Foreign perceptions of English

Guest   Tue Apr 01, 2008 6:32 am GMT
Damian, why are you using rugby as a support for their non-gayness. Everyone knows rugby players like the scrums for more than just sport.
Damian in Edinburgh   Tue Apr 01, 2008 8:05 am GMT
Exactly! Many people do wonder just how homoerotic those rugged, ultra-masculine scrums really are - most of them do seem to linger longer than they really need to! :-) As do those steaming hot (in all senses) post game communal bathing sessions once all the scrums have ended. If you need really good examples of macho male bonding then these are it. Any sexual connotation may well be purely sub-conscious, perhaps subliminal.

I was not using rugby in the sense you mentioned. I was simply pointing out that speaking with an English English RP accent no way implies homosexuality. Any more than having the roughest of Glaswegian or Geordie or Scouse or Eastender type accent automatically precludes any homosexual tendency in the speaker.
Uriel   Wed Apr 02, 2008 2:37 am GMT
<<As I understand it, an American "redneck" is a male from areas of the United States who seems to assume an exaggerated macho masculine image, while at the same time displaying a great deal of bigotry, tunnel vision, lack of tolerance for lifestyles other than their own, close mindedness and a kind of religious fervour verging on the fanatical. >>

Actually, it just means that they have more of a rural, rather than urban, outlook. Hicks, in other words. Country people are often more conservative and less sophisticated than their metropolitan counterparts. Macho behavior, religiosity, and bigotry may exist in many rednecks, but those qualities aren't necessary or intrinsic to the definition. And yes, I can see why Australians might be lumped in -- or at least their stereotype.
guest   Wed Apr 02, 2008 5:22 pm GMT
<<I think British English sounds sharper, but it doesn't really have the characteristic German sounds of sch, s, z (sibilants), ts, ich-laut, ach-laut, r and every -en at the end of an infinitive.>>

German sch
English shoe, should, share, fish, sure

German s/z
as 's'-- English sun, bus, must
as 'z' --English desire, designate, is, zenith, has, was, blizzard, present

German ts (Deutsch 'z/zz')
English pizza, nuts, hats, cat's, let's, tsunami

---skip the rest [ch, r] for time's sake---

We don't have -n/-en at the end of every infinitive, but we have -ing/-in' at the end of every present participle which can show up as frequently, if not more, than German -n/-en

<<American English in general is much more slurred but I can get the sense in most cases. I'd say AmE would be more remote from its Germanic relatives.>>

I don't think so. I think the opposite is true due to the influence of Dutch, Scandinavian and German dialects on American English, esp usage and pronunciation.
Guest   Fri Apr 04, 2008 5:19 pm GMT
I find English sounding like a quite tipical germanic language. Especially similar with scandinavian and Dutch sounds and accentuations. But English is very different on one point: the pronounciation of the "r" sound. which sounds very different to any other language and give to English a very recognisable sound.
What is sure is that English sounds completly oppositly to the romance languages, almost all letters have a complete different sound (especially the vowels such "a","e" and "i".
Damian in Aberfeldy   Fri Apr 04, 2008 6:02 pm GMT
It's a question of which particular kind of English that focuses most in the perceptions of foreigners - by that, obviously, we mean those "foreigners" whose native Language isn't English.

We've droned on endlessly in this Forum about all the different accents and dialects used when speaking English globally, and taking history into account it's not surprising that these islands (where the Language was born) contain such a wide variety of these.

I've found it quite amusing listening to programs about the difficulties immigrants, or newcomers or just visitors generally, to the UK encounter when they come into contact with the different regional variations of spoken English here.

A report out today (04/04) has received widespread publicity in the UK, concerning the Brummie accent (ie the accent of the Birmingham area, the UK's second largest city and second largest metro area (which also included what is known as the Black Country, so called because it saw the birth of the global "Industrial Revolution" in the 18th century). The Brummie accent generally has a very negative "press" in the UK, and the most usual description of people who speak with a strong Brummie accent is that they sound "thick". Totally unfair, of course, as it's not unknown for brilliant brain surgeons or yop class business entrepreneurs to speak with very distinct Brummie accents.

Anway, this is what all the correspodents had to say today, in the Daily Telegraph, about this ill favoured accent: