It is better to learn British English or American English?

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Summary:

What language is more popular: American English or British English?.

Language of the elite: the concept of normative English.

What do the Ukrainian students?.

The official organ of the right of the language reforms and adjustment of the English language.

What is the degree of divergence between British and American English dialects?. 

Overall differences in spelling, pronunciation and grammar of the English language.

What language is more popular: American English or British English?

Which one is better to teach the English language – “American English” or “British English” – the experts this question does not usually arise. All linguists argue that this distinction, “invented” university students who sought to distinguish between the different versions of the English language due to the natural need to put all on the shelves that surrounds them. It is also easier to understand everything.

Tutors English, working in Ukraine are faced with students who are convinced that these two varieties of English are very different, there may be cases when an Englishman and an American will not understand each other. Therefore, the students insistently require tutors to teach them or “American English” or “British English” language.

Language of the elite: the concept of normative English

Independent linguist, PhD, and author of “English with an accent: Language, Ideology and Discrimination in the United States,” Rosina Lippi believes that this science as “linguistics” there is no clear concept of “normative British” and “normative American” English.

“Locale – the idea of ​​relating to how the said intellectual elite This norm is clearly based on the differences between social and economic classes.” – says Rosina Lippi.

As an example, she leads the tendency of Americans to call “proper” English, which sounds in the news, universities or schools: “There is not any logic, as university professors, teachers and leading news live in different parts of the US, and have different dialects of English language. “

Similarly, too, there is a wide range of differing dialects in the UK, says PhD, Senior Lecturer linvistiki and English at the British University of Portsmouth Mario Saraceni.

What do the Ukrainian students?

“Students from Ukraine have traditionally formed a complex that there is some kind of perfect English and, in particular, the pronunciation”, – says Associate Professor, Department of English translation of the Kiev National Linguistic University (Linguistic University). Most often, he says, they want to learn British pronunciation.

The students of Ukrainian universities listen to David Cameron and Tony Blair, but it does not take into account the time that the house or on the street say the policy is already different. There is a non-existent version of the English language, which many mimic, – says linguist. – And it is believed that if a person has not learned to talk like Thatcher, he has nothing to open and mouth. “

“I’m surprised that the convictions of Kiev about what the English” right “so hard only conclusion that I can come -. Is that these beliefs were formed as a result of public US and UK debate, – said Lippi, who just exploring the relationship between linguistic preferences and how they are perceived by the public -. Teachers are able to pass a lot of stereotypes and prejudices, especially at the middle and high school. “

According to experts, such preferences are related to the fact that for any student is an idealized version of a variant of the English language.

“But most of all, those students who are thinking about it, would be unable to discern, Irishman, British, Australian or American, based on their speech,” – says Saraceni. According to the words Saraceni, it is not surprising, as the Americans and British are often not always able to understand where their English-language source.

The official organ of the right of the language reforms and adjustment of the English language.

In France and Italy, for centuries the main academic institutions of linguistic issues were “Accademia della Crusca (L’Accademia della Crusca)» and «the French Academy (L’Académie française)».

In contrast to the above-mentioned countries or in Britain or in the United States or any other English speaking country there is no official body that has the right to carry out the reform of the language or somehow regulate English.

Some linguists believe that it is because of the lack of such an agency is developing the English language “in a natural way.”

“One of the peculiarities of the English language is that the language is an international and ever-changing language, the values ​​in it are evolving as a result of widespread use, not on the orders of the committee. This is a natural process that takes place over several centuries. To try to do something about this the process is likely to be arrogant and senseless “, – says the former editor of the British newspaper Times, Bill Bryson in his book” Native language: English and how it has become so. “

So it is those who speak English, themselves determine what is “proper” English. As they say, the right to set the standard does not even have the Oxford Dictionary.

What is the degree of divergence between British and American English dialects?

“The factor that determines the degree of divergence between the dialects – understanding how well those who speak English, understand each other”, – said Lynn Murphy, Assistant Professor, Department of Linguistics at the University of Sussex, UK. Associate Professor is a popular language blog “Divided by a common language.”

According to the words of Murphy, between American and British English have a huge amount of difference. As a rule, in most cases, these differences do not affect the understanding: “Moreover, a person from London can be tricky to understand person from Glasgow than the person from the United States.”

There are certain differences in the spelling of words in the two versions of the English language. For example, the word “color” may be written as “color” (American spelling) and “colour” (British spelling). Also, there are differences in grammar and punctuation.

“The Briton, who hears US grammatical construction in speech foreigner might think it was a mistake”, – says associate professor. At the same time, she said, the British accept the same design as relevant from an American mouth.

But in most cases the different grammatical structures are acceptable both in the UK and in America, even if they are more likely to occur only in one country. “For example, Americans say ‘do you have a?’ (Translation: do you have?) “, While the British tend to say ‘have you got a …», – says Murphy?.

Yet there are some differences in vocabulary, where different words are used to describe the same phenomenon, and in use when the same word is used to describe different things.

Despite this, these differences are merely conventional aspects of the different variants of the English language, which is as much different from each other and in the most VelikBritanii and the United States.

The most noticeable difference between American English and British English – is the pronunciation. Lippi and Murphy agree that neither the Americans nor the British are not able to recognize the nuances of pronunciation of each other.

“The British say that in America there is no regional aspects, proving that their hearing is not accustomed to recognize the differences that exist”, – says Murphy.

Linguists believe that the term “American” and “British” English describe general categories, which include a large range of dialects and significant variation.

In England there is a «Received Pronunciation» (common pronunciation), which is common in southern England. Many Britons associate this aspect with a specific socio-economic status and level of education, but even in Britain pronunciation is not always welcome.

With regard to the pronunciation in the United States, the man in the street is likely to say that in plain English is spoken in the US Midwest. According to the expert, the English language, which is spoken in the southern US, anyway stigmatized by the inhabitants of the west and north of the country, with the holder of such pronunciation projected stereotypes of ignorance, laziness or aggressiveness of the southerners.

Overall differences in spelling, pronunciation and grammar of the English language

Wherever you are studying English, you will still learn a particular pronunciation and spelling. Students are required to differences in grammar, spelling and pronunciation of the English language between American and British dialects. This principle applies to all students whose level of English is above average.

If a student learning English for professional purposes, you should be familiar with the practice of the language in the place where you are. “As for the differences in the pronunciation of English dialects, experts believe that it is unlikely that there will be no English media to speak without an accent.

English is the most widespread in the world. Native speakers are only a minority, as most people are learning English as an additional language.

According to the linguist, although English is one of the official languages ​​of the UN, even the organization may not give preference to one dialect of English, since it employs the representatives of countries from around the world, and all of its approach to the English or their understanding of what is correct English.

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