American English or British English ??

88 replies
Hi everyone,

I'm very serious into Internet marketing. I do realize that English is one of the most important keys to be successful in IM. I'm not a native speaker, I'd like to learn all sort of things that I could from English-speaking countries.

In fact, I don't really bother much about writing skills as most of the time I'm not going to write things on my own. With that said, listening and speaking skills concern me the most in this IM aspect. If my spoken English is so bad, I don't think I can find more and better JV partners in the coming future.

Ok, now the question is which do you prefer? American English or UK English? Since the IM world is more catered to American English, does it simply mean I'd be better to learn more American English since my 1st language is not English?

I'm about to study abroad for English purposes. I really do hope that some of you guys may give me a good advice on it.

PS: My friends in UK told me that UK English and American English are very different when it comes to "casual" conversation. I really do hope that I could fully understand a Hollywood movie without any subtitles.

Thank you in advance.

Wyatt
#american #british #english
  • Profile picture of the author Jim Burney
    For purely Internet Marketing purposes, go with American English.
    Much bigger market

    Jim
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    • Profile picture of the author FredJones
      For IM - American English. For classic learning - British English. For long term and an ideal life - both, starting from one and building upon the other.
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      • Profile picture of the author PatriciaJ
        Your English is pretty good to start with and I'm sure that you will be able to understand a Hollywood movie without subtitles.

        Personally I think it doesn't really matter, I spell the Brit way and haven't suffered for it. Some people are a bit strange and think that one way or another is correct but these days most people don't really notice. Sometimes I mix both for SEO reasons.

        I didn't notice a massive difference in casual conversation when I went to the US and I was sober most of the time. Just pronunciation really, words like tomato.
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        • Profile picture of the author Mrs S
          I'm from the UK and I write in British English. Can't help it - American English is full of spelling mistakes to me

          In all seriousness I try and tweak my language depending on the audience and ensure that where there could be any confusion I write the word in both "languages".
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  • Profile picture of the author Suzanne Morrison
    I'm from the UK, but always try to use American English for internet marketing. Just looking at my IM related website stats, the majority of visitors (often over 70%) tend to be from the USA.

    Cheers,
    Suzanne
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  • Profile picture of the author john_luckfield
    Whichever one helps YOU TO LIGHT UP, DELIVER And lastly DRIVE YOUR THOUGHTS and IDEAS HOME would be BENEFICIAL.... =)

    But definitely some very good points and Advice from above Warriors..
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  • Profile picture of the author JTor
    Wyatt,

    Go for American English.

    Also learn some British English to learn the differences between the two different kinds of English when you hear or read something.
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    • Profile picture of the author butters
      Does it matter? There isn't that much of a difference... There are plenty of American marketers and there are a lot less british marketers, maybe use that to brand your self away from the crowd. Also, apparently Americans love British people, well the accent, so you got a bonus there for videos... My self being a british national, I will write the correct spellings of the word (well, try ) and not take out or change a letter just so it's focused at an American.
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      • Profile picture of the author seasoned
        Originally Posted by butters View Post

        Does it matter? There isn't that much of a difference... There are plenty of American marketers and there are a lot less british marketers, maybe use that to brand your self away from the crowd. Also, apparently Americans love British people, well the accent, so you got a bonus there for videos... My self being a british national, I will write the correct spellings of the word (well, try ) and not take out or change a letter just so it's focused at an American.
        Who are YOU to say the word color is spelled wrong? 8-( YOU spell it wrong! Colour? COME ON! BTW google agrees with me 672 to 167!

        Seriously though, butters is right on everything else. As for spelling? Americans and British have some different words(albeit VERY similar) that happen to mean the same thing, and some are just spelled a little differently. HEY, I was taught color, and that is what almost all Americans use, so I will use it. I know the british spelling too, so it is no big deal.

        precious007, The difference, in writing, is often slight.

        Oh, and Harry Pottor would lose something in the translation if he spoke in American English. 8-( again though, outside of the accent, much is slight.

        Steve
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  • Profile picture of the author vfelcett
    American English is the way to go and what most people look for. If you notice people also looking for article writers, they are looking for those who write fluently in American English.
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    • Profile picture of the author butters
      I ask all these people to who say American English is the way to go to show PROOF that this is actually true and not just a guess.
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      • Profile picture of the author JTor
        Originally Posted by butters View Post

        I ask all these people to who say American English is the way to go to show PROOF that this is actually true and not just a guess.
        United States & Great Britain census numbers may be the proof you are looking for.

        Also, contries where English is not the mother language usually teaches American English as a second language, instead of British English.
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        • Profile picture of the author butters
          Originally Posted by JTor View Post

          United States & Great Britain census numbers may be the proof you are looking for.

          Also, contries where English is not the mother language usually teaches American English as a second language, instead of British English.
          Census on what?... Still waiting for actual figures where you have tested and seen a difference.
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          • Profile picture of the author JTor
            Originally Posted by butters View Post

            Census on what?
            Demographics!

