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  1. #1
    AirbusA321 is offline Banned
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    England

    I have a question to the members of this forum who live in England.
    Do you exclusively speak English in everyday life or also sometimes use Irish, Scottish and Welsh words or sayings?
    Does the average englishman at least partly understand these languages or are they completely strange like maybe African or Asian languages?

  2. #2
    emsr2d2's Avatar
    emsr2d2 is offline Moderator
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    Re: England

    I wouldn't understand people if they were having a full conversation in any form of Gaelic. They are as incomprehensible as any other foreign language. Remember that they are languages in their own right; they are not variants of English.

    There are occasional words we understand or use. For example:

    Slainte (Irish), means "Cheers! (said before having an alcoholic drink - Most English speakers know what this means.
    Bore da (Welsh) means "Good morning" - Most English speakers at least recognise this as some form of "Hello".
    Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.

  3. #3
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Re: England

    Apart from a few common words like slainte and craic and a few loan words, most English-speaking people in England know nothing of these languages- people are more likely to speak something like French, which is studied at school, than Irish, Welsh, etc.

  4. #4
    GoesStation is offline Moderator
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    Re: England

    The status of Spanish in the United States is similar. American Anglophones are increasingly likely to know a few Spanish words and expressions like por favor, gracias, cerveza,or buenos dias. Those who live in heavily Hispanophone areas like southern California, and are rich enough to hire domestic help, frequently know enough Spanish to communicate with their staff. The vast majority of American Anglophones are in the first group and can't understand a significant amount of Spanish.

    Louisiana and northern Maine have Francophone communities. Anglophones in those areas are likely to have a similar knowledge of a few basic French words and phrases to other American Anglophones' knowledge of Spanish ones.

    Other minority languages, including Navajo and other Native American languages, are nearly completely unknown to Americans who didn't learn them as children.

    American English has absorbed a fair number of words from Spanish, French, Yiddish, and various Native American languages. That doesn't mean we understand anything of those languages, though.
    I am not a teacher.

  5. #5
    nigele2 is offline Member
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    Re: England

    AirbusA321 a very interesting question. As others have said living in England you are unlikely to hear these languages. The number of speakers are small.

    In Wales the Welsh language is well supported with about 20% of those in Wales claiming to speak the language (a little over 500,000). You see the language on road signs and in public places, so if you visit you will get used to some written words and phrases. However, the pronunciation and word structure are not like English (beyond me, apart from 2 or 3 well practised phrases). I have worked with the Welsh Government and have several times been asked if I speak Welsh. As I do not they happily conduct the meeting in English of course. One gets the feeling it is more for show but I was assured that Welsh speakers find promotion easier than non-Welsh-speakers.

    In Scotland the Gaelic language is only known to about 1% of the population (about 60,000). I have visited bars in Edinburgh and Glasgow where you can hear it, especially bars where visitors from the remoter Scottish Islands meet up. I imagine it is more common on the islands. However, having worked with several Scottish government departments I have never come across it in a working environment (not as I have frequently in Wales).

    A language that almost died out is Cornish (far south-west of England). There is an attempt to revive it with even the council spending 180,000 on promotion. They claim 13,000 fluent speakers, but I suspect that may be wishful thinking. I've been to Cornwall many times and never heard the language spoken. The only word I know is Oggy which is a Cornish pasty. A type of pie containing meat and vegetables.

    I believe many English speakers may use words from these languages, but without knowing the origin.






    .
    Last edited by emsr2d2; 09-Jun-2017 at 19:29. Reason: Capitalised "Welsh" each time it appeared

  6. #6
    emsr2d2's Avatar
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    Re: England

    This advert (in Cornish) is currently airing on British TV. Without subtitles, I haven't a clue what he is saying.
    Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.

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