There are many differences between the Americans and the British lifestyle. One of the most remarkable (bemerkenswert) differences between the Americans and the British culture is the language. Although the language spoken in both countries is the same, that is English, but both countries have different pronunciations and spellings. The American accent is much more different from the British accent. Such differences are due to the differences in the pronunciation of vowels (Vokale), The American English use the ‘z’ while the British English more use the ‘s’. For example, “organisation” is in British English, the American English spells it as “Organization”. It is also evident (offensichtlich) that the American language use more slang language than the British English. American English is spoken in the USA, Canada and many Pacific Island countries where America has exerted an influence.
British English is spoken throughout the British Commonwealth of 54 countries, some of the most notable being the United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa, with Canada being the exception. Although part of the Commonwealth, Canadians tend to speak a mixture of American and British English due to that country’s proximity to the USA (although they spell the British way). The second notable (auch “bemerkenswert”) difference between the American and British is in terms of lifestyle. It means that there are many differences in various activities, sports, laws, differences in drinking and eating habitats and music favour. For instance, the most preferred sporting activity in America is football and hockey, while the British prefer soccer and Rugby. The most watched league in Britain is the English premier league (EPL), while the National Football League (NFL) is the most watched league in the United States.
Differences in lifestyle are also in the driving practices. For example, the Americans drive right and are allowed to get the driving licence at the age of 16. On the other hand, the British drive left and they are allowed to make their driving licence at the age of 18. Other differences are in terms of the legality. The Americans legal drinking age is 21 while the British legal drinking age is 18. Americans also prefer driving automatic cars, while their British prefer driving manual cars. Lifestyle differences are exist in terms of music preferences. The British like the pop culture more than their American do. The Americans like more R&B and HipHop music. The third notable difference between the Americans and the British lifestyle is in terms of personality. The Americans are more polite when they are greeting everyone.
Americans say phrases like “hi, how is your day”. The British on the other hand is more reserved. The British prefer personal space and prefers silence rather than conversation. The Americans on the other hand prefer public space and can initiate a conversation with any stranger they meet on the bus stations, trains and other places where different people meet. Americans are very friendly. They will talk to strangers in a store, laugh with someone at a bar, and help their neighbours, but many people who visited the USA had reported that the friendliness is only on the surface. Americans are a little bit more concerned for issues affecting their daily lives such as gas prices, events such as 9/11 and the increasing inflation. Their British counterparts on the other hand show little concern for such like matters, in fact, the British is more concerned with issues revolving their personal lives such as families and workplaces.
In the UK, medical treatment is free under the National Health Service and is available for all UK citizens, as well as fellow European Union citizens and legal immigrants who reside in the UK. Free medical treatment is available for people whether they work or are unemployed. In America medical treatment is free for all, which can come as a huge shock to the British who have been so used to receiving free medical treatment at home.
The United States has a very diverse landscape. It also has more than one time zone, while the UK just has one that is observed throughout the country. In the UK, there is less variation in climate throughout the year, unless you compare Scotland with southern England or Wales. The north is usually cooler than the southern part of the UK and it is more sparsely populated than the rest of the country.
Similarities between the British and Americans
One of the most notable similarities between the American and British is that they both speak English. The language is mostly similar. The American people share a lot with the British people since the formation of the American government is similar to the common law of the British.
The English weather:
The English weather will give you some surprises. The worst thing about the English weather is its way of changing suddenly. When you o out in the morning it may be warm and bright and there may not be a cloud in the sky, but by sundown it may have become cold and wet. ln England you see the sun only a third of the time it is in the sky.All the rest of the time its face is covered by mist or clouds.
The English cooking:
Cooking is not the strong point of the English people, so if you are a lover of good food, you will not have a high opinion of the English meals. The reason for the awful taste is that they cook generally in an uninteresting way and they often cover their food with a thick brown dressing or a disgusting sticky white paste, which takes away its delicate taste.
The English pub:
The average pub is divided into a Public Bar, where people drink their beer standing at the bar or sitting on rough wooden benches, and a Saloon Bar, where the furniture is more comfortable, people are better dressed, and drinks are slightly more expensive. Pubs are open only during “permitted hours” , i. e. in Central London mostly from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. and from 5.30 p.m. to 11 p.m.
The English freedom:
The Britons have done everything possible to make theirs free country. ln England, everyone is free to put forward his opinions, even opinions which would be a danger to society if your acts were guided by them. The most famous place to speak out your opinion is Speakers-Corner at Hyde Park.
