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Old Jun 14 2007, 03:59 AM   #1
ghyle
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Default How many Englishes?

We all recognise that there is a US English, and a UK English. There are other Englishes as well: Australian, New Zealand, Indian, Chinese, and so on.

How many Englishes do you encounter, here and elsewhere, and how many do you have to recognise?

I come across a lot, all those, Dutch (Hans) Finnish (Granath), and many more. Plus I've encountered Korean, Japanese, Italian, Serbian, Swedish and Danish. I have friends from all over, and I have to deal with their Englishes most of the time; not that there's anything to complain about--I love all my friends!
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Old Jun 14 2007, 04:49 AM   #2
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Default Re: How many Englishes?

I think you are talking more about accents than languages where you are mentioning non-native speakers.

As for the differences between the English spoken in the various countries where it is the native language... I don't know; for a language to be different for me the idiom and / or the grammar should be substantially different (too).
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Old Jun 14 2007, 11:49 AM   #3
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Default Re: How many Englishes?

I think that most people who use English as a second language generally learn spelling and pronunciation of British or American or Austrailian or whatever their books and/or teacher prefer. I wouldn't call them different languages, though. Except for a few colloquialism I don't see any real differences.
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Old Jun 14 2007, 08:36 PM   #4
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Default Re: How many Englishes?

southerners speek a diffrent English. I know that when I moved to Va. from Ca. at 13 I could not understand what people were saying. We might have done better to move to anther country.
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Old Jun 15 2007, 12:43 AM   #5
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Default Re: How many Englishes?

Mawofone--sheesh, Virginia's barely got an accent! You should try the real south! (But I pick on Virginia...affectionately.)

I don't think it could really be called a different form of English, but people who have learned it as a second language have different ways of speaking it when they aren't quite fluent. (And we have issues with their languages--I'm still botching Hungarian last names.) I know one Hungarian whose most frequent issue is verb endings--he tends to do things like "the weight is splitted between the feet". I can't say I blame him--English has some bizarre verb rules. But I think this is related to what language he speaks naturally because he does it pretty consistently.

And it definitely affects the rhythm of speech--using Hungarian again as the example, they speak "downhill" (empahsis is always on the first sylable, and sentences end on a downswing) and they pitch questions differently, usually with the lift in the voice at the beginning. This can make English sound a bit funny, as they can make a question sound like a statement to native English speakers. It's not just the accent, it's how the accent changes inflections which change or confuse meanings.
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Old Jun 15 2007, 01:10 AM   #6
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Default Re: How many Englishes?

Anareth. There are several distinct regional accents in Virginia. Some Virginians go "oot and aboot" while others venture "ait and abait," and there are variations between those extremes. I still don't think that any of this indicates a different language. Their written words remain the same. Some people spell "oot" o-u-t while others spell "abait" a-b-o-u-t. I think similar variations abound throughout any State in the Union. I know that where I live now you can pretty much tell which side of the river someone hails from with only a few words, or if their background is "country" or "town."

And Americans are not the only regional language stylists. Travel around different parts of the UK and you'll understand what I mean. I lived for a few years in 'Ampshire and some of the more rural folks could be very hard to understand. But, there again, in written form their language was the same English of the rest of the country.

It isn't that there are litterally hundreds of languages called English, it's just that people use different accents when speaking and sometimes a few local idioms.
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Old Jun 15 2007, 09:57 AM   #7
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Default Re: How many Englishes?

Finnish has the same "sentence melody" as Hungarian does, and some grammatical features in common (both are in the Fenno-Ugric language group), even if they are completely mutually unitelligible.

There are some quite important differences in meaning with some words in different regional variants, usually in the sense that a completely innocuous word in one region means something offensive in another. This is something people need to be aware of in an international setting. There's a reason why Fanny (female genitalia) and Randy (horny) are uncommon first names in the UK...
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Old Jun 15 2007, 05:58 PM   #8
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Default Re: How many Englishes?

