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. 


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**”

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.
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”