The English order:
In England the men are great respectors of law and order. There is less violent crime than in most other countries. The policemen are good humoured and ready to give help to anyone in trouble. The relations between the police and the public are very good.
London is the capital of the United Kingdom and one of the world’s oldest and largest cities. It is Great Britain’s economic, cultural and political centre. Its sights attract millions of tourists every year.
London lies on the River Thames, about 50 km from the North Sea. The river has influenced London for many centuries.
London is divided into three main sections:
1. The City is London’s financial district and the oldest part of the capital. It is very small, with a size of only one square mile. Although only a few thousand people live there, hundreds of thousands drive into the City every day to work in the big office buildings of large banks and other institutions. 2. The West End includes London’s government district Westminster as well as the famous shopping streets around Piccadilly Circus and Trafalgar Square. The city’s famous cinemas, theatres and bars are located in the West End. Most of London’s tourist attractions are concentrated here. 3. The South Bank is the area south of the Thames River. It is a cultural district with many concert halls, museums, theatres and galleries.
London became one of the first megacities in the world. Since the end of World War II, the population of the city has begun to decrease because many people have been moving to the suburbs and new towns outside of London. London is a multicultural city. In the 19th century thousands of people began pouring into London as a result of the Industrial Revolution. At the beginning of the 20th century immigrants from other European countries came. In the 1950s and 60s people from Britain’s colonies came to London. Indians, Pakistanis and West Indians are a common sight in the city today. About 25 % of London’s population are immigrants or the children of immigrants.
London has a 2000 year old history. In the first century A.D. the Romans came to Great Britain and founded a settlement near the mouth of the River Thames. They called it Londinium. After they left London about four hundred years later the Saxons, a Germanic tribe, settled in the area. In the centuries that followed, the Vikings repeatedly attacked the city.
When William the Conqueror invaded Britain in 1066 London was already the biggest town on the island. William made the city its capital and crowned himself king in Westminster Abbey on Christmas Day. He also built the Tower of London to protect the city from invaders.
During the Middle Ages London grew steadily. It became one of Europe’s trading centres and its population grew to about 200,000 by the beginning of the 17th century. The Great Plague of 1665 killed about a fourth of the city’s population. A year later the Great Fire burned down most of the older part of the city. After this tragedy the city was rebuilt with houses made of stone and brick instead of wood.
At the beginning of the Industrial Revolution almost a million people lived in London. It was the largest city in the world and the centre of the British Empire, which, at that time was growing at a rapid pace.
As more and more people moved to the city from the countryside London needed more and better transportation systems. In 1863 it became the first city in the world to start an underground railway system.
During the Second World War Nazi Germany bombed London heavily. 30,000 people were killed. The rebuilding of the city after World War II caused many problems. City planners did not want London to grow endlessly in all directions. A green belt was created around the city to stop its expansion.
In the second half of the 20th century London faced many problems that other megacities also have: air pollution, traffic jams and unemployment.
Economy and Tourism
London is the UK’s main economic and financial centre. It is the centre of trade and banking. Factories around the city produce all kinds of consumer goods – from clothes and electronic products to food and chemicals. Trading companies were founded along the Thames river at a time when Great Britain was still the biggest colonial power in the world. Docks and wharfs in eastern London became the centre of world trade. New container terminals were built in the 60s, in order to handle the larger cargo ships that come to London. London is Europe’s most important banking and financial centre. Almost all of the world’s large banks have regional headquarters in London. The Bank of England, located in the City of London, controls the country’s money supply and is responsible for the value of the British pound sterling.
Tourism is an important economic factor for the city. Every year millions of people from all over the world come to London to see the city’s well-known sights. Pupils and students from all over the world come here to learn English or to take language courses. Over 200 000 Londoners work in tourist related industries.
As Europe’s gateway overseas London has two big international airports. Heathrow, in the western part of the city, is the main airport for international flights. Gatwick, halfway between London and the southern coast was opened in 1958 in an attempt to get some of Heathrow’s traffic away from the city. Stansted, in the north of London, handles regional flights and flights of budget airlines. London’s new City Airport is only 15 minutes from the city centre and is used especially by business travellers.
The Tube, London’s underground railway, is the oldest in the world. The red double-decker buses are well-known around the globe and a symbol of inner city transportation. All together, about 5 million people use London’s public transport every day.
London has 6 railway stations that handle over 1.5 million commuters who travel in and out of the city every day. Fast trains from Paris and Brussels arrive in London daily through the Channel Tunnel.
London is well known for its museums, art galleries and concert halls.
