Dialects are linguistic varieties that may differ in pronunciation, vocabulary, spelling and grammar. For the classification of varieties of English only in terms of pronunciation, see regional accents of English.


Dialects can be defined as "sub-forms of languages which are, in general, mutually comprehensible." English speakers from different countries and regions use a variety of different accents (systems of pronunciation) as well as various localized words and grammatical constructions; many different dialects can be identified based on these factors. Dialects can be classified at broader or narrower levels: within a broad national or regional dialect, various more localised sub-dialects can be identified, and so on. The combination of differences in pronunciation and use of local words may make some English dialects almost unintelligible to speakers from other regions without any prior exposure. The major native dialects of English are often divided by linguists into three general categories: the British Isles dialects, those of North America, and those of Australasia. Dialects can be associated not only with place but also with particular social groups. Within a given English-speaking country, there is a form of the language considered to be Standard English: the Standard Englishes of different countries differ and can themselves be considered dialects. Standard English is often associated with the more educated layers of society as well as more formal registers. British and American English are the reference norms for English as spoken, written, and taught in the rest of the world, excluding countries in which English is spoken natively such as Australia, Canada, Ireland, and New Zealand. In many former British Empire countries in which English is not spoken natively, British English forms are closely followed, alongside numerous American English usages that have become widespread throughout the English-speaking world. Conversely, in many countries historically influenced by the United States in which English is not spoken natively, American English forms are closely followed. Many of these countries, while retaining strong British English or American English influences, have developed their own unique dialects, which include Indian English and Philippine English. Chief among other native English dialects are Canadian English and Australian English, which rank third and fourth in the number of native speakers. For the most part, Canadian English, while featuring numerous British forms, alongside indigenous Canadianisms, shares vocabulary, phonology and syntax with American English, which leads many to recognise North American English as an organic grouping of dialects. Australian English, likewise, shares many American and British English usages, alongside plentiful features unique to Australia and retains a significantly higher degree of distinctiveness from both larger varieties than does Canadian English. South African English, New Zealand English and Irish English are also distinctive and rank fifth, sixth, and seventh in the number of native speakers.


English language in Europe

United Kingdom

* British English


English language in England: * Received Pronunciation (sometimes called "the Queen's English" or Standard English in British English) * Northern ** Cheshire ** Cumbrian (Cumbria including Barrovian in Barrow-in-Furness) ** Geordie (Tyneside) ** Hartlepudlian (Hartlepool) ** Lancastrian (Lancashire) ** Mackem (Sunderland) ** Mancunian (Greater Manchester) ** Northumbrian (Northumberland and northern County Durham) ** Pitmatic (former mining communities of Northumberland and County Durham) ** Scouse (Merseyside) ** Smoggie (Teesside) ** Yorkshire * East Midlands **Lincolnshire ** East Lincolnshire * West Midlands ** Black Country ** Brummie (Birmingham) ** Potteries (north Staffordshire) ** Coventry * East Angle **Norfolk **Suffolk * Southern ** Cockney (working-class London and surrounding areas) ** Essaxon (Essex) ** Estuary (middle-class London, Home Counties and Hampshire) ** Pompey dialect (Portsmouth) ** Kentish (Kent) ** Multicultural London (London) ** Sussex * West Country **Anglo-Cornish **Bristolian **Janner (Plymouth) **Dorset


* Scottish English comprising varieties based on the Standard English of England. **Highland English


* Welsh English **Abercraf **Anglesey **Cardiff **Gower **Gwynedd **Port Talbot **Wrexham

Isle of Man

* Manx English

Channel Islands

*Channel Island English


* Gibraltarian English


* Hiberno-English (Irish English) ** Ulster *** Belfast *** Derry *** South Ulster *** Ulster Scots dialects *** West Donegal ** Leinster *** Dublin **** Dublin 4 (D4) **** Inner city **** Suburban Dublin *** Dundalk *** Wexford town ** Connacht *** Galway city *** Mayo *** Sligo town ** Munster *** Cork city *** Waterford *** Kerry *** Tipperary *** Limerick city


*Forth and Bargy dialect (also known as Yola), thought to have been a descendant of Middle English, spoken in County Wexford *Fingallian, another presumed descendant of Middle English, spoken in Fingal

