Differences between American & British English

Simon   Wednesday, May 19, 2004, 12:34 GMT
I disagree Ben. Other languages (including Celtic ones) have also been spoken in England. And Gaelic was never the language of the whole of Scotland. Wales has never enjoyed full nationhood and even in medieval times there was Welsh Wales and Norman Wales. English has been spoken in parts of Ireland for a long long time.

Is it really so different to the US, where there were various Native American languages spoken before the Europeans came along.

It depends what you look at. For the size of its land mass, England shows wide variety. But if you compare populations, the English population (not the British) is about one sixth of the American. Which isn't so much smaller. In fact the Irish population as a percentage of the English population is far smaller than the English population as a percentage of the American population. In fact, the United Kingdom as a whole, is the second most populous country in the EU.
Adam   Wednesday, May 19, 2004, 13:28 GMT
Northern Ireland isn't a part of Britain but it is a part of the UK.

Even within England the changes between accents is astonishing. No other English-speaking country in the world has as great a variety of accents as there are in England. Geordies sound totally different to someone from the West Country. Coxkneys sound different from Scousers. There are many parts of England that English people can go to and not even understand the locals.
randwa babu   Wednesday, May 19, 2004, 17:51 GMT
I have been learning English at adult colledges at age of 68 my esol courses teaches me gramer and how to write and all that, which is all good for young people who may want to learn the languages
my reason for learning was so I could speak correctly but My feeling is that British people do not wan me to learn to sleak correct way not only that but I also find young British children use sware words in every sentance and I have also heard politicians and other personalites on TV sware evrey now then This swaring when I heard from youg Lady (she do not deserved to called Lady) I was shoked and ammazed by mordern acceptence in civilised west sware word like F**King, A*shole, wankor Fu*kyou are evn comfortabaly spoken by older people as well I have even witneesed 85 year sware to young children
Is is British English then I do not Want to learn to speak No Thank You
mjd   Wednesday, May 19, 2004, 17:52 GMT
My apologies, folks. I meant U.K.
Chilli   Thursday, May 20, 2004, 14:17 GMT
Randwa Babu, curses and swearwords are used to some degree in most languages, but culture deems how far and how much they are used. I'm not sure if it shocks you more because your culture may not be as comfortable with swearing as British or American cultures. Back in the day, to use the word 'God' or 'devil' in any curse was utterly shocking, whereas now it's very lightly regarded. I won't advocate swearing because I don't use it much myself (only because I'm a snob) but try to see past it.

PS. it's 'swear'.
Chilli   Thursday, May 20, 2004, 14:18 GMT
>> Back in the day, to use the word 'God' or 'devil' in any curse
>> was utterly shocking, whereas now it's very lightly regarded.

I should qualify that. Amongst religious people it would probably still be looked on pretty sternly today. (Though I did hear a nun on Top Gear curse a few days ago, but then she was driving a monster truck over some cars, so maybe that's an acceptable exception?)
Jo   Thursday, May 20, 2004, 15:12 GMT
>>i did hear a nun on Top Gear curse a few days ago

so did i! i was actually really surprised! i didnt think she would use gods name in vain lol!

didnt you love it when richard was hypnotised? it was just hilarious! honestly- havent laughed that much in ages!
Chilli   Thursday, May 20, 2004, 15:37 GMT
I thought it was pretty creepy. Was he REALLY hypnotised? My partner disagreed but I can't see Richard being a good enough actor to pull that off without laughing or giving something away. Imagine waking up and being told what you'd done.

Actually, that puts me in mind of a recent hang-over.
Eugenia   Thursday, May 20, 2004, 19:15 GMT
Xatufan: Si soy de Argentina y se quien es el Che Guevara, no sabía que eras Español, me tendría que haber exprezado mejor, cuando dije ¿Che que? Quice decir: ¿Qué pasa? / ¿Qué necesitas? Pensé que querías algo no que estabas haciendo un chiste nada más, sorry.

Ian: I had travelled to those places, and I had heard different accents, if not, I would shut up and don't say a word. I don't talk about things that I don't know or understand. May be I had percieved those accents because I speak English in a bilingual enviroment and so I'm not used to hear English everytime I go shopping or something, do u get what I mean? The fact that you are in a monolingual enviroment is very important 'cause you are always ''in contact' with English, and that may lessen your ability to ''catch'' the accents. Or may be we just have a different ''way of hearing''.
Jo   Thursday, May 20, 2004, 21:02 GMT
It was creepy! but i agree with you that he wouldnt be a good enough actor to pull it off. to be honest i didnt like him much hypnotised- he was very stressy- not that i can blame him! :-) and he was rather rude when he couldnt remember how to drive! but it was just so funny when he was explaining how to steer the car with the 'joystick'- it was total class!

i met him once, btw, last summer at the eastbourne car show outside park college. only said basic 'hi i love top gear etc etc' but it was still kinda cool. he doesnt quite look as short in person- but then i guess on top gear jeremy can make most people look short! :-) i loved it when they pulled out 'jesus' in the crowd! :-)
kiki   Friday, May 21, 2004, 08:40 GMT
what does this mean" it is necessary to blow the hair in order to find the mote" to slang users.
Sophia   Friday, May 21, 2004, 14:52 GMT
American English is crap you have ruined our prestigious british English
Eugenia   Friday, May 21, 2004, 15:23 GMT
Sophia: Well, I think u are quite wrong, no language is better than other, or more prestigious, why don't you study a bit first instead of saying stupidities?
Damian   Sunday, May 23, 2004, 00:38 GMT
I've been off-line this past week as I am currently sitting my final exams but as this is the weekend I am chilling out a wee bit and have logged onto what is now one of my favourite sites. I just love discussing all the topics.,,well, most of them.

To Kayla I would say that she is perfectly entitled to think the way she does about British people regarding our use of English and our accents. To say they are boring is a bit strong as there are so many accents in this comparatively tiny country. This has been said a number of times on this site. I would like to bet she has only heard the accents of people like Hugh Grant, Tony Blair or the Queen, etc and not all the other regional, more "down to earth" accents. If Kayla ever came to the UK I would really love to show her round my home city of Edinburgh and see how she reacts to the way we speak this lovely language of ours. If she has any difficulty in understand our form of "Scotspeak English" I will be happy to be her interpreter.

If we both went 45 miles to the west we would come to Glasgow where even I need an interpreter sometimes. She would have to rely on a phrasebook and a dictionary there and I think she would find it fun.
Xatufan   Sunday, May 23, 2004, 02:21 GMT
Eugenia: No soy español! Soy ecuatoriano. Este año el Miss Universo es aqui, asi que vamos a ser famosos.
Estoy de acuerdo contigo en que ningún idioma es mejor que otro. Sophia esta loca. Como sabes tanto de ingles?

Damian: Huh? I don't have any Scotland road map. I AM LOST! And what does "wee bit" mean?