Category Archives: speaking

#EngTalk: Polite Small Talks

Some of us might prefer a deep, meaningful conversation over a small talk. However, upon meeting a new person, we are rarely in a situation where we could jump into a serious discussion. That is when need small talk.

If it is done correctly, small talk can be comfortable. The key is keeping the small talk casual, not bringing any discomfort, but is still good enough to connect two people. For example, we should go with topics that both persons like rather than dislike.

There are also several things to avoid when trying to connect to our interlocutor. We should avoid making fun of or commenting on our interlocutor’s physical appearance, as we cannot be sure if the interlocutor is comfortable to discuss about that.

Here is what we recommend to make our small talk more enjoyable but still courteous.

  1. Start with a friendly greeting and a smile.
    Smile is a universal language and it almost always earns us a positive feedback from our interlocutor.

  2. Use an approachable body language.
    We should keep our phone away for a while and look at the interlocutor. By doing so, we are giving signal to our interlocutor that we are paying attention.

  3. Avoid pointing out somebody’s lacking in something.
    Physical appearance, except for the good things, is rarely a pleasant topic. Try not to mention about somebody’s weight or age or mismatched clothes. Instead, compliment the person on something. Tell him that his hair looks great or his face is radiant.

  4. Find a common ground.
    Find a topic that both we and our interlocutor can relate to and that can possibly be extended to a longer conversation. For example, favourite sports, favourite TV shows, favourite teachers, etc. Who knows by the end of the conversation, we already recommend new TV shows to watch to each other?

  5. Tell something about ourselves, but not too much.
    We can start with something we like but we should also ask our interlocutor’s opinion. Remember, if the interlocutor feels like we never give him a chance to speak, he can easily get bored.

  6. Listen well.
    Not only will our interlocutor feel appreciated, listening well and paying attention can also help us find more common grounds, which means more topics to talk about.

  7. Mention about hanging out again.
    If you really enjoy talking to each other, express your interest to meet again. We can try saying, “We should talk more about this over coffee,” or something similar.

  8. Say goodbye nicely.
    Although small talk is often a pastime during a certain event, we should make our interlocutor feel important. Therefore, when we bid adieu, we should also express that we hope to hear from our interlocutor.

We can say:
“I’ll see you around.”
“I hope we can meet again soon.”
“It’s been a pleasure talking to you.”

All in all, our eloquence can always be improved by practicing more. As the saying goes, “Practice makes perfect.”

So never get tired of practicing, fellas. Try making small talks with your friends and teacher every day in English.

 

Compiled and written by @alicesaraswati for @EnglishTips4U on Monday, 3 April 2017.

 

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#EngTips: Nosy Questions and How to Answer Them

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#EngTrivia: Expressions in English and Their Indonesian Counterparts (2)

Hello, dear fellas! How are you?

Last week, we talked about expressions and their possible translations to Indonesian. If you missed it, check it out here: https://englishtips4u.com/2016/10/10/engtrivia-expressions-in-english-and-their-indonesian-counterparts/

Now, we’re going to continue with part 2. Are you ready?

  1. ‘It’s a fair cop!’, something we say if somebody caught us doing something wrong.
    Indonesian: ‘Yah, ketahuan, deh!’
    Example:
    “You said you were on a diet! Why are you eating ice cream?” | “It’s a fair cop!” #EngTrivia
  2. ‘Way to go!’, expressing approval, pleasure, or excitement.
    Indonesian: ‘Selamat! Kamu hebat!’
    Example:
    “Congratulations on your acting debut! Way to go!” #EngTrivia
  1. ‘I get the picture’, meaning we understand the situation.
    Indonesian: ‘Oh, aku ngerti maksudnya.’
    Example:
    “You could not meet me, but you were going out with your friends? Oh, I get the picture!” #EngTrivia
  2. ‘Not on good/speaking terms’, meaning two parties are not on friendly situation or not speaking.
    Indonesian: ‘Lagi musuhan’.
    Example:
    “You wouldn’t want to put Janet and John in the same team. They are currently not on speaking terms.” #EngTrivia
  3. ‘To come of age’. It means to reach adulthood.
    Indonesian: ‘Sudah cukup umur’.
    Example:
    “You’ll get my permission to bring the car when you’ve come of age and had a license.” #EngTrivia
  4. ‘As it happens/just so happens’ is another way of saying ‘as a matter of fact’.
    Indonesian: ‘Sebenarnya…’
    Example:
    “As it happens, I’ve booked the flight earlier. Just in case.” #EngTrivia
  5. ‘Come to think of it’, used when an idea or point occurs to someone while he’s speaking.
    Indonesian: ‘Kalau dipikir-pikir…’
    Example:
    “We’ll need to work overtime. Come to think of it, we’ve taken overtime four days in a week now.” #EngTrivia
  1. ‘Oh, what a giveaway!’, said when we revealed something we should have not.
    Indonesian: ‘Aduh, keceplosan.’
    Example:
    “I didn’t eat all the cakes, only four of five!” | “What? But you’re on a diet!” | “Oh, what a giveway!” #EngTrivia

 

There you go, fellas! Should you have any questions, comments, or ideas, let us know via mention or write them at www.englishtips4u.com. Don’t forget to check the recap of this session later, as it will also be complete with examples. Thank you for being with me, fellas!

