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Pie chart showing the relative numbers of native English speakers in the major English-speaking countries of the world.
- Speak with a native speaker. Often there are local gatherings of native speakers for the sole intent of speaking. Listening or participating can be useful.
- Repeat and memorize whole sample phrases and sentences which embody grammatical rules. Grammar requires calculation before speaking, so speak from a memorized sentence pattern instead. Make a quota of phrases or sentences to memorize per day, depending on your schedule. For most people, memorizing 1 or 2 model pattern sentences everyday is not too difficult. Learn poems that appeal to you, and “ham” them aloud.
- Get the melody of the language by listening to songs you like and singing them. By doing this, you can reduce your accent and almost unconsciously memorize a lot of phrases. Get the lyrics though, it may be very difficult to understand the song without them. When at the very beginning learning the language, learning children’s songs may be very helpful (and can be very amusing for the learner, making them easy to remember).
- Most new languages contain unfamiliar sounds. Practice them ad nauseam! Make yourself drill sentences full of new sounds and repeat them all the time. For instance, in French, “Il fait de la voile” can be used to practice French “f”s, “v”s and “d”s, or “un bon vin blanc” for French nasals.
- Listen to radio broadcasts in the language through the Internet. It is not important that you understand every word, or even that you actively pay attention to the broadcast. Rather, a good idea is to have the radio on in the background as you are doing other things. This will allow you to get used to the sounds and intonations of the language, and thus be able to isolate individual words from a general stream of spoken language. The Deutsche Welle’s slowly spoken news reports (in German, of course) or the Polish Radio in Esperanto are both good examples of what you can find out there. The International French Radio, just like the BBC also offer broadcasts in 19 languages, including one in “easy french”.
- Watch language movies subtitled in the language and vice-versa.
- Use your computer to help you learn a language by installing programs or games using your target language. For example, if you use the Firefox web browser, you can install a version in your target language, or if you use the Opera web browser, you can easily change the interface language in Preferences. If you use a Mac, open System Preferences, select International, then Language, and put your new language at the top of the list. (Then everything that can will appear in your new language.) . When installing an operating system, there is usually an option to pick a language or languages to install: Most Linux distributions are straightforward in this respect. Please note however, that even though Microsoft Windows allows certain language support options via Regional Preferences in the Control Panel, this does not change the language of the interface nor of the included documentation.
- Regular meetings with a partner who speaks another language are often useful. This is also known as language exchange. E.g. if you know English and are learning Polish, you can meet weekly with a Polish-speaker who wants to practice their English. Talk in Polish for the first half of the meeting, then in English for the second half. But be aware that trying to do this with a friend who already shares a common language with you can be less effective, since you may both be tempted to just converse more easily in the common language. Finding a stranger (through local universities, advertisements, or language communities) can therefore be more effective. If you cannot find native speakers of your target language in your community, you may be able to meet people online. See resources below for more information. Depending on the chemistry between you and your partner, you might find it awkward with little in common to talk about, or you might become great friends and have some interesting conversation practice. You can improve your chances by agreeing on a topic beforehand and coming prepared with questions. This is especially true if either or both of you are beginners in the foreign language.
Military Alphabet . . . “N” as in “Nancy” . . . Spelling Alphabet
Spell words in English / Spell your name with better clarity using the standard alphabet by speaking as follows: “A” as in “Apple”, “B” as in “Boy”, “C” as in “Cat”, “D” as in “Dog”, etc., …
This manner of speaking may be used to spell out words when speaking to someone. Giving one’s name over the telephone is a common scenario where a spelling alphabet is often used.
Spelling alphabets are especially useful when speaking in a noisy environment, or when clarity and promptness of communication is essential.
Note: Many unofficial phonetic alphabets are in use that are not based on a standard, but are based on words the transmitter can easily remember.
Toastmaster’s Meeting Demonstration
Homeless Man, Golden Voice
Prezi is a cloud-based presentation software that opens up a new world between whiteboards and slides. The zoomable canvas makes it fun to explore ideas …
Log in to Prezi.com. In order to access your account, you must …
Popular prezis – Education – Coca Cola Company – Brand D – …
With Prezi Viewer for iPad, there’s much more to discover than just …
Prezi Desktop allows Prezi Pro or Edu Pro subscribers to create …
The Prezi Learn page is a library comprised of the Prezi manual …
Pan and Zoom
Zoom around the prezi canvas to visualize your ideas.
Import PowerPoint slides, images, videos, YouTube videos, PDFs, etc.
Prezi Viewer iPad App
View, retouch and present your prezis from your iPad.
Present Online and Offline
Present online or download and show your prezi offline.
Collaborate in real-time, across the room or across time zones.
Use frames and a path to create a cinematic journey.
Prezi Tutorial: Getting Started
Refers to the use by a language community of two languages or dialects, a “high” or “H” variety restricted to certain formal situations, and a “low” or “L” variety for everyday interaction.
