Helpful ReplyWhere is the English language going?

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bitflipper
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2017/03/05 20:40:53 (permalink)

Where is the English language going?

I've often complained about my inability to decipher spoken English from Scotland and Alabama, but if I lived in those places awhile I'd no doubt be able to tune my ear to their way of speaking. I have no problem understanding English as spoken in the Philippines, for example. My name there is "Deb", not Dave.
 
But it got me wondering if I'd be able to communicate with anyone in my language if I fell asleep and woke up 1,000 years later. Fry has no problem in Futurama, but I have a feeling Matt Groening may not be a linguist. I think future English will become more standardized around the world due to global connectedness, the way the BBC developed so-called "mid-Atlantic" speech that sounds neutral to both American and British speakers.
 
As I pursued this line of thinking, I came across this interesting YouTube video that addresses the question "how far back in time could you go and still understand English?".
 

 


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craigb
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Re: Where is the English language going? 2017/03/05 21:02:07 (permalink)
¿Que?

 Craig B. (AKA Mishikakiji!  )  
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sharke
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Re: Where is the English language going? 2017/03/05 22:10:02 (permalink) ☄ Helpfulby Mesh 2017/03/06 13:27:22
I have to say, I like the Queen's English. It makes me nostalgic because nearly everyone used to speak like that on TV when I was a kid. Take this 60's kids show, Mary Mungo and Midge, which I enjoyed as a wee bairn in the 1970's. The little girl in it, despite living at the top of a block of flats, speaks like Her Royal Majesty. There is no way in the world you would ever hear anyone in a British kids's TV show speaking like that now:
 


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jamesg1213
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Re: Where is the English language going? 2017/03/05 22:25:56 (permalink)
Love it

 
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auto_da_fe
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Re: Where is the English language going? 2017/03/06 00:01:42 (permalink)
I think idocracy got future english correct ?
 
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Re: Where is the English language going? 2017/03/06 00:42:13 (permalink)
That was quite interesting and quite fascinating!

Thanx Dave! (or should I say "Deb") 

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tlw
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Re: Where is the English language going? 2017/03/06 00:52:34 (permalink)
The pronunciation changes over time are a bit of guesswork, but otherwise the video's probably right.

Pronunciation changes between different communities separated by distance are another thing. It's quite possible that the accents of modern rural New England are closer to 17th century English English than modern English English. If that makes sense. We say "Autumn" now but once upon a time said "Fall". The American colonists stuck with Fall while we adopted yet another bit of badly pronounced French to add to what centuries of being ruled by French-speaking nobles and their French hangers-on had already done to Anglo-Saxon. Then there's the Norse influence, the Hindi, Bengali and Urdu words that came from the Empire, bits and pieces from all over the place.

And even English people can have difficulty understanding other English people's accents. Not as extreme as it was before the BBC and radio perhaps, but regional/local accents still vary even over a few miles.

Where will it all end? Who knows, languages change all the time and resisting that change is a waste of time.

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sharke
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Re: Where is the English language going? 2017/03/06 03:12:23 (permalink)
tlw
The pronunciation changes over time are a bit of guesswork, but otherwise the video's probably right.

Pronunciation changes between different communities separated by distance are another thing. It's quite possible that the accents of modern rural New England are closer to 17th century English English than modern English English. If that makes sense. We say "Autumn" now but once upon a time said "Fall". The American colonists stuck with Fall while we adopted yet another bit of badly pronounced French to add to what centuries of being ruled by French-speaking nobles and their French hangers-on had already done to Anglo-Saxon. Then there's the Norse influence, the Hindi, Bengali and Urdu words that came from the Empire, bits and pieces from all over the place.

And even English people can have difficulty understanding other English people's accents. Not as extreme as it was before the BBC and radio perhaps, but regional/local accents still vary even over a few miles.

Where will it all end? Who knows, languages change all the time and resisting that change is a waste of time.



Yep and they wrote "color" in Shakespeare's day, not the later French inspired "colour." American English is way closer to ye olde English than English itself. 

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craigb
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Re: Where is the English language going? 2017/03/06 05:32:14 (permalink)
Bladerunner.

 Craig B. (AKA Mishikakiji!  )  
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jamesg1213
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Re: Where is the English language going? 2017/03/06 07:35:41 (permalink)
tlw
the Hindi, Bengali and Urdu words that came from the Empire, bits and pieces from all over the place.




Yes indeed, plenty of those in the equestrian world - gymkhana, jodhpur, and numnah for example.
post edited by jamesg1213 - 2017/03/06 08:30:49

 
Jyemz
 
 
 



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craigb
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Re: Where is the English language going? 2017/03/06 07:47:47 (permalink)
Would that be "jodhpur?" 

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jamesg1213
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Re: Where is the English language going? 2017/03/06 08:31:28 (permalink)
craigb
Would that be "jodhpur?" 




Thanks for that, I've editing my spelling mistake.

