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American sayings and expressions (South vs. North)
Posted by: Piggerman (IP Logged)
Date: February 02, 2011 07:36AM
A big difference between the people in the northern United States and the southern United states is the pace of life. In the North it is hurry hurry hurry. The South takes a slower walk thru life takes in more of thier surroundings. They also talk slower, but use many more colorful expressions and sayings used to express themselves. I believe the "proper" term is colloquialisms. See if you can figure out thier meanings.

Here are a few:

- I’m finer than frog hair split four ways.
- Don’t you piss on my leg and tell me it’s rainin’!
- You’re lyin’ like a no-legged dog!
- You could start an argument in an empty house.


Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 02/14/2011 03:39AM by Olive.

Re: Sayings and expressions
Posted by: Astroboy (IP Logged)
Date: February 03, 2011 03:55AM
Are u a southerner? They tend to speak with a lazy drawl.

Re: Sayings and expressions
Posted by: Piggerman (IP Logged)
Date: February 03, 2011 06:40AM
No. I live in Ohio, but I do have family that lives in Oklahoma. My job allows me to travel to different states so get to hear the local accent often.

A drawl. they extend words longer. very slow speaking. ya'll (you all) comes out yaaallll

Re: Sayings and expressions
Posted by: Piggerman (IP Logged)
Date: February 03, 2011 12:56PM
I’m finer than frog hair split four ways. this comment could be made after someone asks, How are you today??, I’m finer than frog hair split four ways.

the word fine represents good or ok, split 4 ways = good x 4.


Don’t you piss on my leg and tell me it’s rainin’!
This statement means do not tell me something that you know for a fact to be a lie. big difference between being wet with rain and somone urinating on you.

You’re lyin’ like a no-legged dog!
This statement means a person who has trouble with saying the truth.
What can a dog with no legs do but lay on the floor??
The twist here is the word Lay / laying / Lying. The last 2 sound very similar.. The laying lion was lying to the zebras, a small toung twister.

You could start an argument in an empty house.
This comment is made to a person who likes to fight and argue. The statement means they would argue with themself if no one else is there.

Hope these added a couple new sayings to your vocabulary.

Re: Sayings and expressions
Posted by: Astroboy (IP Logged)
Date: February 04, 2011 01:14PM
To be honest, these stuff, while interesting, are not considered standard English, but more like slang. A Canadian or an Australian, for eg, would not understand.

They are neither suitable nor useful for English students unless they planning to move to southern parts of US.

Re: Sayings and expressions
Posted by: Chineseethan (IP Logged)
Date: February 05, 2011 01:27PM
As a Canadian I'd have to say that's not entirely true. They are slang but they are all understandable at the very least to anyone from North America and I would guess that British and Australians could easily figure them out if they didn't know it right away.

It's very useful to understand all the slang you can so it's not bad to learn them, just don't use slang in your conversations unless you are fluent because it sounds really strange when English learners use slang in awkward sentences...

To put it simply, learn slang, but use it very rarely.

Re: Sayings and expressions
Posted by: Astroboy (IP Logged)
Date: February 05, 2011 02:20PM
So how is slang useful to an English learner, pray tell?

If we start to learn slang words, which ones should we learn? American? Brit? How about British India? Or Singlish (Singaporean English)? Chinglish perhaps? Or Manglish? How about Afrikaan? Or Pygmy? Jamaican perhaps?

Re: Sayings and expressions
Posted by: Piggerman (IP Logged)
Date: February 05, 2011 03:49PM
I would say the kind of slang that you are learning here in this post would be American slang.

something that drove me absolutely crazy were the robotic responses from EVERY student on some questions. One being:

How are you today??
I'm fine thank you,......and you???? is the standard response from my students. Its an ok response but there are so many more ways to answer this question to express yourself than with a drab and boring "I'm fine"

Astro I am not sure what your exposure is to native English speaking people where you live, but next time you are asked how are you?? Throw out im fine as frog hair split 4 different ways and tell me the reaction you get.

Im guessing a big smile and them telling you they dont know if they are that good or not

Re: Sayings and expressions
Posted by: Astroboy (IP Logged)
Date: February 06, 2011 04:40AM
Let me state firstly that I am against the teaching of slang to any foreign students - unless that person has gone on to advanced levels with a background in sociology, a sense of context etc.

I am as far advanced in the mastery of the English language as any "native speaker" but I still try to avoid the use of slang as much as possible.

Let me give an eg: "What's up, nig?" is a good brotherly greeting when a black meets a fellow black. When a Chinese pick up this slang and use it on black, he is inviting trouble.

