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ENGLISH AS A SECOND LANGUAGE - nette onclaud's Blog

About nette onclaud
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Location: north node of pisces in past lives

Characteristics: moon-angel, summer gypsy

Philosophy: in life and love, don’t settle for less than 100%

Greatest sin: can do nothing for a day and stay in the “ now”

Education: a student of life on earth and outbound

Style: blend of classic and eclectic

Strengths and weaknesses: shadows chasing light; light chasing shadows

Luxuries:  inner spirit dancer, theater actress, educator, painter, poet, interior designer

Addictions: diet coke, rare collections, travels around the world

Unforgettable scene: pathways of Prague in Czechoslovakia around dusk

Claim to fame: the world's worst typist


Blog Posted:7/31/2012 12:33:00 PM

hello dear soupers!...i have read tons of

fascinating  works here with seamless poetic flow, content, and tonality from  members whose  English is not  their first language. 

we know that our colleagues come from different countries--- randomly Turkey, Norway, Africa, Indonesia --- and grammar or spelling may be a bit off...considering the merit of their poems in terms of substance  and form, i am wondering if we dismiss their entries since proper  use language is not perfect?...or do we appreciate, honor their passion for poetry?

any thoughts on this matter?

huggs to all!

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  1. Date: 8/6/2012 9:47:00 AM
    thanks suzette for your valuable feedback... good idea to run a contest for those who use english as a second language... methinks there could be a margin for slight errors without lowering standards of good poetry!..:) hugggs!

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  1. Date: 8/2/2012 6:16:00 AM
    On syllable counts: In my book, eg "stress" has one syllable; "stressed" still one syllable (you do not say: stress-ed); but "stresses" two syllables or Onji (when counting in Haiku poetry). Similarly, eg "alcohol" counts two syllables in the English language, because you do not pronounce the "h" and "conspicuous" counts four syllables, because the "u" and "ou" are pronounced separately when spoken. Some clarity would be appreciated. It would be unkind to disqualify a poem, because we do not agree on these matters.

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  1. Date: 8/2/2012 6:06:00 AM
    Nette, I think that by upholding a uniform standard, would give all poets the impetus to grow and to strive to improve. By lowering the boom, we are detracting from those who have won and the future winners. Maybe a separate category should we considered for 2nd language poets? Furthermore, I find it very confusing when there is more than one 1st place winner and this is followed by a string of 2nd, 3rd, etc place winners. Surely, if there are for eg 2 1st place winners, then the next place should be 3rd place, followed by 4th place etc.

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  1. Date: 8/1/2012 12:36:00 PM
    PARDON MY CURIOSITY, do we become more strict with is poets whose first language is english??..hmmm

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  1. Date: 8/1/2012 12:32:00 PM
    SUZETTE: so true on all counts... poems of chilean pablo neruda and others have been translated into english... huggs!

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  1. Date: 8/1/2012 12:24:00 PM
    CYN: we are on the same page... if a poem cannot assault, invigorate or rip my senses, it is as good as dead...more than heart, a poem has to have SOUL and ESSENCE..other considerations have been discussed though i'll back for dessert later... :) huggs!

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  1. Date: 8/1/2012 12:14:00 PM
    MANDY: i use the reliable dictionary online to make sure spelling is right... huggs

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  1. Date: 8/1/2012 12:12:00 PM
    ANDIE: i have watched how people like olu, jag,and others have developed their style and proper use of grammar through time.. i hail those who push the envelope to learn their craft,,,it is no wonder i ask for poets' names in my contests so i could reach out to them.. yes, those who enter should be responsible enough to read blogs for updates...thanks and huggs!

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  1. Date: 8/1/2012 12:01:00 PM
    NANS, soul sistah...poetry in any language cannot be sloppy, right!..RUBEN: you are doing very well, so should i still be gentle with you? huggs!