Kibbie was taught how to spell in Va. are you still saying that they spells words the same? Now you'all know how well Kibbie is at spelling at least the English version. P.S. most of my spelling was also learned here in Va. I still think it is a whole different launge than what they speak in Ca. Or maybe Ca. is a different country.
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Old Jun 16 2007, 05:58 AM   #9
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Re: How many Englishes?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sandi View Post
I think that most people who use English as a second language generally learn spelling and pronunciation of British or American or Austrailian or whatever their books and/or teacher prefer. I wouldn't call them different languages, though. Except for a few colloquialism I don't see any real differences.
LoL Most Brits would definately argue that American English and British English are two separate animals.
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Old Jun 16 2007, 03:09 PM   #10
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Default Re: How many Englishes?

Isn't there a quote from one of Anne's interviews where her editor said something like; "Your English is too Irish to be American." -- Either that or I'm getting mixed up with something else again. -Chuckles-

There's also the 'technological' English that's now starting to evolve thanks to things such as mobile phones and the like.
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Old Jun 16 2007, 03:21 PM   #11
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LoL Most Brits would definately argue that American English and British English are two separate animals.

I can't argue that! The years I lived in the UK should have been proof enough of that! I think the real distinction is in the spoken, not the written word, though. I may not understand every word you say but I can comprehend what you type!

Quote:
Originally Posted by sjslack View Post
Isn't there a quote from one of Anne's interviews where her editor said something like; "Your English is too Irish to be American." -- Either that or I'm getting mixed up with something else again. -Chuckles-

There's also the 'technological' English that's now starting to evolve thanks to things such as mobile phones and the like.
I remember something like that coming up too. I think it had to do with figures of speech. I remember noticing them especially in the Freedom books but I told myself to shrug it off as Botany was something of a "melting pot." and Kris spent a lot of time with the Doyles.
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Old Jun 16 2007, 04:29 PM   #12
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Default Re: How many Englishes?

George Bernard Shaw claimed that England and America are "two countries separated by a common language."

LOL
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Old Jun 16 2007, 06:02 PM   #13
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Default Re: How many Englishes?

The differences between UK english and American english can be bizarre. See here

In Ireland some of our idiom comes directly from the Irish language. I would say "I am after my dinner" by which I mean I have completed my meal. In other countries people think this phrase sounds very wierd but it is a direct translation from the Irish phrase. Check it our here
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Old Jun 16 2007, 06:17 PM   #14
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Default Re: How many Englishes?

Not weird, but it does sound like you're hunting down your dinner, Mary.

Idioms are interesting.

I can switch from Midwest to the style used more in the southern States if I want to, thanks to my paternal grandparents. I might say 'trying to catch a cold" when speaking to my grandmother. Or I'll mix English and Spanish the way my mother's family does.
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Old Jun 17 2007, 12:34 AM   #15
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Default Re: How many Englishes?

I'm excedingly well-acquainted with the concept of regional variation within a state, thank you. I actually went to college in southwest Virginia. My point was, by comparison, Virginia isn't exactly the home of the sugar-sweet stereotypical Southern accent. (Actually which version that is kinda depends on your mental image--I wouldn't actually call, say, West Virginia particularly "Southern"--they're more mountain, per se. And South Carolinians and Mississippians both sound "Southern", but they don't sound the same.) Never mind regional, there's racial differences, too.

My own accent's becoming a mish-mash. In spite of myself I can hear Massachusetts creeping in (though thank God, not Boston.)
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Old Jun 17 2007, 12:56 AM   #16
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Default Re: How many Englishes?

I thought I'd bring in another area of the US, since most of the accent talk has been about the South.

I'm a Mainer (this the term we use). Depending on where you are in the state, there is a definite difference in the accents.

The coastal areas, that most people want to copy, is where they drop that letter that comes after "q". If you ever want to hear a true coastal accent, never copy one on television, it's wrong. The most notable example I can provide of what not to copy, is Tom Bosely on Murder, She Wrote. I was just watching the show the other day, and I kept shaking my head about how wrong it was.

Then up in the county, it is much different because there is a lot of French heritage in the area, so they actually use the letter "r". I'm not as familiar with this part of the state because I don't travel up there very often, but I know people who have attempted to explain the differences.
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Old Jun 17 2007, 01:29 PM   #17
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Default Re: How many Englishes?