            Lets try to look from a different perspective, and instead of thinking about English, think about Portuguese.

            Would you write in Brazilian Portuguese or European Portuguese?

            Brazilian Portuguese is only used in Brazil, while the European is spoken in Angola, Cape Verde, East Timor, Guinea, Macau and Portugal.

            A quick look at the population of those countries will show that the public for Brazilian Portuguese is much bigger than for European Portuguese.

            And it is the same when I recall United States & Great Britain census on demographics.
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            • Profile picture of the author Nigel Greaves
              Originally Posted by JTor View Post

              Demographics!

              Lets try to look from a different perspective, and instead of thinking about English, think about Portuguese.

              Would you write in Brazilian Portuguese or European Portuguese?

              Brazilian Portuguese is only used in Brazil, while the European is spoken in Angola, Cape Verde, East Timor, Guinea, Macau and Portugal.

              A quick look at the population of those countries will show that the public for Brazilian Portuguese is much bigger than for European Portuguese.

              And it is the same when I recall United States & Great Britain census on demographics.
              Using that argument you would need to include countries which are former U.K. colonies or members of the Commonwealth plus most European countries in your figures for British English.
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              • Profile picture of the author Intrepreneur
                There isn't much difference between UK English and American English. From my perspective I see Americans tend to find it harder to adapt to ours than we do theirs.

                Either way I just write and if it comes out American or British I don't really care it's still readable by both parties.
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              • Profile picture of the author Michael Oksa
                Originally Posted by Nigel Greaves View Post

                Using that argument you would need to include countries which are former U.K. colonies or members of the Commonwealth plus most European countries in your figures for British English.
                My point exactly, Nigel.

                And for that matter, then you may as well learn Chinese - characters and all - as there are over 1 billion speakers.



                ~Michael

                p.s. About the dates...there are 12 dates on the Roman calendar that are the same. 1/1, 2/2, 3/3, etc. And we will even get 10/10/10, 11/11/11 and 12/12/12 (thank goodnes the last one happens before the end of it all on 12/20/12!)
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                • Profile picture of the author glassextreme
                  Originally Posted by Michael Oksa View Post

                  My point exactly, Nigel.

                  And for that matter, then you may as well learn Chinese - characters and all - as there are over 1 billion speakers.



                  ~Michael

                  p.s. About the dates...there are 12 dates on the Roman calendar that are the same. 1/1, 2/2, 3/3, etc. And we will even get 10/10/10, 11/11/11 and 12/12/12 (thank goodnes the last one happens before the end of it all on 12/20/12!)
                  Wahaha, that makes me in an enviable position. I am fluent in both languages, and know enough differences in American and British English, but I still prefer to write in BrE. Only problem is I don't sound American or British when I speak. I wonder how easy it is for others to understand me.

                  However, it's hard to understand Mainland Chinese's Mandarin compared to Taiwanese Mandarin, and Singapore Mandarin and even Malaysian Mandarin, accent and everything else. Culturally, it's too diverse, and the IM terms are far too different.
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          • Profile picture of the author Mike Anthony
            Originally Posted by butters View Post

            Census on what?... Still waiting for actual figures where you have tested and seen a difference.
            Nada. Totally agree with you. If the OP is talking about learning conversational English he is better off learning it from a Brit.

            We are suckers for a good English accent and many of us hire British voice talent. SO if he is planning down the road doing videos the Brit side of things is a plus. I don't know of a single British marketer having a problem with communicating with his US based counterparts as long as he understands the cultural differences and frankly none of those are going to hurt him in marketing context.
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            • Profile picture of the author Shane N
              Originally Posted by Mike Anthony View Post

              Nada. Totally agree with you. If the OP is talking about learning conversational English he is better off learning it from a Brit.

              We are suckers for a good English accent and many of us hire British voice talent. SO if he is planning down the road doing videos the Brit side of things is a plus. I don't know of a single British marketer having a problem with communicating with his US based counterparts as long as he understands the cultural differences and frankly none of those are going to hurt him in marketing context.
              I agree. Conversational English is more casual in the US, however, if you're just referring to the spelling... It doesn't really matter.

              People who speak and read English understand both "Color" and "Colour" and "Center" and "Centre."

              Best,
              Shane
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        • Profile picture of the author ikuret75
          Also, contries where English is not the mother language usually teaches American English as a second language, instead of British English.
          There are also some former British colonies in which they speak British English, like India.

          Also many Europeans speak/learn British English for geographical reasons.
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  • Profile picture of the author unknownpray
    American english is mostly used and in article marketing it plays an important role
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  • Profile picture of the author ikuret75
    I think if your product is good, it does not really matter much.
    But it might depend on what you sell.

    For example, Market Samurai is Aussie, and on the video clips on the site they speak Ausisie English (which is close to British Englissh), but it does not seem affect the sales, does it?

