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Question about dialects - especially for you UKers

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Question about dialects - especially for you UKers

Postby adam917 » Thu Mar 26, 2009 7:46 am

I believe I have become obsessed with your dialect of English and would like to know if it makes sense for me to continue trying to complete convert to using that form of English. Since 2001, I have altered my spellings and grammar (I am still learning) to reflect what is common practise in the UK and the rest of the Commonwealth of Nations, which is quite tricky considering I was raised in the US (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania) and still live there.

I have also adopted an RP accent and went 3 full years of university as well as a job I had for a summer before that speaking in that form. I seem to have gotten so good at it that some words naturally come out as RP now and not 'Philly', like the names Paul van Dyk and Armin van Buuren.

As to how I am learning this, I just read Wikipedia's pages on differences as well as the many other sites on-line that talk about what seems like thousands of differences (so many that I think if we never had the Internet, the US & UK would have their own unique languages by 2100 or so). As for speech, I get that from various radio broadcasts of some of my favourite music and some programmes I watch from time to time.

I wonder myself for the last 8 years why I am basically trying to be viewed as something I am not. Maybe I sub-consciously think it's cool to be seen (at least initially, as I do not lie about my origin) as not from around here? The thing that has me wondering about it is because I seem to also speak like this around people that haven't seen me since before 2003 or so.

What do the others here think and has anyone else tried such a thing before and if so, how is/did it going/went?

PS: I wish I put all this energy and time into actually learning a new language rather than just a dialect of the one I already know!
adam917
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Location: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA







English accent

Postby Kris » Thu Mar 26, 2009 10:02 pm

Hi Adam, I think you mean an English accent rather than a dialect. A dialect in England is like your state variations such as the Southern twang.

I was amazed that Spike (James Marsters), in Buffy is actually American. His English accent is perfect and often includes colloquialisms in the program.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b_toLTqI ... L&index=19

One we struggle to understand even though they are fellow English people is the Geordie accent when it's really strong.

This is the stunning Cheryl Cole from the group Girls Aloud with a soft Geordie (Newcastle area) accent

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XaWVJB7G ... re=related

I'm not keen on girls with American accents but when they've been to those posh finishing schools in the States they sound really sexy - kind of posh English accent. Makes them appear sexier too.

Sexiest accents for me are French, Russian & Scottish girls.

As for the spelling; I actually think American spelling makes more sense. Tire (tyre), color (colour) etc. Some pronunciations make you cringe though ... aluminum - aloo-minum (al-you-min-yum) vehicle - veerHICcul - (veercull), yogurt - yoh-gurt (yogut), airplane (aeroplane or normally just plane for us).

Then of course there are all the words with different meanings which can catch either one of us out depending which country one is in.

UK US definitions

Fanny - p***y (p***y also used in UK though). Arse - Fanny or ass. Fag - Cigarette . Chips - French fries. Crisps - Chips. Biscuit - Cookie. Manual - Stick shift. Bonnet - Hood. Trunk - Boot. Wing Fender. Trousers - Pants. Pants - Underwear? Briefs? Fringe - Bangs. Take - Bring (E - take it with you. A - Bring it with you) Unfortunately the American version is becoming common usage over here and it just sounds wrong to my ears.) Dived - Dove. Fitted - Fit (E - it fitted like a glove)

Loads of them - I'm sure people can add to this thread with a lot more.

With so many American and Australian soaps it's actually had an impact on our spoken language and kids will often like say like all the like time the way like American kids do. In the London area it's often hard to understand kids now because they have a kind of rapper/jive talk.

But of course I'm getting old and the standard of English that I was taught in school is totally different to the English they let them get away with now. Most foreign kids learning English speak and spell better than native English speaking kids.

I'm jealous of Ladislav - his written English is way superior to mine but unfortunately we weren't really taught grammar properly in school. If I went for a T.E.F.L. course, even though I use the the language I'd have to learn how to define it - e.g.

subjunctive mood, Clauses, Prepositional phrases.

Haven't got a bloody clue what they mean even though I probably use them correctly in my everyday speech and writing.
Treat others as you'd like to be treated yourself
Kris
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Posts: 68
Joined: Tue Feb 24, 2009 9:51 pm
Location: Salisbury England

Re: English accent

Postby adam917 » Thu Mar 26, 2009 11:54 pm

Kris wrote:Hi Adam, I think you mean an English accent rather than a dialect. A dialect in England is like your state variations such as the Southern twang.

I was amazed that Spike (James Marsters), in Buffy is actually American. His English accent is perfect and often includes colloquialisms in the program.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b_toLTqI ... L&index=19

One we struggle to understand even though they are fellow English people is the Geordie accent when it's really strong.

This is the stunning Cheryl Cole from the group Girls Aloud with a soft Geordie (Newcastle area) accent

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XaWVJB7G ... re=related

I'm not keen on girls with American accents but when they've been to those posh finishing schools in the States they sound really sexy - kind of posh English accent. Makes them appear sexier too.

Sexiest accents for me are French, Russian & Scottish girls.

As for the spelling; I actually think American spelling makes more sense. Tire (tyre), color (colour) etc. Some pronunciations make you cringe though ... aluminum - aloo-minum (al-you-min-yum) vehicle - veerHICcul - (veercull), yogurt - yoh-gurt (yogut), airplane (aeroplane or normally just plane for us).