 
Jyemz
 
 
 



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Slugbaby
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Re: Where is the English language going? 2017/03/06 14:06:53 (permalink)
I like to think I'm a good listener, and can understand most people.  That good ear is part of being a musician, isn't it?
 
Flying from Amsterdam to Belfast a couple of years ago, the flight attendant started the safety speech.  Pure gobbledygook.  She played with the life preserver, buckled the belt, did some disco poses with her arms, and then there was silence.  "Right," i thought.  "That was the Dutch, now it's English time."  Then she started speaking Dutch and I realized that the entire first half was English with an Irish accent.  I hadn't understood a word!
 
I assume with communication and world travel being so easy, the English language is going to become even more fragmented.  Living in Toronto, where roughly 50% of the population is not Canadian-born, we all add our own cultural words into the otherwise-mostly-english conversation.  And sometimes we pick up each others' terminology and start using it.

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bitflipper
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Re: Where is the English language going? 2017/03/06 14:41:10 (permalink)
I think it's safe to speculate that we have a First here: first time "jodhpur" has been used on a music-related forum.
 
Anyone want to attempt "aliment"? (Not so fast...you cannot incorporate "becan" in your sentence!)


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Kalle Rantaaho
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Re: Where is the English language going? 2017/03/06 14:51:46 (permalink)
Slugbaby
I like to think I'm a good listener, and can understand most people.  That good ear is part of being a musician, isn't it?
 
Flying from Amsterdam to Belfast a couple of years ago, the flight attendant started the safety speech.  Pure gobbledygook.  She played with the life preserver, buckled the belt, did some disco poses with her arms, and then there was silence.  "Right," i thought.  "That was the Dutch, now it's English time."  Then she started speaking Dutch and I realized that the entire first half was English with an Irish accent.  I hadn't understood a word!
 



I believe the airplane pilots  are trained to speak such English that you only can pick some key words
like thssusyacptn spkng, prperr folnding, tmprture, coplot etc to give an impression of professional routine and experience  in order to make the passengers feel safe. If they pronounced clearly and loudly, people might think there's a kindergarten teacher at the steering wheel.
Thinking of all the variations of their dear language the native English speakers have to hear, I can't but smile at the Finnish lingo-perfectionists who pick and poke anyone who (in their own opinion) throws a shadow of shame and ridicule upon the whole nation speaking improper English. I realise there are such persons in every country, of course.

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kennywtelejazz
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Re: Where is the English language going? 2017/03/06 16:04:41 (permalink) ☄ Helpfulby Mesh 2017/03/06 16:13:46
I'm sorry Dave I couldn't resist going here ...
 
Duke has never sounded so smart in his life
 

 
Kenny
 
PS , don't worry the vid is unlisted and he is not looking to take credit for you words ...he is just reading them out loud

                   
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jamesg1213
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Re: Where is the English language going? 2017/03/06 16:12:05 (permalink)
I've become attuned to the local Scottish accent after 15 years, it's very different from other parts of the country due to the proximity to Ireland. The folks here are sometimes referred to as 'Galloway Irish' and can be mistaken for such if they're up in the Highlands.
 
I'd sort of forgotten how impenetrable the accent was until last summer when my friend Tim came to stay, and asked if a couple of women we passed chatting in a doorway were talking in Gaelic!

 
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craigb
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Re: Where is the English language going? 2017/03/06 18:00:57 (permalink)
For Dave:  Aliment to say was that the becan is mine!  

 Craig B. (AKA Mishikakiji!  )  
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dmbaer
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Re: Where is the English language going? 2017/03/06 20:47:38 (permalink)
Kalle Rantaaho
I believe the airplane pilots  are trained to speak such English that you only can pick some key words
like thssusyacptn spkng, prperr folnding, tmprture, coplot etc to give an impression of professional routine and experience  in order to make the passengers feel safe. If they pronounced clearly and loudly, people might think there's a kindergarten teacher at the steering wheel.



A few years ago, PBS ran a documentary series about the English language.  The very first thing stated by the narrator in the first installment went something like this:
 
An Air Italia flight with an all-Italian crew landing at the Rome Airport and in radio contact with the Italian air controllers at that airport exclusively use English to communicate.
 
In other words, with international commercial air flight, it's English everywhere all the time, period.
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craigb
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Re: Where is the English language going? 2017/03/06 21:23:36 (permalink)
Back in the Cold War days, coders using COBOL in the USSR had to write in English.

 Craig B. (AKA Mishikakiji!  )  
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bitflipper
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Re: Where is the English language going? 2017/03/07 03:56:35 (permalink) ☄ Helpfulby kennywtelejazz 2017/03/07 17:42:39
...my name is "Bow Wow", not "Duke". 


All else is in doubt, so this is the truth I cling to. 

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Re: Where is the English language going? 2017/03/07 13:23:43 (permalink)
dmbaer
An Air Italia flight with an all-Italian crew landing at the Rome Airport and in radio contact with the Italian air controllers at that airport exclusively use English to communicate.
 



Lufthansa Pilot (in German): "Ground, what is our start clearance time?"
 
