#EngClass: British English (1)

A lot of non-native English speakers and English learners are fascinated with British English (also known as BrE). People are drawn to the accent and dialects. The following is a documentation gathered from our fellas during an online interview on Twitter.

Twitter interview (Part 1)

Question: What do you know about British English? Where have you heard it? Why are you so curious about it? Tell us!

Their pronunciation is cool! – @apriyannto

the accent is so unique, good to be heard, and i love it! – @Keyshaben

#FYI British English dianggap sebagai aksen yg elegan dan seksi dibandingkan American English – @ayavedelya

british english has really unique accent, how they pronounce the words is interesting to be learned haha. – @indranosaurus

English which is spoken by british people with a sexy accent like in Harry Potter movie :) Re: British English – @jejewie89

its kinda different with american, and I heard it from 1D’s personnel when they were talking, so I’m a little bit curious – @Ilmadnr

from harry potter!! – @geestefanii

I’ve heard BrE since I’m 5th grade! why it must be curious b’cause the pronounce’s cool! :D don’t know but BrE just cool and learnable hihihi – @dyayu

first from Harry Potter then I started to love UK and the accent. And here I am so bldy in love with BrE hehehe :) – @yasminhadi

I heard BrE in Harry Potter movies… The accent is unique and they have some distinct vocabularies :D – @Doc_Christy

Is languange that used in English,scotland,Wales,ireland.difference accent w/ american – @sandlewood4

british english accent is pretty sexy. – @thewayyuare

I heard about it in movie..like harry potter :D – @xyesanax

if i listening to the tape which there’s ppl who speak english(british accent),i feel so dffclt to know wht does it mean – @ulfahchn

It’s interesting how most of the participants shared how Harry Potter triggered their curiosity. And believe it or not, some of our admins had the same experience too. Due to Harry Potter, the curiosity of British English came about.

actually, Simon Cowell :) <– That too :D – @rossipawestri

film film Hooligans lebih murni aksen inggrisnya. Cuma kl ketemu aksen yg susah, Essex misal, ya pusing :D – @mr_tuki

British accents, as a whole, was mainly affected by 4 nations: North Ireland, England, Scotland, and Wales. There are many accents and dialects in Britain, just like how we have different accents and dialects in Indonesia.

In comparison with American English (also known as AmE), although English is used in America and Britain, there are some words, spellings and pronunciations which are different in both countries.

If comparing AmE and BrE accents, it is different, for which one is easier, it depends on us actually :) – @ulfahchn

In some part of Australia they still have the BrE accent instead of the Australian accent we know – @geestefanii

 

Practice

Let’s have a bit of guessing game, shall we?

The following are some American English words along with the Indonesian translation in brackets. Find their British English equivalent.

  1. In AmE it’s Parking Lot (Tempat Parkir), In BrE it’s _ _ _ _ _ _ _
  2. In AmE it’s fries (kentang goreng), in BrE it would be _ _ _ _ _
  3. In AmE I would say “Let’s go to the movies (bioskop)!”, in BrE I would say “Let’s go to the _ _ _ _ _ _ !”
  4. The American man said, “I’m eating some potato chips (kripik kentang).” The British man then said, “We call it _ _ _ _ _ _.”
  5. The American woman said,”My zip code(kode pos)is 14592,what’s yours?” The British woman replied,”My _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _is N1 9JE.”
  6. In America they say elevator (lift), in Britain they call it _ _ _ _ .
  7. “Should I give up or should I just keep chasing _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _”Adele sang. Obama said,”It would be sidewalks (trotoar) here”
  8. In AmE it would be School Schedule (Jadwal Pelajaran Sekolah), in Britain it became School _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _
  9. “I’m looking for a can (kaleng) of soup,” Warhol said. “You mean _ _ _ of soup?” Bacon asked.
  10. “I want to find a gas station (SPBU) around Manchester, what is it called here?” “It’s called _ _ _ _ _ _ station, Sir.”
  11. “I want to get some candies (permen), what do you call it in Britain?” “It’s called _ _ _ _ _ _.”
  12. “My mom is looking for pantyhose (stoking) in that shop.” “We call it _ _ _ _ _ _ in Britain.”
  13. “And my father is looking for pants (celana panjang).” “Somehow we in Britain call it different, it’s _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _.”

