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May 10, 2015


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AWESOME AWESOME!! I have already started practicing my British English. And I should have consulted you on how to teach my students to speak better Portuguese -- from phonetics a sound production point of view!!

Why shouldn't your post be wildly popular?! (is it just that for your son, who knows better than the NYT, this is all pretty obvious?). I hope it'll be a popular post!!!

P.S. I actually started learning English with a somewhat British accent since my first private teacher had lived in England & used the very effective Berlitz method. (that was back in 1988, sigh...) Now that I have the potential to become an English prof. I need to go back to perfecting my English, my accent, etc. I think that five years teaching Portuguese and not speaking much English in the classroom may have "worsened" my accent. Sigh...

Tell your 15yo that I liked your post just fine. Some of your readers are also language nerds.

Yeah, language nerds are people too!

Language nerds represent!

I was just hoping you would write a whole series of posts like this one. Really cool.

I love this post and it makes me want to take classes and learn more!

A few years ago I was trying to learn Hindi. People seemed to think it was strange for me to ask where their tongue was when making certain sounds.

I remember my friends trying to get me to pronouce "mutter" (peas). "It's just like 'butter'," they would say and then become frustrated when I said it wrong yet again. We finally made progress when they had me say "mutt" first.

I found it a very interesting post to read, as a Brit :)

"British speech requires a dropped jaw and vertically open lips."

Er, what? If you say so! I've been speaking British English* all my life and I can't say I've noticed.

*I sound fairly BBC, having grown up in London, heavily influenced by BBC Radio 4 and a snobbish decision not to drop my ts** and hs but with the odd short vowel that's crept in from my Midlands born husband and Northern friends.

**A dropped t is actually one that's been replaced by a glottal stop.

Never paid attention to the yod dropping pattern before. I wonder if I could save just a little time and trouble teaching reading if I only taught my kids one "long u sound" (u says yoo) instead of teaching two (sometimes u says yoo, and sometimes u says oo). They maybe wouldn't struggle with pronouncing cute as if it were coot, and they'd probably still recognize words like tyune, dyuty, and nyude when they heard themselves sound it out.

There's an in-depth discussion of the pronunciation of Cockney in an appendix to Call the Midwife by Jennifer Worth which might be of interest to you - glottal stops, grammar, syntax, idiom, slang. Quite interesting.

Oh I love this post. It makes me ask myself, though, why I let myself be dissuaded from taking that linguistics class in college. Someone told me it was boring, why I why did I listen? Why was I so stupid? I mean the philosophy of language course I took in its place was ok, but I think the linguistics would have been more useful in the long run.

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