Londoners Abroad: 6 reasons why Latin Americans want to learn British English

Having spent six months living in Latin America myself, I can say that this sponsored  post by Londoner Tracey Chandler rings true. Tracey has been living in Buenos Aires for a while now and is here to give us some insight on what it’s like to be a Londoner abroad. In this post, she tells us about the reputation of her mother tongue in her adopted country. As an American with a Spanish speaking boyfriend who learned English in the UK and uses BBC as guide for pronunciation, I often get teased for my American English accent and general “Americanisms”. It’s nice to hear Tracey is admired for her British one!

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Words by Tracey Chandler

As an expat Brit living in Latin America I have always been surprised at how highly thought of British English, as opposed to American English, is here. I had only just arrived when a new acquaintance grasped my hand firmly and declared warmly: “Me gustan los ingleses porque hablan muy lindo.” (“I love the English because they speak so nicely.”)

At the time I thought this an odd statement but I now understand that he meant we speak ‘proper’ English. Here are seven reasons why Latin Americans want to learn British English.

1. Authenticity and authority
In Latin America, British English is seen as the “authentic” English. It is as though the language began losing something the moment the Mayflower touched land in the Americas. Britain, home to Oxford and the world-famous guardians of the language at the Oxford English Dictionary, is seen as the original source of English.

OxfordOxford by Marc Willmore

2. Social status
Linked to this is the view that British English confers a higher social standing on the speaker. This is a view that researchers have found extends to the States itself. Americans, when asked to rate the social status of people with standard American or standard British accents, have a strong tendency to assign speakers of British English a higher social status.

3. English schools
There is a belief in Latin America that English language schools in Britain are the best in the world. This is related to the points above, but it is certainly true that quality language schools such as UIC – the only language school in the world to win the Star Award and the British Council ELTon, as this page explains – have done much to cement this reputation.

4. The Latin American presence in London
In recent years there has been a growing Latin American presence in Britain. London, in particular, has seen a four-fold rise in its Latin American population over the last 10 years. This presence is a reflection of push factors from countries such as Brazil, but also of pull factors such as the high esteem that Britain is held in and the perceived opportunities that exist there even in an economic downturn.

St Pauls CathedralSt. Paul’s Cathedral by xlibber

5. Studying English in London
An aspiration I have encountered many times is to study English in London. To learn English near the iconic images that define England’s capital – such as the London Eye, Buckingham Palace, the Tower of London and St Paul’s Cathedral – is a dream held by many. It is as if the history and authority of these buildings will add the same qualities to the speaker’s English.

6. Being in London  specifically
For many, to study in London is to laze in Regent’s Park by day and party at night. The lure of British English is, in part, the lure of Europe. It is somewhere different where life must be better. It is not Central or South America nor the other America across the border, but somewhere new and fresh. Life must be better and the language must be better. Learning British English is like a passport to a better life.

Bio

Tracey writes her way around the globe, focusing on travel, culture and love. She has developed a penchant for Whitesnake and Joss Stone on a daily basis, doesn’t have the guts to jump out of a plane and cannot live without internet connection.

And a video for your amusement…

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Londoners Abroad: The Dating Scene – London vs. Buenos Aries

I’ve decided to start a new series of posts written by Londoners abroad on various topics. Judging by the lovely flag counter in my sidebar, there’s a good chunk of you reading from other countries. Whether you are expats originally from London curious as to what’s going on back home, or you’re just a fan of the Big Smoke, I’m not sure… but, if you’re out there somewhere, originally from London and you’d like to write a few lines about being a Londoner in your new country or be interviewed, please do drop me a line (stephanie.sadler.23 @ gmail . com – remove spaces)!

The first post for this series happens to be a sponsored post, written by Londoner Tracey Chandler on the differences between dating in London and dating in her new city: Buenos Aires. 

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Words by Tracey Chandler

I always thought that dating in London was tough and confusing, but it is nowhere near as tough as dating on a foreign continent, within a foreign culture and communicating in a foreign language.

Dating in Latin America, and learning to deal with foreign dating codes, has made me realise just how much I miss dating in London.

Every large city in the world abides by a number of unspoken dating codes and there are always a number of places that are perfect for meeting a guy you can chat with, share interests with, date long-term and perhaps even form a family with. The key is learning where to look in order to find the places where the diamonds in the rough hide out.

