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.

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  • 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 Jun 29 at 20:09
up vote 2 down vote accepted

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.)

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