Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Skill to explain things in different ways

> 如果已经学会界定,但理解还有偏差,那就要训练How
> to explain things in different ways(用不同的方式解释同
> 一事物)。一种表达式对方不懂,美国人会寻找另一种表
> 达式最终让对方明白。

That's an excellent point. A few years ago, I read on a Chinese forum where somebody said all he needed to be good at English was vocabulary, meaning once he knows a lot of words, his English will be super. I said that's far from true. Suppose a person knows only 1000 words (which may be true to some undereducated people). And suppose he doesn't know the word "engine". He may say "My car broke. It's the thing that drives the wheels through some belts. I forget what it's called." Then you know it's the word "engine". Well, this may be a bad example because most undereducated people probably know even more about cars than some educated ones. But the idea is that a guy with limited vocabulary can communicate well as long as he can "explain things in different ways". And that's the skill many Chinese that are studying English do not have.

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