Variety in English

The English language is spoken by about 400 million people as a native tongue, and by approximately 700 million people as a foreign language. The phonology of English differs from one dialect to another, and differences in vocabulary between countries exist as well. This article explains some differences between British, American, Australian, and New Zealand English. I transcribed it for the blog in Simplified Gregg.

Attachment: variety-in-english.pdf


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  1. Happy New Year! Another very interesting piece. I think it's at least fifty years since a billion was reckoned as a million million over here in the UK.  The American version was already standard when I was studying economics at uni in the seventies. The "correct" term for a thousand million was a milliard, but I don't recall ever hearing it used, although it is still used in other languages.

    1. Indeed. The article is a little dated, but I did not edit that section. The UK adopted the US billion definition sometime in the 70s. Other countries and languages still use the “long scale” definition for billion.

      Happy New Year!

  2. Yes, it seems the British Government switched over officially in 1974, probably because the short scale was already in widespread use and to help international communication. It also makes it a lot easier to become a billionaire, though it still seems as far out of reach!

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