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Re: [Lingo] British English

On Sunday, 6 February 2011 at 09:01, Kenneth Burling wrote:

British English? What's that? THERE'S NO SUCH THING!

I think that the main issue is that most American's assume that
Britain is England, and nothing more. When we are saying british
English, we are thinking English as it is spoken in England.

Now... For London... I have heard a Londener talk, and they don't
speak what one would consider either American nor British English. :P
Actually what I always assumed as "British English" is Oxford English - at least that's what I learned in school in Germany and which is afaik considered the standard language (as in the linguistic term) of English here. Everything else is considered a dialect.
You learn to speak Oxford English (pronounciation, pitch) and the British orthography (as in Great Britain). Then you learn about the "ou" and "o"-thing as a difference to American English (just in written form, not in spoken language as in dialect) and then you might do some Australian English (which is mainly dialect-related stuff like G'Day, mate and so on).

When you learn Japanese, you usually learn the standard language as well and that is considered the dialect spoken in Tokyo. Never heard of anyone who learned Kanzai-ben when s/he started to learn Japanese.

You always learn one dialect which is considered the standard language for the country. That's for the pronounciation. And for a language like English where different sets of orthography exists it's just divided into British and American English. Nobody should be talking about dialects when using those two terms. 


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