|AMERICAN AND BRITISH ENGLISH DIFFERENCES
NGUYEN HOANG THUAN
I_ A BRIEF INTRODUCTION TO AMERICAN AND BRITISH ENGLISH LANGUAGE DIFFERENCES
There is an amazing variety of spelling, meaning, pronunciation, usage, and even punctuation in the English language among the many people who speak it. The two main forms of English are American English and British English. If you'd like more information about this, check out this fantastic This is an essay about the differences between American English and British English
* American English (AmE) is the form of English used in the United States.
* British English (BrE) is the form of English used in the United Kingdom and the rest of the British Isles. It includes all English dialects used within the British Isles.
II_ HISTORY OF BRITISH ENGLISH AND AMERICAN ENGLISH
By the third decade of the 19th century immigrants traveled to America in cotton ships not available to people . Therefore, many diseases known as the ship fever occurred in there.
Due to the fact that anyone could afford it, American's population begin to grow and grow.Once in America, people from the same country used to congregate and live altogether in certain cities.
Farming and industries were their occupation, however some of these agricultural immigrants preferred to settle in cities as the Jewish in New York. This city became the most cosmopolitan city by 1900, where eighty per cent of its five million inhabitants were foreign born or their children.
When they were in New York they went to Castle Garden where facilities to all the immigrants were given. Lower-class immigrants lived in the lower east side in terrible conditions, rounded by social deprivation and corrupted police; these factors made that one third of all immigrants returned to Europe.
Although immigrants group had their own theaters newspapers, schools, clubs..... their had to learn English, in fact, local populace didn't preserve their mother tongue, and nowadays none in those towns can say more than a few words in his ancestors` tongue.
1. FRENCH INFLUENCE
When the English- speaking colonist were moving through the west, they met French people, which by 1700 managed the strategic posts along the Mississippi and the St. Lawrence, and also the shores of the Great Lakes where voyageurs, the coureurs de bois and the habitants lived.
On the other hand, we find New Orleans, the most European American city which was the center of the French influence. The Opera, theater, cuisine were brought here, but there is another perspective of New Orleans, as a port city where standard French alternated with a Creole French ( called Gumbo).
Lexical adoptions, borrowings, etymologies.
When we find French loans we see many lexical adoptions but they are known not all over America but just in some regions. This happens with bidet, pirogue, coulee and armoire; some words are no more used as bagasse, cordelle, bogue which are recognized just along the Canadian border or in Cajun territory.
Changes in meanings, pronunciation and spellings
The changes of meaning are complex because many words have two meanings (two borrowing meanings in one term): portage, dime, bayou; this last one means in Texas and in the West “deep inlet which affords a channel for the water in times of flood but remains dry or nearly so at other seasons”. Along the Mississippi it means “an abandoned river course”.
We find some French words used in the US as toponymics.
Bayou: In the southern US, a marshy outlet of a lake or river. Origin: mid 18th century, from Louisiana French, from Choctaw bayuk.
Butte: An isolate hill with steep sides and a flat top (similar to but narrower than a mesa).Origin: mid 19th century, from Old French but.
2. SPANISH INFLUENCE
The contact between America and the Spanish was very early, in fact, it began before America was called America, but the Indies. Many American territories belonged to Spain at first, as Texas and Jamaica.
Movements of all kinds took place in those times, being the migrations to the area of the Gulf of Mexico one of the most important, where the “ Hacienda culture” has been important until 1910.
Lexical adoptions, borrowings, etymologies
From a long time ago, American culture has welcomed Spanish loans.
During the exploitation of the West Indies and The Americas, in the 18th century, tomato, barbecue, savannah, chocolate and sarsaparilla were adopted, and they are nowadays equally common in Britain and America. But the Spanish itself has also borrowed some Indian words like coyote, tequila and jerk.
Changes in meaning, pronunciation and spellings.
The most complex changes in meaning is the word “Creole” (criollo). In the beginning it was used to name somebody born in Louisiana but of Spanish ancestry. Later when this region was occupied by the French, the term named a person born in there, but of French ancestry. By the time the Americans occupied this area, criollo was used to name a dialect of French spoken there, and it also name the ones who spoke it.
3. DUTCH INFLUENCE
The best harbor on the New World was Holland. Holland became a part of the English colonial empire.
4. GERMAN INFLUENCE
The German element in the vocabulary of American English is the first. There were three or four waves of
German inmigrations. In 1683 inmigrants from southwestern begun to settle in Pensylvania. In 1775 from theRhenish palatinate developed a language of various dialects with a mixture of English words and constructions. They are call as Pennsylvania Dutch still spoken in some parts. In 1830 many German rural comunities sprang up as a result of the movement, much of them were metropolitan.
In Millwakee, Chicago, Cleveland, Cincinnati, St. Louis, Detroit, Buffalo and New York were in groups to mantain
their language and cultural traditions.This traditions were their own schools, strong church and fraternal organizations.
Germans were a large number of people non-English-speaking in the Unites States.
The following list show the German influence in American language:
-Words related with food and drink: -Words related with social:beer soup beer garden
delicatessen Christmas treehamburger pinochle larger beer -Words related with educational: stollen semesterturner seminar fedtschrift
-Words related with miscellanious: bum fresh
The list gives us an idea of contact of German immigrants and English speaking hosts.
The words reflect food terms and pleasant terms and the educational terms reflect not so much German
migration to America.
Changes in spelling
The words rainworm, cookbook and back country are the translations of Regenwurm, Kockbuch and
Hinterland respectively. Superman his origin was superheroes.
The words during World War II were omitted because were equally used in England.
The words air force, armored division and secret police disappeared with German military.
Frankfurter, wienerwurst, braunschweiger and thüringer are like hamburger steak.
Terms of German origin:
"The pants are too tight", "I will have to leave out the seat" and "Throw your father down the stairs his hat".
The American academy shares with England the use of words like Zeitgeist, Vorlage and Festschrift.
German borrowings came into the 19th century and the words noodle, sauerkraut have been used in England .
The words loafer poker and ouch came from Pennsylvania or derivative settlements.
The German borrowings have being nouns but interjections like nix, ouvh and phooery could have being