Author: koob88

what is the meaning of "half-decent" [Copy link] 中文

Rank: 4

Post time 2006-3-13 15:33:22 |Display all floors
" think Idioms should be encouraged... slang shouldn't be."

Problem is that there is not really a clear distinction between idioms and slang and if you do go to live in an English speaking country, you may well think you are listening to another language unless you know the local meaning of all the terms.

Use of these to sound more native can result in you sounding exactly the opposite because they are all very culturally specific and may not be understood by someone from another part of the country. There is no point in using idioms from Australia in material meant for American audiences although thanks to Hollywood and Bill Gates.the use of American material for Australian audiences usually causes little concern.

In Australia there are distinct regional differences in words to describe certain items of wear and certain foods -- just as there are in China.

I once made up a short story using all idioms and slang that I knew (although I don't actually use many of them myself) and gave it to an English major class to "interpret". No-one had a clue what it was about and I would lay bets that the average American would be hard pressed to get more than a general idea of the meaning. Many English and New Zealanders would have no trouble understanding it.

I am always concerned at the amount of time some students waste trying to learn an American accent (what on earth is wrong with speaking English with a Chinese accent) or learning dozens of idioms, especially when it is done at the expense of time better spent learning and practicing the basics.

Tony Lee

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Post time 2006-3-17 23:07:35 |Display all floors

yup

Well.. I dont know, if this post is suppose to advise the Chinese on how to move on with learning English, I would say stick to only the idioms, expressions used widely.

Funny you mentioned the accent thing Tony... I have a Chinese Man I'm helping out with English and I had trouble teaching him words ending with "r". I explained to him that Americans would pronounce it as "car", stressing the "r' whereas British, Australians wouldn't. Then he told me, not to teach him ANYTHING BUT American English.. hmmm where do I go from there... lol

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Post time 2006-3-19 10:16:04 |Display all floors
I know the experts will probably have different views, but seems to me that pronunciation and accent are not the same thing.  No problem with someone deciding that they want to be consistent with their spelling and pronunciation -- but for a non-native speaker to deliberately copy what they think is a typical national accent is doomed to failure, because there is no such thing and the end result can be cause for mirth or pity.  At English corners, I'll be happy to listen all day to an articulate Chinese speaking English in a natural accent, but get quite irritated at those who pretend to a forced American accent.

"car" is a good example of the stupidity of worrying about distinctions since it is easily recognisable even when heavy accents are used. I once had to intervene in a fairly nasty disagrrement between two long-time friends who were adamant that their own particular version of "car" was correct. I couldn't hear any difference between the two and told them they had much more important things to worry about if they really wanted to be interpreters when they finished their studies.

Tony

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Post time 2006-3-19 10:57:36 |Display all floors
Half decent 以比较谦虚/不张扬/低调的口吻形容某事/物 不错的/比较好的

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Post time 2006-3-19 18:35:52 |Display all floors

Reply #1 koob88's post

half-decent, adjective  it is used before noun, and informal one, which means: quite good or skilled

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