Context: in university, some students transfer from one study programme to another. A manual has been written for them. Is it more natural to call it a "transfer manual" or a "transferral manual"? What is the difference between these terms anyway? Is "transferral" the UK spelling?

  • Transferral is defined in the Oxford Dictionaries as "The action of transferring someone or something." There is no U.S. or U.K. variant. "Transfer manual" is probably the more natural on either side of the pond, unless the writer is somehow compelled to add a syllable. On spelling, lexicographers are apparently undecided on this one, but neither spelling seems to be associated with a specific country. Aug 29, 2016 at 20:40

2 Answers 2


You can use either one.

The normal usage in the US is:

The students are called "transfer students".

Jim is a transfer student; he was studying engineering last year but he switched to the geology department this semester.

The process, in the abstract, is called "transferral"

The university has implemented a new transferral process: you no longer need the permission of the Dean of Engineering if you are transferring from chemical engineering to chemistry.

The manual could be called any number of things: "transfer manual", "transferral manual", "guide to academic transfers", etc.


Transferral ( mass noun) Pronunciation: /ˌtransˈfəːr(ə)l/

"The action of transferring someone or something": ‘the transferral of ownership in the form of a takeover'.

There is no U.S. or U.K variant.

  • It should have occured to me that this has happened more than once. Whether either spelling is a variant depends upon which dictionary we revere. The OED's free outlet returns nothing at all for transferal and the American Heritage dictionary returns nothing at all for transferral. Dictionary.com gives pride of place to the single "r," while the Collins dictionary cleverly returns the entry for transferral on searches for transferal, without comment. Aug 29, 2016 at 20:11
  • What OED source refers to transferral as the "UK spelling?" Please add a link to your answer. The only OED source I can find doesn't mention the U.K., and returns no result at all for transferal under "U.S. English." Aug 29, 2016 at 20:34
  • I stand corrected. I have re-checked the online link, that I consulted, is not so authentic. Therefore, I am editing my previous post about " transferral".
    – user40875
    Aug 29, 2016 at 22:56
  • According to dictionary.com/browse/transfer?s=t "transfer" can also be used as a noun meaning "an act of transferring". Therefore this answer does not really answer my question. Is it simply the case that "transferral" emphasises the noun aspect?
    – AmberV
    Aug 30, 2016 at 8:39

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