British English vs. American English The English language is spoken now by


The English language is spoken now by many countries around the world, according to the (English Department) website, www.the.englishdep.tripod.com, it is said that 75 countries speak English and that is equal to around 375 million people and another 750 million speak English as a second language also scientist say that 80 percent of the worlds information is stored in English and also that out of the 40 million users on the internet daily 80 percent communicate in English. So we see how the English language has taken the world by storm. But that brings us to the often discussed issue, “Which English is the best English to use for a foreign student, “American English (AmE) or British English (BrE).” In order to find out which is better per se, we must first look at the history and origin of both languages.

Well according to the website (Wikepedia), at www.en.wikipedia.org, for American and British English differences. American English (AmE) is spoken throughout the continental U.S while British English (BrE) is spoken in the United Kingdom and the British Isles.

Written English is standard across the U.S in most school systems and there is little in the way of variation and the same goes for the U.K. But as far as the spoken language goes in both countries the use differs in accent and dialectic according to the culture of the user which more clearly seen in the U.K, but in America the most common would be described as “Standard Midwestern” while in the U.K it would be “BBC English or Queen’s English.” So now let us look at the history and origin of both languages.

The English language was first introduced to the Americas by the British colonist around the 16th century. And as America grew and became more diverse which lead to the formation of what we now call American English, whereas the British English has a long established culture and history. There are differences between the two languages which are the use of pronunciation, lexis, spelling of some words, idioms and punctuation. In this I will show some examples:

AmE: “Will you turn on the TV'”

BrE: “Will you turn on the telly'”

AmE: The truck is red and yellow.

BrE: The lorry is red and yellow.

AmE: He is going on a trip this Monday.

BrE: He is going away on a trip this Monday.

So we see a difference in idioms and in lexis in the use of both languages, we see that there is great variance in the way American English can be used while British English tends to follow a more proper form. To say that grammatically in BrE the singular nouns that describe people are treated as plural and vice versa for AmE. There are many different uses for both forms of the English language and therefore we have to base this argument on a “Some say potato, some say patato.” It all depends on which country the student will be living or studying in. But as time passes we have begun to see how both languages have merged when it comes to slang and idioms, I have seen and heard a lot of AmE usage in the U.K through magazines and other forms of advertisement. But let me not exclude two other countries that have there own usage of the English language although not as widely accepted, and they are (CnE) Canadian English and (AuE) Australian English which both tend toward the British English with small variants in the way that they are spoken.

So in closing each institution that teaches English as a second language has to ensure that the lessons being taught by either an American, British, Canadian or Australian are understood by the students in the classroom and that these teachers are qualified to teacher English from there respected countries. With this I will leave you with two quotes from famous men in our histories. George Bernard Shaw has said of the differences of our two countries is “We are two countries divided by one language.” And the other is by Oscar Wilde who said “We have everything in common with American nowadays, except, of course, the language.”