Assignment 2

The Differences of British English and American English in Spelling and Pronunciation

by Defika Yuwirrandini

College of Languages and Communication Science of Sultan Agung Islamic University (UNISSULA)

It was one said “England and America were two countries separated by a common language”. Every language in the world has their rules. Different regions will also different dialects and languages. English is one of them, the division of the British spoken English and the American spoken English brought about the changes that are obvious in today’s English language. Time starts to diverging English spoken in the United States and in Britain. This led to changes various aspects in the form of American English. The common English language of the countries has changes in vocabulary, pronunciation and spelling and is no longer perceived as common. This paper will discuss about the differences between British English and American English in spelling and pronunciation.

The first differences are spelling. In the early 17th century, British colonization were introduce the English language into America. Because of the strength of British empire, it spread to other parts of the world. Based on the history, British English has absorbed from French languages and it has tended to keep the spelling of words. Besides, American English has adapted the spelling to reflect the way that the words actually sound when they’re spoken. You only need British spellings to writing for British readers. In many occasion, the preferred American spellings are acceptable in British English as well, in particular, the –izelization endings. The –iselisation or the izel / ization endings can used both in British English, its important to stick to one style or the other throughout the same piece of writing.

The second differences are pronunciation, there is a lot of differences in pronunciation of word for American English and British English. One of them for example, in American English the word “can” sounds almost same, while in British English, it can be distinguished clearly. Mostly, American people have a tendency to perform the reduction of a word by eliminating some characters. For example, the word fact in American English it was pronunced same sounds with the word fax, the t was not pronunced. While, in British English, for example, in the word secretary, the a was not pronunced. The stressing in a word and accent become one of distinguishing between British English and American English. But, the differences are not a problem, but it was an identity

In conclusion, there are two differences between British English and American English. First is spelling, in British English has absorbed from French languages and it has tended to keep the spelling of words, while American English has adapted the spelling to reflect the way that the words actually sound when they’re spoken. The second is pronunciation, in British English there is some words can be distinguished properly, while in American English people have tendency to perform the reduction of a word by eliminating some characters.

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