 

Answers

  1. Car park
  2. Chips
  3. Cinema
  4. Crisps
  5. Postcode
  6. Lift
  7. Pavements
  8. Timetable
  9. Tin
  10. Petrol station
  11. Sweets
  12. Tights
  13. Trousers.

 

Twitter interview (Part 2)

Question: What do you think of BrE words?Do they sound unfamiliar to you? Do you think it’s harder to pronounce/remembered? Tell us!

yeah! BrE is unfamiliar to me.. lebih enak American, mungkin karna aku lebih sering dengerin lagu barat kali ya? – @yuniarchristy

weird – @nicklodeeeoon

yeah , AmericanE is more familiar hihi I prefer to use AE – @dewiSDK

Lil’bit harder to remember – @yankid

some are familiar and some are not :) Thank You for the – @lieangdonezie

It’s so familiar for me. My teacher is Britain so I know BrE words so good. And I little bit confuse with AmE. – @ItsJasminn

it’s quite hard to understand &to pronounce.it seems like there’re bubbles in their mouth.hehe.but i like BrE though – @shareefaazz

actually I always use ‘tights’ word but just knew that ‘tights’ is BrE word for stoking hehe – @aquaticfira

my school uses BrE for the learning process. eventhough I prefer the AmE one, but I enjoy it. – @nananatasya

Funny to know they like to say things as their adjectives like ‘sweets’, ‘tights’, or what it does like ‘lift’. :D – @timothydaely

yes they do sound familiar. I think that’s bcs I used to play playstation games which have british language in it. but yes it’s hard to remember them, cause I don’t even know how to pronounce them lol. – @limmartha

 

Question: I wonder whether there’s any dictionary for BrE words? Like BrE to AmE… – @limmartha

You can buy Cambridge or oxford dict. – @iisumarni

 

Question: Why did the British lose their accents when their singing?? I’m so curious about that… – @goichaniago

It’s the same as when an Indonesian is singing, their local dialect/accent don’t show. – @EnglishTips4U

 

Question: What make those british when they pronounce that end with “R” it seems disappear? – @amnss

Yes! BrEng usually doesn’t pronounce /r/. that’s why /r/ in final distribution at Eng dictionary is written (r). Then BrEng usually use weak syllables while NAmEng use strong syllable. the used of ‘schwa’ differentiate them – @malasyahbani

 

Useful resources

Here are some more explanation Connected Speech as it’s called: http://www.bbc.co.uk/worldservice/learningenglish/grammar/pron/features/connected.shtml

I’ve seen a guy who can speaks many english accent on Youtube, such a great ability, try to type ‘english accent’ and youtube it. – @meenyo

recommended movie for listening another dialects & accents. Scottish: Trainspotting; Irish: War of the Buttons – @elkybbk

moreover, The Oxford Learner’s Pocket Dictionary will be a good guide to be used to learn about British English. – @iamderi

Here are some videos that might help you compare AmE and BrE:

here you go. It’s just like what we’re discussing. :) NOTICE: Contains Strong Language! How To Speak English – @timothydaely

Min, here is another vlog of BrE vs AmE. Side by side comparison of the 2 accents. Enjoy! BRITISH V.S. AMERICAN ACCENTS! – @Miss_Qiak

No fear if you don’t know British English/BrE that well :) There’s no right or wrong in knowing it or not :)

 

Compiled and written by @daedonghae at @EnglishTips4U on Tuesday, August 21, 2012

 

Related post(s):

 

^MQ

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5 responses to “#EngClass: British English (1)

  1. Pingback: #EngTrivia: UK vs US Spellings | @EnglishTips4U·

  2. Pingback: #EngTrivia: British vs American English Spellings | @EnglishTips4U·

  3. Pingback: #EngVocab: British English (4) –Archaic English pronouns | @EnglishTips4U·

  4. Pingback: #EngClass: British English (3) – British English History | @EnglishTips4U·

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