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I'm a native American English speaker who is also into startups (and has lived in a lot of places, communicating with non-native speakers in English, as well as my really horrible Kurdish, Pashto, Dari, French, Arabic, etc. phrases...). Observations:

1) You should fully Americanize all the spellings. It is American English people want.

2) This would be far too boring for me to stick with if it is things like "I went to the cinema yesterday". A coherent story, or even better, a domain-specific lesson, would be a much more engaging way to teach a language. I was able to learn when it was "talk to my driver about the security situation and drive plan", but never cared enough for casual conversation. I am usually happy to talk to people who speak horrible English about things I care about, which presumably for the hn audience is tech, startups, etc., but not about sports (cricket!?). If you could do a vertical-specific sayafter.me it would be awesome.




Not all people want American English thank you very much. Every time I'm forced to type 'color' a small part of me dies.


Wot wot pip pip cheerio get the torch line's engaged eat some crisps there's a good chap.


That's not a mature response. I've look at your other comments and you look like you've made some worthwhile contribution but this comment is not what I visit HN daily for.

I agree with te_chris, it is not only arrogant but incorrect to make that assumption. I don't actually mind using 'color', but you live in a small world if you think that only a certain accent is relevant.


Ah well, everybody has their off days.


Many people who don't speak English are outside the Americas, and so it doesn't make sense for them to learn the American variation of English. However, I agree that it should be an option.


Pretty much all non-native speakers who want to learn English that I've ever met do want to learn American English specifically, particularly those who want to work in America.

(I prefer South African English, personally, but I think the commercial market is strongly in favor of American English.)


I used to teach English to non-native speakers. All of them wanted to learn English with an American accent. I think they are actually doing themselves a disservice because they fail to understand the subtle differences of class status an accent signals. A more British inflected accent is an easy way to signal higher education and status to an American. They go a bit gaga for British accents. It's also easier to fake a British accent.


The weird thing in the Middle East is (outside of Saudi) most of the formal instruction was in British English, but everyone watched US tv, and the demand was generally for a American English (even after 9/11 and the unwelcoming US immigration policy).

Same thing in China and Thailand; I don't know about other countries.


European with a British accent representing.

More anecdata for you.


"Your anecdotal evidence is wrong - I want the opposite"

"No, your anecdotal evidence is wrong."

"My anecdotal evidence is right."


The context here was "people who are having a hard time working in the US tech industry/being funded by US VCs due to accents". Obviously if you intend to work in the UK or another country which uses a different accent, it makes sense to learn in that accent. IIRC the phone bank people in Asia actually train people in specific accents based on the client for this very reason.

(A totally fluent UK/IE/etc English speaker probably is fine in any context, but I don't think someone learning from a webapp is starting from that point. If you are going to be a moderate speaker, it is better to be moderate in the target accent.)




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