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According to Cambridge dictionary, formal language is often used in situations that are a little serious such as meetings or conferences and it also involves people that we don’t know that well while informal language, on the other hand is used in moments that are more relaxed and involve people that we know very well. For easier understanding, formal and informal language relates to where communication is taking place. Career seminars, job hunting, business correspondence, we use formal language whereas parties, social gathering, chit chat with friends, we use informal language. Although, sometimes we use informal language in a formal setting. I think every language in the world have formal and informal language. I am currently studying Japanese and it really gives heavy importance in using formal language almost everyday everywhere to anyone. For them, it is very rude to use informal language to people whom you’ve just met. They give much emphasis on social rankings. Think of it this way, if you use informal language to someone who’s not really close to you, you commit a mortal sin. Mostly languages from Asia place heavy importance in formal and informal language. Generally I think the same way goes for English formal and informal language, although it is not a grave sin if you do use informal language to people you don’t know well but still it is rude. Mostly, non native speakers learn informal language rather easily than the formal one. How? Through pop culture such as the media. Usually movies, dramas, magazine and other media publications not all the time but they often use informal language. Non native speakers love to watch or expose themselves to such materials which helped them learn informal language easily. That is why sometimes students use some words wherein native speakers would find inappropriate in certain situations. Whereas, most textbooks, news programs and business emails commonly use the formal language. For example, commence, terminate and endeavor are all formal words. Their informal counterpart are as follows ; start, end and try. But there is a saying there is always exception to the rule. The statement I have said earlier are not a basis that formal language is used just in this or that. So, how can a student know? Most of the time, informal language words are shorter and concise whereas formal sometimes use modal verbs to be more polite. Can, may and might are all modal verbs with different degree in formalities. Might being the most formal and polite. Although honestly, no true methodology can be given to non native speakers to easily learn the differences between formal and non formal language other than to use the language and make mistakes along the way. In this way they will be naturally assimilated to the language. Not only they are learning about the language but they are learning it naturally thus they will have the ability to use it naturally. Just to be on the safe side, I suggest most of my students who are still in beginners level to use the formal language. It might be weird for native speakers but I think it is better to be weird than to be rude.