Home Forums Discussion Board Discussion 1.2 – Dialects & Standard English

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    • #1877

      Being particularly familiar with Romania and Italy, I can say there certainly are tens of ‘dialects’ in these countries, and none are recognized as actual languages, as in the case of Mexico presented in the course. Wikipedia claims that Romanian dialects are all mutually intelligible, but I disagree to an extent. In my experience, you can put together a person from the south/south-east of the country with someone from the north and difficulties of understanding would arise, especially if there is a generational gap. Unfortunately, many of the regional languages of both Romania and Italy are vulnerable or seriously endangered, with older generations mostly being the ones keeping the languages alive. In Italy, these languages are so complex and have German or French influences, and one regional language I was exposed to sounded closer to Romanian than standard Italian!

      I agree with the linguistic claim that Standard English is in itself a dialect…I would say it is a ‘variety’ of the language. It shouldn’t be given more importance or status than the other varieties, in a perfect world…

      I’d be interested to learn more about others’ regional languages from their countries and their views on them.

      To view past replies go to: https://changingenglishes.proboards.com/thread/6/dialects-standard-english

      • This topic was modified 4 months, 1 week ago by adminadmin.
    • #3321
      Joshua TanJoshua Tan

      As a Malaysia from the southern region, I professed that I couldn’t comprehend the Malay speakers from the Northern region of the country. This is because the Northern accent of the Malay language is very different from the southern accent. In some ways, I can draw a parallel experience with the New Zealand English (where “e” is pronounced as “i” and that “accent” sounds more like “accint”). These diversities among different dialects are simply beautiful.

      • #4044

        In Philippines, we also have have a lot of dialects. These dialects originated from different places and islands since our country is an archipelago. These dialects are both spoken by indigenous people or common citizens. Even our official language ‘Filipino’ is also mixed words (e.g. Chinese, Spanish and English) since we have been colonized in early years. I cannot tell if some dialects are fading though.

        As for people who are living in the city, mostly, they speak English (English is also considered as our second language, first language to some). The only time that they would be speaking in our mother tongue or dialect is when they met someone who came from the same hometown.

        As for accents, dialects affect accents too especially the if the sounds of English are not present in their dialects.

    • #3349

      In Sri Lanka, Sinhala and Tamil are the two languages used by a majority of the people. There are regional differences in spoken Sinhala, however, differences are not so great that it would make one regional variety unintelligible to the users of others. There are different varieties even in Tamil and these differences are regional as well as caste-based. However, I’m not in a position to comment on the intelligibility of each of these varieties for its different users.

      I too agree that the so-called Standard English is just another variety/dialect of English. It is that due to some socio-historical reasons this variety/dialect was codified. It is in fact the codification of this variety/dialect together with various other socio-political and economic reasons that ultimately led it to be idealized as “the standard variety”.

    • #3431

      In Thailand , there are mainly 4 dialects namely: North , South, North East and Central dialects. When people from the south are talking thier dialect , I cannot catch up all of them because they are speak very fast. I am from NorthEast I understand North dialect more than South because my dialect is close to North. When people use their dialect they probably communicate more direct than official language. Diversity is the best!!!!

    • #3499

      As there are over 100 races in our country(Myanmar), there are many dialects. But, we mainly use Burmese language to communicate. There are two parts of Myanmar, Upper and Lower. For those parts, only the intonations are different. We mostly understand what each other says.

    • #3541

      In my country (Iran) there are several languages that labeled as “dialects” and people try to adhere to standard Farsi as they have been taught so, specially in writing or formal speaking and addressing. But you can see they are far from being a dialect since for example Turkish language here in Iran is widely spoken by so many people but it is not identical to language of Turkey at all. In fact there are some overlaps in certain areas, but not all of them. So labeling all of that non-standard and non-Farsi as “dialect” is somehow wrong in my opinion and sometimes it causes the matter of social and cultural conflicts and identity for no-users of it.
      I feel it’s correct to point to the standard English as non-regional dialect but to to most of people and laymen it has no meaning and benefits at all since mostly they have raised by the monolithic educational system. So they can not get the underlying meaning of it.

