Is American a dialect or a new variation of English?

May 23, 2019 11:12am CST
I was talking to Anna here on MyLot, and she was saying that American is often harder to "comprehend" than British English. She is right. American is a very complex addition to an already complex language (English). Then I started wondering. Is American a Dialect of English>? A new version of English? It is an interesting question, about what Americans actually speak (full disclosure I am American and you don't hurt my feelings)
8 people like this
7 responses
@TheSojourner (21923)
• United States
23 May
let's face it, all Americans don't speak the same English! The south is very different from New York. One borough is different from the others in the city itself. And so on and so forth!
2 people like this
23 May
I grew up thinking I lived in Chi "kaaa" Gooo most of my childhood.
1 person likes this
• United States
23 May
@DocAndersen *laughs* I understand.
1 person likes this
@marguicha (119649)
• Chile
23 May
I agree. They don´t even write it in such a way the rest of the people can understand. For me, the use of letters instead of words is terrible.
2 people like this
@owlwings (40950)
• Cambridge, England
23 May
All the different kinds of English as spoken in America are quite definitely dialects, You could call them 'versions' but the correct term is dialect. The thing is that they all use English words and syntax which are mutually intelligible when written down, even though there may be some words and idioms which are specific to an area. It's important to realise that what is often called 'British English' or 'Received Standard English' ia also a dialect and is no better or worse than, for example, the English spoken in Texas or Michigan or California or the Appalachians or Dorset or Newcastle, even though someone from one of those places might have great difficulty in understanding the local speech of someone from another of those places. It is really only because of radio, TV and films that most of us can understand a particular dialect, even though, at home, we speak our own version of English.
2 people like this
23 May
You said it so beautifully and thank you! I agree completly!
1 person likes this
@MALUSE (50969)
• Germany
23 May
You are right, yet in the UK as well as in the USA one regional variety has become the 'standard' version. In the UK it is the English spoken in the South East because of the location of the court and also because of 'BBC' English. In the USA it's the English spoken on the East coast. It is the American English I can understand best. I don't know if a Brit would say the same. I think he/she would. I can't imagine that a Brit can understand the English of the American South as well as East coast English.
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@owlwings (40950)
• Cambridge, England
23 May
@MALUSE What they really speak in the Deep South (not what you hear in films, of course) is pretty much of a mystery to everyone else, American or British. I can understand 'East Coast' Americans pretty well ... far better, in fact, than I can understand Deep Norfolk (only 50 miles from where I live)!
1 person likes this
@LadyDuck (223101)
• Switzerland
24 May
It's not a dialect, it's a variation caused by the fact that many people of different countries came to American and they tried to speak "English" inventing or modifying British words.
1 person likes this
24 May
Thanks - this came out of our discussion the other day about SUV's!
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@LadyDuck (223101)
• Switzerland
24 May
@DocAndersen I imagined that this came out discussing about the use of an.
1 person likes this
24 May
@LadyDuck because you were right it is very difficult to translate English into Britsh or American sometimes!
1 person likes this
@Sojourn (5193)
• India
23 May
Then there's Australian English too. There are two aspects here that I know of between these two types of English 1. Different words 2. Major Difference in accents and sometimes difference in spellings too.
1 person likes this
23 May
and don't forget Vegemite Sandwiches
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@Sojourn (5193)
• India
24 May
@DocAndersen What's the story behind that?
1 person likes this
24 May
@Sojourn That is a thing the Austrailian's like to eat, the line comes from a Men at Work Song (have you been to the land down under).
1 person likes this
@FourWalls (19353)
• United States
23 May
I wouldn’t see why not. There are variations of Spanish, based on the country. There are numerous “dialects” of Chinese. There’s even variations of German (formal and informal). But I do concur that “America and England are two countries separated by a common language,” as George Bernard Shaw said.
1 person likes this
23 May
nice :-) The path to understanding lies in speaking another language entirely!!!!
@MALUSE (50969)
• Germany
23 May
Every language has a formal and an informal side. It is much more distinct in English than in German. You learn about the reasons for this when you study English at university. The answer to your question is here:
QuoraSign In British English American English English (language)UpdateCancelaFzGddNi OOUwbYtymhOD pwtWHikTAakkhyjipgRbXunmtFpySbQyIs Amazon actually giving you the best price?This tool looks for lower prices at other stores while you shop on Amazon and tel
4 people like this
23 May
@MALUSE good points!
@Corbin5 (145045)
• United States
23 May
Due to American English always having new phrases, words, and terms added, it could be considered a dialect of its own.
1 person likes this
23 May
Thanks - I agree!
1 person likes this
@Aansh13 (3495)
• India
23 May
I don't know much about this, but what i know for sure that there is a difference in American and British English. May be how we pronounce!
1 person likes this
23 May
most definitely and thanks for contributing!
1 person likes this