Another eg: Chinese person A can speak to Chinese person B that he knows very well in this manner:
A: Ni hao ma?"
B: Hao ge pi! (pi meaning "fart")
(and both can laugh about it).
Imagine now that B is a foreigner uttering those words. Person A would feel offended as B would seem to be extremely rude.

Re: Sayings and expressions
Posted by: Piggerman (IP Logged)
Date: February 06, 2011 05:37AM
eg: "What's up, nig?"

Nig - Nigger - Negro - meaning a dirty person. used as a derogitory reference to a person of African decent, came about during the slave trade and early development days of America.

Niggers come in all colors, they belong to every race, these people are the slime in the bottom of societies barrel.

This is not Slang. It is a Slur, a racial Slur. This is rude and innappropriate. Myself being a caucasian, I do not appreciate being called whitey, cracker, ghost, white boy or any other slur used to describe a person with light skin pigment. No person does.

I promise you now I will never give any slang words or sayings that would be percieved as aggressive , rude or derogitory twards another person in any manner. If you ask I will answer but also let it be known this will get a person in trouble if they speak it.

Hao ge pi!
Morning you old fart. I do agree I would not say this to a person i was not familiar with. To a friend of course!!
Good morning Sir. Would be an appropriate greeting to a stranger.

Re: Sayings and expressions
Posted by: Astroboy (IP Logged)
Date: February 06, 2011 08:52AM
Your translation is really off the mark, which is precisely my point.
A: Ni hao ma?
B: Hao ge pi (this has no direct translation into English)

But in terms of meaning, it would be something along these lines:
A: How are you?
B: Could be better.

Slang should never be used by foreigners as it could easily be misunderstood and used out of context.

BTW the word "nigga or nigger" is an accepted term of endearment used among Blacks. It has made its way into the lyrics of many rap songs. So the word "nigger" is not entirely derogative. It depends on WHO uses it.

Re: Sayings and expressions
Posted by: Piggerman (IP Logged)
Date: February 06, 2011 11:11AM
I missed the mark on traslating that?? Thankfully You are here Astro to keep me learning on the correct path. Ni shi hen hao lao si. Xie xie =)

Indeed you are correct about it being a greeting between people of low intellect who are black. You would hear this being said in the inner city, in the ghetto, and in the suburbs by little white kids trying to be a gangster. Indeed you are correct this is ONLY said between people of color. The meaning they have adapted it to would = my friend or my brother

What I will say is I have friends who happen to be black never have I heard them greet each other in this manner. Probably because they would like to be accepted as a person vs being known as a race.

Because something is in music videos or glamorized in a movie does not mean it is accepted.

Re: Sayings and expressions
Posted by: Chineseethan (IP Logged)
Date: February 07, 2011 11:12PM
Astroboy Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> So how is slang useful to an English learner, pray
> tell?
>
> If we start to learn slang words, which ones
> should we learn? American? Brit? How about British
> India? Or Singlish (Singaporean English)?
> Chinglish perhaps? Or Manglish? How about
> Afrikaan? Or Pygmy? Jamaican perhaps?

Slang is useful to learn because foreigners use it all the time and if you don't know what theya re saying you are going to be lost. Learn it, don't use it in regular conversation.

As for which kind, whichever kind you think you are going to be encountering.

Not teaching any slang to an English learner is going to leave them lost when it comes time to actually communicate with a native English speaker.

Re: Sayings and expressions
Posted by: Astroboy (IP Logged)
Date: February 07, 2011 11:49PM
Just because foreigners use it doesn't mean we have to follow. I remember eons ago when I was a student in London. I was upset by the fact that I didn't understand many of the "native" speakers I encountered.

My landlord, an Englishman, set me right. My English is good enough, he said. If you don't understand them, it's because they weren't speaking English. "What's the matter?" sounded like "watts ah mat ah?"

I learnt later that those "native" speakers I encountered were not using Queen's (or standard) English. Some were speaking Cockney, Wales, Irish, Liverpoolian, etc.

It's okay to use your local slang and strong accents in your little community. But when you are traveling and have to communicate with a large spectrum of audience, use standard English that everybody understands.


Chineseethan Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Slang is useful to learn because foreigners use it
> all the time and if you don't know what theya re
> saying you are going to be lost. Learn it, don't
> use it in regular conversation.
>
> As for which kind, whichever kind you think you
> are going to be encountering.
>
> Not teaching any slang to an English learner is
> going to leave them lost when it comes time to
> actually communicate with a native English
> speaker.

