Differences between American & British English

McNight   Thursday, June 05, 2003, 00:39 GMT
I made some errors above, but that's not because I speak English English, it's just that I've just had too much to drink. ;)
Clark   Thursday, June 05, 2003, 05:53 GMT
I refer to British English as the standard accent one hears in the movies, tele, etc.
Simon   Thursday, June 05, 2003, 06:43 GMT
With London's East End being renamed by tourism marketing execs "Eastside", and British people now using the word Movie instead of Film, I wonder if British English is not dying out.
McNight   Thursday, June 05, 2003, 14:59 GMT
Simon you haven't got a clue have you.
Tremmert   Thursday, June 05, 2003, 18:24 GMT
Isn't 'tele' a British English word?
hp20   Thursday, June 05, 2003, 19:42 GMT
well, americans are starting to use "shag" instead of "screw," if it's any comfort to you.
Clark   Thursday, June 05, 2003, 19:56 GMT
Yeah; when I wrote that I was pressed for time.
David Bosch   Friday, June 06, 2003, 01:58 GMT
It's like the Australian English situation: it's English is suffering a slight transformation into American, it is probably (I think) because of the effect and ammount of American films across the Globe, and the 'model' that the US proyects to mobs, of a modern, technologic and sophisticated country as an 'example to follow.'
I read that on an article about Australian English.

Do you think so too?
HiyaKiani7   Saturday, June 07, 2003, 09:59 GMT
~~MM! (merry meet)
Hello! Newcomer here. I'm a 16 y/old California girl who is a fan of languages altogether, except my native English. (Your future polyglot).
~~I have a few things to say about this English thing. I'll say it straight forward, English is English. It has many different "varieties." Not dialects. Not "derived forms." You got milk choclate, dark choclate, nutty choclate. <~~That's called variety. Not dialects. Dialect is like cheese and milk. Cheese is derived from milk. I describe it as an assortment or variety because people say "American English" and "British English" but there are different sounds and accents within the US and Britian as well as other countries.
~~If you heard Japanese, you wouldn't say "Tokyo Japanese" and "Southern Japanese" (or whatever) because they have different accents, too. For you Japanese speakers you would hear it well. It's not the matter of a better or worse way of speaking (Amer. or Brit). It's what you grow up with. People can't help where they are born, ya know. (I hope I worded that right. I probly didn't. Oh well.)
~~You don't say "Mexican Spanish" or "Spanish Spanish" though if you were un hispanohablante you could extremely tell the difference between Spanish and Mexican way of pronunciation and vocab. "Five" would be "cinco" pronounced "sinko" in Mexico, but is said "thinko" in Spain. Or "Plaza" would be "Plah-sah" in Mexico, and "Plah-thah" in Spain.
~~There is a very great amount of vocab differences in their verbs when they are talking about themselves (as in "we"). If a Spanish guy said "We eat and drink" ("Nosotros comemos y bebemos" in Mexico)
he would say "Vosotros comeis y bebeis" which is very different. But, to English speakers, Spanish is Spanish.
~~Now for dialects, Here is a dialect of English: Krio. Heard of that? It's derived from English but yet a language all it's own, spoken in an African country for tribes to communicate between tribes, and is fairly simple to learn: "Cusheo! How yu bi de bi?"(Hello! How are you?) "Ah no sabe dis words yu talk." (I don't understand what you're saying.)
~~~"British English" is English with any one of the British accents and "American English" is English with one of the American accents.
~~~~~~~All around English is English in Amer. and Brit.~~~~~
I should ask why English has so many letters in some words that they don't pronounce. Yeah that sould be a topic.
~~By the way, I was told I have that "Valley Girl" accent and a type of twangyness mixed, it's hard to explain (for those of you who don't know, it's were I put the sound of a short 'yuh' at the end of almost every sentance and stuff especially when I'm complaining. I usually deny it. I also lengthen some of the words (like "sooooooo"). But I also have a things where I don't pronounce my words fully which throws off my spelling. Like I NEVER pronounce the G in '-ing') I wouln't have typed so much if I wasn't bored.
I'm sooo glad that I don't have to write that way
When I get home though my accent suddenly changes and I don't fully pronounce all of my words because I say it too fast. "yeah" becomes "yhn" or "mhm". "No" becomes "nn" or "mm-mm."
~~Here's a few things you'd here me say ( if you can catch it) that I'm only used to saying at home (say them extremely fast:
--"Geyuhmuhway" - Get out of my way
--"Ama kikyer butt"-I'm going to kick your butt(to me it's Imakikyourbutt)
--"Mmtehmom"- I'm telling mom
--"Tekutahtrash"- take out the trash
--(my favorite)"Eyutuhchat gin, Ah thosumacha! Leemystuf flown!" -If you touch that again, I'll throw something at you! Leave my stuff alone!
**(I swear I don't know how they understand me. It all started when I said those phrases tooo many times...)
** Well, this started to get boring.
Bye peeps.
MP & BB (Merry Part and Blessed Be)

(P.S. I'm not going to proofread this.)

