Tricky words in this week's OVI
Counsel and council. Both of these words sound like /kaunsl/, and both of them may be translated with the Slovak "rada", but they come from slightly different origins in Latin, which show the
difference in their meanings. Counsel is someone whom people can consult, talk with and get advice from, so it is closer to "radca". Council is a group of people who are called together to discuss
and decide on common issues, as for example "obecná rada". Legal counsel is a lawyer who advises and represents someone involved in a court case, and General Counsel is the principal legal adviser
of a company (but not the legal representative - that's the company officer, "konateľ"). While we're about it, remember the differences in pronunciation and meaning between "lawyer" /lóje/
"právnik", "layer" /léje/ "vrstva", and "liar" /láje/ "luhár".
The question I've chosen for this issue was originally "Do you hear the difference between literary Slovak language and Slovak dialects?" The answer to that for me personally is yes, I can, and I
think it's great that people are able switch between them as required by the social situation. But this column is about English language habits, so what about dialects in English? Briefly, I
suspect there are more dialects of English in everyday use around the United States than around the United Kingdom. There are big differences in accents (pronunciations) around the UK, but to find
communities of people using different vocabulary and grammar in English, you have to get far away from the cities and the media, and Britain is rather small for that. Please send questions about
English language habits to email@example.com, and I will choose one to answer each week.