Please note: We have mainly written about England, as that is the country within the UK where our students live. We would be very happy for schools and visitors to send us information we can add to our website on Wales and Scotland.
In Britain, the main language is English (British English). It is not the same as American or Australian English. 'Hi mate' is not the correct and appreciated way to approach someone in the street. Neither is 'G'day', 'Howdy' or 'Hey Mister'. The formal British way to greet someone is 'Good morning, good afternoon or good evening' and, if you want to ask something, 'Excuse me please'.
Most people in Britain usually say' hello' or 'hi' when they greet someone.
Not everyone in Britain speaks with a plummy English accent, like Hollywood wants you to believe. No-one sounds like Dick van Dyke in the film, Mary Poppins.
Why is English spoken with different accents?
In Britain, every part of the country has its own way of speaking English. People in Yorkshire sound very different to people in Surrey; a Somerset accent is very different from an Scottish accent and it's hard to believe that people from Birmingham are speaking the same language as those from Cornwall. Most people in Britain can guess where someone comes from by the way they speak, either by their accent or by the words they use.
Identification of an accent can place the speaker in a general area of Britain. Geordie, Scouse, and Cockney are well know dialects from Tyneside, Liverpool and London respectively.
Today the 'home counties' accent is usually accepted as Standard English. The home counties are the counties nearest to Londn
Speaking like a Brit
If you would like to speak like a person from London, Newcastle, Scotland, and Liverpool, click on the link below.
Do Wales and Scotland have their own language?
People in Wales speak a completely different language. About 25% of the people there still speak in their native Celtic tongue called welsh.
Shwmae? in welsh means How are you?
Hoffet ti ddiod? means Would you like a drink?
In some regions of Scotland, Gaelic is used as a first language (particularly in the Highlands and the Western Isles). All over Scotland, the accent is markedly stronger, some words are different but overall it is not too difficult to understand.
- poor quality repairs.
- fed up
- to rain, often heavily.
- If you are chuffed, you are happy with something.
- Crazy / stupid
- Money / cash 'I haven't got much dosh to give you.'
- Incredibly amazed.
- Not happy because of an event that has occurred that didn't go your way.
- Used in place of lucky when describing someone else.
- Delicious. Shortened from scrumptious.
- Broke. No money.
- to long kiss
- Where to learn English in Malta - https://www.ihmalta.com/en/ is a good idea.