 

Compiled by @alicesaraswati for @EnglishTips4U on Monday, 10 October, 2016.

#EngTrivia: Expressions in English and Their Indonesian Counterparts

Hello, everyone! Good evening! How was your day so far?

On learning language, I feel like I have to understand what a word or phrase means before being able to use it. Do you also feel the same?

When watching a movie or listening to a song, sometimes there are English word that we cannot just completely translate to our mother language.

For example, I had to Google what ‘Kudos’ means to explain it to my cousin when she heard in a movie and she thought it was ‘kiddos’.

So, tonight’s session will be on certain phrases or expressions in English and what they mean, as well as their Indonesian counterparts.

  1. Let’s start with ‘kudos’ that I mentioned earlier. It’s another way of saying ‘You’re great!’
    In Indonesian, it’s ‘Wah, hebat!’
    Example:
    “Mom, I just won the spelling bee!” | “Kudos, kiddo!” #EngTrivia
  2. ‘Ditto’, meaning ‘I agree with you’.
    Indonesian: ‘Baru mau bilang gitu’.
    Example:
    “I think we need more people in our studying group.” | “Ditto.” #EngTrivia
  3. ‘Not so/too fast’, used to stop what somebody’s doing, to slow down somebody when speaking or making a move, or to tell somebody not to be too eager to do something.
    Indonesian: ‘Eh, entar dulu!’
    Example:
    “Dad, I’m hanging out with my friends.” | “Not so fast. Did you finish your homework?” #EngTrivia
  4. ‘I’m a sucker for…’ means ‘I really like…’
    Indonesian: ‘Aku suka banget…’
    Example:
    “I’m a sucker for sci-fi movies, the likes of Star Wars, Avatar, Interstellar, and so on.” #EngTrivia
  5. ‘That’s putting me off’ is another way to say ‘That makes me lose my interest.’
    Indonesian: ‘Jadi ilfeel’.
    Example:
    “The way this candidate talks about war really puts me off.” #EngTrivia
  6. ‘Doing something for sports’ means doing it only for amusement.
    Indonesian: ‘Ya, seneng aja gitu’.
    Example:
    “Be careful with that teacher. He likes giving impromptu tests for sports.” #EngTrivia
  7. ‘Touché!’, meaning ‘You’ve got a point!’
    Indonesian: ‘Nah, itu!’
    Example:
    “Just because he stutters, doesn’t mean we should not listen to what he has to say.” | “Touché!” #EngTrivia
  8. ‘Send one’s regards’, meaning ‘send someone’s greetings to somebody else’.
    Indonesian: ‘Titip salam.’
    Example:
    “The Lannisters send their regards.” #EngTrivia

 

Alright, fellas, those are some English expressions with their Indonesian counterparts. Any questions or comments, just tweet us.

Please remember, fellas, using the expressions I just tweeted doesn’t mean what you’ve been using is incorrect. The expressions help to add some ‘spices’ to your daily conversations.

Thank you for being with me, fellas! Today’s #EngTrivia is a wrap! Check out our site http://www.englishtips4u.com for other interesting topics.

 

Compiled by @alicesaraswati for @EnglishTips4U on Monday, 3 October, 2016. 

#EngClass: Word Stress

Hi, fellas! Was today a good day? Or perhaps you just went through a stressful day? I hope not, but if you happen to have had a stressful day, how about putting those stressful events behind and learn to put a stress in a word instead? Yes, today we’re going to learn about word stress.

In English, we don’t pronounce every syllable (suku kata) in a word with the same strength. When saying a word, we put a stress (emphasis) in one syllable, and pronounce the other syllable(s) more quietly. Stressing a syllable means we say it a little longer or louder or with a higher pitch than the other syllables.

Every English word has one stressed syllable, and it’s important to stress the right syllable when we speak. Word stress helps the listeners tell one word apart from another. For instance, if you hear two stressed syllables, you hear two words. It helps us understand a speaker who speaks very fast.

Stressing the wrong syllable in a word can make the word difficult to hear, and therefore the listener can’t understand us. Stressing different syllable can even change the meaning of some words. For example, if you stress the first syllable in the word present, it’s a noun that means gift. But if you stress the second syllable (present), it becomes a verb that means to offer.

