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Cultural Differences between U.S. and U.K - Essay Example

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The paper deals with the analysis of characteristics like language,folktales,values nonverbal communications styles,government,education,healthcare,and business of the US culture.The latter part of the essay,however,deals with the prejudices and misconceptions among the British about the culture of the US…
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Cultural Differences between U.S. and U.K
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Download file to see previous pages Since the paper is written from the perspective of UK Citizen, it is important to first discuss the different characteristics of the country at hand, which is the US.
US culture can be termed as a Western culture because the presence of the influence from European countries can be felt. Although initially it was very much like European cultures, it has developed into a separate one, in terms of different music, values, folktales, dialect etc. Initially the culture was also biased towards some races too. Today, however, the US culture has become more and more racially and ethnically diverse because of the presence of people from different regions across the globe. Some characteristics of the US culture are as follows.
Although the US has no official language, a majority of the population (in around 30 states) is fluent in English. Other than English, there are more than 300 languages, out of which Spanish is the most famous, that are spoken either by the natives of US or the people who have migrated from different areas around the world.
Although US, like UK, has essentially the same language, the dialects are very different in both countries. The English spoken in the US, more commonly known as the American English, is similar to the language spoken in the UK in many ways. But dealing with a language which is similar to one’s own and yet has different turns of phrase, unexpected meanings and unfamiliar nuances is a problem that is often experienced by British who have gone to America and also by many Americans working in Britain. (Doke, 2004) The dialect of UK English is quite firm while that of US English is more informal. Often, for a UK citizen, it is hard to guess what an American is saying because Americans seem to nibble through the words as they speak. Even if the dictionary section is compared, there is a huge amount of difference. Firstly, it seems that Americans make little use of the letter ‘U’ so when the British spell ‘labour,’ Americans spell ‘labor.’ The same goes for other words like colour, behaviour, programme, centre etc. There is also a difference in the meanings of different words or phrases that are spoken in everyday language in both countries. For instance, a ‘1st floor’ in the US might mean the ‘Ground Floor’ in Britain. Similarly a ‘fag’ in UK is a term used for cigarettes while in the US; the same word is used for a gay person! (US2UK) It is amazing how the meanings can differ in two dialects of the same language. Folktales Most of the folktales in the US are the result of a very rich mythology of the Native Americans. The folktales are not just simply ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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