time and effort to learn another language, and let’s say if I spoke something like Spanish, I may not be able to communicate on the same level as they would in English.
In my opinion, learning a foreign language in England (where I live) is not stressed enough.
I learn Spanish at school but that is only from the start of high school whereas I know some people in Spain who are near fluent in English as they have been learning it for years and years.
Yes, English is the official language in many countries but learning other languages really helps you understand someone’s culture and connect with them on that level.
Therefore, I would attempt to be nice to a non-native speaker at give them time so I don’t rush them.
However, sometimes I may not understand what they are saying and if they react rudely, then it does annoy me.
I would say, “could you repeat that please” and if they make a tutting noise or a noise signifying displeasure, I would be annoyed.
Also, sometimes people can use the wrong words.
I would say something like, “oh did you mean this…” nicely because then they will know the correct word

It doesn't annoy me at all! (well, sometimes.
But the days when broken English annoys me are also the days when I woke up annoyed that I have to breathe, and it has nothing to do with someone's English abilities and everything to do with what Allie Brosh ingeniously called the Sneaky Hate Spiral.
A day off work usually fixes this.
) But, I'm in the habit of making very odd faces, because I'm both autistic and hard of hearing.
Often I don't even know I'm doing it.
You know what DOES annoy me a little, though? People whose English is barely intelligible who speak Spanish, know I speak Spanish, AND WON’T LET ME SERVE THEM IN SPANISH.
If my Spanish is better than your English, that's fine! Your English will unquestionably be better than my German.
The languages you speak are only a measure of your opportunity and your linguistic ability, not your intelligence.
But please allow me to assist you in a language that's comfortable for both of to speak.

Updated: 28.06.2019 — 4:36 pm

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