One of my problems in using English is I don't know well which variety of English I should choose in written speech. I know there are at least two: British English and American English. They do have some differences, e. g. you spell the words as centre and colour in BrE, but center and color in AmE. There are also certain differences in pronunciation, grammar rules and so on. My question is: what variety or dialect is used in English-speaking countries other than the United Kingdom and the United States? Examples: Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Ghana or Nigeria etc.
Or imagine if two people communicate in English, but none of them has English as his native language. E. g. one person is Russian and another is Greek. What variety or dialect of English would be appropriate for them to use?

  • 3
    You will find that English speakers in different countries have sufficient grasp of the basics of the language to understand anything expressed clearly and simply. The only rule is to be consistent; try to stick with either American or British spelling. Mar 15, 2017 at 11:15
  • Honestly, I wouldn't sweat it myself (an Americanism :D). What I mean is, I had upvoted Ronald Sole's comment because I agree with him to an extent, but please note that even we ourselves as Americans are not consistent in our own use of American English :D. See here and here. And, of course, as the articles mention, there are lots of Americanisms in British English as well. Mar 15, 2017 at 11:39
  • At least things like "centre/center" and "colour/color" will be easy to understand for any English speaker. However, you will find that Canadian English is not UK or US English, Australian is something else, and so on. I find that Commonwealth countries have some commonality with each other, but there is diversity as well. That said, different versions of English are almost always mutually intelligible.
    – Deolater
    Mar 15, 2017 at 12:42
  • As has already been said, all versions of English are mutually intelligible with a few spelling differences and a few idiomatic differences which can usually be understood from their context. Choose one and be consistent.
    – Chris M
    Mar 15, 2017 at 16:31

1 Answer 1


Outside the US and UK English is still English.
Some countries, such as India, have developed certain local vocabulary and usages over centuries, but, nonetheless, English is English.
Read some of the Hindustan Times and discover it is little different from other English Language newspapers. The names, situations and issues may be different from those in London or New York, but the language is English.

Rather than be concerned about small grammar or spelling issues between US and UK English, one would best worry that the English written conforms to general usages. Reading English Language newspapers from other countries (ignoring the usually badly written headlines) will give a very good idea of what is common usage in English around the world.

Differences in written English worldwide are often far overstated. Spoken English is an issue, as people born and raised close by each other will sometimes have some understanding problems between them with the spoken language.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .