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  1. #21
    AlexAD's Avatar
    AlexAD is online now Senior Member
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    Default Re: American and British English differences

    Let's mix all the dialects up and call that "Overall English"
    When I was in Johannesburg I noticed that they use apartment (AmE) rather than flat (BrE) but at the same time they say to let (BrE) instead of to rent (AmE) as though South Africa was one of the British Colony.
    That's why I take that problem easy.

  2. #22
    davilan is offline Newbie
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    Default Re: American and British English differences

    Outside of the US from what I have seen, most teachers of English teach British English. The reason for this from what I can tell, is simply that: British English is what they were taught, because that is what their teachers were taught.

    English has become the official language of the world because computers are an American invention. Computer programing started and remains in American English the world over. The net started as an American owned (I don't know what to call it) idea? project? At the point in time that English became so important, the US was the dominant power in Business.

    English learners generally learn the language to improve their life through such things as travel or better business/job qualifications.

    In spite of what you may think, the difference is quite huge. I felt it is slighting an English learner to teach them only British English, specially if they are learning English for business. So I compiled only a couple of the Wikipedia articles on the subject-that is not a very extensive search-but it's already 250 pages that I gave to my teachers of English. So imagine how much material there really is, because of how large the difference really is.

    There was a recent article that Webster's unabridged dictionary had just gone over 10,000 strictly American English words that originated in the United States. This does not include American English words from other languages. How many words do you think Webster's has?

  3. #23
    davilan is offline Newbie
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    Default Re: American and British English differences

    Hi Barb,

    Very nice to meet you. That's why I posted wekipedia links that show the different items I've spoken about.

    The section on words showing the same word with different meanings was 50 pages or so. Teachers here are very encouraged to read the articles as the information is of high caliber and some of it is significant.

  4. #24
    birdeen's call is offline VIP Member
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    Default Re: American and British English differences

    Note that words that originated in America don't have to be strictly American now. (I'm not sure if you're asserting that they have to be; I'm saying this just in case. (By the way, take a look at one more difference between BrE and AmE. (How do you like nested parentheses? )))

  5. #25
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    bhaisahab is offline Moderator
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    Default Re: American and British English differences

    Quote Originally Posted by davilan View Post
    Outside of the US from what I have seen, most teachers of English teach British English. The reason for this from what I can tell, is simply that: British English is what they were taught, because that is what their teachers were taught.

    English has become the official language of the world because computers are an American invention. Computer programing started and remains in American English the world over. The net started as an American owned (I don't know what to call it) idea? project? At the point in time that English became so important, the US was the dominant power in Business.

    English learners generally learn the language to improve their life through such things as travel or better business/job qualifications.

    In spite of what you may think, the difference is quite huge. I felt it is slighting an English learner to teach them only British English, specially if they are learning English for business. So I compiled only a couple of the Wikipedia articles on the subject-that is not a very extensive search-but it's already 250 pages that I gave to my teachers of English. So imagine how much material there really is, because of how large the difference really is.

    There was a recent article that Webster's unabridged dictionary had just gone over 10,000 strictly American English words that originated in the United States. This does not include American English words from other languages. How many words do you think Webster's has?
    In point of fact the WWW, via which AmE is transmitted around the globe, and which most people perceive as being the Internet, was invented by an Englishman:

    Tim Berners-Lee was the man leading the development of the World Wide Web (with help of course), the defining of HTML (hypertext markup language) used to create web pages, HTTP (HyperText Transfer Protocol) and URLs (Universal Resource Locators). All of those developments took place between 1989 and 1991. Tim Berners-Lee was born in London, England and graduated in Physics from Oxford University in 1976. He is currently the Director of the World Wide Web Consortium, the group that sets technical standards for the Web.
    As for the invention of computers, look here:
    Charles Babbage - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    Admittedly it was all developed in the US.
    Last edited by bhaisahab; 17-Mar-2011 at 09:53. Reason: Correct facts

  6. #26
    The Dude is offline Member
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    Default Re: American and British English differences

    I don't think it's important anyway, this question of 'is it a language, is it a dialect?' For me it's all just part of the rich tapestry that is my language, or any other language which varies as it travels around the world.

    If a student wants me to teach him English, I assume he expects to learn British English, so that is what I teach him. If he'd particularly wanted to learn Australian English, he'd have gone to an Aussie. I always recommend to learners that they focus on one type of English and stick to it, whilst being aware of the main alternative uses in other countries. The variant to learn is the one you feel will be most appropriate to you.

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by davilan
    I just noticed that you are not a native English speaker-just wanted to note that from what you've written here I wouldn't know.

    -- I do agree with you here. BC is most proficient!


    Indeed, but still, to an English ear, noticeably not native-standard. But, again, I feel this is unimportant. Whilst we should try to learn a language as best we can, it seems futile to aim for 'native-speaker-standard'. It's not only unnecessary but also simply unachievable without a stay of very many years immersed in the 'target' country. We should be realistic and work towards a good standard of fluency and comprehension, whilst always being open to learning more. There is absolutely no shame in using a second language less well than a native speaker - in my experience, nobody will mock our shortcomings.

    Just an opinion of course!

  7. #27
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    nyota is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: American and British English differences

    And now for something completely different! A tongue-in-cheek approach to AmE and BrE by Eddie Izzard.

    "Two nations divided by a common language"

    P.S. I hope spamming links to YT videos is tolerable and that I'm not getting myself into trouble...too much. In my defence, the stand-up does include relevant examples. :)

  8. #28
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    Default Re: American and British English differences

    If you could write an example in every message in this thread, it would be usefull to me.

  9. #29
    JMurray is offline Key Member
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    Default Re: American and British English differences

    As a non-Br, non-US native speaker of English I don't understand this idea that US and Br English are different languages (all jokes aside). I have lived in the UK and spent a lot of time in the US and never found any native I've spoken with, from any walk of life, to be incomprehensible. I may have to listen more carefully to some speakers, largely because of accent rather than vocabulary or syntax, and sometimes ask about a usage or reference, but it would never occur to me that we were speaking a different language. The very fact that US and Br posters on this site write entirely freely and naturally in their own English and yet are understood by each other, and the rest of us, without any strain or need of translation (except on the occasional minor point) surely indicates that we are employing the same language. As bhaisahab says: "American English is no more different from standard BrE than Irish English or Scots English, or even some English English dialects". In the end it comes down to definition but, in my opinion, to understand what a different language really is we need only consider a situation where entries started appearing on here in their poster's own Polish or Japanese, for example.

  10. #30
    allenman is offline Member
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    Default Re: American and British English differences

    Quote Originally Posted by bhaisahab View Post
    In point of fact the Internet was invented by an Englishman:
    Father of the Internet Tim Berners-Lee
    Yikes! HTML and WWW was invented AFTER the internet. It's simply a protocol running on the internet. Dig deeper before making misleading comments!!

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