Studiu de specialitate – British English vs American English


Autor: prof. Ovidiu Vintilă
Colegiul Tehnic „Costin D. Nenițescu” Pitești

English is spoken in many countries either as the mother tongue or as a second language. That’s why instead of „English” there are many „Englishes” – variations of the language. In this study I’ll focus on the two mostly commonly used versions of English – British and American English. Before we take a look at some of the differences between the two main types of English I’d like to stress that these differences are somewhat minor and with the ongoing internationalization of our modern world they could even said to be diminishing.
The few differences that exist between British and American English tend rather to enrich communication than slow it down.
Although not all my British readers might agree, I think that the American version of spoken English is becoming more and more dominant for several reasons. Let me give you an example to show you why American English has a stronger impact on British English than vice versa.
When you go to the UK and switch on the TV you will see a lot of American shows, movies and films which, of course, are shown in the original, American version. Thus, especially young people watching TV will learn a lot of American vocabulary and phrases which they easily internalize and use as their own. It follows, modern British English is much more likely to be influenced by American English than the other way round because when you live in the US and watch TV you rarely will see a British show or film. Another area where US English dominates is international business. Most globally operating companies are based in the US and hence the influence of American English terminology is very strong.
That’s why we’ll move on now to the differences between British and American English. Instead of giving you a comprehensive rundown of all imaginable items I’ll limit myself to a small selection of my personal observations. (fragment)