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#2980075 - 03/14/19 08:11 AM Re: OT: New [to me] Word of the day; bestie [Re: GregC]
Losendoskeys Offline
Platinum Member

Registered: 12/28/12
Posts: 1422
Loc: West Sussex, UK
The last example of growth of American English I heard is "super super" and it has transferred over to the UK.
Talk about pissing in the wind and getting it back in your face!

I am appalled at the lack of vocabulary that someone has that they have to repeat something in that fashion.
It is superceded only by "super cool" -Christ on a bike, can't they come up with a tad more descriptive language deadhorse
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#2980144 - 03/14/19 04:07 PM Re: OT: New [to me] Word of the day; bestie [Re: Losendoskeys]
CowboyNQ Offline
Platinum Member

Registered: 06/14/15
Posts: 1099
Loc: Adelaide, Australia
I am an English language mentor (on a volunteer basis) to new arrivals in Australia. The thrust of the mentoring is not around understanding grammar and syntax per se, but more in relation to being able to speak and comprehend conversational Australian English. The theory being this will lead to faster social inclusion and better employment opportunities.

Many of the people I have worked with come here with quite a reasonable "book knowledge" of the language, but with little ability to use it functionally in conversation. The texts they are learning from are often too rigid and a little anachronistic.

I'm often discussing the differences between British, American and Australian English with them, it's a lot of fun and quite fascinating.

FWIW most of my students find Americans (via TV shows) far easier to understand than Aussies. Generalising of course but this is because, our unusual accent aside, we tend to drawl and are lazy with our articulation of consonants. There are also quite a few words that Americans tend to pronounce more phonetically and logically.

Many Aussies also seed their conversation with colloquialisms (which differ dependent upon age and sex) and are very fond of metaphor, simile and dry humour. At first blush, this is quite confronting for folks who have English as a second language.

All of the above said, I feel that when considering conversational English, it's misleading to say "American English" and "British English" because there are so many significant regional variations within those countries. We have regional dialects too but you have to have a very good ear and have travelled quite a bit to pick them. Most Aussies can't, and foreigners definitely can't. They're "flat out" understanding us in the first place!

TL;DR - my vicarious experience is that American English (as we experience it here) is quite a bit nicer to deal with than Australian English for those coming to grips with the language as a learner.

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#2980195 - 03/15/19 04:21 AM Re: OT: New [to me] Word of the day; bestie [Re: CowboyNQ]
Rod S Offline
MP Hall of Fame Member

Registered: 12/12/00
Posts: 3171
Loc: São Paulo, Brasil
Originally Posted By: CowboyNQ
Many of the people I have worked with come here with quite a reasonable "book knowledge" of the language, but with little ability to use it functionally in conversation. The texts they are learning from are often too rigid and a little anachronistic.

I'm often discussing the differences between British, American and Australian English with them, it's a lot of fun and quite fascinating.

FWIW most of my students find Americans (via TV shows) far easier to understand than Aussies. Generalising of course but this is because, our unusual accent aside, we tend to drawl and are lazy with our articulation of consonants. There are also quite a few words that Americans tend to pronounce more phonetically and logically.

I went to the US when I was 18 having studied English since I was 8, and had gone to an American high school in Brazil. I had no problem writing and speaking in English, but had trouble with day to day conversation initially. No idea of slang, idiomatic expression, and such. This was 1990, and there wasn't as much exposure to language such as Netflix and TV shows in General in Brazil, but still. It must have been entertaining to interact with me.

My wife, when she was interviewing for Google, had a video interview with an Australian. She almost panicked.

Originally Posted By: CowboyNQ
All of the above said, I feel that when considering conversational English, it's misleading to say "American English" and "British English" because there are so many significant regional variations within those countries. We have regional dialects too but you have to have a very good ear and have travelled quite a bit to pick them. Most Aussies can't, and foreigners definitely can't. They're "flat out" understanding us in the first place!


Well, the more you look into an individual country's language the more differences you see. A British person once showed me 3-4 different London 'dialects'. But I still feel there is a significant difference between US and UK to make a general distinction. But interesting point about less differences between Australian English.

As a Brazilian, I don't see a huge difference in Portuguese from the different regions, less than I see in American English (which is not that big, IMHO, either). But, you can typically spot where they are from, and it's more a case of pronunciation than dialect. You really have to go North to small towns to really start stumbling on different local idiomatic expressions. Portuguese from Portugal is interesting - It seems that folks from the big cities I can understand, but I've had problems understanding folks from small towns. Then there's Portuguese spoke in the former African colonies, and that's where the trouble starts..

I find these differences fascinating and it's always interesting to talk to people all over the world and learn these subtleties, thanks for sharing.

On a side note, I was surprised when I went to Valencia, Spain, 2 years ago. There were signs that read a lot like Catalan (which I'm familiar with), but reading up on it, it was Valencian. Apparently not much difference between the two (Valencian is a dialect of Catalan, apparently), but there was a strong regional pride of their local language. (Spanish folks please feel free to correct me!)

To wrap up - I'm responsible for Latin America for my company, and have to make slight language adjustments between Argentina, Chile and Mexico Spanish (and probably make more mistakes than I think I do)
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#2980275 - 03/15/19 03:48 PM Re: OT: New [to me] Word of the day; bestie [Re: Rod S]
El Lobo Offline
Platinum Member

Registered: 12/23/14
Posts: 1137
Originally Posted By: Rod S
I had an Aussie professor in the US who used to finish phrases often with 'and then you're home and hosed'.
When I first saw that, I thought it meant you're home and have had a sufficient amount of beer to be thoroughly intoxicated.

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#2980277 - 03/15/19 03:53 PM Re: OT: New [to me] Word of the day; bestie [Re: El Lobo]
El Lobo Offline
Platinum Member

Registered: 12/23/14
Posts: 1137
I knew an Italian man who had trouble with American English idioms. He couldn't understand the phrase "pretty ugly" and he mixed up "piece of pie" and "easy as cake" as expressions of something being easy or quick to do. I still say those because I think they're more interesting ways of saying things.

It was easy as cake. No problem, it was a piece of pie.

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#2980292 - 03/15/19 06:17 PM Re: OT: New [to me] Word of the day; bestie [Re: El Lobo]
MotiDave Offline
MP Hall of Fame Member

Registered: 12/04/12
Posts: 2089
Loc: San Diego, CA USA
I lived in UK once for 6 months, incredibly different version of english is spoken there. they utilize none of my SoCal slang and I of course knew none of theirs.

I learned that brilliant can be applied to most any positive expression or emotion, cheers has almost as many positive meanings as aloha, and despite all of my consumed tv and movie education that a socal kid might be exposed to, one doesn't wander about calling women strangers "love" unless they want to be laughed at.

I also learned that the further from London a person was sired, the less intelligible they became to me. eventually they either got to the far north or west to Wales where I couldn't understand them at all.

two more tips for my continental amigos - if a noun which names something has more than 3 syllables, start dropping the middle syllables. Drop as many as you need to in order to get to 3 (usually). Leicestershire is pronounced Lestershire. Aficionados of Worcestershire sauce subconsciously know this - its "worstershire sauce".

Second, if you find a "W" somewhere in the middle of an item's name - odds are very high it is silent. ex: Warwick is pronounced "Warrick"

oh, one more - i discovered the average mechanic and bar server was better educated and more articulate than my college graduate friends in the US. don't act snooty if you wander over with a US degree ... its less impressive than one might hope.


Edited by MotiDave (03/15/19 06:21 PM)
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