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  • To slang or not to slang

    Posted by Olatz on January 12, 2021 at 12:35 pm

    Slang is such an interesting topic I think I could talk about it for hours, but I will have to keep it short & sweet if I don’t want to be late for work!

    I must start this post by saying, I disagree with the statement that implies people who use slang are lazy. I love learning new slangy words and I like to think about slang as an element of language that helps people create a sense of belonging in their community or group. I do understand it can be a bit overwhelming for people who are learning a new language (I’ve been there myself and still am), but I think if you have an intrinsic desire to learn a new language, you want to understand the way it works in full and slang provides nothing but another opportunity to learn more. If you are learning a language because “you have to” it’s a complete different perspective, I suppose.

    Slang can for instance, not only be regional but also generational and that is precisely what I find most intriguing about it. I feel like the communication technologies have changed the way we use our language in so many ways that the generational gap has become even wider in these terms. In this context, the same slang can be used by people with very different backgrounds in very different parts of the world, building a community aside of the one they physically belong to. This, I must think, should be intriguing for anyone who cares about human interactions and language.

    I need to say Irish slang proved to be quite tricky at the start of my journey in the emerald island, but as a stubborn language learner I was determined to learn it from the very begging. I believe I still have a lot to learn and it is obviously not easy to follow a conversation when 80% of the expressions used by the speakers are slang, but I always ask and listen in order to learn. It makes me profoundly proud when I’m able to use slang myself and it comes out in a natural way. So, yes, I agree that slang can be a pain in the neck when you are new to a place but thus far, I think it’s worth the effort to try and understand it.

    Kerin replied 3 years, 6 months ago 2 Members · 3 Replies
  • 3 Replies
  • Kerin

    January 13, 2021 at 5:26 pm

    @olatz did you swallow an English pill? 😂 This is AMAZING – it is practically perfect.

    (The only thing I would correct is a preposition: aside of > aside from)

    Once you start using slang yourself, you know you’ve made that big step from being a good English speaker to a proficient one – it’s a terrific feeling. Also regarding the point about the generational aspect, it is so true. In fact, I started watching the show ‘Younger’ and this is often a topic.

    Well done @olatz – am over the moon for you about how much your English is improving …. perhaps we all need to move to Ireland!!!

  • Olatz

    January 13, 2021 at 7:29 pm

    Hi @Kerin , thanks so much for your correction! I did not swallow an English pill hahah the simple thought of it made me laugh! Can you imagine? It would be an easy way to learn new languages, but I think I’d miss the challenge!

    Truth to be told, I have been reading a lot in English lately, and I am currently devouring the Bridgerton books (guilty!). I always find that the more I read the better I write! In fact, when my friends ask me how do I prepared myself for my English exams I always tell them the same: I read and I watch thousands of things in English. I am not the one to sit in front of the book and do exercises, I prefer to learn by doing something that provides me some opportunity to amuse myself! (Some may call it “being lazy” but yet, here I am!)

    I think Ireland is an amazing country for learning English, people are usually really kind and patient when it comes to talking to non-native speakers. My experience in this country has been completely different to the one I had when I went to Lowestoft (East of England) for a summer, where people used to get annoyed when I asked them to speak slowly or to repeat something for me. Furthermore, I think one of the reasons why I am a big slang supporter is because of the way my Irish friends have taught me how to use their expressions in such a kind and respectful way.

    If anyone is interested in learning Irish slang or getting familiar with it I recommend the Oh My God, What a Complete Aisling! series. They are an easy read, full of quirky characters and really funny! https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/36161350-oh-my-god-what-a-complete-aisling

    Feel free to contact me if you do come to Ireland, the craic isn’t as good as it used to be and there is not much we can do this weather… but sure it’ll be grand!

    • Kerin

      January 18, 2021 at 10:47 am

      I love your spirit – if there was an ‘italian’ pill, I’d take it in a heartbeat!

      I’m a huge advocate of reading and more so of learn-by-doing – you’re obviously doing it right!

      (I don’t know the Bridgerton series! 😳 )

      @victorpereira – you live in Ireland too, right? You might want to check out Olatz’s suggestion!

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