How do British people understand British English?

Discussion in 'Serious Discussion' started by mdlgaofei, Mar 14, 2016.

  1. mdlgaofei

    mdlgaofei MDL Member

    Dec 2, 2015
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    If your native language is British English how do you understand British English? How do your parents teach you British English?

    If foreigners learn (or study) British English (or American English) what misunderstandings will arise?
     
  2. Flipp3r

    Flipp3r MDL Expert

    Feb 11, 2009
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    There shouldn't be any "misunderstandings". It's pretty much the same except for spelling.
    ie color vs colour, customise vs customize...
     
  3. acyuta

    acyuta MDL Expert

    Mar 8, 2010
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    Yes that more or less sums it. In India, we used to use British English with the same things that you have said. However, most computer users are too lazy to know the difference and use the default spell check (which is english-US). That can work in informal communications or 2nd class documents (both the sender and the recipient may have the same level of English writing skills), but for a well produced report/doc, you must use the Oxford/Cambridge/Economist style guide and UK spellings.
     
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  4. SOCRATE_MMXII

    SOCRATE_MMXII MDL Expert

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    Same way your parents taught your native language: by example.
    You should ask your parents how did they teach you your native language. I'm pretty sure they didn't send you to Oxford or Cambridge for that.

    I'm sure your native language is not en-GB, so how did you learn English? What misunderstandings arose when you learned English? Why did you learn English? Is it beneficial to you? Why is it beneficial?
     
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  5. Mutoid

    Mutoid MDL Member

    Sep 23, 2015
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    This may appear like semantics/nit-picking , but in linguistics first languages are said to be " acquired " , not learned.

    Subsequent languages require active engagement ( ie " cracking the books " )

    There is an important distinction.
     
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  6. gorski

    gorski MDL Guru

    Oct 21, 2009
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    Not quite - it depends when they are "acquired", Mutoid...

    "Two countries divided by the same language", as the proverb (re. US and UK) goes...:p

    Search on the net and ye shall find many, many differences, not just "it's all the same", sooooo.... :D
     
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  7. Mutoid

    Mutoid MDL Member

    Sep 23, 2015
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    Call me old fashioned , if you will , but I'm neither inclined nor worthy to question the wisdom of the great Noam Chomsky , on this subject .

    Of course , other folk may feel differently ..... :)
     
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  8. burfadel

    burfadel MDL EXE>MSP/CAB

    Aug 19, 2009
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    Some things are also pronounced differently. Some Americans really emphasise the 'or' in words like 'color', so it sounds like cull-lore, whereas in British English (or English English, aka proper English :D), it's more cull-lerr. I've also noticed they can't seem to pronounce the word 'herb', and that seems to be fairly common. The 'h' isn't silent, but they seem to believe it is! Actually, it's almost a strained 'erb' sound, not even just 'erbs' for herbs.

    I would very much hate having the name Craig, Tara, and especially Aaron, to name a few. They pronounce these as 'Creg' (sounds like Greg), Terror (yes, they get Terror from Tata, most Tara's aren't that much of a terror), and worst of all for the poor guys called Aaraon, they prounce it Erin. Erin's are girls name. There's also words like 'anaemic', which they spell 'anemic', as with other 'ae' words. The 'ae' is almost like a separate letter in British English, it's an 'e' sound but signfies it as an 'eeee' sound, not an 'e' sound like in pedal. So, it's 'aneemic', just like encyclopaedia is 'encyclopeedia' sound, not 'encyclopedia' as in 'pedia' sounds like the 'ped' in 'pedal. Then there's the pronounciation of 'z', where for example, they say 'zeebra' whereas in British Enlgish, the 'zeb' is like 'ped' in pedal, with 'z' being sounding like 'sed'. Hard to put it into words :), but remembering that 'zebra' is pronounced that way in English, not as 'zeebra' like the Americans prounce it, as there is no 'ae'.

    With words ending in 'ise' 'ising' or 'ised' they use a 'ize', 'izing', or 'ized' instead. The use of 's' in English has a more neutral sound, whereas with 'z' it is more emphasised. With the influence of American English these things aren't really known. Also keep in mind the American gallon is different to the UK gallon, and that they're too stubborn to move with the rest of the world and go to metric ;).
     
  9. Mr.X

    Mr.X MDL Guru

    Jul 14, 2013
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    Tell me about it!
    As a Hispanophone I have had many trouble with oral English lol
    If you native English speakers have trouble in your own language, now imagine me on a conversation. :eek::D
     
  10. Flipp3r

    Flipp3r MDL Expert

    Feb 11, 2009
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    Yes, but that can happen from town to town, region to region. It doesn't have to be different countries...
     
  11. Mr.X

    Mr.X MDL Guru

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    Yes, this is very true and sometimes besides I don't understand the meaning of a phrase or word, I don't even understand or hear the pronunciation.
     
  12. burfadel

    burfadel MDL EXE>MSP/CAB

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    I did make a couple of typos in my last post, a result of haste. Wouldn't normally matter but seeing as it was discussing bad spelling and diction...
     
  13. Mutoid

    Mutoid MDL Member

    Sep 23, 2015
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    The Bush family appeared to believe that the word " nucular" exists .... as in " nucular weapons "
     
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  14. Mr.X

    Mr.X MDL Guru

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    #14 Mr.X, Mar 15, 2016
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 20, 2017
    :biggrin: priceless...
     
  15. gorski

    gorski MDL Guru

    Oct 21, 2009
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    #15 gorski, Mar 15, 2016
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 20, 2017
    A wee bit be'errrr :D

     
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  16. sid_16

    sid_16 MDL Giveaway Organiser

    Oct 15, 2011
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    Its same American & British but the pronunciation is something different 'phonetic (they often do not say a word the same way it is spelled)' or heavy 'accent' and to answer the original question, I prefer British English because I like the British English . I favour that style over and above the American style. It has more flair to it, I think. The difference is not just a quibble over spelling and grammar, I think, but rather a (difficult to articulate) difference in style. So I prefer to read "se" to "ze" (as in analyse) and "ou" to "o" (as in colour).:D
     
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  17. mdlgaofei

    mdlgaofei MDL Member

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    #17 mdlgaofei, Mar 19, 2016
    Last edited: Mar 19, 2016
    (OP)
    A book says the letters of Phoenicia and others. The book says the English letters were hieroglyphics.
    Do you know others?
    Somethings in English are regular.For example,watch and watched adding ed.
    But somethings are not regular.For example,see and saw. Why?
     
  18. SOCRATE_MMXII

    SOCRATE_MMXII MDL Expert

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  19. mdlgaofei

    mdlgaofei MDL Member

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    #19 mdlgaofei, Mar 19, 2016
    Last edited: Mar 23, 2016
    (OP)
    I'm a foreigner.I saw Internet show some misunderstandings.
    Such as "cannot......too......". For example,some people translate "ζ€ŽδΉˆεŠžβ€ to "how to do"
     
  20. mdlgaofei

    mdlgaofei MDL Member

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    #20 mdlgaofei, Mar 22, 2016
    Last edited: Mar 22, 2016
    (OP)