    But if you are selling info products, it might affect the sales not so much because of American/Britsh ENGLISH, but the slight cultural differences. (North American VS European).

    e.g. A british guy would choose a product written by a British guy over an American guy if he was looking for an info product about "how to get a cute girlfriend in 10 days".

    (And even if it was written by an American, if you do copywriting with British English and include some British humor, I'm sure it would be better.)
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  • Profile picture of the author BiancaRaven
    I found that if you know UK English, it's easier to adapt to the simplified American-English. I'm Australian and we learn UK English in schools, yet US English seems to be more accepted for internet marketing. If you know UK English, the other is easy to pick up. However, it seems to be much harder for those who only know American-English to revert to the other option of more formal, stricter UK English.

    Just my two cents.
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  • Profile picture of the author spearce000
    Depends on the market you're going for. If you're going to be concentrating on the US and Canadian market, the US English is the way to go, for the rest of the English speaking world then British English would make better sense.

    There's not a lot of difference anyway : color/colour, center/centre defese/defence etc. and Americans write the date the wrong way round compared to the rest of the world. In the US, the date today is 4/23/2010 and in Britain it's 23/4/2010.
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    • Profile picture of the author ikuret75
      Originally Posted by spearce000 View Post

      There's not a lot of difference anyway : color/colour, center/centre defese/defence etc. and Americans write the date the wrong way round compared to the rest of the world. In the US, the date today is 4/23/2010 and in Britain it's 23/4/2010.
      Also, Americans don't use the metric system, you might modify the sales letter whien you show some "proof" data using the metric system, if it involeves any.
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    • Profile picture of the author Michael Oksa
      Originally Posted by spearce000 View Post

      Depends on the market you're going for. If you're going to be concentrating on the US and Canadian market, the US English is the way to go, for the rest of the English speaking world then British English would make better sense.

      There's not a lot of difference anyway : color/colour, center/centre defese/defence etc. and Americans write the date the wrong way round compared to the rest of the world. In the US, the date today is 4/23/2010 and in Britain it's 23/4/2010.
      I know your point was that we do it differently than the rest of the world, but I'd like to explain why.

      When speaking, we would say "today is April 23rd, 2010", so we just write it in that order. There are some exceptions, like certain official forms, where we write the date the "wrong" way.

      If we said, "it's 23, April, 2010", then I'm sure we'd write it in that order.

      All the best,
      Michael "I love language" Oksa
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    • Profile picture of the author Kevin Riley
      Originally Posted by spearce000 View Post

      Americans write the date the wrong way round compared to the rest of the world. In the US, the date today is 4/23/2010 and in Britain it's 23/4/2010.
      Both countries are wrong. Here, in the Land Of The Rising Sun, we write it 2010-4-23. Makes sense to go in decending order. our addresses are written the same way - start with country, province, city, ward, block, house. Kind of a focusing effect.
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      • Profile picture of the author butters
        Originally Posted by Kevin Riley View Post

        Both countries are wrong. Here, in the Land Of The Rising Sun, we write it 2010-4-23. Makes sense to go in decending order. our addresses are written the same way - start with country, province, city, ward, block, house. Kind of a focusing effect.
        That makes no sense to me It makes sense to go 23-4-2010, I always write my address, house number, street, city, county... Maybe us brits are strange.
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        • Profile picture of the author halfpoint
          Originally Posted by butters View Post

          That makes no sense to me It makes sense to go 23-4-2010, I always write my address, house number, street, city, county... Maybe us brits are strange.
          Not strange at all. That's exactly how it's done in Australia, also.
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        • Profile picture of the author Dennis Gaskill
          Originally Posted by butters View Post

          That makes no sense to me It makes sense to go 23-4-2010, I always write my address, house number, street, city, county... Maybe us brits are strange.
          Well there's no doubt about that! Mr. Bean, John Cleese, Benny Hill, Boy George...need I go on?



          (Just kidding. )
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          • Profile picture of the author Martin Avis
            I've been writing my newsletter for nearly 9 years now and learned very early on to write - as far as possible - using American spellings.

            The reason is purely practical: when I use British spellings I get a flood of emails from American readers telling me that I've made a mistake, whereas in 9 years I have only ever had one complaint from a Brit.

            At first I was stubborn and took the view that British spelling is correct and the Americans would have to get used to it.

            The problem was that they not only didn't get used to it, but that they didn't know my spellings were the correct ones for much of the rest of the world.

            I think the problem is magnified by the American education system's love of 'Spelling Bee' competitions: spelling, the American way, is drummed into people from an early age. Here in the UK we don't elevate spelling to a sport and are a bit more relaxed about it.

            Also, non Americans grow up with a diet of US TV, comics and books and so are more tolerant of our cousins' funny little spelling simplifications.

            If I write a book or report aimed squarely at the UK audience, and wanted to reinforce the message that I am British too, then I would (and do) write in UK English.

            But for everything else, writing in US English saves you from having to answer a lot of emails from irate Americans who take objection to what they see as blatent mistakes and shoddy writing.

