This is a list of varieties of the English language. Dialects are varieties differing in pronunciation, vocabulary and grammar from each other and from Standard English (which is itself a dialect). British linguists distinguish dialect from accent, which refers only to pronunciation. Thus, any educated English speaker can use the vocabulary and grammar of Standard English (or Received Pronunciation as it is sometimes known in Britain), but different speakers are said to speak it using their own regional accent. American linguists, however, include pronunciation differences as part of the definition of regional or social dialects (better called varieties).

International classificationsEdit


North AmericaEdit


Central & South AmericaEdit





Manual encodings of EnglishEdit

Main article: Manually Coded English

These encoding systems should not be confused with sign languages such as British Sign Language and American Sign Language.

The "Lishes"Edit

The following are portmanteaus devised to describe certain local variants of English. Although similarly named, they are actually quite different in nature, with some being genuine mixed languages, some being instances of heavy code-switching between English and another language, some being genuine local dialects of English used by first-language English speakers, and some being non-native pronunciations of English. A few portmanteaus (such as Greeklish and Pinglish) are transliteration methods rather than any kind of spoken variant of English.

See alsoEdit



External linksEdit

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