How to Date a British Girl
Let’s imagine a quite typical situation for the Great Britain: being in Oxford (Britain), you see two old ladies of the age 75+ who are driving the car. The one of them who is behind the wheel is a curly blonde who likes bright lipstick. She asks you if you know her friend Charlie who lives somewhere nearby. You answer her that, unfortunately, you are not from around here and cannot help her. The lady’s answer is amazing and makes you smile, «Oh, sclerosis! I remember that Charlie is living on this street, but I have forgotten where exactly.» Then these British girls come to other passersby, giggling and rolling their eyes. Can you imagine such a situation with senior ladies in your home city? Probably, you cannot. Moreover, such behavior might be considered to be indecent.
No matter how old British women are, they are not afraid to look extravagant or even funny. They are self-confident, smiling and adorable, it can be said about sexy British girls that they are posh.
What makes British girls so special?
Every nation has its own unique features that help recognize people from many others. It’s not only about their facial features including, for example, the shape of eyes and nose but also about their inner world, habits, and views of life. It’s about some possible answers to the question, “What are English girls like?” All the girls have their own particularities and each of them needs an individual approach. Nevertheless, there are some frequent things that can help describe this phenomenon of a cute British girl.
An amazing British accent. Do you know that the British accent is found to be the sexiest accent of the English language in the world? Almost every man cannot be indifferent to her accent and will be simply turned on. If necessary, she can become your private English teacher to improve your knowledge and expand the horizons.
Only genuine deeds. Unlike many other women who may be more talkative, British girls are typically very calm. They think before saying something. So, when your British woman says, “I love you”, she really means that. She had thought twice before she said these words. British girls don’t like empty words.
Good taste in music. The UK is famous by its legends such as The Beatles, Adele, The Rolling Stones, Coldplay, etc. So, British girls grow up on the best music.
Gorgeous and fancy women. It’s necessary to mention some famous representatives of the British nation, for example, Victoria Beckham, Kate Moss, Emma Watson, Kate Winslet and Keira Knightley who are really posh. Despite all the rumors, you’ll wonder how many beautiful women there are in the United Kingdom. The best phrase that can describe their beauty is “English rose” because British ladies blossom quietly and gracefully.
Good manners. British girls are very polite and they learn to treat other people with respect from the early childhood. They will not make a scene whatever argument you will have with them. These girls always try to avoid embarrassment and face any challenge amicably and with dignity. Everybody knows that being able to cope with the crisis is a very important ability in any relationship.
Stylish outfits. British women love experiments and follow the vogue. It’s possible to say that they are fashion-conscious women. When you arrive in London, you will see how many fashionable women are there. These girls know what to wear for each occasion and no matter what it is, they always look good. British girls love everything new and follow the fashion trends with pleasure, this also applies to makeup and hairstyles.
Frost resistance. Don’t be surprised that hot British girls are never cold. Just accept this fact and take it easy when next to you, a man in a down jacket and a scarf, will go a girl in a short top and an unbuttoned coat. Good sense of humor. British girls are humorous and they know how to have a good time. A big part of British girls grows up on
Learning how to speak British English
While American English is gaining influence through popular culture in the form of Hollywood films, music and the internet, British English often remains the language of choice in academia and former British colonies throughout the world. In this article, we will explain how to speak British English correctly and how to access useful online resources to help you progress quickly.
Firstly, it is important to understand what we mean by the term “British English”. In actual fact, the variety of the language spoken in the UK also has its own regional divisions, accents and dialects. However, as a non-native speaker you should concentrate on “Standard English” – that similar to the language heard on the BBC. Learning this variety will guarantee you are understood in the vast majority of situations. Some additional knowledge of regional forms and slang may provide a deeper understanding of English and make you sound more “local” in certain speech situations, but it is generally best to use standard forms.
Here are 5 tips on how to speak British English:
- British or American English?
Look at the type of English that you already use and examine your study history. Have you been using British or American textbooks? Where have your English teachers been from? If they were local tutors, was their English closer to the UK or US variety? Questions of this type will help you assess which type of English you currently use. You then need to decide whether you really want to learn British English or would prefer the American variety (each has its pluses). If you are unsure, you may like to read about the differences between British and American English.