            Oddly, I have also discovered that Americans quite like a smattering of British idiom - so long as it is in a familar spelling.

            Martin
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            • Profile picture of the author Michael Oksa
              Originally Posted by Martin.Avis View Post

              I've been writing my newsletter for nearly 9 years now and learned very early on to write - as far as possible - using American spellings.

              The reason is purely practical: when I use British spellings I get a flood of emails from American readers telling me that I've made a mistake, whereas in 9 years I have only ever had one complaint from a Brit.

              At first I was stubborn and took the view that British spelling is correct and the Americans would have to get used to it.

              The problem was that they not only didn't get used to it, but that they didn't know my spellings were the correct ones for much of the rest of the world.

              I think the problem is magnified by the American education system's love of 'Spelling Bee' competitions: spelling, the American way, is drummed into people from an early age. Here in the UK we don't elevate spelling to a sport and are a bit more relaxed about it.

              Also, non Americans grow up with a diet of US TV, comics and books and so are more tolerant of our cousins' funny little spelling simplifications.

              If I write a book or report aimed squarely at the UK audience, and wanted to reinforce the message that I am British too, then I would (and do) write in UK English.

              But for everything else, writing in US English saves you from having to answer a lot of emails from irate Americans who take objection to what they see as blatent mistakes and shoddy writing.

              Oddly, I have also discovered that Americans quite like a smattering of British idiom - so long as it is in a familar spelling.

              Martin
              I suspected as much. I don't know if it's a superiority complex, or if we think we're being helpful.

              My main observation comes from viewing replies in blogs and forums. British spellings are often "corrected", while American ones are rarely corrected (apart from true misspellings).

              @ the OP. If you'd like to go to a place where people speak more slowly, the American south tends to talk slower than the rest of the country. At least in my experience.

              ~Michael
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              • Profile picture of the author Martin Avis
                Originally Posted by Michael Oksa View Post

                I suspected as much. I don't know if it's a superiority complex, or if we think we're being helpful.
                I'm not sure it is either Michael. The feeling I get from those who complain to me is simply that they don't much like what they perceive to be sloppy writing - and are unaware, or unconcerned that other countries spell certain words differently.

                As I said, I rarely get picked up for using British idiom or grammatical constructs - it is only spelling that seems to press buttons.

                Martin
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          • Profile picture of the author butters
            Originally Posted by Dennis Gaskill View Post

            Well there's no doubt about that! Mr. Bean, John Cleese, Benny Hill, Boy George...need I go on?



            (Just kidding. )
            Mr Bean is a legend You got no talent like Mr Bean over in the states . On the other hand you do have Paris Hilton . Yeah we got a few odd people .
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      • Profile picture of the author Thomas
        Originally Posted by Kevin Riley View Post

        Both countries are wrong. Here, in the Land Of The Rising Sun, we write it 2010-4-23. Makes sense to go in decending order. our addresses are written the same way - start with country, province, city, ward, block, house. Kind of a focusing effect.
        Should I be addressing my hate mail to "Riley Kevin" then?
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  • Profile picture of the author belgianguy
    It definitely depends on your target audience. Us English is probably the best choice for general websites that get visitors from all over the world.
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  • Profile picture of the author Michael Oksa
    I say you should learn American English first. Here's the reason why:

    In general, people from the UK are much more understanding of the differences between our common language. For example, if someone from the UK sees the word "color" on a blog, they probably won't send a nasty message to the site owner telling them it's spelled "colour".

    HOWEVER, I have seen way too many examples of American English ignorance (in the best sense of the word); where someone sees the word "colour" and they post a reply to correct it.

    Neither language is better, but I truly believe you will experience less hassle if you start with American English.

    I don't know who it was, but someone once said, "The United States and England are two countries separated by a common language".

    All the best,
    Michael
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    • Profile picture of the author spearce000
      Originally Posted by Michael Oksa View Post

      I don't know who it was, but someone once said, "The United States and England are two countries separated by a common language".
      I believe it was George Bernard Shaw who coined the phrase -- although Sir Winston Churchill used it a lot.

      Point taken about the date, but it was something I found very difficult to get used to when living in America.
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      • Profile picture of the author Michael Oksa
        Originally Posted by spearce000 View Post

        I believe it was George Bernard Shaw who coined the phrase -- although Sir Winston Churchill used it a lot.

        Point taken about the date, but it was something I found very difficult to get used to when living in America.
        Thanks S,

        I'm sure it would be just as difficult for me if the situation were reversed.

        It's easy when one of the digits is greater than 12, because it then has to be the day, and not the month. It would only take a small amount of brainpower to figure out that 23/4/10 refers to April 23rd, but a date like 9/6/10 would be tricky and require you to remember what the local writing conventions are.

        ~Michael
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  • Profile picture of the author MarkAse
    Well, as a starting point there are 350M people in the United States and 61M in all of Great Britian, so for me it sounds like an easy choice.

