Mayo 2017
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English accents – British accents

♦  American comedian Elon Gold  ↓ …on English accents

You know, the problem that here in America, when it comes to the English, we mistake accents with intelligent; right? We think they’re smart, because no matter what they’re talking about, they sound quite intelligent. 

It doen’t really matter; they could talk about anything, like: “My belly button is quite itchy.”

And we’d be like: “That dude’s smart.”

But they’re not! OK? Just sound smart, they look smart with their crooked teeth and the wacky hair. Oh no, you go to England, some of the English have like the Elephant Man look about it: “Oh no, I look a bit frightening but at least I sound intelligent.”

And the English… the English have a weird thing with the letter “t“, because sometimes they overpronunciate the letter, like ‘that‘, and sometimes they ignore the le(tt)ers comple(t)ely. It’s like, “What happened? Where did the letters go?”

And there are two “t“s in the word le(tt)er, and yet they’re nowhere to be found. It’s quite odd, right?

No, no, like… if the idea of some was that one “t“, you miss it, you know, that’s fine, wha(t)ever… wha(t)ever, one “t”, gone, fine; but when there are two, let’s skip them over, like ‘that’s rude….’ It’s like the le(tt)ers don´t even ma(tt)er.

The English and their “t“s: they spend half of the days drinking teas and the other half ignoring them . . .

◊  Listen to Seattle-born Amy Walker speaking in 21 round-the-world different accents:

◊  Now listen to a Scottish guy named Dunk impersonating loads of regional British accents.

◊  Londoner RainaMythelou points out ↓ a few differences between the way she speaks and the way Americans do

There are many different regional accents in both British and American English. The most important differences between American and British speech are as follows:

In some varieties of American English, certain nouns are pronounced through the nose and mouth at the same time. This isn’t quite so in British English.

British English has one more vowel than American English. This is the rounded short ‘o’ used in words like cot and dog. In American English, these words are pronounced either like the first vowel in father or like the vowel in caught.

In British English, is only pronounced before a vowel sound. In American English, r is pronounced in all positions.

In many varieties of American English, and can sound the same. In British English, they have very different pronunciation.

Words like fertile, reptile and missile have different pronunciation in British and American English. In British English, reptile and fertile rhyme with ‘her tile’. In American English, reptile and fertile rhyme with turtle.

Words borrowed from French have different pronunciation in British and American English. In American English these words are pronounced with the stress falling on the final vowel.

◊  The English Language in 24 Accents ↓  [by ]

I liked the British bit better than the American ↑ A bagful of accents, this guy is.

¤  A History of the English language

An edition of ten videos on the history of the English language.  The videos have been put together into a film to make it a little easier to watch. The originals are made available under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-Share Alike 2.0 Licence agreement.


◊  History of the English Language  ↓ (1943)

British Council ↑

History of the English Language acts as an excellent layman’s introduction to the origins of one of the most common languages on the planet, demonstrating how dialect changes over time, and presenting England as being multicultural right down to its roots.

This is a comprehensive introduction to the English language. Through its depiction of English as a worldwide language, it clearly promotes not only Britain’s power in the world, but also its multiculturalism. The foreign language in the titles is apparently Indonesian, so one must assume that this was shown there. This might explain the simple illustrations of each word or people mentioned in the film.

Germany is included in this origins story, although, having been made during wartime, it is not as heavily featured as it would in an unbiased edition. Whilst the war is not openly discussed, one excerpt is especially telling: the narrator states “The German language also produced words associated with war, such as plunder”, along with the image of a uniformed man fiddling with coins in a chest. As the image transitions into a cartoon, the insignia on his shoulder goes from a double-V shape to a Nazi swastika.

Also, Shakespeare’s King Richard II, Act 2 scene 1 is quoted,which talks of England as a paradise, protected against war by God and nature. Finally, Winston Churchill is featured towards the end, talking about England’s tolerance, lack of greed, and hinting at its multiculturalism.



♦  David Crystal ↓ Is control of English shifting away from British and American native speakers?

¤  A selection of John Cowan‘s Essentialist Explanations.

.     .    .     of the form Language X is essentially language Y under conditions Z”.   Just for fun .

◊   What’s English like?

English is a crazy language

English is essentially the language you speak without moving your mouth.  –Marianne Cowan
English is essentially a language that uses vowels no other language would accept.  –Luís Henrique
English is essentially German spoken in the mouth rather than the throat.  –jmallett
English is essentially a West Germanic language that’s trying very hard to look like a Romance one.  –Andreas Johansson
English is essentially the devil’s attempt to reverse the curse of Babel by making a world language from the most difficult language in the world.  –qaya
English is essentially a stripped-down Germanic lang with Baroque-style Norman French ornamentation glued on at odd angles.  –Adam Walker
English is essentially a language that doesn’t care where syllable boundaries are.  –Peter Bleackley
English is essentially all exceptions and no rules.  –Jonathan Bettencourt
English is essentially the works of Joyce with the hard bits taken out.  –Jon Hanna
English is essentially ideographic, but it’s sneaky about it.  –John M. Ford
English is essentially a tale told by an extremely clever and inventive idiot.  –John M. Ford
English is essentially a half dozen other languages locked in a small room. They fight.  –M. Kehrt
English is essentially the most Latin Germanic language. Conversely, French is essentially the most Germanic Romance language.  –Bill Van

◊  ◊   English   (Specific Varieties)

Scots is essentially English, only funnier.  –Thomas Leigh

Liverpool English is Irish English spoken by Irishmen and Welshmen trying to bash England.  –Andrew Johnson

