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Thread: English in different countries.

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    Почётный участник Julienovich's Avatar
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    English in different countries.

    Which counries are people speak english? What country speaking is the most hard to anderstand verbally?

    Thank you!
    Please, can You correct, if I have made mistakes.

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    First, you should reword your question:

    In which countries do they speak English (or better: "Which countries have English as the official/majority language?")? Which country's English-speakers are the hardest to understand?

    To answer your question, I think that really depends what you mean -- of course the US, UK, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, etc. have English as the main language -- the big difference there from what I gather is basically we in the US speak a bit different than all those other places (sometimes called the "Commonwealth countries"). But even within those countries there's of course some variation. We still understand each other fine, though. With that being said, there are plenty of other countries that have sizable English-speaking populations, either old British colonies (South Africa, India) or those countries that have a lot of people who want to know the main language of technology, trade, aviation, etc. which is English (China, for example). This last kind of place may have speakers that are harder to understand, since they may not have the standardization and have signficant local variations. So that would be my only suggestion -- to avoid that kind of English so much as is possible and stick with either the Commonwealth or US variants.
    Заранее благодарю всех за исправление ошибок в моём русском.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Бармалей
    First, you should reword your question:

    In which countries do they speak English (or better: "Which countries have English as the official/majority language?")? Which country's English-speakers are the hardest to understand?

    To answer your question, I think that really depends what you mean -- of course the US, UK, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, etc. have English as the main language -- the big difference there from what I gather is basically we in the US speak a bit different than all those other places (sometimes called the "Commonwealth countries"). But even within those countries there's of course some variation. We still understand each other fine, though. With that being said, there are plenty of other countries that have sizable English-speaking populations, either old British colonies (South Africa, India) or those countries that have a lot of people who want to know the main language of technology, trade, aviation, etc. which is English (China, for example). This last kind of place may have speakers that are harder to understand, since they may not have the standardization and have signficant local variations. So that would be my only suggestion -- to avoid that kind of English so much as is possible and stick with either the Commonwealth or US variants.
    I agree.

    The U.K., Australia, Canada, and U.S. speak the clearest English in my opinion. But there are areas in the each of these countries, where English can be difficult to understand. I sometimes have much difficulty understanding English from Ireland, Scotland, Birmingham U.K., and Quebec.

    If you have access to TV, then CNN, FOX, or BBC have news reporters that speak good English, usually very clear and clean, and can be understood by most English speakers, anywhere.

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    Почётный участник Julienovich's Avatar
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    Thanks a lot!

    You told about that "the main language of technology, trade, aviation, etc... is English (China, for example)". What do you think about future of Chinese language? Can it be as popular as English now? Or maiby as Spanish?
    Please, can You correct, if I have made mistakes.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Julienovich
    Thanks a lot!

    You told about that "the main language of technology, trade, aviation, etc... is English (China, for example)". What do you think about future of Chinese language? Can it be as popular as English now? Or maiby as Spanish?
    Nah. Chinese is too hard for the technological advanced nations to learn. I think China will learn English instead!
    Hei, rett norsken min og du er død.
    I am a notourriouse misspeller. Be easy on me.
    Пожалуйста! Исправляйте мои глупые ошибки (но оставьте умные)!
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    Watch "Firefly" -- that explains it all! It was a sci-fi/western set in the future -- all the people were fluent in English and Mandarin. It was really cool the way they set it up. Basically all the dialogue was in English obviously, but when the characters swore or were surprised or whatever they'd say it in Mandarin -- translations were never provided. You obviously understood the emotions. What's funny about it though, is that the things they said were actaully in Mandarin and were very vulgar and/or bizarre. Someone had a wiki entry where they translated it and you have stuff like "Filthy fornicators of livestock!" and "Stuff all the planets in the universe up my butt!"

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Fi ... urse_words
    Заранее благодарю всех за исправление ошибок в моём русском.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Бармалей
    Watch "Firefly" -- that explains it all! It was a sci-fi/western set in the future -- all the people were fluent in English and Mandarin. It was really cool the way they set it up. Basically all the dialogue was in English obviously, but when the characters swore or were surprised or whatever they'd say it in Mandarin -- translations were never provided. You obviously understood the emotions. What's funny about it though, is that the things they said were actaully in Mandarin and were very vulgar and/or bizarre. Someone had a wiki entry where they translated it and you have stuff like "Filthy fornicators of livestock!" and "Stuff all the planets in the universe up my butt!"

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Fi ... urse_words
    I have been thinking the same thing.

    "Firefly"... and the movie "Serenity" which was the sequel to "Firefly".

    The idea is that in the future, two languages become predominate because of the unification of the countries of Earth... for the purpose of colonization of another solar system. So, everyone learned both English and Chinese.

    In the movie, most of the written language (in the spaceship, "Serenity") is in Mandarin Chinese.

    Yep, it's funny when they swear in Chinese.

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    Quote Originally Posted by kalinka_vinnie
    Quote Originally Posted by Julienovich
    Thanks a lot!

