Include a reminder note to choose which type of English used (T)
Thread poster: Charlie Bavington (X)

Charlie Bavington (X)  Identity Verified
Local time: 21:59
French to English
May 13, 2004

Following recent interesting discussions on Eng-Eng matters, it seems that a lot of misunderstandings and situations with people getting annoyed with each other are caused by posters not specifying which type of English (US, Brit, Can, Aus, whatever) they are referring to.
I wonder whether, just for these Qs, it is possible to include a reminder note in the Answer screen to prompt people to state what flavour of English their answer relates to?

[Subject edited by staff or moderator 2005-02-03 15:26]


DGK T-I  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 21:59
Georgian to English
+ ...
seconded May 13, 2004

(although I like to think it was friendly disputation in the recent case, and that both points of view were valid, whether or not there was a trans-Atlantic difference.)

See also request in
and another recent thread


[Edited at 2004-05-13 22:30]

[Edited at 2004-05-14 11:25]


Local time: 21:59
English to Spanish
+ ...
Wishful thinking May 14, 2004

This has been requested several times and for different languages - English, Spanish, Portuguese, French, German, and those are just the ones I have seen so far. But nothing changes. Some members specify variety for original text or answer, but with the numbers of questions posted by non-members (many of whom have never even seen the website), it is impossible to achieve. The only solution would be to add a couple of fields to fill when posting a question, to specify language varieties of question and answer. This has already been suggested.


Local time: 22:59
English to Swedish
+ ...
I fully agree May 14, 2004

The English - English forum is special in that it draws a disproportionately large amount of attention from native speakers, and non-native speakers alike.

I have opted out of this forum since I felt that the KudoZ system did not work so well - wrong answers would be chosen far too often, since so many of the askers would not have the linguistic ability to judge the answers provided.

Before posting an English - English question, it should be made obligatory to state one's desired variety of English.


United States
Local time: 15:59
French to English
+ ...
If we are truly trying to help our colleagues... May 14, 2004

The English-English forum is invaluable to non-native speakers who seek nuanced explanations. Critical criteria for understanding these nuances include:
1) register (formal, slang)
2) Country of origin

There are so many countries (similar to the Spanish-speaking world) with varying vocabulary, askers and responders should collaborate in order to clarify these issues.

Responders should identify their origin and askers should identify their target audience.

It is presumptuous to imagine that one style of English fits all. Askers would like native speakers to agree but that is a rarity. There will always be differences and we need to respect them.

Here is an example of a few differences:

I would also like to mention the issue of grammar in an evolving language. Often, we hear "English is always changing, so this could work". As if English does not have its own rules of grammar. It would be ridiculous to propose something similar in the French-French section. I am not referring to new vocabulary; rather, changing grammatical rules to suit one's fancy.

Thanks Charlie for initiating this discussion!


Terry Gilman  Identity Verified
Local time: 22:59
Member (2003)
German to English
+ ...
We should bring it up more often May 14, 2004

Would prefer not to have any further mandatory boxes to fill in or check off, but those of us who do post could encourage one another more frequently to identify their target/source dialect until it becomes the norm rather than the exception (AmE).


Sol  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 17:59
Spanish to English
+ ...
That won't do it May 14, 2004

Terry Gilman wrote:
...those of us who do post could encourage one another more frequently to identify their target/source dialect until it becomes the norm rather than the exception (AmE).

I don't think that would solve the problem at all. ProZies already know that to get a good answer you need to ask a good question (the principle TITO, trash in, trash out). It would be better, and still simple, to add a field for this purpose, where one of the answers is "any" or "I don't know". I would highlight this field somehow, bigger letters, different background, an arrow ponting to it or something else that would make it difficult to skip. Another field that needs to be highlighted is the PREFERRED LANGUAGE FOR ANSWER. It is almost invisible.

[Edited at 2004-05-14 17:19]


Margaret Marks
United Kingdom
Local time: 21:59
German to English
In DE>EN legal too May 15, 2004

Could we have a field in two-language legal questions too? We have had discussions where Austrian German was being translated into British English and answers related to US English and German from the Federal Republic.



desiderata (X)
Why all the pessimism? May 27, 2004

I'm just learning to navigate through forums. Anyway I have only happened upon this topic that Margaret Marks advised I should visit about a week ago. (Never would have found it with a serch, would I've?)

I don't see any reason for the pessimism. I would like one forum devoted to differences in language across the English-speaking world.

Is it a big deal to set something like that up? Why is it being discussed here instead of just being started? Does it need approval from the supervisor of this space?

[Edited at 2004-05-27 20:31]


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