    That being said, if we're talking about video, many American's LOVE the British accent.

    Mostly, I think it depends on who your market really is. Most educated American's and Brits understand the subtle differences in the language from across the pond.
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    • Profile picture of the author Michael Oksa
      Originally Posted by MarkAse View Post

      Well, as a starting point there are 350M people in the United States and 61M in all of Great Britian, so for me it sounds like an easy choice.

      That being said, if we're talking about video, many American's LOVE the British accent.

      Mostly, I think it depends on who your market really is. Most educated American's and Brits understand the subtle differences in the language from across the pond.
      Well, there is that, but then there's also the 1 Billion people in India who would be more likely to speak British English.

      But it's not just about the number of speakers, it's about what will do best for what the OP is asking about. In this case, I think American is the way to go, but not because of the number of people who speak it.

      All the best,
      Michael
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      • Profile picture of the author Nigel Greaves
        Originally Posted by Michael Oksa View Post

        Well, there is that, but then there's also the 1 Billion people in India who would be more likely to speak American English.

        But it's not just about the number of speakers, it's about what will do best for what the OP is asking about. In this case, I think American is the way to go, but not because of the number of people who speak it.

        All the best,
        Michael
        Michael,

        I agree with your second point, and a previous post, the best answer for I.M. is to learn American English. As you mentioned further up many Americans assume that anything other than their version is incorrect and assume that even the English can't spell their own language!

        Your first point that Indians are more likely to speak American rather than English I think would be more likely on the I.M. forums rather than in general. India, Pakistan and Bangladesh before independence were all part of the British Empire and in my experience they still retain British English as their usual form of English.

        That said, I haven't spoken to all 1 billion of them, so you could still be right

        Nigel
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        • Profile picture of the author Michael Oksa
          Originally Posted by Nigel Greaves View Post

          Michael,

          I agree with your second point, and a previous post, the best answer for I.M. is to learn American English. As you mentioned further up many Americans assume that anything other than their version is incorrect and assume that even the English can't spell their own language!

          Your first point that Indians are more likely to speak American rather than English I think would be more likely on the I.M. forums rather than in general. India, Pakistan and Bangladesh before independence were all part of the British Empire and in my experience they still retain British English as their usual form of English.

          That said, I haven't spoken to all 1 billion of them, so you could still be right

          Nigel
          OOPS!

          Nope!

          I need another cup of coffee.

          I meant they would be more like to speak British English, but my fingers didn't agree with my brain.

          Our points are exactly the same.

          I will alter my comments above, so as to avoid further confusion.

          All the best,
          Michael
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    • Profile picture of the author Elmer Hurlstone
      The differences between Br. English and Am. English are much more noticeable in the spoken language. Aside from cultural references and the British propensity to toss in an extra "u" in some words and misspell "whiskey" the differences are, for the most part, irrelevant.

      As suggested above knowledge of both forms of construction will benefit you.

      Regardless of which form you use someone will deem it incorrect.

      Use what you're currently comfortable with and refine your usage over time.

      Elmer
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      • Profile picture of the author Greycap
        Originally Posted by Elmer Hurlstone View Post

        The differences between Br. English and Am. English are much more noticeable in the spoken language. Aside from cultural references and the British propensity to toss in an extra "u" in some words and misspell "whiskey" the differences are, for the most part, irrelevant.

        As suggested above knowledge of both forms of construction will benefit you.

        Regardless of which form you use someone will deem it incorrect.

        Use what you're currently comfortable with and refine your usage over time.

        Elmer
        I say, Elmer, Old Fellow,

        We English do not misspell whisky.

        It's quite simple, when one knows how.

        "Whisky" from Scotland
        "Whiskey" From Ireland.

        Cheers,

        Ray.
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  • Profile picture of the author Sean Donahoe
    Well, I have to say that it really does not make much difference.

    I am a Scottsman living in California and I have used both my accent and my writing to my advantage in sales.

    Now, that being said my wife and I are constantly having the "Aluminum" and "Herb" discussion (there is a bloody H in herb alright!). However, the language is very similar and the subtitles are minor. Most people will focus on your accent first and automatically switch to "Translation" mode and listen with more attention to understand what you are saying no matter what version you use.

    Just 2c from a pond-hopper.

    All the best

    Sean
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  • Profile picture of the author Colin Palfrey
    Hi all,

    I think the main thing to concern yourself with, is passing on the information you need to transmit coherently. I write in proper English for some projects, but American English for others. For a few I use slang, and this works just as well.

    Does it matter? not at all.

    As to the percentage of the planet that speaks English the American way. You will in fact find that the vast majority write in original English. India for instance use the original English, as do virtually all EU countries.

    With that said, Americans seem to get very upset if they see something written in pure English. Whereas English speakers just make the corrections in their heads, and don't complain.