- Establish a language model
If you have decided to learn British English, then you need to choose material produced by Brits. These include: textbooks published by Cambridge University Press, Macmillan or Penguin that focus on British English, resources from the BBC, UK music, literature, newspapers and websites. Choose interesting study material that contains modern British English and topics that you enjoy. While studying classical literature may have its advantages, many words and expressions are outdated and no longer in use. This is not the model that you should be copying if you want to use English like a native speaker. Once you have gathered your study materials, you will have a clear language model to work with and copy.
- Learn British English online
You don’t have to live in the UK to learn British English because the internet provides everything you need to study the language. There are numerous websites that offer free study materials produced by organisations such as The British Council, Cambridge Examinations and BBC Learning English. Just try a Google search and see what you can find! Textbooks can be purchased or found online along with video lessons, audiobooks and other interesting resources for download.
- Study British pronunciation
One key to speaking British English is to perfect your accent and remove any strong features transferred from your mother tongue. A typical example with Russian speakers is learning how to pronounce the soft English “r” instead of the rolling Russian equivalent. This can be done by working with minimal pairs (two words that differ only in one sound), repeating tongue twisters, copying a native speaker with good pronunciation (video/audio) or taking accent training from a trained teacher. The BBC Learning English website is a great place to get started!
Learning how to speak British English also means actually speaking the language and this cannot be done alone! Therefore, consider taking Skype English lessons with a British teacher to work on your pronunciation and spoken fluency in the language
9 Entertaining Talk Shows to Learn English Conversation
Pop culture and humor are some of the best ways to learn English.
You can watch movies, listen to pop music or even learn through jokes!
But if you want to learn conversation through culture and humor, there’s a special type of TV show you can’t miss:
A talk show is a show with a host (the person hosting or running the show) who has different celebrities as guests on each episode and interviews them. They talk about upcoming (soon to come) projects, play games and have short comedy segments. People watch talk shows either because they like the person hosting or because they like a celebrity guest.
Because there is such a variety of guests and activities, you can also call these “variety shows.” So, why are talk shows the perfect way to learn English conversation?
Why Use Talk Shows to Learn English Conversation
A lot of people who watch TV for the purpose of learning English will watch sitcoms (situation comedies), where the focus is the characters’ everyday lives. These shows are fun, but they also are very scripted and can have really unusual situations.
Here are several reasons why talk shows are awesome for learning English conversation:
- Natural conversations. The great thing about talk shows is while they have games and activities, the style is more like an interview. The host has to ask questions and keep the conversation going, so this is great for learning how to have a long conversation naturally.
- Variety of accents. You can also listen to a lot of different accents and ways that people talk. Since the people who are guests can be from anywhere in the world, the way they talk is always different. This helps you practice your listening skills for understanding different accents.
- Pop culture and slang. Whatever movies, books or TV shows are out at the moment will come up on talk shows, as well as any new slang terms. There are also a lot of parts that mention politics, so you’ll get to see new political terms in context.
- New episodes regularly. Talk shows also air (are on TV) every weekday or weekend, so they can easily be added to your routine.
- Easily available. Finally, they are available to watch on TV or online, so these shows are easy to find and watch!
How to Use Talk Shows to Learn English Conversation
While talking with native English speakers is of course an excellent way to learn conversation, you can also gain this skill from watching talk shows. How? Here are several ways:
Guess why guests were invited.
Before watching, look up the guests who will appear in that episode. (Search for the show name on TV Guide, select “Episodes,” and then you’ll see the names of that episode’s guests. If you’re watching online from a channel’s website or Netflix, the episode description will tell you the names of the guests.)
Then, try to predict (guess) why each guest was invited on the show. Is the celebrity in a movie that was just released? Did the guest just publish a book? If you’re not familiar with the guests, look them up on Wikipedia (or do a Google search) to learn brief background.
Predict the conversation topics.
After you know who will be on the show and why, predict what topics they’ll talk about with the host. Looking up recent news or celebrity gossip online might give you some ideas of possible topics.
This will help prepare you for listening, as you’ll understand the context better. While listening, compare your guess to the actual conversation—were you right? What topics were actually talked about?
Pause and answer open questions.
Since the shows are done as interviews, you can pay attention to the host to learn basic conversation skills in English when talking to people.
