“That dog don’t hunt…” 🤔 ??

“That dog don’t hunt…” 🤔 ??

It’s up to Anglophones to learn how to speak their language within a global community

“With non-native English speakers now vastly outnumbering native speakers, it’s up to the latter to be more adaptable, says Neil Shaw, intercultural fluency lead at the British Council, the UK’s international educational and cultural body.

About 1.75 billion people worldwide speak English at a useful level, and by 2020 it’s expected to be two billion, according to the British Council…”

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6 thoughts on ““That dog don’t hunt…” 🤔 ??

  1. I’ve heard from several places that native English speakers are at a disadvantage. They have to “dumb down” their language to be fully understood, negating much of the benefit of being a native speaker, and many don’t have a second language they are fluent in.

  2. Sigh. When I worked in Europe I had to learn French and German. French I’d spoken as a child in Africa and the French laughed at my African accent. Thought it hilarious, to hear an American speaking African French. So I tidied up my French. Went to Germany, to Franken. Learned German. Had to tidy that up too, got rid of the Bayrisch bits.

    Married a Guatemalan. Learned Spanish, had to clean that up to get the K’iche words out. Worked for Japanese for 15 years. Japanese was by far the hardest.

    Basically, if you speak English as a second language and you’re in my country, you will get the same treatment I wanted to get when I was in your country. I will speak clear English, as I’ve had to do all my life. I will correct your English. I will correct your grammar. I will explain the idiomatic phrases. I’ll even interpret for you. Because I’ve been there – sorry, that’s an idiomatic phrase, isn’t it ? I’ve been the guy with his hand to his ear, making the I Don’t Understand face.

    But if I’m trying to speak your language in your country, you keep those same thoughts in mind. A few people helped me along the way, trying to learn your language, many of whom I had to pay to do it. But most didn’t. When I was trying to speak German, they thought they could just speak their wretched English to me in Kitzingen, supplemented with borrowed US Army profanity. Well, the Americans had many long years to make the townspeople hate them. I wasn’t one of them. I did try. I had to find people who wouldn’t speak English to me, to I could learn German.

    In summary, no, I don’t have to learn some other nation’s ersatz English. I’ll learn their language outright. Half the reason their English sounds so bizarre in my ears is because they’re making too-literal translations from their own language. I am not monolingual, I accept that I’ll have to speak clear English, avoid idiom, that sort of thing. In return, they’ll have to accept that learning any language means drinking several thousand liters of water from the local taps. Do you want to speak English? Then you’ll learn it from a native speaker. Like me.

  3. I live in the United States. Thanks to the arrogance of previous generations I only speak English because that’s all I was taught. I did take a few years of French in High School and I’d say I know enough to order food. Admittedly, I’ve never had the need to learn another language. My children are at least learning Spanish in school now.

    I wouldn’t say I’ve “dumbed down” my English for other people, and I’ve certainly not made fun of non-native speakers.

    I imagine other languages have this problem too but there are so many accents and regional colloquialisms that it’s often difficult to communicate with other English speakers.

    I worked with some Scotts for a while and it was difficult to understand them at times due to their accents. I often had to ask them to repeat what they were saying as many as three or four times.

    The phrase Devil’s Night describes the night before Halloween. A few years ago I learned that phrase is very unique to the region of the United States I live in.

  4. I think this is more of an issue when working in international teams than when people are visiting britain.

    I have seen up to 16 nationalities in one phone conference. That means adaptation to enable smooth cooperation. Global workforces are a different beast than your scenario, so i don’t disagree with you Dan Weese​

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