Lancashire is essentially English spoken properly.  –Liv Bliss

Cockney is essentially English while haggling over prices.  –Mike Taylor

Australian English is essentially Cockney without the refinement.  –Öjevind Lång

New Zealand English is Cockney spoken by a Scotsman who’s watched to0 many Australian soap operas.  –Ken Westmoreland

New Zealand English is essentially the English somebody forgot to take it out of their back pocket before putting their jeans through the laundry.  –Hamish Ritchie

American English is essentially the language nobody speaks well, but everybody seems to understand.  –Ivan C. Amaya

American English is essentially English after having been wiped off with a dirty sponge.  –J.R.R. Tolkien

American English is essentially what British English would sound like with better oral hygiene.  –Xander
American English originated from English immigrants who lost their tongues because of lack of vitamin C during their sea voyage.  –Kees van den Berg

American English is essentially British English without the redundancies, including the monarchy.  –Ivan C. Amaya

American English is essentially your Queen’s English as bastardized by colonists, or is it as colonized by bastards?  –ilvi

American English is essentially Irish English as spoken by non-native speakers.  –Benct Philip Jonsson

American English essentially is not English and is not American either.  –Ivan C. Amaya

American grammar is essentially not essential  –Ivan C. Amaya

Southern US English is essentially Irish English spoken through moonshine and whiskey instead of stout and ale.  –Andrew Johnson

Texan English is essentially Spanish as spoken by drunken American rebels.  –Javier de la Rosa

Newyorkese is English with a Dutch accent and a grudge.  –Javier Candeira

Canadian English is essentially Mid-West American English with a lot of eh’s.  –contrariandoer

Broken English is the language of international trade.  –John Naisbitt (via Daniel E. Huston)

Governmentese is essentially a branch of spoken and written English designed to say nothing with as many words as possible hoping that the nothing is lost in the translation.  –laser

englispanish                      ♦    Spanish  .  .  . ?
Spanish is essentially Italian spoken by Arabs.   –Benct Philip Jonsson
Castilian Romance is nothing but Latin spoken by Basque lips and transformed by evolution in an environment of Basque habits and of Basque phonetic tradition.   –P. Ormaechevarria, via David Mediavilla Ezquibela
Andalusian Spanish is essentially Castilian with needless syllabic appendages circumcised.   –Javier de la Rosa
Puerto Rican is just Spanish as hurriedly spoken in substandard housing in the Bronx.   –ilvi
Argentinean is essentially Italian spoken so that other South Americans can catch on.   –ilvi
Mexican essentially sounds like Japanese pronounced with a strong Irish brogue.   –Heather Grove
Conversely, Japanese sounds like Mexican with all the vowels removed.   –Heather Grove
Mexican Spanish is essentially all consonants.   –John Cowan
Caribbean Spanish is essentially all vowels.   –John Cowan
Spanish is essentially the English of the future (it is now the second most spoken first language).   –Danny Wier
Spanish is essentially Latin spoken by Iberians, with Basque phonetics.   –Javier Candeira
Spanish is basically just a crude form of Vulgar Latin jazzed up with a little Basque and Arabic.   –Brian
Spanish is what happened when Moors tried to learn Latin and said “screw it.”   –Charles Lavergne
Spanish is essentially tropical Italian.   –Ivan Amaya 

*      *      *

♦  Jay Walker on English mania  ↓

Let’s talk about manias. Let’s start with Beatle mania: hysterical teenagers, crying, screaming, pandemonium. Sports mania: deafening crowds, all for one idea — get the ball in the net. Okay, religious mania: there’s rapture, there’s weeping, there’s visions. Manias can be good. Manias can be alarming. Or manias can be deadly.

The world has a new mania. A mania for learning English. Listen as Chinese students practice their English by screaming it.

Teacher: … change my life!

Students: I will change my life.

T: I don’t want to let my parents down.

S: I don’t want to let my parents down.

T: I don’t ever want to let my country down.

S: I don’t ever want to let my country down.

T: Most importantly … S: Most importantly …

T: I don’t want to let myself down.

S: I don’t want to let myself down.

Jay Walker: How many people are trying to learn English worldwide? Two billion of them.

Students: A t-shirt. A dress.

JW: In Latin America, in India, in Southeast Asia, and most of all in China. If you are a Chinese student you start learning English in the third grade, by law. That’s why this yearChina will become the world’s largest English-speaking country. (Laughter) Why English? In a single word: Opportunity. Opportunity for a better life, a job, to be able to pay for school, or put better food on the table. Imagine a student taking a giant test for three full days. Her score on this one test literally determines her future. She studies 12 hours a day for three years to prepare. 25 percent of her grade is based on English. It’s called the Gaokao, and 80 million high school Chinese students have already taken this grueling test. The intensity to learn English is almost unimaginable, unless you witness it.

Teacher: Perfect! Students: Perfect!

T: Perfect! S: Perfect!

T: I want to speak perfect English.

S: I want to speak perfect English.

T: I want to speak — S: I want to speak —

T: perfect English. S: perfect English.

T: I want to change my life!

S: I want to change my life!

JW: So is English mania good or bad? Is English a tsunami, washing away other languages? Not likely. English is the world’s second language. Your native language is your life. But with English you can become part of a wider conversation: a global conversation about global problems, like climate change or poverty, or hunger or disease. The world has other universal languages. Mathematics is the language of science. Music is the language of emotions. And now English is becoming the language of problem-solving. Not because America is pushing it, but because the world is pulling it. So English mania is a turning point. Like the harnessing of electricity in our cities or the fall of the Berlin Wall, English represents hope for a better future — a future where the world has a common language to solve its common problems.

Thank you very much.    (…Applause…)

♦  David Crystal  ↓  [Global English]

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