How to speak British

In all languages slang differs by location. In UK English, for example, many people say something is ‘pants’ as a synonym for ‘rubbish’ (‘pants’ being an informal word for underwear). Writing fiction with dialect, slang, ethnicity, or cursing, is far more difficult than it would appear at first thought. To remain authentic and believable, the writer must master the vocabulary, syntax, spelling, sounds, and culture, of the speakers and thinkers who appear in the work, and perhaps employ a few tricks, especially in order to convey cursing. That enterprise is fraught with potential errors which will stand out like proverbial sore thumbs in the manuscript and will make the author seem clumsy, insensitive, uneducated, careless, or pretentious.
If you plan to set a story in a real-world place, make a list of local colloquialisms/slang. Find local news websites or YouTube channels, listen to podcasts, and watch videos, listening for the inflections of local speech. Learn how regional accents sound but also write down any unusual expressions that crop up often. Effective dialogue has the ring of natural speech.
Slang considered outdated in one country or city is often still popular in another. To make your characters’ dialect typical of a place and time, make sure any words you’ve included are current. Slang goes in and out of fashion.
That said, dialect and colloquial speech can add color, authenticity, and pizzaz, to fiction if handled appropriately. It is the purpose of this set of articles to share insights about what is fun and fulfilling for the author and exciting and carries a feeling of genuineness for the reader. Regional dialects help to convey a sense of local character speech in stories. By altering the spelling of the words and making it clear that someone is saying them differently than they are pronounced by others, the writer gives his/her character more life and personality.

Accent-is a distinctive mode of pronunciation of a language, especially one associated with a particular nation, locality, or social class. For example, compare East London (Cockney Rhyming Language) to West side Etonian collegiate British language. The accent language has different spelling, choice of vocabulary, even a different way of swearing; e.g. both kinds of British English speakers use the term “bloody” to indicate a negative context, but it is considered poor form in educated, upper crust, speakers and de rigueur in lower classes.  Accent is the overall way speech sounds due to vowel and consonant production and syllabic stress as well as spelling, sentence construction, and grammar, especially in writing.
Auxiliary verb-To capture the speech of characters who are in an unfamiliar place, speaking an unfamiliar language, the writer must learn the most common errors that people from his/her characters’ home country make. For example, Russian immigrants to English-speaking countries have characteristic hurdles to overcome to use English correctly. In the Russian language, there are few auxiliary verbs–verbs such as the verb ‘to be’ or ‘is’ are inferred from context. Thus, errors such as ‘he good man’ [for ‘he is a good man’] or ‘you go work tomorrow?’ occur with some frequency early on or among fairly cloistered ethnic groups. The unwary writer may find that many things he/she already knows about auxiliary verbs in English are totally different in Spanish. Not all the English auxiliary verbs are auxiliary verbs in Spanish. 
Auxiliary verbs in English are fully grammaticalized, meaning they are nearly always auxiliary verbs. That is not the case in Spanish. If we take the verb deber, it can be an auxiliary verb meaning “must,” but it also keeps its original meaning related to owing money. Examples: “Debo ir a casa.” [I must go home.] but also, “Debo cien dólares.” [I owe a hundred dollars.]
Dialect-In literature, dialect is used to show where the character comes from and how they talk there in ordinary daily speaking, rather than telling where they are from. It is a variety of a language that is spoken in a particular area and that uses some of its own words, grammar, abbreviations, and pronunciations. For example, compare Afrikaans to Dutch or Southern patois to US mid-Atlantic speech of Franklin D. Roosevelt. It can also distinguish a person’s social background, education, or occupation. For example, compare Harvard professorial speech to that of a New York Sandhog. 

Eye Dialect-is the term for representing deviations from standard pronunciation using alternate spellings. Often, a character’s non-standard speech can be represented using apostrophes to show omissions. For example, in writing Southern US dialect, writers might show the flatter ending of ‘-ing’ words using apostrophes, e.g. “fallin’” and dropping the “g”; and writing ‘fella’ instead of fellow, ‘gal’ instead of girl. Creating Southern United States speech often requires Eye Dialect: for e.g. , fur [for], tu [to], frum [from], deth [death], wuz [was], uv [of], and sez [says]. Much the same applies when writing with characters from the Rocky Mountain West, Appalachia, or other rural US regions.
Idiomatic speech-a group of words established by usage as having a meaning not deducible from those of the individual words; i.e. the idiom coveys a meaning different from the literal meaning of the group of words; a form of expression natural to a language, person, or group of people; therefore; the dialect of a people or part of a country. Whole books have been produced just to list English idioms, for example, “to rain cats and dogs”, “to see the light”. 

Other languages have their own idioms, a fact to bear in mind as a writer. English idioms often do not make sense to other language speakers—and vice versa–and most often require use in context. The same is true for writing with foreign speakers. French–for example–have idioms such as  “avoir le cafard” [lit. to have the cockroach] meaning “to be depressed”. Idioms convey a sense of local particularity that convey background. Idioms can breathe life and color into fiction if used well.
Spanish idioms may be equally bewildering to Americans as English idioms are to Hispanics and Spaniards. For example, “Encontrar tu media Naranja” [literally: to find your half orange; actual meaning: to find the love of your life. Or, “Ojos que no ven, corazón que no siente. [Literally: eyes that don’t see, heart that doesn’t feel. Actual meaning: if you are not around to witness something negative, or don’t find out about it, then it cannot hurt you.]

Phonetic reinventions-are deliberate misspellings to convey regional speech by capturing the sound and neglecting formal spelling often to suggest inadequate education. Phonetic reinventions of words were used in the extreme in some early American literature. The result was characters portrayed as highly uneducated and of lower social status. It appeared to characterize entire regions or peoples negatively, even if unintentionally. This use of language can come across as offensive and stereotypical, which in time was felt by critics and readers alike, to be ruinous to an otherwise good story.

Phraseology-There are two meanings: a manner of organizing words and phrases into longer elements, i.e. style and choice of words, which may have a critical difference in using correct or authentic phrases or descriptors to convey the culture and speech of a particular group. 
Transliteration-refers to the way for whom English is a second language transpose the grammatical structure of sentences in one language directly into another, even if the second language has its own, different, rules of grammar. For example, when describing a character who is not fully fluent in the primary language of the narrator and most speakers in the story, find grammatical particulars of their first language. This sophisticated writing tool is used to convey imperfect translation on the part of the speaker.

I chose to use a pseudonym for personal reasons. I’m a retired neurosurgeon living in a rural paradise and am at rest from the turbulent life of my profession. I lived in an era when resident trainees worked 120 hours a week–a form of bondage no longer permitted by law. I served as a Navy Seabee general surgeon during the unpleasantness in Viet Nam, and spent the remainder of my ten-year service as a neurosurgeon in a major naval regional medical center. I’ve lived in every section of the country, saw all the inhumanity of man to man, practiced in private settings large and small, the military, academia, and as a medical humanitarian in the Third World.