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1. Grammar and Spelling
2. Punctuation
3. Measurements and Abbreviations
4. Hyphenation
5. Geographic Distribution

Section One - Grammar and Spelling

1. Gender: English has no gender: the nouns of English cannot be classified in terms of agreement with articles, adjectives or verbs. The choice of the pronouns is almost entirely a matter of sex – he refers to male, she to female and it to sexless objects or optionally to animals even when their sex is known.

An oddity is mechanical objects such as ships, cars, boats, engines, planes which are usually referred to as she.

2. Definite and indefinite articles: A name for the (definite article) and a, an (indefinite article).The articles are sometimes classified as a distinct part of speech.

3. Plurals: The plural form is generally recognised by the addition of s or ies for nouns that are ‘countable’ (eg cat, books, road). For ‘uncountable’ nouns such as bread, butter, petrol, there are generally no plural forms and they do not occur with the indefinite article.

4. Spellings: Generally speaking, both '-ise' and '-ize' spellings are acceptable (i.e. organise/organize), but must be consistent within a text.

A small group of words can only be spelt '-ise': advertise, advise, comprise, compromise, despise, dis/en/franchise, disguise, enterprise, excise, exercise, improvise, incise, merchandise, prise, revise, supervise, surmise, surprise, televise.

At Wordbank, we use the z spelling for ‘localize’ and ‘globalize’.

Section Two - Punctuation

“a courtesy designed to help readers to understand a story without stumbling”

1. The use of the full stop:

1.1. The principal use of the full stop (also called point, full point, and period) is to mark the end of a sentence that is a statement (as in this sentence).
This applies to sentences when they are not complete statements or contain ellipsis (see SENTENCE), as in the opening of Dickens's Bleak House (1852– 3): London. Michaelmas term lately over, and the Lord Chancellor sitting in Lincoln's Hall. Implacable November weather. If the sentence is a question or exclamation, the mark used is the QUESTION MARK or EXCLAMATION MARK, which include a full stop in their forms.

1.2. The full stop is also used to mark abbreviations and contractions, although this use is diminishing, partly as a matter of printing style and partly because many abbreviations have become more familiar and no longer need identification. The distinction between abbreviations (e.g. I.o.W = Isle of Wight) and contractions (e.g. Dr = Doctor), though arguably a useful one, has been rapidly eroded by this process, so that shortenings of various kinds are printed and written without full stops, e.g. BBC, DPhil, etc, ie, IoW, Mr, Ms, pm (= post meridiem), St (= Saint or Street), etc. The style recommended here is somewhat more conservative than this, dropping full stops in initialisms that are all capital letters (e.g. BBC, NNW = north-northwest, TUC), in many contractions (Dr, Mr, etc.), and in acronyms that are pronounced as words (e.g. Anzac, Nato), but retaining them in lower-case initialisms such as a.m., e.g. and i.e., in mixed styles such as D.Phil. and M.Sc., and in shortened words such as Oct. (= October) and Tues. (= Tuesday). The important point, however, is to achieve consis tency within a particular piece of writing or printing. Some shortenings have a greater need of full stops to avoid possible ambiguity with other words in some contexts, e.g. a.m. (= ante meridiem), no. (= number).

1.3. If an abbreviation with a full stop comes at the end of a sentence, another full stop is not added when the full stop of the abbreviation is the last character: Bring your own pens, pencils, rulers, etc. but Bring your own things (pens, pencils, rulers, etc.).

1.4. Full stops are routinely used between units of money (£11.99, $27.50), before decimals (10.5%), and between hours and minutes (10.30 a.m.; AmE 10:30 a.m.).

2. The use of speech/quotation marks:

2.1. The main use of quotation marks (also called inverted commas) is to indicate direct speech and quotations. In writing it is common to use double quotation marks (“ ”), and in printing practice varies between the double and single style (‘’). Single marks are commonly associated with British practice (as in the Oxford and Cambridge styles) and double marks with American practice (as in the Chicago style), but the distinction in usage is not always so clear-cut.

