Tuesday, April 22, 2008

English As a Second Language

I have always enjoyed listening to people speak English with a foreign accent. Sometimes it is fascinating, sometimes sexy, even comical and at times it can be frustrating. Last week was a frustrating time when I was trying to deal with getting my wireless internet back online and the at&t customer service rep was from a distant land. I can't be sure but it sounded like a thick Indian accent. I really tried to understand him (or her couldn't tell which). After 10 minutes of "could you repeat that", " I don't understand what you just said, no not the whole thing again, just the last phrase", I requested to speak with someone else with English as their first language. I felt embarrassed and guilty. I apologized profusely for failing to understand their Punjabi-English. When the new clearly English speaking rep came on, we cleared up the issue quickly and with ease.

Here is another example of Engrish frustration when it matters most. I crack up everytime I watch this video, "The German Coastguard".

An oldie but goodie:
English Rather Than German Will Be Official Language of the European Union

The European Commission has just announced an agreement whereby English will be the official language of the European Union rather than German, which was the other possibility.

As part of the negotiations, the British Government conceded that English spelling had some room for improvement and has accepted a 5- year phase-in plan that would become known as "Euro-English".

In the first year, "s" will replace the soft "c". Sertainly, this will make the sivil servants jump with joy.

The hard "c" will be dropped in favour of "k". This should klear up konfusion, and keyboards kan have one less letter.

There will be growing publik enthusiasm in the sekond year when the troublesome "ph" will be replaced with "f". This will make words like fotograf 20% shorter.

In the 3rd year, publik akseptanse of the new spel ling kan be expekted to reach the stage where more komplikated changes are possible.

Governments will enkourage the removal of double letters which have always ben a deterent to akurate speling.

Also, al wil agre that the horibl mes of the silent "e" in the languag is disgrasful and it should go away.

By the 4th yer people wil be reseptiv to steps such as replasing "th" with "z" and "w" with "v".

During ze fifz yer, ze unesesary "o" kan be dropd from vords kontaining "ou" and after ziz fifz yer, ve vil hav a reil sensi bl riten styl.

Zer vil be no mor trubl or difikultis and evrivun vil find it ezi tu understand ech oza. Ze drem of a united urop vil finali kum tru.

Und efter ze fifz yer, ve vil al be speking German like zey vunted in ze forst plas.

If zis mad you smil, pleas pas on to oza pepl.......:-)

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