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Do Poles prefer US American or UK English language?


Polonius3 1,000 | 12,448
20 Mar 2010 #1
As a native Pole have you learnt mainly American or British English? Which do you prefer and why? Which type of native speaker teachers predominate in Poland today?
dhennie_jo 4 | 31
20 Mar 2010 #2
I think Poles will prefer more to use British English I knew some of them and they are comparing it and they more like British English
Paulina 9 | 1,448
20 Mar 2010 #3
As a native Pole have you learnt mainly American or British English?

British English - at high school, at private English school and at the univeristy.

Which do you prefer and why?

Hmm... British sounds better, in my personal opinion :P But American pronunciation is easier for Poles, I think.
I usually pronounce words in a more British way, as I was taught this way. However, I often use American words - it's because there are a lot of American films and TV series on Polish TV and I've learned some English by watching them :)

Which type of native speaker teachers predominate in Poland today?

British, I think. The UK is closer to Poland than USA and so there are more English people here than Americans ;)
lowfunk99 10 | 397
20 Mar 2010 #4
They are both 2 sides of the same coin.
jonni 16 | 2,485
20 Mar 2010 #5
Hmm... British sounds better, in my personal opinion :P But American pronunciation is easier for Poles, I think.
I usually pronounce words in a more British way, as I was taught this way. However, I often use American words - it's because there are a lot of American films and TV series on Polish TV and I've learned some English by watching them :)

This is happening to British people too. Neither bad nor good just a fact of life.

I've had Poles come to me wanting lessons to lose American accents. I always explain that there's nothing wrong with an American accent; that most forms of English are equally acceptable. Most disagree and see AmEng as very much less desirable.
Magdalena 3 | 1,837
20 Mar 2010 #6
I have a mid-Atlantic-almost AmE accent and I would never trade if for a British one ;-p
I think it's very convenient to speak AmE in the UK if you are a foreigner (that is, not Anglo-Saxon). People have no idea where you come from, and you don't get labelled automatically ;-)

BTW, I absolutely love southern US pronunciation. I once talked to a guy from (if I remember right) South Carolina, and I couldn't get enough! I could have listened to him for hours, even if he were just reading the telephone directory...
Seanus 15 | 19,706
20 Mar 2010 #7
Some prefer AmE and some prefer BrE. Polish is often closer to American translations. I could list many examples but it doesn't express preference. One example is mielona wołowina which Americans call ground beef. Brits call it mince.

Movies play a large part but some Poles are really taken by British productions.
mira - | 115
20 Mar 2010 #8
I prefer British English mainly because I don't like pronounciatio of "r" in AmE.
OP Polonius3 1,000 | 12,448
20 Mar 2010 #9
Can anyone guessstimate (there priobably aren't any official figures) the national breakdown of native English-speaking teachers of Engklish in Poland? Besides US and UK, Australia, Canada, S. Africa?
RubasznyRumcajs 5 | 477
20 Mar 2010 #10
American pronunciation is easier (and grammar is easier too), AmEn is much more 'clear' than British (think about all '-our' and other French borrowings!)
Also, USA's influence is bigger (I mean: most TV programs are from USA, same with music) than UK's
jonni 16 | 2,485
20 Mar 2010 #11
I have a mid-Atlantic-almost AmE accent and I would never trade if for a British one ;-p

Mine's gone a bit mid-Atlantic since I've been here. No bad thing!

I think it's very convenient to speak AmE in the UK if you are a foreigner (that is, not Anglo-Saxon). People have no idea where you come from, and you don't get labelled automatically ;-)

The benefit is of course that it's classless. Plus it avoids the bigoted small-minded petty prejudice that some southerners have about lovely Northern accents and the justifiable disdain that some Northerners naturally have about horrid whining gorblimey southern accents.

BTW, I absolutely love southern US pronunciation. I once talked to a guy from (if I remember right) South Carolina, and I couldn't get enough! I could have listened to him for hours, even if he were just reading the telephone directory...

A lovely sound. Listening to a deep-south US accent is like sipping a mint julep on the porch of an anti-bellum house with the sage in bloom by the bayou.
1jola 14 | 1,879
20 Mar 2010 #12
I prefer British English mainly because I don't like pronounciatio of "r" in AmE.

There is an absence of "r" in many parts of New England, as there is in East Anglia. When pronouncing "Park the car in the Harvard boatyard," you will not hear any Rs.

Many Poles prefer BrE and think they have a British accent, because it's "better." I nod in agreement and try not to smirk too much.
Paulina 9 | 1,448
20 Mar 2010 #13
Movies play a large part but some Poles are really taken by British productions.

That's true - I'm one of those Poles myself :) But there are simply far more American films than British ones on Polish TV ;)
Seanus 15 | 19,706
20 Mar 2010 #14
That's also true. Much depends on exposure :)
Seanus 15 | 19,706
20 Mar 2010 #16
What are your favourite British films, Paulina? Some of the lingo might be quite tough as it's localised.
1jola 14 | 1,879
20 Mar 2010 #17
Trainspotting should be watched to polish your accent :)
Hyacinthus 1 | 20
20 Mar 2010 #18
i guess there is no predominate one.
someone speaks british accent,while some one with american
But I found many professors with british,I guess american cultrue,i mean soft power is much more stronger,because the majority of the young they speak with american accent
Paulina 9 | 1,448
20 Mar 2010 #19
What are your favourite British films, Paulina? Some of the lingo might be quite tough as it's localised.

