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DesDownunder

How to speak British

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Santa Claus or Father Christmas are used in Australia.

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You're a polyglot nation, aren't you?

C

I am fluent in English, American and Australian, with a smattering of foul and fowl language which means I often say, "Polly wants a cracker."

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The following post is tongue-in-cheek, please don't take it seriously! :laugh:

I believe Sarah Palin has been known to refer to 'speaking American' but I would like to point out that the language is called English, because it originated in England. Its roots go back a long way further, it developed from Latin, Norse/Viking, Saxon, Norman French, various Celtic languages including Gallic and Gaelic, Welsh, Cornish, and even Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, German, Dutch and Flemish along the way. Much more recently it has been acquiring usage from America, of course. But that doesn't make it American - it's still English.

I understand clever people are now predicting that English may fragment into regional languages, so there may be an Indian English, an Australian English, Indonesian English, Philippine English etc. There already signs of that happening. One thing about English is its ability to evolve. I think that's a good thing. But i think it would be a pity if Americans started calling the language American just because it's their native tongue. It would be rather galling for the Australians, Canadians etc to be told they speak American. The English can lay claim to 'owning' the language because it started there. For anyone else to claim to own it would be piracy, methinks.

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And there's the rub. That Indian English you mention. Way too often when I call a help desk, I get transferred with beeps and bings to someone who speaks Indian English. I say, "What's that?" and "could you slow down," and "come again," and "SLOW DOWN!" and "could you transfer me to someone who speaks English?" and they say, "sorry, I don't understand."

Me neither.

C

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Your mistake, Cole, was in calling the Help Desk. Instead, try opening your front door, flag down some kid on a bike, and ask him to fix it. :laugh:

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Indian call centre? Reminded me of this.

Des, Graeme & Alien Son- you have probably heard it before.

Everybody else? It will probably test your knowledge of Strine more than Call centre English.

www.youtube.com/watch?v=syPSHe0kzMs

Hope the link works.

it kills me every time I listen to it!

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Hmm the admittedly rather useless auto-caption facility that You Tube offers is spectacularly useless here. I've not a clue what went on.

Uh... I think that's the point. Two vernacular variants of English such that the speakers can't understand each other and we can't understand either of them. That's why I like our cable company (Wave/Astound); all of their tech support people are in the U.S. (The ones I've asked have been in Utah and Arizona.)

Colin :icon_geek:

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Actually, the Indian voice is unusually decipherable. They usually speak much faster and in a higher pitched tone.

The Aussie presents no difficulties for us, but I do understand the difficulties for less advanced cultures. (sarcasm)

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How do let it be known that the sarcasm is itself, sarcasm?

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The Aussie presents no difficulties for us, but I do understand the difficulties for less advanced cultures. (sarcasm)

Wait a sec -- there are less advanced cultures than Australia? Who'd'a'thunk'it?

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By the by, for those of you celebrating the occasion, Happy Boxers Day! Seems an odd custom to run around in your boxers all day, given the proclivity for cold rain, but what the heck? A few pints and you're perfectly limber. Enjoy!

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I used to walk a boxer wearing boxer briefs until I met a jockey who objected.

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Perhaps he objected because your boxers were too brief.

C

No, no. Those briefs belonged to the boxer.

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