My big trip this year will be to Japan. As is my habit when traveling abroad especially to a country where English is not a common language, I make an attempt to learn a few phrases of importance (to me at least) to help me move about. I'll be with a tour group but I will have some free time. So I checked a Pimsleur 5disc basic Japanese set out of the library and tonight I will begin. Does any one share this trait with me or am I being a bit phobic?
The official language of Quebec (KAY-Bec) is French, its a political sore-point for Canada. All of the people I know from Canada speak at least English and some French or French and some English. The Canadian language is its own form of English, more understandable than British English.
That is interesting and makes one wonder how it all began in the first place.
I do understand that there are big differences in dialect
in England depending where people come from in the U.K.
and some are very difficult to understand, however,
the times I have heard a Canadian speak, to me,
they have sounded very similar to North Americans
and an example I could quote is that well known
southern drawl that John Wayne owned.
There's a very good book on this subject: The Adventure of English: a Biography of a Language by M. Bragg. It's fascinating on each page. English seems to be a language snowball that rolls across the world collecting things from other languages, always getting larger.
You can look at some of the reviews and deals on this book at http://www.amazon.com/Adventure-English-Biography-Language/dp/16114... or ask your librarian.
Living on the west coast in California, I've been up to Vancouver in British Columbia Canada many times. I love it there. And the people there all speak English. As a matter of fact, you would think you're in the U.S. The only difference I notice was the exchange in money. They refer to their currency in dollars and cents, it just looks different.....lol. Canada, our neighbors to the north is a great and beautiful country. I would recommend that everyone should visit....especially those who live on the west coast. And for those who like to ski, there's a great resort outside of Vancouver called Whistler. It's a great city similar like most large cities in the U.S......you'll feel at home there.
It's definitely a good idea to learn common phrases in the language of the country you are visiting. I took Spanish in high school and throughout the years had taken Spanish classes. That small knowledge of Spanish has helped me during my travels.
Right now I'm using an on-line Spanish course and want to learn more than a few phrases.
Learning a new language is difficult, but certainly doable.
Now Chinese would be very difficult to learn, so I truly applaud you Carol!
I lived in Canada for almost two years, and I still talk to some of my Canadian friends every so often, and I still enjoy their Canadian accents. They spell so many of their words that end in "or" with "our," like "humour." I was often made fun of with my pronunciation of several words - one of them being the word "roof." They would always tell me I sounded like I was imitating a dog the way I pronounced it, like "ruff, ruff!" Also, whenever we went to a club or a restaurant, we learned not to ask where the restroom was - it was the "washroom." Everyone I ever knew up there always ended sentences with "eh." Here's a short video with some of the Canadian pronunciations of words!
We can even go in different parts of the U.S. and hear the different pronunciations of words. New England, New York, the South, Texas, mid west....I grew up in Philly and when I moved to CA I was told I had an accent.....lol. And as a kids when I use to go to South Carolina to visit my grandfather and other relatives, it took me a long time to figure out what 'yonder' meant....lol. If asking for directions someone would say....."oh, it's down yonder a piece". At the time I had no idea what they were talking about...lol. The English language comes in many dialects.....even in this country.