American vs British English

Voir le sujet précédent Voir le sujet suivant Aller en bas

American vs British English

Message  gerardM le Lun 10 Jan - 17:04

Howdy everyone,

You often read American words when I post...
For example this above "howdy" is American (and means hello), "oodles" is known in British English but is far more common in Am. (almost typically Am.), "to purchase" is more common in Am. English and simply means "to buy", etc.

I'm sorry but I chose American English for several reasons and need a homogeneous language and not a mixture of anything/nothing! Wink
I got to have American teachers and I spend hours every day with American people on the Web.

There are very important differences between Am. and Br. English along with oodles of little or subtle ones: vocabulary, spelling, pronunciation, grammar, etc. though Wikipedia states they are not numerous nor important (and write in the same article that there are misunderstandings and more).

The differences began in the 18th century when Noah Webster performed a huge reform that he couldn't lead to its end.
I remember a discussion on the subject on a forum that lasted months and months with more than a hundred pages... believe me the differences are very numerous (there are also differences inside the British Islands b/w regions, ages, education, social level, etc.).
I'm trying to find out this discussion (in the past I printed it... yes! >100 pages... and used to read them in the Métro for months Wink )
If you go read to WordReference, you can also find differences according to the member who responds.

Want an example? Take a look at the parts of a car.
Another example? Look at the name of cereals.
Another example? Look at the differences regarding oil, petrol, gas, fuel, etc.
Oh I've got lots of others! oh... tell a British lady visiting the US to ask for a rubber (no, not in a bookshop) LOL Embarassed Embarassed


Anyway, the differences are so important that appeared a mid-Atlantic English which refers to the language spoken by young British people who tend to adopt the American way due to films, songs, fashion, etc.

I must also speak about another kind of language scratch which is fugly Embarassed and is what is spoken by international managers with poor vocabulary, dodgy pronunciation, sh...y Mad grammar... understood by foreigners mainly!! Wink
avatar
gerardM

Messages : 34296
Lieu : Ermont & Eaubonne café-langues (Val d'Oise)
Langues : Français (Langue maternelle), US-En, De, It, Ru

Voir le profil de l'utilisateur http://volangues.blogspot.com/

Revenir en haut Aller en bas

Re: American vs British English

Message  MurielB le Lun 10 Jan - 21:18

By the way, Gerard, what does "fugly" mean ? Thank you.
avatar
MurielB
Admin

Messages : 12479
Lieu : Calais
Langues : Français (Langue maternelle), Gb, De, It, Es

Voir le profil de l'utilisateur

Revenir en haut Aller en bas

Re: American vs British English

Message  gerardM le Lun 10 Jan - 22:01

Hi Muriel,

Thanks for asking... Embarassed Embarassed

I should never ever have written that word LOL as it is more impolite than colloquial English!

My response will be a riddle (as my mother wouldn't permit me to write the whole explanation).
"fugly" is a coumpound word. It's composed of ugly (hideous) and the worst swearword ever, beginning by f and overused by young people (second letter is u, third one is c...)

The meaning of fugly is very ugly.
I didn't make it up today, it really exists Smile and very used in Australia (they put that one in every sentence).

Did you catch the mysterious word?
avatar
gerardM

Messages : 34296
Lieu : Ermont & Eaubonne café-langues (Val d'Oise)
Langues : Français (Langue maternelle), US-En, De, It, Ru

Voir le profil de l'utilisateur http://volangues.blogspot.com/

Revenir en haut Aller en bas

Re: American vs British English

Message  gerardM le Mer 12 Jan - 0:24

Hi everyone,

I won't post much about the differences because this forum and organisation are designed for bringing people together and not separating them.

I would just like to give a few examples:
- spelling: color (colour), theater (theatre)
- vocabulary: elevator (lift), faucet (tap)
- grammar: If you would like to invite me, I would come (If you liked to invite me, I would come), to learn I learned learned (to learn I learnt learnt)
- pronunciation: lots

Let me point out this excellent page by The Economist -> Americanisms
(The Economist is a British review which is rather nationalist: anti-French & anti-American Smile )
avatar
gerardM

Messages : 34296
Lieu : Ermont & Eaubonne café-langues (Val d'Oise)
Langues : Français (Langue maternelle), US-En, De, It, Ru