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  1. Date: 8/1/2012 11:37:00 AM
    CRAIG and JOYCE: insightful thoughts. ..what matters is the value of a poem.. i think we would somehow know if a poet (using english as second language) has something worthwhile to say... huggs!

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  1. Date: 8/1/2012 11:25:00 AM
    SUZETTE: yes, i agree.. but if we use english style( like flavour) or american( like flavor), the spelling based on chosen style should be consistent(traveler, traveller)... you are well versed in language and it is your second one?..:) thanks and huggs!..DAVID: i have considered some poets whose grammar is slighty incorrect in favor of the true langauge, mood and tonality of a poem... :) hugggs!

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  1. Date: 8/1/2012 11:12:00 AM
    let me in here, lol... TPS can't make me comment on blogs..MiCHAEL: small errors can be dismissed as long as the poem , as a whole, is meaningful.. how nice your wife is an english teacher!,,:) huggs!

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  1. Date: 8/1/2012 11:01:00 AM
    The poet who I admire: ENLIGHTENMENT The moon’s reflection in water, neither does it make the moon wet, nor does it water break. Such for Dogen is enlightenment. Though the moon’s light envelops the infinite expanse of the sky, it can be as easily reflected in just one dewdrop on the grass. (Yayati)

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  1. Date: 8/1/2012 10:39:00 AM
    Apropos Cyndi"s comment: Each has his/her own "voice". I was once asked to "translate" a script of mine into American English - it would have been like translating Keats into Oscar Wilde. Maybe we are loosing sight of the fact that a poem is judged by one person and that his/her taste may not coincide with yours. So, write on and express yourself - whether you win or not. Poetry (to me) is a platform to express myself, when mere prose will not fit the bill. EG If I had to include words and concepts such as indunas, sangomas, braaivleis (all words which you will not find in your spell check, but are part of my vocab., etc) most would run to the hills. I would like to learn about other cultures through their poetry and not have them be submitted to what we perceive to be acceptable topics. Form is a different thing all together. I am a great admirer of a well known Indian poet, Dr Madan Gandhi. His work is peppered with typical regional concepts. Peace and Love to all :-)

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  1. Date: 8/1/2012 10:16:00 AM
    PS I just had a comment on my Swinging on a Star poem questioning my spelling (if I understood it correctly). I (and spell check) didn't see any spelling mistake(s). Would you please be so kind as to look it over and comment on the poem. Thank you for your time and assistance. Love, Suzette

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  1. Date: 8/1/2012 8:32:00 AM
    Hey hon, GREAT BLOG! Don't be surprised if I reflect on this subject in another blog, as you've truly inspired me! The real question here is what is good poetry, isn't it? I believe that good poetry captures the poet's individual style and voice, transcends mere language, captures a mood and message, provides the reader with an emotional and/or cognitive impact that feels like a one-two knock out punch, uses words in a unique way that may or may not break recognized grammar rules and ---furthermore--- is honest to the point of almost being too open, too REAL! If you are speaking of contests, I judge based on this criteria and the flow of a poem. If spelling is off, if grammar isn't exact, if punctuation is hit and miss, I will most likely overlook these things if the poem HAS A HEART. A poem SHOULD reflect the poet's own landscape, his vernicular, his... environment? Robbie Burns sounding like Keats would defeat his poem's ... integrity?... A poet from the projects is a poet, too! AMEN

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  1. Date: 8/1/2012 7:28:00 AM
    I think the language spelling should be overlooked I mean there are so many differences just between American and English and the dictionary keeps trying to correct mine, so power to those that enter when English is not their first language I have enough difficulty and it is mine xx

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  1. Date: 7/31/2012 9:48:00 PM
    By the way, while I am here. I've been reading the entries in my last contest finally. Several of them have poor grammar and incorrect syllable count. Sadly, the ones who need to know this are the ones who do not see our blog comments and they probably are completely mystified when their poems are not chosen after they make the effort to do them. However, some of them are not putting any effort. And if they are, I cannot see it!

