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  1. #11
    5jj's Avatar
    5jj is offline VIP Member
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    Re: varieties of english

    Quote Originally Posted by BobK View Post
    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'.)
    'Network American' appears to be a common term, though not among teachers (those from Britain, at least).

    Like Bob, I have been frequently told that I 'talked posh' (by native-speaking pupils in England) or 'very clearly' (by non-native speakers). It seems that General American and RP are widely understood; other dialects may be difficult not only for non-natives but, as Rover has said, by some native speakers.

    I was taken once to a miner's social club in Durham (North-East England) many years ago. I couldn't understand a word that was said.

  2. #12
    balakrishnanijk is offline Member
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    Re: varieties of english

    Recently the term World English or International English has attracted a lot of attention. Technology and globalization have both intensified the necessity of learning English as an international link language. Given this scenario, if we want to transact international business and engage in diplomatic encounters, shouldn't there be a commonly accepted standard of pronunciation? Obviously, RP and Network English are both regional varieties and they cannot be accepted as the standard. If it is so, what is International English?
    A mixture of different kinds of English or an artificially created language like Esperanto?

  3. #13
    birdeen's call is offline VIP Member
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    Re: varieties of english

    Quote Originally Posted by balakrishnanijk View Post
    Recently the term World English or International English has attracted a lot of attention. Technology and globalization have both intensified the necessity of learning English as an international link language. Given this scenario, if we want to transact international business and engage in diplomatic encounters, shouldn't there be a commonly accepted standard of pronunciation? Obviously, RP and Network English are both regional varieties and they cannot be accepted as the standard. If it is so, what is International English?
    A mixture of different kinds of English or an artificially created language like Esperanto?
    There is no such thing as International English. Have you heard this term used to refer to any real entity?

    Business English has its specific features but pronunciation is not one of them. Everyone speaks English in their own specific way: Americans, Brits, Australians, New Zealanders, Scots, the Irish, the Arab, the Chinese and the French.

  4. #14
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    BobK is offline Harmless drudge
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    Re: varieties of english

    Quote Originally Posted by birdeen's call View Post
    There is no such thing as International English. Have you heard this term used to refer to any real entity?

    ...
    Well Microsoft use the expression; but they commonly refer to things that are not real entities. 'Customer service', for example, or 'backwards compatibility'.

    b

    PS A word I met for the first last night is 'gernative' - given to grumbling. This post is more about my own 'gernativity' than about language.
    Last edited by BobK; 26-Jan-2011 at 16:14. Reason: Added PS

  5. #15
    crazYgeeK is offline Member
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    Re: varieties of english

    I think it's not easy to say what the standard English is? But I like the pronunciation from BBC reporters and that may be kind of standard English. To answer this, we must understand the history of English and answer some questions like "who were the first using English to communicate with each other?", "How did English form?", "where is the first place that there were the most English speakers?"..., when people immigrated to other places and over centuries, new generations have appeared with various tongues/voices (pronunciations, dialects) that is partly for the influence from "gene" and "breed crossing" (Some genes influence to the voice and breed crossing makes the more various genes). To my Vietnamese, it's the North where the first Vietnamese people lived and the standard Vietnamese is always (at least) spoken from Northern Vietnamese people. What about in England? Is it the Northern England?
    Thank you!

  6. #16
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    Re: varieties of english

    By an accident of history (Caxton - whose role in standardization was pivotal, because printing had the power to form the basis of a standard - came from Birmingham I think, and many of the major forces [throne, church, law courts, 'the corridors of power'] were in the south) BBC English/Oxford English/the Queen's English - the formal 'standard' - is based on southern speech. However, the BBC stopped being exclusively southern-speaking many years ago, and regional accents are now perfectly acceptable. If one person says /ba:θ/ (as I do) and another says [bæθ] (as my father - a northerner - did) there's no big problem; it's just made me a bit of a chameleon - I regularly pronounce 'garage' either /'gæra:ʒ/ or /'gæra:ʤ/ or /'gærɪʤ/ or /gə'ra:ʒ/ depending on who I'm talking to.

    But Chaucer, writing in the 15th century, used 'comic northerners' in one of the Canterbury Tales, and ridiculed their vowels. And in the 6 centuries since then there has been a tendency (sometimes strong, sometimes very weak - but always there) for people in formal contexts to favour a southern pronunciation. (This is resisted strongly in the north, of course.)

    b

  7. #17
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    Re: varieties of english

    (Just a tiny note that I wasn't familiar with the phrase Network English either, and I live here.)

    The only time I ever literally could not understand a fellow native English speaker was listening to some young men from Scotland play Trivial Pursuit. I couldn't understand a word.
    I'm not a teacher, but I write for a living. Please don't ask me about 2nd conditionals, but I'm a safe bet for what reads well in (American) English.

  8. #18
    balakrishnanijk is offline Member
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    Re: varieties of english

    Supposing you are a foreigner wanting to learn English, whose or which pronunciation will you accept as your model? Any clue? The case of pronunciation seems to be a free-for-all. As a foreign learner,I have noticed that there is a great deal of difference between American and British pronunciation ,or rather, this is what Daniel Jones tells you. What is more, this is compounded by the fact that most words can be pronounced in more than one way. I have heard that in France they have an academy to regulate language. Why not set up something like that in English speaking countries?

  9. #19
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    Re: varieties of english

    Because English speakers do not want to be regulated and wouldn't follow the rules if there were an academy that issued them.

    If you aim for RP or the General American, you'll be widely understood.

    To be honest, when someone is speaking English as a second language, it usually sounds like "English with a French accent" or "English with a Chinese accent." It very rarely sounds like "American English with a French accent" or "RP with a Chinese accent."

    It's very rare that I can tell that the person was aiming for American versus British (or Australian, etc.) The exception is that Indians definitely have British accent, which is hardly surprising.
    I'm not a teacher, but I write for a living. Please don't ask me about 2nd conditionals, but I'm a safe bet for what reads well in (American) English.

  10. #20
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    Re: varieties of english

    Quote Originally Posted by balakrishnanijk View Post
    Supposing you are a foreigner wanting to learn English, whose or which pronunciation will you accept as your model? Any clue? The case of pronunciation seems to be a free-for-all. As a foreign learner,I have noticed that there is a great deal of difference between American and British pronunciation ,or rather, this is what Daniel Jones tells you. What is more, this is compounded by the fact that most words can be pronounced in more than one way. I have heard that in France they have an academy to regulate language. Why not set up something like that in English speaking countries?
    There is an academy in France to regulate the language, "l'Academie Francaise", but there are as many regional differences in spoken French as there are in English.

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