There is debate on the existence of this variety within the expanding circle, I think it exists in as much as we can categorise other varieties (i.e. Singlish falls under the 'Asian-English' label).

I'm searching for examples to support/refute the idea of 'Euro-English', I've investigated countability but I'm in search of more data.

Could anyone provide any examples of other morphological, grammatical or lexical features which are unique to varieties of English within Europe? Or point me to a corpus/journals which have this data.

Or does it not exist, could you point me towards academic literature which refutes its existence?

  • Well, there are actually two English-speaking countries in Europe: Britain and Ireland. So I suppose they speak Euro-English.
    – fdb
    Dec 23, 2013 at 22:42
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    Take a look at this book, it includes arguments based on linguistic evidence: Mollin, Sandra. 2006. Euro-English. Assessing Variety Status. Tübingen: Narr.
    – robert
    Dec 23, 2013 at 23:21
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    I'm assuming that what the questioner has in mind is non-native varieties of English spoken in Europe. Maybe i'm wrong.
    – P Elliott
    Dec 24, 2013 at 2:56
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    I would suggest to expand what you have found so far during your research. The way the question is asked, I can only suppose confusion between forms ("branches") of language used by native speakers (en-US, en-GB) and accents used by non-native English speakers. The features of accents largely depend on the speaker's native language. For example, rolling [r] and absence of [ð θ] in Russian will often make Russian-English accent to retain rolling [r], [ð θ] replaced with [z s], just like in movies. Is this what is needed? Dec 24, 2013 at 3:11
  • not exactly what you want but very similar univie.ac.at/voice/page/corpus_description
    – Alex B.
    Dec 24, 2013 at 21:41

3 Answers 3



There are phrases like “water with gas” or “canalisation” that occur between speakers of languages like German and Italian that are rarely if ever heard from native English speakers in these senses.

The basic principle here is that continental European languages have a lot in common, even across language families. This is especially true within regions.

I would argue that European English even occurs between continental Europeans in countries where English is spoken.

Conversely there are many phrases used by native English speakers that most non-native speakers do not utter, or even understand.


The question being asked can't be scientifically researched until it is pinned down – what is supposed "Euro-English"? I think England is in Europe (still), so the myriad varieties of English of England might seem to be "Euro-English", and likewise Irish, Welsh and Scottish varieties. To rule out that obvious class of dialects, I assume you mean "varieties without native speakers" – stepping out of Europe for a moment, East African and Indian English would thus be outside of the scope of the question.

We can also ask if "UK English" exists (or if "English English" exists); that presumably would mean "Is there a set of features that identify what is common to all speakers in England, or in the UK". The set of features is somewhat small; but to quality as UK English, it ought to exclude features found in other regional Englishes, such as "American" English, Canadian English, Australian English and so on. That is, we need something that makes the language specifically "European", meaning that you are only looking for features of the European dialect – a common set of features shared by non-native speakers of Europe, but not more general (e.g. clausal negation is done with the word "not", the integer that precedes "two" is "one").

This brings us to a possible scientific question: are there any features that exist in the non-native varieties of Europe and are exclusive to that variety? I expect that this question is answered in the negative. First, the dialectal unity of European English is questionable, as is the unity of UK English. Second, the geographical exclusivity of those features compared to other planetary zones is highly unlikely. It is most likely that any entity "Euro-English" would have to be defined with some form of UK English as the standard. And thus the question devolves to the squabble between Mollin and Modiano – there is no testable (refutable) scientific hypothesis on offer.

Rather than asking whether Euro-English exists, you can simply assume that it exists and then ask what properties it has. Those properties may be shared with other dialects of English.

  • 2
    I think you completely miss the point of the OP: Euro-English isn't British or Irish English, it is the English spoken by non-native speakers of English around Europe, especially in Brussels in the EU administration. I once read a piece on BBC about that EURO-English, culminating in a statement that all non-natives seemed to understand each other well but the native speaker from Britain was lost. Not bookmarked, therefore no reference. Mar 22, 2022 at 10:50
  • You should first rewrite the OP to clarify what Euro-English is and second re-read my answer to understand what I said. However, I do think you are probably right that anything called Euro-English is specifically the dialect adopted by the European political elites,.
    – user6726
    Mar 22, 2022 at 15:18
  • Well, the OP is gone, last seen more than 8 years ago ... is it worth to rewrite an old question like this? Mar 22, 2022 at 15:35
  • @jk-ReinstateMonica Probably one of the comments here, which was picked up by Barone (2005) [Lingua Inglese delle Istituzioni Europee. Standardizzazione, Armonizzazione o Approssimazione?]
    – Michaelyus
    Apr 25, 2022 at 23:51
  • @Michaelyus: No this isn't the piece I remember. It was in the piece from BBC directly, not somewhere in the comments. Apr 26, 2022 at 8:28

I think your idea of "euro-English" is nothing more than Globish. Here are a couple of books, that might help you.

Globish: How the English Language Became the World's Language TIMOTHY FARRINGTON

The History of English DAVID GRAMLEY

The Stories of English DAVID CRYSTAL

Each of these books treat the subject of world variants of English.

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