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  1. #1
    Dready is offline Junior Member
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    Default British and American English. Here we go again.

    I am wondering are there moments when Britons don't understand American speech whether it's slang or something else that makes it hard to fully comprehend what a person says. And on the contrary when it comes to Americans hear Britons talking...This may be a corny question but I strongly feel like I need to ask it.

    And what variety of English would you personally recommend to take as a basis of the English Language. It's a kind of "individual" question I guess...

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    Donbelid's Avatar
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    Default Re: British and American English. Here we go again.

    of course there are some different slangs and even different words, but they don't make a considerable difference. Americans and British people can fully understand each other while speaking...

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    Default Re: British and American English. Here we go again.

    There are even situations when I don't understand local slang or dialects or accents from within the United Kingdom.

    Ultimately, the more you are exposed to it, the more you understand. I hear a lot of American pronunciation and slang in TV, films, music and the Internet, so I don't have too much trouble, but I know people who hear less of it who often don't understand some parts.

    In episodes of The Weakest Link which had American contestants, but presented by a British presenter, the contestants often didn't understand the question because of the pronunciation alone.

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    Default Re: British and American English. Here we go again.

    But we should agree that at times they might get into trouble, this'd be the case particularly when there are forms having different meanings in the two varieties, say a word like "Fag", which might cause serious problems...I'd go for British one...I feel it less hurting my throat actually (no offence)

  5. #5
    Dready is offline Junior Member
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    Default Re: British and American English. Here we go again.

    It's been always really fascinating for me to know how The English Language is so different around the world. If you take The Russian Language you would hardly ever notice any people having trouble understanding each other even if you talk with the citizen of the former Soviet Union or somewhere else. Well, for sure, I know it all sounds obvious. Russian is mainly spoken on one continent, so it pretty much has the same features all over..

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    Default Re: British and American English. Here we go again.

    Btw I'd suggest visiting this site,
    www.effingpot.com
    You could find lots of nice British words here,...smashing, fantastic, blinding! Go for it!

  7. #7
    Dready is offline Junior Member
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    Default Re: British and American English. Here we go again.

    Thanks. But I guess right now I'm not particularly aiming at learning a lot of British English, instead I'm trying to find out which one I like better and which one will be more useful for me in the very near future. You may think that I'm a bit crazy about english dialects, but I suppose you are right.

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    Default Re: British and American English. Here we go again.

    You talk as if you are wondering whether to learn German or French.

    What difference, if any, do you notice between the English in postings by those members in the UK, in the USA, and in Australia/NZ?
    konungursvia is in Canada. Does she write in "American English" or "Brit. Eng.?"
    vil is a very advanced non-native speaker in Bulgaria. Which do you think she has learned? Can you detect some tell-tale difference?

    Do you associate learning English to be learning the language of the blog and chat-room? What's OK to show how cool and with it you are, is not what will impress an employer who relies on your English skills, unless you are going to be working in the field of computer games and need to communicate with the customer base.

    Pronunciation and accent will colour the actual speech - but then, you would have to decide, for American English, between Bostonian, Georgia/Carolinas, Texas drawl, Alabama/Mississippi...or do you associate American English =Hollywood movie star pronunciation? which is seldom 'broad'.

    (Similarly, in the UK, we have widely varying accents, with one in particular in a part of Scotland where I'm lucky to understand every third or fourth word. For example, 'bill' is pronounced 'bell'.)

    As someone in this thread mentioned earlier, with the amount of American films and TV we watch in the UK, and the number of British films and TV shows which have made it big in the US, there is much greater understanding of local slang, and phraseology. On the contrary, your biggest issue is going to be the grammar!
    Last edited by David L.; 26-May-2009 at 10:27.

  9. #9
    Dready is offline Junior Member
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    Default Re: British and American English. Here we go again.

    Thanks everybody for your opinions on this question. I guess I shouldn't be thinking too much of accents. But sometimes it's a like thorn in my side that makes me find out whether the word is more common in Britain or America.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: British and American English. Here we go again.

    Generally speaking, Brits understand all forms of English, and Americans have trouble with non American English.

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