Please help with British English

jutfrank

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NinjaTurtle guessed that it had faded away a hundred years ago. I corrected his estimate to fifty years.

One might be tempted to say that it is no longer 'normal'.
 

andreausa

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British people and American people can always understand each other – but there are a few notable differences between British English and American English Grammar Americans use the present perfect tense less than speakers of British English
 

emsr2d2

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We can generally understand each other but, as I discovered when I became good friends with a lovely lady from Portland, Oregon, when I lived in Madrid, it's sometimes a bit of a one-way street. I had no problem understanding everything she said, perhaps because I have always watched lots of American TV shows and movies. She, however, struggled much more with British vocabulary and was frequently baffled by things I said.
 

jutfrank

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We can generally understand each other but, as I discovered when I became good friends with a lovely lady from Portland, Oregon, when I lived in Madrid, it's sometimes a bit of a one-way street. I had no problem understanding everything she said, perhaps because I have always watched lots of American TV shows and movies. She, however, struggled much more with British vocabulary and was frequently baffled by things I said.

Precisely. Generally speaking, the world has way more exposure to American English than British English. I really don't see the point of teaching the British variety to learners who do not intend to live in Britain, or those for whom the major part of their communication is with native BrE speakers. And even then, there would be only very trivial intelligibility issues if those learners only knew AmE.

In a world where English is becoming more and more common as a second language (largely driven by Chinese learners, I think) and in which people are required to communicate not only with native-speakers from all around the world, but also with other non-native-speakers, the goal that many linguists have identified to be a future solution to the challenges faced here is the idea of English as a 'lingua franca' (ELF).

Regardless of the future of ELF, most teachers nowadays are faced with the challenge of attempting to teach some kind of global standard form of English. I like to use the term 'International Standard English' (ISE). Teachers usually have a good intuition for which words are generally understood globally, and so will focus on these words and not on those words which are bound by dialect/sociolect/culture/region, etc.

To a large extent, this standardisation has already firmly taken hold in the world of academia (what you can call 'Academic English'), and to a lesser but still significant extent, in the world of business ('Business English').
 

probus

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Fair enough, jutfrank. But EU English has already begun to pose problems. I'm a bit worried.
 

jutfrank

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Fair enough, jutfrank. But EU English has already begun to pose problems. I'm a bit worried.

What do you mean, probus?
 

Tdol

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Fair enough, jutfrank. But EU English has already begun to pose problems. I'm a bit worried.

EU English is generally very clear to me. You find a few forms like depend of, but most EU speakers speak it well. I saw a Dutch MEP on BBC HardTalk yesterday and her English was absolutely perfect in every way, including body language, apart from a slight accent. I don't see EU English as any sort of threat.
 
J

J&K Tutoring

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NinjaTurtle: I don't worry too much about differences in English, and I recommend you don't either. You can point out to your students that Chinese people from different parts of China also speak the same language in noticeably different ways. By far, most exposure to English in China is from (ultimately) Hong Kong-trained teachers which means BrE. The only area where this causes any difficulty is in understanding popular culture which is heavily influenced by AmE.

The only significant difference between BrE and AmE other than usage is in the pronunciation of the long and short 'O' sounds and the loss of 'r' sounds in BrE. I talk about this with my students. I do not correct the difference in 'o' sounds, but I do force them to reinsert the 'r' sound. I have to work hard to get them to pronounce final consonant sounds at all, so I include the 'r'.
 

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Tdol

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Regardless of the future of ELF, most teachers nowadays are faced with the challenge of attempting to teach some kind of global standard form of English. I like to use the term 'International Standard English' (ISE).

This is a fairly standard and pragmatic view nowadays, and, interestingly, one that may put some native speakers at a disadvantage.
 

jutfrank

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This is a fairly standard and pragmatic view nowadays, and, interestingly, one that may put some native speakers at a disadvantage.

Possibly so.
 
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