The British Museum is one of the oldest and largest museums in the world. It contains over seven million artefacts from all continents, cultures and civilizations.
The National Gallery, situated on Trafalgar Square, is home to a great selection of European paintings. Tate Gallery has works of British and modern art.
London’s theatres perform works of Shakespeare and other great dramatists. The Royal Opera House at Covent Garden is host to performances of London’s big orchestras.
Buckingham Palace is the most famous of London’s many royal palaces. Constructed in the 18th century, it is located at the end of the Mall, one of London’s broadest roads. The Queen and her family live in a part of the palace. Other parts can be visited by tourists. The Changing of the Guard is a ceremony that takes place every day.
Tower of London
The Tower of London is one of the oldest buildings in the city. The fortress consists of several buildings around a central tower. It is situated on the northern bank of the River Thames. For many centuries the Tower of London served as a prison. Among the most famous prisoners were the explorer Sir Walter Raleigh and Anne Boleyn, one of Henry VIII’s wives who were beheaded there. Today visitors are able to see the Crown Jewels of England which were originally protected by Beefeaters and the Tower’s ravens.
The Tower Bridge near the Tower of London, may be London’s most impressive landmark . The bridge is over a hundred years old and can be raised to let ships pass through. The two towers and the walkway that connects them give visitors a great view of London.
St Paul’s Cathedral
St. Paul’s Cathedral was rebuilt in the 17th century by the great English architect Sir Christopher Wren after the original building had been destroyed by the Great Fire of London in 1666. It has the largest dome in the world after St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome.
Westminster Abbey is located near the Houses of Parliament. Since its construction by William the Conqueror in 1066 almost all of the country’s kings and queens have been crowned there. Monarchs and famous people are buried in the abbey. Among them are Charles Darwin and Sir Isaac Newton.
Houses of Parliament
The Houses of Parliament are located in the city of Westminster alongside the River Thames. Both the House of Commons and the House of Lords hold their meetings in the palace. Big Ben, the clock tower’s famous bell, has been chiming since the middle of the 19th century .
Parks in London
The city of London is well known for its large and beautiful parks. Hyde Park is the largest of London’s royal parks. It is about 2km long and over 1 km wide. Hyde Park is a popular area for free time activities, including jogging, running and horse riding. Speaker’s Corner, near the north-eastern entrance of Hyde Park is a place where Londoners gather and listen to people who talk about all kinds of things. The Serpentine is a large artificial lake where people can go swimming or rowing. London has many other parks, including St. James’s Park, with a great view of Buckingham Palace, and Green Park.
A giant Ferris wheel rises 135 m high on the south bank of the River Thames. It was built as a part of London’s millennium celebrations. Each egg-shaped cabin can take up to 25 passengers. A complete turn of the wheel takes 30 minutes.
The most famous museum of wax figures was opened in 1835. Thousands of famous people, artists, writers, politicians and other celebrities have been created in wax. During the tourist season waiting lines can be very long.
The largest square in London has been a central meeting place since the Middle Ages. In the centre is Nelson’s Column, built in honour of Admiral Nelson, who defeated the French fleet at Trafalgar in 1805.
A busy plaza in the heart of London lies at the junction of five major streets. The place is famous for its colourful billboards, a fountain and a statue of Eros.
The former fruit and vegetable market is always a crowded place, especially during weekends and in the summertime. Today it is known for its open-air cafes, restaurants, pubs and street performers.
The gardens east of Hyde Park cover an area of over 100 ha. Their most famous attraction is Kensington Palace, the former home of Princess Diana. One of the park’s playgrounds has a statue of Peter Pan.
London’s most famous theatre, originally built at the end of the 16th century, was reconstructed in 1997. It is only about 200 metres from its original site.
But why has American culture come to dominate in this way? To begin with, North America itself is a large and wealthy country, with a huge and diversity population. US corporations which do well at home have already succeeded in marketing and distributing for a great number of consumers. For American companies, the jump from national to international marketing and distribution is not as great as it is for those from smaller countries. Further, American companies, can afford to spend a great deal of money marketing their products around the world, and are able to undercut the prices of local products.
In 1885, an obsession began. Daimler and Benz were regarded as the creator of the petrol driven engine, but it was the American Henry Ford who began the mass production of cars, making the motor car available to everyone. This began an obsession which is still as strong today. 90 years later, the huge continent of USA, with its many thousands of miles of highways is producing millions of cars every year.
