Struggling to improve language skills in Ireland

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Thank you! Free dictionary began to provide pronunciation in American English and British English. Previously only American English was available and I was stuck trying to work out what should it sound like if I tried to make it sound as similar to the transcription provided by the dictionary in my laptop. No wonder the Irish guys I work with can't seem to understand me sometimes (hopefully not most of the time).

Actually, it has become a bit of a challenge to improve one's English if one works in customer service in Ireland. On one hand, the industry is dominated by foreigners. On the other - I could easily get away with 100 words and 5 catchphrases. After all, you enter the shop in order to buy, rather than to communicate (apart from a few customers we have).

It's a grand day.
Would you like a plastic bag?
I do like it here.
Irish are friendly.
This wine is fantastic.

When I was a student, going to the USA for the summer with the J-1 visa was popular. Oftentimes whoever stayed on the East Coast, somewhere around Atlantic City, returned to Lithuania with far worse knowledge of English than they had before boarding the plane. They were speaking Russian in the USA. Or Lithuanian - as there were so many of them in that area.

I sometimes feel like this country is heading in a similar direction. That's why I blog and spend some time trying to improve the language - I know there is much more to say than it's a grand day. Unfortunately, my improvement has slowed down, as there are no native English speakers-boyfriends around.

Yet, as Clarence Darrow has said, even if I do learn to speak correct English, whom am I going to speak it to?

This Post has 3 Comments Add your own!
Derren - May 20, 2008 at 7:19 PM

Hi Lina,

You know I would be happy to give you

some free classes at our school -

Maximum 4 students per class!

I look forward to seeing you again.

Take it easy,


John - May 20, 2008 at 7:32 PM

Its great to be in Ireland at this time.
Not long ago we were the ones who had to travel to find work in England, America, Australia etc.I hope your visit to Ireland will be a positive one.Take a look at my blog loads of photos there.
Any chance of a link ?

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