Rhoticity

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There are many accents of English and many differences among them but the most prominent one is whether the /r/ is pronounced before consonants and at the end of words. In most British dialects it isn’t while in most American dialects it is. These are called rhotic dialects and besides Standard American, Scottish, Irish and Canadian […]

3 Types of Languages

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Depending on affixation and how affixes are separated within a word we distinguish three language types: agglutinating, isolating and fusional. Agglutinative languages add affixes to the word stem and these affixes are easily distinguishable most of the time. These languages include Turkish, Hungarian, Finnish, Japanese, Korean, etc. By adding several affixes to the stem, you […]

Global Proficiency

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Speaking English was once an admirable skill. Instead of the admiration you got 20 years ago for being fluent in English, it is more and more taken for granted and will probably reach the status of literacy in terms of an elementary skill. Thanks to the EF English Proficiency Index we can see where certain […]

Support

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I have met several people who speak really good English yet they don’t pronounce the word support properly. This is one of the very few words whose pronunciation eludes even some very good speakers of English. Many speakers put the stress on the first syllable which results in a different vowel sound, one used in a […]

Transfer (Spanish-English)

Image: Folkert Gorter
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The phenomenon when your mother tongue influences the learning of a foreign language is called language transfer. This could be beneficial where there is no difference between the two languages, otherwise however, the transfer won’t be correct in the foreign language, and it is said to interfere with it. Here are the most common grammatical transfers Spanish […]