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    #1

    Question British "Street Talk"

    Hello,

    Do you know the books by David Burke called "Street Talk - How to Speak and Understand American Slang" and "Slangman Guide to Street Speak" teaching American everyday colloquial speech and slang? I think that teachers should be familiar with them.


    I was wondering if the idioms, slang and phonetic features described there are also used in British English, at least to some extent. Could someone knowledgeable comment on that? What I mean is--is it a good idea to use these books to practise everyday colloquial English when you actually use British English, not American English. For instance, would most of these American colloquial expressions be recognisable by British speakers? Would it be strange if you used these idioms and slang while using British English accent?


    Do you perhaps know any similar books for learners describing British English "street talk"?

    Cheers

  1. bhaisahab's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: British "Street Talk"

    Quote Originally Posted by m5000 View Post
    Hello,

    Do you know the books by David Burke called "Street Talk - How to Speak and Understand American Slang" and "Slangman Guide to Street Speak" teaching American everyday colloquial speech and slang? I think that teachers should be familiar with them.


    I was wondering if the idioms, slang and phonetic features described there are also used in British English, at least to some extent. Could someone knowledgeable comment on that? What I mean is--is it a good idea to use these books to practise everyday colloquial English when you actually use British English, not American English. For instance, would most of these American colloquial expressions be recognisable by British speakers? Would it be strange if you used these idioms and slang while using British English accent?


    Do you perhaps know any similar books for learners describing British English "street talk"?

    Cheers
    I've never come across that book.

  2. emsr2d2's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: British "Street Talk"

    I've never heard of the book either but I did just find it on Amazon. Some slang will work on both sides of the Atlantic, some won't. I can't even begin to work out which

    This was the only equivalent British guide I could track down:
    Contemporary British Slang: An Up-To-Date Guide to the Slang of Modern British English by Ewart James - Reviews, Discussion, Bookclubs, Lists

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    #4

    Re: British "Street Talk"

    [AmE - not a teacher]

    Sorry, I have not read either of these books. But, if your goal is to assimilate and blend in to BrE culture, then of course you should not be using an American slang book to learn BrE. The book isn't called "How to Speak and Understand English Slang"

    Quote Originally Posted by m5000 View Post
    Cheers
    Huh? You lost me there.

    Later!

  3. Barb_D's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: British "Street Talk"

    m5000, welcome to Using English.

    I urge you NOT to try to emulate slang in your speech, regardless of which side of the ocean you are on. Slang changes so fast, and it often so limited to particular groups that you will almost certainly sound foolish some of the time, and are likely to sound foolish a lot of of the time.

    A frequent "joke" on American television comedies is the dad or mom who tries to sound "cool" by using their children's slang. Either its use fits them so badly that they are absurd, or they are using outdated slang and it's even worse.

    It's fine to learn it so you understand what is said to you, but please don't try to answer back in kind.
    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.

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