How to hear and understand BRITISH English


today, I took TOEIC exam(business english examination popular in japan).

and in the listening part,  I can understand american english, though when it comes to british english, I can't catch words at all!

I knew I was poor at british english, so I have studied that by using such as BBC raidio news.

then I think I got used to it, But actually I really can't understand british or australian english.

now, How do you think can I do for this problem.

Jan 31, 2016 2:08 PM
Comments · 10

It isn't as big a problem as you think.


When it comes to the type of language you come across in a business exam, or even in the real business world, British and American English is very, very similar. We have the same grammar, and 99% of the same vocabulary and idioms. Slang and colloquial language may differ, but in the context of work and study, there really is only ONE English language. A businessperson in London or Sydney really does say almost exactly the same things to his or her colleagues as a businessperson in New York or Washington does.


It's simply a case of getting used to to a different style of pronunciation. All you need to do is listen to British or Australian TV programmes, podcasts and so on, so that you can train your ear to the different sound of the language. The actual language itself is virtually the same.

January 31, 2016
You can take it up a notch (get better results) by using active listening techniques, and especially, imitating various accents as you study them. The idea is not to pass for a British person, or an Australian or whatever, but merely to sharpen your ear and familiarize your subconscious mind with different accents.
February 1, 2016
If your English is good enough, it won't matter which accent you are listening to. American and British English really aren't that different.
February 4, 2016
I don't know of a silver bullet, but you could watch short clips of TV interviews and discussions between British people, Australians and Americans.  You could then try to transcribe them, and then discuss them with a native speaker, to fill in the gaps.   
January 31, 2016

Thank you for your comments!

True, I have to practice more and  more, and I can use the method of watching short clips or TV shows in England, or Australia.

Remember, I don't have a friend, british/ australian speaker, so I try to approach those people actively☺

February 1, 2016
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