How's your English?

Sugarbaby125 By Sugarbaby125, 10th May 2015 | Follow this author | RSS Feed
Posted in Wikinut>Writing>Culture

Were you born and bred in an English speaking Country or Island? Does your cultural background influence how proficient your English is? Is their a disparity between how you speak English and you written English? I was born and bred in South London and both of my parents were born on the Island of Montserrat in the Caribbean. I speak very clear Queen's English and my diction is excellent. Yet, at times I sound very South London or very Caribbean.

What influences your English?

Although I am a Black woman born in South London, I speak and write English very well. I have always loved written and spoken English. I remember as a young child of about 6 years old, I was allowed by my Father to go to the Local Public Library on my own. This was a real departure from the norm, but was such a bookworm and we were such a poor family, that this was the only way that my hunger for written English could ever be satisfied. Mind you, my Father was so strict, that it was a glorious surprise to me, that he agreed that I could walk to and from the Library on my own.

I have 3 different influences in my spoken English voice. Firstly my upbringing in South London. My Montserrat born parents and my own desire to have clear diction. If I am speaking to a member of the public in person or on the telephone, then my English is very precise and crystal cut. If I am speaking to another Black or Ethnic person who does not have an ear for Queen's English, then my English becomes very Caribbean, to make myself more readily understood. If am speaking to another South Londoner, then my speech will become very South London and sprinkled with words that are in constant use in South London.

We all believe, that we do not have accents, when we speak and write English, but unless your English is very Queen's English, then your spoken English and your written English will be flavoured by all of the influences that have shaped you as a human being throughout your life.

I read every single day of my life and even if it is only my daily Diary entry, I write every day of my life. Being well read, also makes a vast difference to my knowledge and my ability to talk to people on a wide range of subjects and to people from all walks of life.

English is the most difficult language to learn and master. It has so many nuances and so many words that sound the same, but have totally different meanings, that it can be lead to confusion in thought and written execution. English Grammar is also a minefield of rules that you need to learn to ensure that your written English is of the highest standard. Yet, I come across men and women all of the time who like me were born and bred in the London or other parts of the UK, who still struggle with the English language and with English Grammar throughout their adult lives.

So do not despair, if you do not believe that your English is as good as it should be. You just have to be open to continuing to learn English and to expand your English vocabulary continuously. Take comfort from the fact that even I, never feel that my English will ever get to the point where it feels that I no longer have anything to learn from the English language. The English language is a many layered delight, whose layers I am also eager to have revealed to me.


British, Cultural Influences, Culture, English, Speech, Spoken, Telephone Voice, Voice, Writing, Written

Meet the author

author avatar Sugarbaby125
I have always liked to write. I write poetry and short stories, but I have never had the confidence in my writing to try to see it published before, so I am going to give it a try, at last!

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author avatar Retired
11th May 2015 (#)

I can obviously say nothing about your spoken English, but I can see one or two places where your written English could be improved!

No matter - the main thing is that what you write is perfectly understandable, and that is what is most important.

I agree that English must be difficult to learn for a non-native speaker, given all its subtleties.

I am sure that your English is way better than my French!

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author avatar Sugarbaby125
12th May 2015 (#)

Hi John, thanks for your feedback, it is really useful to me.
Yes, the problem is that like most people, when you proof read your own written English, you can not always see your own errors

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author avatar Retired
12th May 2015 (#)

You are quite right about self-proofreading. I used to make a bob or two from proofreading other people's work, so I know how true this is!

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author avatar Sugarbaby125
12th May 2015 (#)

I have only ever done proof reading once and that was for the Ministry of Defence. I was proof reading Army Manuals. It was just such tedious work!!!!!

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