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Old 07-14-08, 09:03 AM   #1
ax0n
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Language differences on home turf.

Later today, I'm meeting with a reporter from BBC Radio. I am in Missouri, USA.

Although I know most of the lexical differences between UK English and US English, I'm still torn. Do I expect this guy to know the intricacies of our flavor of the language and converse with him as I'd converse with anyone else here in the midwest, or do I use UK vernacular when applicable?

The reason I ask is because I also know quite a bit of Spanish, and I run into quite a few Spanish speakers out here as well. I usually just opt to speak English, expecting them to understand then switch to Spanish if I have to. I'm tempted to handle the BBC situation the same way, but the waters get muddied a bit when you're talking about dialects of the same basic language.

What would you do?
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Old 07-14-08, 09:04 AM   #2
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Speak in Chinese.
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Old 07-14-08, 10:35 AM   #3
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Speak really loud and slowly. Works in the movies and on TV.

I think I'd be just myself. I'd try to enunciate better, perhaps; but the language is pretty close enough. Just try to avoid some of the local slang, perhaps.
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Old 07-14-08, 10:40 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by ax0n View Post
Later today, I'm meeting with a reporter from BBC Radio. I am in Missouri, USA.

Although I know most of the lexical differences between UK English and US English, I'm still torn. Do I expect this guy to know the intricacies of our flavor of the language and converse with him as I'd converse with anyone else here in the midwest, or do I use UK vernacular when applicable?

The reason I ask is because I also know quite a bit of Spanish, and I run into quite a few Spanish speakers out here as well. I usually just opt to speak English, expecting them to understand then switch to Spanish if I have to. I'm tempted to handle the BBC situation the same way, but the waters get muddied a bit when you're talking about dialects of the same basic language.

What would you do?

Mirror their British accent...
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Old 07-14-08, 10:41 AM   #5
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In addition to avoiding slang, maybe avoid conjunctions... just be as proper as possible.
After all, its the same language
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Old 07-14-08, 10:42 AM   #6
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the only reason answer to your dilema is the universal language. Pantomime.
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Old 07-14-08, 10:43 AM   #7
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the only reason answer to your dilema is the universal language. Klingon.
Fixed.
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Old 07-14-08, 10:53 AM   #8
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Radio?
That means no one will know what you are wearing.
The real conundrum is your wardrobe.
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Old 07-14-08, 11:22 AM   #9
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Carefully remind them that we saved their tushes twice during the last century, they love being reminded of that. Also, ironically thank them for the Spice Girls.
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Old 07-14-08, 02:41 PM   #10
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Semaphore.

You want language differences, come visit DC.
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Old 07-14-08, 02:46 PM   #11
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Come to think of it, both of you will understand each other just fine, better than one person with a thick Cockeny accent and the other from the back woods of Tennessee.

You live in the Midwest, the Great Plains, the breeding ground for radio & TV journalists in America thanks to a lack of language-butchering accent. He's with BBC Radio, no slouch themselves in communicating with the rest of the planet.

Don't sweat it.
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Old 07-14-08, 02:48 PM   #12
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BTW, post a link if/when your interview gets published. I'd like to hear what they come up with for a story.
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Old 07-14-08, 02:51 PM   #13
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I think I'd be just myself. I'd try to enunciate better, perhaps; but the language is pretty close enough. Just try to avoid some of the local slang, perhaps.
Better yet, don't do anything different and use the local slang.

Would you want this guy to express himself according to his perceptions of how Yanks yak? Besides, I'm guessing a BBC reporter is more aware of the cultural differences between Brits and Americans than most of your listeners.

More than likely, he'll know what you mean and it will be more interesting for everyone. You can always find other ways to say things if they don't come across right the first time.
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Old 07-14-08, 02:51 PM   #14
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Just switch to Welsh when you feel like not speaking english.
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Old 07-14-08, 04:03 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by ax0n View Post
Later today, I'm meeting with a reporter from BBC Radio. I am in Missouri, USA.

Although I know most of the lexical differences between UK English and US English, I'm still torn. Do I expect this guy to know the intricacies of our flavor of the language and converse with him as I'd converse with anyone else here in the midwest, or do I use UK vernacular when applicable?
Unless you want to appear condescending, just speak as you normally would.
The differences between English and what Americans speak () is rather subtle, and both are mutually understandable to one another unless you drop deliberately into very local slang (fo' shizzle!).

The_Guru, Non-British British-English-speaking European-dwelling Non-American
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Old 07-15-08, 12:07 PM   #16
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Better yet, don't do anything different and use the local slang.

Would you want this guy to express himself according to his perceptions of how Yanks yak? Besides, I'm guessing a BBC reporter is more aware of the cultural differences between Brits and Americans than most of your listeners.

More than likely, he'll know what you mean and it will be more interesting for everyone. You can always find other ways to say things if they don't come across right the first time.
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Old 07-15-08, 12:11 PM   #17
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I think the audience expects a Yank dialect as well.
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Old 07-15-08, 12:54 PM   #18
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You're overthinking it. Speak normally, including slang except whats only common in your local area. Who knows, maybe locals have some weird name for the town's Dairy Queen or some BS, and I'd leave that out...
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Old 07-15-08, 12:57 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by supton View Post
Speak really loud and slowly. Works in the movies and on TV.

I think I'd be just myself. I'd try to enunciate better, perhaps; but the language is pretty close enough. Just try to avoid some of the local slang, perhaps.
What the guy said.

I talk with a lot of Spanish speakers too and I have the same problem but to the X degree. Every single latin-american/carribean/european spanish speaking country uses they own flavor of the language. The slangs are different, the pronunciation, the accent. You even find words that mean completely different things.
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Old 07-15-08, 12:58 PM   #20
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I used to work in a lab in Palo Alto with 4 Brits and 1 Liechtensteinian. I was the only American in the group and was forever having to "translate".
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Old 07-15-08, 06:10 PM   #21
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England and the US, two countries separated by a common language.
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