Continental Europe

English language in Europe: * Euro English

The Netherlands

* Dutch English


* German English



* Swedish English


* Norwegian English


* Finnish English


=Mainland Denmark

= * Danish English


= * Greenlandic English

North America

North American English

United States

American English: *Cultural and ethnic American English ** African American English ("Ebonics") ***African-American Vernacular English ** Boontling ** Cajun Vernacular English ** Hawai‘i English ** Latino (Hispanic) Vernacular Englishes *** Chicano English (Mexican-American English) *** Miami English *** New York Latino English ** Pennsylvania Dutch English ** Yeshiva English * American Everyday English **General American: the "standard" or "mainstream" spectrum of American English. **American English *Regional and local American English **Appalachian English **New England English *** Eastern New England **** Boston and Maine: Greater Boston, including most of eastern Massachusetts **** Rhode Island **Tangier ** Southeast super-region *** Mid-Atlantic (Delaware Valley) **** Baltimore **** Philadelphia *** Midland **** North Midland: Iowa City, Omaha, Lincoln, Columbia, Springfield, Muncie, Columbus, etc. **** South Midland: Oklahoma City, Tulsa, Topeka, Wichita, Kansas City, St. Louis (in transition), Decatur, Indianapolis, Cincinnati, Dayton, etc. *** "Hoi Toider" *** New Orleans *** Southern **** Southern Appalachian: Linden, Birmingham, Chattanooga, Knoxville, Asheville, and Greenville **** Texas Southern: Lubbock, Odessa, and Dallas **** Upper Dixie: Smyrna, Nashville, Murfreesboro, and Munster Ireland **New York City **Northern *** Inland Northern: Chicago, Cleveland, Detroit, Milwaukee, Western New York, the Lower Peninsula of Michigan, and most of the U.S. Great Lakes region *** Western New England: Connecticut, Hudson Valley, western Massachusetts, and Vermont **North Central (Upper Midwestern): Brockway, Minot, Bismarck, Bemidji, Chisholm, Duluth, Marquette, etc. *** Upper Peninsula of Michigan ("Yooper") **Western ***Californian *** New Mexican ***Utahan ***Northwestern ***Wyomese **Western Pennsylvania (Pittsburgh) *Extinct or near-extinct American English **Older Southern American English **Transatlantic accent


Canadian English: * Atlantic Canadian English ** Cape Breton English ** Lunenburg English ** Newfoundland English * Standard Canadian English ** Quebec English ** Ottawa Valley English ** Pacific Northwest English

Caribbean, Central, and South America


* Caribbean English

The Bahamas

* Bahamian English


*Bajan English


* Belizean English


* Bermudian English

Cayman Islands

* Cayman Islands English

Falkland Islands

* Falkland Islands English


* Guyanese English


* Bay Islands English


* Jamaican English

Saint Vincent and the Grenadines

* Vincentian English

Trinidad and Tobago

* Trinidadian English



* Bangladeshi English (''Benglish'' or ''Banglish'')


* Brunei English


* Burmese English

Hong Kong

* Hong Kong English * China **Chinese Pidgin English (Extinct)


Indian English: * Standard Indian English **Indian English: the "standard" English used by administration and educated people, it derives from the British Raj. *Regional and local Indian English ** East Region *** Oriya English *** Assamese/Bengali English *** North-East Indian English ** West Region *** Gujarati English *** Maharashtrian English ** North Region *** Hindustani English or Hinglish *** Delhi/Punjabi English *** U.P./Bihari English *** Rajasthani English ** South Region *** Telugu English *** Kannada English *** Tamil English *** Malayali English


* English in Japan * Jinglish


* Malaysian English

Middle East

*Middle Eastern English (or Arablish)


*Nepali English


* Pakistani English


* Philippine English (similar to American English)


* Singapore English, (similar to British English)

Sri Lanka

* Sri Lankan English (SLE)



* Cameroonian English

The Gambia

*Gambian English


* Ghanaian English


* Kenyan English


* Liberian English


* Malawian English


* Namlish


* Nigerian English (similar to American English and British English)

South Africa

* South African English (similar to Australian English, British English and Zimbabwean English) **Black South African English ***Acrolect ***Mesolect **Cape Flats English **Indian South African English ** White South African English ***Broad accent ***General accent ***Cultivated accent

South Atlantic

*South Atlantic English spoken on Tristan da Cunha and Saint Helena

South Sudan

* South Sudanese English


* Ugandan English


* Zimbabwean English (Shares similarities with British English and other Southern Hemisphere Englishes especially South African English)



Australian English (AusE, AusEng): * Cultural ** General Australian ** Broad Australian ** Cultivated Australian ** Australian Aboriginal English * Regional ** South Australian English ** Western Australian English ** Torres Strait English ** Australian Chinese Vernacular English ** Victorian English ** Queensland English ** Tasmanian English. Rough terrain and long history of habitation promotes a diverse phonological situation. The Trap-Bath split has a consistent yet different distribution than mainland Australia.


* Fiji English (FijEng, en-FJ)

New Zealand

New Zealand English (NZE, en-NZ) * Maori English * Southland accent * Taranaki accent



* Antarctic English

Tristan da Cunha

* Tristan da Cunha English

World Global English

These dialects are used in everyday conversation almost all over the world, and are used as lingua francas and to determine grammar rules and guidelines. *Standard English *International English *English as a lingua franca

See also

* Survey of English Dialects * Regional accents of English * History of the English language ** Old English ** Middle English ** Early Modern English ** Modern English * Linguistic purism in English * Macaronic language * English-based creole languages * List of English-based pidgins * World Englishes


Further reading

* * * * * * * * *

External links

Sounds Familiar?
Listen to examples of regional accents and dialects from across the UK on the British Library's 'Sounds Familiar?' website

– International Dialects of English Archive
English Dialects
– English Dialects around the world
Dialect poetry from the English regions

American Languages: Our Nation's Many Voices
- An online audio resource presenting interviews with speakers of German-American and American English dialects from across the United States
electronic World Atlas of Varieties of English (eWAVE)
{{DEFAULTSORT:List Of Dialects Of The English Language English Dialects Category:English as a global language