British or American English? 16/17 ep.10
In this week's Premier Skills English podcast, Rich and Jack talk about the first American to become manager of a Premier League team. They get confused on the phone by an American who uses too many American words. They then take a look at some of the main differences between American and British English. We also have news about our Premier Skills Fantasy Football team, a new football phrase for you to guess and a Premier League prediction for you to make in our weekly vote. Enjoy!
How much did you understand?
In the podcast, Rich and Jack used some words and phrases that might be new for you. You can see two examples here:
Bob Bradley has taken over as manager of Swansea City.
Algeria and Cameroon are also in this group. A real group of death with only the top team qualifying.
There were a few more tricky words in the podcast. Can you remember all of them? Try the activity below, then, listen to the podcast again to hear how we used the words in context. This can really help with understanding.
American versus British English - Football English
In this week's podcast, Jack asked Virginia about Bob Bradley - the new American manager of Swansea City. She used lots of American words that Jack and Rich had a few problems understanding. There are some differences when we speak about football or soccer. Take a look at these examples that Virginia said in the podcast when she was speaking about football......I mean soccer!! The American words are in blue. Do you know what the British versions are?
Bradley has lots of good players to work with; like the goaltender - Fabianski.
I'm sure he can't wait for his first game on the field.
Maybe it will finish zero-zero.
Bradley will be looking for a shut-out in his first game.
Swansea could do with another offensive player - they don't get enough shots on frame.
Virginia used quite a lot of football English that is not usually used in British English. Have a go at the activity, below and see if you can match the American Football English to the British Football English.
American versus British English - General Vocabulary
It's not only football English that is a little different in the USA. There are many different words in the UK and the USA but we still understand each other, usually!! Here is one confusing example from the podcast:
In the USA, you wear pants over your underpants but in the UK, you wear trousers over your pants!
In the podcast, Rich tested Jack's understanding of American English. In this activity, we test how much American and British English you know. Can you match the American words tot he British words?
If you want to learn more about the differences between American and British English, check out our Learn English website. If you want to know more about the specific differences between the English used to describe football or soccer in the USA and the UK, then take a look at this article from the BBC.
Rich: Hello my name’s Rich
Jack: and I’m Jack
Rich: and welcome to this week’s Premier Skills English podcastJack: Where we talk about football and help you with your English.
Jack: Let’s start with what’s been happening on the website this week.
Rich: We’ve got our latest Fantasy Football article on the website.
Jack: Yeah. We really need your help this week. We had our worst ever week in the last round of matches so we’re going to change a few things.
Rich: We’re changing our defence. Maybe the whole defence. Our defenders have been rubbish all season!
Jack: We’ve got a vote for you on the fantasy football page about which defenders need to go and a few better ones to buy. THere is a link on the side of this page and we would really like to hear your opinions.
Rich: What else has been happening?
Jack: We had a few comments about last week’s podcast. We asked you to use superlatives and the present perfect in some of your answers and it was great to see you practising this area of language.
Rich: Poui from Laos said that the best goal he’s ever seen was Ibrahimovic’s bicycle kick. He didn’t say which bicycle kick - he’s scored loads but I think he probably means the one that he scored for Sweden against England.
Jack: Oh yeah! That was brilliant! I’m sure you can all remember that one.
Rich: Elghoul from Algeria said that the furthest he’s ever travelled was to an Arsenal match in 1978.
Jack: It would be great to hear more about that visit, Elghoul!
Rich: Davillions from Spain said that the hottest place he’s ever visited is his gym's sauna, Alex from ukraine said the best song he’s ever heard is We are the Champions by Queen and kwesimanifest from Ghana says his happiest memory is when he won a Premier Skills competition.
Jack: We’re happy we make you happy Kwesimanifest!
Latest news headlines
Jack: Here are the Premier League headlines this week.
Rich: Premier League players hit form in African qualifying.
Jack: Arsenal’s Alex Iwobi and Manchester City’s Kelechi Iheanacho both scored to give Nigeria a 2-1 win against Zambia. Algeria and Cameroon are also in this group - a real group of death with only the top team qualifying.
Rich: Spain and Serbia are on the road to Russia.
Jack: Southampton’s Dusan Tadic got two assists and the winning goal for Serbia in a 3-2 win against Austria in Group D of World Cup qualifying in Europe and Chelsea’s Diego Costa and Manchester City’s Nolito got the goals to give Spain a good win away in Albania.
Rich: Bob Bradley becomes the first American to manage in the Premier League.
Jack: Bradley has taken over as manager at Swansea City. He has previously managed in France and Norway, and as the national manager of Egypt and the USA.
Rich: So, Swansea City have a new manager. He’s called Bob Bradley and he’s American.
Jack: He’s the first American manager in the Premier League ever. Do you think he will have any language problems?
Rich: What do you mean? He speaks English.
Jack: Yeah, but there are lots of differences between American and British English. Bob Bradley - is he a football manager or a soccer manager?
Rich: Yeah, OK. Soccer in the USA and football in Britain. That’s one difference but I don’t think there are too many more. Well there’s trousers and pants, too, I suppose. Actually, we can speak to an American now and ask her.
Jack: Hi Virginia in Minneapolis. Are you there?
Virginia: Hi. I’m here yes.
Jack: So, Bob Bradley from New Jersey, USA is the new Swansea City manager. How do you think he will get on, Virginia?
