What ho, dearest cousins in the Western Colonies. You appear to be increasingly using the vernacular of the mother country
. Splendid! [more inside]
is a unique online speaking dictionary that offers clear pronunciations of English words
, slang terms
, technical terms
, brand names
, proper names
, and many foreign words
, including common variations
. Astoundingly, the sound files are not computer-generated
-- every single one of the site's 138,152 entries
are enunciated in the dignified tones of British academic and polyglot Tim Bowyer
, who has steadily expanded its glossary
over the years using logs of unsuccessful searches and direct user suggestions. The site is part of Bowyer's Fonetiks.org family of language sites
, and is also available as a browser extension
and as a mobile app for iPhone/iPod
"It is the business of educated people to speak so that no-one may be able to tell in what county their childhood was passed."
Despite efforts by Victorians to eradicate them, dialects of English
in Great Britain continue to vary greatly
, much to the consternation
of many traditionalists
. But a recently acquired archive
is giving new insight into old dialects
--some of which no longer exist. Recorded in a WWI prisoner of war camp on shellac disks, the archive was part of an effort by German linguists to study regional variation in the English language. A report by PRI's The World
includes a brief synopsis--and a powerful rendition of a beloved Scottish ballad by a homesick soldier.
The Guardian is knocked for six by American sport references in British media
Creeping cultural imperialism? The effect of internet media from foreign news outlets? Or just Guardian handwringing about something no one else notices? Is British media alone in this trend?
Do Most Of You Yanks Really Understand What The Brits Here Are On About?
Although the cultural mistranslations are probably more a question of tone and habits of irony and understatement, Jeremy Smith's online American·British
, to be published next September, might be of some assistance. Although I still prefer Terry Gliedt's older but pithier United Kingdom English For The American Novice
and even Scotsman Chris Rae's English-to-American Dictionary
. Here's a little BBC quiz
to test your skills. It seems that Canadians
and [another cute quiz coming up!
] New Zealanders
are the only Metafilterians to completely capture all the varieties of English usage here. Perhaps it all comes down to the fact that non-U.S. users know much, much less about England, Scotland, Wales, Ireland, Canada, Australia, New Zealand et caetera than vice-versa? Does anyone else get the occasional feeling we're not exactly speaking the same language here?