Results 1 to 3 of 3
  1. #1
    Fargard is offline Newbie
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Posts
    6
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default improve english + "mixing" of brit. and am. english

    Hello,

    (great board, sad I didn't find it earlier).

    Well, I'm trying to improve my english because I realized you don't come far with schoolenglish. So I wonder how to do so. Maybe someone has some tipps for me. But I'll try to describe my state of knowledge at first:

    As you saw and probably will see in the next lines, my grammar isn't perfect. My problem with this is, that it's hard to "relearn" it, mainly because I allready learned some things "wrong" or improper.
    Additionaly, my word pool could be bigger, of course. People often advise to watch english series or listen to english music, which doesn't really help me at all. So I have to stick with the poor act of learning vocabularys (are there any usefull websites in the www with word lists of words related in a common main topic?).
    With the listening it is, as I think, a little weird with me. I get us tv-shows and series. I understand which word people use and in the huge majority of cases the meaning (same with british series) and can follow the news or interviews in tv. But when it comes to music I don't get 95% of the words, most songs are like a "lalalele he kissed me lalelo" for me...
    Finally, the reading: Well,I don't have a problem with articels in ny or la times, nor with the guardian's. cnn/msncb/slashdot/engaged... aren't a problem, too. But I have huge problems with the (well, word is missing, so I'll have to profe my amazing skills in describing a word) not that common everyday-expressions. Examples would be some twitter entries (caus' of the missing context, I think) or many blogs.For example, I saw this sentence today: "I sprained my thigh today, bad." Totally everyday-like as I knew after looking up sprain and thigh. I allways get a little disappointed after realizing not to get some of these common sentences :(
    Well, and as you probably know allready, my written texts are bad (didn't use google or a wordbook for this here).
    So, how to improve my listening and word pool?
    And how to practise writting? (It doesn't really help to write some texts for myselfe, because noone will point out my mistakes there :()

    Second topic: Mixing up amer. and brit. English
    Well, that wasn't a problem in school because we had to learn "proper English" (spoken in England). But the Internet is big and I often hear us english now, too. So I often adopt some "american english" words and phrases, go figure ;). How do people in uk think about seeing these expressions in a text for an english audience?

    Well, thanks in advance for reading through this wallet of text.
    Is my grammar horrible or just bad?

    Greetings
    Last edited by Fargard; 16-Feb-2010 at 12:18.

  2. #2
    Linguist__ is offline Senior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Posts
    576
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: improve english + "mixing" of brit. and am. english

    Quote Originally Posted by Fargard View Post
    Second topic: Mixing up amer. and brit. English
    Well, that wasn't a problem in school because we had to learn "proper English" (spoken in England). But the Internet is big and I often hear us english now, too. So I often adopt some "american english" words and phrases, go figure ;). How do people in uk think about seeing these expressions in a text for an english audience?
    It doesn't bother me seeing American expressions, or hearing them. There are some things that I would have thought were just general English that might be American English and I just know it as 'normal'. What does bother me is inconsistency - when people mix American spelling and vocabular with British equivalents. Calling something a store and then calling it a shop; calling them police and then calling them cops; referring to sweets sometimes and candy other times etc.

    There are some other nuances that make things innappropriate - I believe calling someone 'mentally retarded' isn't too controversial in the US, whereas in the UK it is completely avoided, and so if I read that I would notice it a great deal.

    Similarly with spelling. If a person writes inconsistently, it bothers me:

    "I'm going around the neighbourhood looking for aluminum cans to recycle".

  3. #3
    Raymott's Avatar
    Raymott is offline VIP Member
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Academic
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • Australia
      • Current Location:
      • Australia
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Posts
    18,277
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: improve english + "mixing" of brit. and am. english

    From what you've written, mixing BrE and AmE isn't your main problem. (AusE takes words and expressions from both of these varieties, plus others.) But try to be consistent, as Linguist says.
    Mixing good English with bad is what you need to be more aware of.
    I'm not referring to your mistakes. I mean your writing things that you know are wrong - such as not capitalising, using short forms that don't exist ("caus'"), etc.
    No, your grammar isn't horrible.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
Hotchalk