What’s the difference between colour and color?
There are a lot of differences in the way the English language is communicated between the United States, the United Kingdom and other English-speaking countries. Nuances in each dialect differentiate one from the next. For example, some of the words themselves are different, like fulfil vs fulfill, jewellery vs jewelry and metre vs meter. There are also other differences like the use of tenses and verb morphology (learnt vs learned). These differences come from where you learned the language and your teacher, and they come through in everyday communication.
Over time, the number of English dialects has grown as some bands of people divided and some stuck together. Now, English dialects vary between national, state and even city boundaries. As a result, there’s no “official” English language dialect that rises above the rest. In an effort to cater to everyone, EzineArticles accepts both American English and British English dialects. The spell check function on the Article Submission Form marks either version of words correctly (Ex: analyse/analyze, favourite/favorite and metre/meter).
Communicate To Your Target Audience
As an Expert Author, you have the power to choose how you communicate your message. Use that power by thinking about your target audience when you write. If they communicate with a fairly different dialect than your own, do some research so you can target the writing style towards them; otherwise, your writing may be misunderstood by your target audience and they could be turned away. For example, a reader that is doing research on interior design and paint options may be distracted if they come to an article with every instance of the word “color” (or colour) spelled differently than they are used to.
Remember, the casual observer from your area won’t find anything strange about your spelling or your choice of words, but a person on the other side of the world may not perceive your message correctly. You need to write for your audience.
One other reminder: Stay consistent in the dialect you use through the whole article. This is simple if you are writing in the dialect you know best, but can be difficult if you’re writing for a different audience. Search for resources online that can help you sort out the differences.
Consider the dialect of your target audience when writing your next set of high-quality, original articles.
Have any interesting or funny stories about any of your messages that have been lost in translation? Leave a comment to share your story.