There are some 400 million native speakers of English, and it is the language of communication for many millions more, being the most widely used second language in the world. These millions of speakers, past and present, have given rise to distinct varieties of English, whose vocabulary, grammar, and pronunciation differ from place to place, shaped by the history, environment, and other languages of the region in question. Click the links below to read more about regional varieties of English.

  • What is a Dialect? by Clive Upton
    ‘Dialect’ is a word that most people think they understand. Click through to see the explanation of a dialect, and other similar articles.
  • The English of Australia by Bruce Moore
    Australian English has its own distinctive vocabulary and accent. Discover more about the language spoken in Oz, from wallabies to diphthongs.
    • Australian Pronunciation
      There are three types of modified Australian speech: Cultivated Australian, Broad Australian, and General Australian. Find out what they mean.
    • Australian Vocabulary
      Trace the history and meaning of the most culturally important Australian terms, including ‘dinkum’ and ‘battler’.
  • South African English by Penny Silva
    South African English has a long and involved history, but there are actually eleven official languages in South African.
  • East Anglian English by Peter Trudgill
    East Anglia, in the east of England, has its own distinctive version of English.
    • The Grammar of East Anglian English
      East Anglia doesn’t just have its own accent and vocabulary—it also has distinctive grammatical features. (Or should we say ‘that also has’?)
    • The Vocabulary of East Anglian English
      What words are used almost exclusively in East Anglia, and which languages did they come from? Find out with this guide to East Anglian vocabulary.
    • The Accent of East Anglian English
      East Anglia is a region of England comprising the counties of Norfolk and Suffolk, and parts of Essex and Cambridgeand it has a very distinctive accent.