Regional Differences in American English

When I was checking Pinterest photos, I came across an interesting one.

“What is your generic term for a sweetened carbonated beverage?”

american english

“The midwest(blue) calls it “pop,”  the Northeast and West Coast(red) call it “soda,” while the South(green) is really into brand loyalty.”

There is another map which is more interesting to me.

“What is your “general” term for the rubber-soled shoes worn in gym class, for athletic activities, etc?”

sneakers and tennis shoes

“The Northeast and south Florida(blue) puts on sneakers, everyone else finds a pair of tennis shoes.”

Is it true?   In Japan, people call them sneakers.   I wear tennis shoes only for playing tennis.   Please click to see more results.   22 Maps That Show How Americans Speak English Totally Differently From Each  Other

I had many comments on Lang-8.  Those are very interesting too.   Comments on Lang-8

The Dialects Are Interesting

Although I had thought the Canadian dialect is only “eh” at the end of the sentence,  one of my blog readers told me about the Newfoundland English.

Newfoundland_and_Labrador-map

The red part is “Newfoundland and Labrador”, the easternmost province of Canada.  It reminds me of the breed of dogs with the same name.  Yes, they are from this province.   It seems that their accent is very similar to the people of the west of England and the southeast of Ireland, because Newfoundlanders originally came from those areas.   Some examples are “a vine summer” for a fine summer, “tree of dem” for three of them, “helbow” for elbow, “eel” for heel  from Newfoundland English.

Even in Japan, there are many dialects despite it being a small country.   English has a larger variety of accents worldwide.   I feel that dialects are very interesting, but can be difficult to understand.   This is a funny video.  The comedian, Mark Critch, is lovely.

Practice Speaking English with Rap Music

My favorite singers are Janis Joplin and Madonna, and I added Nicki Minaj recently.  Last week, I came across a video where Nicki and Madonna were having a conversation.  Nicki is very unique and fresh.  On the contrary, Madonna is a mature adult and has the air of the Queen of Pop.  I love both of them.

I’ve been listening to Nicki’s music while driving these days.  She is a rapper.  Although rap music isn’t my taste, I like her music, especially her voice.  It’s amazing that she can sing the rap part clearly in spite of the very quick tempo.  I thought it might be a good exercise for English pronunciation, or for my face muscle.  So, I’m practicing one of her songs “Starships”, though I mind a little that it includes some dirty words.  It’s very difficult for me to pronounce the rap part very quickly.  I wonder if native speakers can sing these songs easily.

Social Language Learning Part 5 Spammer

I wrote about a chat on the last post. Here is another story about it.   One day, I had a text chat with a man.   At first, we were carrying on a normal conversation, but suddenly he asked my age. I said “Don’t ask my age.”   Then, he asked me again “ Are you sexy?”  I replied “ I have two children.” and he said  “Are you around 40? Sooo cooooool!!! Sooo seeeeexy!!!”  Whoa, yuck! I answered,  “Unfortunately, I’m not sexy at all.” and cut the line.   On another time, as soon as I said I have two children, a man cut the line. How rude!!!   There exist these kinds of guys in any world.  Be careful.  It seems that some guys use the language sites for a dating purpose. Some women might enjoy it though.  Recently I don’t do text chat much because I feel like it is a waste of time.  I prefer voice chat, but there are times where  it’s hard to catch what they said.  So both chats have merits and demerits.

Aside from a chat, I’ve heard of a spammer.  You should be careful when you send an e-mail.  Once you reply to a spammer, a bunch of mails will be sent to your mailbox.   I can sometimes see the warning on websites too.   Therefore I suppose those incidents actually happen.

Today, let me introduce “English Central”.  I think English natives don’t need this information, but interviews or speeches of famous persons are interesting to me.

Social Language Learning Part 4 – Communication

As I mentioned before, I decided to study English on Lang-8 and LingQ. Still, I keep the other accounts active to help Japanese language learners by correcting their sentences and pronunciations, answering questions and so on. Besides, I started to study Chinese on LingQ and LiveMocha.

As for Chinese, I exchange messages with a little Chinese girl these days. She lives in East China, not Beijing or Shanghai. She is very good at English.   She is busy with school on weekdays, so she sends me messages on weekends. The other day we talked on Skype too. She spoke briskly and smartly.   Don’t you think she is amazing?  The face that a girl who is just 13 year-old can communicate overseas with people makes me realize how different times are now.   I’m wondering if there are such junior high students in Japan?

Incidentally, my first text chat was with a Kurdish woman living in Turkey. It was very impressive that I was able to talk with Kurdish, who I’m not familiar with.  I heard of Kurdish on the news, but I don’t know much about them.  Turkey is the home of the belly dance which I am learning.  So, I asked her about it, but she didn’t know. She said, “What is it?”   While I was thinking how I should explain it for only about 7,8 seconds,  she complained my answer was too late.  What an impatient Kurdish!  She said Japanese has beautiful sounds, especially the word “arigatou” which means “thank you”.   I don’t understand the feeling, but it’s interesting.

Furthermore, my first voice chat was with a Bosnian man.   I felt his sincerity from his voice. Since he asked me where I live, I answered “Kyushu, south Japan”. Then “Saga?”he asked.   Saga is a name of small prefecture in Kyushu.   How does he know such a small area???  He said “I know Saga by watchig Oshin”.  “Oshin” is a famous Japanese TV drama which was broadcast in the 1980’s.  I am surprised that people overseas still watch it even today.   He liked Saga dialects. lol It was a shame that my voice was so echoed with time lag that I couldn’t speak a lot. I want to talk with him again, but I can’t find him.

My story will be continued. Here is LiveMocha video. Interaction on LiveMocha is very active.

Social Language Learning Part 3 – Multilingual

As you read  on the previous post, the founder of LingQ is Steve Kaufmann.  He is a Canadian who speaks more than 10 languages.  LingQ reflects his learning method that is focused on reading and listening.  He shares his experiences and tips for learning languages on his YouTube channel.  I recommend language learners watch his videos.  They must be beneficial because he, a multilingual himself, proves the effectiveness of the method.
Here is one of his videos.  (I uploaded his Japanese video in my Japanese blog.  He speaks Japanese fluently)