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Q: Does "native English speaker" refer to a country's national or official language?

I always assumed that because "native" and "national" derive from the word "nation" that a native language is the nation's national language. However, many posts on this site seem adamant that the native language is a nation's official language.

 

Using that argument, citizens of the USA, Australia and New Zealand are not native English speakers, as English is not the official language of these countries. However, Canadians would be considered native French speakers. New Zealanders would be considered native Maori speakers and sign linguists, because they are the only official languages in New Zealand.

 

Are there any links to China's official policy on this?

8 years 17 weeks ago in  Teaching & Learning - Other cities

 
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wow i (american) am not a native speaker. native speaker means your native language your primary if not only language you use to communicate with. 

 

you are talking to the wrong group by the way, if you want china to give non-native speakers the same consideration as native speakers, we as native speakers do not decide that or have any influence in that decision. 

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8 years 17 weeks ago
 
Posts: 149

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If you wernt born in the UK how can you be a native speaker.....we talk the queens English not American slang

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8 years 17 weeks ago
 
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@crimochina: The first sentence makes sense; that it is the primary language one uses to communicate with. But then saying the official and national languages are the same thing seems to contradict that. Maybe I misunderstood.

 

My confusion lies with the fact that many people who struggle with English claim they are native English speakers because English is an official language of their country. I am trying to find out if that has any validity.

 

I am also not sure what you mean that I am talking to the wrong group. I asked a question in a question forum. Is that wrong? What group should I be talking to?

 

Also, not sure where you got the idea I wanted non-native speakers to be given the same consideration as native English speakers. The opposite is actually the case.

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8 years 17 weeks ago
 
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You have a point but have the idea of a political nation and the word native confused, Yes if we look at New Zealand in the sense of the word native (pertaining to the land of origin) then we can say Maori would be the official language.

 

BUT if we look at New Zealand in the scope of the word NATIONAL then we can definitely say English is the NATIONAL language.

 

Because native does not equate to national, as anyone fron north america or australia could tell you, that the natives in their country do not and never will fall within the idea of a Political NATION.

 

Alot of countries whose colonists came to be in power , usually try to avoid this confusion by having two official languages. I can hink of exceptions though.

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8 years 17 weeks ago
 
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To me (and feel free to disagree), a "native speaker" on any language is the language learned from your crib.  Take my case (and I am shooting myself on both feet), I am first generation Southern American (commonly known as Coonass).  My parents emigrated in their youth from Spain to Louisiana, USA, and I was born there.  At home, my parents spoke Castillian (correct name for "Spanish"), and I learned it at birth.  Actually learned English (or Southern Drawl) at age 3 when allowed to play outside with playmates (in less thyan 6 months).

Now, the way I understand it, I am a native Spanish speaker, but since born in USA, I am consider a native English speaker with Castillian (Spanish) as seco0nd language. 

Opps, I better go fly a kite !

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8 years 17 weeks ago
 
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I agree with you Happyextpat, since "native" means "by birth", it actually means the first language you learned after your birth, and it doesn't have anything to do with a notion of nation... though both "native" and "nation" originate from the same word.

You can be born in Russia and be a native english speaker, or just as you, born in the USA , born in the USAAAAAA.... and be a non-native speaker.

All this talk is just semantics and is not going anywhere

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8 years 17 weeks ago
 
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Okay, really i think it's like this, some people need to understand the word native as been said from an English /commonwealth (early)colonists pont of view.

 

When they use the word native and national language,they know clearly what connotation each word has attatched. 

They might not say it so as to be PC but native is a native and national language is the language you speak from the nation you identify with.

In today's common usage i wouldn't say "i am a native of, such and such western country"

even though it's correct the mere statement has two conotations where i come from, mingbai le?

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8 years 17 weeks ago
 
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As far as I am concerned, all these craps on native English speakers are cropped out from commercial business people. In that way, one would pay more for the langauge services. All these craps about cultural & langauge perfection, ask yourself, for what purpose? If really so, send the learners overseas for immersion etc. It's a Chinese way of showing off too - to be able to slang & have a native accent. Notice how most Shanghainese look down upon their fellow Dongbei ren (northen folks) for their English accent even though most of the northerners fare better in English?

 

In the first place, most Chinese do not know English , yet will tell you how they want their children or themselves to be taught.  Frankly. the only thing a person who can teach himself/herself and others to do is how to wank!

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8 years 17 weeks ago
 
Posts: 1933

Shifu

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Well, the Chinese word, "muyu', literally means "mother language". "Mother tongue" is another, and "cradle tongue" was popular in the olden days, as was "the language learned at one's mother's feet."

 

 

"Nation" and "native" are both derived from the Latin word for birth, and are generally used to describe an ethnic group regardless of political status (the First Nations in Canada, the Basque Nation, the Catalonian Nation, etc). A people sharing a common history, language, and customs would be an older generation's definition.

 

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8 years 17 weeks ago
 
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There have been a lot of people's personal opinions about what a native speaker is, but not what China means by a native English speaker, or who qualifies as a native speaker for employment purposes. I think "people sharing a common history, language and customs" seems to be the most logical, and perhaps official language has absolutly nothing whatsoever to do with it.

 

That would seem to negate many non-native speakers claims that, because English is one of their country's official languages, they are native speakers. Perhaps native speakers are those that have language and cultural commonalities to the original native speaking country, England.

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8 years 17 weeks ago
 
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From what I have seen, native speaker is usually inferred to mean a citizen of one of the Big 5 countries, with a passport from that country, whose native language, or the language spoken most commonly at home and in school, was English.  It is one of the selection criteria that is in place.  As much as I have tried, I have been unable to persuade my school that there are a good number of persons from the Republic of South Africa who are native speakers and even though I have seen stellar candidates from that country, the school won't touch them.  Additionally, Ireland, for some reason, falls into a gray area, of neither yes nor no.  The school recently hired a person from Northern Ireland and told me that it was he was a British passport holder, that it was OK.

It's just amazing in a very bizarre way.

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8 years 5 weeks ago
 
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It's a subtle way of them saying: WE ONLY WANT CAUCASIAN TEACHERS! frown

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8 years 5 weeks ago
 
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In my opinion, compensation/salary and the like should be experienced-based and degree-based. I don't think there's something wrong with non-native speakers enjoying the same benefits like what their native colleagues enjoy.

Most non-native speakers who are teaching in China were actually in the teaching field in their own respective countries. They have undergone proper  teaching tranings, are well-versed in classroom management and such. Plus, they also have the same job-title, duties and workload. Sometimes the company expect more from them too. 

 

If this was a better place, they would've been enjoying  the same benefits like their native-speaker chum have. 

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8 years 5 weeks ago
 
Posts: 38

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I know here NO NATIVE speaking NATIONAL language

more correct than the proper native ones.......

 

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7 years 17 weeks ago
 
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