I came across this usage in the novel Lost Horizon by English writer James Hilton,Chapter 4.Here is the context.

Her concession evoked a formal bow from Chang. "But why not, madam?" he replied in his precise and flavored English. "Must we hold that because one religion is true, all others are bound to be false?"


Flavour can mean a kind, variety, or sort.

Flavoured English refers to different types of English e.g. different dialects, or English that is influenced by another language, or accent of some type e.g. Dutch-flavoured, Finnish-flavoured, locally-flavoured, internationally-flavoured... I even found the expression full-flavoured English idiom in English Translation and Classical Reception: Towards a New Literary History By Stuart Gillespie

Chang's English is described as being "precise and perhaps too accurate" and "perfect" in Chapter 3, and so that would be the flavour of his English - perfect, precise and too accurate, i.e. unnatural, probably too formal, most likely not including contractions and other features of connected speech.

The author never mentions what accent or dialect Chang speaks, and I've always assumed he spoke RP with a Chinese accent, but other readers may interpret perfect, precise and accurate as implying no Chinese accent at all.


The word flavored there would be a figurative usage and refers to the presence of a sprinkling of features that reflect a certain accent, dialect and/or a particular social stratum. It is normally used in concert with a descriptor, such as Spanish-flavored.

  • Thanks.In the Chinese edition of this book,the translator has rendered it as 地道,which means his English is natural and authentic.So i'm bit of confused. – dubina Aug 31 '18 at 18:16
  • Does the translator render precise and flavored as 地道 or is precise rendered separately? – Tᴚoɯɐuo Aug 31 '18 at 19:07
  • @dubina: Chang's English in the book is impeccable. – Tᴚoɯɐuo Aug 31 '18 at 19:23
  • In the book,the translator renders precise and flavored as ‘准确 and 地道'.’准确‘ means 'precise' in Chinese.'地道' means natural. – dubina Sep 1 '18 at 1:22

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