After using both system I must say that although it seems a little bit more complex at first, I prefer the Corpus of Contemporary American English rather than the British National Corpus.
- Aesthetically: It seems that the American National Corpus has a long way to go before it becomes something like the BNC. The latter, seems to be more clear in its presentation and more understandable whereas the former seems to be more technical (for expert users). In the BNC everything is well organized and it easier to find the our way in the page. In the ANC everything gets a little more fuzzy and it is not difficult to get lost in the technical jergon it uses.
- Technically (Search Engine): The first advantage of the British National Corpus is that its search engine is online wheareas the ANC’s you have to download it and install it in your computer (4GB approximately). That is a great disadvantage to the ANC because it is tedious to install that ammount of data you might never need to use in your computer. However,there is an option to using the ANC, the Corpus of Contemporary American English which seems to be a more sophisticated way of searching words. The BNC is easier to use, within one click you can find whatever you are looking for, and you will be showed 50 examples of the word you searched in different contexts. The sources of the phrases showed in the BNC are perfectly acknoledged, which is also one of the features of the ANC. As a matter of fact, the search engine used in the BNC is SARA and the one used in the ANC isXaira.
All in all, we will be using both in our project, so we have to say that they both work quite well when dealing with words and phrases in different contexts. Personally, we think that although the registration procedure that has to be done on the CCAE, this one is the best corpus.