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Thread poster: Staff Staff
Local time: 12:14
Dec 26, 2005

This topic is for discussion of the translation article "AMERICAN VERSUS BRITISH ENGLISH".

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United States
Local time: 13:14
French to English
+ ...
The number of U.S. English speakers vs. "other" English speakers Jan 14, 2006

populations of :
UK 60.1 mil
Ireland 4.1 mil
Canada, 24.4 mil
(not including Quebec)
Australia 20.4 mil
New Zealand 4.0 mil
not in the U.S. 113 mil

U.S.A. 296 mil

Total 409 mil total English speakers in the world

(I am not including South Africa and India, with 11 and 22 official languages each)

Re: Throughout the English-speaking world (don't forget there are far more speakers of British and British-based English in the former colonies and dominions for instance than there are of American English), the date is written dd/mm/yyyy

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Carley Hydusik  Identity Verified
Local time: 15:14
Russian to English
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Feb 6, 2006

[Edited at 2006-02-06 14:50]

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Anthony Baldwin  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 15:14
Member (2006)
Portuguese to English
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It's a BIG country. Nov 11, 2008

The United States is a very big country, and the variations in English usage within our borders is quite astonishing in itself.

I'm under the impression that this author has only been exposed to a very limited portion of our linguistic diversity.
Here in Connecticut, we do have blinds on our windows, for instance. Having lived in Colorado, Indiana, Texas, New Mexico, and visited about 70% of our remaining states at some time or another, I must say that the term "blinds" is in rather common usage, as is "valance".
I certain wouldn't undermine the importance of being aware of the differences between the Queen's English and our Yankee dialect, by any means, but I felt the examples chosen were less than fully illustrative, since many of the "Americanisms" chosen were rather regional, although, in the legal field, the author was quite accurate, of course, and the confusion that may arise from those differences is quite amusing.
In general parlance, I might have looked at some of the more obvious choices, such as:
apartment / flat
gas, gasoline / petrol
eraser / rubber
rubber / prophylactic
elevator / lift


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Richard Boulter  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 13:14
Spanish to English
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Very pleasant talk between linguists. Apr 15, 2010

I'm enjoying the discussion on differences among varieties of English. Despite the banter, ethnocentrism and half-truths, the points made are very useful in a practical sense for working translators serving broad markets. The old joke goes: The Americans may be excused for their usages in English, because they've only had the chance to practice at it for a couple of hundred years (before which they were, in fact, British). The Brits, on the other hand, have been practicing English (in their hundred accents & dialects, just on the main island) for some fifteen centuries, !and they still can't get it right! Actually, in my travels, I've only heard people from one small region in the U.S. speaking entirely unaccented English; they are from the under-populated southern portion of the state of Idaho and the northern part of Utah ... where 'I' come from, incidentally. To which the British often reply, "WELL, there IS a reason that we call the language ENGLISH, after all!

[Edited at 2010-04-15 11:20 GMT]

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