English is pronounced differently in each country where it is spoken. The two most popular accents are the ones from UK and US. The most widely taught UK English accent is called Received Pronunciation. In US case, there is the continuum of accents known as General American. A brief summary between RP and GA can be found at https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comparison_of_General_American_and_Received_Pronunciation . Usually English dictionaries contain the two different pronunciations of each word in UK and US.

Why French dictionaries do not do the same for the distinct pronunciations of words in Canada and France? Are the pronunciation differences between Canada/France smaller than England/US or does not Canadian French pronunciation have enough demand for it?

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    More than half of speakers of French in the world are French, which (on top of obvious historical reasons) sets France apart. Jun 6, 2019 at 4:46
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    The most widely taught UK English accent is called Received Pronunciation and 20 years ago there was in the UK just about 3 % of the UK population speaking RP.
    – LPH
    Jun 6, 2019 at 6:10

1 Answer 1


A well know statement says "A language is a dialect with an army and navy". It can be said about pronunciations/accents too.

Most French dictionaries published in France ignore all pronunciations but the "official" one, i.e. the one used by the Parisian upper class, the vast majority of radio/TV speakers and actors in France. While there are certainly much more daily speakers of French outside France nowadays, there are few other countries where it is the only official language. Countries with a significant native French speaking population are Canada, Belgium and Switzerland. None of them have a French only speaking government/army. The majority of the remaining French speaking people often have another mother tongue, especially in Africa.

On the opposite, the United Kingdom is not the leading militar, cultural and economical English country anymore. The United States, a de facto English speaking country, has taken that place. That's one of the reason why American pronunciation is considered the most influential English one and thus listed in dictionaries, even in the ones published in the UK.

In any case, regardless of what French or English dictionaries list as pronunciation, the actual day to day pronunciation can widely differ, and a large part of the speakers, even those living inside countries like France, the UK or the US can and often do have another pronunciation than the "standard" of their respective countries. This is specially true in Southern France and in most areas of the UK, where the social origin plays a major role too. Outside these three countries, the pronunciation is often even further away from the standards, like the varieties of French spoken in Africa.

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    @suiiurisesse Les indiens sont certes nombreux à parler anglais, mais comme deuxième langue 83 millions ou troisième 46 millions, ce qui n'est pas tant que ça pour un pays d'un milliard et quelques centaines de millions d'habitants. Les indiens n'étaient que 260,000 a déclarer l'anglais comme langue maternelle en 2011, soit 0,021% de la population du pays. Une goutte d'eau comparé aux 379 millions d'anglophones de naissance dans le monde, soit 5% de la population mondiale. Cela dit, dans un secteur comme l'informatique, on rencontre souvent des indiens dont l'anglais est un supplice pour nous.
    – jlliagre
    Jun 7, 2019 at 20:13
  • Un bonne recherche, ils donnent certainement l'impression d'être plus nombreux que ça à le parler, peut-être justement à cause du fait qu'on y réagit davantage. Bof, il y a beaucoup d'originalité dans leurs trucs, mais ça prend parfois un dictionnaire de leur anglais pour comprendre, et il y en a. Ça a aussi des impacts sur des normes comme celle de la lettre standard, avec des en-tête comme dear respected sir, tout à fait courant je crois pour eux. Leur influence perturbe certainement, différemment de celle du Canada francophone.
    – user19187
    Jun 7, 2019 at 21:20

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