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Should I avoid American English

 Language Learning Forum : Questions About Your Target Languages Post Reply
Perdita
Diglot
Newbie
Poland
Joined 3378 days ago

9 posts - 14 votes
Speaks: Polish*, English
Studies: German

 
 Message 1 of 4
02 January 2020 at 3:52pm | IP Logged 
I studied English at a teacher's college and I was supposed to work as an English
teacher, but I couldn't find any work as a teacher, so I worked in different fields which
had very little to do with English. I want to return to using English actively and
perhaps start teaching. I had an online conversation with a native speaker, and she
discovered that I make a lot of pronunciation errors, especially with the th and ing
sounds. I watch a lot of TV shows and films, using both British and American
pronunciation. My teacher seemed a bit appalled that I watched American shows like
Friends. I wonder if I should now avoid any shows which use the American version of
English if I have pronunciation problems, and concentrate only on the films and shows
which use the British variant? It seems a bit too extreme to me to give up everything
that doesn't use BrE. What do you think?



Doitsujin
Diglot
Senior Member
Germany
Joined 3721 days ago

1255 posts - 2362 votes 
Speaks: German*, English

 
 Message 2 of 4
04 January 2020 at 11:15am | IP Logged 
Perdita wrote:
I wonder if I should now avoid any shows which use the American version of English if I have pronunciation problems, and concentrate only on the films and shows which use the British variant?

If you originally learned to pronounce English words with a British accent, e.g. Received Pronunciation, it makes sense to stick with that variety for the time being. However, I don't think that watching US TV shows would be detrimental to your language learning progress, because you'll need to be familiar with both varieties of English, if you want to work as an English teacher, and British and American English have far more similarities than differences.
However, at a bare minimum, you should be familiar with the differences listed on this website. You also might want to search Youtube for videos that explain the differences between British and American English.

BTW, most HTLAL members have moved to language-learners.org because of constant technical issues. I'm sure you'll get more answers, if you also ask your question there.

Edited by Doitsujin on 04 January 2020 at 2:04pm



Xenops
Senior Member
United States
thexenops.deviantart
Joined 2226 days ago

112 posts - 158 votes 
Speaks: English*
Studies: Spanish, Japanese

 
 Message 3 of 4
11 January 2020 at 6:27am | IP Logged 
Perdita wrote:
I had an online conversation with a native speaker, and she
discovered that I make a lot of pronunciation errors, especially with the th and ing
sounds. What do you think?


The "th" sound will be close to the same in both British and American English. As for the
"ing" sound, which part gives you trouble? The vowel, or the "ng" part?

A Japanese friend of mine watched the entire 9 seasons of Friends...5 times. Out of
all of my Japanese friends, his English sounds the most natural. So that show must be
useful. ;)



Doitsujin
Diglot
Senior Member
Germany
Joined 3721 days ago

1255 posts - 2362 votes 
Speaks: German*, English

 
 Message 4 of 4
11 January 2020 at 8:46am | IP Logged 
Xenops wrote:
As for the "ing" sound, which part gives you trouble? The vowel, or the "ng" part?

Many Slavic and Germanic languages have word-final devoicing and speakers of these languages often pronounce -ing as /ink/ instead of /iŋ/.




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