I recently spent 2 weeks in the UK with my sister visiting my niece and her family. During that time we babysat for the 4 and 7 year olds a couple of times. Taking my supervisory responsibilities seriously I felt I needed to be fluent in the language, English.
My niece and her husband readily translated for me when we were all together but when they were out of the home? What if there was an emergency and my sister much more fluent in English was some how incapacitated? My worries were never actualized but I did learn some funny English differences.
When the Grands asked for ‘sweets’ they meant candy. When they asked for a ‘pudding’ they meant dessert.
‘Biscuit’ is cookie, ‘chips’ are French fries and ‘crisps’ are chips. ‘Treacle’ is molasses and ‘ice-lolly’ is a popsicle.
I finally mastered their requests!
We went to a u-pick farm and beets are called ‘beet root’. In restaurants I saw listed a beet root salad. I don’t understand the need for root on the end of beet as a vegetable.
The farm had zucchini that they call ‘courgette’. Big zucchinis we call clubs or poor zucchini gardening but they call ‘marrow’ and sell them. Around here in late summer if you leave your car windows open someone may toss in a big zucchini for free!
In asking directions I was told to take a right at the ‘chemists’, drugstore, and proceed to the ‘high street’, main street, and at my destination on the ‘first floor’, second floor, I would find the office I wanted.
We were at the Royal Botanical Gardens and the kids were running through sprinklers. The 4 year old told me everything was wet but his ‘pants,’ underpants. The 7-year saw a ‘dummy,’ pacifier, that a baby dropped from her stroller. Never a fan of the pacifier I really like that one!
I met my sister at the Boston Airport for our trip so we could fly out together. We flew British Airways. As we settled in our seats my sister said to me, “Get ready for the politeness”. Yes indeed the politeness was quite refreshing!
The picture above I thought was a great sign and to the point.
Do you speak English?