DFWLandingPath From United States of America, joined Aug 2001, 211 posts, RR: 0 Posted (9 years 9 months 3 weeks 2 days 15 hours ago) and read 1925 times:
When talking to a foreign exchange student from Germany the other day, she said that one of the wierdest things for her in her first days in the US was going from the British English that she learned in school and the American English that she was now emmersed in. For those non-native English speakers out there, what version of English did you learn and where did you learn it? Which do you find easier to use around the world?
APT From Germany, joined Feb 2004, 65 posts, RR: 0 Reply 2, posted (9 years 9 months 3 weeks 2 days 15 hours ago) and read 1899 times:
Like almost every other German pupil I learned British English from the old-fashioned teachers (50+). They absolutely disliked using American English but now that I had few younger teachers over the last 2 years I found out that they don't care whether you like British English Or American English better. Some of them even speak American English themselves.
So you see things aren't that strict anymore.
Zak From Greenland, joined Sep 2003, 1993 posts, RR: 8 Reply 4, posted (9 years 9 months 3 weeks 2 days 14 hours ago) and read 1888 times:
american english always reminds me of people unable to tell the difference between "their/there" etc. i guess multiple choice education takes its toll there.
i use british words mostly and pronounce it in a mixture dominated by american english
EmiratesA345 From Canada, joined Jun 2003, 2121 posts, RR: 9 Reply 9, posted (9 years 9 months 3 weeks 2 days 11 hours ago) and read 1839 times:
" learned English Canadian, which is closer to British English than to American English"
I disagree. Our Canadian English is definitely more similar to the American English. Although some Americans have an accent (to me) such as the New Yorker accent, or the South Carolina accent, the words are almost the same except for some slurrs. I find that the majority of Americans that I have spoken to speak the same way I do.
Sebolino From France, joined May 2001, 3672 posts, RR: 5 Reply 11, posted (9 years 9 months 3 weeks 2 days 7 hours ago) and read 1807 times:
The most important is not the spelling you learnt, but the accent.
I for sure didn't learn American accent at school, but it wasn't British neither. In fact I was very surprised when I came to London at 13, people were talking with a very strange accent compared to what I was used to.
And I think the "family" were I was, was even stranger: in fact she was a journalist, and when she said "What did you do today ?" I clearly heard "What did you do to die ?". I wonder what was this accent. Anybody can tell me ?
S.p.a.s. From Liechtenstein, joined Mar 2001, 957 posts, RR: 3 Reply 12, posted (9 years 9 months 3 weeks 2 days 5 hours ago) and read 1789 times:
This reminds me an old joke..
English man, first time across the pond, arrives at NY goes to the hotel and decides take a sleep and see the city later.
Next day, about to cross a street, he obviously looks to the wrong direction, and unaware of a yellow cab racing down the street, stars walking. Indeed the driver manages to stop the car, inches from the Brit, and the driver jumps out of the car and yells...
-Hey dude, did you come here do die?
And our hero says: (note, please imagine strong accent)
-No sir, actually I arrived here yesterday
Csavel From United States of America, joined Jan 2001, 1344 posts, RR: 4 Reply 14, posted (9 years 9 months 3 weeks 2 days 1 hour ago) and read 1754 times:
Canadian English is closer to American English, although the orthography is closer to British.
Case in point.
Canadians drive trucks, not lorries. Cars have hoods and trunks, not boots and bonnets. They use windsheild wipers, not windscreen wipers, and spark plugs as opposed to sparking plugs.
They eat eggplant, and not aubergines. (I think at least)
they say gotten, and don't use the British 'singluar plural" (The army are on maneuvers)
however, they use "to table a motion" in the British sense, stay in hospital, not in the hospital, and eat candy floss, not cotton candy. They fly return, rather than round trip (At least Air Canada does). Any Canadians can join in right now with more examples.
The accent, while unique, is closer to American, in that they pronounce their R's and say words like caught almost like cot (Some American say caught and cot exactly alike) British people say caught almost like New Yorkers, although more clipped.
Orthography-wise (How's that for an Americanism)
Canadians follow the British use in words like honor > "honour"
traveler and jeweler > "traveller" and "jeweller"
offense and defense > "offence, and defence"
But i think they use the z rather than the s in words like criticize, at least that is what I always see in Canadian papers.
They also use American spellig of words like jail, curb, and tire
All in all in interesting and beautiful hybrid.
I may be ugly. I may be an American. But don't call me an ugly American.
Banco From United Kingdom, joined Oct 2001, 14752 posts, RR: 54 Reply 18, posted (9 years 9 months 3 weeks 1 day 23 hours ago) and read 1717 times:
The leftenant/lootenant pronunciation of lieutenant is a fascinating one. I've seen various explanations of why we British say the former, which is clearly counter-intuitive. One is that the "u" was initially misread as a "v", another says that it was taken from leave-tenant,with leave being an anglicisation of the first half of the compound, "lieu". To be honest, neither of these ring especially true to me, especially when you consider that the Royal Navy historically had a pronunciation closer to the American one, L'f'tnt or L'tenant. So why did the army continue to so expressively say Leftenant? Very odd. Even more so when you hear Canadian officers say it the "British" way.
She's as nervous as a very small nun at a penguin shoot.
Airsicknessbag From Germany, joined Aug 2000, 4723 posts, RR: 36 Reply 19, posted (9 years 9 months 3 weeks 1 day 23 hours ago) and read 1701 times:
When I went to school we were always demonstrated both British and American orthography and terms.
Ever heard this one before?
Imagine an Italian tourist, speaking in tick accented English:
"One day I gonna to Malta to a big hotel, in the morning I go down to eat a breakfast. I tell the waitress that I want two pieces of toast. She brings me only one piece. I tell her "I wanna two pieces". She say "Go to the toilet". I say "you don't understand, I wanna two pieces on my plate". She say to me: "you better not piss on the plate, you sonnawabitch". I do not even know this lady and she call me a sonnawabitch !!
Later I go to eat at a bigger restaurant. The waiter brings me a spoon and a knife but no fork. I tell her "I wanna a fork" and she tell me: "everyone wanna fuck ". I tell her "you don't understand me... I wanna fork on the table". She say: "you better not fuck on the table you sonnawabitch" .
So I go back to my room in my hotel and there is no sheets on the bed. I call the manager and tell him "I wanna a sheet". he tell me to go the toilet. I say "you don't understand I wanna a sheet on my bed". He say: "you better not shit on the bed, you sonnawabitch".
I go to the Check out and the man at the desk said "peace on you", and I say: "Piss on you too, you sonnawabicth". I gonna back to Italy
Banco From United Kingdom, joined Oct 2001, 14752 posts, RR: 54 Reply 22, posted (9 years 9 months 3 weeks 1 day 21 hours ago) and read 1676 times:
Not forgetting the legendary occasion when an American director told Richard Burton to grab Elizabeth Taylor's fanny. Well, he did exactly what he thought he been asked to, but sadly the footage, though doubtless highly entertaining, has never seen the light of day.
She's as nervous as a very small nun at a penguin shoot.
GDB From United Kingdom, joined May 2001, 12947 posts, RR: 79 Reply 23, posted (9 years 9 months 3 weeks 1 day 21 hours ago) and read 1668 times:
In the UK, 'smoking a fag' is inhaling tobacco.
In the US it could mean a hate crime.
Is it me, or is the US adopting some of our swear words?
Because you never used to hear Americans use 'wanker' as a term of abuse, in fact I've seen it as surnames in the credits of US films.
But in recent years I've heard it used in the British context by Americans.