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    #1

    BE vs. AE

    For a newbie to get started in learning English, what is the first priority for him/her, British Engllish or American English?

    The confusion comes from the situation:

    (1) Historically speaking, BE is the best choice in learning speaking English; but AE is a boom nowadays.

    (2) America is an immigrant country; its 200 year long history seems not a sound evidence to prove AE can be better than BE. The impact of American science and economy and so forth is felt internationally, however, which inspires us that AE can be parallel to BE.

    You opinion will be appreciated (editing the above writing is also welcomed)

    PS. The series of Harry Potter films are spoken in BE?

  1. emsr2d2's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: BE vs. AE

    Quote Originally Posted by NewHopeR View Post
    For a newbie to get started in learning English, what is the first priority for him/her, British Engllish or American English?

    The confusion comes from the situation:

    (1) Historically speaking, BE is the best choice in learning speaking English; but AE is a boom nowadays.

    (2) America is an immigrant country; its 200 year long history seems not a sound evidence to prove AE can be better than BE. The impact of American science and economy and so forth is felt internationally, however, which inspires us that AE can be parallel to BE.

    You opinion will be appreciated (editing the above writing is also welcomed)

    PS. The series of Harry Potter films are spoken in BE?
    It's entirely your personal choice. Whichever one you choose, try to stick with it until you have a fairly high level and then start to learn the equivalent vocabulary and grammar for the other one. However, once you have learnt both, be consistent. If you start writing or speaking using BrE, then stay with it.

    Yes, the Harry Potter series was written by a British author and the majority of the actors are British. I have only seen the first two films but as far as I can recall, they mostly used BrE. There may have been a few AmE phrases or terms thrown in to make the film more internationally accessible but I couldn't give you any examples.

  2. BobK's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: BE vs. AE

    1 The word is boon (and it's very old-fashioned); I don't see what history has to do with it. At one time (19th century, I think) an MP made a joke in the House of Commons about people who could afford it sending their sons to America to learn to speak English properly! Personally I prefer BE, but I'm probably biased When searching the web for teaching materials, I'm used to finding audio resources I can't use because the accent is American - which leads me to the anecdotal conclusion that Am E materials are easier to find.

    2 There were civilizations there thousands of years ago. As an English-speaking country, the language has been influenced chiefly by immigrants for the past 2-300 years. (I'm not sure what you mean by 'inspires' or 'parallel'.)

    PS The Harry Potter books and films - the actors that is, not the money behind them - are Br Eng.

    b

    PS inspired by Ems' post: in at least one case, an HP book was renamed for the American market. Wikipedia would give you details.

  3. 5jj's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: BE vs. AE

    Learners often don't have any choice - it depends on the school and the teacher.

    Where there is a choice, a lot depends on the learners' situation -will they be working with people from countries in which AmE or BrE is commonly used?

    In any case, neither variety is 'better' than the other, and they are basically the same language. While speakers of particular local dialects may have some difficulty in communicating with speakers of another local dialect at first, this is not just a BrE/AmE problem, but happens within the countries as well. The vast majority of the native speakers of BrE and AmE understand each other with few problems. There are some minor differences in spelling, but these cause no problems for most people when they are reading.

    Learners who have been taught BrE initially have difficulties in understanding some speakers of AmE - but they also have difficulty in understanding speakers of some BrE dialects. Equally, learners of AmE initially have problems with some speakers of BrE.

    I don't think that is something learners need worry about. Of course, if they eventually hope to live/work in the country, or work for a company owned by a British or American company, then it makes sense to try to acquire the variety of the environment in which they will find themselves.

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    #5

    Re: BE vs. AE

    To be honest, it doesn't matter that much. There are differences of vocabulary and small grammar points, but not enough to impede comprehension in most cases. As long as you don't acquire a strong regional dialect or use a huge amount of obscure slang, people everywhere will be able to understand you.

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