I'm already good enough at reading, but I have to focus on listening and also reproducing what I hear in the resources I use for listening practice.

When I watch an English video, I don't need a whole transcript but I often have trouble catching what's said here and there in it. And I often post questions about the part I can't catch on ELU but my questions often get closed as they're not about English language per se. My previous questions have been voted to be closed for example, like this one. I assume the same thing will happen here on ELL too because it's not about English learning per se.

I have friends who are native speakers, but each of my questions is often short - like I said it's not a whole transcript but the transcript of a single line - and it's faster to get an answer if I ask on a website and I feel it's more polite for my friends this way too.

So is there a good site where I can post questions like the one I linked above?

Or - I know I should post this part on meta too but the rest of this question suits for ELL I guess so I add this here - is it okay to post questions like the one I linked, here on ELL?

I often do get an answer on ELU, but my account will be banned if I keep posting such questions and it seems it's bad to post questions with a knowledge that they're not appropriate for the site.

One user suggested that I can use the chat but I don't have enough reps to either participate in one or create one.

You might say I should try watching videos that I can easily find a transcript for, but it's actually hard to find videos like that which interest you enough and that satisfy other random requirements like being short enough. I can find one with a bit of effort, but I need to find more and more so that I can start watching it once I'm done with the current one. It's a pain to find an appropriate video each time.

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    If you stick around and participate here on ELL, it shouldn't take long for you to earn the necessary 20 reputation points to use our chatrooms. All you need do is post an answer that gets a couple of upvotes, or a question that gets 4 upvotes, which will at least show you're giving something back to the site, in which case probably at least one person in chat will be willing to listen to your fragments and transcribe them for you. But this is a meta / resources issue, Off Topic here on the main site. Commented Dec 29, 2016 at 16:35
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    I often have trouble catching what's said here and there in it You're not alone in that! Native speakers have the same problem. People mumble, are talked-over, and sound systems suffer dropouts. Being unable to correctly decode everything heard is what causes "mondegreens" (q.v.).
    – MMacD
    Commented Dec 31, 2016 at 11:54
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    Native speaker here, and indeed I have this problem pretty often. Movies typically have subtitles, and you can generally google song lyrics (though they're often transcribed incorrectly!), but now that you mention it, I'd actually really appreciate a more general resource for asking this sort of question. (And speaking of subtitles, I'd wager most native speakers would admit that they typically learn something from turning on subtitles even for films they've previously seen multiple times!) Commented Jan 3, 2017 at 23:33

1 Answer 1


I have a couple suggestions:

  1. Ask in our chat room, like FumbleFingers suggested. A lot of us would be happy to help, as long as we aren't answering this sort of question day in and day out :-)
  2. Try a site like Lang-8 or their Q&A site HiNative. As I understand it, you can post about whatever you want on these sites, so these sorts of questions will never be "off-topic".

About the reputation requirement for chat:

You have 20 reputation, which is enough to use our chat feature now. But if anyone else wants to ask a little question like this in the future and doesn't have enough reputation to chat, they can always ask a moderator (like me) to add them to the chat room access list. That way they can use the chat feature even without gaining 20 reputation.

If you need to contact a moderator for this purpose or any other, you can always flag one of your own posts and type in the message you'd like us to see. Type in something like "Could I please have access to ELL chat even though my reputation is less than 20?" and we'll be happy to help :-)

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