Mastering the natural progress from topic to topic and open questions (questions that need more than a yes or no answer) is a great skill to learn. To practice, press pause after the host asks a question, and give your own answer based on your previous research.
Outline the conversations and reenact.
Jot down notes or outline the conversation while watching. Then afterwards, try to have your own conversation using just your notes on one of the topics. So don’t try to memorize word-for-word, but rather use the outline as a base to create from.
You can watch the show together with friends and try to talk about the same subjects together, or remember the notes and use them in a conversation later. This is a good way to practice conversation as well as interviews in English where you are taking the lead.
Watch with subtitles.
When you watch the talk shows, you can turn on subtitles so that you can see what they are saying and follow along. If you are watching online, you can pause to look up or translate phrases that you don’t understand.
You can also take a screen shot that shows a new word, so you can use the images later to review. Seeing the context and visuals will really help you remember the new words.
Now that you have these techniques, here are some fantastic English talk shows to watch—starting with some American talk shows, and ending with a few British shows.
9 Entertaining Talk Shows to Learn English Conversation
—Popular American Talk Shows—
1. “Late Night”
YouTube Channel: “Late Night”
TV Network: NBC
This show has been on air since 1982, and has had four hosts. The current host is Seth Meyers, who used to write for Saturday Night Live, a comedy show. There are thousands of episodes and guests have mainly been musicians and actors, but also politicians. There is also a house band which plays the theme song and all the songs before the music guests perform.
There are so many great jokes on the show, and sometimes Seth Meyers will list his favorite jokes of the week!
2. “The Tonight Show”
YouTube Channel: “The Tonight Show”
TV Network: NBC
“The Tonight Show” is currently hosted by Jimmy Fallon, who used to be the host of “Late Night.” The show has been on air since 1954 and has had six official hosts. The house band right now is The Roots, who travel with Jimmy Fallon.
This show is famous for its games, and clips of them are often shared on social media. One the my favorite parts is when he reads thank you notes, or when he has a lip sync battle with the guests, like Emma Stone.
3. “Jimmy Kimmel Live”
YouTube Channel: “Jimmy Kimmel Live”
TV Network: ABC
The Jimmy Kimmel show has celebrities and politicians as well, but they also have a lot of segments (parts of the show) with people on the street and people who submit their own videos. This show is more family-friendly and good to watch with children around.
You can see a lot of ordinary people on this show from around the world, and see how they ask and answer questions. A lot of people love to watch his “Celebrities Read Mean Tweets” segments, and the first clip I watched from his show was the Halloween prank on viewers’ kids.
YouTube Channel: “Conan”
TV Network: TBS
This show is hosted by Conan O’Brien, who has been a host for many others including “Late Night” and “The Tonight Show.” He is also a musician, actor and comedian. Because he has been friends with a lot of famous people, their conversations are more like friends than an interview.
You’ll see ways to be funny during a conversation without being offensive, and also how to talk to old friends you haven’t seen in a while. Sometimes he goes out to different places for filming, like the time he went to a Korean spa with Steven Yeun from “The Walking Dead.”
5. “The Ellen DeGeneres Show”
YouTube Channel: “The Ellen DeGeneres Show”
TV Network: NBC
This is a show that airs in the afternoon instead of at night, so it’s made more for families and parents who stay at home during the day. Ellen interacts with the audience at her live show, has giveaways, plays games and also interviews celebrities.
You can learn a lot about comedy and how to talk to people you don’t know—because she talks to members of the audience a lot. Ellen has even made games that people play at home, like The Marshmallow Game, which is hilarious to watch! Most of the topics are fun and relate to pop culture from social media, so pay attention to how she mentions these things.
YouTube Channel: “Oprah”
Oprah Winfrey is probably the most famous talk show host that there is. Although there are no longer new episodes, her show aired for 25 seasons, from 1986 to 2011, so there are more than enough episodes to watch. Oprah now has her own channel, magazine, shows, movies and several organizations. Because she does a lot of charity work, you can learn related phrases and ways to talk about current tough issues in the world.
On her talk show, Oprah also recommended books and things to do, so you can do those suggested activities to meet new people and be in a community that talks about the same topics. She is especially famous for giving away cars to people in her audience.
