Speaking of different versions of the same language – did you know that at school (obviously it doesn’t matter whether you study in Austria, Britain or Timbuktu) teachers only concentrate on some strange standardized version of a language nobody really uses.

My teachers spoke “Oxford” English; at least they claimed to do so. When I started teaching English I was advised to stop using this “horrible” American English I am kinda proud of. Now I am with the Language Testing Center at the University of Klagenfurt and in charge of producing listening items with all kinds of native speakers. Of course, I have already gotten some feedback on the American, South African and British speakers who have helped me with the recording. And guess what I was told: Austrian teachers focus on Oxford English (surprise!) which is why I should stick to British native speakers only!

Sure, that’s how real life works: You got, let’s say, three clones. One is British, one American and the other one is Australian. They look the same, smell the same and always say the exact same things. You just pick the one you like the most! (In some way, that’s a completely new kind of discrimination, don’t you think?!)