Virginia: Bob Bradley is a great soccer coach. I think he will be a great success. He’s a coach who likes to play with lots of offensive players but also thinks about defense. He has lots of good players to work with, like the midfielder - Sigurdsson and the goaltender -Fabianski. I’m sure he can’t wait for his first game on the field. Bradley’s first game is an away tie at Arsenal. Not an easy one. I think if it finishes in a tie he will be happy. Maybe it will finish zero-zero. Bradley will be looking for a shut-out in his first game.
Jack: So, you think Bradley will be a hit. Do you think he needs to make any changes?
Virginia: They could do with a new offensive player - they don’t get enough shots on frame and maybe someone who is prepared to get his cleats dirty!
Jack: OK, thanks Virginia.
Rich: Did you understand any of that? Goaltender? Shut-out? Cleats?
Jack: Err no not really but if we look at it again I’m sure we can work it out.
Rich: OK, let’s start with goaltender. Virginia spoke about Fabianski and I know that he’s Swansea’s goalkeeper.
Jack: So, goaltender is American English and goalkeeper is British English. When you don’t know a word, it’s important to use your general knowledge and not just knowledge of the language. It can really help.
Rich: Shut-out? Right, OK. Virginia said that the match will finish zero zero - we say nil nil in British English but I understand zero zero. So, she thinks it will be a draw or a tie in American English. So, a shutout is ….errrr…
Jack: It’s a clean sheet! A shut-out means you don’t concede a goal. In British English, we say clean sheet and in American English shut-out.
Rich: OK, got it. When we don’t know a word we should use the sentences before and after the word to give us the context. We can then often make a good guess about the word. What about cleats?
Jack: This is a tricky one. Let’s leave that for our listeners. If you know what cleats are, leave us a message in the comments section below.
Rich: So, we’ve been looking at some of the differences between British and American English. Let’s take a look at some of the main differences. Let’s start with the biggest difference - vocabulary.
Jack: Most words are the same in both British and American English but there are some words that can cause confusion as we saw in the previous section.
Rich: Soccer and Football is a clear difference. Let’s look at some different words that are different on the other side of the pond.
JAck: The pond is what some British people call the Atlantic Ocean - it is of course much bigger than a small pond for fish and frogs!
Rich: OK, I’m going to give you an American word and you have to tell me the word in British English. It should be easy, right?
Jack: It should be!
Jack: Easy. Biscuit.
Rich: Parking lot.
Jack: Car park!
Rich: Good. Next. Drugstore.
Jack: Sorry? What?
Rich: Crosswalk.Jack: No idea. An angry person walking?
Rich: No, it’s a zebra crossing, You know in the street when you cross the road.
Jack: Yeah, OK. I know Zebra crossing.
Rich: So, sometimes British people can find American English difficult, too. If you’re not sure what some of these words mean, take a look at the activity further down this page. Are there any other differences between American and British English?
Jack: Pronunciation is different sometimes. In British English and American English there are different accents. I have a southern English accent and I say laugh, chance and can’t, but in American English it’s often more like laugh, chance and can’t.
Rich: Nice accent, Jack. Sometimes the word stress is a bit different, too. In British English we say defence and offense but in American English defense and offense.
Jack: Despite these differences, it’s usually not too difficult for American and British people to understand each other. If you want to know more about these differences have a look on our Learn English website. There is a link further down this page.
Rich: And I’ve put a link to some of the differences in football English in Britain and the US, too!
Rich: Have you got a football phrase for us this week?
Jack: Yes, I have, but first last week’s football phrase. The phrase was to head home. To head home means to score a goal with your head and outside of football it means to return to your house.
Rich: Well done to Liubomyr and Alex from Ukraine and Kwesimanifest from Ghana. You three got the right answer!
Jack: The only clue that I’m going to give you this week is the American version of the word. In American English we say overtime but in British English we say ***** ****.
Rich: Easy. I think.
Jack: There were no matches last week so let’s get straight to your prediction, Rich
Rich: There is no doubt what this weekend’s big match is but we have to wait until Monday!!! It’s Liverpool at home to Manchester Utd. Utd started the season well but they haven’t won for the last few matches. Liverpool on the other hand, are flying and have won their last four matches. I want Liverpool to win, of course, but this weekend I have more hope than normal and I really think we’re going to win easily. Final score: Liverpool 2-0 Manchester Utd.
Jack: Wow! You are confident. Don’t be over-confident. Sorry to be a spoilsport but think it will be a 1-1 draw.
Rich: Right, that’s all we have time for this week. Don’t forget to write your answers to our questions and make a guess at our football phrase in the comments below. And remember to take a look at our Fantasy Football page and join in the discussions!
Jack: Bye for now and enjoy your football!
In Gameweek 7, Spurs beat Manchester City 2-0 , which meant nobody predicted the right result. Rich still leads the way with 4 points but we're still waiting for someone to predict an exact score. Remember, it's one point for the correct result and two additional points for the correct score. The big match in Gameweek 8 is Liverpool v Man Utd! Can you predict the right score?
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Make your prediction now!
What do you think?
In this week’s podcast, we spoke about some differences between British and American English.
Do you think Bob Bradley will be a success at Swansea City? Will he have any language or cultural problems?
When you speak English, do you use American or British English? Which is easier for you?
Is your language spoken in different countries? Is it easy to understand someone who speaks your language but is from another country?