If you are looking for the perfect match in London, but you are finding it hard to connect with someone, don’t despair. Relax, smile and slip into your most flattering outfit of the moment. Dating in London, I have come to realise, doesn’t have to be daunting, particularly when you take the time to do some Prince Charming hunting in the following city hotspots…

1. London Parks

Summer sun and London parks provide the perfect backdrop for finding a new love interest. Hyde Park, Regents Park, Kew Gardens and even small plazas like those found on Upper Street in Islington or in the middle of zone one mayhem at Leicester Square, are magical spaces where romances blossom.

Rose Gardens
Photo by LLO

I miss enjoying the sunshine, with picnic and frisbee in tow, dressed in skimpy shorts and accompanied by a bag full of creams, nail polish and girly mags to ponder over. These magical moments, when all the girls get together, do wonders for strengthening friendships and they make your skin look great.

There’s something so relaxing and free about London parks. Even the shyest Brit on the planet will pluck up the courage in Hyde Park to get chatting to the pretty girl in the summer hat. Excluding Buenos Aires, innocent flirting in Latin American parks doesn’t really exist. The boys do their thing and the girls do theirs and I miss the spontaneity of the British boys who stop their game of football to spend a little time with the ladies.

2. Hoxton Square 

Hoxton Square never fails. It’s the perfect place to enjoy a weekend cocktail with the girls and, if you are open to innocent conversation and delicate flirting, (in true British fashion), Hoxton Square is one of the best locations on the London nightlife dating circuit to find someone who shares your interests and relationship ideals.

Photo by Tracey Chandler

Whenever I go back to London for a visit, Hoxton Square is one of the first places I head to with my London friends who remain on the singles dating scene because it attracts a true mixture of people from all walks of life. The thing about dating and the key to getting it right is to recognise and accept that finding someone that you feel comfortable with is ultimately more important than finding someone with an attractive face and nothing more.

Hoxton Square is full of people with interesting lives and interesting stories to tell. There is something for everyone in Hoxton Square and it’s one of the reasons that make it a great location for singletons on the London dating scene.

3. Theatre Pubs and the Brooding Intellectuals

There’s nothing like a good London pub to while away the afternoon, catch up with friends, or watch an important sporting event amongst fanatics, but the London Theatre Pub (like The Old Red Lion, The King’s Head or The Hen and Chickens – all of which happen to be in Islington) has something extra to offer the single girl looking for love… the brooding intellectual.

The London intellectual is a particular species not to be found anywhere else on the planet. He spends his time brooding, reading and worrying about the existential in life questions that plague us all.

I have often thought that I might one day end up marrying one of these brooding intellectuals, falling hopelessly in love and spend the rest of my days writing poetry from a one-roomed flat in Hackney.

The Intellectual Londoner has a particular way with words which is very attractive. I miss his conversational style and the sharing of romantic ideas. If your idea of the perfect man is one who spends time quoting poetry, start paying more attention to the London Theatre Pub scene. It’s good for the soul.

Erato
Photo by LLO

4. Guanabara Brazilian Beijos

Even though I miss the London dating scene and even though I have had to learn how to date in foreign lands, there are times when I’m back in London and I miss what Latin America has to offer too. Guanabara, a popular Brazilian bar on Parker Street in London is, during these moments, my salvation.

Brazilian music, Brazilian food, Brazilian Portuguese and Brazilian men. Guanabara is open seven days a week and if you happen to be dating someone who loves to dance, it is the perfect place to take them one evening.

What’s more, it is important to remember that London is one of the best cities in the world for inter-cultural experiences. You might find that you like the Brazilian culture and the attention of a Brazilian man. You might be surprised to find out that the person you feel most at home with was born thousands of miles away on a different continent and is now, by pure luck, living on your doorstep and offering to treat you like a princess day after day.

Give Guanabara a try. You might be pleasantly surprised with who you meet there. It’s all Brazil and well worth a look!

Love Lane
Photo by LLO

Bio

Tracey writes her way around the globe, focusing on travel, culture and love, for a variety of sites, including eHarmony. She has developed a penchant for Whitesnake and Joss Stone on a daily basis, doesn’t have the guts to jump out of a plane and cannot live without internet connection.