Firstly everyone learns English at schools that require English. Many get bogged down by British, American, Canadian or Australian English. Let’s not worry about all that political nonsense. Have a laugh (some banter, perhaps) but the purpose of language is to communicate. Ideally, to talk or write and make positive relations. Friendship, trade, agreements over disagreements, treaties, and so on all need clear communication.
Scots (as a language or dialect) is close to English. Click the blue and try reading if you’re unsure. Scots aften haes tha wird order He turnt oot tha licht an na He turnt tha licht oot an Gie me hit an na Gie hit til me. Easy, innit?! (Isn’t it?!) Try reading Trainspotting by Irvine Welsh.
“Thir must be less tae life than this” ― Irvine Welsh, Trainspotting
Then there’s Frissian. No that isn’t the name of a dog breed (well, at least I don’t think it is). This language is nattered (spoken) across the Netherlands, Denmark and Germany. 80% of the lexical likeness with English. You’re welcome/Wolkom/Wäljkiimen/Wäilkuumen. Since the 1500s Dutch has dominated the region, alongside flooding and loss of land. You’ll be hard-pressed to find a speaker but there are around 475,000 left… crack on!
Fear not, Dutch is also very close to English. Een probleem? Not at all, not a problem. So, have a crack at Afrikaans, which is heavily-based on its Dutch father language. Or, pick up German, because English and German are both Proto-German. Be creative and walk from a Netherlands huis to Germany. You can use the word creatief with ease in the orange country and then efficiently switch back to kreativ in a Germany Haus. House rules: be polite. Head north to Norway and speak Norwegian, to experience some Norwegian – and you’ll soon notice the Vikings, Norsemen, and other Germanic tribes of the region headed over to England (then known as Englaland – meaning the land of the angles).
Even French has added around 27% of its words into English, in various shapes and forms. So, here you are learning one of Europe’s most evolved and evolving languages that has spread to almost every corner of our fair world. Below here you’ll find some useful things to learn.
Useful things/tips to learn:
#1 Audio books. See below. Books read by people, for people. Surprisingly good ways to read on the go. Well Remembered Days, written by Arthur Matthews, but read by Frank Kelly (Father Jack from Father Ted) is a great exposure to Irish (Ireland, where they often speak English) culture and accents.
#2 Books. These are the best things ever. They’re diverse and they’re almost everywhere. Read one, pass it on. Read another, share it. Read a great one, keep it on your shelf to read again. Recommended authors include Michael Crichton (Jurassic Park/Timeline), Roald Dahl (The BFG/Matilda), JK Rowling (Harry Potter series), Janet and Allan Ahlberg (Funnybones), Eric Carle (The Very Hungry Caterpillar). Comic books, graphic novels, audiobooks, and even short stories in newspaper serials can all add up to the book experience. What are you reading next? Feel free to ask me for suggestions.
#3 Music. See Blog post about music, mostly. Or BBC 6 Music.