American english is ENGLISH, British english is ENGLISH

Boy   Sunday, January 04, 2004, 15:05 GMT
I have a question for you. Were/are all presidents of America red-indians?
My friend told me that red-indians were actual Americans by roots.
dian   Monday, January 05, 2004, 10:30 GMT
As a non-native speaker, I think the difficulty is on us. For me, it is difficult to understand what Hugh Grant says in the movie entitled 'Four Wedding and A Funeral'. And the entire conversation is difficult to understand. Because, I am not used to watching British movie.

I am more used to watching Hollywood movies, even though I am not able yet to understand 100% only by hearing the conversation (I must be helped with the subtitle). But, for me, Hollywood movies are more understandable.
messire lavoisel   Monday, January 05, 2004, 17:39 GMT
I find the British accent much clearer. I know it may sound crazy but I feel there is something more French in it...

The American film that gave me the hardest time was The Thin Red Line. I was unable to understand more than one word out of two. Plus I just can't get used to all their "ain't" and "I seen". It was the first time I didn't appreciate a movie only because of the way the actors speak! American films are usually clearer than that.
dian   Wednesday, January 07, 2004, 08:09 GMT
Yes, the more slangs they use, the more difficult the movie to be understood.
Lou   Wednesday, January 07, 2004, 20:15 GMT
Boy, as far as I know, the term Red Indians isn't used anymore. The original inhabitants of the USA like to be referred to as Native Americans.
Nick   Friday, January 09, 2004, 00:47 GMT
I can absolutely believe it when Americans say they can't understand the British, but only in some cases. Those actors and people listed above are good examples of subtle accents, and should be easily understandable, even if you're not used to the sound. But some Brits talk very fast. The main difficulty arises when someone hasd a regional dialect like Newcastle-upon-Tyne - they use a wide variety of words not used in common English, eg "I'm gannin yearm" - I'm going home - "I've gotta gan down" - I' got to go down. This is the same in America, the African American dialect uses many words I don't understand, I just have to go off the sense of it. The movie Snatch was all about the dialects - Brad Pitt did an EXCELLENT job of that accent, which was pretty much the same as Northern Irish.

If you're not used to hearing someone speak in an accent, then you're going to have trouble understanding them at first, but if you keep listening, your ear will make the connections between the sounds without trouble.

For those who are not originally English speakers, it depends who you learned English from. Many English teaching systems are based on American English, so it will inevitably be harder to understand British speakers. Brits tend to be much more precise in their diction, and Americans more relaxed - as a general rule.

A.S.C.M.   Friday, January 09, 2004, 09:31 GMT
Anna wrote:
"I don't care about sounding flat and nasal. Everybody has an accent."

Congratulations; finally an American who has the good sense to admit that everyone has an accent.

Bobby NY wrote:
"US main ethnic groups...20 million British"

Did you remember to count the Welsh and the Scottish (including the Scots-Irish, since they are technically Scottish and not Irish) into the "British" ethnic group? If you add up all these nationalities, I think the total number in the British ethnic group is around 40 million. Or did you mean to write "English ethnic group"?
Jane   Friday, January 09, 2004, 10:40 GMT
In my view,As a Chinese girl, American English is quite hard to understand than british English.
emily   Wednesday, January 14, 2004, 17:50 GMT
It doesn't seem that anyone has mentioned the real native americans, the indians yet. Except perhaps Jay if I understand him correctly.

And can I say that I am an American and I have not much of an accent at all (for an American) or so I'm told. I seem to have no trouble understanding and being understood by American southerners, Newyorkers, and Canadians. I can understand British quite well in the movies that I've seen. Except for Bend it like Beckham. I love that movie but I have to say that it's a hard dialect to understand. There are still a few places where I don't quite know what they're saying, and I've watched it twice.
emily   Wednesday, January 14, 2004, 17:57 GMT
oops sorry, there was a page that I hadn't read yet.
but I've read it now and I realized that the only american accent I can not understand well is an African American accent. But I think it's only a matter of spending time with the accent and hearing it to make it easier. (strange sentence)

In a reply to what Jane said, I thought that you might be able to understand british english better because in hong kong they speak british english but I think I've got somithing wrong so I'll figure it out and post later.
jan   Wednesday, January 14, 2004, 22:09 GMT
I agree with you (James CA, Jan 4) that many people are not living in the country where their anscestors, whose names they carry, lived for generations. But when you consider how long this has been going on, and for how long races have been mingling, it becomes less and less logical to claim a pure lineage, or roots exclusive to any one geographical area.

Take, for example, your claim that Black people are African descent; it is known that the Dravidians of India are very black and there is evidence that all of India was occupied by this dark race prior to the invasion of a race of white Europeans known as the Aryans. This invasion had such impact on the existing population that new cultures and religions were formed on the basic premise that light balances out dark, white being the more virtuous of the two. The Majority of India's present population is a result of the mixing of Dravidian blood with European blood, and the Dravidians are thought to have age-old affiliations with (and possible origins in) Africa, so what can an East Indian say his/her origins are? We accept them as being Indian without fully realizing what that means. Asia too has been invaded/occupied several times by Europeans, as has Europe been invaded/occupied by Asians, and the Americas are thought to have originally been inhabited by migrants from Asia/Russia so what can we say about anyone's origin/roots?

I think it best for each of us to say we're simply human, or earthly.
Jenny   Thursday, January 15, 2004, 01:48 GMT
My father's last name is Woodward and my mother's last name was Jaques, yet I consider myself thoroughly American. It's not about where my great-great-great grandparents were from, its about me and my American traditions (which really are from all over, yes) and way of life, yes?
James   Wednesday, January 28, 2004, 01:26 GMT
i beg to differ on that Jenny, You are what your ancestors are, not where you was born or live. From what you have stated above You are half English and half French Descent. It is all in your surname and colour skin that you cannot change.

Lets take Madonna, Madonna is Half Italian and Half French Canadian, althought she comes across as the typical Americian girl she is always refurred as the American of Half French half Italian descent.

Why should it be any different for anyone else we are all human, we cannot change who we are

On the basis of what you are saying if Humans immigrate to Mars and take a peice of land and name it E.G Marsland, then would it make any sense to say that you thorughly a Marslander. it is about where i live and my way of life. not where my ancestors came fro or the fact that Humans come from earth.

Someone who is Black in USA is always refurred to as African Americian
Someone who is Asian in USA is always ferrurred to as Asian Americain
Latinos, Italians, Germans, Irish, Hispanics are always looked at as out siders by putting something in front of the Word American when refurring to a description of that persons colour or race.

The fact is where ever you are, or live, for however long

Blacks are Africians
Whites are European
Asians are Asian
Jim   Wednesday, January 28, 2004, 02:38 GMT
Not all black are African or of African decent.
Blacks can be Australian Aboriginals.
Jenny   Wednesday, January 28, 2004, 02:51 GMT
What if I go to another country though? When they ask me where I'm from do I say that I'm from part French and part English but live in the US? No, I would just say that I'm American.

Jenny is an Irish name though...that's weird.