2.2. The main rules of practice in BrE follow, with indications of any variant practice in AmE:(a) In direct speech and quotations, the closing quotation mark normally comes after a final full stop: She said, ‘I have something to ask you.’ It should come after any other punctuation mark (such as an exclamation mark) which is part of the matter being quoted: They shouted, ‘Watch out!’ (the final full stop is omitted after an exclamation mark in this position) / Did I hear you say ‘Go away!’?.(b) When the quoted speech is interrupted by a reporting verb such as say, shout, etc., the punctuation that divides the sentence is put inside the quotation marks: ‘Go away,’ he said, ‘and don't ever come back.’(c) If a quoted word or phrase comes at the end of a sentence or coincides with a comma, the punctuation that belongs to the sentence as a whole is placed outside the quotation marks: What is a ‘gigabyte’? / No one should ‘follow a multitude to do evil’, as the Scripture says. In AmE, however, it is usual to place quotation marks outside the sentence punctuation (and note the more characteristic double quotation marks): No one should follow a multitude to do evil,” as the Scripture says.(d) When a quotation occurs within a quotation, the inner quotation is put in double quotations marks if the main quotation is in single marks (or vice versa, especially in American practice): BrE ‘Have you any idea,’ he asked, ‘what a “gigabyte” is?’ / AmE “Have you any idea,” he asked, “what a ‘gigabyte’ is?”.

3. The use of the apostrophe:

The apostrophe denotes either (1) a possessive, or (2) omitted letters.


The first is singular (one girl), and the second is plural (two or more girls).


When the plural ends in a letter other than s, the possessive is formed by adding 's: the children's games, the men's boots, the oxen's hoofs, the women's cars, etc.


This is the so-called ‘grocers' apostrophe’, an apostrophe misapplied to an ordinary plural, particularly in words ending in -o but also in quite harmless words such as apple's and pear's (e.g. pear's 30p a pound). It is, needless to say, illiterate in ordinary usage.


These are sometimes confused (e.g. Who's turn is it?): see WHO'S.


Add 's to names that end in s when you would pronounce them with an extra s in speech (e.g. Charles's, Dickens's, Thomas's, The Times's, Zacharias's); but omit 's when the name is normally pronounced without the extra s (e.g. Bridges', Connors', Mars', Herodotus', Xerxes'). With French names ending in (silent) -s or -x, add 's (e.g. Dumas's, le Roux's) and pronounce the modified word with a final -z.


An apostrophe should not be used in pronouns of this type (e.g. a book of hers). Note that its is normally used in attributive position, i.e. before a noun (Give the cat its dinner) and should be distinguished from it's = ‘it is’: see ITS, IT's.

3.7. MPS, THE 1990s, ETC.

The apostrophe is no longer normally used in the plural of abbreviated forms (e.g. Several MPs were standing around), although it is of course used in the possessive (e.g. The BBC's decision to go ahead with the broadcast). It is used in plurals when clarity calls for it, e.g. Dot your i's and cross your t's.


The apostrophe is used to form these regular contractions with pronouns, and occasionally with nouns (e.g. The joke's on them.)


The apostrophe is no longer needed in words that are originally contractions but are now treated as words in their own right, e.g. cello, flu, phone, plane. Other words retain them in their spelling, usually in medial rather than initial position, e.g. fo'c'sle, ne'er-do-well, o'er, rock 'n' roll.


The apostrophe is rapidly disappearing in company names and other commercial uses, e.g. Barclays Bank, Citizens Advice Bureau. Though occasionally disapproved of, the practice can be justified as an attributive rather than possessive use of the noun (i.e. Barclays Bank is attributive, implying association with Barclays, whereas Barclays' Bank is possessive, implying ownership by people called Barclay).

4. The use of the colon:

4.1. The colon is the punctuation mark that is least used and least well understood in ordinary writing (as distinct from printing). The principal difference between it and the semicolon lies in the relation of what precedes and follows each in the sentence. A semicolon links two balanced or complementary statements, whereas a colon leads from the first statement to the second, typically from general or introductory statement to example, from cause to effect, or from premiss to conclusion.

4.2. The respective roles of semicolon and colon are shown by the following example punctuated in two ways: It was a beautiful day; we played cricket on the green. / It was a beautiful day: we played cricket on the green. In the first version, the two statements about the weather and playing cricket are equally balanced and might alternatively be separated by and or written as two distinct sentences separated by a full stop. In the second version, the colon makes the second statement much more explicitly a consequence of the first.

4.3. A colon is also used to introduce a list: The following will be needed: a pen, pencil, rubber, and ruler. Note that the colon should not be followed by a dash, although this practice is more common in older printing.

4.4. In AmE, a colon follows the initial greeting in a letter (Dear Ms Jones:), where in BrE a comma is customary. A colon also separates hours and minutes in notation of time in AmE (10:30 a.m.).

