British English vs American English The history of colonialism is probably
The history of colonialism is probably most responsible for the initial spread of English as a dominate language. From approximately 1600 to modern times, it was by armies, navies, merchants and missionaries, the people who spoke English, who traveled all over the globe distributing their language and culture (McCrum, Cran, and MacNeil, 1986, p.19). Kayman (2004) notes some significance to the fact that English was originally forced upon other parts of the world in conjunction with the colonization of certain areas. The attempt was to educate and in turn adapt the culture of some of the local populace and they would in turn become the enlightened and educated of their locale (p. 5). The advancement of English was intimately associated with the spread of the British Empire (p.6). He further ascertains that modern English has been segregated from the cultural implications of speaking English as a subject to a royal authority (p.10). The big shift from British English to more of an American English came about mainly after the end of World War II (Berns, 2005, p.87 and Kayman, 2004 p. 11). America was viewed favorably by a large majority of the people of the world. American culture is still extremely influential. Because of that fact, it is presently much more culturally desirable to speak English because of its popularity. That popularity can be viewed as predicated upon the appeal of the American culture or the influence of the American marketplace.
With the ties to colonialism of the British and the strong anti- American sentiment globally (Nye, 2004, p.127) the question is relevant as to what are we to call the English that is spoken around the world. The move is away from an individual national flavor to a more global one. One writer asks which adjective should precede the word English: International, Global, or World. (McArthur, 2004) There is significance in each term. To many the difference seems rather minute, because the words are often used interchangeably. What is striking is the fact that there is not any discussion about applying a term to any other language. There is never even a hint of "International Japanese" or World French" or "Global Chinese". Does that fact also not seem indicative of the significance of English'
Much study and attention is given to how English is spoken by particular groups of people (Berns, 2005, McArthur 2004, Kayman 2004). The influence of the native language has a direct influence on the pronunciation of the English spoken. This study of speech sounds, or phonology (Crystal, 2004, p.162) has caused the creation of a study of what is called "Englishes". Researchers have looked at groups of people and how they speak English. The major variations are in the vocabulary as different words take on new meanings in different regions, with the result being purely to communicate in English (Kayman, 2004, p.17). The local manner of speaking may begin to develop a unique style of grammatical usage but the result desired is to be understood as a speaker of English (Berns 2005, p.87). What neutralizes these variations in pronunciation is when English is in the written form (McArthur, 2004 p.11). In conjunction with how to address the usage of English internationally, there is further allocating of English speakers into three primary categories. According to Berns (2005), the first is the group who speak English as their native tongue and they are called the Inner Circle. The second is refereed to as the Outer Circle. It is composed of those who speak English as there second language. The final group is known as the Expanding Circle. This group is creating the phenomena of the global presence of the English language. Within the third group, it is not so important that they learn to be fluent and master the language, the goal is simply to strive toward "communicative competence" (Berns, 2005, p. 87). These are the people groups who are acquiring English skills for the purpose of gaining cultural awareness. They realize that other than their native tongue, it is English that is the language of the progressive world (Kayman 2004, p.16). It is the language of modern music and fashion. English is even considered synonyms with ever hoping to achieve greater individual prosperity (Crystal, 2004, p. 360).
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