As London Rifles* so does its Rabbit**

As a UK national who occasionally teaches English to non-native speakers, I am often asked about my own accent which some of my students think is very unusual. 

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I was brought up in West London in the 1980s. The cultural groups with whom I was surrounded were mainly of English, Irish, West Indian and Caribbean origin. Accordingly, they were native English speakers albeit with a very wide variety of accents. Each first generation group had its own sound but the second generation, with whom I attended school, mostly spoke in a fairly unremarkable London accent of the type that you just don’t really hear any more.  I guess this is why younger non-native English speakers ask me about mine. 

Continue reading “As London Rifles* so does its Rabbit**”

Tone, Timbre, and Coca-Cola (or, ‘how to find the right tone for your voice’!)

Most of us are familiar with the concept that how we say something is as important – if not more so – than what we actually say.  This article takes a look at how we can craft the right tone.

tone of voice by Mary Donné
The world’s most famous soft drink has a tone of voice!

It was UCLA academic Albert Mehrabian who taught us that good communication is made up of three parts:

  • Words
  • Body language; and 
  • Tone of voice

I lead learning groups in both presentation skills and autism support.  Within these sessions, we spend a fair bit of time thinking about how we may need to tailor our communication if the receiver has a barrier to their understanding – as in the case of an autistic person.  Or, if we ourselves are a little unsure about the communication – as with someone who is new to public speaking or writing for an audience.

Most of us are familiar with the concept that how we say something is as important – if not more so – than what we actually say.  Continue reading “Tone, Timbre, and Coca-Cola (or, ‘how to find the right tone for your voice’!)”

What Iceland can Teach us about the Value of Language

A short visit to Iceland and some observations about the fascinating language and culture.

Last week I celebrated my birthday in the beautiful city of Reykjavik.  It was my first visit and it won’t be my last. Iceland is unique in so many ways: it is the most peaceful country in the world; the Icelandic phone book lists every person by their first name; and it boasts one of the most difficult to learn languages.  As a bit a of language obsessive and aspiring polyglot this seriously interested me.  

https://mymjdworks.com/learning-training-blog/
The Icelandic Language is hard!

Icelandic is one of a group of Nordic languages which includes Swedish and Danish but, interestingly, not Finnish, which is way out there on its own and apparently completely incomprehensible to the Swedes, Danes, and Icelanders.   Continue reading “What Iceland can Teach us about the Value of Language”

Why the World Loves the Irish Accent (and specifically the Cork accent!)

As anyone who follows me on Instagram will know, I have just returned from a weekend in Cork.  Accordingly, I have been listening to a lot of Irish accents.

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‘Cork’ is the name of both the city and the surrounding county.  The moniker itself is an anglicised version of Corcaigh (phonetically pronounced ‘kar-kee’).  The so-called ‘capital of the south’ is known for its stunning scenery, its colourful history – its nickname is ‘The Rebel County’ – and of course its distinctive and unusual accent. Continue reading “Why the World Loves the Irish Accent (and specifically the Cork accent!)”