    If you are looking for the most successful method of communication, it is I am afraid slang. I advise you to look into personality marketing as it should open up your eyes a bit. If you sound like an English or American teacher people will just tune you out.

    If you show real enthusiasm for what you do, you will break through the anonymity of the computer screen regardless of spelling; and spelling is no barrier to personality.

    Cheers,
    Colin Palfrey
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  • Profile picture of the author Thomas
    Most English-speaking Internet users don't speak (or learn) American-English. It is only considered the de facto English-dialect in internet marketing (by people on this forum) because the majority of internet marketers (and buyers of internet marketing products) seem to be American. I say "seem" because, in truth, only the majority of marketers/buyers on this forum seem to be American; this forum is big, but it isn't the whole 'industry', nor even a tiny fraction of the whole Internet. (Nor is "internet marketing" but a tiny fraction of global commerce.)

    Though it's inaccurate, British-English tends to be used to describe the dialects of ALL speakers of English who aren't American (although, even though they are distinct dialects, it is true that all other dialects are indeed far closer to actual British-English than American-English; which is only logical, since the language came from Britain, not America). However, all dialects (including American-English) are, for the most part, mutually intelligible anyway and, barring any sudden breakdown in international communications, will probably remain so for at least several more centuries (assuming 'international English' doesn't emerge as a common global language in the meantime).

    All that notwithstanding, it does make sense to communicate with your customers in a way that is familiar to them. If I knew how to do it, I'd have site visitors redirected to different versions of my websites depending on which English-speaking country they come from, or are closest too. (It's probably technically easy, but I'm a techno-dunce ).

    Tommy.

    P.S. - Personally, I recommend learning Hiberno-English instead (which is the dialect spoken in Ireland). It's the only one that really makes sense.
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  • Profile picture of the author marcdonovan
    A good friend was born in Ireland and raised in London and when he and I converse, I can understand him 100%, once I learned the colloquialisms. Whenever he talks with his buddies from London though, it sounds like they are talking a completely different language. I only pick up about 50% and I might as well not even be in the room. They all grew up on the poor side of town and same thing happens with my friends from the 'hood, so it must be a ghetto thing.

    I do agree that a British accent is more appealing to most of us yanks. A British chap can say something totally ridiculous but it still has an air of authority. I'm not sure where we pick up that attitude, but it is prevalent here.

    I work with a lot of people in India and they definitely have their own brand of English. It is not at all like British English. I wouldn't put them in with the count of the British English speaking population.

    There are major differences in English: File:Sodavspopvscoke.png - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia in the US alone, much less in different countries.

    If you are asking about written English, that is more or less the same across the globe. Funny that it is one of the hardest languages to learn though. How did that come about? But I don't really care if you use colour or color, or aluminium vs aluminum (I lost a $20 bet over that one). The written differences are subtle as long as you stay away from colloquialisms.

    If you are talking about speech, I'd definitely vote for British. The authority is there for some reason, at least for us blokes here in the states, and that is half of the battle with IM.
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    • Profile picture of the author Mike Anthony
      Originally Posted by marcdonovan View Post


      I do agree that a British accent is more appealing to most of us yanks. A British chap can say something totally ridiculous but it still has an air of authority. I'm not sure where we pick up that attitude, but it is prevalent here.
      Literature particularly Shakespeare and film. Also because we tend to drop letters when we speak and the Brits tend to be formal (when we hear them that is. They have variants that butcher the English language pretty bad themselves).
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  • Profile picture of the author Michael Oksa
    Good points, Marc.

    I'm from one of the smaller areas in the US that uses the word bubbler. I've received some odd looks when using that in different parts of the country.

    All the best,
    Michael
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    • Profile picture of the author Kevin Riley
      The majority of my customers are from the US, but the number two spot goes to the UK. I naturally write in a mixture of British and American English (comes from too many years on Vancouver Island), with a leaning towards the British with most words. I have never received a complaint from any American customers, and have received thanks from the British.
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  • For IM purposes, go for American English since the large majority of online business comes from the US, and your customers will prefer their own local accent.
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  • Profile picture of the author Nigels
    To add my two pence...not cents dammit....there are a thousand and one more important factors in IM to consider before the minor differences between American and British English.

    That said, do think about what persona will best convince your audience, to which the answer may vary between markets.

    Nigel

    Ps really the Brits are right of course
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  • Profile picture of the author goharnett
    English humor. American English.

    unless...

    you can rap AND be unnerstood... then you can transcend language.
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    • Profile picture of the author Silas Hart
      I used to teach English in Nanjing, China. One of the guys I worked with whom was from Omaha, NE eventually moved to Shanghai to make a lot more money. It was very important that we taught American English. I hated it too, because nearly half of my time was spent developing lesson plans.
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      • Profile picture of the author lonniewa2
        Gosh guys some of your answers are so biased. If you are going to tell hime to go one way of the other give him a reason why so that he can make an intelligent answer.

        And guys do not argue with the people who just give an answer just because they are jealous or have hatred. You can tell them because they tell you to go with one for so irrational reason.

