Discussion » Nonsense » English as second language (ESL)

  • Steven Ritter
    Steven Ritter wrote:
    Which accent is prefered in learning English....British, American, Australian, Canadian, or other?
  • Da Fan
    Da Fan wrote:
    Fanta's accent!
  • Steven Ritter
    Steven Ritter wrote:
    So funny mate!
  • Steven Ritter
    Steven Ritter wrote:
    Sheryl...interesting idea...love to hear your cockneyed, matey, Americanized Chinese accent. Whoa!! hell put a little French in there for confusion, or horseyness for the Russian.
  • Steven Ritter
    Steven Ritter wrote:
    YAY Paulina!!
  • Steven Ritter
    Steven Ritter wrote:
    I was told there is a premium for American English teachers in Suzhou...is it the same way up in BJ? Just something I thought I might do for fun some year along with other business opportunities
  • JILL
    JILL wrote:
    In China,people learn the north American accent and American literature from their childhood.
  • 叮噹叔叔 (令狐叮噹)
    ...

    Does it matter about the geographical location of the person?
  • 叮噹叔叔 (令狐叮噹)
    ...

    One thing I cannot understand, is that English, like any other language, is just a tool for communication, not unlike Mandarin, Korean etc, so as long as the communication is working, does it matter what accent? If not, then why does it matter which one is preferred?

    Perhaps, asking the same question from a different angle, instead of saying "preferred", I would ask "which accent is the easiest to pick up", then I would vote for American accent, particularly the west coast (or Californian) accent, but not the east coast nor southern belle ...

    The reason? Well, most people (in China) would not have watched the British classics such as "Fawlty Tower", "Black Adder", or even "The Monkees" and "Dr Who", or more recently "The Office", so they probably wont have much exposures to the British accent, especially the Queen's accent ... however, most would have watched "Lost", "Heroes", "Desparate Housewives" or even "Knight Rider 2008", so it would then be a simple matter to pick up the west coast American accent, or if not, then there might be a very serious problem ...
  • JinGran
    JinGran wrote:
    I guess I pick up the accent where I am in the place. It would be weird to speak differently from what around you. but I like what sheryl said, to have your own accent. The point is use the language clearly, not necessarily natively. Btw, I love the word Chinglish~
  • Young
    Young wrote:
    its really not up to you to decide which accent you want. its all predetermined. but of course there are exceptions
  • Tiffany_YJ
    Tiffany_YJ wrote:
    Be myself.Learning English is just a tool of communication.The point is communication.As to accent,even I can speak English in all kinds of accent,I am still a Chinese!
  • Steven Ritter
    Steven Ritter wrote:

    Shino, I know you speak so many languages, and to that end you are a very intelligent guy. How many countries in the world speak German? Just germany and the small little countries around Germany. If it wasnt for the Americans, all of Europe would be speaking German. And I am so thankful German lost out by one vote to English in America, many years ago..German just sounds too rough (and my ancestors are from Germany..and as you know, my last name Ritter, means knight in German)

    Now I don't care for the cockneyed sound of the Brits, though I love the people and have many friends over the pond. Years ago I dated a beautiful Indian girl with a heavy British accent..I couldn't marry her because her accent drove me nuts.

    Tiffany is correct..we all retain our nationality, though I have heard some mighty articulitive Chinese speak Englsih and you could not tell they were Chinese.

    Nothing wrong with Chinglish..sounds fine..just when I hear the air traffic controlers coming into Beijing or Shanghai, I want their best English possible as to being directed into the proper airspace and runways.
  • Steven Ritter
    Steven Ritter wrote:
    Shino, what an in depth response. thank you for your thoughts.

    Even though I am a United Airline retiree, I have ridden other airlines such as Lufthansa, British Airways..to name 2 European airlines on the way to Moscow. They were ok.

    I love Canadians. Now something you may not know but most of the country hates the Quebequios..the Canadians living inthe Quebec Province that speak mostly French, and detest all things English. I have heard of their outright hatred. I don't care 1% for things french, but these folks can't stand each other. Mark my words...within 20 years Canada will break up with Quebec going there separate way. I will stick to American English, thank you.

    Now I understand your sentiments about Chinese. The thing is that English has been accepted as the business and international language and is spoken in more countries than all other languages. Interesting fact that English will be spoken (even as a second language) by more Chinese than by Americans in the next 10-15 years.

    I do agree with you, we cannot expect all Chinese to speak English, though we might be appreciative..I am trying to learn pinyin to at least be conversant.