So how do we know which syllable to stress? Here are some general rules that you can follow:

  1. Stress the first syllable of most two-syllable nouns and adjectives, e.g., table, happy
  2. Stress the last syllable of most two-syllable verbs, e.g., decide, begin
  3. Stress the second-to-last syllable of words that end in –ic, –sion, and –tion, e.g., geographic, expansion, attention
  4. Stress the third-from-last syllable of words that end in –cy, –ty, –phy, –gy, and –al, e.g., democracy, uncertainty, geography, biology, critical

But there are some exceptions and many types of words that are not covered by those rules, so you should check the dictionary to be sure. Different dictionaries have different ways to mark the stressed syllable. Now, take a look at the pronunciation guide below the defined word in your dictionary.

  • Oxford Dictionary and Collins Dictionary: an apostrophe (‘) shows that the following syllable is stressed. Example: prəˈnaʊns means we stress the nounce in pronounce.
  • Dictionary.com: the stressed syllable is marked bold. Example: pruh-nouns

If you think, “I can’t possibly memorize the stressed syllable for every word in the dictionary!” You’re right. Perhaps the best way is to learn by practice. If you practice listening until you’re familiar enough with spoken English, I’m sure you’ve also learned the word stress. You just don’t realize it. Fluent English speakers use word stress all the time without thinking about it. It’s kind of the same way we use intonation in our sentences in Bahasa Indonesia.

So, now that we know that word stress is the key to understanding spoken English, we know why it’s important to learn English by listening. Listening can help you learn to speak English properly so that people understand you better. We actually have some #EngTips for you on that very topic: How to improve your English listening skill.

I hope this post has been useful for you, fellas. Have a good day!

(Source: teachingenglish.org.uk, englishclub.com, dictionary.com, oxforddictionaries.com)

Compiled and written by @fafafin for @EnglishTips4U on September 8, 2016

#EngTrivia: Commonly mispronounced words

Sometimes while we’re reading, we find a new word which we don’t know how to pronounce, at least until we check the dictionary or consult our teachers. In this article, we are going to discuss several commonly mispronounced words.

  1. Buffet.
    • We, in Indonesia, often mispronounce this word as ‘boo-fet,’ while the correct pronunciation is ‘bəˈfā’ (buh-fé).
  2. Ibiza.
    • It’s pronounced ‘ee-bee-tha’ instead of ‘ee-bee-tza.’
  3. Determine.
    • I often mispronounce this word, too. I say ‘dee-ter-mine’ while the correct pronunciation is ‘dee-ter-meen.’
  4. Doubt and debt.
    • The letter ‘b’ in both words is silent, so the words are pronounced ‘dout’ and ‘det.’
  5. Bear.
    • It’s pronounced ‘be(ə)r’ instead of ‘beer’ (drink).
  6. Duty.
    • The correct pronunciation is ‘d(y)o͞otē,’ not ‘duh-tee.’
  7. Sword.
    • The word has silent ‘w’, and it’s pronounced ‘sôrd.’
  8. Angle.
    • The word is pronounced ‘aNGgəl’ not to be confused with ‘angel (ānjəl).
  9. Would, should, could.
    • Again, the ‘l’ is silent, so the words are pronounced ‘wood’, ‘shood’, and ‘kood.
  10. Castle.
    • Instead of ‘kastel’, the word is pronounced ‘kasəl.’

There you go, fellas! Albeit being a short one, I hope this #EngTrivia article is useful for you. Whenever you learn a new word, learn also how to pronounce it correctly so your interlocutor can understand you perfectly. Thank you very much for reading this article!

Compiled by @alicesaraswati for @EnglishTips4U on Monday, May 23, 2016

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#EngTips: How to be a great public speaker

Hi, fellas! Here are some tips for better public speaking skill. Check them out!

1. Define the purpose of your speaking, whether you want to inform, inspire, or persuade your audience. Knowing your ultimate purpose will help you stay focused through the preparation process.

2. Start to prepare your material by doing a deep research from A-Z of things you wanna talk about. Then pick a few powerful ideas that your audience will remember. Make it as simple as possible.

3. Memorize your concept instead of all the content. Do this by creating bullet points of the content, stories, and data.

4. If you use slides, make sure that eyes are on you, not the slides.

5. Here are some tips for your slide presentation.

6. Meet and chat up with your audience in advance to warm you up and make more engagement.

7.Try to connect with your audience by being self-effacing, humorous and real.

8. Tell your own stories to make your messages more memorable.

9. Keep the audience involved by asking question. Ask them to give some examples or tell their stories.

10. Last but not least, master your speaking by practicing regularly. Because we all know that practice make perfect.

Good luck with your public speaking, fellas! :)

Source:

 

Compiled and written by @AnienditaR at @EnglishTips4u on Saturday, April 30, 2016

 

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#EngTrivia: Important phrases in an airport

Bali-Airport-Lounge-50.jpg
(Source: onemileatatime.boardingarea.com)

This time, we are going to discuss some important phrases you might find in an airport.

