American English or British English: Does it Matter?

What is your English type? American English or British English. People often consider them the same but the reality is they both are different from each other in many ways. Let’s find out how?

While American tourists travelling to the UK may feel relief because of no language barrier, But still there is a huge difference between British English and American English that DOES matter for translators and business owners to know.

A meaningful conversation in English can be easy when you understand the differences and keep them in your mind.

Let’s learn about those differences.

Differences Between American English and British English

Here are a couple of things to remember when you want to translate from US English to UK English, and vice versa.

1- Grammatical Differences

This is the major one. Localization in the UK needs your attention to the grammatical differences, such as:

Verb Tense: The use of ‘will’ and ‘shall’ differs a lot in American and British English. Like:

In American: I will be there tomorrow.

In British: I shall be there tomorrow.

There are lot more differences and that’s the reason why learning English is hard to understand.

2- Politeness

British English probably avoid directness and bluntness. Due to this, Brits in the US often sound hesitant as they don’t prefer to speak precisely what they mean.

On the other hand, Americans in the United Kingdom are sometimes considered rude because of their directness.

3- English Spelling

There are a lot of spelling differences. If you utilize American spelling for your British content, your readers might think there may be a typing mistake.

Understanding correct spelling is important for search engine optimization (SEO), specifically in your marketing campaigns.

Here are some examples of British spelling conventions:

Use -ise instead of -ize:

• Realise
• Organise

Use -our instead of -or:

• Colour
• Flavour

When you are conducting different kinds of English translation, ensure that you have knowledge about both the English type.

4- Strange Sounds

British English includes a plethora of words as well as phrases that might sound quite weird to American ears.

Here are some examples of British words along with their American equivalents.

• holidays (vacations)
• university (college)
• torch (flashlight)
• lift (elevator)

5- Idioms

UK English has quite interesting expressions.

To make your content sound more authentically British, you’ll have to adjust your vernacular.

At times, it’s only just a matter of swapping out a single word or two.

For example:

• For donkey’s years (for a really long time)
• On the blink (it’s failing)

If you need urgent German to English Translation, do ask your client whether they want translation into British English or American English.

6- Business Terms

When running a business, British English speakers use phrases like “I believe,” “Maybe,” or “Perhaps,” while communicating to avoid sounding demanding.

Whereas in the US working environment, this way of phrasing could be considered weak, and a similar message will be received more as a thought than a demand.

Here is an example of common terms that sound a little different in UK English:

You don’t purchase a custom-made suit; you get it bespoke.

7- Food-Based Words

If your business comes under the food industry, here are the differences between the way the two English languages that you must know.


• French fries are referred to as chips in British, whereas American chips are known as crisps.

• In American English, tea means a cup of tea, whereas in British English, tea refers to the Afternoon Tea

When thinking of accurate translation for food labels, do keep this type of difference in your mind.

8- Clothing Terms

US businesses in the clothing industry can face trouble in certain words when marketing in the UK.

Here are some examples:

• In the US it’s called a sweater, whereas in the UK it’s called a jumper.
• In the US, a pinafore is known as an apron.

9- Transportation Terms

In the US, a trolley is transportation more for a group of people. But in the UK, it simply transports food – it’s a type of large tray on wheels.

Several transportation terms even don’t have a few names in the UK as in the US.


• An American sedan is considered a British “saloon.”
• US gasoline is known as “petrol” in Britain.
• A highway in the USA is known as “motorway” in Britain

10- Other Factors

The essential marketing Localization in the UK needs great attention to other cultural differences. This involves taxes, laws, currency, postal addresses, and a lot more.

Let’s have a look at these British terms:

• postcode (zip code)
• surname (last name)
• flat (apartment)

In Conclusion

There are enormous differences between the British and American forms of English. Although you could easily translate your American content into British, however, you might miss cultural nuances and make a lot of errors.

To ensure you get good results, hire a professional translator from a proficient translation agency in Pune to ensure the translation between two types of English seems relevant and culturally perfect.

Want to hire an expert for translation? Connect with us at +91-8527599523 or simply request an instant quote.

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