        I am American but looking at the answers above common sense should tell you which one you need to learn for your business.
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      • Profile picture of the author realworldincome
        As Sean Donahue alluded to, the uniqueness of a regional dialect might be attention grabbing in sales videos and product tutorials, helping to focus more attention on the content by those not typically hearing that dialect.

        Just think of the various "accents", such as in Cardiff, Liverpool, Edinburgh, London - or - Portland (Maine) vs. Portland (Oregon), Houston, New York City, Atlanta.

        Or English with a Indian, French, or German twist of tongue here and there.

        The diversity is welcome and perhaps made profitable by its user. This can be an attractive asset, either side of the pond.

        Fellow Americans note the increasing popularity of BBC America. People love it!

        But it is signficantly different in some ways to watching BBC One while in G.B.

        Both have their value.
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  • Profile picture of the author WyattTenG
    Wow, really thanks for all the replies! Thank you so much! I do appreciate that a lot!

    If I were to study abroad, where should I better go? US or UK? I really do need to brush up my listening and speaking skills.

    Sometimes, I really find that it's very difficult to understand a native speaker if they "speak" too fast. I'm not a native speaker, I do not know some "idiom/phrasal verbs" like far-fetched, jump down someone's throat, etc.

    The problem for me is I do not have a solid English background as I can't really "speak" English everyday. My 1st language is Chinese, so it's really very difficult to make myself a good English-speaking environment.. ( almost impossible )

    My reading and writing skills are still considered ok, but not my speaking and listening skills for sure.

    Where do you guys recommend if I were to study abroad? US or UK?

    Hope some senior warriors here could shed me some light and put me on a right track.

    Thanks once again, love you guys

    Really thanks!
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    • Profile picture of the author glassextreme
      Originally Posted by WyattTenG View Post

      Wow, really thanks for all the replies! Thank you so much! I do appreciate that a lot!

      If I were to study abroad, where should I better go? US or UK? I really do need to brush up my listening and speaking skills.

      Sometimes, I really find that it's very difficult to understand a native speaker if they "speak" too fast. I'm not a native speaker, I do not know some "idiom/phrasal verbs" like far-fetched, jump down someone's throat, etc.

      The problem for me is I do not have a solid English background as I can't really "speak" English everyday. My 1st language is Chinese, so it's really very difficult to make myself a good English-speaking environment.. ( almost impossible )

      My reading and writing skills are still considered ok, but not my speaking and listening skills for sure.

      Where do you guys recommend if I were to study abroad? US or UK?

      Hope some senior warriors here could shed me some light and put me on a right track.

      Thanks once again, love you guys

      Really thanks!
      There are lots of books on idioms and phrasal verbs. Doesn't matter which country you go to. There are good and bad universities everywhere.
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  • Profile picture of the author GuerrillaIM
    I think you should talk in cockney rhymng slang me.
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    • Profile picture of the author spearce000
      Originally Posted by GuerrillaIM View Post

      I think you should talk in cockney rhymng slang me.
      Yep, that will really win them over . That said, I'm just going to pop down the apples and pears for a cup of rosie lee .
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  • Profile picture of the author Dennis Pippin
    I associate with a few British marketers and they seem to use the American English when they are promoting. So saying this I would go with American English.
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  • Profile picture of the author J Bold
    I really do not think it matters. We can say, "Oh, learn American English because your target market will be mostly in the U.S." But does it really matter? There are plenty of British marketers who market to the American market and do absolutely fine. Who cares? May be good to be aware of different spellings of both languages and then choose American spellings for IM if you want, but it probably doesn't matter. Most people are probably just guessing, without any real proof that writing copy in British English would harm your sales much, if at all. It's all about testing for yourself, and learning English in the UK or US would make little difference for your IM career. Like I said, if there verifiable proof that using American English copy would increase sales, it's a simple matter to change spellings. The languages are largely the same.
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  • Profile picture of the author Audrey Harvey
    I live in Australia, and we use British English, but I write all my content in US English, it seems to be that's what is expected online.

    It becomes a habit though, I go to work and write up my case files in American English, and always cop flak from my workmates. :-)
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  • Profile picture of the author Dave d
    Now my friend would which British English would you like to learn perhaps Mancunian Manchester dialect - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia where they will almost always never use the "The". eg Im going to the office - in Mancunian Im going t' office. Strange I know.

    Or perhaps some Liverpudlian otherwise known as scouse Scouse - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    and then there is the most famous of all which is Cockney Rhyming slang - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia very easy to learn just watch a famous British filim called Lock Stock & Two Smoking Barrels. Probably best not watch this in the presence of minors though.
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  • Go for American English first and then learn some British English if you want to benefit both worlds.
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  • Profile picture of the author TheGreyling
    I don't think which country matters as much as what you want to study and where in the world that subject is taught best - and of course, which university you can get into. There's going to be more choice in the US just because it's a far bigger country and therefore will have far more colleges. As an overseas student here, I don't know how easy it would be to get in to certain subjects. It's quite a complicated area and I think you would need to make some enquiries as to entry conditions etc. before you could even begin to decide which would be best.