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  1. Date: 7/31/2012 9:46:00 PM
    I can testify that Ruben may not be a native English speaker, but he makes an effort and he got first place long ago in one of my first contests here at soup.KUDOS to him. I appreciate the second language learner who truly is trying. Kashinath is another example of such a poet. He wins many contests and he makes a great effort to learn forms and to be "spot on" with everything he tries. I am with craig on this one. We can be a bit lenient with some of those that struggle, but only to a point. My two cents worth!

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  1. Date: 7/31/2012 9:10:00 PM
    Well...if you didnt notice it yet...: ) ...English IS my second language and Im still learning! : ) I always check my spelling...but my grammar...sometimes...: P Every poem I write is a real challenge...SO, be gentle when judging my entries! LOL! Have a nice night. Ruben.

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  1. Date: 7/31/2012 8:15:00 PM
    Hey, dig the pic!!! Where's that from? I only know one language and I'm perfectly adept at butchering it. My parents taught me the "Queen's English" and expected me to use it. I taught my kids the "Queen's English" and told them it could come in handy among certain audiences... and I also acknowledged to them that the F word can be more effective in other crowds. As far as how I judge my 'tests.... I recognize that I have cultural conditioning, but I try to get to the meat of the po and not worry much about spelling or grammar... unless it looks sloppy. My two cents worth, love ya sis. You just ROCK!! Namaste~N

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  1. Date: 7/31/2012 4:59:00 PM
    I would never fault a poem for spelling or grammatical errors when English is the poet's second language, but I am disturbed by poor spelling and errors from any of those of us who's learned English as our first language. I am so proud of you if you are struggling to write in English and it is not your native tongue. I know fully well that I couldn't write in another language. Love, Joyce

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  1. Date: 7/31/2012 3:13:00 PM
    Nette, if I see a slight spelling mistake and it is an exceptional piece of poetry then I will overlook it, it is an International site so we have to expect and except a few mistakes...just my 50 pence worth. Language will always evolve and we need to go with the flow sometimes...

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  1. Date: 7/31/2012 3:07:00 PM
    Is This Poetry? 4 U 2 B in2 poetry Y Do U have 2 b able 2 write 1 verse or 2 that 1 or 2 can C the words And know how 2 B understood. U C Y if 1 is going 2 write, and B C’n 2 b trying, I for 1 will B Dlighted. © 31/7/2012

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  1. Date: 7/31/2012 2:19:00 PM
    I agree with Michael (and his wife). Any correction should be viewed in the spirit in which it is made. We are here to learn as well as to entertain. BTW English is my second language and to top it all, I'm mildly dyslexic - something which had hamstrung me and silenced me for many years. Thank goodness for spell check. Getting back to what you are asking: Yes, if we can submit an entry for a contest, we have access to a computer to do a spell check and grammar check. One of the winners in a recent contest had made spelling mistakes and a grammar mistake..... So, this does not seem to be the reason why someone had not won through to the finals. I do have a good vocabulary and some words would not be recognized by the spell check. Or, if someone does not know the full meaning of a word such as "climes" (for eg), the entry might be discarded in favor (spelled "favour" in South Africa) of poems with more traditional words. What I do object to is a poem where the entrant writes in text format: B4 i upset U 2moro ...:-) I write as I speak and try to adapt my language to suit the subject. This is just my take on the subject. Please feel free to differ. Yes, I would welcome corrections/queries. Love, Suzette

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  1. Date: 7/31/2012 1:51:00 PM
    I believe if dismiss an entry it would be cause they didn't follow guide lines or another entry was better. We sometimes don't want to dismiss entries but that is why it's called a CONTEST. I speak for myself when I say I came to this site because I appreciate poetry. English is a second language for my wife and she is a American school teacher. She is very adamant in that she wants to be corrected every time she makes a mistake. She says it's the only way to learn faster.

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