—Popular British Talk Shows—
7. “The Graham Norton Show”
YouTube Channel: “The Graham Norton Show”
TV Network: BBC and BBC America
This is a famous British talk show hosted by Graham Norton, and it has been around since 2007. The guests usually come on together, so you can see how they talk and interact with each other and not just with the host.
People on here are from all over the world, though mainly from the UK, so you can hear their different accents. If you like Chris Pratt you will love the time he was on the show!
8. “Chatty Man”
YouTube Channel: “Chatty Man”
TV Newtwork: Channel 4 (in the UK)
This is a show hosted by Alan Carr, who interviews celebrities and talks about news—both from the world and from pop culture. He talks faster, watching this show can help you keep up with fast talkers that you know.
This show has been around since 2009, and has won awards for being the best entertainment program. If you like “Game of Thrones,” check out the time Maisie Williams was on the show and talked about behind-the-scenes fun from “Game of Thrones.”
9. “Loose Women”
TV Network: ITV (in the UK)
This show has been around since 1999 and has four women who talk with each other and interview guests. This show has the hosts chatting with each other about current events and gossip. You can watch this to see how to stay on topic and easily move things along when having conversations in a group.
Being able to talk with several people at once in English is a useful skill for parties or events, so you can pay attention to how they include everyone when talking. Taylor Swift was even on the show once when she was first starting out!
Clearly there are a lot of different talk shows available to choose from. No matter which show you watch, by paying attention to the way people talk with each other, you can really learn an incredible amount of English. So happy watching and enjoy!
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The Key to Nailing British Accents
Photo Source: Shutterstock
American audiences love the British accent, something I’m immensely grateful for in my career. When I first came to the U.S., the locals would wobble their heads and say “allo I’m Bw-itish, ‘ow are ya guv’nor?” It was amusing at first. These days, I still smile and laugh politely when this happens though I still haven’t figured out why y’all think we wobble our heads when we speak.
But here’s the thing: a British accent isn’t so simple as doing your best impression of a “Downton Abbey” character and shaking your head a bit. While having one of the many British accents in your list of character voices is desirable for any working American actor or VO talent, Brits have lots of lovely accents to learn and play with. And there’s plenty of work out there for anyone who can get the pronunciation correct. That’s all I ask. And that’s all any casting director, producer, or director will ask, too.
I work consistently with American actors who use a British accent in community theaters. One of my favorites to work with was a young cast performing “Mary Poppins,” a show that required a mix of cockney and northern accents, as well as “posh,” technically known as Received Pronunciation, or RP for short. One proud moment was when the young actor who played Mr. Northbrook delivered a perfect and consistent northern accent. I had recorded the lines for the actor for him to listen to and practice, and he pulled off a stellar performance! There were even some native Brits in the audience who commented the cast sounded more British than they were…as it should be.
Where American actors trying to deliver a British accent fail is with the pronunciation of specific words. It’s well worth the time to study all the YouTube videos you can find and listen to dialect tapes; the more you hear it and repeat it, the better you will become.
If you want to take it to the next level, things get a bit technical. You will need to learn about triphthongs, diphthongs, and glottal stops. Most importantly, you will need to understand and master mouth placement, as this skill can make a significant difference. It can all become somewhat confusing but to get started, it’s helpful to focus on a few simple words that are commonly mispronounced.
READ: 3 Accent Mistakes and How to Avoid Them
After 21 years directing American actors and helping many of them perform with British accents, I’ve discovered that some of the most common mispronunciations include:
These words contain some frequently heard sounds and syllables that are part of a standard British accent and, therefore, the ones to practice with first.
Another word that is often botched is the word CASTLE. And like many English words, remember that Northern Brits pronounce it very differently to Southern Brits. And to North Eastern Brits. And Scots. Oh, and the Welsh.
The most mispronounced word by far is “can’t,” mainly because it has a totally different mouth placement to that which American performers are used to and it really sneaks up on the inexperienced actor.
We do say all sorts of words a little differently. The word “herb” is one of many examples. Americans typically drop the “h,” whereas we British pronounce the “h” or “aitch.” However, note that this is not true for all British accents; a cockney with drop the “h” all over the place. One technique I use is to have any actors doing a cockney accent go through their script and cross out all the “aitches.”
