Learn English – Which version of English influenced the other? British / American

american-englishbritish-englishold-english

I remember hearing that modern American English is more similar to Old English than modern British English, due to rural British influences.

Is modern American English a more accurate representation of Old English than modern British English?

Best Answer

I think most would agree that any modern English variant, from anywhere in the world, is very, very different from Old English. However, I would say American English is more similar to Old English in some respects than modern British English is.

The most striking way, in my mind, is the stronger retention of the 'r' sound. I have heard (from a professor speaking on the radio; I don't have a citation) that American English generally sounds more like Old English than British English does. (In my oversimplified way of thinking, spelling has changed slower than pronunciation, and American pronunciation generally seems to stick closer to a "naive" interpretation of the letters than British.)

In other ways, of course British English is more like Old English than American is.

While not credentialed, here is a nice discussion on the topic: Which accent is more similar to that of the old English?