Kindle Forum banner

1 - 13 of 13 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
11,680 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
My American friend, who is also a teacher, suggested I make an American version of my children's books with US spelling because US teachers would not want to be bothered explaining to young children that colour should be color.

Do US teachers avoid using books with British spelling?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,965 Posts
I would think that creating a special American version would be a good idea - a lot of the way children learn to spell is by reading, and if they pick up the "colour" spelling (because it looks cool) and use it in a paper, their teacher would come down on them like a ton of bricks. I know, because that happened to me in 3rd grade  :(
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
796 Posts
I have no real answer for you other than personal experience.

As a child, I was a voracious reader. (Still am.) Apparently, I voraciously read a lot of British work. (Still do.) To this day, I instinctively type the British spelling of a word only to go back and remind myself that I'm an American. ;)

As a parent, I have two boys who are young readers: one is quick to pick up new words and remembers the proper spelling of said words easily, and one who struggles with new words and spellings and letter reversals. There's a series of books that was highly recommended to help boys learn to love reading. I purchased the entire series and my sons have been devouring them. Unfortunately, I discovered that the stories have a lot of intentionally misspelled words. While this is fine for one boy - he's the one who pointed it out to me and explained why the author chose to write that way - the other boy is now further confused about how to properly spell these words.

I guess, the point I'm meandering around here, is that kids definitely learn to spell through reading. Encountering the British spelling of words will enable a discussion about the differences in language for some and righteously confuse others. As a parent, I guess I'd suggest an American version (if it's not too costly for you to create).
 
A

·
Guest
Joined
·
0 Posts
For children's books, books sold in the U.S. should use U.S. spelling and grammar.  Teens and older readers can easily adapt and learn how to "break" the rules and accept differences between different countries. But children are still learning the rules, and as such most of my friends who are teachers and librarians won't even look at a children's book that doesn't use American spelling.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
40 Posts
Bards and Sages (Julie) said:
For children's books, books sold in the U.S. should use U.S. spelling and grammar. Teens and older readers can easily adapt and learn how to "break" the rules and accept differences between different countries. But children are still learning the rules, and as such most of my friends who are teachers and librarians won't even look at a children's book that doesn't use American spelling.
I remember being dumbfounded the first time I saw "colour" and "realise!" We started reading BrE books in seventh or eighth grade, I think.

On the flip side, it's important not to change too much as far as the book's content is concerned. I'm looking at you, Sorcerer's Stone. Title change aside, I have a very early paperback edition in which every instance of "mum" has been changed to "mom," and "football" becomes "soccer." It just seems unnecessary. I think kids can handle those differences.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,485 Posts
I agree with Lottie. There's a subtle but real difference between the concept of the Commonwealth nations using slightly different spellings of the same words, and using different words entirely. I always considered "mum" a different word from "mom," for example, even as a kid when I read Brit kids books like the "Five" series, whereas "color" and "colour" are the same word with different spellings. But then, I was a precocious reader and a verbal thinker, to the point that when I first read Harry Potter I was irritated to realize someone had Americanized a lot of things in the version I had. I kept expecting certain familiar Britishisms and didn't see them because they'd been excised or changed.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
12,722 Posts
Depends on the age of the child.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,910 Posts
Americans, yes. American teachers, I don't know.

But honestly, kids in the rest of the world seem to adapt to the spelling variations with little difficulty. Not sure what it is about American kids or the way they're taught that makes it such a difficult concept to grasp. My teachers didn't come down like a ton of bricks on any of the kids using American spelling. And by high school they told us we could choose to use either, just to be consistent.

Rue
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
979 Posts
I don't think Americans generally buy ANY books with British spellings. Personally, I would rather read the original edition, but we're talking about mainstream audiences here.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,610 Posts
Domino Finn said:
I don't think Americans generally buy ANY books with British spellings.
None. Not one. Ever.
 
1 - 13 of 13 Posts
Top