The word “aluminium” is a classic, and although not used widely as an actor, it illustrates that the Brits not only pronounce words differently, they can also be spelled differently. My personal favorite is “ranch”—I always use the American pronunciation when ordering in a local restaurant as it can cause momentary confusion for my server if I say “rar-nch.” Try it sometime.
Basically, if you can get the common, basic pronunciation right you can appear to be quite authentic. However, be wary of auditioning with a British accent if they ask for an “authentic” accent as this usually means that the casting director is looking for a genuine native of the UK.
I’ve worked regularly with American stage actors who can deliver a flawless British accent, but it has taken them time and concentration. As the dialect coach on productions, I like to sit with the cast during their very first reading of the script to correct their pronunciation before it’s learned the wrong way.
It can be disappointing to see British plays here in the U.S. where it is obvious the director has not used a dialect coach to help with the pronunciation. It makes a clear difference between a good performance and a truly excellent one. On my voiceover journey, especially, I have met several very creative directors who are British and they’ll spot the faker in a heartbeat.
As a coach, I often use Skype to do dialect work so I can see an actor speak, see their facial expressions, and where they are placing the sounds in their mouth. British pronunciation is more forward in the mouth and it takes practice.
If you do decide to put a British accent on your demo reel or you have been cast in a role with a British accent, do your research and practice! If not, the audience will spot you from a mile away.
*This post was originally published on Jan. 9, 2018. It has since been updated.
Sarah is an Atlanta-based full-time freelance actor and VO talent. She has put together a fun website, www.talkbritishtome.com, or you can email her at [email protected] Her first “Talk British To Me” presentation was debuted to fellow VO talent at FAFFCON 8.
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The views expressed in this article are solely that of the individual(s) providing them,
and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Backstage or its staff.
Sarah Mitchell is an Atlanta-based full-time actor and VO talent. In her isolation booth, she is able to connect with the world and loves to work with different time zones! Her voice has been heard in Europe, Asia, Australia, and the USA.
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10 British Phrases To Talk Like A Local
No matter how hard you study a language, the reality is there’s still plenty out there that you simply can’t learn in a classroom. That’s because English comes with its own set of colloquialisms and bizarre expressions which, when directly translated, often don’t make much sense at all. Like it or not, slang plays a big part in everyday conversations with native speakers, so we’ve collated the top 10 weirdest examples to help you on your way to speaking English like a local.
1. The bee’s knees
Confusingly, this one has nothing to do with bees or knees. When British people refer to something as being ‘the bee’s knees’, all it means is that it is really good. If you have a local friend, use it to compliment their cooking.
Example: “My goodness, this lasagne is the bee’s knees!”
2. Have a butcher’s
Conversely, this one has nothing to do with cooking, so you can stop drooling over that lasagne right now. In fact, if that lasagne was being held in front of you, you’d want to do more than simply ‘have a butcher’s’, because that means you’re only having a look at it.
Example: “I hear there’s a new bookshop opening down the road – I might go and have a butcher’s later”.
3. Pulling your leg
If someone tells you they’re pulling your leg, chances are you’ll look down and find that they’re not. The reason? When a Brit is ‘pulling your leg’, they’re simply joking about something. And if you’re accused of pulling someone’s leg, it’s because they don’t believe what you’re saying. Unless you really are pulling their leg, of course…
Example: “A cat hasn’t really been crowned King – I’m only pulling your leg”.
4. Not my cup of tea
If there are two things to be said about Brits, it’s that they’re (normally) very polite and have an almost unquenchable thirst for tea. So, if you ask a local to do something they’d rather not do and they want to decline politely, you might just hear them say that it’s not their cup of tea. All this means is that they don’t like it. And if they happen to have a cup of tea in hand when they say it… well, that’s purely coincidental.
Example: “I’d rather not go to the party tonight; night clubs aren’t my cup of tea”.
5. Away with
Imagine you’re in a rather dull lecture. Suddenly, you find yourself losing concentration and staring out the window, mulling over what you’re having for dinner tonight. To others, your face looks blank and unresponsive. You’re day dreaming. In slang terms, someone would describe you as being ‘away with the fairies’, meaning you’re either distracted or not in touch with reality, because (spoiler alert) fairies don’t actually exist.
Example: “Jill isn’t listening to the lecturer – she’s away with the fairies”.
