Saturday, 9 June



Nigel Saych, ‘… divided by a common language’: Cultural, topical and geographical Englishes


This quote (in several variations) has been attributed to GB Shaw, Oscar Wilde and even to Winston Churchill. However, this presentation is not really about the differences between UK and US English: there are hundreds of websites which explain that. Following the theme of ‘Englishes now!’, the session will highlight some of the ways in which different forms of the language can be used for effect – sometimes positive and sometimes negative. It will illustrate some of the pitfalls for the unwary linguist. Many of these are based on experience I gained, first as a teacher in international education and in the past 15 years as a translator. Obviously the differences between the English language in various countries around the world will form part of this session, but in addition to ‘Global English’ there will also be examples of ‘Gender English’, ‘Classroom English’ and even ‘Aunty Mabel’s English’ …

‘Gender English’ will include changing trends in ‘Mr and Mrs’, ‘Ladies and Gentlemen’, the changing use of the terms ‘sex’ and ‘gender’ and how these affect us as translators, interpreters and editors. ‘Classroom English’ will deal with how teachers’ reports are interpreted by parents (in my case translated into other languages) and how ‘reading between the lines’ is sometimes required to really understand the content. ‘Aunty Mable’s English’ will examine past and present conventions in polite English, including the way criticism and disapproval can sometimes be covered by seemingly appreciative language.

My intention is to draw from the audience their own experiences with and examples of the types of English mentioned above. I hope the message participants will take with them is that we are all dealing with these issues daily, but the more creative the consideration we give to them, the more likely we are to be able to deal with them.

This is not intended for any particular discipline within the language profession. It should be an inspiring session for anyone dealing with language every day.


About the presenter

photo Nigel Saych 1Nigel Saych is the owner and director of Interlex Language Services, a ‘Fair Trade’ translation company based in Nuenen (near Eindhoven) in the Netherlands ( He is also a full-time translator and has given entertaining presentations at 20 translation conferences over the past ten years. Creative translation is Nigel’s speciality and his presentation at SENSE conference 2018 will offer a creative approach to ‘Englishes now’.