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Thread: BrE or AmE?

  1. #1
    sondra is offline Member
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    Default BrE or AmE?

    Hello,

    Is it tue that when a student starts to learn English he or she should choose either AmE or BrE to concentrate on, but not both?

    Thanks

  2. #2
    bhaisahab's Avatar
    bhaisahab is offline Moderator
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    Default Re: BrE or AmE?

    Quote Originally Posted by sondra View Post
    Hello,

    Is it tue that when a student starts to learn English he or she should choose either AmE or BrE to concentrate on, but not both?

    Thanks
    I think it's helpful for beginners to try to follow one dialect.

  3. #3
    Rover_KE is offline Moderator
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    Default Re: BrE or AmE?

    In real life, students have no choice. They have to learn the English their teachers impose on them.

    Rover

  4. #4
    Chicken Sandwich's Avatar
    Chicken Sandwich is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: BrE or AmE?

    Quote Originally Posted by sondra View Post
    Hello,

    Is it tue that when a student starts to learn English he or she should choose either AmE or BrE to concentrate on, but not both?

    Thanks

    NOT A TEACHER


    The differences between AmE and BrE are not something a beginner should worry about in my opinion. If you compare the BrE version of English Grammar in Use with the one written for students of North American English, you'll notice that they are nearly identical. The differences between AmE and BrE are important, but not in the beginning stages. The basics are common to both Englishes. This is just my personal opinion.

  5. #5
    TheParser is offline Key Member
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    Default Re: BrE or AmE?

    ***** NOT A TEACHER *****


    Hello, Sondra:

    May I add my two bits to the discussion?

    I agree that a student should choose one variety and try to become an "expert" in that variety.

    I am 75 years old, and there is still a lot about American English that I do not understand. I learn something

    every day when I read the questions and answers here at usingenglish.com.

    *****

    Here in the United States, there is a somewhat similar discussion going on regarding the Chinese language.

    Should Chinese-language classes teach Americans the traditional ways to write Chinese characters, or should they use the

    simplified characters that were introduced in the 1950's? Furthermore, should American students be taught Mexican

    Spanish or Colombian Spanish or Argentine Spanish or ...?

    *****

    As you can see, language is a very sensitive issue. I believe that it has often led to wars. On a less serious note, a few

    years ago, I posted my opinion on another grammar helpline that students should learn variety X of English. My post

    was deleted because that helpline believed that variety Y should be taught to everyone!

    *****

    On a more humorous note, some years back I laughed out loud when I read a letter written to a British magazine

    in which an Australian gentleman demanded that the magazine change from British spelling to American spelling. The

    magazine commented on his letter with three words: "What a nerve!" (P.S. That magazine still uses British spelling.)


    James

  6. #6
    charliedeut's Avatar
    charliedeut is offline VIP Member
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    Default Re: BrE or AmE?

    Quote Originally Posted by sondra View Post
    Hello,

    Is it true that when a student starts to learn English he or she should choose either AmE or BrE to concentrate on, but not both?

    Thanks


    charliedeut

    PS: I agree with Rover that, as a rule, the student is not the one choosing the variety of English s/he is going to learn.
    Please be aware that I'm neither a native English speaker nor a teacher.

  7. #7
    Chicken Sandwich's Avatar
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    Default Re: BrE or AmE?

    Quote Originally Posted by TheParser View Post

    I agree that a student should choose one variety and try to become an "expert" in that variety.

    I am 75 years old, and there is still a lot about American English that I do not understand. I learn something

    every day when I read the questions and answers here at usingenglish.com.
    I agree with you, but I don't think that the BrE/AmE divide is entirely black-and-white. Of course, there are some clear differences. A speaker of BrE would write "colour" and not "color". In my opnion, if you're writing an essay/letter etc, you should stick to either the US or UK spelling. So if you write "colour", you should also write "vapour" and "archaeology". However, I also think that there is some overlap between BrE and AmE. Here are three examples:

    - I was speaking to a gentlemen from London a few weeks ago (a native Englishman) and he used the word "vacation".
    - Some speakers of BrE use -ize endings in words such as realize, organize and so on.
    - I have heard two speakers of AmE use the following phrase, which is usually attributed to BrE: That's a load of rubbish.

    So if you have time on your hands, try to learn as much as you can. That would be my "non-teacher" advice!
    Last edited by Chicken Sandwich; 17-Sep-2012 at 14:07.

  8. #8
    Raymott's Avatar
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    Default Re: BrE or AmE?

    If you learn English in Australia, New Zealand, etc, you learn neither BrE nor AmE. Many of us have not suffered at all from this.

  9. #9
    5jj's Avatar
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    Default Re: BrE or AmE?

    Quote Originally Posted by Raymott View Post
    If you learn English in Australia, New Zealand, etc, you learn neither BrE nor AmE. Many of us have not suffered at all from this.
    And what we generally call BrE is more often 'English English', as you'll discover if you ever have a teacher whose native variety is Scottish English, Welsh English or Irish English.

  10. #10
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Default Re: BrE or AmE?

    Quote Originally Posted by Chicken Sandwich View Post
    - Some speakers of BrE use -ize endings in words such as realize, organize and so on.
    We can use both ise/ize in many cases- spellchecks may think we only use one form, but that doesn't reflect reality.

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