Would an American trying to speak British English be rude?

w00tmaster

macrumors regular
Original poster
Jun 21, 2004
165
0
Although I'm an American living in Germany, I was just enchanted by the (real) English language on a recent trip to London. So much so that I want to try to "pick up" British English as it were. Not so much the accent(I cannot try to imitate a British accent without coming off like a jerk) but the British English words and mannerism(over say American English)

Would people care? Or would they just think I'm being a jerk? How can avoid eliciting such opinions?
 

Reaver

macrumors 6502
Aug 23, 2006
281
0
Columbus, Ohio
I had a friend move to england with his wife and two years later when he came back for a visit he spoke as if he was british. it was like he was born and raised there it was scary and cool at the same time. so no I dont think you would come across as rude.
 

Jaffa Cake

macrumors Core
Aug 1, 2004
19,801
6
The City of Culture, Englandshire
Like skunk, I think you'll have to prepare yourself for a fair bit of ribbing. I suppose the worst that could happen is if you were to meet an English guy or gal and they thought you were taking the piss* out of them in some way – it could cause offence if you're not too careful. I think the leg pulling is more likely, though

*There's a phrase to start you off! ;)
 

xUKHCx

Administrator emeritus
Jan 15, 2006
12,045
6
The Kop
w00tmaster said:
Although I'm an American living in Germany, I was just enchanted by the (real) English language on a recent trip to London. So much so that I want to try to "pick up" British English as it were. Not so much the accent(I cannot try to imitate a British accent without coming off like a jerk) but the British English words and mannerism(over say American English)
Lesson Number 1:

Most British people despise this term.
 

skunk

macrumors G4
Jun 29, 2002
11,745
4,009
Republic of Ukistan
Jaffa Cake said:
Like skunk, I think you'll have to prepare yourself for a fair bit of ribbing. I suppose the worst that could happen is if you were to meet an English guy or gal and they thought you were taking the piss* out of them in some way – it could cause offence if you're not too careful. I think the leg pulling is more likely, though

*There's a phrase to start you off! ;)
Dick Van Dyke, the Cockney Sparrer, springs to mind.
 

MacBoobsPro

macrumors 603
Jan 10, 2006
5,116
6
I hate it when Americans think they are doing a good impression of a British accent when really its just a crap impression of the Queen. No one talks like that and no one knows her either. Oh and no I dont live near London. :rolleyes:
 

xUKHCx

Administrator emeritus
Jan 15, 2006
12,045
6
The Kop
Brize said:
Really? How else might American English be described?
To be honest it is rarely considered, only when a spell checker tries to correct something perfectly legitimate, then a call of stupid americans can quite often be heard.

On this point is there any downloadable english dictionary for the mac.
 

Abstract

macrumors Penryn
Dec 27, 2002
24,379
110
Location Location Location
Abstract's Random Tip for sounding less American:


Tip #1: If you are not in America, and someone asks you where you live, don't tell them what State you live in. You come from "The US", or "(insert city name here)". Your State is not the most important thing in other parts of the world, although it seems to be in America.

German: "Where do you come from?"
Typical American: "I'm from Nebraska."

If someone asks me where I'm from, I'm quite confident that I wouldn't tell them that I'm from Ontario (my province), or New South Wales (the state I live in now). :rolleyes: In another country, I tell people I'm Canadian, or that I'm from Toronto, and that I live just south of Sydney.
 

Brize

macrumors 6502a
Jun 13, 2004
732
0
Europe
seanf said:
Just as American
I think that would be infinitely more irritating for most Brits.

xUKHCx said:
To be honest it is rarely considered, only when a spell checker tries to correct something perfectly legitimate, then a call of stupid americans can quite often be heard.

On this point is there any downloadable english dictionary for the mac.
Are you asking how to change the spell-check dictionary from American English to British English? If so, see here.
 

mad jew

Moderator emeritus
Apr 3, 2004
32,194
6
Adelaide, Australia
xUKHCx said:
On this point is there any downloadable english dictionary for the mac.

In the Language pane of System Preferences, I dragged Australian English to the top of the list and this helped my inbuilt spell-checker work properly. Booya!


As for the actual topic, I agree with Allotriophagy that most attempts by non-British people to sound British come off as sounding pretentious. It's a shame 'cause it's a splendid accent. Arrrr...

Eep, that was yesterday.
 

seanf

macrumors 6502
Aug 8, 2006
310
0
UK
Abstract said:
Your State is not the most important thing in other parts of the world, although it seems to be in America.
Yes and you don't need to add the Country name if you mention a Capital City. People know where Paris and London are without you saying Paris, France and London, England ;)

Brize said:
I think that would be infinitely more irritating for most Brits.
Nope, we speak English and Americans have their own mangled language, simply referred to as American (or it is around here!).

Sean :)
 

Brize

macrumors 6502a
Jun 13, 2004
732
0
Europe
seanf said:
Nope, we speak English and Americans have their own mangled language, simply referred to as American (or it is around here!).
Sure, and I guess they speak Brazilian in Brazil.
 

Brize

macrumors 6502a
Jun 13, 2004
732
0
Europe
seanf said:
Yes and you don't need to add the Country name if you mention a Capital City. People know where Paris and London are without you saying Paris, France and London, England ;)
Unless you're from Ontario...
 

seanf

macrumors 6502
Aug 8, 2006
310
0
UK
Brize said:
Unless you're from Ontario...
That post was not directed at Abstract, it was an additional to the part of the post I quoted. Everyone else managed to work that out though.

Sean :)
 

Brize

macrumors 6502a
Jun 13, 2004
732
0
Europe
seanf said:
That post was not directed at Abstract, it was an additional to the part of the post I quoted. Everyone else managed to work that out though.
Eh? You've lost me there, I'm afraid.

Paris and London are both places in Ontario, Canada.