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Kat

Postby Kat » 2003-10-24, 12:52

You know the only way really to perfect an English accent, if it's what you want to do, is to spend lots of time here, listening to real English accents and gradually you will lose the Brazillian accent. But as long as your accent isn't too strong, most people will not have any problems with understanding you. Also Brit accents are hard to understand!! I met an Americna on holiday who couldn't understand a word I said and I couldn't understand him either!!
Love Kat xxxx

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re: nefyu

Postby tomak » 2003-10-24, 18:00

BTW, nefyu is how I hear people say it around here in the U.S.

Rmc

Postby Rmc » 2003-10-25, 0:29

Daniel - just out of curiosity, how do you detect differences in accents when you are deaf? Can you tell by looking at people's lips?

More on topic, I must say that an interesting experience for me as an American was hearing a Japanese student talk to me in British English- it came as a bit of a shock!

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Postby Psi-Lord » 2003-10-26, 5:00

Once again, guys, thanks for the input on everything. Precious info. :)

And again, if I may, two more questions...

1) Is 'lieutenant' still commonly pronounced /lef'ten.(@)nt/ in the UK or has /lu:'ten.(@)nt/ gained ground?

2) This is actually something a friend of mine has been discussing with her English teacher for a couple of weeks now... Would you native speakers of English consider 'to have been to' and 'to have been in' as synonyms? Or would there be situations when one would be a more (the only) correct alternative? L.G. Alexander's Longman English Grammar isn't very clear about it, and I believe I've always used 'to have been to' only...

L.G. Alexander wrote:Have been (generally + to or in) has the sense of 'visit a place and come back'. Have gone (followed by to and never by in) has the sense of 'be at a place or on the way to a place':

I've been to a party/in the canteen. (= and come back)

What would it sound like, for instance, to say 'I've been in a party' or 'I've been to the canteen'?

TIA!
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‘Whatever happened to Received Pronunciation?’

Postby Psi-Lord » 2003-10-26, 9:48

Ah, this couldn't be more useful for me right now — ‘Whatever happened to Received Pronunciation?’, by J.C. Wells. :) And it even mentions the ‘nephew’ example:

J.C. Wells wrote:There are other changes, though, that are lexically specific: they involve just a single word that has changed its shape. Thus for example nephew, which at the beginning of the century was usually /'nevju:/, is now mostly pronounced /'nefju:/. This is not part of a general trend affecting /v/ between vowels, but something affecting just this word.

[...]

Thus in nephew the /f/ form, preferred by 79% of all respondents, proves to be the choice of a mere 51% of those respondents born before 1923, but of as many as 92% of those born since 1962. There is a clear trend line, showing that the /v/ form (which happens to be the one I prefer myself) is due to disappear entirely before very long.

And much of the info present on the phonetics book I've been talking about is also there:

- the distinction between /O@/ and /O:/ (e.g. floor / flaw);
- the change of /oU/ into /@U/ (e.g. over the road);
- intervocalic tapped r /4/ (e.g. very sorry);
- intrusive r (e.g. idea of /aI'di@r @v/);
- glottal stop (e.g. football /'fU?bO:l/);
- etc.

Interesting reading. :)
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Postby utterstarlight » 2003-11-02, 18:32

Hmmm this topic actually got my brain cells wheezing round...

Isn't it more normal to say 'I am going to... the shop/a party' etc but to say 'I have been at.. the shop/ a party'?

As for what they say in Inverness i still couldn't work out after living there for 10 years... ;)[/b]
Sharon :)

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Postby Ozymandias » 2003-11-02, 21:57

I think there are certain situations where "To have been in" would be preferable.

The dog has been in a cage (before).

They have been in jail for seven years.


As far as I can see "To have been in" needs to be used when an object/person was inside something else. It also only sounds natural when used with a time or with before. In the first sentence the before could be left out because it's assumed.

Of course, it can be used figuratively.

I have been in a situation...

But this cannot be used alone.

You could say:
I have been in that situation before.