    Just my thoughts.
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  • Profile picture of the author duia
    In my eyes, American Englishmay be a better choice.
    American English is more popular because U.S is the biggest developed country all over the world, so, it is obvious that American English is the standard of all kinds of English languages.
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  • Profile picture of the author Zabrina
    WyattTenG, I'm going to recommend Canada, and not just because it's my country. You can learn either type of English easily, since we speak a blend of both, and once you know the basics, it's easy to look up the differences and change your writing style accordingly. I can write in either dialect with no problems.

    Also, Canada's full of friendly people, and I live here.
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  • Profile picture of the author E. Brian Rose
    There are far more American customers in this niche than anywhere else. Go with American English.
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  • Profile picture of the author Mohammad Afaq
    It really doesn't matter. I have bought hundreds of products from both American and British marketers and it really doesn't matter what kind of english you speak.
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    • Profile picture of the author Alan Cheng
      Depends on what you're writing.

      If I write an article for a client that's targeted to the U.S, then I would write in American English. ie. color, gas, pants...instead of colour, petrol and trousers.

      But for writing in general, it doesn't matter. I'm sure Harry Potter sold quite a few copies in the States without any translation.
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  • Profile picture of the author J. Scott Systems
    Hey if you have great offer, on something I want/need, a solid product, stand behind what you sell and can actually be reached at your contact info, I would buy.

    I didn't catch where you are from, but the fact that you took the time, and care enough to learn English, Brit or US gets a thumbs up from me.

    Another internet marketer I know told me that somewhere close to 85% of the internet is NOT in English!

    Now I ask the people on this thread, who here that doesn't already know... say Chinese would put forth the effort and have the daily discipline to learn Chinese so they could start learning internet marketing?

    Can't say I would.... hell it took me 4 times just to spell Chinese!
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  • Profile picture of the author samstephens
    I go with Australian English, which is pretty much British English. I'm Australian, so I might as well speak the language.

    I think the difference in language from different countries is what makes internet business interesting. Why conform to a standard? Why not keep out little nuances and keep things interesting?

    Take British English, for example. I learn most of mine from the TV show Topgear. And now I've always wanted to use the term "dog's bollocks" in conversation, but never had the chance.

    I'm thinking of using it as a DLGuard promo for the next version -

    DLGuard: The Dog's Bollocks

    Catchy, huh?

    It's our differences that make things interesting!

    cheers
    Sam
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    • Profile picture of the author J. Scott Systems
      Originally Posted by samstephens View Post

      Take British English, for example. I learn most of mine from the TV show Topgear. And now I've always wanted to use the term "dog's bollocks" in conversation, but never had the chance.

      It's our differences that make things interesting!


      cheers
      Sam
      Sam,

      Your dead on about "It's our differences that make things interesting!"

      I catch myself reading w/ a British accent (if that is even possiable) when I'm reading say...Jeremy Clarkson's blog!
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      • Profile picture of the author samstephens
        Originally Posted by J. Scott Systems View Post

        Sam,

        Your dead on about "It's our differences that make things interesting!"

        I catch myself reading w/ a British accent (if that is even possiable) when I'm reading say...Jeremy Clarkson's blog!
        Haha, yeah don't think it'd be possible to read any of Jeremy Clarkson's books or blog without imagining him narrating it to you in that accent and emphasis.

        "A monumental effort for our squeeze page. Now we'll hand it over to our team split tester. We call him The Stig."
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  • Profile picture of the author thobbs31
    Easy...

    The written word, US English.

    The spoken word, UK English.
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  • Profile picture of the author kiran.limo
    If you are going for internet marketing, go with the American English
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  • Profile picture of the author badboy_Nick
    if you are targeting the US Market, go with American English.

    If you are targeting the UK, go with "proper" British

    Nick
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  • Profile picture of the author Jamian
    It would be depend on your targeted region and targeted neche? About learning on broad spectrum you should start listening audiobooks! In your case it would be Internet Marketing Audiobooks. Good Luck!

    Jamian.
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  • Profile picture of the author Kitty Samuels
    You are going to be well understood no matter which one you master, assuming you master it. I do not think it sets you apart (as someone that speaks English poorly) when you use American cant vs. English cant. What really comes across as marking someone as a foreigner is the poor use of English -- i.e. bad grammar, bad spelling, strange sentence construction, poor use of tense, etc.

    That being said, not all people who have English as their first language are able to write text without mistakes! However, there are certain mistakes that come across as ones that a native-speaker would make, and yet other mistakes that typically only non-native speakers make.

    Anyway - if you wish to have me take a look at any text you have, I would be happy to do some editing, just to give you some pointers on what to correct. Just send me a private message if you like.
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