English Language

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Currency and Travel
English climate

The English Language

"England and America are two countries separated by the same language." George Bernard Shaw. When writing about England for non-English readers, it is not always easy to decide how to handle language differences. Casual use of terms such as fortnight (two weeks) and caustic soda (lye) might leave the reader uncertain as to meaning, but some words are actively confusing, such as braces (suspenders), suspenders (garters), and pavement (sidewalk.) However, it is my belief that in fairness to any culture we choose to use as setting for our work, we should be honest to it. Also, there will always be readers who know the language. It addition, the sale of North American romances in England is increasing rapidly. If we want to continue to grow in that market we don't want them laughing or shuddering at bizarre language for their world.

Sometimes it's best to avoid certain words. I try to avoid mentioning exactly where my Georgian character are walking. Certainly not the sidewalk (nothing is more calculated to throw a knowledgeable reader out of the world of Georgian England,) but pavement is problematical for North American readers. At other times I try to make the meaning clear from context.

Some links about language.
Gives US to English and vice versa.
This also has a discussion board where you can ask questions. I haven't tried it, but it might be interesting.
Specific slang with links to other similar sites.

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