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Atatürk
Posted: Thursday, January 3, 2019 4:37:37 PM

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Would you, Britons, ever use the idiom "right off the bat" in your daily talk?

Advice and classroom hints are one thing, grammar rules are another. Michael Lewis (1986)
Drag0nspeaker
Posted: Friday, January 4, 2019 5:15:34 AM

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I wouldn't - it's a baseball term (a game played by Americans and little English girls). It doesn't mean much to me.

It sounds a bit like "off one's own bat" - a cricket term. (Cricket is a game played by adults - but also kids).

off your own bat
If you do something off your own bat, you choose to do it and no one else tells you to do it. Whatever she did, she did off her own bat. It was nothing to do with me. Note: In cricket, players can score runs either by hitting the ball themselves, or when their partner hits it, or when the ball is not hit at all but goes beyond the wicket.

Collins COBUILD Idioms Dictionary


Wyrd bið ful aræd - bull!
Atatürk
Posted: Friday, January 4, 2019 6:24:32 AM

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I thought so.

In AmE, however, it means "immediately".

Advice and classroom hints are one thing, grammar rules are another. Michael Lewis (1986)
Drag0nspeaker
Posted: Friday, January 4, 2019 6:53:12 AM

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Yes - It communicates that quite well.
"Right off the bat" - as soon as the ball has started moving away from the bat, as soon as you have hit the ball.
It makes good sense, but it's not such a common phrase. I would never think to use it in conversation.

I'd use something shorter - "right now", "right then", straight off", "right away".


Wyrd bið ful aræd - bull!
Romany
Posted: Friday, January 4, 2019 7:10:09 AM
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And, in South African English, the quite addictive "now-now" is used instead of any of those.
Drag0nspeaker
Posted: Friday, January 4, 2019 7:44:58 AM

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Ah! I thought "Now now" was tomorrow and "right now" was sometime this week . . ..Whistle Whistle

Wyrd bið ful aræd - bull!
Romany
Posted: Saturday, January 5, 2019 6:24:49 AM
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Ach, no man! "Right now" is Brit-talk. "Just now" is some time this week, this year...when I get around to it. So it could even be in the next ten minutes! Took me a while to get it right but, once I found those phrases rolling automatically off my tongue I realised that I had a powerful "Get out of Jail Free" card:-

"Didn't I ask you to do that? Are you ever going to get around to it?"
"'Course I am. Just now. Promise."
Drag0nspeaker
Posted: Saturday, January 5, 2019 3:05:38 PM

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Lekker! Better than "Do not pass GO. Do not collect £200"

Wyrd bið ful aræd - bull!
Atatürk
Posted: Saturday, January 5, 2019 3:48:48 PM

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What are you talking about? Could you please decipher it?

Advice and classroom hints are one thing, grammar rules are another. Michael Lewis (1986)
Drag0nspeaker
Posted: Saturday, January 5, 2019 4:57:24 PM

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Oops - sorry.
South African English has its own idioms for 'future time'.
British . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . African
Right now . . . . . . . . . . . . now now
Immediately . . . . . . . . . . . now now
Soon . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .now now
some day when I'm ready . just now

"Lekker" means 'sweet', 'great', 'good'.

Wyrd bið ful aræd - bull!
Atatürk
Posted: Saturday, January 5, 2019 6:27:15 PM

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How strange!
Thank you.

Advice and classroom hints are one thing, grammar rules are another. Michael Lewis (1986)
Romany
Posted: Sunday, January 6, 2019 4:43:36 AM
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Ataturk - All language are strange when one isn't familiar with them!Dancing

What complicates those South African phrases is that "just now" can also mean "in a minute."

So for the first couple of years, if someone said they'd see me "just now" I'd hang around for ages waiting sometimes to no avail.Or, at other times I'd wander off and then they'd finish what they had been doing and look around for me and I'd be gone.

So I learnt to ask "Do you mean now-now or just-now?" which is a very strange sentence!

But in even in Australia, when my parents first arrived, there were problems. They gave a dinner party one night and, as the guests left some of them said "See you later."...Drool so my parent sat up till 3am waiting for them to come back!
Atatürk
Posted: Sunday, January 6, 2019 6:59:40 AM

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I'll never get to like "now now".

Is African English deemed as "standard" like other varieties.

Advice and classroom hints are one thing, grammar rules are another. Michael Lewis (1986)
Romany
Posted: Sunday, January 6, 2019 9:00:25 AM
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This is South African English. There's no such thing as "African English" because Africa is made up of so many different countries.

But yes, South African English is as valid as American English or Australian English or New Zealand or Canadian English.

There are many different varieties of English - this is why reputable English language schools use what's called "International English" - it's based predominantly on "English" English grammar, but a lot of vocabulary and idioms from other Englishes - especially American English.
Atatürk
Posted: Sunday, January 6, 2019 11:44:27 AM

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Interesting!

But in most countries either American or British English is taught to learners. I personally associate Australian English with British English due to their similarities compared to the American counterpart.

Is South African English spoken as L1 in that nation? Or just as an official language?







Advice and classroom hints are one thing, grammar rules are another. Michael Lewis (1986)
Drag0nspeaker
Posted: Sunday, January 6, 2019 12:12:18 PM

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Romany may correct me here, but I think there are several 'official languages' in South Africa. I know of English, Afrikaans (African Dutch), Zulu, Xhosa, Tswana and Sotho.

A lot of business is conducted in English, but 'official forms' might be available in English, Afrikaans and Zulu.
English is the main 'Lingua Franca', but Zulu is the language spoken by the largest portion of the population (as L1).

Apparently, most people speak more than one language - even in the same sentence (I have South African friends who use Afrikaans words in English sentences, even in England).

I just searched for 'multi-lingual sentence' and fount this comment on a football match in South Africa:

"I-Chiefs isidle nge-referee's optional time, otherwise ngabe ihambe sleg. Maar why benga stopi this system ye-injury time?"

The Chiefs (team) won because of the referee's optional time, otherwise, they'd have lost. But why hasn't this system of injury time been stopped?
English words are italic, Afrikaans are bold. The rest is Zulu.


Wyrd bið ful aræd - bull!
Romany
Posted: Sunday, January 6, 2019 12:30:21 PM
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In Natal (the last outpost of the British Empire) where I lived, and also in the Cape; Indian and Malay are an integral part of the mix too. Whereas Cape Coloured is seperate again.

There are 11 official languages in South Africa. Makes standing for the National Anthem a gruelling event.

It's true too that most people grow up speaking at least 3 languages. (English, Afrikaans and Zulu),
Drag0nspeaker
Posted: Sunday, January 6, 2019 12:46:46 PM

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d'oh! I should have thought - one of my long-ago girlfriends was Indian from Natal, and I know there's quite a lot of people from the East living there.


Wyrd bið ful aræd - bull!
Atatürk
Posted: Sunday, January 6, 2019 4:31:24 PM

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What a hodgepodge!

Advice and classroom hints are one thing, grammar rules are another. Michael Lewis (1986)
Romany
Posted: Monday, January 7, 2019 4:06:14 AM
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Indeed - and for someone like me who is fascinated by language, it's an absolutely fabulous hodgepodge!
(The very first play I wrote for SABC was a comedy based on South African languages!)
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