I know what you mean about the "r" thing. It's interesting that that seams to be a coastal thing. The part of Virginia where I grew up (Virginia Beach) tend to do that too. Also "t" is generally changed to "d" or just plain ignored. The people in the mountain region have a completely different speech pattern. Northern Virginia, where I lived many years, tends to speak TV English because the whole area is such a mish-mash of folks from all over. Growing up as a Navy brat and later traveling about a good bit I seem to have developed my own way of speaking. Wherever I go I get that "you're not from around here" look from people I talk to.
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Old Jun 18 2007, 12:24 AM   #18
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Default Re: How many Englishes?

Sand is correct about the "d" & "t" thing -- alot of my niece's graduation cards had contulation spelle congradultion Kibbie tries to say thing like datty instead of daddy all the time.
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Old Jun 20 2007, 01:08 PM   #19
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Default Re: How many Englishes?

Maybe it is because my family is Irish/Montanans... I have never been able to speak proper queens english. I can not seem to get a grip on basic grammer. I believe I speak American... So full of ebonics that it hacks and slashes the english language. This is why I do not write. I have tons of ideas floating around in me 'ead. but without a grammer bot, I would surely give my readers a migraine, and definatley could not keep them comming back.
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Old Jun 26 2007, 11:42 AM   #20
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Default Re: How many Englishes?

My german pen-friend (with FAR better english than my german..!!) and I were watching something with americans and english people in and she asked me if i could understand american! I didn't realise she couldn't understand it!
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Old Jun 26 2007, 02:43 PM   #21
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Mender: write them out and tell people they're in dialect. If people can sell books written in rap, or versions of the bible paraphrased into Yorkshire idiom, then I'm sure your writing is acceptable.





we can read and understand your posts after all.
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Old Jun 26 2007, 03:53 PM   #22
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Mender: write them out and tell people they're in dialect. If people can sell books written in rap, or versions of the bible paraphrased into Yorkshire idiom, then I'm sure your writing is acceptable.





we can read and understand your posts after all.
Riddly Walker was written completely in a (made up obviously) future dialect
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Old Jun 26 2007, 04:19 PM   #23
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Default Re: How many Englishes?

Gee, Edi, was that readable?
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Old Jun 26 2007, 05:48 PM   #24
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I read it and gave up years ago- but I think I'll have a go at it again. wikipedia entry

(especially since Russell Hoban wrote a book about 1/f noise)
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Old Jun 26 2007, 07:41 PM   #25
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Sopmebody actually managed to publish and sell a book consisting of blank pages.
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Old Jun 26 2007, 08:16 PM   #26
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Old Jun 27 2007, 12:44 AM   #27
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Default Re: How many Englishes?

In re Maine, how about the lobstahmen from the islands? (I kid you not, that's how he said it--guy in my culinary school in NH, who had been a "lobstahman" since he was ten.)

Boston has its own accent. Rather like "stereotypical New England on speed." For example, -er endings of words tend to become -ah. If I ever start doing this, and most particularly refer to something as a 'wicked pissah", you have permission to beat me.
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Old Jun 27 2007, 01:01 AM   #28
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In re Maine, how about the lobstahmen from the islands? (I kid you not, that's how he said it--guy in my culinary school in NH, who had been a "lobstahman" since he was ten.)
Yeah, that is how people talk in Coastal Maine.
However, writing it down does not have the same effect if you were listening to someone say it which is a bit redundant, but oh well.


I must admit that I do not have the stereotypical Maine accent, partially because I'm a city girl (where I live is a city under our standards, not the standards of other large cities in the US ).
My mother is from the coastal areas, so I know what to listen for since her entire family speaks the same way. I can tell when people are wrong even though I can't do the accent properly myself.
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Old Jun 27 2007, 03:19 AM   #29
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Sopmebody actually managed to publish and sell a book consisting of blank pages.
Ah.. I actually bought a few!
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Old Jun 27 2007, 06:04 PM   #30
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Hans I was NOT refering to sketch books bought at an art shop!
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Old Jun 27 2007, 06:10 PM   #31
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abe books sell them under titles like 1985.

tho the Goons did actually do 1985 so it does exist- though as a radio program
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Old Jun 30 2007, 04:06 AM   #32
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Interesting really,

having lived in the USA, and the UK - yes there are differences between the "English" spoken - and written, between the two countries.