    • #3629

      We speak telugu in Andhra Pradesh, India. We have many dialects in this language but we follow certain rules while writing and speaking formally. I never knew that standard English can be a form of dialect, as I am new to this area of study.

    • #3672

      In Poland most of the people use more or less the same variety of Polish. Nevertheless, we have local dialect which are very often maintained and respected by local communities. These dialects are not mutually intelligible due to big differences in vocabulary caused by historical influences of other countries. Most of the people who speak those dialects can also use the more standard version of Polish to communicate with others and are able to switch between those varieties. Regional dialect are usually respected by most Poles and their speakers are not looked down upon. Unfortunately, we also have so-called “redneck Polish”, which is mainly used in villages and many people consider it an inferior variety of Polish. Moreover, its users are thought to be uneducated or even unintelligent 🙁

    • #3731

      In Egypt we use many dilates from Arabiv

    • #3908

      In Sri Lanka,when it comes to one of its first languages – Sinhala, there are many regional dialects: Up county Sinhala, Low country Sinhala in the spoken variety of language. However, in formal discourse i.e. in the written variety, there’s only one norm which is regarded the standard.
      The question who decides the standard, or are varieties of English regarded subordinate?, which English should be taught to students of ESL? are some doubts which linger in my mind as an ELT practitioner.

    • #4209
      Dauda PikawiDauda Pikawi

      Dialects or vernaculars are names given to a language whose ‘prestige’ is not up to the so- called ‘standard English’ in many parts of Nigeria. And the teachers of the said standard English barely have the ‘standard competence’. The question as pointed above, is who decides the standard?

    • #4240
      Julio TorresJulio Torres

      In Colombia we have the official language which is Spanish, however, some indigenous language are used in their territories. There is a stron belief about Standard Spanish anyways, despite the very many varieties of Spanish in Colombia and in Latin America. English is considered a Foreign language in the mainland and it is only spoken in San Andres Islands and Providence in a creole variety in combination with Spanish for everyday use.

    • #4248
      Damien WeissDamien Weiss

      In France, local dialects are called “patois”. They are variations on “standard” French, with difference that vary from subtle to huge.
      “Patois” are viewed with fondness, as they are part of each region’s identity. Young people with a strong sense of belonging to their home region will try and save it from exctinction. However, no one in their right mind would use them in a business reunion.
      For instance, the popular “Bienvenu chez les Ch’tis” comedy drives most of its humour from the use of northern “Chtimi”, and it is treated as both endearing and amusing for outsiders. However, the success of this movie was seen with pride by locals, who saw it as an Opportunity to give their local brand of French some well deserved recognition.

    • #4263

      A mon avi, standardization of a language are largely for political reasons as well as to foster unity among a group of people from diverse background.

    • #4606

      ‘Standard English’ as an idealized form is a regional dialect. However, it can be used in different regions and different accents. Perhaps variety is a better term as dialect has negative connotations in English. The linguistic claim is correct – ‘Standard’ English is no better or worse than any other variety. It is only the social importance attached to ‘Standard’ English that means it is viewed as being superior.

    • #4630

      In Sri Lankan, majority of the Sinhala and Tamil speakers use Sinhalese and Tamil as their mother tongue. (L1 language) English language plays a link language among both ethnic groups and most importantly, English language uses as official language in the educational and administration matters in the country. There are certain dialects existed in Sinhala language based on the region while Tamil language based on the cast. However, it is needed to mention that there are no conflicts among the language dialects of these two main languages. But when it comes to English language, there is a conflict between the Standard Sri Lankan English and Non-Standard Sri Lankan English (non-put English). Furthermore, Sri Lankans try hard to learn Standard British English variety (which is impossible)in order to pass the British exams like YLE, KET,PET,CEIP and etc.

    • #4675

      There are several dialects in the U.S. which can be unintelligible to folks from other regions. For example, in North Carolina, someone might say to you as you leave their house “Ya’ll come back now, chear?” (Which means, “All of you should come back to visit again.”) or in Boston, someone might tell you, “I took a wicken diggah in my dooryard.” (Which means I fell down in my driveway).

      We can also tell which part of the U.S. we’re in based on what a person calls bubbly, sugary water. Is it soda, pop, or coke?

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