Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

English/American Language?

Collapse
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • English/American Language?

    A paraphrase of a quotation made by James Nicoll. "The problem with defending the purity of the English language is that English is about as pure as a cribhouse whore. We don't just borrow words; on occasion, English has pursued other languages down alleyways to beat them unconscious and rifle their pockets for new vocabulary."

    Being American myself, I think that's hilarious!

  • #2
    There's more difference between "British" English and so called Scots "dialect" than there is between "British" English and American English.


    (Two can play at George Orwell quotes)
    "In this country I don’t think it is enough realized—I myself had no idea of it until a few years ago—that Scotland has a case against England."

    Comment


    • #3
      Spoken vs. Printed

      " English and Americans are two peoples separated by a common language">>I don't have the author of this handy, but I have to agree. The same is certainly true of Scots speakers and both English AND Americans. I have many relatives who have visited both England and Scotland and they report, with humor, the difficulty of communication the further north into Scotland they traveled. And this after "cramming" for months in Scots (and Gaelic) phrases,...which was no help at all! I must say that with all our variation in slang and borrowed words, we do fairly well when we stick to our "standard" versions in both English and "Yinglish",..a term I rather dislike.

      Comment


      • #4
        It's all in how you use it.

        Since- Since I last saw you.

        Sense- My sense of direction is off.

        Cents- As in money. (.75 cents)

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Spoken vs. Printed

          Originally posted by hilandr
          " English and Americans are two peoples separated by a common language">>I don't have the author of this handy, but I have to agree. The same is certainly true of Scots speakers and both English AND Americans. I have many relatives who have visited both England and Scotland and they report, with humor, the difficulty of communication the further north into Scotland they traveled. And this after "cramming" for months in Scots (and Gaelic) phrases,...which was no help at all! I must say that with all our variation in slang and borrowed words, we do fairly well when we stick to our "standard" versions in both English and "Yinglish",..a term I rather dislike.
          When I visited Scotland, I actually found people easier to understand the farther North I went. I had more trouble understanding people in Glasgow than the Highlands. I found the Highlanders had much less of an accent, and their phrases for the most part made sense to me.

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Re: Spoken vs. Printed

            "When I visited Scotland, I actually found people easier to understand the farther North I went. I had more trouble understanding people in Glasgow than the Highlands. I found the Highlanders had much less of an accent, and their phrases for the most part made sense to me."

            North Westerners are easy to understand. Try the North East. That's a different ball game, especially Buchan etc


            (Two can play at George Orwell quotes)
            "In this country I don’t think it is enough realized—I myself had no idea of it until a few years ago—that Scotland has a case against England."

            Comment


            • #7
              I spent most of my time around Fort William and Spean Bridge - and a bit around Inverness and Oban.

              I hope to be able to return some day when I can spend more time. I would especially love to visit the Islands.

              Comment


              • #8
                An easier time in N. Scotland.....

                (Smile) Sherbrooke,..you wouldn't happen to be from Nova Scotia , would you?...That could explain a lot!

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: An easier time in N. Scotland.....

                  Originally posted by hilandr
                  (Smile) Sherbrooke,..you wouldn't happen to be from Nova Scotia , would you?...That could explain a lot!
                  Yes, I am from Nova Scotia. I live in Western Canada now, but I was born and brought up in Alba Nuadh. My ancestors came from Lochaber, as did many of the Scots who settled in the area I grew up in.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    sherbrooke,
                    All I know is that I did well in Acting class because I had an 'ear' for dialects and accents of all kinds. Lol. I think it had to do with learning various languages when I was not older than 5 years old. I remember playing a New Jersey housewife in one play. And a Southern Mississippi character who murdered her husband in another play. And a Londoner in another. And doing well with an Irish accent in another one (I had to work on that one very hard).

                    I also did Spanish language accents like Cuban, Puerto Rican, Argentinean, Mexican and others. In Spanish language theater. Lol. I find the variety so enormously fun. But, it is hard to find people with an ear for the variety of languages. I think if you learn languages very very young you have a much better chance at not having a detectable foreign accent on it, as when you learn one over the age of 13 for example. Once puberty hits your 'ear' for registers and dialects atrophies. One thing I hate is going to Irish, Scottish and English movies with my husband. He can't understand many USA regional accents on the English and is completely at a loss with the European ones and I can't enjoy the movies at all. It is all about translating the accents for him. Might as well be speaking Farsi to him. He can't understand it. He thinks I can understand almost all accents because I got exposed to many languages when I was very small. My father was a linguist. I like regionalism in language it makes for interesting conversation.
                    “I have learned that you can win the battle over the most powerful of nations, the United States, if you have the moral force behind you.” — Rubén Berríos (about his transforming experience after the sacrifices he had to make for the Navy-Vieques protests)

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      A Chilean once insisted I was mispronouncing Puerto Rico (I think he said something like "pwerto leeco" -- together with the intonation)


                      (Two can play at George Orwell quotes)
                      "In this country I don’t think it is enough realized—I myself had no idea of it until a few years ago—that Scotland has a case against England."

