When you start to learn a language you also need to select an accent, because you’ll be learning that kind of pronunciation.
There are many English varieties, but the most accepted are the American and British pronunciation, I could also mention other varieties like the Australian or Aussie , Canadian, New Zealand or Kiwi, etc
Around the world people learn whether the American English or British English.
It’s kind of interesting, but I met some people from South America and China who speak some kind of hybrid English, a mix of British pronunciation and American vocabulary.
The American and British pronunciation
When you start learning English you receive classes about pronunciation, if your school teaches the American pronunciation means General American pronunciation. This is the one used by educated Americans, on TV and on radio. As you know the USA have many states and in every region people speak different, however the General American pronunciation is standard.
If you learned the British pronunciation, then you are familiar with the Received Pronunciation (RP). RP was the one spoken by the upper class the last century, it is sometimes called the Queen’s English, but today nobody speaks like that in England, but people around the world understand it. Nowadays the most popular accent in the UK is the Estuary English spoken in South East England by the middle class.
What kind of accent should you pick up?
This is a personal decision, but there are some points that you should take into account.
Whether you learn the American or British pronunciation, you’ll be understood around the world.
-As you know the United States of America is a big country with a population nearly to 300 millions. If we compare it with the United Kingdom population of 60 millions, you’ll notice a wide difference. The most spoken English variety around the world is the American.
-The British English is considered the English of the educated people.
-The American English has a better choice of movies, TV shows, music, video games, etc.
-Although the Americans dominate the media, there are still plenty of TV shows and movies with British pronunciation that you can watch, for example: Harry Potter, Sherlock, The Lord of the rings, etc.
– The internet has more American English content, for example: YouTube, podcasts, etc.
-You can meet more Americans than British, since America has more English speakers.
These are just some important facts; however, it’s all up to you.
Please take notice of the differences, because sometimes the pronunciation changes and you don’t want to be misunderstood.
Some people mix both varieties. I prefer the American English, and I try not to mix it.
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