While there are plenty of other dialects of spoken English, American and British are the most commonly taught in ESL/ESOL/EFL courses. Perhaps that’s because there are literally millions of Americans and the fact that British accents are pretty dreamy. British English and American English are both valued and respected, despite those who often assert that one is better or easier to understand than the other. The similarities between the two far outweigh the differences, but those differences can sometimes really impact understanding. See more below:
When you’re a Brit living in the United States, as I am, sooner or later – and it’s usually sooner, even if you’re trying hard to fit in – you’ll end up using a word or phrase that yourinterlocutor just doesn’t understand. Everyone knows the obvious pitfalls, and they’re constant causes of amusement or starters of conversation, so they’re also easy to remember – elevator instead of lift, sidewalk instead of pavement, fall instead of autumn, restroom or bathroom instead of loo… And even if you do slip up on these, most Americans find them easily ‘translatable’ since the differences are well known. Diverging pronunciations, too, such as those used for schedule or controversy, don’t necessarily stop you getting your point across. But I’ve come to realise that occasionally, my American listeners have simply never heard some of the words I’m using and have no idea what I’m talking about – rather thrilling, really, in such an interconnected age, to find some last bastions of linguistic bafflement. Let me take you through a – perhaps slightly more than averagely – confusing day for this Brit in the US to show you what I mean.
Warmup:Có 1 bác người Tàu ở Sài Gòn đi xe gắn máy zô đường cấm bị cảnh sát giao thông thổi phạt. Về nhà bác bức xúc kể với mấy ông bạn hàng xóm: “Pữa lay, ngộ li xe pị tằng cảnh xát zao thông ló thủi, ngộ tấp zô, ló hỏi ngộ: – Zái tờ của ông lâu? Ngộ lói ngộ hỏng có lem zái theo, chỉ có lem cái cạc thui, thế là ló pắt ngộ về l… (đồn)… zồi ló chuyển ngộ từ l…(đồn) nhỏ qua l…(đồn) lớn, tới cái l…(đồn) lớn nhứt ở ngay chung tâm thành pố đó. Chời ơi, pữa lay là ngày lễ, l…(đồn) nhỏ còn lỡ (đỡ) lông (đông), chớ l…(đồn) lớn hả, lông wá chời lông (đông)”. [Ặc ặc!!!]
Lấy chỉ là chiện phát âm khác nhau của cùng môt từ, chớ còn khác cả từ lữa hả, thì pó tay luôn. Như là pọn Anh và pọn Mỹ. Các lệ xem pài zưới lày thì zõ.
American readers of British writing are well aware of the spelling differences that exist between the two varieties of English. For example: labor/labour, enthral/enthrall, tire/tyre, or center/centre—to name just a few. There are also many cases in which American and British English use different terms to describe the same thing. Here’s a list of various British words and expressions together with their American equivalents: