English ist nicht gleich English

Why you must be careful when saying “English”

If you are working with business partners in the UK – or if you travel there – be careful not to fall into the trap of confusing the terms “England”, “United Kingdom”, “Great Britain” and “Britain”.

And never refer to business partners as “English” unless you are sure they are not Scottish or Welsh. The Scots and the people of Wales do not like to be referred to as English. But all three are British.

Great Britain (GB)  ➜ England, Scotland, Wales

The United  ➜ Great Britain + Kingdom (UK) Northern Ireland

The terms “Britain” and “the UK” are often used as if they were identical, especially in the news or theweather forecast.

Finally, “British Isles” is a geographical term for Great Britain and Ireland (Eire) and the thousands of islands off their coasts including the Isle of Man and the Hebrides, but not the Channel Islands. Although these are British – as opposed to Ireland – they are nearer to France.


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