6. Bang out of order
Saying that something is ‘bang out of order’ has nothing to do with something not working as it should, so you shouldn’t use it to refer to a broken TV. If something is ‘bang out of order’, it’s not fair, it’s offensive or maybe even hurtful.
Example: “I’ve been waiting patiently in the queue for ice cream but that man went before me – that’s bang out of order”.
7. Everything but the kitchen sink
When you’re packing for your new life abroad, bear in mind that many airlines have a weight limit for luggage. If you pack everything you could possibly need, from multiple packets of your favourite snack to a huge rice cooker, you’ll go over that limit and could get accused of bringing everything but the kitchen sink.
Example: “You’ll have to pay extra fees because your bag is too heavy – you must have packed everything but the kitchen sink!”
8. Raining cats and dogs
Animal lovers: don’t be alarmed. This needn’t be taken literally. Brits are known for obsessing over the weather because it’s often unpredictable. Still, it would be unbelievable to see it actually raining cats and dogs, so if ‘it’s raining cats and dogs’, it’s really pouring down outside. Don’t forget your umbrella!
Example: “Did you hear that thunder? It must be raining cats and dogs!”
9. Don’t get your knickers in a twist
Ouch – sounds uncomfortable. Thankfully, this is just another peculiar saying. If someone has their knickers in a twist, they’re rather annoyed about something that isn’t very important. In other words, it’s the British way of saying “relax!”
Example: “Before you get your knickers in a twist, let me explain!”
10. Bob’s your uncle
This is the slang equivalent of saying “and there you have it”, so you don’t need an uncle called Bob (or even an uncle at all). Say for example that someone has asked you to explain how to bake a cake. Well, all you need to do is follow the recipe, and Bob’s your uncle: you have a cake!
Example: “That maths question is easy – you just have to find the value of X, and Bob’s your uncle, problem solved!”
Think you’ve mastered these? Time to take it to the next level! Research ‘Cockney Rhyming Slang’ if you’re feeling brave.
So now you’re ready to talk with the locals – but will you understand their replies? Check out our:
British Responses To ‘How Are You?’ Translated
Strange British Words Every International Student Should Know
Unusual English Words You Won’t Learn In Language School
TALK BRITISH TO ME #8 — How to talk like a London teenager
Here’s the transcript of the above content:
We’re back for more today we are at the barbican centre here right in the middle of london we’re gonna meet two teenage girls they’re gonna teach us some new, modern.
Teenage expressions that i’ve never heard of. come one so our guests for today are lily and theodora so ladies, teach us some new slangs what’s the first one that pops to mind? » gassed» it means like.
To be like excited, overwhelmed by something can you use it on a phrase? » i’m so gassed for this party» theodora, have you got one? » peak» if something is peak it’s like unfair, » oh that’s so peak, that’s so bad» that is so unfair if you tell on someone, like you tell someone a secret and they tell the other person, they » snaked» you so that person is such a » snake» snake like the animal sometimes will call them different type of snakes.
a rattlesnake it would be like she’s a rattlesnake which is really bad she’s an anaconda that’s really bad — she’s an anaconda, yeah my brother’s a big snake, like oh.
One that we use quite a lot is » calm» » calm", we always say that » calm» as in. It’s a bit like chilled like » you’re chilled", » you’re calm» but you say.
» oh, you’re going here", and you’d be like » yeah, calm» you literally put it in any sentence we use » wave» like, you know » waves» it just means like, instead of saying someone’s drunk or something you’d say they’re » waved» or someone that is really weird, you’d be like » they’re waved» oh bookey is, like, my favourite word it means like.
Like spooky, but it’s bookey yeah, like, an abandoned warehouse would be » bookey» you say really quickly, you say » can you go", like.
» g2g» these abbreviations are mixed with american and british because they’re, like, online thing, so everyone uses them another classic abbreviation is » brb» oh » be right back» so you’re going to have a shower, » be right back» sometimes I say » brb» in person to someone like, I won’t just text, i’ll say » brb» to someone so if someone is » oh you’re lying", you’re » no, rt, i’m not» like » real talk, i’m not lying» you can use it as » right", as well short for » right» kiss my teeth you know that sound that people make when they’re angry they’ll kiss their teeth not really.