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  1. #11
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    Default Re: British and American English Differences

    FYI

    In Mexico, according to the Constitution and despite being "too poor", people are obligated to attend to school form preschool to junior high, which is equivalent (as far as I know) to years preschool through 9th grade. Of course not, public education is not bilingual, and that is because our language is Spanish. For bilingual education is taught in private schools and even there people may not acquire fluency to speak English.

    So again, I have to say, please, get informed. It is ok to talk about other countries and everything but I think it is important to be well informed and try not to be self centered.

    Thanks!

  2. #12
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    Default Re: British and American English Differences

    Quote Originally Posted by guofei_ma
    "They tell me that I'm easier to understand"
    "They tell me the dime easier to understand"
    The two phrases are pronounced the same in American English but differently in British English. In British English, the former phrase is pronounced...
    "They tell me tha time easier to understahnd."
    And by "ah" do you mean the sound in in "fAther"? That low, back vowel is the one usually represented by "ah" and it is definitely not the vowel used in RP "understand". The only major difference between the RP and General American pronunciations of the word "understand" would be the pronunciation of the "r" by General American, and its absence from the RP realisation.

  3. #13
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    Thumbs down Re: British and American English Differences

    Quote Originally Posted by guofei_ma
    I wonder why the majority of Mexicans cannot speak English semi-fluently- perhaps it is lack of education in English, which either means that Mexico is too poor to offer free and compulsory public education or has not mandated English classes in schools.
    I wonder why the majority of Americans can't speak Spanish.

    Matamoros (AKA Ekdog)

  4. #14
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    Default Re: British and American English Differences

    Quote Originally Posted by Matamoros
    I wonder why the majority of Americans can't speak Spanish.

    Matamoros (AKA Ekdog)
    No need to get your arse all up in the air, Matamoros .
    It`s true, most native Spanish speakers (not just Mexicans) do a poor job of speaking English. But my opinion is that the majority of people who have to, or need to learn a foreign language to succeed socially, at work, or whatever won`t put in the effort neccessary to become reasonably fluent in that language. For instance, I "study" the German language as a hobby. It`s something I want to learn, as opposed to something I have to learn. This allows the luxury of me taking my time, practicing pronunciation and so forth without being under pressure to cram my brain full of it in a relatively short amount of time. See what I`m getting at?
    Also, we Americans are notoriously lacking (for the most part) in foreign language skills. I guess most of us don`t feel the need to learn other languages since English is spoken (rather poorly) all around the world.

  5. #15
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    Default Re: British and American English Differences

    "No need to get your arse all up in the air, Matamoros ."

    If you don't mind, I'll place my arse wherever it pleaseth me, and if I decide to take issue with a statement that smacks of bigotry, I'll do that, too.

    "It`s true, most native Spanish speakers (not just Mexicans) do a poor job of speaking English."

    I know plenty of them that do a smack-up job of it. Do you base that comment on studies that follow the scientific method or are you simply bashing Mexicans and other Spanish-speakers because you have a bone to pick with them?

    You are a racist, aren't you?

  6. #16
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    Question Re: British and American English Differences

    Quote Originally Posted by Matamoros
    You are a racist, aren't you?
    I`m not racist nor am I a bigot, and do not appreciate your implication.
    Perhaps I didn`t make my point clearly enough. I didn`t intend to single out Spanish speakers. My opinion is that everyone other than native speakers do a poor job of speaking English. I don`t know exactly why this is; how can so many people speaking so many different languages all make the same mistakes? I believe it may be because of the lack of effort, as I said before. Possibly too many foreigners feel English is "pushed" on them, so therefore don`t make (and don`t want to make) enough effort to become fluent.
    I don`t need a scientific study to tell me when someone is doing a crappy job of speaking (well, attempting to speak) my native language. Do whatever you want with your arse, but I think you`re talking from it.

  7. #17
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    Default Re: British and American English Differences

    Do you think this is inherent to non-native speakers of English or have you considered the possibility that this phenomenon affects non-native speakers of ANY language? I am yet to find a non-native speaker of Spanish (especially of the anglo-saxon sort) that can do a really satisfying job at Spanish. I'm not particularly offended by this, and I do not consider them lazy, I simply acknowledge that gaining full command of a foreign language is somewhat more complicated than studying grammar and vocabulary. Particularly in the case of older learners of a foreign language, accurate "native-like" pronunciation is tough if not impossible.
    Maybe non-native speakers of English have more visibility than, say, non-native speakers of Dutch.

  8. #18
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Default Re: British and American English Differences

    When a thread has started to get abusive, it has lost track. It is possible to discuss ideas without leaping to calling people 'racists', which is a very serious thing to call someone, and should not be used lightly. There have been some generalisations here, but, as Sandy says, the correct response is to 'get informed', rather than start name calling. Thanks.

  9. #19
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    Red face Re: British and American English Differences

    Quote Originally Posted by rogusx
    Maybe non-native speakers of English have more visibility than, say, non-native speakers of Dutch.
    But rogusx, this is what (at least part of what) I`m trying to get across.
    First, I don`t expect ANY non-native speaker to perfectly nail any aspect of the English language. I suppose I buy into the idea that you`ll find some foreign languages "easier" to learn than others, based on your own native tongue. But it recently occured to me that it`s possible the English language simply does not have a a good "match-up" with any other language. I`m not a linguistic expert, so can`t say if this is true or not.
    I just find it hard to believe that English is THAT difficult for non-native speakers to pronounce & speak. But hey, it must be.

    @tdol-My apologies to anyone I may have offended. My post was taken way out of context.

  10. #20
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Default Re: British and American English Differences

    If a langauge has sounds that don't exist in your own language, it can be very difficult to reproduce them, or even hear them.

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