Ground Controller (in English): "If you want an answer you must speak in English."
 
Lufthansa Pilot (in English): "I am a German, flying a German airplane, in Germany. Why must I speak English?"
 
Unknown voice from another plane (in a beautiful British accent): "Because you lost the bloody war!"

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Re: Where is the English language going? 2017/03/07 17:44:41 (permalink)
bitflipper
...my name is "Bow Wow", not "Duke". 




Duke's a real piece of work ...I'm glad he gave you a few laughs 
 
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dmbaer
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Re: Where is the English language going? 2017/03/08 00:23:21 (permalink)
MandolinPicker
Lufthansa Pilot (in German): "Ground, what is our start clearance time?"
 
Ground Controller (in English): "If you want an answer you must speak in English."
 
Lufthansa Pilot (in English): "I am a German, flying a German airplane, in Germany. Why must I speak English?"
 
Unknown voice from another plane (in a beautiful British accent): "Because you lost the bloody war!"



Roger Murdock: Flight 2-0-9'er, you are cleared for take-off.
Captain Oveur: Roger!
Roger Murdock: Huh?
Tower voice: L.A. departure frequency, 123 point 9'er.
Captain Oveur: Roger!
Roger Murdock: Huh?
Victor Basta: Request vector, over.
Captain Oveur: What?
Tower voice: Flight 2-0-9'er cleared for vector 324.
Roger Murdock: We have clearance, Clarence.
Captain Oveur: Roger, Roger. What's our vector, Victor?
Tower voice: Tower's radio clearance, over!
Captain Oveur: That's Clarence Oveur. Over.
Tower voice: Over.
Captain Oveur: Roger.
Roger Murdock: Huh?
Tower voice: Roger, over!
Roger Murdock: What?
Captain Oveur: Huh?
Victor Basta: Who?
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bitflipper
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Re: Where is the English language going? 2017/03/08 13:53:57 (permalink)
My dad used to fly charters between Africa and the Middle East. Imagine the myriad of African, Middle-eastern, European and American accents all trying to communicate life-and-death information using a "common" language!
 
Apparently, to be an air traffic controller there is no requirement that you can be understood in English, only that you can speak it. Picture an Iraqi pilot talking to an Israeli controller in a language neither of them uses at home, each mangling the language in their own regionally-distinct way.
 
When aircraft travel across the Atlantic ocean, they are largely on their own when out over uncontrolled airspace. As they approach Europe, they check in with controllers in Shannon, Ireland and then receive vectors to their final destinations. Once, a mis-communication (likely a pilot from the American south talking to an Irish controller) resulted in an incorrect vector. They pilot dutifully entered the coordinates and the plane flew itself to the wrong airport. Because the crew realized the error too late, they had to land in Frankfurt and then take off again for Copenhagen, their intended destination.
 
What makes that story hilarious to me is that this 747 was one of the first equipped with seatback entertainment consoles. If you've ever flown across the Atlantic or the Pacific, you've probably been fascinated by the global map showing your plane's position (plus altitude and outside temperature) as you track your progress around the world. Well, the crew may not have realized they were on the wrong vector, but every passenger knew! Imagine their concern, knowing the plane was off course with no explanation from the cockpit.


All else is in doubt, so this is the truth I cling to. 

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DrLumen
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Re: Where is the English language going? 2017/03/08 16:45:02 (permalink)
Until last night I thought I could understand an Irish accent (at least as much as a Texan would normally hear) but I ended up having to watch an english/irish movie with the subtitles on. sigh

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Re: Where is the English language going? 2017/03/08 17:23:22 (permalink)
Actually Dave, in the future there won't be any spoken language.  Instead we will all text each other.  The few people that still retain the power of speech will be limited to simple one syllable utterances such as, "She be a 'ho". 
 
I'm looking forward to this and the other innovations that modern society is bringing to us.

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bitflipper
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Re: Where is the English language going? 2017/03/12 14:34:43 (permalink)
jude77
Actually Dave, in the future there won't be any spoken language.  Instead we will all text each other.  The few people that still retain the power of speech will be limited to simple one syllable utterances such as, "She be a 'ho". 
 
I'm looking forward to this and the other innovations that modern society is bringing to us.





All else is in doubt, so this is the truth I cling to. 

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Re: Where is the English language going? 2017/03/17 09:27:29 (permalink)
bitflipper
Apparently, to be an air traffic controller there is no requirement that you can be understood in English, only that you can speak it. Picture an Iraqi pilot talking to an Israeli controller in a language neither of them uses at home, each mangling the language in their own regionally-distinct way.



I work with people from several different countries who speak English as a 2nd language everyday. Foreign people all seem to speak English the same "mangled" way and seem to understand each other better than they understand those who speak only English. When one such person is your supervisor, things can get interesting to dicey in a hurry.
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daryl1968
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Re: Where is the English language going? 2017/03/17 15:20:41 (permalink)
On a similar subject Bill Bryson's book 'Made in America: An Informal History of the English Language in the United States' is fascinating. 
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