    You told about that "the main language of technology, trade, aviation, etc... is English (China, for example)". What do you think about future of Chinese language? Can it be as popular as English now? Or maiby as Spanish?
    Nah. Chinese is too hard for the technological advanced nations to learn.
    Aside from the factor of being too hard (or not, don't know ), Chinese probably does have a cool feature where English does not. According to an article I've read they are still able to read 2000+ years old textes without significant problems. Because old poetry doesn't rhyme anymore it's obvious that the pronunciation has changed but the sense of the Hanzi hieroglyphs has not or not much, at least. Could be quite useful if the Earth isn't blown up in the next 1000 years.

    As far as I remember from the same article there even was a small group of scientists in Europe who suggested to switch to Chinese as the language of science for that reason.

    OK, that old English ist pretty neat IMHO, I like all those "haveth" and "falleth", but in general it's not comprehensible for normal speakers, is it?

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    [quote=kt_81]
    Quote Originally Posted by "kalinka_vinnie":1704qam8
    Quote Originally Posted by Julienovich
    Thanks a lot!

    You told about that "the main language of technology, trade, aviation, etc... is English (China, for example)". What do you think about future of Chinese language? Can it be as popular as English now? Or maiby as Spanish?
    Nah. Chinese is too hard for the technological advanced nations to learn.
    Aside from the factor of being too hard (or not, don't know ), Chinese probably does have a cool feature where English does not. According to an article I've read they are still able to read 2000+ years old textes without significant problems. Because old poetry doesn't rhyme anymore it's obvious that the pronunciation has changed but the sense of the Hanzi hieroglyphs has not or not much, at least. Could be quite useful if the Earth isn't blow up in the next 1000 years.

    As far as I remember from the same article there was even a small group of scientists in Europe who suggested to switch to Chinese as the lenguage of science for that reason.

    OK, that old English ist pretty neat IMHO, I like all those "haveth" and "falleth", but in general it's not comprehensible for normal speakers, isn't it?[/quote:1704qam8]

    Interesting.

    The Mandarin Chinese language hasn't changed much, probably because China didn't change much for several thousand years... most things remained the same... until the revolution against the Emperor.

    There are actually three "evolutions" of English.
    "Old English", which is not understandable by English-speakers... unless you are an Academic working in old languages. Beowulf is the earliest known Old English.

    "Middle English"... we can understand a few words, or figure them out. Chaucer's Canterbury Tales are an example of "Middle English". The tales, now, have been translated into Modern English.

    "Modern English"... here we are!

    You are correct. "King James" English, which is the English you quoted, was the English used by Shakespeare, and is the language of the "King James" Bible written in the year 1611. No one uses or speaks in this form of English now... EXCEPT in some Churches that continue to use this form.

    BUT... many Americans during colonial times learned English from the King James Bible... so, that was the common spoken language during the early years of the U.S.

    Shakespeare's English... most native English-speakers can understand the general meaning of his writings... but to understand his humor, wit, sarcasm and satire requires in-depth study.

    Again, no native English-speaker uses or speaks "Shakespearean English" ... except in University English and Theater classes, of course... or in Church, again because of the King James Bible.

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    Quote Originally Posted by kt_81
    OK, that old English is pretty neat IMHO, I like all those "haveth" and "falleth", but in general it's not comprehensible for normal speakers, is it?
    Correcting your double negative.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Julienovich
    Thanks a lot!

    You told about that "the main language of technology, trade, aviation, etc... is English (China, for example)". What do you think about future of Chinese language? Can it be as popular as English now? Or maiby as Spanish?
    I've read many economic/business articles that predict Chinese will become the main world language, within 30-40 years. China is growing in economic power.

    Spanish? Yo hablo. For the Western hemisphere, it is an important language, especially for business. But I continue to think and predict that Chinese will become more important than English or Spanish, for international business... many years from now.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dobry

    Again, no native English-speaker uses or speaks "Shakespearean English" ... except in University English and Theater classes, of course... or in Church, again because of the King James Bible.
    Actually that may not be true. People on Tangier Island in Virginia supposedly speak Elizabethan English -- today.

    http://www.chesapeakelifemag.com/tourism/tangier.html
    Заранее благодарю всех за исправление ошибок в моём русском.

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    @Dobry
    Thanks for the correction, though I still don't get why my version was false, to be honest. ? It's late also, maybe I should look at it tomorrow.

    By the way, is the old 2nd person singular 'thou' still in use somewhere? Maybe in some dialects? I could imagine that some old religious communities like the Amish probably still use such 'archaic' expressions? Those Tangier Island people should do if they really speak Modern English..

    I can remember a german TV coverage of an US movie which had 'thou' in its title, where they said that it would be 'out of use since ca. 100 years', which is not quite correct then if it was a Modern English feature only?

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    Quote Originally Posted by kt_81
    @Dobry
    Thanks for the correction, though I still don't get why my version was false, to be honest. ? It's late also, maybe I should look at it tomorrow.

