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Varieties of English

English is - like German or Chinese - a pluricentric language. This basically means, that there exists more than one version of standard English: British English and American English are well known. Canadian English, Australian English and New Zealandian English are important standard varieties as well.

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'The English languages'
Famous linguist David Crystal puts it like this: "Experts on English these days are fond of the unexpected plural: We find books and articles talking about 'the English languages' or 'the new Englishes'. What they are emphasizing is the remarkable variety which can be observed in the way sounds, spellings, grammar and vocabulary are used within the English speaking world." (Crystal, The English language)

What sounds like linguistic hairsplitting actually has a reverberation into real life. Those varieties are not considered to be dialects, but are equally correct.
Therefore, American English spelling 'theater' and British English spelling 'theatre' are both acceptable in most contexts, even academic exams and legal agreements. However, beware of switching!

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