The Car as a Lifestyle
The 1950s is perhaps the era best known for motor cars and living life in modern Americas “jet age”, an era which formed many of the images of America which remain popular today. Bikers wore black leather, boots and white T-shirts and were considered as juvenile delinquents. Waitresses on roller skates served fries at drive-thru fast food joints and burger bars. Kids spent their time cruising in the streets or hanging out in their cars in the parking lots of bowling alleys. Cars were used for much more than getting from A to B. They were a lifestyle, and for some, an expression of their philosophy of life. The cars of the 50s were huge, shiny chunks of metal decorated with chrome, customized with fins and full of crazy accessories. Some people saw cars as works of art on wheels. They need a lot of gas, but nobody cared, because of the enormous cheap prices of fuel. They looked good and environmental pollution hadn’t even been thought of yet.
2. Movie Theatres
It is thought that drive – in movie theatres were originally designed to help families get out to see a movie without having to get dressed up or find a babysitter. The first was built in 1933. By the mid-1950s there were almost 4000 drive-in movie theatres around the US. Today the figure is nearer 1000. The car is like a mobile sitting room where the family watches movies and eats hot dogs and popcorn and a little piece of American culture was formed. For young people in a time before youth clubs, discos and shopping malls were build, the drive-in movie theatre was the place to go, to be seen and hang out. Occasionally the teens would even catch a movie, but usually they used the privacy of the car for making out.
3. Food on the go
Drive-in fast food restaurant, burger bars and taco bars were quickly built. Originally, waitresses would hook a tray on your window ledge so you could eat in front of the restaurant, actually in your car. These days people prefer to drive straight through and take their food away.
4. Weddings on wheels
Las Vegas is famous for its casinos and tacky wedding chapels where you can get married quickly and cheaply. But did there are even drive-thru wedding chapels, where the bride and groom don’t have to get out of the car. They drive up, park, and the ceremony is conducted through the car window.
5. Life in the fast lane
One of the most recent drive-thru business ideas is the drive-thru espresso coffee bar. It seems that like in the fast lane these days is so fast that people don’t even have time to grab a coffee, sit down and chat with friends.
Where did the American passion for guns come from?
When the original thirteen colonies that were America in the 1770s decided to unite and refuse to pay homage and taxes to the King of England, it was the peoples ability to defend themselves against the British. Many Americans, therefore, regard the right to own and bear arms as a fundamental principle because American freedom and democracy was founded on the gun.
The right to carry concealed firearms
Thirty-one out of the fifty states now have “right-to-carry” laws, permitting citizens to carry concealed firearms. Half the US population, including 60% of handgun owners, live in those 31 states.
The extent (Ausmaß)of gun violence
Firearm violence is currently the second leading cause of injury related death in the United States, behind automobile-related fatalities, and the violence is continuing to increase. In Texas and Louisiana – with the highest numbers of guns per person – the numbers of firearm fatalities in 1991 was actually greater than the number of automobile fatalities. By the year 2003, firearm fatalities are projected to become the leading cause of injury-related death. Males had a fatality rate six times that of females. The fatality rates for Blacks was nearly three times that for whites.
Half of all hand gun owners say that they keep their firearms in an unlocked place. This is very dangerous, especially for children, who don’t know the fatal effects a firearm could do. People who have been personally affected by guns, either through the loss of family or friends, have the strongest feelings – and often determination – to change or defend the laws concerning firearms. The debate will continue, but firearms are still very much a way of life in America.
The film/movie industry has become a multi-billion-dollar business, not only in the USA. Whereas the early films at the beginning of the 20th century were silent movies shot in black and white, films today are mainly with sound and in colour and are presented in 70mm and Dolby Stereo on the screen. There are big-budget films produces by large movie companies (like MGM/United Artists, Columbia Pictures, AOL Time Warner) and low-budget, often independent films. Americas heart of film Production is beating in Hollywood. Nearly every big film Company has their studios there and produces hundreds of films per year. With the spreading of TV sets, cinemas and other visual technologies the companies grew enormous due to large budgets for commercials and other advertising campaigns. Today America is the leading film exporting country in the world. Popular broadcasts and films are dubbed in nearly every language all over the world.
TV has always a big influence on the American civilization. This development had brought Home-Shopping Canals, Religion Canals and a mass of everyday news and weather broadcasts. Hollywood has created certain human types and patterns of behaviour which embody the ambitions and dreams of the American population. The American Western gave a sophisticated world a new romance in which adventure and violence blended with sentimentality and the moral satisfaction of seeing the villain punished and the virtuous hero rewarded.