Monday, November 27, 2006

English for Native Speakers

Now that I’ve lived in the UK for two months, I’ve become more and more aware of the differences between UK and US English. We don’t just spell some words differently (colour versus color) or use different vocabulary at times (hoover versus vacuum) or have some different usage rules (such as for apostrophes and commas, but I won’t let myself get started on that!). There are some significant issues that separate American English from British English, and those of us who claim to be able to translate to or copy edit either variety ought to make sure that’s really the case.

So here are some references I’ve found:

American versus British English

Vocabulary differences

Grammar and spelling differences

English-English dictionary

I’ve given them to my students and I’ve sometimes found them useful myself, too, especially if I’ve needed to translate to British English (just because English is my native language doesn’t mean I can’t learn more about it!). And, yes, of course there are many other kinds of English as well, but I think it is safe to say that American and British English are by far the most influential.

The next post will look at translating from English to English. Yes, you read that right!

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