5. The use of the semicolon:

The semicolon is the least confidently used of the regular punctuation marks in ordinary writing, and the one least in evidence to anyone riffling through the pages of a modern novel. But it is extremely useful, used in moderation. Its main role is to mark a grammatical separation that is stronger in effect than a comma but less strong than a full stop. Normally the two parts of a sentence divided by a semicolon balance or complement each other as distinct from leading from one to the other (in which case a COLON is usually more suitable):

Most of his tools are old, handed down from his father and grandfather and uncles; here they are, handle upward, in tubs of oil and sand to stop them rusting—Blake Morrison, 1993. It is also used as a stronger division in a sentence that already contains commas:

What has crippled me? Was it my grandmother, frowning on my childish affection and turning it to formality and c old courtesy; or my timid, fearful mother, in awe of everyone including, finally, me; or was it my wife's infidelities, or my own?” Angela Lambert, 1989.

6. The use of the comma:

There is much variation in the use of the comma in print and in everyday writing. Essentially, its role is to give detail to the structure of sentences, especially longer ones, and to make their meaning clear by marking off words that either do or do not belong together. It usually represents the natural breaks and pauses that occur in speech.

The principal uses are as follows:

6.1. To separate adjectives coming before a noun: a cold, damp, badly heated room / a ruthless, manipulative person. The comma can be replaced by and between a pair of adjectives to make a stronger effect: a ruthless and manipulative person. The comma is omitted when the last adjective has a closer relation to the noun: a distinguished foreign politician / a dear little baby.

6.2. To separate the main clauses of a compound sentence when they are not sufficiently close in meaning or content to form a continuous unpunctuated sentence, and are not distinct enough to warrant a semicolon. A conjunction such as and, but, yet, etc., is normally used: The road runs close to the coast, and the railway line follows it closely. It is incorrect to join the clauses of a compound sentence without a conjunction (the so-called ‘comma splice’): [box] I like swimming very much, I go to the pool every day. (In this sentence, the comma should either be replaced by a semicolon, or retained and followed by and.) It is also incorrect to separate a subject from its verb with a comma: [box] Those with the lowest incomes and no other means, should get the most support. (Remove the comma.)

6.3. A comma also separates complementary parts of a sentence, and can introduce direct speech: Parliament is not dissolved, only prorogued / The question is, can this be done? / He then asked, ‘Do you want to come?’.

6.4. An important function of the comma is to prevent ambiguity or (momentary) misunderstanding: In the valley below, the houses look very small (The valley is not below the houses) / Mr Douglas Hogg said that he had shot, himself, as a small boy (Mr Hogg shot things other than himself).

6.5. Commas are used in pairs to separate elements in a sentence that are not part of the main statement: There is no sense, as far as I can see, in this suggestion / It appears, however, that we were wrong / There were, to be sure, at least four pubs in the village. They are also used to separate a relative clause from its antecedent when the clause is not a restrictive or identifying one (see CLAUSES): The book, which was on the table, was a gift. (Without the comma, the relative clause would serve to identify the book in question rather than give extra information about it: The book which / that was on the table was a gift). A single comma usually follows adverbs (such as already, however, moreover) in initial position in a sentence: Already, the sun was shining / Moreover you were late home from school.

6.6. Commas are used to separate items in a list or sequence. Usage varies as to the inclusion of a comma before and in the last item; the style recommended here is to include it (the so-called ‘Oxford comma’): We ordered tea, scones, and cake. Other practice is to include it only to avoid ambiguity: We ordered tea, bread and butter, and cake.

6.7. Omit the comma between nouns in apposition (e.g. my friend judge Leonard / her daughter Mary), but retain it when the noun is a parenthesis (e.g. His father, Humphrey V. Roe, was not so fortunate).

6.8. Commas are used in numbers of four or more figures, to separate each group of three consecutive figures starting from the right (e.g. 14,236,681). Omit the comma when giving house numbers in addresses (44 High Street), and in dates (27 July 2001).

7. The meaning and use of ellipsis:

Ellipsis is the omission from a sentence of words which are normally needed to complete the grammatical construction or meaning. It occurs most often in everyday speech, in expressions such as Told you so (= I told you so) and Sounds fine to me (= It or that sounds fine to me), and also occurs regularly in all kinds of spoken and written English.