Oh, I don't know - I've seen so many films in my life... ;) I always loved those adaptations of English literature with Emma Thompson, Helena Bonham Carter, Anthony Hopkins, Kenneth Branagh, etc. Emma Thompson is one of my favourite actresses :) I like Monty Python and "The Black Adder" TV series, some comedy films. And "Wallace & Gromit" ;)

And I like Harry Potter, though I'm too old for this :PPP Don't laugh ;)))

Some of the lingo might be quite tough as it's localised.

Yes, that's true... But on Polish TV foreign films are translated so it's no problem ;)
But when I'm watching films without translation I have more problems with understanding British English, than American (probably because of this lack of exposure ;)).

And I guess I don't know much British slang. I remember that when I had some BBC channel I watched "EastEnders" and there a girl was called "bird" (?) and a man: "bloke". I didn't know that before ;) I also tried to watch some TV series about a castle in Scotland and the Scottish pronunciation made it very difficult ;) I had an impression that they spoke with gritted teeth or something ;) But I like those Scottish and Irish accents :P
Seanus 15 | 19,706
20 Mar 2010 #20
I can't laugh if I don't know what 'too old' means. It's a relative term based on perception ;) ;)

Britain has so many accents and dialects, it's incredible. My students are shocked when I imitate a Liverpudlian or Mancunian. Poland really has nothing by way of comparison. I am Scottish Irish so I don't need to imitate anything :)
Wroclaw Boy
20 Mar 2010 #21
By British English i assume that means Queens English or how about any central area south of Manchester ie not including Devon, Cornwall in the West and Essex and Norfolk in the East. Whats the American equivalent? The accents involved make it hard to fathom what is what.
Seanus 15 | 19,706
20 Mar 2010 #22
I think a large part of the problem is that many Poles aren't aware of the sheer variety, WB. Poles just sound like Poles, all the same. Britain couldn't be any more different than that.
Paulina 9 | 1,448
20 Mar 2010 #23
I can't laugh if I don't know what 'too old' means. It's a relative term based on perception ;) ;)

True :) But I'm an adult, not a kid, so I guess I'm too old for films (and books :P) about Harry Potter ;D

Britain has so many accents and dialects, it's incredible. My students are shocked when I imitate a Liverpudlian or Mancunian.

Our English teacher at high school told us once that even English people from different parts of their country have problems with understanding each other. Is that true?

Poland really has nothing by way of comparison.

Yes, Polish language is almost the same throughout Poland. Maybe except for the mountains, Silesia and Kashuby region (but I guess Silesian and Kashubian are often considered as different languages than Polish, and not Polish dialects).

I am Scottish Irish so I don't need to imitate anything :)

Wow, so you're like double cool ;D
:)))
jonni 16 | 2,485
20 Mar 2010 #24
Britain has so many accents and dialects, it's incredible. My students are shocked when I imitate a Liverpudlian or Mancunian.

Birmingham usually has them in stitches.

Poles just sound like Poles

Podlasie is quite distinctive, as is Poznań but regional accents are not well seen here.
Lyzko
20 Mar 2010 #25
Many European English language programs offer courses specifically in 'American (US) college-level vocabulary' as ancillary practice reviews for TOEFL, TOEIC and BEC (Business English Certificate) classes, publically as well as at private institutes.

The English Language Program of Adam Mickiewcz University in Poznań however, I believe remains of the many which still hold out for British/Oxford English.

I once met an Austrian woman who had a near perfect Midwestern accent. When I asked how she learned such excellent pronunciation, she said her prep school had an elective US-English program. This was several years ago.
Seanus 15 | 19,706
20 Mar 2010 #26
Paulina, an adult is 18 also. That's not too old for Harry Potter. The 'older' folk that watch it just interpret it differently from kids.

Some have trouble, yes. It depends on the slang used. People from Cornwall or Devon are tricky if you are not used to them.

Exactly, Silesian is bordering on being its own language, much like Doric in the NE of Scotland. They are officially dialects but almost different enough to be classed as languages in themselves.

Double cool? I don't know about that ;) ;) There are ways of finding out :)

Brummy imitating is great fun. Dudley, LOL

I haven't heard anyone from Podlasie yet.
Wroclaw Boy
20 Mar 2010 #27
On the topic of accents im a little baffled as to how you can drive 30 miles in the UK and experience totally different sounds, whats the deal seanus your well informed on this kind of thing.

I mean in America its so big, i can totally understand how accents formed but the UK.
Lyzko
20 Mar 2010 #28
Off topic maybe, but conversely, how do the Polish native speakers here feel about a foreigner learning the 'Zakopane ł' or 'stage ł' as in the 'dark' Russian variety vs. the standard non-velarized, labial 'ł'?
Seanus 15 | 19,706
20 Mar 2010 #29
Geez, WB, the answer should be simple. I lived in the UK for 24 years and know all the main accents.
Paulina 9 | 1,448
20 Mar 2010 #30
Paulina, an adult is 18 also. That's not too old for Harry Potter.

But I'm older than that :)))
Me and two of my friends were reading Harry Potter books when we were studying at the university, but I know even older people who read them. Even my mum have read those books ;D

The 'older' folk that watch it just interpret it differently from kids.

Yes, I like fantasy in general and I like all the stuff that J. K. Rowling put in her books, in this world created by her, the wordplays, etc. It reminds me of J.R.R. Tolkien and him I simply adore :]

Exactly, Silesian is bordering on being its own language, much like Doric in the NE of Scotland.

But this Doric is a dialect of English or Scottish Gaelic?

Double cool? I don't know about that ;) ;) There are ways of finding out :)

What ways? ;)


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