On July 4, 1776 — almost 243 years ago — the Continental Congress approved the United States’ Declaration of Independence from Great Britain. But American English was on a path to independence from British English even before that.
You may have heard the famous quote that the U.S. and Great Britain are “two nations divided by a common language.” But the divide between British English and American English actually affects people from other places, too.
As providers of corporate language training, here’s how we see that play out. In many non-English speaking countries — including China, India and European nations — it’s common for people to learn English in school. Usually, that means they’re learning British English. When someone who has studied British English as a second language later comes to the U.S. to work, they’re often surprised by how much trouble they have understanding others and being understood themselves. Even though they’re proficient in English, they discover that American English is a very different language.
Our goal is to help them understand English as it’s actually spoken in the U.S. and to develop an accent that’s more easily understood by native speakers of American English.
Since July Fourth is coming up, we wanted to take this chance to look at the differences between British English and American English and share a few tips to help English speakers from other countries feel like they were born in the U.S.A.
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Sound More Like a Native U.S. English Speaker
If you’re realizing that your past American accent training hasn’t done enough to prepare you for daily life in the U.S., we want to point you toward another article from Fluency Corp that will be helpful: How to Ask for Accent Training.
In this article, we tell you exactly how to make the case to your boss that English accent training will help you become a more productive communicator and collaborator, not to mention a much happier, confident employee! Got more questions? Contact us for a free consultation: [email protected] or (800) 401-3159.