Archive for the ‘English varieties’ Category


The English language varieties


As we saw in class, the English language can be traced back to the 500 AD, when the Angles, the Saxons and the Jutes settled on the island bringing their language along. As their rule spread through Great Britain and Ireland, so did their language.

In the 1600s another period of expansion was about to take place, when groups of British colonists headed west to the American continent and established the first English-speaking colony overseas. Soon others would follow as the empire expanded eastward to Africa and Asia.



In each colony or outpost the language gained roots, absorbed influences and adapted to local traditions and needs, acquiring diferent tones and characteristics. As a result, we can now find multiple varieties: Canadian English, Australian, New Zealand, South African, besides the British and American varieties, which are viewed as the legitimate ones. However, this perspective is beginning to change since each variety claims its own legitimacy and importance within the English-speaking world. So learners should get to know a little bit about all of them.

1) Let us begin with American English. A quick revision:




2) Canadian English is also a must.

Here you have the PPT we worked with in class: CANADIANISMS




3) Moving down Under, here comes Australian English:

BrE-vs-Aus-English The PPT we used in class on AustralianEnglish as well as the video:



4) As for New Zealand English, it does not differ that much from Australian English, but it has its own slang and took onsome words from the local native  language the Maori language.kiwi





Here are a few examples:

  • Kia ora – Hello
  • Kia ora tatou – Hello everyone
  • Tena koe – Greetings to you (said to one person)
  • Tena koutou – Greeting to you all
  • Haere mai – Welcome
  • Nau mai – Welcome
  • Kei te pehea koe? – How’s it going?
  • Kei te pai – Good
  • Tino pai – Really good
  • Haere ra – Farewell
  • Ka kite ano – Until I see you again (Bye)
  • Hei konei ra – See you later

Thanks to this worldwide spread, when the world became more globalized, the English language was the natural choice to be used as a língua franca for communication purposes.



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