English is not my native language - I've learned it since I was a kid at school. I thought I know it quite well until I've tried to watch British videos and listen to native British speakers. Since then British way of speaking became a subject of slight fascination to me, and so I ask - can you name some good resources that almost fully (!) cover differences between different kinds of English, that teach you specifically British/Canadian/Australian English (pronounciation/words/phrases/slang etc.), assuming that you have some background in English? Resources that cover to some degree history of British English language are welcomed as well.

Addendum: The title might be confusing, "American" part specifically - I've written my question like this because I think (and some English teachers here also say so) that the kind of English that I know and see everyday on the Internet/media is the most popular kind - American English.

  • I think this question has not received much interest because it is simply too broad, to the point where such a list would overlap with our main list ofgeneral references, which includes some dictionaries of regionalisms, pronunciation, and slang.
    – choster
    Commented Jun 29, 2018 at 20:09
  • @choster I answered this a long time ago, but disagree with your comment. The question is badly posed as many people do not understand the language learning process itself. For these regional differences, there is no single resource per se that works. Learners learn the varieties of English (including sub-varieties) through overall exposure in all its forms. And have to do the "work" themselves.
    – Lambie
    Commented Jun 16, 2019 at 15:07
  • 'The most popular kind' is quite a claim. Most speakers of English live in the Indian subcontinent, I believe, and the form/s of English many of them use are lumped here under the 'Indian English' tag. Commented May 6, 2020 at 11:35

1 Answer 1


Learning varieties of English.

There are only three ways I know to expand one's knowledge of English variants: Visit those countries for at least three months and keep your ears and eyes open, read books by authors from those countries or watch movies and TV shows from them.

This is how interpreters do it. English has much more in common across most varieties than it has differences. For example, keep a pen and notebook handy when reading, travelling or when watching media, and jot down expressions and usage.

As an American English speaker, I pay very close attention when watching Australian movies/shows and have managed to gather quite a lot of useful information. For instance, the Australians use "G'day" or "good day" quite a lot, and, refer to journalists as journos. They also call 4x4 that are open at the rear, utes. So now I'm ready to interpret from Aussie English to French! (Joke).

Perhaps the OP meant he or she has been learning English since he or she was a kid at school. Presumably this process is ongoing, whence my use of PP continuous to mention this.

The internet has tons of sites about Australian English and just about every other type as well. However, if you really want the best dictionary resource, treat yourself to a subscription to the Oxford English Dictionary (not the learners' one, the real one). There is simply nothing else as exhaustive as it anywhere. (I know we are not supposed to tout products here but really the OED is an institution.)

  • It's only in 5th place by one measure [Wikipedia]. Commented May 4, 2020 at 18:17
  • @EdwinAshworth Your comment makes no sense at all. And that wikipedia thing is about dictionaries. The question is not about dictionaries.
    – Lambie
    Commented May 4, 2020 at 19:20
  • Comments under answers address answers. // The Wikipedia article states that some English dictionaries have far more headwords than OED. That is only a crude measure, and doubtless attests partly to the scrupulous safeguards in place at OED, but surely also speaks of a relative slowness to respond to new usages. Commented May 5, 2020 at 16:47
  • @EdwinAshworth Not the point.
    – Lambie
    Commented May 5, 2020 at 20:19

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