    By the way, is the old 2nd person singular 'thou' still in use somewhere? Maybe in some dialects? I could imagine that some old religious communities like the Amish probably still use such 'archaic' expressions? Those Tangier Island people should do if they really speak Modern English..

    I can remember a german TV coverage of an US movie which had 'thou' in its title, where they said that it would be 'out of use since ca. 100 years', which is not quite correct then if it was a Modern English feature only?
    The Amish use German, if memory serves correctly.
    Заранее благодарю всех за исправление ошибок в моём русском.

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    Quote Originally Posted by kt_81
    @Dobry
    Thanks for the correction, though I still don't get why my version was false, to be honest. ? It's late also, maybe I should look at it tomorrow.

    By the way, is the old 2nd person singular 'thou' still in use somewhere? Maybe in some dialects? I could imagine that some old religious communities like the Amish probably still use such 'archaic' expressions? Those Tangier Island people should do if they really speak Modern English..

    I can remember a german TV coverage of an US movie which had 'thou' in its title, where they said that it would be 'out of use since ca. 100 years', which is not quite correct then if it was a Modern English feature only?
    Yes, some Amish and Mennonite communities in the U.S. speak in a "King James" English, with German mixed in. This is part of their culture and faith.

    The double negative correction? Sleep, and we'll talk tomorrow.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dobry
    Yes, some Amish and Mennonite communities in the U.S. speak in a "King James" English, with German mixed in. This is part of their culture and faith.

    The double negative correction? Sleep, and we'll talk tomorrow.
    The ceremony they had for the school shootings in the Amish village was held in German...
    Hei, rett norsken min og du er død.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dobry
    Quote Originally Posted by Julienovich
    Thanks a lot!

    You told about that "the main language of technology, trade, aviation, etc... is English (China, for example)". What do you think about future of Chinese language? Can it be as popular as English now? Or maiby as Spanish?
    I've read many economic/business articles that predict Chinese will become the main world language, within 30-40 years. China is growing in economic power.

    Spanish? Yo hablo. For the Western hemisphere, it is an important language, especially for business. But I continue to think and predict that Chinese will become more important than English or Spanish, for international business... many years from now.
    I doubt it... Actually, even if the US, the UK and Texas were all stricken by asteroids tomorrow, I would still expect a Chinese businessman of 200 years from now to communicate with a French one in English... English is already too established as a lingua franca -- much more so than Latin ever was, and look how long Latin has persisted without any native speakers at all...

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    Quote Originally Posted by laxxy

    I doubt it... Actually, even if the US, the UK and Texas were all stricken by asteroids tomorrow, I would still expect a Chinese businessman of 200 years from now to communicate with a French one in English... English is already too established as a lingua franca -- much more so than Latin ever was, and look how long Latin has persisted without any native speakers at all...
    We'll see, Laxxy... but I'll probably be dead before then.

    The articles I've read have been from economists, who see a gradual, growing rise in China's world economic power. Much of the power comes simply from the size of the work-force... and that the work-force will work for very low wages.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dobry
    Quote Originally Posted by laxxy

    I doubt it... Actually, even if the US, the UK and Texas were all stricken by asteroids tomorrow, I would still expect a Chinese businessman of 200 years from now to communicate with a French one in English... English is already too established as a lingua franca -- much more so than Latin ever was, and look how long Latin has persisted without any native speakers at all...
    We'll see, Laxxy... but I'll probably be dead before then.

    The articles I've read have been from economists, who see a gradual, growing rise in China's world economic power. Much of the power comes simply from the size of the work-force... and that the work-force will work for very low wages.
    Well, I am an economist
    Surely China will be getting more wealthy, barring major political problems or the like, and its' share in the world economy will grow (although as it grows most of the advantages like low wages and such will gradually disappear). But to expect that this could result in (Mandarin) Chinese getting anywhere near English in popularity would be too much of a stretch. The Chinese themselves are trying to learn English.
    Actually, one result of this growth might be a relative increase in popularity of Cantonese and other dialects, as those areas are where most of the Chinese growth actually comes from.
    Btw, when people make such arguments they seem to forget one other major (effectively) English-speaking country that has quite a few things in common with China, namely India.

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    Quote Originally Posted by laxxy
    Well, I am an economist
    And I'm an American with mud on my face now.

    Quote Originally Posted by laxxy
    Surely China will be getting more wealthy, barring major political problems or the like, and its' share in the world economy will grow (although as it grows most of the advantages like low wages and such will gradually disappear). But to expect that this could result in (Mandarin) Chinese getting anywhere near English in popularity would be too much of a stretch. The Chinese themselves are trying to learn English.
    Actually, one result of this growth might be a relative increase in popularity of Cantonese and other dialects, as those areas are where most of the Chinese growth actually comes from.
    Interesting idea.

    Quote Originally Posted by laxxy
    Btw, when people make such arguments they seem to forget one other major (effectively) English-speaking country that has quite a few things in common with China, namely India.
    And another interesting idea. India, certainly, is growing economically, especially in the computer industry.

    You've got me thinking now. Спасибо.

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