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Do you feel a little stressed out about trying to understand what fast talking Americans
are saying?
If so, you're not alone.
Most non-native speakers stress out a little bit before interacting with native English
speakers because they're afraid they're not going to catch every single word.
Don't worry,
I've got you covered.
In this video.
I'm going to give you my tips on how to handle interactions with fast talking Americans so
that you can feel more confident in conversations in English.
Before we get started, I want to let you know that I do feel for you.
After all, it can be really awkward to admit that you don't necessarily understand every
single word you hear.
Because listening skills often develop more quickly than speaking skills, you may feel
like the fact that you missed a word reflects on your ability to speak English.
I know that's not the case.
The reality is that sometimes we just miss words and this happens for native speakers
as well.
In this video, I want to put you at ease.
I want you to understand that missing certain words or feeling a little lost when a native
speaker is speeding up and speaking incredibly quickly is completely normal even for native
speakers, so I want to give you the skills you need in order to handle these situations
comfortably.
Let's talk about why native speakers speed up and speak so quickly anyway.
By understanding why we speak so quickly in the first place, you'll feel more prepared
when you're interacting in a social situation.
First things first, in any language, most of us speed up when we're feeling excited,
enthusiastic, passionate, or emotional about a certain topic.
So if you hear a native speaker starting to speak really, really quickly, there's probably
something going on that you need to pay attention to.
When someone's speaking passionately and emotionally about a topic, it can be a little stressful
to tell them to slow down.
Are you really going to interrupt somebody and say, "Excuse me, could you slow down and
speak a little more slowly?"
Probably not.
That will probably interrupt the flow of conversation.
So if you're in a situation where the other person is speaking very emotionally about
a topic, pay attention to the reason why.
What's the underlying emotion you can distinguish from their tone?
The intonation will convey a lot of meaning even if you can't understand every single word.
You also need to understand that native speakers don't necessarily speak quickly for them.
Instead, they're speaking efficiently.
In English, we use word and sentence stress in order to draw your attention to the most
important words in the sentence.
If we're speeding through a certain word, it's probably not important.
What I want you to listen for are the words or even better the syllables in these words
that are the longest, the loudest and the highest in pitch.
When we stress words, we make one syllable of a word longer, louder and higher in pitch.
When you're listening to an American who is speaking really quickly, pay attention to
the words that are longest, loudest, and highest in pitch.
These are the words that carry the meaning of the sentence.
By tuning your ear to focus specifically on these particular words, you're going to get
the meaning of the sentence without hearing every single detail.
In my experience, most non native speakers stress themselves out trying to catch every
single word and detail of the sentence.
Native speakers don't do this.
Native speakers listen efficiently.
We listen for the words that receive the most stress in the sentence.
To understand someone who's speaking quickly, pay attention to these words.
This will enable you to follow along with the key points of the sentence.
After you focus your attention on tone of voice and you've been able to identify the
meaning behind the words and you've paid attention to word and sentence stress in order to hear
the key words in the sentence, I encourage you to focus your attention on words and ideas
that seem to repeat themselves.
If you're listening to someone speaking passionately on a topic, they're probably going to come
back to their main ideas again and again.
In the most typical American communication style, we tell somebody what we're going to
say to them, we say it and then we repeat ourselves again once we finish.
If you miss the point at the beginning of the sentence, try to tune your ear to the
key message.
What's the underlying idea or theme that you hear throughout the person's speech?
It's OK if you miss a few details as long as you understand the underlying meaning.
If you feel like you have missed a key point in the person's speech, don't be afraid to
ask for clarification.
In fact, clarifying what you heard and confirming your understanding are two of the most essential
conversation skills in English in my opinion.
If you want more guidance on these conversation skills, be sure to check out my video on the
five most essential conversation skills in English.
But let's talk a little bit more about it right now.
If you feel like you've missed something important, you can ask the person to repeat themselves.
You can say something like, would you mind repeating that for me again?
Would you mind going over that one more time?
Even better, you can get specific.
Could you clarify what you meant by your last point?
I'm sorry I didn't catch that.
Could you repeat that last point?
I don't think I got your meaning.
Could you go over that again?
Just a second.
I need a little more clarification on your last point.
Could you repeat that?
As you can see, all of these questions show that you're listening carefully to the other
person, but they enable the other person to repeat themselves.
You want to jump in and ask for clarification right after the point that you missed.
If you understood the rest of the sentence, there's no point in asking them to repeat
everything they've already said.
In fact, when you ask them to clarify a specific point, you may actually help them be more
clear.
Sometimes it's not the fact that you didn't understand, it's that the other person needs
to repeat themselves to be extra clear.
In addition to asking clarifying questions, you can show what you understood by repeating
back some of their points in your own words.
Some expressions we use to confirm our understanding are...
Let me see if I understood you correctly.
Can I just check what I got from that?
What I heard you say was...
I think you're saying...
or "In other words," and then you restate their opinion again.
When you repeat back the points you did understand, the other person can clarify anything else
that you may have missed.
These are subtle ways to keep the conversation going without
slowing down the flow of the person's thoughts.
Don't feel stressed out when you interact with someone who speaks really quickly.
Remember, they're showing enthusiasm, excitement, emotion, or passion
for the topic through the way that they speak.
Instead, focus your attention on the stressed words.
Pay attention to the meaning that you get through their intonation.
Listen for ideas that come up again and again.
Try to catch the key points by the way they emphasize them, and if you do have any doubts,
be sure to ask for clarification and confirm what you heard.
As your ear adjusts to the way that we speak, you're not going to be intimidated by the
speed of speech.
You're going to pay attention to the key words by listening to
what's most important in the sentence.
I hope you feel more confident interacting with native speakers after watching this video.
If you have any other suggestions for what you can do if you're interacting with a fast
speaking native speaker, please leave a comment below the video.
Once again, I'm Kim from englishwithkim.com.
I'm your guide to the essential communication skills you need to sound more natural in English.
If you like this video, please give it a thumbs up and share it with a friend.
Have a good one.
Goodbye.
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How to Understand Fast Native English Speakers During Conversations

868 タグ追加 保存
Emily 2018 年 9 月 26 日 に公開
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