Peter Chapple

Posts by Peter Chapple

What is it like to learn English?

If by some strange chance you think it’s hard to learn a language which is foreign to you… what’s it like for those who learn English when it’s foreign to them? Most native speakers of English now deal at some point with people who are not native speakers of...

Is culture ever wrong?

It's almost a truism that liberally-minded, progressive people of the world make an effort to understand and appreciate other people's cultures, no matter how different they might be from our own.  We might find practices ranging from arranged marriages to initiation ceremonies among Papuan tribes people a little strange,...

What it means to speak another language

What does it mean to say that you “speak a language”? That you speak like a native, that you speak fluently, that you can to some extent get by? There are many different interpretations of what this phrase could mean. Over the years, I’ve had a go at learning...

Language in the USA

Not an issue you normally think about, is it? From LA to NY, it’s all pretty much the same, and not vastly different from ours! This is certainly true – to a degree. But one thing I discovered on a recent trip is this: outside the main tourist spots,...

The laid-back life of the English speaker

Business trip to Asia? Of course, they’ll have someone there who speaks English. Holiday in Europe? Well, they all learn English at school, don’t they? And all the signs will be in English. And even if they don’t want to speak English, at least...