These links contain a list of nations, cultures, or other communities which sources describe as featuring a diglossic language situation.
Originally AAVE was a creole language used by slaves. After the 19th century, especially throughout the 1980s, AAVE went through a process of decreolization. AAVE is now considered a low prestige dialect of English rather than a separate language.
- 1 African-American Vernacular English
- 2 Arabic
- 3 Bengali
- 4 Brunei Malay
- 5 Bolivia
- 6 Catalan
- 7 Chinese
- 8 English and the Norman invasion
- 9 French
- 10 Galician
- 11 German
- 12 Greek
- 13 Hindi
- 14 Italy
- 15 Jamaica – In much of Jamaica, most people speak Jamaican Patois, which is the low variety and Jamaican Standard English, the high variety. Outside of Kingston, most people use Jamaican Patois while in Kingston most traditional middle-class and high-class speak Standard English.
- 16 Leonese and Mirandese
- 17 Maltese
- 18 Paraguay
- 19 Polish
- 20 Portuguese
- 21 Russian
- 22 Pakistan
- 23 Riau Islands
- 24 Sinhala
- 25 Singapore English
- 26 Switzerland
- 27 Tagalog
- 28 Tamil
- 29 Kannada
- 30 Ukrainian
- 31 Ukrainian/Russian
Regional vocabularies of American English vary. Below is a list of lexical differences in vocabulary that are generally associated with a region. A term featured on a list may or may not be found throughout the region concerned, and may or may not be recognized by speakers outside that region. Some terms appear on more than one list.
Historically, a number of everyday words and expression used to be characteristic of different dialect areas of the United States, especially the North, the Midland, and the South; many of these terms spread from their area of origin and came to be used throughout the nation. Many today use these different words for the same object interchangeably, or to distinguish between variations of an object. Such traditional lexical variables include:
- faucet (North) and spigot (South);
- frying pan (North and South, but not Midland), spider (New England), and skillet(Midland, Gulf States);
- clapboard (chiefly Northeast) and weatherboard (Midland and South);
- gutter (Northeast, South), eaves trough (in-land North, West), and rainspouting(chiefly Maryland and Pennsylvania);
- pit (North) and seed(elsewhere);
- teeter-totter (widespread), seesaw (South and Midland), and dandle(Rhode Island);
- firefly (less frequent South and Midland) and lightning bug(less frequent North);
- pail (North, north Midland) and bucket (Midland and South).
Many differences however still hold and mark boundaries between different dialect areas, as shown below. From 2000-2005, for instance, The Dialect Survey queried North American English speakers’ usage of a variety of linguistic items, including vocabulary items that vary by region. These include:
- generic term for a sweetened carbonated beverage
- drink made with milk and ice cream
- long sandwich that contains cold cuts, lettuce, and so on
- rubber-soled shoes worn in gym class, for athletic activities, etc.
Below are lists outlining regional vocabularies in the main dialect areas of the United States.
- brook – creek. Mainly New England, now widespread but especially common in the Northeast.
- cellar – alternate term for basement.
- sneaker – although found throughout the U.S., appears to be concentrated in the Northeast. Elsewhere (except for parts of Florida) tennis shoe is more common.
- soda – a soft drink
- bulkhead – cellar hatchway
- Cabinet – (Rhode Island) – milk shake
- frappe (eastern Massachusetts) – milkshake
- grinder – submarine sandwich
- hosey – (esp. parts of Massachusetts & Maine) to stake a claim or choose sides, to claim ownership of something (sometimes, the front seat of a car)
- intervale – bottomland; mostly historical
- johnnycake (also Rhode Island jonnycake) – a type of cornmeal bread
- leaf peeper – a tourist who has come to see the area’s vibrant autumn foliage
- necessary – outhouse, privy
- packie – a liquor store (package store)
- quahog – pronounced “koe-hog,” it properly refers to a specific species of clam but is also applied to any clam
- rotary – traffic circle
- tonic (eastern Massachusetts) – soft drink
Northern New England
- ayuh – “yes” or affirmative
- dooryard – area around the main entry door of a house, specifically a farmhouse. Typically including the driveway and parking area proximal to the house
- Italian (sandwich) – (Maine) submarine sandwich
- logan (also pokelogan) – a shallow, swampy lake or pond (from Algonquian)
- muckle – to grasp, hold-fast, or tear into
New York City Area (including adjacent New Jersey and Connecticut)
- catty corner – on an angle to a corner
- dungarees (archaic) – jeans
- egg cream – a mixture of cold milk, chocolate syrup, and seltzer
- hero – submarine sandwich
- kill – a small river or strait, in the name of specific watercourses; e.g. Beaver Kill, Fresh Kills, Kill Van Kull, Arthur Kill (from Dutch)
- potsy – hopscotch