Voir le profil de l'utilisateur http://volangues.blogspot.com/

Revenir en haut Aller en bas

Re: American vs British English

Message  MurielB le Mer 12 Jan - 8:48

Hi
I live in Calais. It's so near England. You just have to cross the Channel and there you are. English people who live in Calais usually look down on the americans because they think that american english is ugly, common, uninteresting. Just like the television series which spoil their programme It is not my philosophy and the purpose of that forum is to bring people together.Languages are evolving and reflect a lot of things : People way of life, changing attidudes etc. Idiomatic expressions in all languages show so many in teresting things and the idea is to enjoy and undersand them.
I am really happy to open my mind on american english.
avatar
MurielB
Admin

Messages : 12479
Lieu : Calais
Langues : Français (Langue maternelle), Gb, De, It, Es

Voir le profil de l'utilisateur

Revenir en haut Aller en bas

Re: American vs British English

Message  gerardM le Mer 12 Jan - 10:40

Hi Muriel,

Thanks for your message.

I can understand the behavior of senior Englishmen who don't like changes in the language and in the traditions.
So do the French and so many people would like to think French is still the language of diplomacy and has to be spoken by everyone in the world (so that they wouldn't need to learn foreign languages and "stay" the king od the world scratch ).

The same English senior citizens grumble about juniors who don't follow the grammatical rules and tend to speak mid-Atlantic English.

Languages have to evolve to integrate new trends (but not fashions) and people have to accept and master the changes (I've an article on this subject in mind for my blog).

Many Americans have British/Irish roots and don't look down on them but what's the population of England compared to American's?

Anyway, let's speak and respect everyone on earth: people didn't choose the country in which they were born and most of them want peace and respect and be friends.
avatar
gerardM

Messages : 34296
Lieu : Ermont & Eaubonne café-langues (Val d'Oise)
Langues : Français (Langue maternelle), US-En, De, It, Ru

Voir le profil de l'utilisateur http://volangues.blogspot.com/

Revenir en haut Aller en bas

Re: American vs British English

Message  MurielB le Mer 12 Jan - 11:01

My daughter has lived in Newyork for more than 4 years now and enjoys so much being overthere !!!!
avatar
MurielB
Admin

Messages : 12479
Lieu : Calais
Langues : Français (Langue maternelle), Gb, De, It, Es

Voir le profil de l'utilisateur

Revenir en haut Aller en bas

Re: American vs British English

Message  gerardM le Mer 12 Jan - 12:09

Muriel,

I understand and approve.
However New York is so big a city! I hope she could travel and "study" the American way of life in other places as well.

I always keep my eyes wide open and I enjoy watching everything around. I kept my 7-year-old mind and can still be filled with wonder by lots of things (this way I can notice every details).
I remember my surprise when I saw senior citizens at work in hotels (a bit sad though), when I realized "poor people" were putting food and stuff in bags after the cash registers in hypermarkets (they provide money to poor people, that's fine).
My friend didn't lock her car (a BMW) in a parking lot as we went at Star Buck's... it was in 2000 and I asked another friend in California who told me it wouldn't probably be the same nowadays.
I could see the Fish Market in Seattle... that's amazing and so far from the usual Am. clichés and so close to the marchés de Provence! so aMAzing!

When I go to the US, I never take a limo to go from the airport to the city, I prefer to take a normal bus and live with passengers and watch everything.

I'm lucky enough to have oodles of close friends there and to be able to live with them all and appreciate their laughters and humour and relax style.

Something very important is not understood by foreigners and especially the French, it's the importance of communities.
Unlike France, the States don't have their lives managed by Washington. Americans belong to many many groups of people: at work, at church, sports, etc. and their lives are there... Americans are ready to accept newcomers but unfortunately, the French don't try to join these communities (most don't even realize the presence and the importance of these communities and leave the US disgusted they could never integrate... it's easy though).

Always have in mind we have to observe and respect, never judge. I'm with them everyday for hours on forums.
avatar
gerardM

Messages : 34296
Lieu : Ermont & Eaubonne café-langues (Val d'Oise)
Langues : Français (Langue maternelle), US-En, De, It, Ru

Voir le profil de l'utilisateur http://volangues.blogspot.com/

Revenir en haut Aller en bas

Re: American vs British English

Message  gerardM le Jeu 13 Jan - 0:33

Hi everyone,

I would like to speak about a feature of American and British people.

They can laugh at themselves and that's something the French cannot do!

My friend often says "The French are miserable".

What happens when a mistake is made?

For several reasons, the French try to minimize it, doctor it or they accuse other people or other events. When they cannot deny, they are in big risk.