7.1 Idiomatic Ellipsis

Ordinary English grammar normally calls for the omission of certain elements, especially when they might otherwise be repeated from a previous occurrence in the same sentence. Examples are the definite article (He heard the whirr and click of machinery), the infinitive marker to (I was forced to leave and give up my work at the hospital), the subject of a verb (I just pick up wood in a leisurely way, stack it and slowly rake the bark into heaps), and the verb itself after to (Knowledge didn't really advance, it only seemed to ) or after an auxiliary verb (We must and will rectify the situation). More complex forms of ellipsis occur in literature, often for special effect: Henriques knew they would eat his tongue for wisdom, his heart for courage and for fertility make their women chew his genitals—N. Shakespeare, 1989. Other examples are given by S. Greenbaum, Oxford English Grammar (1996), 77–8.

7.2 Unacceptable Types

The extent to which English allows words to be omitted in these ways is determined by what can reasonably be supplied by the hearer or reader from the rest of the sentence, without causing ambiguity or confusion. Ellipsis is not possible when the omitted word is not identical in form and function to its role where it is present, as in [box] No state has or can adopt such measures, in which the word to be supplied is adopted, not adopt. Nor is it permitted when there is a change from active to passive in an omitted verb, as in Our officials ought to manage things better than they have been, in which the word to be supplied is managed, not manage; nor again when the construction changes, as in The paintings of Monet are as good or better than those of van Gogh, which should read … are as good as or better than those of van Gogh. Less obviously wrong, but best avoided, are cases where number (singular/plural) changes, as in Fowler's characteristically gruesome example The ring-leader was hanged and his followers imprisoned (with ellipsis of were).

7.3. Ellipsis In Non-Standard Speech

Ellipsis of auxiliary verbs such as can, do, and have is a feature of nonstandard speech in AmE: Well how you expect to get anywhere, how you expect to team anything?—E. L. Doctorow, 1989 / Watergate, man. Where you been?—M. Doane, 1988.

7.4. Punctuation Mark

Ellipsis is also used to mean a punctuation mark consisting of (usually) three full points to mark either a pause or the intentional omission of words (for example in quoting). When the omission comes at the end of a sentence, it is normal to add a fourth point to mark the full stop.

8. The use of brackets/parentheses:

The term is used generally of the punctuation marks (), [], {}, <>, although the first set is properly called parentheses, the second square brackets, the third curly brackets or hooked brackets, and the fourth angle brackets. The mark resembling a curly bracket, used to link items on more than one line, is called a brace.

8.1 Parenthesis is a term denoting an aside or extra remark that is added to a sentence; it is normally marked off by brackets, commas, or dashes, and the rest of the sentence is grammatically complete without it. Parentheses can be single words, phrases, or whole clauses:In Italian, a language he had been told was the same as Rumanian, he asked to be directed to the British Legation—Olivia Manning, 1960 / He and Moira (then a milkman's pretty daughter) grovelled together long and effectively enough to cause the eventual birth of their son Rick— Tim Winton, Shallows, 1985 / On Thursday I come back from work to an empty house—Kate is spending the night at a girlfriend's house again—and the stillness and solitude calm me down—Angela Lambert, 1989.

8.2 Parentheses (plural) are, in printing terminology, round brackets.

9. The use of capitals:

Capital letters are used to signal special uses of words, either (1) to mark a significant point in written or printed matter (especially the beginning of a sentence), or (2) to distinguish names that identify particular people or things from those that describe any number of them. Practice varies when people and things do not always fit neatly into one or other of these two categories.

9.1 Basic Uses

Capital letters are used almost invariably (1) to begin a new sentence (or a quotation within a sentence), (2) as the first letters of proper names and personal names (New York / John Smith), (3) in certain special cases by convention, e.g. the personal pronoun. These elementary rules cause little difficulty but, beyond them, practice and usage become unstable, and different publishing houses have varying sets of rules about them.

9.2 Other Uses

(a) Prefixes and titles forming part of names referring to one person: the Duke of Wellington, Sir Bob Geldof, Her Majesty the Queen, Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother, His Excellency the American Ambassador. When the reference is general, i.e. to many such people, a capital is not used: every king of England from William I to Richard II (where king is a common noun like monarch or sovereign).

(b) Titles of office-holders when these refer to a particular holder: I have an appointment with the Mayor / He was appointed Bishop of Durham ; but not when the reference is general or descriptive: He wanted to be a dean / When I become king.

(c) Recognized and official place-names: Northern Ireland (but northern England, which is simply descriptive), Western Australia, South Africa, New England, the Straits of Gibraltar, Plymouth Sound, London Road (when it is an address; but Take the London road, i.e. the road to London, which is descriptive).

(d) Names of events and periods of time: the Bronze Age (and, e.g., Bronze-Age Crete), the Middle Ages, the Renaissance, the First World War (but the 1914–18 war is generally regarded as descriptive). Archaeological and geological eras are now generally often written with a small initial: chalcolithic , palaeolithic.