You might find these phrases/questions important when you are planning to go abroad. Thus, mark them somewhere in case you need it someday so that you may prepare what to answer when asked.

Phrases when you check-in

  1. ‘Your passport and ticket, please.”
    Meaning: Toling perlihatkan tiket dan paspormu.
  2. “Are you checking-in any bags?”
    Meaning: Ada tas yang mau disimpan di bagasi pesawat?
  3. “Would you like a window or an aisle seat?”
    Meaning: Mau duduk di samping jendela atau di samping lorong?
  4. “There’s an excess baggage charge of $XX.”
    Meaning: Ada biaya kelebihan bagasi sebesar $XX.
  5. “Did you pack your bags yourself?”
    Meaning: Anda mengepak tas Anda sendiri?
  6. “Has anyone had access to your bags in the meantime?”
    Meaning: Ada yang membuka tas kamu beberapa saat lalu?
  7. “Do you have any liquids or sharp objects in your hand baggage?”
    Meaning: Ada cairan atau benda tajam di tas jinjing/backpackmu?

Phrases in security check area.

  1. “Could you put any metallic objects into the tray, please?”
    Meaning: Tolong letakkan semua barang berbahan metal di nampan/baki.
  2. “Please empty your pockets and put the contents in the tray.”
    Meaning: Kosongkan kantong Anda dan letakkan isinya di baki.
  3. Please take your laptop out of its case.”
    Meaning: Keluarkan laptop Anda dari tempat/tas/sarungnya.

That’s all. Hope they help you prepare your travel better. Bon voyage!

Source: https://www.speaklanguages.com/english/phrases/travelling-by-air

 

Compiled and written by @wisznu at @EnglishTips4u on Thursday, February 18, 2016

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#UKSlang: UK slang (9)

Good evening, fellas! How has your day been? I hope it’s been fun. I spent mine in campus, it was fun yet leave my cream crackered right now.  :D

In tonight session, I’d like to share some #UKSlang. Are you guys interested? Check them out, fellas!

  1. Absobloodylootely. Meaning: to agree with someone highly in a rather enthusiastic fashion.
    • Example:
      • Q: Are you going to do?
      • A: Absobloodylootely!
  1. Bob’s your uncle. Meaning: “there you have it!” or “everything is alright.”
    • Example:
      • “You just have to take the first left, and Bob’s your uncle –There’s the restaurant!”
  1. Cream crackered. Meaning: to be really tired and exhausted.
    • Example:
      • “Sorry, I can’t come to your party. I’m cream crackered.”
  1. Chock-a-block. Meaning: closely packed together; extremely full; crowded.
    • Example:
      • “Books piled chock-a-block on the narrow shelf.”
  1. Tickety-boo. Meaning: as it should be; going smoothly; fine.
    • Example:
      • “You don’t have to worry, everything is Tickety-boo.”
  1. Twee. Meaning: overly dainty, delicate, cute, or quaint.
    • Example:
      • “Her bunny-themed tea set is so utterly twee.”
  1. Queer street. Meaning: a difficult situation, such as debt or bankruptcy
    • Example:
      • “Stop buying unnecessary things, that’ll land you in Queer Street!”

It’s a wrap for now. Thank you for joining me. I hope it has been useful for you and…. Have a great day, fellas!


Compiled and written by @AnienditaR at @EnglishTips4U on Saturday, November 7 , 2015

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#EngKnowledge: The birth of British and American Accents

All this time, we have been learning about the difference between British and American accent. You know it when you hear it. But have you ever wondered how these two accents came to be? Online magazine Mental Floss tried to answer the big question in the article “When did Americans lose their British accent?” As you may have known, the history of these two countries are strongly related.

The first English colony in the land that would be America arrived in Jamestown, Virginia, in 1667. They certainly carried the language and accent that they used in their homeland, England. So how did their accent change? Now here comes the most interesting part … It wasn’t the American accent that went through changes, it was the British accent! The current American accent is actually much closer to the ‘original’ British accent.

We must first remember that British and American accents are very diverse. There are various accents used in the UK, such as Geordie, cockney, or Yorkshire. American accents also varied. There are Southern accent, and even black people have their own accent.

What we call “British accent” is actually a standardised Received Pronounciation (RP). Also known as Public School English or BBC English. What we call “American accent” is actually ‘general American accent’ or ‘newscaster accent’ or ‘Network English.’

Back to the story about the English colony in America. Remember, we first had the technology to record human voice in 1860. 300 years after the colony arrived, the difference between the British and American accents was already apparent. Since recording technology wasn’t available in those 300 years, we can’t say for sure when the change happened. But changes in British society might provide us the clue to the answer.
To explain that, first we need to know the major difference between British and American accent: Rhotacism.

Rhotacism is the excessive use of the letter ‘R’ in pronunciation. American accent is rhotic and speakers pronounce the ‘R’ in words such as ‘hard’. Meanwhile, British accent is non-rhotic, making the way they pronounce ‘hard’ sounds more like ‘hahd’.

