English is spoken widely around the world and has many distinct dialects and accents. Given the status of English as the principal language of several of the world’s largest economies, including the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, and Australia, and as a lingua franca of many other countries, it is important to recognize the differences between national varieties (e.g., American vs. British English) and between subvarieties of these major dialects. An understanding of these differences becomes especially relevant in areas such as global commerce and communications, science and medicine, education, humanitarian initiatives, international military coalitions, and indeed any domain in which translation and interpreting from, into, and among varieties of English is necessary. This entry provides an overview of the prevalence and history ...

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