(e) Names of institutions, when these are regarded as identifying rather than describing: Christianity, Buddhism , Islam , Marxism, the (Roman) Catholic Church, the House of Lords. The word State has a capital initial when it is meant to refer to the institution as a whole, so as to distinguish it from the ordinary use of the word; similarly Church is an institution (disestablishment of the Church) whereas church is a building or local body (go to church / the church down the road).

(f) Abbreviations and initialisms are usually spelt with capitals , whether they refer to institutions or are more generic (BBC, MPs); but acronyms, which are pronounced like words and tend to behave like words, often become wholly or partly lower-case (Nato, radar, Aids).

(g) Names of ships and vehicles: The Cutty Sark, HMS Dreadnought, / the US bomber Enola Gay. Note also a Boeing, a Renault / a Spitfire, which are trademarks: see next section.

(h) Proprietary names (trademarks): Anadin, Cow & Gate, Kleenex, Persil. A capital initial should strictly also be used when the reference is generic (e.g. can you lend me a Biro), but in practice this is more common in the regulated world of published print than in general writing.

(i) Words derived from proper names: Christian (noun and adjective), Macchiavellian, Shakespearian. But a small initial is used when the reference is remote or conventional, or merely allusive: arabic letters, french windows, mackintosh, wellington boot; and when the sense is an attribute or quality suggested by the proper name: chauvinistic , herculean, titanic . Verbs follow the same rule: bowdlerize, galvanize, pasteurize. The guide in this area is the extent to which the name on which the word is based is present in the meaning used, as it clearly is with Shakespearian but not with titanic (which is undoubtedly used by many who are unaware of the mythological Titans).

(j) Medial capitals . The uses we have discussed so far all concern the first letters of words. Use of capitals within words is confined exclusively to commercial usage, and has no other purpose or effect than to highlight or distinguish the name: CinemaScope, InterLink.

Section Three - Measurements and Abbreviations

1. Measurement:

Although the legal system for measurement is metric, imperial measurements are still occasionally used.

There are also two odd units of measurement – the furlong (220 yards) which is now largely confined to horse racing terminology and the fathom (six feet) which is a nautical measurement of sea depth.

2. Abbreviations:

There are several kinds of abbreviations: shortenings, contractions, initialisms, and acronyms.

2.1 Shortenings of words, though formerly condemned by literary figures such as Addison and Pope (18c), are now a common convention, with varying degrees of formality (ad = advertisement, bike = bicycle, pub = public house, rhino = rhinoceros, telly = television). Some are the usual forms, with the original forms now regarded as formal or technical (bus = omnibus, fridge = refrigerator, gym = gymnasium, turps = turpentine, zoo = zoological garden).

2.2 Contractions are a type of shortening in which letters from the middle of the word are omitted (Dr = doctor, St = saint) and are sometimes marked as omitted by use of an apostrophe (can't = cannot, we've = we have).

2.3 Initialisms are abbreviations consisting of a sequence of the initial letters of words that are pronounced as separate letters: a.m., BBC, DoE, MP, UN. Practice varies as to including full points between the letters; the style recommended here is not to include them when all the initials are capitals and in some other cases. When the form has a plural, this is formed by adding an -s, now normally without an apostrophe (e.g. MPs rather than MP's). Possessives are formed in the usual way (e.g. MP's singular, MPs' plural).

2.4 Acronyms are initialisms that have gone one stage further and acquired the status of words, being pronounced and treated grammatically as such (Aids, Nato, radar). In some cases the original expansions have become irrelevant, as with laser and radar.

Section Four - Hyphenation

In print, a hyphen is half the length of a dash; unlike the dash, it has the purpose of linking words and word elements rather than separating them. Beyond this apparently simple rule, in the world of real usage, lies chaos especially when use of the hyphen is governed by contextual discretion rather than clear-cut rules.

The following paragraphs describe the main uses of the hyphen, beginning with the more routine and ending with the least straightforward:

(1) To join two or more words so as to form a single expression, e.g. ear-ring, get-at-able, and words having a grammatical relationship which form a compound, e.g. load-bearing, punch-drunk. The routine use of the hyphen to connect two nouns to form a compound word is diminishing in favour of one-word forms, especially when the elements are of one syllable and present no problems of form or pronunciation, as in birdsong, eardrum, and playgroup, and in some longer formations such as figurehead, nationwide, and even (despite the clash of vowels) radioisotope, which is entered in this form in the OED.

