Improve your English

Say it in Italian!

1458507452_42-Kevin-Jarrett-Flickr-600x335In common language, neologisms and foreign terms are overtaking frequency in the use of Italian vocabulary. If some words such as marketing, sports, rock, browser, smog can not find a corresponding effective in our language, there are other terms such as workshops, abstract, fashion, light of which we could do very well without using their Italian counterparts ‘seminario’, ‘riassunto’, ‘moda’, ‘leggero’. Our readers themselves point out that we often prefer to be called ‘amanti dei libri’ rather than booklovers.

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Improve your English

The english accent is dying out unless you’re from London

 

splint

Regional accents across England are slowly fading, and are being replaced nationwide with a more ‘southern’ way of speaking, according to research. The accent data was gathered from 30,000 users of the English Dialects App, created in January by Cambridge Universityacademics, and compared to the results of a dialect survey carried out in the 1950s.

People from across the country answered the survey through the app, which asked them to specify how they said certain words like ‘scone’, and how they referred to certain things, like a ‘splinter’. The app has been in use for a few months, taking in the accents of people from 4,000 cities, towns and villages across the country. After analysing the results, the researchers have found that more people speak with accents similar to those inLondon or south-east Englandthan they did 60 years ago. “When it comes to language change in England, our results confirm that there is a clear pattern of levelling towards the English of the south-east,” said Dr Adrian Leeman, a Cambridge researcher who worked on the project. “More and more people are pronouncing words in the way that people from London and the south-east do.”

The University of Bern’s Professor David Britain, another researcher, said: “People in Bristol speak much more similarly to those in Colchester now than they did 50 years ago. Regional differences are disappearing, quite quickly.” A few parts of the country are holding out, however. Newcastle and Sunderland, in the North East, stood out as areas where local words and pronunciations still dominate. Northern ways of speaking may even be spreading down the country – the pronunciation of words like ‘last’ with a short vowel, rather than a long one, is typically a part of northern accents. But the study found it is now common in the Midlands and the West Country, even though it wasn’t traditionally a part of the accents in those areas.

As well as shedding light on the changing way we speak, the information gathered through the app will now allow current English dialects to be compared with those in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, countries which were not surveyed in the 1950s study. Tam Blaxter, a Cambridge PhD student who worked on the analysis, believes the ‘levelling’ of English accents may be due to increased mobility. People move around the country for work and education a lot more than they did 60 years ago, exposing them to a much wider range of accents. Analysis of the survey results will continue, as the researchers look at the social reasons behind the ‘flattening’ of accents in England.

from The Independent

Reading in the Station

Super Short Versions Of Classic Books For The Lazy Ones

Super Short Versions Of Classic Books For The Lazy Ones

With a constant stream of new content every day it’s getting harder and harder to find time to read a book. Especially if it’s one thousand pages long. Cartoonist John Atkinson has also noticed this, and in response he’s come up with a useful reading hack that allows people to quickly read epic classic novels. Well, sort of… In his funny comics John has shortened classic books from hundreds of pages to less than 10 words. And often they’re right on the money, as you’ll see below. Prepare yourself for spoilers! (but even with those, there will be something left for you to read in the originals).

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