Or:
I have been in a situation, in which...

However most people would just say where instead of in which.

All of this is, of course, American English. I don't know how it would be in British (or Scottish :) ) English. Prepostions seem to be one of the more fluid aspects of language.


Ozy

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Postby Axystos » 2003-11-30, 20:20

Could anyone explain to me what the difference is between
-countryman and compatriot
and
-smug and complacent?

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Postby Ozymandias » 2003-12-01, 2:38

It's easier to describe the differences between the words than give full definitions.

Countryman and compatriot are basically the same, meaning someone of one's own country or region. However, from what I've heard in conversation (and even in writing) a compatriot can be anyone that's in one's own group, club, religion, etc.. Also, I suppose that countryman could mean a man living in the countryside (à la compagne), but it would most probably be separated into country man.

Here in the US, it would probably be safer to say countryman, as many people might not know the word compatriot

Smug means being confident of one's ability, correctness, etc., my dictionary gives complacent as a synonym.
However, complacent oftentimes has the connotation of not being aware of potential danger.

For the most part, smug and complacent will be used interchangeably.

Maybe there are more differences in British....


Ozy[/b]

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Postby Psi-Lord » 2003-12-01, 2:52

Just me playing the dictionary boy, as usual. ;)

countryman:
noun [C]
1 a person from your own country:
Didn't he feel guilty about betraying his fellow countrymen and women?
2 UK someone who lives in or who comes from the countryside and not a town

compatriot:
noun [C]
1 FORMAL a person who comes from the same country
2 US a friend or someone you work with

smug:
adjective smugger, smuggest DISAPPROVING
too pleased or satisfied about something you have achieved or something you know:
a smug grin
She deserved her promotion, but I wish she wasn't so damned smug about it.
There was a hint of smug self-satisfaction in her voice.
He's been unbearably smug since he gave up smoking.


complacent:
adjective DISAPPROVING
feeling so satisfied with your own abilities or situation that you feel you do not need to try any harder:
a complacent smile/attitude
We can't afford to become complacent about any of our products.


Source: http://dictionary.cambridge.org/
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"have been in"

Postby tomak » 2003-12-01, 3:50

* "Have you ever been in the conference room when there were a bunch of people speaking in the hallway next to it ?"

"been to" cannot be used in this example.


* "Have you been in a country where they don't speak English ?"

"been to" could be used in this example, but it would not be my first choice.


* "My brother has just been in an auto accident."

"been to" cannot be used in this example.


* "Fred has been in her pants, or so he told me recently."

"been to" cannot be used in this example.


***************

In my experience in the U.S., compatriot is used in the same way as a cohort in crime, eg,

"You and your compatriot are in deep trouble. Go to your room now, and I'll be calling his parents immediately."

I have not seen it used with the meaning of fellow-citizen.

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Postby Axystos » 2003-12-03, 21:26

Thank you all for your replies.

Actually, just after I posted my question, I had a chance to buy a really big dictionary/thesaurus in 1, really cheaply, so I bought it. Now I know everything there is to know about smug etc. :)
Now I have another questions, which I can't solve with the help of my newly bought book: What actually is the difference between a dictionary and a thesaurus? (The dictionary is english-english).

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Postby ekalin » 2003-12-03, 23:15

Axystos wrote:Now I have another questions, which I can't solve with the help of my newly bought book: What actually is the difference between a dictionary and a thesaurus? (The dictionary is english-english).


Well, I think a dictionary is, well... a dictionary.

On the other hand, a thesaurus is used to find synonyms or almost synonyms for words, instead of giving definitions of words.
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thesaurus

Postby tomak » 2003-12-09, 18:52

As Ekalin has said, a thesaurus gives synonyms (and usually also antonyms).

A dictionary may tell you that "big" means of large stature, extending to a fair amount in one or many dimensions, whereas a thesaurus may tell you that big has synonyms such as large, great, powerful, immense, and antonyms such as small, little, tiny.