    Obama and Bush are another topic matter. Suffice to say we have the freedom for our citizens to dissent without retrobution. Just remember, you will not hear the people whom agree with either president often..it is the dissenters. it is our fundamental right to have free press and speech and is in our constitution in the USA.

    Thanks so much for your input.
  • Ed Legend
    Ed Legend wrote:
    Does it really matter? As long as people are learning English, they can communicate with any English speaker, whether they're British, American or otherwise.

    From my experience so far in Beijing, there are many more Americans than British citizens. Even if their accent were preferred (which I haven't seen evidence of myself), then I doubt it would be a particular advantage from that respect.
  • 叮噹叔叔 (令狐叮噹)
    ...

    Ed ... it should not have mattered at all, but for some reasons, a lot of local Chinese do prefer American accent, perhaps because of the easier access to movies and tv series ... by the way, I came from Australia, and have a mix of accents ...

    Tiffany, Young and Jin ... agreed ...

  • 叮噹叔叔 (令狐叮噹)
    ...

    Steven, may I ask ... why did you raise such question?
  • Laurayoung
    Laurayoung wrote:
    we can understand American English better, and we can find more American TV shows and TV series resources. but actually, the accent is Chinese American English. i haven't seen alive British men personally. and as for the aussie accent, sorry, it's horrible for me, too many slangs and weird accents.
  • 叮噹叔叔 (令狐叮噹)
    ...

    Hahaha ... so it is the result of American marketing ... only if BBC had put on more shows in China, then most of you would have picked up the British accent ...

    Aussie accent is not too bad, perhaps a teeny bit better than the Kiwi accent ... any Kiwi here?
  • Steven Ritter
    Steven Ritter wrote:
    Well Matey...I thought it an interesting question. I have Chinese friends in Canada, England, Germany, Australia...well, just about everywhere. Additionally, does learning one accent over the other help professionally? Perhaps, I am biased, but to me American Englsih seems more clear. hahaha Could be like Sheryl and make your own version to suit.
  • 叮噹叔叔 (令狐叮噹)
    ...

    Laura Young ... please accept my apology, but did you mean that you can only understand American English? I wonder if you have any Indian friends ... they do have lovely accents, especially if they came from the Southern part of India ...

    Steven ... so at the end, it was "Americanism" talking? Hahaha, obviously, the answer to your latest question "does learning one accent over the other help professionally" would be a simple "yes", if we consider the geographical location ... say if a person is working/living in Australia or New Zealand, but cannot understand and/or learn the accent, then it would not matter if he/she can speak perfect American accent (is there such thing as perfect American accent by the way?) ... even more so if the person lives in PNG or in Northern Territory of Australia ...or India, Sri Lanka or Pakistan ... and it is not a big secret that most local Chinese have trouble with the Indian accent ...

    I will repeat what I said before ... accent or no accent, language is used to communicate, so American accent would not be much use if you are not in the right location ...
  • Laurayoung
    Laurayoung wrote:
    叮噹, i can't well understand American English either. but much better than Aussie English.
    i meet some guys with aussie accent during working, so i especially learnt some aussie slang for better communication, the slangs are quite short and lovely and ...... but later i find out they don't use slangs with me at all, the key point is i'm used to their accent. maybe need more time
    and i agree with you, no preference in accent, communication comes first.
  • 叮噹叔叔 (令狐叮噹)
    ...

    Hahaha, Laura ... given the chance, I would love to talk to you in any accent you want, though my imitation of Indian accent is not very good, hahaha ...

    By the way, accent and slangs are two different issues, and I am sure you know why ...

    Allow me to sidetrack for a minute ... the education system in China forces the impression that English vocabulary is very important, so the more words you know, the better you are at English, but when I tested those people at interview, whether that be CET4 or CET6 or even higher, most of them cannot speak fluent English ... I am 99.99% sure that I dont know as many words as most of the local Chinese on this site, but I am sure that 90% of the words I know, will be used very often, or often enough ...

    So ... I recommend learning slangs only if you intend to live/work in that country, or at least work among people from that country ... or just to understand the culture for fun or research ... otherwise, it could be a waste of time and effort ... so do you know what is the meaning of "sheila" in Australian slang? Hahahaha ...

  • Laurayoung
  • Christine
    Christine wrote:
    I agree with 叮噹, due to the education system in China I always have concerns about my english vocabulary. Though I passed the CET-6 several years ago I still feel nerous when I need to speak english. Because I am searching for the right word one by one when I am speaking so I can't even pay attention to the whole sentence. That's why for me speak english is more like the gather of words not the way to express my meaning.

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