Modal verbs in English
6 Mar, 2023
Are you used to having your phone or any translation software ask you if you prefer American or British English? But what if we say that this is far from the limit? In fact, the English language has more than a hundred variants and dialects, and when you hear some of them, you will not immediately understand that it was English.
The history of dialects
Let's not go far into the historical analysis of the English-speaking countries, just remember that Britain once colonized half of the globe. This includes countries in Africa, Asia, South and North America, and Australia. Under the influence of the British colonies came a huge number of citizens who did not know the language, who, in order to survive, had to very quickly adapt to new conditions and adapt the language to suit themselves, which led to the emergence of new dialects, which sometimes differed radically from the "original".
In England itself, dialects existed even before colonization. So, the main was royal English, and the rest depended on the area: northern, central, western, eastern and southern,
Most Popular Dialects
We all know American and British are not all in the list of the most popular dialects (or variants). Canadian, Indian, Scottish, Irish and Australian can be added here.
In England there is a special dialect - cockney. Hearing it on the streets of London, people who speak English fluently lose the ability to speak and forget everything they know about a foreign language.
Each dialect, of course, has its own characteristics.
American English is famous for its brevity and simplicity. It is known throughout the world as a colloquial variant. It infiltrates other languages, modernizing and capturing them. More and more teenagers use buzzwords in their speech, surprising their parents with incomprehensible conversations. American variants of English words are often shorter.
British English, although it is the founder of all other dialects that have appeared, is already considered an obsolete option. This is partly due to the growing influence of America in all spheres, the popularity of cinema and literature.
Separately, it should be noted the dialects that exist in England itself, in addition to the continental ones. There are quite a few of them.
Features of some dialects
It is worth noting that even in the United Kingdom itself there are variants of English. Due to the fact that it officially became the state language for three other countries, their own characteristics of the English language were formed on the territory of these countries.
In some dialects of English, there are only oral pronunciation features that we used to call accents. Somewhere a breath was added, somewhere some letters were not pronounced, and some changed the words beyond recognition.
A striking example is the American or against the British our
or American er, which is considered to be more modern, versus British re
Canadian English is a mixture of British and American, but if we talk about its features, we can note the pronunciation of the diphthongs "ow" and "ou" as "ou". So, the word about from the lips of Canadians will sound like “a boat”. Canadian English is also heavily influenced by French, and some words are pronounced French, which leads to confusion.
In Cockney dialect (street English), the most memorable feature is the omission of the [h] sound. Words with this sound are pronounced on the exhale, lowering it. So half becomes 'alf. Th is pronounced like f, and instead of varieties of the verb to be, only one ain’t is used in the present tense.
Irish English is difficult to understand even for native English speakers. The thing is that the Irish, as a freer people, tend to build sentences in their own way, and phonetics is a separate issue.
List of English dialects
It is here to read and wonder how many different varieties of English there are in the whole world. Is it difficult to learn just one? May this be a motivation and encouragement for all those who are learning English.
It cannot be said that this is a complete list, since the world is changing daily, and perhaps somewhere else there is a variant of English unknown to the world, but it can be definitely said that there are an impressive number of variants and dialects of English.