Now that is a phrase I was not expecting to be using during my time studying abroad in London. I had a preconcieved notion that I was not heading into a different area that would provide me insight to a different culture. Was I ever wrong. I feel like every minute I have been yelled at for using a wrong phrase. I think one of the sentances I used most was “yeah, I don’t know what that means.” or “So… what is this?” Trying new foods, celebrating new holiday traditions, it has all been a bit overwhelming.
Having forced myself to befriend real British people in order to submerge myself into a bigger cultural awareness I feel as if I have become a professional at translating this skewed language, whilst ( key term there) laughing at myself for being such an idiot.
So if you are planning on studying, visiting, or living across the pond here are a few things you should probably know.
Proper: not very, just proper. ie: this is a proper blog post, not procrastination at its finest.
cheeky: I don’t even know what it means I just use it. ie: This might be a bit cheeky of me but can I steal your chips?
I guess it kinda sassy/snarky. Actually that is probably a lie. I still don’t really understand what this word means. But I really like it.
A top up: you can top up a drink, a cell phone pay as you go, a travel card. Anything and everything gets topped up.
Right, so I decided to research this a bit… because I am not even sure of all them. There are to many times I messed up I think I just got ignored after awhile. So Here are some of my favorites ( favourites) from http://www.englishclub.com/vocabulary/british-american.htm
A Flat is an apartment.. well that is pretty obvious isn’t it?
Autumn is fall… well we definitely use them interchangeably over here.
biscuit is a cookie…. Let me just tell you. If you EVER want KFC. Don’t even think about going. You will not get biscuits as we know it. You will get fries, maybe. A cookie, is a biscuit. Still annoyed about this.
Bonnet of a car, hood of a car… that just makes no sense.
High street… main street… I mean, that is obvious. Clearly there aren’t streets in every neighborhood where people get high. Although Camden High Street that might be true.
They had some others on there.. I guess if you really want the culture shock of learning a new language you will have to go visit for yourself!
Surprisingly enough, it is not that bad. Actually I think I am eating too much. I guess the stereotypes lie. The most upsetting part of the food, is the globalized fast-food chains that have altered what they serve over the pond. For example: KFC. I was pretty excited to go to KFC get some popcorn chicken and a biscuit. (Yum) See, I wrote about this twice. I was really angry.
When I had the awful realization about this terrorizing fault of British Kentucky Fried Chicken, I decided to share the gift of biscuits. Ok.. I wanted to attempt to share them. In reality I learned that they aren’t the easiest food to make. So I ended up making Thanksgiving dinner for a few of the friends that I made. This was my first time properly ( see proper in context) cooking the meal. We had a spinach and artichoke dip ( not traditional just very american) turkey, cranberry sauce, sweet potato casserole, green bean casserole, mashed potatoes ( I did not make this.) gravy, and of course both pumpkin and pecan pies. And we cannot forget my sad attempt at making biscuits. Sadly there was no football to watch on the tv, or macy’s thanksgiving day parades. We tried to find live feeds of them! But there was a day of cooking, being merry with friends and skying with family back home.
Thank goodness for the signs that told me which way to look, because I am pretty sure I would be dead by now if I didn’t. Haha! It hasn’t been that bad and caught on pretty quickly.
Over all assimilation:
Well, I may have assimilated on some levels, but it has come the time to focus on forgetting all the silly words. Soon, in a little over a week I will be back at home and no one will understand me! Too much Brit in one American.
Stay tuned, I will be updating this over my break now that I am not spending all my time writing papers!