I invented both definition, and synonym and antonym list, so they may not be very learned :)

When writing a short story, one might keep a thesaurus nearby for the instances in which one repeats an adjective, and realizes it, and wishes to use a different adjective to avoid the sound of repitition.

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Postby Car » 2003-12-09, 20:09

Axy, thesauri are a part of my studies, I can give you some things from my uni which explain it.
Please correct my mistakes!

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Correct my own misspelling

Postby tomak » 2003-12-10, 4:22

> ... different adjective to avoid the sound of repitition.

I meant of course repetition. :)

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Postby Axystos » 2003-12-13, 20:20

So basically, a dictionary gives meanings and a thesaurus synonymes?

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Postby Car » 2003-12-13, 20:27

The difference is hard to explain and an average user won't really notice it, but a thesaurus is usually expert and is often used for indexing or retrieval, alternative words are usually linked and have broader terms and narrower terms. They give meanings, too.
Please correct my mistakes!

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Postby Cécile » 2004-01-03, 15:12

Some ones who try to be poets also use a thesaurus to find easily "des rimes".
"Aimer le vrai parce qu'il est vrai et non juger vrai ce que disent ceux que l'on aime."
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Postby Psi-Lord » 2004-01-04, 0:43

Last night some Unilangers and I were having a chat and one of them asked me why I kept referring to the people that teach at universities as 'teachers' instead of 'professors', which led us to a discussion about it. The only native speaker of English around was Daniel (who also gave us the word 'lecturer', unknown to some, as it seemed), so I thought it might be nice to jump into the English thread and ask other people for their opinions as well. I only thought about this topic once, I believe, but I've got an American pen friend who uses the word 'teacher' herself, and so I just kept it. I also had a look around some dictionaries:

Cambridge Advanced Learner's Dictionary wrote:teacher
noun [C]
someone whose job is to teach in a school or college

professor
noun [C]
a teacher of the highest rank in a department of a British university, or a teacher of high rank in an American university or college:
Professor Stephen Hawking
a professor of sociology
a sociology professor


lecturer
noun [C] MAINLY UK
someone who teaches at a college or university:
a senior lecturer
a lecturer in psychology

Merriam Webster wrote:Main Entry: teach·er
Function: noun
Date: 14th century
1 : one that teaches; especially : one whose occupation is to instruct
2 : a Mormon ranking above a deacon in the Aaronic priesthood

Main Entry: pro·fes·sor
Function: noun
Date: 14th century
1 : one that professes, avows, or declares
2 a : a faculty member of the highest academic rank at an institution of higher education b : a teacher at a university, college, or sometimes secondary school c : one that teaches or professes special knowledge of an art, sport, or occupation requiring skill

[no entry for 'lecturer', so I had to fall back on 'lecture']

Main Entry: ¹lec·ture
Function: noun
Etymology: Middle English, act of reading, from Late Latin lectura, from Latin lectus, past participle of legere
Date: 15th century
1 : a discourse given before an audience or class especially for instruction
2 : a formal reproof

Main Entry: ²lecture
Function: verb
Inflected Form(s): lec·tured; lec·tur·ing
Date: circa 1590
intransitive senses : to deliver a lecture or a course of lectures
transitive senses
1 : to deliver a lecture to
2 : to reprove formally
- lec·tur·er noun

Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary wrote:teach•er noun a person whose job is teaching, especially in a school: a language / history / science teacher primary school teachers There is a growing need for qualified teachers of Business English.

pro•fes•sor (also informal prof) noun (abbr. Prof.)
1 (especially BrE) (AmE full professor) a university teacher of the highest rank: Professor (Ann) Williams a chemistry professor to be appointed Professor of French at Cambridge He was made (a) professor at the age of 40.
2 (AmE) a teacher at a university or college.

lec•tur•er noun
1 a person who gives a lecture: She's a superb lecturer.
2 (especially in Britain) a person who teaches at a university or college: He's a lecturer in French at Oxford.

Anyone's comments are welcome. :)
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