In the much-loved pilot episode, “Pokemon-I choose you” of the Pokemon anime series, Ash and his Pokemon, Pikachu do not get on very well at first. However, as we all know, Ash and Pikachu form one of the most iconic friendships we have ever witnessed.
It can be much the same when learning a new language. We can struggle with pronunciation and grammar but with some hard work can a beneficial and enjoyable relationship with the language.
One element that can make our learning easier is to know what to say and how to say it in different situations. Like Ash, let’s choose wisely.
A formal situation will usually be impersonal without much emotion, like a job interview or an official speech. One would use technical words that are relevant to the conversation. We would always use complete sentences that express a complete idea. We would avoid using slang, abbreviations, such as “influenza” instead of “flu” and clichés. You could use words such as “however” instead of “but” or “moreover” in place of “also”. In this situation there would be no interruptions and usually involves one-way participation, i.e. a speaker and an audience.
A step away from the ceremonial conduct of the formal situation is the casual situation. This would take place between a doctor and a patient or a student and a teacher and the like. Fill sentences are still used as well as technical language. However, there is two-way participation and interruptions are quite common.
This situation will be with your social group and acquaintances. Slang is often used in this situation and interruptions are common. There are more filler words such as “like” or “um”.
In this situation, how you say it is more important than what you say. As this is a situation involving only your closest friends and family, they will pick up on your non-verbal messages and so grammar is not so important here.
By following these simple tips, you and the English language can have a friendship as beautiful as Ash and Pikachu!