Richard Li   Saturday, June 07, 2003, 18:37 GMT
Morning, Kiani (it's still before noon Pacific Daylight Savings Time)

How did you pick up such a strong "Valley Girl" accent? Is it because all your friends speak like that? Fewer boys that girls speak like that.

Also, there are variants of every language and people DO take notice of those variants. In my school in Northern California, everyone who takes Spanish DO emphasise that their teacher is teaching "Mexican Spanish" and not "Spanish Spanish". On the other hand, everyone in my French class knows that they are learning "French French" and my French teacher always points out who has a Canadian French accent whenever we watch French movies.

In China, as in Britain, people always take a mental note of someone's accent. One Englishman said about his country "it is impossible for you to open your mouth without having someone despise you"- the same is true in China. Chinese from different regions speak Mandarin differently and some southern provinces have their own dialects. Northern Chinese are heavily rhotic (that is, they often roll their tongue back at the end of vowels, making an "errrr" sound) whilst Southern Chinese usually pronounce "s" when Northerners would pronounce "sh". When a Northerner or Southerner goes to Shanghai, he would be looked down by the local people because of his strong Mandarin accent and inability to speak the local Shanghainese dialect. When a Southerner goes to Beijing, people will think he is a vulgar brat. When a Northerner goes to the South and starts sticking the "errrr" suffix after every word, people will think that he comes from some backwards village in the countryside.

Cheers, Richard.
ariadne   Sunday, June 08, 2003, 06:38 GMT
One of my friends speaks with a Brittish accent even though he's never been to the UK (phrases and words as well as the accent). In fact, his family have lived in the US for generations. People from the UK have asked him what part of the UK he's from. I don't think he's consciously trying to use an accent, but it's very noticeable. The reasons he think he has it are because he many people he respects are Brittish, and because he listens many books-on-tape narrated by people with Brittish accents, but he's not sure. He also behaves in a very (maybe steryotypically) Brittish manner, being very polite, etc. Sorry if this doesn't contribute anything to the discussion, but I just wanted to share this and see if anyone knows anything like it, or why...?
Clark   Sunday, June 08, 2003, 08:48 GMT
I would say he is a bit weird. This might sound strange coming from me, but I have family in England, and I used to be TOO proud of that fact, but never have I spoken with a British accent other than to myself. Anyways, whatever works for your friend.
Tremmert   Sunday, June 08, 2003, 10:23 GMT
Here's quite a cool list of spelling differences:

Guofei Ma   Sunday, June 08, 2003, 18:40 GMT
British/American spelling and pronunciation differences are everywhere. The differences are very prevalent in my Chemistry classroom, because my teacher is British and most of the students (except myself and two other boys) are American.

Firstly, British sulphur and aluminium are spelt sulfur and aluminum by most Americans...
a. My teacher, a Canadian classmate, and I spell aluminium.
b. The rest of the class spell aluminum.
c. Around half of the class, including the teacher, my Canadian classmate and I, spell sulphur whilst the other half spell sulfur.

Secondly, four different pronunciations of "methyl" have sprung up in the classroom...
a. The teacher sometimes says "mee-thyl" and sometimes says "me-thyl". Both are standard British pronunciations.
b. Around half of the students says "me-thyl", having picked up the pronunciation from the teacher.
c. Around a quarter of the students (including myself) say "mee-thyl", having picked up the pronunciation from the teacher.
d. Some students say "me-thil" or "me-thol", having picked up the pronunciation from classmates who have already learnt about methyl before the teacher's lecture. Both are standard American pronunciations.
e. One or two students say "mee-thol", which is not standard in any English-speaking region.

We are all accustomed to these differences and can understand each other perfectly, which leads to the conclusions that differences will continue to exist, despite influences from both sides of the Atlantic, and people will always be able to understand each other.
Chris   Sunday, June 08, 2003, 19:21 GMT
Just a guess, but seems like there are a lot more people out there speaking American English who want to speak Brittish English than the other way around.