Language information: American English
American English (usually abbreviated as AE or AmE in dictionaries) is an independent variant of English and, with around 300 million native speakers, also the most widely used. The term American English refers to English spoken in the USA, which together with Canadian English forms the North American dialect of the English language. Canadian English is quite similar to US English, but there are some differences in spelling and vocabulary. There are a number of words that have been taken from French into the vocabulary and that are generally not used in the US.
American English is by far the most influential of all English variants. Probably the biggest contribution to this is made by the American film industry, whose feature films are seen all over the world. Since in many countries the films are shown in the original (often only with subtitles), this has an enormous effect on the spread of the American dialect. You will meet people all over the world from whom you will hear more American than British English. Another important contribution to the spread of the American version of the English language is American pop music and, more recently, the Internet.
In the USA, American English is the mother tongue of about 82% of the people living there. In addition to English, you will often hear Spanish in the USA; Spanish is spoken by more than 10% of the population. The reason for this is the high number of people of Hispanic, i.e. South and Central American origin, who now make up around 30 to 40 million of the US population. Above all in the south of the USA - and here predominantly in the big cities - there are today a large number of people who state Spanish as their mother tongue. In California, for example, almost every third inhabitant is of Hispanic descent. As an everyday and colloquial language, however, English is also becoming increasingly important among Hispanic Americans.
In the United States, an official language only exists in individual states, but not at the federal level. However, English de facto has the function of the official language. In addition to these two languages, there are also many other languages, some of which are maintained by the many immigrant groups, but also by the Native Americans (also called First Nations).
American English has a number of differences to British English, be it in grammar, spelling, vocabulary or pronunciation.
Until the 18th century, the differences between British and colonial English were extremely small. After the independence of the USA from the British crown in 1783, the language began to emancipate itself increasingly from the British Empire. Some language reforms were carried out in the United States, which resulted in changes in spelling, for example. English in Great Britain, on the other hand, was much more conservative and changed less over time.