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Scottish Republican,
                        Interesting you should say that!! Many South Americans make fun of us Caribbean Spanish accent folks! We have a tendency to make the endings of our words turn from 'r' to 'l' sounds. Such as "amor"=love, to 'amol'. But, they then make an error and think we turn any 'r' into an 'l' and to make fun of us they say "Puerto Lico" instead of "Puerto Rico" which is their ignorance of where language use comes from, and when the Ricans apply the grammar rule to 'r's on the last syllable only and not indiscriminately like they love to think we do. Lol ( I get ribbed at work for my Puerto Rican Spanish, but it is all in good fun! In fact next to me is a Mexican gentleman co-worker who is from El Paso, Texas and speaks the most Southwestern Northern Cowboy Mexican Spanish you can imagine and he gets calls from Cubans in Miami and Puerto Ricans in New York City and he says, "I can't understand those folks with their slang Spanish for a vehicle. They say 'guagua' for a little SUV veh or a station wagon, and 'cantaso' for a hit from behind." I laugh with him and say, 'yeah, and you Mexican folks love calling cars 'muebles' which is a play on words 'muebles' are furniture' but 'mover' is to 'move' and they play with the words and say 'moving furniture for instead of 'coche' or 'carro'. Lol. It is highly entertaining. Our Spanish has so many cultural influences we have words that come from Yoruba and Taino, and then we have colloquialisms that come from Canary Island Spanish and Southern Regional Spanish. The Andalucians love cutting the last syllable off Spanish words, example:

                        Espada=Sword comes out espa'. Tus ojos me clavan como una espada (a famous line from a song) comes out in Puerto Rican Spanish as Tu ojo me clavan como una espa'. Notice the absence of the 's' and the last syllable of the noun at the end? Lol. But, if they are Mexicans I make fun of their funny Spanish as well. Mexicans have a whole book of colloquial and non-Standard Spanish use in their language. They do. They have a sing-song quality to their language that comes from Nahuatl (the Aztec language) they run around using Aztec vocabulary and then run around telling us our Spanish sounds 'funny' to them. I got to laugh. Zopilote is not a Spanish word. Buhitre is the Spanish word but they use Zopilote. It means vulture Scottish Republican. But then the Argentineans speak Spanish like it was Italian, with the same rythyms and intonations of the Italians, and they make up their own language with huge unorthodox words that show up in many phrases. The central Americans use 'vos' we never do. And Chileans are filled with Chileanisms that only they understand. I know, I have a good friend who is Chilean and she is still difficult to understand especially when she leaves her messages on my voicemail.

                        Lol. I think education is critical to language skills in any dialect of any language otherwise if you don't develop your language skills you won't be articulate in any language much less your own native language.

                        And each dialect interprets things their way. For Puerto Ricans something 'cool' and someone 'cool' is 'chevere' in Mexican Spanish they are 'a toda madre' or 'padrisimo', and so on. Language is fascinating isn't it? And always will be. NEVER let the Scottish Gaelic die Scottish Republican. And never let some others tell the Scottish they need to change their regionalisms to conform to some 'standard'. It is all bullcrap. Variety is the spice of life? Don't you think so?

                        [Edited by PRgirl on 13th December 2004 at 22:47]
                        “I have learned that you can win the battle over the most powerful of nations, the United States, if you have the moral force behind you.” — Rubén Berríos (about his transforming experience after the sacrifices he had to make for the Navy-Vieques protests)

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Mexican Spanish seems to be amongst the most distinctive Spanish accents, it's about the only one I can pick out... partly because I haven't spent enough time (any in fact) in Latin America, and don't speak Spanish.

                          I've heard Argentines moan about Spanish Spanish, and I agree with them about the C/Z = "th" thing, which I don't like, partly because I can barely say it in English. But I'm told that Argentine Spanish is very odd sounding to non-Argentines. It probably sounds Italian for the simple reason lots of Italians went to live there I suppose...



                          (Two can play at George Orwell quotes)
                          "In this country I don’t think it is enough realized—I myself had no idea of it until a few years ago—that Scotland has a case against England."

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Scottish Republican,
                            Andy_J speaks Spanish very well. And not only that I think he has a lot of fun with it. Do you speak any foreign language well Scottish Republican? I know you are terribly interesting and I like all of your opinions. Are you a young man? Or an older one? You are an interesting person in general.

                            And I highly recommend you go to Latin America someday. As a well traveled friend of mine describes the world, Europe is full of history and of interesting facts, the USA is big open and full of everyone from somewhere else, Asia is exotic and intense and bright, Africa is fascinating, but Latin America is sheer beauty, through all the poverty and problems, it is simply beautiful and always will be. I quite agree. Though I have never been to Europe.

                            You should go. I invited someone from Germany to stay with us. He planned on staying in Puerto Rico one week. He wound up staying three weeks and his wife had to threaten him to go back to Hamburg. He says he won't ever forget the three countries he visited. Of course he was like Andy J, he spoke really fluent Spanish and was quite an adventurer.
                            “I have learned that you can win the battle over the most powerful of nations, the United States, if you have the moral force behind you.” — Rubén Berríos (about his transforming experience after the sacrifices he had to make for the Navy-Vieques protests)

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by PRgirl
                              Do you speak any foreign language well Scottish Republican?
                              German's my third language, and I can get by in it well. I used to speak a little French, but now I can only read it. I was learning Japanese in September but that has had to go on the back burner (it was taking up too much time). I find I can sometimes pick up surprisingly much of languages I don't know. I remember once picking up a leaflet in Spanish and understanding quite a bit of it. Spoken/colloquial Spanish like what you were talking about is a different matter. I used to be interested in Russian, but since the end of the Cold War, there seems to be few classes and certainly not even post-Beginners.

                              I tend to find that foreign language ability is dependent on your mental state, constant practice etc. It certainly doesn't always just stick there unfortunately!

                              I should probably try Spanish, but I've got my hands full with the others just now. I'm told it's much easier than French and German.


                              (Two can play at George Orwell quotes)
                              "In this country I don’t think it is enough realized—I myself had no idea of it until a few years ago—that Scotland has a case against England."

                              Comment

                              Working...
                              X