US - Talk
Many African Americans, and some Americans of other ancestries, speak what linguists refer to as "African American Vernacular English." AAVE derived from the nation's southern varieties of English, likely under the influence of west African languages. To what extent these languages account for the dialect's vocabulary and grammar is, however, a matter of dispute. In many parts of the USA, such as California, the Southwest, Texas, Florida, and New York, Spanish is the first language of a large minority of residents, mostly immigrants from Mexico or Latin America. Although it's rare to be in areas where no one speaks English, a good handle on Spanish can make communications easier in some areas. In addition to English and Spanish, French is spoken in rural areas near the border with Quebec, Hawaiian is the native language of Hawaii, and in the various Chinatowns in the US's major cities, Chinese is common. Besides immigrants or second generation Americans, few Americans can speak a foreign language fluently. Many educated Americans have received at least limited foreign language education (Spanish being the most common choice by far), but even so they likely haven't made use of it in years. Visiting the USA without at least a rudimentary knowledge of English will be quite difficult, yet if you learn a little, even from a phrase book, you will probably do all right, and generally, if you ask, people will be glad to help you. People may have strong and unexpected feelings about local politics and US foreign policy, and conversations about those topics need to be handled carefully.
Adapted from WikiTravel under the Wiki License
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