Then of course there are all the words with different meanings which can catch either one of us out depending which country one is in.

UK US definitions

Fanny - p***y (p***y also used in UK though). Arse - Fanny or ass. Fag - Cigarette . Chips - French fries. Crisps - Chips. Biscuit - Cookie. Manual - Stick shift. Bonnet - Hood. Trunk - Boot. Wing Fender. Trousers - Pants. Pants - Underwear? Briefs? Fringe - Bangs. Take - Bring (E - take it with you. A - Bring it with you) Unfortunately the American version is becoming common usage over here and it just sounds wrong to my ears.) Dived - Dove. Fitted - Fit (E - it fitted like a glove)

Loads of them - I'm sure people can add to this thread with a lot more.

With so many American and Australian soaps it's actually had an impact on our spoken language and kids will often like say like all the like time the way like American kids do. In the London area it's often hard to understand kids now because they have a kind of rapper/jive talk.

But of course I'm getting old and the standard of English that I was taught in school is totally different to the English they let them get away with now. Most foreign kids learning English speak and spell better than native English speaking kids.

I'm jealous of Ladislav - his written English is way superior to mine but unfortunately we weren't really taught grammar properly in school. If I went for a T.E.F.L. course, even though I use the the language I'd have to learn how to define it - e.g.

subjunctive mood, Clauses, Prepositional phrases.

Haven't got a bloody clue what they mean even though I probably use them correctly in my everyday speech and writing.


Are you sure you don't have that part about it being just accent backward? I use the UK spellings & words (when it won't confuse Americans) as well as the RP accent. Isn't a dialect for instance US, UK, Canadian, Australian English but an accent being for instance Boston, Philly, Southern (US), or foreign accent like speaking English with a Korean accent? I thought dialects covered more than just the accent alone.
adam917
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Location: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA

Dialect

Postby Kris » Fri Mar 27, 2009 1:44 pm

Dialect is the regional variation of a language in a country. I suppose in the states though you would say a Southern 'accent' compared to a Bronx 'accent' when it should really be 'dialect'. I don't know if that word is even used by Americans?

We often say over here 'a brummie (Birmingham) or Yorkshire accent' when it should be dialect.

This is what Wikipedia says about it http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dialect

and accents : -

In linguistics, an accent is a manner of pronunciation of a language. Accents can be confused with dialects which are varieties of language differing in vocabulary, syntax, and morphology, as well as pronunciation. Dialects are usually spoken by a group united by geography or social status.

If you were speaking with an English (Bristol) dialect you'd be saying something like "Ear, oi carn't foind moi jaackhet" (Hey! I can't find my jacket). Nearest thing I can write to a West Country - Bristol area dialect ....... (I was just about to write accent there - habit). Nobody strangles the English language like the English.

This is what the British Library says about it : -
RP is an accent, not a dialect, since all RP speakers speak Standard English. In other words, they avoid non-standard grammatical constructions and localised vocabulary characteristic of regional dialects. RP is also regionally non-specific, that is it does not contain any clues about a speaker’s geographic background. But it does reveal a great deal about their social and/or educational background.


http://www.bl.uk/learning/langlit/sound ... unciation/

I read an interesting article in the Times today (UK not New York) about how the Japanese struggle with the English language and add their own interpretations.

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/w ... 974247.ece
Treat others as you'd like to be treated yourself
Kris
Freshman Poster
 
Posts: 68
Joined: Tue Feb 24, 2009 9:51 pm
Location: Salisbury England

Re: Dialect

Postby adam917 » Fri Mar 27, 2009 7:00 pm

Kris wrote:Dialect is the regional variation of a language in a country. I suppose in the states though you would say a Southern 'accent' compared to a Bronx 'accent' when it should really be 'dialect'. I don't know if that word is even used by Americans?

We often say over here 'a brummie (Birmingham) or Yorkshire accent' when it should be dialect.

This is what Wikipedia says about it http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dialect

and accents : -

In linguistics, an accent is a manner of pronunciation of a language. Accents can be confused with dialects which are varieties of language differing in vocabulary, syntax, and morphology, as well as pronunciation. Dialects are usually spoken by a group united by geography or social status.

If you were speaking with an English (Bristol) dialect you'd be saying something like "Ear, oi carn't foind moi jaackhet" (Hey! I can't find my jacket). Nearest thing I can write to a West Country - Bristol area dialect ....... (I was just about to write accent there - habit). Nobody strangles the English language like the English.

This is what the British Library says about it : -
RP is an accent, not a dialect, since all RP speakers speak Standard English. In other words, they avoid non-standard grammatical constructions and localised vocabulary characteristic of regional dialects. RP is also regionally non-specific, that is it does not contain any clues about a speaker’s geographic background. But it does reveal a great deal about their social and/or educational background.


http://www.bl.uk/learning/langlit/sound ... unciation/

I read an interesting article in the Times today (UK not New York) about how the Japanese struggle with the English language and add their own interpretations.

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/w ... 974247.ece


Funny thing is when someone says someone else has 'no accent' when everyone has their own way of speaking. It seems that when someone says that another person 'has an accent', they really mean they have a different accent from their own. ;-)
adam917
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Location: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA


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