However, a hyphen is often necessary to separate two similar consonant or vowel sounds in a word, e.g. breast-stroke, co-opt, fast-talk, sword-dance, Ross-shire. In the area of choice between spelling as one word with hyphen and as two words, the second option is now widely favoured, especially when the first noun acts as a straightforward modifier of the second, as in filling station and house plant. Different house styles in publishing and journalism have different preferences in many of these cases.

(2) To clarify the meaning of a compound that is normally spelt as separate words, when it is used attributively (before a noun): an up-to-date record / the well-known man; but the record is up to date / The man is well known; also (with no ambiguity) prettily furnished rooms.

(3) To join a prefix to a name or designation, e.g. anti-Christian, exhusband. There is no satisfactory way of dealing with the type ex- Prime Minister, in which the second element is itself a compound, except to rely on the tendency of readers to use their knowledge of the world to choose the natural meaning, i.e. ‘former Prime Minister’ (which makes sense) rather than ‘Minister who was once Prime’ (which is nonsense). A second hyphen, e.g. ex-Prime- Minister, is not recommended.

(4) To avoid ambiguity by separating a prefix from the main word, e.g. to distinguish re-cover (= provide with a new cover) from recover and re-sign (= sign again) from resign.

(5) To represent a common second element in all but the last word of a list, e.g. two-, three-, or fourfold.

(6) To clarify meanings in groups of words when the associations are not clear or when several possible associations may be inferred. This is the area of usage that involves the greatest initiative and discretion on the part of the writer, and it is also the area to which Fowler devoted most of his attention. The best way of offering guidance is to give examples in which careful hyphenation prevents misunderstanding: The library is reducing its purchase of hardcovered books / Twenty-odd people came to the meeting / The group was warned about the dangers of extra-marital sex / There will be special classes for French-speaking children.

(7) The hyphen is also used in printing to divide a word that comes at the end of a line and is too long to fit completely. The principle here is a different one, because the hyphen does not form a permanent part of the spelling. Printers have sets of rules about where to divide words; for example, between consonants as in splen-dour and between vowels as in appreci-ate, and words of one syllable should not be divided at all, even quite long ones such as queues and rhythm.

Line Splits:

- Usually best to divide a word after a vowel, taking over the following consonant to the next line
- In present participles, take over '-ing', e.g. divid-/ing
- Generally, when 2 consonants/vowels come together, divide between them, e.g. ap-/preci-/ate
- Terminations such as '-cion', '-sion', '-tion' should not be divided when forming one sound: divide as subtrac-/tion

Section Five - Geographic Distribution

The spectacular advance of English across the face of the globe is a phenomenon without parallel in the history of language. English is the principal language of the United States, Canada, Great Britain, Ireland, Australia. New Zealand, and of such newly independent countries as the Bahamas, Jamaica, Barbados, Grenada, Trinidad and Tobago, and Guyana. It is the official language of more than a dozen African countries, as well as of various British dependencies such as British Honduras, Gibraltar, Hong Kong, and numerous islands in the Caribbean, and the Atlantic, Indian, and Pacific oceans. In India it has the title of "associate official language" and is generally used in conversation between people from different parts of the country. In dozens of other countries throughout the world it is the unofficial second language. All told, English is the mother tongue of about 300 million people, making it second only to Chinese in this regard. But the number of people who speak English with at least some degree of proficiency totals many millions more and, unlike Chinese, extends to every corner of the globe.

English is spoken/used in the following countries:

Antarctica, Antigua, Aruba (Dutch), Ascension Island, Bahamas, Barbados, Belize (British Honduras), Diego Garcia (U.K. & U.S.), Dominica, Galapagos Islands (Ecuador), Gaza Strip, Grand Caymans (U.K.), Grenada, Guam (U.S.), Guyana, Hawaii (U.S. State), Israel, Jamaica, Javis Island, Johnston Atoll, Kiribati (Republic of), Liberia, Micronesia, Midway Islands, Nauru, Nevis, Nikumaroro (Gardener Island), Niue (New Zealand), Northern Mariana Islands (U.S.), Palau (Republic of), Philippines, Puerto Rico (U.S.), Solomon Islands, St. Kitts (& Nevis) Independent, St. Lucia, Trinidad & Tobago, Tuvalu, United States of America, Virgin Islands (U.S.), Wake Island, West Bank, Western Samoa, Zaire.

Language Family
Family: Germanic

Source: - Copyright © Kenneth Katzner, The Languages of the World, Published by Routledge.

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