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“When hungry, I eat french fries instead of potato chips or cookies.”
“When peckish, I eat chips instead of crisps or biscuit.”

These 2 English sentences have the same exact meaning but look and sound quite different. (Note: the word ‘quite’. See chart below)

Modern English is a widely spoken global language that is the official tongue in many different countries in the world. Regardless of where it is used, the fundamentals of the language are the same. However, there are some notable differences in spelling, meaning and word choice. Those are the telltale signs of which country English is being used.

Table below shows some of the blatant variations of the English language used in 3 countries on 3 different continents.

England Australia USA
Spelling

 

 

Colour

Pyjamas

Omlette

Axe

Acknowledgement

Pretence

Kilometre

Apologise

Cancelled

Archaeology

Plough

Sceptic (sceptical)

Colour

Pyjamas

Omlette

Axe

Acknowledgement

Pretence

Kilometre

Apologise

Cancelled

Archaeology

Plough

Sceptical (skeptical)

Color

Pajamas

Omlete

Ax

Acknowledgment

Pretense

Kilometer

Apologize

Canceled

Archeology

Plow

Skeptic (skeptical)

Same meaning different words

 

 

Angry

Lavatory

Drunk

Pavement

Cooker

Car park

Aeroplane

Biscuit

Lift

Petrol

Note (£)

Berko

Loo

Pissed (slang)

Footpath

Stove

Car park

Aeroplane

Bickie

Lift

Petrol

Dollar note

Upset

Toilet

Wasted (slang)

Sidewalk

Stove

Parking lot

Airplane

Cookie

Elevator

Gas

Dollar bill ($)

Same sounding word, slightly different spelling and meaning

 

Kerb- edging to a pavement

Curb- to restrict

 

Tyre – rubber covering of a wheel

Tire – becoming weary

 

Shorts – short trousers

 

Quite – somewhat

Kerb – edging to a pavement

 

 

 

Tyre – rubber covering of a wheel

 

Shorts –short trousers

 

Quite – absolutely

Curb – edging of a sidewalk AND to restrict

 

Tire – rubber part of a wheel AND becoming weary

 

Shorts – underwear AND short trousers

 

Quite – very

Fun Fact:
Both British & Australians pronounce the letter ‘Z’ as ‘zed’ — U.S. ‘Z’ is pronounced as ‘zee’. In the early 1970’s when a global phenomenon ‘Sesame Street’ appeared on Australian TV, the letter ‘Z’ was the most obvious language difference. It was also full of ‘mispronunciations’ of words for all Australian & British English speakers.

Based on these linguistic variances & cultural nuances, the communicator stands out as different – if they are from the same country, do they know they made mistakes? If they are from a different country, do they care to correct the spelling?

Out of respect to target markets’ English version & culture, it is advisable to use market specific vocabulary and country specific spelling. Adaptation of an English copy intended for another English speaking country is always recommended.

Branded Translations

About Branded Translations
Branded Translations is a specialized language agency, focused exclusively on the translation, transcreation and localization of marketing & creative communications. We help international organizations and advertising agencies reach global and multicultural audiences through quality translations that are on time, on budget and on brand.
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