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Studying English? Why not learn to speak Manc?

If you’re an overseas student and you’ve chosen Manchester as your preferred city for studying, it’ll come as no surprise that you’ll stand more chance of gainful employment after you graduate if you have a good command of the English language. And there’s no better place than Manchester to learn how to do this – in fact you’re spoilt for choice.


Amongst the venues offering full or part time courses are Manchester Central School of English, British Study Centres Manchester, Communicate School of English, Britannia English School and of course The University of Manchester. If English is not your first language, the university’s Language Centre could be your best option. Their services cover academic writing and speaking, pronunciation and use of grammar, as well as tailored workshops, tutorial services and online learning resources to help you along the way.


But if you want to truly fit in with the Mancunian way of life, why not add to your academic learning regime by mixing with the locals and picking up some genuine Manc lingo? One way to do this of course is to get together with a bunch of people in the same boat as you and share some accommodation. Manchester Student Houses have properties in the desirable student areas of Didsbury, Fallowfield, Rusholme and Withington, with accommodation comprising four- to ten-bedroom houses. That could be your ideal base for the next few years and you could spend many an evening along the following lines.


If you can be mithered (bothered), get together in your gaff (house) one evening with your housemates, be they bessies (best friends), sound (good or decent) or even mingin’ (disagreeable or revolting). Put wood int’ ‘ole (shut the door), offer round the chuddy (chewing gum) and have a go at some of these phrases and idiosyncrasies – but you might be gaggin’ for a drink by the end.


For a start, there’s no need to wear your best keks (trousers) or maybe you could just wear your duds (underpants). You might find it dead ‘ard (extremely difficult) or well mint (very good). You could be buzzin’ (ecstatic) and mad fer it (eager), or you might end up scrikin’ (crying) and having a strop (outburst of temper). But whatever you do, always try and fit in with the unique northern sense of humour. Here’s a few expressions to get you in the mood:


“Ast bin men bin mam?” (Have the refuse collectors been yet, mother?)

“What did they cut your hair with, a knife and fork?” (You have rather a poor haircut)

“Mi stomach thinks mi throat’s cut” (I’m feeling rather hungry)

“Give your ‘ead a wobble” (You need to have a rethink)

“He couldn’t stop a pig in a ginnel” (He has bandy legs)


You might think that this blog is bobbins (not very good) so you may do one (go away) and visit the pub. If you turn to your mates and say “D’yer see that minger at the bar? They was well rank man”, you might be acclaimed for your street-cred, but it won’t be any help at all in getting you through your academic English course with honours.