Re: Sayings and expressions
Posted by: Piggerman (IP Logged)
Date: February 08, 2011 04:38AM
When you are in a formal setting then by all means proper English is the safest bet. If I am in a business meeting I refrain from all slang and actually raise my vocabulary up and speak as if I had some formal education.

The language they were speaking is refered to as Blarney or the Blarney. I am a native English speaker an I dont even know what the hell them guys are saying. The Queens English is hard enough with the british accent, but Blarney, no way.

Re: Sayings and expressions
Posted by: Chineseethan (IP Logged)
Date: February 09, 2011 04:50AM
Astroboy Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Just because foreigners use it doesn't mean we
> have to follow. I remember eons ago when I was a
> student in London. I was upset by the fact that I
> didn't understand many of the "native" speakers I
> encountered.
>
> My landlord, an Englishman, set me right. My
> English is good enough, he said. If you don't
> understand them, it's because they weren't
> speaking English. "What's the matter?" sounded
> like "watts ah mat ah?"
>
> I learnt later that those "native" speakers I
> encountered were not using Queen's (or standard)
> English. Some were speaking Cockney, Wales, Irish,
> Liverpoolian, etc.
>
> It's okay to use your local slang and strong
> accents in your little community. But when you are
> traveling and have to communicate with a large
> spectrum of audience, use standard English that
> everybody understands.

I agree entirely except that it doesn't work that way in the real world. If I came to China and insisted no one should use slang around me, how far would I get here? Not very far, if you want to learn a language the reality is you need to be able to communicate in the manner the majority of people communicate and that includes slang.

Re: Sayings and expressions
Posted by: Astroboy (IP Logged)
Date: February 09, 2011 05:21AM
It's good that u should mention China. In places like Chengdu, Chongqing, Changsha, Changde, in fact just about everywhere with the exception of northern cities like BJ, everyone speaks their local dialects. However, when you speak in Putonghua, the locals would feel embarrassed and switch back to Putonghua to talk to you. Because they understand that it's the standard national language and shame on them if a foreigner knows it but they don't.

China is so big that there is no way you can possibly learn all its local slangs and dialects. But some slang words do get accepted into mainstream over time eg mai dan (check, pls), you mei you gao cuo? (are u kidding?) used to be Cantonese slang but now widely understood.


Chineseethan Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> I agree entirely except that it doesn't work that
> way in the real world. If I came to China and
> insisted no one should use slang around me, how
> far would I get here? Not very far, if you want to
> learn a language the reality is you need to be
> able to communicate in the manner the majority of
> people communicate and that includes slang.

Re: Sayings and expressions
Posted by: Piggerman (IP Logged)
Date: February 09, 2011 05:39AM
Some of my co workers asked me if I knew if I was speaking putonghua or Chongqing hua, I replied to them, bu xiao de and they all laughed hysterically. I didnt understand why they laughed and my face turned red with embarrasment until they explained to me bu xiao de is chongqing hua for I dont know, proper speak is bu zi dao??

I only knew that the words i spoke however off tone they were the local population could understand me and forgive a foreigner butchering thier language.

Sorry my pingyin is horrible.

Re: Sayings and expressions
Posted by: Trien (IP Logged)
Date: February 13, 2011 06:54PM
"Ni shi henhao laosi. Xie xie =) ": I would laugh and not make a remark.
What happened to plain old "Ni shi ge Hao lao shi"? [You are a good teacher.] In Pinyin, Si & Shi are different: That's why I hate using Pinyin, but rather have the character written. Different dialect speakers would say the words differently according to their own local dialects and might tend to be incorrect at times.

henhao = very good, very well, very fine.
Laoshi = teacher

In Pinyin, some syllables must be kept together and not separately due to confusion.

Re: Sayings and expressions
Posted by: Piggerman (IP Logged)
Date: February 14, 2011 01:00AM
Thanks for the tip Trien. As I am struggling to learn chinese and the sentance structure. My wife does not correct me as she understands what i am trying to communicate, but to anyone else I sound like a child just learning the language.

Re: American sayings and expressions (South vs. North)
Posted by: Chineseethan (IP Logged)
Date: February 14, 2011 12:20PM
Tell her to start correcting you. Seriously, it's annoying but it will VERY quickly pay off.

Re: American sayings and expressions (South vs. North)
Posted by: Astroboy (IP Logged)
Date: February 14, 2011 01:48PM
Yes, nothing like having a live tutor just beside you. How is her English, btw?

Re: American sayings and expressions (South vs. North)
Posted by: Piggerman (IP Logged)
Date: February 14, 2011 03:50PM
much better than my Chinese, and when there is confusion it is always best to refer to a website translator.

How is it called , a long haired dictionary??



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