In the 19th century, there was a hot trend among the upper and upper middle class in southern England to become non-rhotic. The trend was to not pronounce the ‘R’. It became the signifier of class and status. This posh accent was later standardised as Received Pronunciation, and being taught widely by tutors to social climbers.

Slowly but sure, the accent spread across England and is being used by people across levels and professions. Across the pond, there were also societal changes that further strengthen the use of American accent. Big cities like New York, Chicago, and Detroit became the new centers of economic power in the region. The cities are populated by Scots-Irish and North English migrants. Southern English elites have no significance in there. The Received Pronunciation then lost its influence among people in the cities.

Source: Mental Floss

#EngVocab Extra

  1. Came to be. Arti: asal mulanya.
  2. Strongly related. Arti: berhubungan erat.
  3. Apparent. Arti: nyata, terlihat, tampak.
  4. Signifier. Arti: penanda.
  5. Posh. Arti: mewah.
  6. Social climber. Arti: orang yg ingin meningkatkan status sosial (dengan memakai barang mewah, mengubah cara bicara).
  7. Across the pond. Arti: di seberang Lautan Atlantik, cara orang Inggris menyebut Amerika.
  8. Societal change. Arti: perubahan masyarakat.
  9. Further strengthen. Arti: semakin memperkuat.

 

Compiled by @animenur for @EnglishTips4U on Sunday, May 17, 2015

 

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#EngTalk: Spelling noises? (1)

We are back with David Crystal’s ‘Spell It Out’ today and this time is about…

Spelling noises… is there such a thing? What do you think?

So according to Crystal: “We also need to spell the emotional noises that form a part of conversation. A phonetic spelling turns out not to be so easy to achieve.”

Hmmm…. (That’s one)

So, “spoken language is more than words and sentences”, it “contains quite a few isolated noises” to express emotions called interjections

For example – When we want to “convey throat-clearing” we would use

Ahem

Eham”, “Mhumh”, won’t work

Yet its earlier version, in the 18th century, it would be only

Hem!”

Interjections can be either:

  1. we use sounds at the back of our mouth such as expressing disgust e.g. yuk, ugh, blech
  2. using both lips such as to to express relief e.g. phew, whew
  3. produce a click noise with our tongue such as to express disapproval or irritation e.g. tut – from the 16th century or tck – as Rudyard Kipling would write it, or tsk – popular in the 1940s

Some of these noises spelling are actually “breaking the rules” as they become words with no vowels

Other example would be brr (expressing feeling cold), grr (expressing irritation), shh (be quiet!), pst (calling someone silently) and hmmmm (expressing the person is thinking)

just like what I did in the beginning :)

Hope this #EngTalk has been useful for you! Still curious of this whole noises spelling?

Stay tuned for more next time :)

Compiled and written by @daedonghae at @EnglishTips4u on December 27, 2015

Source: David Crystal’s “Spell it Out”

 

 

#USSlang: American slang (18)

  1. At sea. Meaning: bingung.
    • Example:
      • “Mary is at sea now. She couldn’t answer the test. We should leave her alone.”
  2. Badical. Meaning: sangat bagus.
    • Example:
      • “Ryan’s performance was badical last night. He got so many compliments.”
  3. Hit the books. Meaning: belajar.
    • Example:
      • “Luke, you’ve to stop playing. It’s time to hit the books or you won’t pass the final exams.”
  4. King size. Meaning: sangat besar.
    • Example:
      • “The burger is king size. I can’t eat it alone, let’s eat it together.”
  5. Make tracks. Meaning: pergi.
    • Example:
      • “What are you doing? It’s time for us to make tracks. Hurry!”
  6. Nook. Meaning: masalah.
    • Example:
      • “Who’s gonna solve the nook? You’re the one who made it, Jim.”
  7. Zeen. Meaning: mengerti.
    • Example:
      • “I’m so tired, please leave me alone, zeen?”
  8. Vege out. Meaning: tidak melakukan apa-apa.
    • Example:
      • “I want to vege out in my room this weekend. So don’t call me, kay.”
  9. Scrilla. meaning: uang.
    • Example:
      • “Don’t even ask him to buy you dinner. He doesn’t have scrilla. He just lost his job last week.”

 

Compiled and written by @iisumarni at @EnglishTips4U  on Thursday, April 4, 2013

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#UKSlang: “Bloody hell!”

Before we begin this #UKSlang session, I’d like you to check out the above video.

It’s a TV commercial by Tourism Australia (Badan Pariwisata Australia), meant to attract international travellers to visit. Released in 2007, the commercial created a huge controversy.

The commercial shows a group of Australian preparing themselves to greet tourists. It ended with the slogan. This is where the controversy is!

2015/01/img_5934.jpg

In this article, we will be discussing “Bloody hell” – its history, how it’s used, and the controversy!

