For most students of a second language in Ukraine, learning English is never easy. With the non rhotic “R” pronunciation in British English, it is often impossible to understand what The Brit’s are saying. Add to that idioms, phrases and metaphors along with regional dialects and clear communication is impossible.
English is just a language. It is adaptable to countries and cultures alike. Speakers of English as a second language should know that perfect communication is more important than perfect spoken English.
The fact that most people believe speaking is the most valuable method of communication is misunderstood, at the very least. How should we communicate with others? When should we speak slower? Why should we be considerate of the person you are speaking with? Study British English and communicate with the world.
What About The Notorious Non-Rhotic “R”?
British English is notorious for the non rhotic “R”. This is also referred to as Rhoticiy. Rhotic speech is when we pronounce the “R” clearly. Non rhotic speech is when we don’t pronounce it at all. Variable Rhoticity is when we do both.
There are many articles describing this phenomena. It is clearly an interesting subject to take a look at. British English is well known for it’s “Non Rhotic” form of pronunciation. American English is well known for it’s simplicity and ease of understanding. Study British English for it’s perfect grammar.
Why Idioms, Phrases and Metaphors?
Idioms, phrases and metaphors are used profusely in the English language. However, for learners of a second language like English, Idioms, phrases and metaphors are usually the last subjects studied. Why is that? Phrases can be used many different ways; literally, idiomatically and more.
Literal definitions are usually clear in there meaning while idiomatic expressions, take on many meanings. They must be put into the proper context with the hope of being understood. This is a huge challenge for learners of a second language. Most students of a second language stop studying after they learn the basics. In Ukraine, this is usually the Elementary level. They may have learned English because it was a required subject at school. Study British English for work and travel.
Is English Just a Spoken Language?
Spoken and written English collectively, are just two ways we communicate. Body language including facial expressions, hand gestures, drawing, electronic devices, eye contact and touch are other ways of communication.
The main idea here is that communication takes on many forms. To think that most communication is done by speaking alone, is just plain silly.
Speaking and understandable pronunciation is key to better communication. If someone speaks clearly at a reasonable speed, you increase the odds of better understanding. Using other forms of communication increases the ability to connect with others.
What About Countries and Cultures?
From country to country, words and motions can be defined many different ways. While shaking a head from side to side in one country implies the word “No”, it could mean “Yes” in another. If you know the difference, you will be able to communicate intelligently.
Poor pronunciation is often the reason for misunderstandings and the inability to understand what someone is saying. Different cultures pronounce sounds much differently. Trying to speak audible English is a challenge for many. Certain sounds are created with a variety of articulations. With practice, serious students can overcome most pronunciation challenges. Study British English for phrases and idioms.
Is Speaking English The Most important?
Speaking is just one method of communication. What about writing? There is a real science to writing just about anything. Maybe it is a business letter or a letter to mom.
What do you need to say? Is it important? Is it about business or sharing a few thoughts with a friend. Most important subjects should be discussed when possible and certainly written in a clear and understandable way. This will avoid misunderstandings at a later time. If you are unsure about a topic of discussion, write it down and ask a friend for clarification. Just remember there are many ways to communicate. If you can’t speak as well as you would like, say it in the written word.
Speaking with Others and Communication
Be considerate of others. If someone is just learning English, here are a few thoughts. Early learners of English study at the very basic levels. Single and double syllable words are studied first.
As a student moves up the ladder of knowledge and they increase their vocabulary bank, they will understand more of what you are saying. If you are a native English speaker, don’t forget that students who are just learning need you to speak at a natural pace.
Sometimes Native speakers speak too fast. This can make your English difficult to understand with some individuals. While you are speaking, watch the others eyes and body language. It is not difficult to know when the other person is being challenged to understand you. Have fun with English. Study British English now.