Americans easily recognize their faults (they risk more not to revealing a fault than admitting it - lying is severely punished in the US - the consequence of a fault is not that heavy).
At the same time, people don't hesitate and like to laugh at themselves.

They are right! What can you say to someone who recognizes their fault? Think of it!


Isn't it strange that the judgment of the society is so different between France and the US?
France: lie is "accepted"; a mistake can have heavy consequences.
US: non revealing and lies can be heavily punished; mistakes are easily forgiven.
avatar
gerardM

Messages : 34296
Lieu : Ermont & Eaubonne café-langues (Val d'Oise)
Langues : Français (Langue maternelle), US-En, De, It, Ru

Voir le profil de l'utilisateur http://volangues.blogspot.com/

Revenir en haut Aller en bas

Re: American vs British English

Message  MurielB le Jeu 13 Jan - 8:46

Another feature I particularly like in Americans is that they are constantly "On the move". What is important for them is to set about doing things. When they fail, it doesn’t matter they start doing something else.
My daughter lives in New-York and was in the middle of the crisis. When her colleagues wer made redundant it was very hard. Crying or Very sad They got the information early in the morning, had to collect their things quickly and leave immediately. They didn’t have a couple of weeks or months’ notice like in France, they had to quit straight away. In fact they reacted quickly, sold their house and tried hard to find something else.
Is it right to say "To get the quit" ?




Dernière édition par MurielB le Jeu 13 Jan - 14:05, édité 1 fois
avatar
MurielB
Admin

Messages : 12479
Lieu : Calais
Langues : Français (Langue maternelle), Gb, De, It, Es

Voir le profil de l'utilisateur

Revenir en haut Aller en bas

Re: American vs British English

Message  gerardM le Jeu 13 Jan - 11:29

Hi Muriel,

>When they fail, it doesn’t matter
Yes, this confirms my words: bankruptcy, lay-off... is not a castastrophe but another start.
Americans don't complain much but manage to do what they need to.
I've the example of a friend who gets a good position as a personal assistant but she couldn't get a balanced budget, she wanted to keep her large house and car (BMW); she needed to put money aside for her pension funds. She just took a second job as salesperson at Barnes and Noble's (a domain she loves -books-). Not a problem for her: she is not married and lives where she is (home, book store, car) and her car is a kind of office (phone...).

>To get the quit
I never heard this except for apartments.
"Quit" is not a noun.
The verb rather means to resign, to give up ie from the employee.
Fr "licencier qqn" is to make sb redundant (rather UK) or to lay sb off (US) (raison économique).
Fr "licencier qqn" is to dismiss sb (UK) or to let sb go (faute).
In the US (so I guess), they also say to fire sb, to shoot sb.
In the UK, to sack sb.
avatar
gerardM

Messages : 34296
Lieu : Ermont & Eaubonne café-langues (Val d'Oise)
Langues : Français (Langue maternelle), US-En, De, It, Ru

Voir le profil de l'utilisateur http://volangues.blogspot.com/

Revenir en haut Aller en bas

Re: American vs British English

Message  MurielB le Jeu 13 Jan - 13:46

Thank you, I have learnt something ;-) It is better to explain than crossing out (we are french aren't we ! ) Thank you again !
avatar
MurielB
Admin

Messages : 12479
Lieu : Calais
Langues : Français (Langue maternelle), Gb, De, It, Es

Voir le profil de l'utilisateur

Revenir en haut Aller en bas

Re: American vs British English

Message  gerardM le Jeu 13 Jan - 17:40

You're welcome Muriel!

As we are at it:
MurielB a écrit:I have learnt something...
In American, the verb to learn is regular
To learn I learned learned
Similarly: to burn, to dream, to lean, to leap and a few others I don't have in mind.

As a matter of fact, in English (Br & Am), little by little, a few irregular verbs become regular (I think it's a tendency in many languages).
avatar
gerardM

Messages : 34296
Lieu : Ermont & Eaubonne café-langues (Val d'Oise)
Langues : Français (Langue maternelle), US-En, De, It, Ru

Voir le profil de l'utilisateur http://volangues.blogspot.com/

Revenir en haut Aller en bas

Re: American vs British English

Message  gerardM le Mar 22 Mar - 15:24

Hi everyone,

I wrote many words here and there (especially in language history threads) about the differences between neighboring languages.