“Bloody hell” is a curse word commonly used in United Kingdom and Commonwealth countries.

There are 2 ways to use it:

  1. As an exclamation (seruan).
    • Example:
      • Bloody Hell! Did you just posted a pic of me sleeping on Instagram?”
    • We use it like we use “Damn it!” in American slang.
  2. Another way is to include them in a sentence the way we use “Fuck” in American slang.
    • Example:
      • “Why the bloody hell didn’t you send the letters?”
    • “Bloody hell” is considered rude, but different country has different view on how rude it is.

In the UK, the media are not even allowed to print the words. It has to be censored into “b___y“. But in Australia, they are more relaxed about it. That’s why the words appeared in the TV commercial!

When it was first released in the UK, the Tourism Australia caused a stir and ended up being banned because of the words. For the British, the TV commercial was too rude, whilst Australians have no problem with it at all. It’s interesting how even for these English-speaking countries, cultural clash can still happen. Even the Australian Minister of Tourism Fran Bailey had to visit UK to lobby for the commercial to be shown.

But why does “bloody hell” considered rude? There different stories on its origin.

Many sources claim that it is rude because it is ‘blasphemous’ (menghina agama). Some say the words sounds violent because it reminds people of wars.

Others say the words were borrowed from German word “blode” which means “silly, stupid.”

Imagine how it was like when Ron Weasley said “bloody hell” many times in Harry Potter movies, which aimed for kids :D

Either way, “bloody hell” had become a curse word that feels distinctively British.

Here’s a funny video of all the “bloody hell” Ron Weasley said in Harry Potter movies:

“but, i don’t think ‘bloody hell’ is as rude as ‘fuck’, imo :/” – @purwamel

Yup! But apparently the British government thought it was too rude for a TV commercial.

“Is it same with another curse such as “shit” ?” – @ChristinaJeje

Yes. It is quite similar.

“huh? But once I watched Tp Ger on BB*, where one of the presenters said the words, uncensored.” – @afrizalfp

I think there might be a different regulation for commercials, print media, and movies/series.

“If it can make it into such movies (and maybe books, but I don’t quite remember), why so much fuss about it in commercials?” – @RAKemal

Hmmm… we’re not quite sure. Anyone knows why? Please leave a comment down below.

“That’s what I thought. Just that, I’m not sure. Either way, “bloody hell” sounds cooler than “fuck”, though not always.” – @afrizalfp

Image source: adweek.com

Compiled and written by @animenur for @EnglishTips4U on Sunday, January 18, 2015

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#USSlang: American slang (17)

  1. Babbage. Meaning: fake.
    • Example:
      • “I know for sure that Alicia’s LV bag is babbage.”
  2. Close call. Meaning: a very dangerous situation.
    • Example:
      • “Drew had a close call with her teacher when she opened her notes during the test yesterday.”
  3. Dead presidents. Meaning: money.
    • Example:
      • “Ray, lend me some dead presidents. My Mom won’t give me.”
  4. Fuzz. Meaning: police.
    • Example:
      • “Damien was picked by the fuzz last year after he stole some CDs.”
  5. Gasser. Meaning: something hillarious.
    • Example:
      • “You shouldn’t miss Jackie Chan’s new film. It’s a real gasser!”
  6. Hecka. Meaning: very.
    • Example:
      • “I really like your dress. It’s a hecka adorable.”
  7. Mutt. Meaning: dog.
    • Example:
      • “Heath, what’s your mutt’s name? It’s so cute.”
  8. Nada. Meaning: nothing.
    • Example:
      • “I asked my father to give me some money and he gave me nada.”
  9. Radioactive. Meaning: very popular.
    • Example:
      • “It’s not possible for you to be her friend. She’s radioactive. You’re a geek.”

Compiled and written by @iisumarni at @EnglishTips4U  on Thursday, March 7, 2013

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#EngTips: Polite vs. not polite

In this opportunity, I want to share to you about “polite and not polite”. I think this is important, so pay attention, please. :)

What does being polite mean?

  1. Being polite means showing consideration for the feelings or wishes of others.
  2. Sometimes we have to be more polite than at other times.
  3. In general, the people we wish to be more polite to are ‘important’ people or strangers.
  4. The usual rule is: ‘The more words you use, the more polite you are!’

isn’t that definition refer to “being considerate” –

Yes, being polite also means being considerate & respectful. – @EnglishTips4U

Let’s see these examples:

  • Not polite: ‘Min, reply my DM!’
  • Polite: ‘Hi, min. Could you please reply my DM? Thanks a bunch.’

Which of the two sentences is more likely to get a response from our admin? Can you see the difference, fellas?

The more words you use, the more polite the sentence gets. Take a look at the picture for examples.

It’s not necessary to be so very polite to friends, equals, or members of our family, unless they are old. To make a sentence a little more polite, you can add ‘please.’ Also, you can offer an explanation for your request.

Let’s see this example:

“My campus is going to hold an event and we need your help. Could you please check your DM? Thank you.”

Usually you will be more polite to people such as your boss, teacher, and also to people you don’t know well, old people, etc.

If you want to be very polite, like talking to a stranger, you can say:

  1. ‘Would you mind + V-ing ?’
  2. ‘Could you possibly + V1 ?’

In requests, it is generally polite to use a question form, and a tentative form like ‘would.’

Another way to be polite is to give a hint, so that the other person can guess what you want.

Let’s see this example:

  • A: ‘Hi, B. We can’t seem to find your email.’
  • B: ‘Oh, do you want me to resend my email?’
  • A: ‘Yes, please.’

In English, it is polite to:

  1. Greet people when you see them.
  2. Talk about them first.
  3. Use ‘please’ and ‘thank you.’
  4. Say ‘sorry’ if you do anything wrong, however small.
  5. Say ‘excuse me’ if you ask someone in the street.

Well, that’s all this lesson on ‘polite & not polite’. Hope it’s useful. Don’t forget to practice what you have learned. :)

Source: An A – Z of English Grammar & Usage by Geoffrey Leech et al.

Compiled and written by @NenoNeno at @EnglishTips4U on Thursday, June 19, 2014

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#EngTips: how to cope with awkwardness when trying to speak in English

We received a question from a fella earlier about speaking. I hope perhaps you can help suggest what’s best for her. Here it is..

So the question was: how to cope with awkwardness (rasa canggung) when trying to speak in English. Have you experienced the same?

: just be confident.”

When it comes to speaking, sometimes it’s a matter of habit. When you feel awkward it means you’re not used to it. :)

A good first step is to get good input. It is said that you will never be able to utter a word if you have never heard of it.

And unlike bahasa Indonesia, English’s spelling is totally different from its pronunciation. That’s why reading only is not enough.

Many of my students say that they can’t speak English fluently because they don’t have enough vocabulary. Do you agree?

By saying vocabulary, it is not only limited to words, but can also be phrases, sentences, expressions, idioms, etc.

I like to think our memory is like a cupboard. You put what you listen/read in it, and that includes the vocabulary you get.

Now imagine.. If you never listen/read anything, do you think that that cupboard will ever be filled by something? Like Vocabulary?

Good input produces good output. Oftentimes the problem is there isn’t enough input. In other words, we don’t listen enough.

Because we don’t listen enough, no wonder we don’t know what to say. Because we rarely see how others respond to a situation. :)

So my first on how to speak English is simple: listen a lot! The next tips? Well, that will be our topic next time. Stay tuned. :)

Compiled and written by @NenoNeno at @EnglishTips4U on October 1, 2014

#EngTalk: The Size of English Spelling Problem

So fellas, we talked about English Spelling and its complication last week based on David Crystal’s book “Spell it Out”…

Today, we are going to find out just how much is “the size” of this English spelling problem or complication

According to Crystal,

“The origins of spelling difficulties in English lie in the fact that there are far more sounds in the language than there are letters.”

So how many distinctive sounds are there?

E.g. From pip, then change first sound to: tip, sip, hip, lip That gives a: p, t, s, h, l

Then we could change to second sound

E.g. Pip, pop, pup, peep That gives us i, o, u, ee

These are called “phonemes”. So, how many “phonemes” are there in English?

The answer is

“depends on the regional accent we have, but for many people the total is forty-four (44)”

Crystal shared that there are around twenty four (24) consonant phonemes, as seen here

phonemes1_2

This is only based on the consonant phonemes of British Received Pronunciation and General American

And between these accents, it varied around twenty (20) vowel phonemes

Here are the vowel phonemes stated

phonemes2_2

phonemes3

If you see a colon (:) after a symbol then it means that the sound is long with a single phonetic quality

If there is a combination of two symbols then the sound is long because it has two distinct phonetic qualities (“diphthongs”)

“Diphthongs” play a particular role in English spelling history

As has been shared above, these phonemes are only from British Received Pronunciation and General American

Other accents such as Canadian, Australian, Irish, Indian, even Cockney from England, might have more 

For example, in Cockney accent, fin – thin, vat – that, sounds the same or said either way

According to Crystal, the total of the phonemes in different English accents, including its consonants & vowels, are all up to forty

So “to write them all down in a completely regular way, we would need an alphabet of the same size. And that is what we haven’t got”

Crystal continued, “We have an alphabet of twenty-six letters. How are we going to spell forty + phonemes with twenty-six letters?”

To conclude, Crystal stated interestingly,

“That, in a nutshell, is the problem of English spelling”

So here we are today, with the English language that has gone Global – so has the “English spelling problem” got bigger? 

