Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Still British or Still American? Which English?

Just in!

In the past 5 to 10 years, language specialists have been talking about other Englishes:

Australian
New Zealander
Scottish
Irish
Canadian
Indian
Caribbean
South African
Chinglish
Spanglish
Singlish
Hinglish

And we can't forget the newest and possible the one to replace them all: GLOBAL ENGLISH

Yet, in the language classrooms in Brazil, most students still think of English in the two-way paradigm: British or American.

This video of Hugh Laurie on Ellen shows just that: most learners seem to go for one or the other.


For the subtitled version of the video in Portuguese click here.

Of course, when we have varieties of a language spoken in different countries or regions, the main differences show up in: pronunciation and vocabulary.

This most probably happens to Francophones, Hispanophones, and Lusophones coming from different countries or regions.

Which variety of English do you prefer - British or American?

Have you been exposed to other varieties of English? What was the experience like?

Can you give examples of different words to refer to the same thing in your own language that exist because of geographical differences?

1 comment:

PV said...

Personally, I usually prefer the British English over the American one. One of my earliest English teachers was a Caribbean foreigner who kept pointing out how the British English sounds better, because of it's speakers politeness and effort to be as clear as possible. I guess he convinced me!
I have had two opportunities to talk to natives from India. The first one was at work, during a business call, and the second was in a vacation trip to France. I must say both of them were memorable conversations, but not in a pleasant way. They speak too fast, and they don't mark the distinction between any two words in a sentence. It's awful.
I've also spoken English to French people, and it has always been pleasant conversations.