Do British People Like American Accents? Read The Truth
Americans fancy British accents. Who wouldn’t love the British people’s accents, by the way? They sound sweet, smooth, educated and pleasing to the ears.
By hearing an American and British speak, you can tell the difference. So Americans love and speak highly of British people’s accents. What we don’t know is if the British feel the same way about American accents.
Do British people like American accents?
The British are accent-aware, and thus, pay attention to every word someone pronounces while speaking. American accents are different from British accents. But most British people have expressed their dissatisfaction and disgust at American accents.
Some feel American accents are annoying, uneducated, and middle-class. But that’s just their view. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion.
However, just because most British people hate American accents doesn’t mean the entire region does. Don’t forget, American movies, music, TV shows, and other media content end up in many British homes.
Many Britons have professed their love for American accents. They love the fact that the accents are unique and different from theirs.
Even certain words you’ll find in American and British dictionaries have different spellings. For example, it’s “aluminum” in American English and “aluminium” in British English.
You’ll find tons of words in American and British English spelled differently. So both regions are unique and should be treated as such. Claiming British accents are more superior to America’s isn’t a wise thing to do. Let’s learn to love and respect each other’s differences.
Keep reading for more information on this topic.
Why British And American Accents Differs
The first thing we need to accept before we go deeper is that American and British accents differ. And British accents happen to be more diverse than American accents.
The difference between British and American accents has been a hot topic over the years. Being that British and American people are the two primary Native English speakers makes the subject even more interesting.
So, why are there differences between the American and British people accents? Let’s go into the history books.
The French had a massive influence on British English:
The British’s colonial masters, France, have a hand in the region’s accents. It all started when King William the Conqueror invaded the British.
Surprisingly, King William didn’t only bring many of his people to Britain after the invasion. He made the British people to adopt another language, the Norman French. King William made Norman French the most important language in the whole of Britain during his rule.
When he was king, schools, universities, upper class, and courtrooms communicated using the Norman French, and that was how the British accents got influenced by the French.
France invaded Britain in the 11th century, and William the Conqueror became England’s first Norman King. He ruled from c—1028 to 1087. And the world will always remember him, King William as the one who changed the course of British history.
Another event in the 1700s also made the British accents more linguistically similar to the French. The British people made the use of French-styled words and spellings viral, with other regions following suit.
But did Americans follow the trend? No. Everything happened under their noses, but they never took part in the British people’s viral French-styled words and spellings.
American and British dictionaries are different.
Have you ever bothered to ask why American and British people spell most words differently? For example, America says “color” while the British say, “colour.” Furthermore, the British people say, “Colonise” while Americans say, “colonize.” American English uses the letter “z” in place of “s.”
An obvious reason both regions have different spelling has to do with those who compiled the dictionaries. American and British dictionaries have different authors.
Robert Cawdrey, an English clergyman and schoolmaster, wrote the first British English dictionary, while Noah Webster wrote the American English dictionary.
The American and British authors who wrote the dictionaries used in both regions have a varied perspective of the language. And that resulted in the spelling of words differently.
For Noah Webster, American English has to be short and straightforward. He wanted a situation where Americans can spell or pronounce words with so much ease.
A Handy Tip: John of Garland, an Englishman, invented the word “dictionary” in 1220.
American people used their English as a form of protest:
We can say America is a world power today, but not so some centuries ago. And it’s even hard to believe that the British people once bullied Americans.
Even though both regions are now allies, the scar left by the British would still be there. History will never forget how the British colonized America. But nevertheless, they didn’t have much of an influence on American English.
Because the British colonized America, Noah Webster thought it was right to disassociate the American people from anything British. He felt spelling words differently in American English will prove the country’s independence.
Besides being a French-influenced language, Noah Webster didn’t fancy the British English. He wanted American English to be different. That is spelling words the way Americans pronounce them.
So the reason American accents differ from the British people’s accents dates back to centuries ago. History shows it was a form of protest, aimed at letting the British and the entire world know that America is independent and has grown to the point it can stand up for itself.
Deriving words from other languages.
Have you thought about how American and British English dictionaries coined certain words? It seemed pure genius, but credit should be given to other languages and cultures.
American and the British people coined most words from other languages. These include Spanish, Arabic, Greek, French and other tribes.
The language age factor:
The British colonial masters, the French, succeeded in imposing the Norman French on the British people. But when the British colonized America, the reverse was the case.
History indicated that when the British sailors landed in America, the rhetoric speech was already in use. Liking what they saw, the sailors had to take the American English back to Britain.
A Handy Tip: Rhetoric speech is an act of pronouncing the R sound in words.
Has American Or British English Drastically Changed?
Historians allege that American English, which includes rhetoric speech, is older than British English.
In 1776, the British colloquially called the redcoats, and Americans, called the Patriots, used accents much closer to today’s American accents than the Queen’s English.
So, the traditional English that was first widely used in the British and American territories was pure rhetoric. Rhetoric is when people spell out the “R” sound of words when speaking.
Today, things have changed. Non-rhetoric speech is what is spoken throughout Great Britain. So it’s safe to say that British accents have changed more massively than American accents have over the years.
A Handy Tip: In non-rhetoric, speakers do not pronounce the “R” sound in words.
Should You Focus On Learning American Or British English?
Choosing what English to learn shouldn’t be a tough decision for anyone to make. It all boils down to where you’re planning to live, work, or school.
The British people have a way of speaking that differs from the American people. Most core Britons have even confessed to finding it difficult to understand most American accents.
So, if you’re British and plans to school in America, consider learning American English and fine-tune your accent to the American accent. It won’t be easy, but since it’s doable, why not take your chances.
In America, the spelling “aluminium” is incorrect. And making such a mistake might cost you some marks. The professor might also not care you’re a Briton, as he or she would expect you to understand American English since you’re on American soil.
The same thing also applies to Americans and other international students schooling in Britain. Learn the accents and spelling of words. Doing so won’t only ensure you don’t miss-spell words any longer but communicate with British citizens more effectively.
The thing is, most Britons like American accents while some don’t. The ones who don’t fancy American accents consider it as uneducated and irritating.
However, just because a few people hate something doesn’t make it wrong. American accents are unique. They are what makes the country and people what they are.
It’s also important to point out that the British people spoke the American accents for years before they finally started embracing the Queen’s English.