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  1. #1
    balakrishnanijk is offline Member
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    Default varieties of english

    There are different kinds of English spoken in different parts of the world. Are they all mutually intelligible? Is there a standard variety of pronunciation?

  2. #2
    birdeen's call is offline VIP Member
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    Default Re: varieties of english

    Quote Originally Posted by balakrishnanijk View Post
    Are they all mutually intelligible?
    Usually, but not always. Two jokes about problems with the Geordie accent:
    A Geordie miner injures himself and gets sent to the hospital, staying in a wheelchair for several weeks. When he finally begins to retain a semblance of mobility, the doctor checks up on him.
    "Well, Billy, you've made excellent progress these past few weeks and now it's time to try and walk again."
    Billy, flabbergasted, replies to the doctor: "Work? Nee chance o' that doc, a cannit even waak!"

    A battle takes place in a remote plain in South Africa in the Boer War, between equally matched British and Boer armies. As the Boer hordes advance, a Geordie officer asks the major what he expects of the troops' morale.
    "Hmm, I'm not so sure about our lads when it comes to the crunch. The Boers have war drums."
    The young officer quickly replies "The thieving bastards!"*
    (found here)




    * "our" in Geordie speech sounds like "war".

  3. #3
    Rover_KE is offline Moderator
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    Default Re: varieties of english

    I live less than 200 miles from Glasgow, Scotland, but whenever I watch Rab C Nesbitt - a sitcom about a Glaswegian alcoholic - I have to use subtitles (AE closed captions) to have any idea what he is saying.

    Judge for yourself:

    YouTube - Rab C Nesbitt

    There is no standard variety of pronunciation.

    Rover

  4. #4
    balakrishnanijk is offline Member
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    Default Re: varieties of english

    Does that mean that RP and Network English are not widely understood by people?

  5. #5
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    BobK is offline Harmless drudge
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    Default Re: varieties of english

    Quote Originally Posted by balakrishnanijk View Post
    Does that mean that RP and Network English are not widely understood by people?
    I've never heard of Network English, but RP is widely understood; it's not widely spoken though. (My own speech is close to RP, and during my teacher training the students all said I 'talked posh'.)

    b

  6. #6
    balakrishnanijk is offline Member
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    Default Re: varieties of english

    Network English is what they speak in the US. RP is its UK counterpart.

  7. #7
    birdeen's call is offline VIP Member
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    Default Re: varieties of english

    Quote Originally Posted by balakrishnanijk View Post
    Network English is what they speak in the US. RP is its UK counterpart.
    I haven't heard that name either. General American is what many people use in America.

  8. #8
    balakrishnanijk is offline Member
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    Default Re: varieties of english

    Network English is what is frequently heard from professional voices on national network news and information programmes in the United States.

  9. #9
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    Raymott is offline VIP Member
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    Default Re: varieties of english

    Quote Originally Posted by balakrishnanijk View Post
    Does that mean that RP and Network English are not widely understood by people?
    No, the fact that there do exist some varieties that many find difficult to understand does not mean that "RP and Network English are not widely understood by people".

  10. #10
    birdeen's call is offline VIP Member
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    Default Re: varieties of english

    Quote Originally Posted by balakrishnanijk View Post
    Network English is what is frequently heard from professional voices on national network news and information programmes in the United States.
    OK, I have found a source saying that "Network English" is just another name for General American. (Actually, I've seen this article before )

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