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English around the world

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Like American English, English in Australia, New Zealand and South Africa has evolved such that they are distinct from British English. However, cultural and political ties have meant that until relatively recently British English has acted as the benchmark for representing ‘standardised’ English — spelling tends to adhere to British English conventions, for instance. Elsewhere in Africa and on the Indian subcontinent, English is still used as an official language in several countries, even though these countries are independent of British rule. However, English remains very much a second language for most people, used in administration, education and government and as a means of communicating between speakers of diverse languages. As with most of the Commonwealth, British English is the model on which, for instance, Indian English or Nigerian English is based. In the Caribbean and especially in Canada, however, historical links with the UK compete with geographical, cultural and economic ties with the USA, so that some aspects of the local varieties of English follow British norms and others reflect US usage.

(British library, http://www.bl.uk/learning/langlit/sounds/case-studies/minority-ethnic)


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