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New Englishes


Since the early 1980’s the term New Englishes has been used for non-native varieties of English spoken in former colonies of England, chiefly in South-Asia, South-East Asia, West Africa and East Africa. The essential difference between these varieties and those in countries like the United States or Australia is that they do not derive from settler English, i.e. there has been no transmission of native-speaker English across the generations.

New Englishes show a strong influence of the background languages spoken in a region, e.g. of Hokkien Chinese, Malay or Tamil in Singapore. Due to language and educational policy, New Englishes have virtually become native-speaker varieties of Englishes, e.g. in Singapore, and will most probably continue to expand given the role of English on an international level and its role as a lingua franca in countries with many native languages which are mutually incomprehensible, e.g. in Nigeria or in India.