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English Language and British English Essay

Language is a social-cultural-geographical phenomenon. There is a deep relationship between language, culture and society. When we study a language, we have to study its dialects, register, slang, taboo, idiolects, etc. We can find the role of language and culture in The Parent Trap movie. The movie tells us about the differences culture of 2 girls who live in London and California. They were separated when they are baby. It was because their parents divorce. One of the differences is on the way they speak and pronounce the words. There are some different vocabularies of American English and British English, but actually they have the same meaning.

That’s way, if we learn a language, we have to learn the culture too, in order we can understand the meaning of certain expression or what they mean. There are some different expressions of American English and British English I found in The Parent Trap movie. It is based on word variation ( pronunciation, grammar, accent, spelling, and lexis and idioms ). They are some different expressions which i found in the movie. Split up – divorce, mum – mother, dad – father, totally – completely, I gave you a fright – you scared me, doin – doing, talking- talkin, daughter (ˈdɔːtə(r) in British English and ˈdɔːtər in American English), you gave me a fright – you scared me, oh my god ( /ɡɑd/ in American English and /ɡɒd/ in British english ).


The Parent Trap is a 1998 movie. It was directed and co-written by Nancy Meyers, and produced and co-written by Charles Shyer. It stars Dennis Quaid and Natasha Richardson as a couple who divorce soon after marrying, and Lindsay Lohan in a dual role as their twin daughters. This movie is very interesting, because there are some events that make us want to know more about the movie. First thing that we can learn from the movie is the differences between American English and British English.

There are some differences in English. 1. British English and American English have different pronunciation of some words. The difference lies either in using different vowel sounds or by stressing the word in a different place. 2. Word choice is also one different aspect between British English and American English. 3. Spelling in British English and American English also different. There are a number of differences between British and American spelling. There are several areas in which British and American spelling are different. Words ending in –re ( centre-center ), words ending in –our ( colour-color ), and words ending in –ize or –ise ( recognize-recognise ), etc. 4. Lexis and idioms. American and British also have different expressions or sentences to mean the same thing.

There are the analysis of The Parent Trap movie

1. Divorce vs Split up

The first different expression that I found is divorce. Annie prefer said divorce to mean when a marriage is ended by an official or legal process. It means British English uses divorce to means that. But American English prefer uses split up to divorce. You can see in the movie. Annie said ‘ …. but my parents divorced years ago’. And Hallie said ‘ …. she and my Dad split up when I was baby ‘. Those different expressions have the same meaning. They mean their parents were separated a years ago. 2. Mum vs Mom

The second analysis is the different word they use as mom and mum. a mummy. a mum is related to mummy. A mom is related to mother. mom is a famous word but in America they call their mother “mom”. The O and U are what’s causing all this mess. So, the spelling is different. But the meaning is the same. You can see in the movie. Annie as using British English often say mum rather than mom as in her expression ‘ You’ve never seen your Mum’. But Hallie says Mom to mean a female parent as in her expression ‘ This. It’s a picture of my mom’.

3. Father vs Dad

The word ‘father’ in British English means male parent. Actually, it is the same with the word ‘dad’ in America. They have the same purpose but in different word. There are the expressions that show this different word, but actually they have the same meaning. ‘That’s my Dad’ is Hallie’s expression. It shows that American English use the word ‘Dad’ to mean a male parent in their daily life. And I don’t have a father, actually ‘ is Annie’s expression. It shows that British English use the word ‘ Father ’ to mean a male parent in their daily life

4. Realise vs realize

Verbs in British English that can be spelled with either ” -ize ” or “-ise” at the end are always spelled with -ize in American English. UK English uses an –s where American English often substitutes a -z. As in the Movie Annie said realise with –ise because of British English. Actually, they are true. The meaning is perceive (an idea or situation) mentally.

5. Recognise vs recognize

It is also occured in the words recognise vs recognize. The meaning is the same to show approval or appreciation of. But the problem is in the spelling in –ise and -ize. As I told you before. For the word recognise, it is used in British English. Because American English often uses a -z.

6. Talkin vs talking

Actually talkin and talking are the same. The difference is in the spelling. British English prefer uses talking to talkin. The meaning is the same to articulate (words). This word is include register too. Register is a variety of language defined according to its use in a social situation. Talkin include formal technical.

7. Doin vs doing

It also happens in the word doin and doing. The problem is the same. The difference in the spelling. The meaning is still same to perform or execute. American say that because of the habbit. They say doin very much without thinking. Doing is likely more formal than doing.

8. Daughter

The difference of daughter in American English and British English is in pronunciation. The pronunciation of daughter in American English is {ˈdɔːtər}. But in British English is {ˈdɔːtə(r)} . Actually the meaning is the same as one’s female child.

9. Oh, my god

The definition of god is A being conceived as the perfect, omnipotent, omniscient originator and ruler of the universe, the principal object of faith and worship in monotheistic religions. The same thing happens in the expressions ‘oh, my god’. American english prefer say god with {/ɡɑd/ } to mean that. But British english says {/ɡɒd/} rather than {/ɡɑd/}. Now, you can choose whether you like to say god {/ɡɑd/ } or god {/ɡɒd/}. You can suit it with your environment. If your environment uses American English very much, you can use god {/ɡɑd/ }.

10. You gave me a fright vs you scared me

‘You gave me a fright’ is the expression that mean someone become frightened. But this expression only used by British English. American English has different expression to mean someone become frightened. American English often uses ‘ You scared me ‘. This event shows that British English is not only different in pronounciation and spelling from American English, but also idioms is the other difference. Those British English and American English are right. The problem is only on the way they show the expressions in a sentence.

11. Lovely girl

For British English the expression of ‘ lovely girl ‘ means a kind girl we know. She almost like a sister because her kind. This expressions is to show that we are happy having a good friend. Actually it is strange to American people to say ‘ lovely girl ‘. But Britain often say ‘ lovely girl’.

12. Completely vs totally

The next expressions is completely vs totally. Completely is used in British English. the meaning is to a complete degree or to the full or entire extent. Totally is used in American English. the meaning is to a complete degree or to the full or entire extent.


The conclusion is it doesn’t matter to use those different expressions as long as suitable with your environment. Actually, the meaning of those expressions are the same.

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