Hoe is het gesteld met de talenkennis van onze BN’ers? Tot nu toe redt bekend Nederland zich nog prima in het Engels en Duits. Deze maand nemen we de Engelse talenkennis van dj en muziekproducent Martin Garrix onder de loep. Scoort hij nu net zo goed als in de hitlijsten?
This interview shows that with a lot of exposure to the English from a young age, you can become a pro at the language. Martin Garrix, I believe is the youngest person I have done a language report for and it has definitely been an eye opener for me!
General issues and pronunciation
I feel awful doing this first, but I will get the minor negative out of the way. There is a definite Dutch accent – there, I said it! And now to all the positive bits! For a start, we are talking about someone born in 1996 (which makes me feel very old!), so he has plenty of time to refine his accent should he wish to. Having said that, he is very proud of his nationality and may not want to work on his accent at all because I would imagine that his army of fans would find it quite novel! To be honest, he doesn’t need to refine it at all, it is just as an English teacher, I can hear the accent. However, if I was teaching him I would not give it priority because in no way whatsoever does it cause any misunderstandings. I can understand him perfectly and his pronunciation in general is second to none. There was one slip – and it was definitely only a slip with the pronunciation of the word ‘idea’ at 3min 18, it sounded more like ‘ID’ which is something that I hear all the time. Having said that, it only happened once and I feel like I am being really mean actually mentioning it!
I have to say that his intonation is pretty amazing. During the interview he uses quite long words with many syllables and absolutely nails their pronunciation – and he exudes confidence using complex vocabulary too. In this particular interview, his pronunciation and intonation are considerably better than the guy interviewing him, if I am allowed to say that.
Coherence of the interview
This interview seems quite relaxed – and he seems to be enjoying himself. Martin Garrix has a very broad range of vocabulary to say the least – and he is certainly not afraid to use it. His grammar is pretty impeccable as far as verb tenses are concerned. He correctly uses adverbs, which can be a little problematic for some learners, whereas at about 1min 50 he says ‘change the mood very easily’ without a second thought!
Martin gives some lovely answers to questions and it is a pleasure listening to someone so young using the language so eloquently. Dare I say it, but I reckon that he could teach some British people his age a thing or two about using English! He delivered the interview at a good pace, added emphasis where it needed to be added, and the intonation kept it lively and easy to listen to. There are no points when I was unsure about what he was saying or where he was going. He was able to elaborate on things really well but without going around the houses. This can be quite common with people who do not have the correct vocabulary to hand when they need it due to lack of practice, so they tend to go the long way round explaining things. This certainly was not apparent here! This range of vocabulary would be on a par with Proficiency level students.
Conclusions and ratings
I really enjoyed listening to this interview – even though it made me feel very old! It is refreshing to hear someone his age with such an eclectic mix of vocabulary that he can use confidently and correctly. What we must still remember here is that Martin Garrix can only get better and better – and he is already brilliant! It is good to have assurance reinstilled that a such a level of English can be achieved by someone this age. The more you use a language and the more you are exposed to it, the better you become. Martin Garrix is a shining example of this. I gave Michiel Huisman and Armin van Buuren very high scores – and they are (a bit) older than Martin Garrix so I only feel it fair to give him the same score because for his age, he is incredible.