The guy I quoted stated that it needed 2,000 years for languages coming from Latin to become different (Italian, Romanian, French, Spanish & Portuguese).
I think he exaggerated since 2,000 is the delay since year 0 (the beggining of our era and approx Julius Ceasar's conquests) to nowadays:
- if Latin armies invaded the South of Europe at the beggining of our era, the French went on speaking a Gallo-Roman language (or Latin for intellectuals and official documents) and it's from the 10th of August 1539 on that French became our official language (this kinda French was spoken before 1539 as a vernacular language, so that it'd be a pessimistic starting date)
- linguists have a definition of languages as different, based on the fact that native speakers cannot understand one another any longer (with a certain percentage of mistakes)
- Italian, French, Spanish, etc. were not understandable to one another long before year 2000.

What do you think?
In my humble opinion, Latin gave birth to vernaculars which needed way less than 2,000 years to be different, let's say 1,000? 500??

~~~~~~~~~~

How long do you think before American English becomes a language different than the British one?
(Americans say different than while the Brits say different from or to)

American was born at the end of the 18th century (US Independence on July 4, 1776).
Due to fashion, to the commercial omnipresence of American films, songs and products in the UK, we can think British English also evolves toward American and the split might be pushed away a bit.

We know that Noah Webster suggested to revise the language very soon and built many differences b/w Am and Brit.

In addition to Webster's there are more and more differences, especially in daily words which is worrisome!
In another topic, we listed:
Fr landau ou voiture d'enfant / Br pram / US baby carriage
Fr Poussette (bébé) / Br pushchair / US stroller
Fr Poussette-canne (bébé) / Br buggy / US buggy or maclaren
Fr Poussette ou caddie (provisions) / Br shopping trolley / US (shopping) cart
NB: Pram stands for PeRAMbulator.

There're other numerous daily words which are very different:
  • crops
  • liquids (Fr carburant) to run a car or other vehicles
  • parts of a car
  • clothes and especially underwear
  • parts of a train and as a matter of facts prolly many daily words around technologies that appeared after US Independence.
These differences are so serious that they're nightmares due to the fact that the same words are used but not for the same objects!!

Thanks to post your comments.

_________________
Please feel free to point out big mistakes in my messages in a foreign language. Thanks to your remarks, I'll be able to improve my level.
PS: Pls note that I chose American English for my vocabulary, grammar, spelling, culture, etc.  :-)
avatar
gerardM

Messages : 34296
Lieu : Ermont & Eaubonne café-langues (Val d'Oise)
Langues : Français (Langue maternelle), US-En, De, It, Ru

Voir le profil de l'utilisateur http://volangues.blogspot.com/

Revenir en haut Aller en bas

Re: American vs British English

Message  gerardM le Sam 26 Mar - 23:47

... I read something that said the delay was around 500 years between the Roman conquests in Europe and the different forms of Latin in France, in Germany, etc. to become ununderstandable in Rome.

_________________
Please feel free to point out big mistakes in my messages in a foreign language. Thanks to your remarks, I'll be able to improve my level.
PS: Pls note that I chose American English for my vocabulary, grammar, spelling, culture, etc.  :-)
avatar
gerardM

Messages : 34296
Lieu : Ermont & Eaubonne café-langues (Val d'Oise)
Langues : Français (Langue maternelle), US-En, De, It, Ru

Voir le profil de l'utilisateur http://volangues.blogspot.com/

Revenir en haut Aller en bas

Re: American vs British English

Message  MurielB le Dim 27 Mar - 10:13

Hello Gérard, hello eveyone
Here is an interesting link about the daily words which are different Very Happy
http://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Diff%C3%A9rences_entre_l'anglais_britannique_et_l'anglais_am%C3%A9ricain

_________________
Merci de me faire part des grosses fautes dans mes messages en langue étrangère. Grâce à vos remarques, je pourrai m'améliorer :-)
avatar
MurielB
Admin

Messages : 12479
Lieu : Calais
Langues : Français (Langue maternelle), Gb, De, It, Es

Voir le profil de l'utilisateur

Revenir en haut Aller en bas

Re: American vs British English

Message  gerardM le Dim 27 Mar - 13:19

Hi Muriel, everyone,

Thanks a lot for your link to Wikipedia!

I repeat my questions:
There are differences b/w Br. and Am. English.
- a first series came by Mr Webster mainly in spelling and pronunciation
- nowadays the differences concern daily objects. Isn't it worrisome?

This divergence in day-to-day words may announce a definitive split...
... the fashion in the UK re youngsters easily adopting Am. words would slow down the process
All long before Americans and Brits don't understand each other? 500 years?? What do you think?
That started 200 years back (300 years to go!).

_________________
Please feel free to point out big mistakes in my messages in a foreign language. Thanks to your remarks, I'll be able to improve my level.
PS: Pls note that I chose American English for my vocabulary, grammar, spelling, culture, etc.  :-)
avatar
gerardM

Messages : 34296
Lieu : Ermont & Eaubonne café-langues (Val d'Oise)
Langues : Français (Langue maternelle), US-En, De, It, Ru

Voir le profil de l'utilisateur http://volangues.blogspot.com/

Revenir en haut Aller en bas

Re: American vs British English

Message  krystynaD le Dim 27 Mar - 15:05

Thanks Muriel for your link, this is also good for me to know the differences !
avatar
krystynaD

Messages : 267
Lieu : Paris
Langues : Australian English (Langue maternelle), Fr, Pol

Voir le profil de l'utilisateur

Revenir en haut Aller en bas

Re: American vs British English

Message  gerardM le Dim 27 Mar - 22:18

Krystyna,

> good for me
I see you begin to be convinced Wink

_________________
Please feel free to point out big mistakes in my messages in a foreign language. Thanks to your remarks, I'll be able to improve my level.
PS: Pls note that I chose American English for my vocabulary, grammar, spelling, culture, etc.  :-)
avatar
gerardM

Messages : 34296
Lieu : Ermont & Eaubonne café-langues (Val d'Oise)
Langues : Français (Langue maternelle), US-En, De, It, Ru

Voir le profil de l'utilisateur http://volangues.blogspot.com/

Revenir en haut Aller en bas

Re: American vs British English

Message  krystynaD le Dim 27 Mar - 22:29

IN YOUR DREAMS !!! Very Happy Very Happy Very Happy
avatar
krystynaD

Messages : 267
Lieu : Paris
Langues : Australian English (Langue maternelle), Fr, Pol

Voir le profil de l'utilisateur

Revenir en haut Aller en bas

Re: American vs British English

Message  charlieS le Mer 13 Avr - 17:43

Hi Friends

Sorry for my few English. But i prefer the Americain English because when you talk with a american from New York, NY ( i was visited last year), it's very easy to understand with him than a British from Liverpool (i love the name of this town). The British have a beautiful accent but they speak very fast.

Thanks.

Sorry for my English. Because the grammar and me are not a love story.

charlieS

Messages : 4
Lieu : lille Dunkerque Paris
Langues : Français (Langue maternelle) , Gb, Es

Voir le profil de l'utilisateur

Revenir en haut Aller en bas

Re: American vs British English

Message  krystynaD le Ven 15 Avr - 21:05

Hi charlieS,

Welcome to cafe-polyglotte !
I had to laugh about your comment that the British speak very fast ... compared to Australians, the British speak very slowly !!!

Good luck with improving your English, and I hope you enjoy the challenge ! Very Happy
avatar
krystynaD

Messages : 267
Lieu : Paris
Langues : Australian English (Langue maternelle), Fr, Pol

Voir le profil de l'utilisateur

Revenir en haut Aller en bas

Re: American vs British English

Message  gerardM le Ven 15 Avr - 23:23

Hi CharlieS,

charlieS a écrit:... The British have a beautiful accent but they speak very fast...
A few remarks about this.

You are right: the British laugh at Americans reproaching them with their drawling accent.

That reminds me of my classes: my teacher made me listen to various accents in order to be used to understanding them all (English, Irish, Scotish, American, Australian, Canadian, Indian, Pakistanese, Japanese, etc.)
We determined that I was understanding the British easier than Americans though the French usually do prefer Americans.

_________________
Please feel free to point out big mistakes in my messages in a foreign language. Thanks to your remarks, I'll be able to improve my level.
PS: Pls note that I chose American English for my vocabulary, grammar, spelling, culture, etc.  :-)
avatar
gerardM

Messages : 34296
Lieu : Ermont & Eaubonne café-langues (Val d'Oise)
Langues : Français (Langue maternelle), US-En, De, It, Ru

Voir le profil de l'utilisateur http://volangues.blogspot.com/

Revenir en haut Aller en bas

Voir le sujet précédent Voir le sujet suivant Revenir en haut


 
Permission de ce forum:
Vous ne pouvez pas répondre aux sujets dans ce forum