Re: [OT] Re: the Ethnologue

From: John Cowan (
Date: Thu Nov 30 2000 - 11:56:09 EST

Elliotte Rusty Harold wrote:

> I've yet to encounter a spoken
> version of English that I couldn't understand, after at most a couple
> of minutes of accustoming myself to the accent.

You live in a country where dialect differentiation is a feeble thing,
consisting mainly in pronunciation, and where dialect areas stretch for
hundreds or even thousands of miles. Australia and Northern China
(in the Chinese-speaking region) are about the only other parts of the
Earth with this property. English elsewhere is more diverse.

In general, Geordie (the traditional dialect spoken around the Tyne
River in England) is considered to be the English dialect most difficult
for North Americans.

In countries where English is widely spoken as a second language (former
parts of the British Empire), the varieties are often very different.
Indians have trouble with Kenyan English and vice versa, IIRC.

There is / one art                   || John Cowan <>
no more / no less                    ||
to do / all things                   ||
with art- / lessness                 \\ -- Piet Hein

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