Ok, these days I derfer to the UK English, because it is the original version. As I have pointed out to a few people, there is no such thing as UK English, there is English, American-English, Australian-English etc etc, but no UK English. The English speak the original language, everone else is speaking the non-original version

It's not just the difference in spelling - but also in meaning, and the way sentences are constructed and used. It drives me mad that American politicians have this insane need to change the way the names of countries or placese are pronounced. My fav was the way Bush and co mangaled Sri Lanka - and were later corrected. I also love the way most American tourists say "Leicester" (most say it as lie-ces-ter - the correct way is les-ter, no really it's a name and that's how it's pronounced!)

In a day an age when we should be able to comunicate with each other with ease, we seem to be hell bent on maming languages as different as possible. Go figure.
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Old Jun 30 2007, 04:20 AM   #33
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Sure Jay

But..

The original English of course consists out of London English, Cornish English, Sussex English, Welsh English, Yorkshire English, Scottish English, Irish English, Island English, Upper Class English, Stiff Upper Lip English, the Queen's English... need I go on?

And oh you forgot South-African English, Indian English, Hong Kong English, Caribbean English... and another few
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Old Jun 30 2007, 05:05 AM   #34
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Default Re: How many Englishes?

Of course, but those are just regionally variations with different accents

I live in a town called Ilkeston, on the Notts/Derby border. Small town, but it has it's own accented dilect, and way of speaking. My partner was born and bred here, and kind of still speaks it. I love the way they say "water" here (pron waat-er - almost rhyming with wetter). It has taken a while to get used to normal way of greating people here (hey-up, me duck). And like most local communities they frown on non locals trying to pull off the local accent and way of speaking.

Like any country, most regions have there own accents, and regional variations - but in school we all learn the same language, same spelling and same way of speaking - hence books are only published in one version of english in the UK.

Of course, Wales and Scotland have there own native languages - but they are distinct countries within the United Kingdom.
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Old Jun 30 2007, 04:18 PM   #35
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Default Re: How many Englishes?

my friend slips into a dorset accent sometimes as she is born and bred dorset..
I however have a varient (not quite as well spoken)of the Queens english, which is unfortunate as my brother takes the mick out of me (he's been in the east end of London for too long and his accent annoys me!)
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Old Jul 1 2007, 10:55 AM   #36
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Default Re: How many Englishes?

LOL, having lived in the States, Germany and the UK my accent is anything but normal. Most people think I sound "posh" - but I have it on good authority that I have Mid-Atlantic accent - what ever the heck that is supposed to be

It's strange, but a lot of people pick up on the fact I lived in the States - and when I get talking round Americans I tend to slip back into the accent with ease (which makes my partner laugh, as I never notice it changing).
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Old Jul 1 2007, 11:03 AM   #37
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Default Re: How many Englishes?

Jayru, I have a similar problem with my accent. I was born in the south (SC), raised in the north (Mich and NJ) and lived in various other states in my life only to end up in Texas, which is a world of its own. Does not matter where I go, no one can guess where I am actually from because my accent is so bizarre.
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Old Jul 1 2007, 11:42 AM   #38
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Default Re: How many Englishes?

'Hey-up me duck' is your 'typical' Derbyshire greeting...though most people I know just say 'Hey-up'.

Also, the term 'Owt need doin?' also comes from around my area. (Meaning, 'Do you need me to do anything for you?') Though these are different regional dialects of the same language...

-Rubs chin- Difficult though...where d'you draw the line? No two people speak exactly the same, with the same range of pronunciations, accents and phrases...yet numbers of them are grouped together to speak a language.

(Jay, I have something I call 'WAS' - Wandering Accent Syndrome. Get me around different accents for a day and I start talking like them...It's embarassing...xD)
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Old Jul 1 2007, 04:10 PM   #39
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Sara! I have that too but I was never given a name for it.
It got me in all kinds of trouble when I was young with people who thought I was mimicking their accent on purpose and making fun of them.
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Old Jul 1 2007, 04:36 PM   #40
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hans View Post
Sara! I have that too but I was never given a name for it.
It got me in all kinds of trouble when I was young with people who thought I was mimicking their accent on purpose and making fun of them.
I just made the name up...but I find Scottish and American accents the worst. Though I did used to go on yearly camps with people from France, England, Geermany and Holland...and by the end of the week I was talking in accented, broken English. -Chuckles-
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