With Crystal’s explanation, I think it is understandable why English would be a complicated language

Yet, in the same time, can be a very interesting language to learn, plus explore 

So if you are learning English right now, keep learning it, understand its characteristics, and you will eventually master it :D

Thank you for your kind attention, fellas :) I hope this #EngTalk session is useful for you :D

Compiled and written by @daedonghae at @EnglishTips4u on November 22, 2014

Source: This session was taken from “Spell It Out” by David Crystal, please do search or Google about him if you want to know more :)

#EngKnowledge: Spell It Out! by David Crystal

 One thing for sure this Saturday… there will be an #EngKnowledge… on…. this question…

“Why on earth is — spelled like that?”

Name one time you did not ask that question in your life? Or at least “How do you spell it?”

Adding to what admin Patty has discussed previously ->http://ow.ly/EiPBw, English spelling has been always questioned

Taken from David Crystal’s book “Spell it Out”, it is stated that the background of someone learning English spelling constitutes of “twofold”:

1. “Children learning to read and write English as a mother-tongue”

2. “The vast number of children and adults who are learning English as a foreign language” 

According to Crystal, the complaint of English spelling is a result of the language’s centuries of evolution

No wonder it is difficult :/ 

“Can anything be done to facilitate the task of learning to spell English words?” Crystal believes yes, although..

..”a new pedagogy (way of teaching) will take a while to implement”

To be honest, it is not all doom and gloom if you cannot spell an English word

Crystal stated:

“Society expects us to spell perfectly. And yet we are all aware that there are some words in the language that we don’t know how to spell, and have to look them up before we write them. There are no exceptions.”

Crystal continued, “Nobody knows how to spell every word in the language. Even the brilliant spellers who win prizes in spelling bees get some words wrong.”

Crystal creates this book to break down the spelling problem. He does it by EXPLAINING it.

Crystal stated that “some people think spelling reform is the best way forward” yet to him, the first step is to understand it

To Crystal, understanding the present English spelling system would not be the whole solution, “but it’s half the battle”

So, fellas, do not worry if you didn’t get an English word spelling right by the first attempt :)

More on David Crystal’s Spell It Out can be Googled, or stay tuned with us as next week, more bits of it will be discussed :)

Compiled and written by @daedonghae at @EnglishTips4u on November 15, 2014

Source: “Spell It Out” Introduction by David Crystal, 2013

#EngTrivia: Is there such thing as Internet Dialect? Feat. @PBSIdeaChannel

Here’s a question for our #EngTrivia session today,

Do you believe there is an internet dialect?

Today’s session is based on “Are There Internet Dialects?” By @PBSIdeaChannel presented by @mikerugnetta

According to them, accents can’t exist on the internet as it is written (non verbal even though you are literally saying it (verbally) inside your head

So, in internet’s case, how we talk is a dialect which includes how we use the language, where English is the Lingua Franca – the common language for all natives – Smiley, hashtags, abbreviations, acronyms, “semi unconscious the use of selfie” are part of it

General English in the internet would be an e-mail from your colleague about certain events

Such animated GIFs (animated pictures) and Tumblr are powerfully expressive

Yet the use of (English) language in Tumblr could be lowercase and no punctuation

e.g., “tbh I literally say ‘literally and tbh’ literally all the time tbh”

“tbh” in itself can be talked thoroughly why and how it is used so this comes to how words and its usage

Mike said, it might be the “community value” that causes it like that

i.e., Tumblr seems more vulnerable, there is sensitivity

So…. does that mean it is not an internet dialect? It is just feelings revealed? How do we actually know it is a dialect?

Community is people who do things together – doing it in a cultural and social context

There are practices which are social practices with untold rules of thumbs existing

e.g., well tuned sensitivity, shared world views; might be coming from the way a community is educated, its interest, professions

Penelope Eckhert stated that speakers develop their linguistic view in the community they participate in – forms of participation and community practice are mutually constructed

So the way you communicate seems to influence and be influenced by the surroundings, in this case the internet itself

Facebookish, Twitterish, Tumblrish could just be the few internet dialects

as we would or could use different ways of speaking in certain social media or platforms that we use or we are in

So, as @mikerugnetta would say it, “what do you guys think?” It seems that this is an interesting phenomenon..

Internet language has existed for a while now and there are different kinds, even might be in development

So internet could be a hometown where you get your English dialect, as it is a (global) region, a community, it has people in it

And of course to most, it will be considered informal to the formal usage of English as it is a dialect from a region

That’s it for today’s #EngTrivia, I hope you have enjoyed it :)

For more about it, click – http://youtu.be/SDPasRas5u0  “Are There Internet Dialects?” By @PBSIdeaChannel presented by @mikerugnetta

 

Compiled and written by @daedonghae at @EnglishTips4u on October 4, 2014

 

Source: http://youtu.be/SDPasRas5u0  “Are There Internet Dialects?” By @PBSIdeaChannel presented by @mikerugnetta