The World of English

English as the Universal Second Language

Letters to the Professor

When listening to native speakers they do not seem to say one hundred or one kilometre properly. The 'one' sounds more like an 'er' sound. Can you please explain to me why this is and if I should try to do it too?
Malgorzata J., Warszawa.


How can IT help you learn languages more effectively (provided you know how to use a computer, of course)?

At the IATEFEL COMPSIG Conference, Gliwice 2001. Grażyna Studzińska (2nd left), the organiser, and some participants.

Great Briton

One of the most famous men of the twentieth century, it can be said with confidence that the world would not be the place it is today without Sir Winston Churchill.

Nobody's Perfect

"Nobody' s perfect" - the last words of the Marilyn Monroe film Some Like it Hot are all too true when we speak a foreign language. Everybody makes mistakes when they talk to foreigners no matter how good their command of the language. Here are a few amusing mistakes made recently by learners of English. We have also included a couple made by native English speakers desperately trying to learn Polish.

Piotr and Monica

The Institutions of the European Union

If you live in Europe, whether in a European Union Member State or not, you will definitely be affected by the EU." Maybe not today, maybe not tomorrow, but soon and for the rest of your life," as Humphrey Bogart said in the film Casablanca. He wasn' t referring to the EU, since it didn' t exist in the 1940s when the film was made. But more recent European history has been largely shaped by the development of the EU, and in the future the EU' s influence can only increase.

The Pavement Robbers.

Theft is a word associated with things like bank robberies, burglary, muggings and even fraud, but what would you think if you woke up one day, looked out of the window and found that someone had stolen the entire pavement of your street? That' s what residents of London and other large cities across Britain wake up to with increasing frequency and the reason, believe it or not, is the ever-growing popularity of gardening. See the connection? Or are you completely confused? Let me explain.

The Magical Touch

"The idea that we could have a child who escapes from the confines of the adult world and goes somewhere where he has power, both literally and metaphorically, really appealed to me." J.K. Rowling's life, like that of her character, Harry Potter, has the lustre of a fairy tale. She has made her fortune, yet it isn't all plain sailing...

From the Australian Ambassador

Ms Margaret Adamson, the Australian Ambassador, recently spoke to Grzegorz Nawrocki about her country's view of Poland and the possibilities for Polish students in Australia.

GN: What image do Australians have of Poland?

Letters to the Editors

Letters to the Editor

Thanks to everyone who sent in entries to our SMS Poetry competition.We only have space to print a few of them. We also have had many suggestions to our Top Ten Love Songs of All Time. We receive many entries by e-mail these days, without home addresses accompanying them. So, if you see your name here then please send us your home address details and we will send you a CD as a prize.



We are Europe's Future!

"We are the future of Europe. The future shape of our continent depends on us." So said the young people who came to Strasbourg from 43 countries for the 50th anniversary of the Council of Europe.