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List of dialects of the English language

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Title: List of dialects of the English language  
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Subject: English language, Regional accents of English, New Zealand English, Nigerian English, North American English regional phonology
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List of dialects of the English language

This is a list of dialects of the English language. Dialects are linguistic varieties which differ in pronunciation, vocabulary and grammar from each other and from Standard English (which is itself a dialect).

Dialects can be usefully defined as "sub-forms of languages which are, in general, mutually comprehensible".[1] British linguists distinguish dialect from accent, which refers only to pronunciation. Thus, any educated English speaker can use the vocabulary and grammar of Standard English. However, different speakers use their own local words for everyday objects or actions, regional accent, or Received Pronunciation, which within the U.K. is considered an accent distinguished by class rather than by region. American linguists, however, include pronunciation differences as part of the definition of regional or social dialects. The combination of differences in pronunciation and use of local words may make some English dialects almost unintelligible to speakers from other regions. The major native dialects of English are often divided by linguists into the three general categories of the British Isles dialects, those of North America and those of Australasia.[2]

By continent


United Kingdom

British English:


English language in England:

Northern Ireland

Isle of Man

Channel Islands

Republic of Ireland

Irish English:

  • Cork
  • Dublin
  • Donegal
  • Kerry
  • Limerick city
  • Midlands
  • North East
  • Sligo town
  • Waterford city
  • West
  • Wexford town


North America

North American English

United States

American English - Standard American English is the general form


Canadian English:


Bermudian English

Native/American indigenous peoples

Native American English dialects:

Central and South America



Falkland Islands


The Bahamas
Trinidad and Tobago
Saint Vincent and the Grenadines




Hong Kong








Sri Lanka








South Africa

South Atlantic




Australian English (AusE, AusEng):

New Zealand

New Zealand English (NZE, NZEng):



Manual encodings

These encoding systems should not be confused with sign languages such as British Sign Language and American Sign Language, which, while they are informed by English, have their own grammar and vocabulary.

Pidgins and creoles

The following are portmanteaus devised to describe certain local creoles of English. Although similarly named, they are actually quite different in nature, with some being genuine mixed languages, some being instances of heavy code-switching between English and another language, some being genuine local dialects of English used by first-language English speakers, and some being non-native pronunciations of English. A few portmanteaus (such as Greeklish and Fingilish) are transliteration methods rather than any kind of spoken variant of English.

See also


  1. ^ Wakelin, Martyn Francis (2008. First published 1978). Discovering English Dialects. Oxford: Shire Publications. p. 4.  
  2. ^ Crystal, David. The Cambridge Encyclopedia of the English Language, Cambridge University Press, 2003
  3. ^ JC Wells, Accents of English, Cambridge University Press, 1983, page 351
  4. ^ a b Hickey, Raymond (2005). Dublin English: Evolution and Change. John Benjamins Publishing. pp. 196–198.  
  5. ^ Hickey, Raymond (2002). A Source Book for Irish English. Amsterdam: John Benjamins Publishing. pp. 28–29.  
  6. ^
  7. ^ "Virginia's Many Voices". Retrieved 2010-11-29. 
  8. ^ Daniel Schreier, Peter Trudgill. The Lesser-Known Varieties of English: An Introduction. Cambridge University Press, Mar 4, 2010 pg. 10

External links

  • Sounds Familiar? Listen to examples of regional accents and dialects from across the UK on the British Library's 'Sounds Familiar?' website
  • English accents and dialects A browsable collection of recordings by the British Library
  • Sound Comparisons – accents of English from around the world Hear and compare how the same 110 words are pronounced in 50 English accents from around the world – instantaneous playback online
  • A national map of the regional dialects of American English
  • Voices in your area--BBC (sound archive of local speech in the UK, Isle of Man and Channel Islands)
  • British Dialect Translator Translate text into regional dialects from the British Isles
  • IDEA – International Dialects of English Archive
  • Runglish
  • Speech accent archive
  • Dialect poetry from the English regions
  • American Languages: Our Nation's Many Voices - An online audio resource presenting interviews with speakers of German-American and American English dialects from across the United States
  • The Dialect Dictionary Compilation of dialects from around the globe
  • The International Dialects of English Archive
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