Wednesday, November 12, 2014

We recently had the opportunity to share ideas and thoughts with a group of graduate students of English department in one of East Java regions. And in another opportunity, we happened to analyze how they talked to each other. We found that the very basic idea of good English communication was not achieved during the class. Most of them thought good English communication was one spoken fast with no stop! The message is not the point and neither is the interlocutor.

This misconception is not without a reason. People in general think that all English native speakers speak as fast as ones they see in some movies produced by English speaking countries, while if we look closely, the communication is intentionally made in such a way to characterize the characters. A diplomat in a movie will speak like a diplomat, a president in a movie will speak like a president, a football commentator will speak the way he is supposed to be. But, are we Indonesians supposed to speak English the way they do?

For people or English learners who never had real conversation and had not-so-intense communication with English native speakers and only watched English movies as their preliminary imagination and reference to better speak English, speaking fast with no stop is the priority while the real conversation does not necessarily take place so. As team lead who often speaks with some translation agency CEOs, project managers and vendors who are English native speakers, we find that they do not speak the way most English movies have shown us. They speak in speed their interlocutor may catch up and they mainly focus on the idea they want to convey. So, the very basic of good communication is 'I understand you and you understand me with our own character of communication'.

Share with us if you have different thoughts on this!


  1. Couldn't agree more. This is accurate when I was once interpreting a consultant a few years back in Central Java where he spoke to some lengths he's required to, not necessarily as fast as what we normally see in English speaking movies :) Thanks for sharing.


Share This Article