- punchball – a baseball-like game suitable for smaller areas, in which a fist substitutes for the bat and a “spaldeen” is the ball
- scallion – spring onion
- stoop – a small porch or steps in front of a building, originally from Dutch
Other Mid-Atlantic areas
- breezeway – the space between two groups of rowhouses in the middle of a city block
- hoagie – submarine sandwich
- jimmies – sprinkles (ice cream topping)
- Mischief night – night when, by custom, preteens and teenagers play pranks; usu. 30 October
- parlor – living room
- pavement – sidewalk
- Shoobie – A visitor to the beach (typically the South Jersey shore) for the day (as contrasted with an overnight visitor)
- braht or brat – bratwurst
- breezeway (widespread) – a hallway connecting two buildings
- bubbler (esp. Wisconsin and the Mississippi and Ohio river valleys) – a water fountain
- clout (originally Chicago, now widespread) – political influence
- davenport (widespread) – a sofa, or couch
- euchre (throughout the North) – card game similar to spades
- fridge (throughout North and West) – refrigerator
- hot dish (esp. Minnesota) – a simple entree cooked in a single dish, related to casserole
- paczki (in Polish settlement areas, esp. Michigan, Ohio and Wisconsin) – a jelly donut
- pop (widespread in North and West) – a soft drink, carbonated soda
- soda (parts of Wisconsin) – soft drink 
- Yooper (Michigan) – people who reside in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan
- barn-burner (now widespread) – an exciting, often high-scoring game, esp. a basketball game
- dinner (widespread) – the mid-day meal; the largest meal of the day, whether eaten at mid-day or in the evening
- hoosier (esp. Indiana) – someone from Indiana; (outside of Indiana, esp. in the St. Louis, Missouri area) a person from a rural area, comparable to redneck
- mango – green bell pepper, sometimes also various chili peppers
- outer road – a frontage road or other service road
- pop – a soft drink (except in a large area centered on St. Louis, Missouri, where soda predominates)
- alligator pear – avocado
- banquette (southern Louisiana) – sidewalk, foot-path
- billfold (widespread, but infrequent Northeast, Pacific Northwest) – a man’s wallet
- cap (also Midlands) – sir (prob. from “captain”)
- chill bumps (also Midlands) – goose bumps
- chunk – toss or throw an object
- coke – any brand of soft drink
- commode (also Midlands) – bathroom; restroom; particularly the toilet
- crocus sack (Atlantic), croker sack (Gulf) – burlap bag
- cut on/off – to turn on/off
- directly – in a minute; soon; momentarily
- dirty rice (esp. Louisiana) – Cajun rice dish consisting of rice, spices, and meat
- fais-dodo (southern Louisiana) – a party
- fix – to get ready, to be on the verge of doing; (widespread but esp. South) to prepare food
- house shoes – bedroom slippers
- lagniappe (Gulf, esp. Louisiana) – a little bit of something extra
- locker (esp. Louisiana) – closet
- make (age) (Gulf, esp. Louisiana) – have a birthday; “He’s making 16 tomorrow.”
- neutral ground (Louisiana, Mississippi) – median strip
- po’ boy (scattered, but esp. South) – a long sandwich, typically made with fried oysters, clams, or shrimp
- put up – put away, put back in its place
- yankee – northerner; also damn yankee, damned yankee
- yonder (esp. rural) – over there, or a long distance away; also over yonder
- barrow pit (esp. Rocky Mountains) – a ditch to conduct water off a surface road
- davenport (widespread) – couch or sofa
- pop (widespread in West and North) – carbonated beverages; soda predominates in California, Arizona, southern Nevada
- snowmachine (Alaska) – a motor vehicle for travel over snow. Outside Alaska known as a snowmobile
- chechaco – derogatory term for newcomers to the Northwest. (from Chinook Jargon)
- crummy – a vehicle used to transport forest workers
- gyppo – contract work (or worker). Corruption of “gypsy”
- potlatch – a social gathering; a Native American festival during which the chief gives away his possessions (from Chinook Jargon)
- Skid road or Skid row – a path made of logs or timbers along which logs are pulled; (widespread) a run-down, impoverished urban area
- skookum – good, strong, powerful, first rate. (from Chinook Jargon)
- snoose – chewing snuff or dipping tobacco, especially taken by loggers
- tyee – Chief, boss, a person of distinction. (from Chinook Jargon)
- American and British English differences section Lexis (vocabulary)
- Pittsburgh English
- General American
- List of dialects of the English language
- Dictionary of American Regional English
- List of diglossic regions
- Ausbausprache – Abstandsprache – Dachsprache
- Dialect continuum
- Pluricentric language
- Register (linguistics)
- Standard language
The art of communicating effectively includes having the ability to enunciate sounds correctly, to use the proper intonation and an agreeable tone of voice, and the power to comprehend what we’ve heard and respond in kind.