Monday, January 17, 2022

"Sabine Learns English" *

Environmental & Science Education, STEM, Literacy

Ed Hessler

"It never occurred to me that one day people might want to hear me speak in a foreign language," writes theoretical physicist, Sabine Hossenfelder. "Meanwhile," she continues, I've "subscribed to like a dozen English pronunciation channels and spend a lot of time with the online dictionary replaying words, so much so that at this point I think my channel should really be called 'Sabine learns English."  

In her video (12m 26s), "What's the difference between American English and British English?", Hossenfelder talks about these differences. Near the end she includes this tidbit, an urban legend I'd never heard, that made me smile. "Did you know," she asks, "that German almost became the official language in the United States? You did? Well that’s an urban legend, it never happened. The USA doesn’t even have an official language; it’s just that English is the most widely spoken one"

There is a full transcript and it includes a not-to-be missed song by the singing climate scientist, Tim Palmer. He with U S. astrophysicist Brian Keating read some sentences, in "Brit" and American, respectively to illustrate some of Hossenfelder's points. It can be watched on YouTube, as well.

*Title from Dr. Hossenfelder's Story


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