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Spoken English and Written English

 
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I don't know what is the difference between spoken English and written English. When I post a topic here, at JavaRanch (just like this), I think that I'm using written English. But... then what is spoken English?

And, I have another question too. Is it OK to speak in written English (especially at job interviews)? If I'm going to an interview for the post of java developer (especially in U.S.), would they consider my ability to speak English? If I've made some grammatical mistakes while talking with the interview board, can it be a reason to unselect me? In other words, should I learn spoken English, if my ambition is to get a job in U.S.?

I can speak English, as I wrote this post. I think that everyone can clearly understand my English, even though I'm doing some grammatical mistakes; so should I go to learn more English? (Especially for the purpose of getting a Job in U.S.)
 
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Some may disagree with me, so take with a grain of salt...

In my opinion, "written english" is the correct form of english. If that is what you know, then you are fine.

"Spoken english" is basically a style of writing that gives a feel of english as it is being spoken. For example, when spoken, sometimes there are pauses, which can be emulated with "elipses" (three dots). When spoken, sometimes there are fillers, which can be emulated, by using using fillers, like "er" or "hmmm". When spoken, the tone can express emotion, which can be emulated with smiles.

If you intend to write a paper, you should always use the "written" form. For emails, and other places, like forums.... hmmmm.... ahhh.... I guess it would be okay to use the spoken form ...

Henry
 
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I think you guys are using a needlessly confusing definition.

I'd say spoken English is what you're using when you speak, as in making words with your mouth. Written English is what you use when you write, either by typing on a keyboard or by writing with a pen or pencil. It's that simple.

Separate from those definitions, we can talk about formal or correct usage, as opposed to informal or incorrect usage. Often written English is more likely to be formal, and spoken English is more likely to be informal. However that's not always the case. There are plenty of places you can write informally, especially in most online forums and in email. And there are times when speaking when you should make extra effort to speak correctly. Usually if you're in a classroom. At most places I've worked, few people cared much about correctness, but many care about clarity.
 
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More seriously, knowing how to write and speak english is fundamental to get a job in US.
I never saw anybody writting in "spoken english" at work (I'm not a native english speaker, so I may be wrong)
 
Treimin Clark
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Thanks for the replies.

But I heard that someone speaking like, "I visit here", "I go there" and "I get it" even for past situations, instead of "I visited here", "I went there" and "I got it".

I know we should take care about past-tense and present-tense in written English. But, what about spoken English? Don't we have to take care about it?
 
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Treimin Clark wrote:Thanks for the replies.

But I heard that someone speaking like, "I visit here", "I go there" and "I get it" even for past situations, instead of "I visited here", "I went there" and "I got it".

I know we should take care about past-tense and present-tense in written English. But, what about spoken English? Don't we have to take care about it?



Well, it's always good to take care in what you say and do. But the spoken word is transitory, and generated in real time. When writing, one has time to compose one's thoughts, and thus devote time to clarity and grammatical correctness. In real time (speaking), it's difficult to remember all the rules, and the listener isn't going to be wasting brainpower validating them anyway - as long as enough of them are used that the idea comes across, the nuances can be safely softened.

Of course, since when we read, we tend to "speak it" to ourselves, there's a tendency to keep the two sets of rules in convergence. And, conversely, if a spoken violation becomes mainstream, it often finds its way into writing. Languages aren't static, and they adapt - both spoken and written - to the place, the time, and the communicators.

There are exceptions. "Ain't" isn't as acceptable in written English as in spoken English - though that one's not universally acceptable even spoken.

The primary thing is that the mechanisms of communication should only stand out when the "how" of communication is more important that the "what" is being communicated. Artistic performances, use of constructs for emphasis, stuff like that.
 
Treimin Clark
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The primary thing is that the mechanisms of communication should only stand out when the "how" of communication is more important that the "what" is being communicated. Artistic performances, use of constructs for emphasis, stuff like that.



How this applies on interviews?

[ UD: replaced CODE tags by QUOTE tags ]
 
Tim Holloway
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Treimin Clark wrote:

The primary thing is that the mechanisms of communication should only stand out when the "how" of communication is more important that the "what" is being communicated. Artistic performances, use of constructs for emphasis, stuff like that.



How this applies on interviews?



Unless the position is primarily involved with communicating (for example, public relations), the "what" is more important than the "how".

[ EJFH: Fix formatting ]
 
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Treimin Clark wrote:
But I heard that someone speaking like, "I visit here", "I go there" and "I get it" even for past situations, instead of "I visited here", "I went there" and "I got it".



Remember that some folks just don't know the language very well.
 
Gabriel Claramunt
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Tim Holloway wrote:
Unless the position is primarily involved with communicating (for example, public relations), the "what" is more important than the "how".


On the other hand, I believe that communicating effectively is vital for the success of any non-trivial software development effort.
 
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Treimin Clark wrote:
But I heard that someone speaking like, "I visit here", "I go there" and "I get it" even for past situations, instead of "I visited here", "I went there" and "I got it".



"I visit here" is incorrect English, written or spoken. You can choose not to care about it, but I can also choose not to hire you. Henry's point is right on, spoken English is less formal as it's created in real time; nevertheless both spoken and written English should conform to proper English grammatical rules if you want to be perceived as fluent.


Tim Holloway wrote:
Unless the position is primarily involved with communicating (for example, public relations), the "what" is more important than the "how".



I think that answer is a bit too cavalier. Given that most software problems stem from communication issues, be very careful about the "how" because it will impact the "what."


--Mark
 
Treimin Clark
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Ernest Friedman-Hill wrote:

Treimin Clark wrote:
But I heard that someone speaking like, "I visit here", "I go there" and "I get it" even for past situations, instead of "I visited here", "I went there" and "I got it".



Remember that some folks just don't know the language very well.



I captured it from a speech of the chairmen of a very very popular computer hardware corporation in US!
 
Mike Simmons
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I suspect we'd need more context to understand what was really meant here. Can you provide a link or other info?
 
Tim Holloway
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I visit there all the time. In fact, I go there whenever the weekly weather forecast indicates good surf conditions are expected. As for the forecast, I get it from the Weather Underground site.

This is 100% proper English usage. There's a grammatical construct in many languages - called the "past perfective", if I recall correctly, and in those languages the actual verb usages may change versus the imperfective forms. In English we have to limp along using constructs like the above.

"I visit there last week" isn't good English. Ebonics, yes, but Ebonics isn't considered proper English - it's widely spoken, but it's a form of spoken English that's really only appropriate for informal use. Using it in a mixed audience at a formal speaking event makes the speaker look uneducated.

"I don't get it", or "You just don't "get" it" is acceptable in written English, though it's "slangy". It's really a shorthand for a more formal statement.

 
Treimin Clark
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Finally I got it. Thanks to Henry, Mike, Tim, Ernest, Gabriel and Mark for providing such great explanations.

But one more question, that is,

How about my English? :roll:
 
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You can express yourself very well in writing.

Now you can go start working on that "love letter" !!!

 
Tim Holloway
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Treimin Clark wrote:Finally I got it. Thanks to Henry, Mike, Tim, Ernest, Gabriel and Mark for providing such great explanations.

But one more question, that is,

How about my English? :roll:



Well, if you can just learn to mess it up a little more, you can look just like a US-born software developer. Can you write "The elephant never has to worry about loosing it's loose change?"
 
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