Diferencias entre el Inglés Británico y el Americano
A lo largo de los siglos han surgido algunas variaciones entre el inglés británico y inglés americano. Descubrimos las diferencias en la pronunciación y también profundizaremos en otro acento del inglés: el Australiano.
The Difference Between British English and American. English Pronunciation.
American English in general is faster and not as clearly enunciated, whereas British English is slower, more clearly pronounced and, for some learners, easier to understand. British people speak with their lips more rounded whilst Americans have their mouths much more open. In the middle of a word, Americans sometimes pronounce a ‘T’ like a soft ‘R’ e.g. ‘water’ can sound a bit like ‘warer’.
In British English, there is usually only one stressed syllable in a word of three or more syllables, whereas in American English there will often be a secondary stress on another syllable. For example, the word ‘literature’ is pronounced ‘LI – te – ra – chur’ in American English but ‘LI – te – ra – chuh’ in British English. In addition there are words where British and American speakers place the stress on a different syllable, for example, ‘adult’, which is pronounced ‘A – dult’ in Britain but ‘a – DULT’ in the United States.
Although Americans are often seen to speak faster, the rhythm of American English is slower than that of British English, and tends to have a more ‘uniform’ or monontonous intonation. This is partly owing to longer vowel sounds. British English, on the other hand, has shorter vowel sounds and more varied intonation.
‘Rhoticity’ is a clear difference between British English and American English. ‘Rhoticity’ refers to when the letter ‘R’ is and is not pronounced and it varies between different places and types of English. Americans will almost always pronounce the letter ‘R’ at the end of a syllable or a word, whereas English people will not. For examples, we can use the word ‘butter’, which is pronounced ‘BUT – uh’ in British English and ‘BUT – er’ in American English; and ‘farmer’, which is pronounced ‘FAA – muh’ in British English and ‘FAR – mer’ in American English.
A ‘Yod’ is a sound like a letter ‘Y’ which is inserted after the letters ‘d’ and ‘t’ in some words by British speakers. For example, ‘Tuesday’ is pronounced ‘Tyuesday’ and ‘due’ is pronounced ‘dyue’. The combined sounds are similar to CH or J, but the same words are pronounced without the ‘Yod’ sound by Americans, and so sound more like ‘Toosday’ and ‘doo’. This feature is commonly referred to as ‘Yod-dropping’.
Australians tend to concentrate more on the vowels when they speak, making less effort with other elements of speech. This means that most of the vowel sounds are longer than in other varieties of English, and some vowels are even pronounced as diphthongs in American English, where they are not elsewhere. Some common examples are:
- AU is pronounced like ‘or’ so the term ‘Aussie’ (Australian) is pronounced ‘OR – zie’.
- AY is ‘ayee’ so ‘mate’ is like ‘M-ayee-t’ when people speak.
- I is like ‘ear’ or ‘eye’ (pIErce or mIght) For example, ‘irresponsible’ resembles ‘ear-re-spon-sbl’ and ‘hide’ is more like ‘H-eye-d’
- O is ‘ew’ or ‘aw’ (‘shOOt’ or ‘OUght’). For example, ‘shoot’ is pronounced ‘sh-ew-t’.
- U is pronounced ‘uh’ (‘rOUgh’) For example, ‘suppose’ is “sugh-p-oh-s”.