All posts tagged: American Language

Ten Things which tell you I am a Brit Living in the States.

  I have lived in the United States in the great midwest since 2003 and while I have become assimilated in many ways, some departments of my brain remain staunchly British. You would think that living in a country which speaks the same language (ish) would be a piece of cake to move to. I watched every episode of Friends and hung into Carrie Bradshaw’s every word, so it should be easy, right?  Not so much, there are lots of small things which are different, but not different enough to be immediately obvious. I remember the occasion when I asked someone over the phone if they could put a catalogue in the post for me, after a few minutes of confusing confusion, I learnt that if you want something delivered to your door, it is ‘mail’.  If you want it in the local newspaper, ask for it to be in the ‘post’.  Lesson learned. I never did get the catalogue. I am still getting things mixed up and some things I just can’t get the …

Learning a new language. Still.

I have lived in the States for 11 years now and I still sometimes forget to translate words into ‘American’. Good job I don’t live in France or Germany! I wouldn’t be communicating so well if I did. When I moved here I knew that some words were different but nothing to confuse, right?  Wrong. Lots to confuse and no, watching every episode of ‘Friends’ and ‘Sex in the City’ does not equip you with enough language ability to manage in the big wide Mid West world. Some differences are pretty well known both sides of the pond and cause no problems like candy/sweets and Mom/Mum although I still don’t use Mom ever, I am a Mum all the way! So let’s look at some more of these words which don’t match.  Clothing always confuses me, should I wear a vest if I want to be warm or cool?  Don’t get your pants mixed up with your trousers!  Always remember to wear your fanny-pack on your bum. I have had some very interesting conversations which …