Can somebody get me a translator in here please?

We moved to the US from the UK over 2 years ago, and even now I still have awkward moments with Americans where the conversation just stops mid flow as we realise we don’t understand each other.  I’m not saying it is a huge language barrier, like it might be if we had moved to Japan, but we have had to learn a new language.  I think it is easier for us Brits to understand Americans because we watch a lot of American TV shows and films, and Americans have a harder time trying to understand us.

I thought about this issue when I was talking to my nurse about prescriptions – it can be like another language, for example a prescription is known as an Rx.  When I have asked some Americans what Rx stands for, they were unable to answer, so upon googling Rx, it turns out it originates from a Latin word – Recipe, to take.  In Europe doctors use the abbreviation Rp.  (Everyday is a school day!).  I also asked about repeat prescriptions, which is actually called a refill prescription here in the US.  The nurse was very understanding and helpful.  Finally, when I picked up my prescription the pharmacist asked for my Date of Birth, I replied “28th December (insert some ‘I am ancient’ year here)”.  Her brain did not compute this immediately because Americans say the month, day, year.  Not her fault…In the UK we say day, month, year.  Still after two years I have not got this into my head – even today as Chris was writing a check he wrote it the wrong way round!!!

So here are some words which mean very different things in each language, some of them lead to funny misinterpretations:

American = Britishamerica

check = bill

bill = note ($$)

chips = crisps

fries = chips

cookie = biscuit

biscuit = savory scone

underwear = pants

pants = trousers

broil = grill

grill = bbq

eraser = rubber

rubber = condom

faucet = tap

silverware = cutlery

first floor = ground floor

second floor = first floor

gas = petrol

trunk = boot

jelly = jam

jello = jelly

pudding = not pudding!!! Angel delight?

br

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6 thoughts on “Can somebody get me a translator in here please?

  1. 2moms2be says:

    I studied abroad in London for 3 months during college… it was one of the best times of my life..I left a part of my soul there…. don’t be too upset..
    Everything you say or do incorrectly is automatically forgiven because of your accent. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    • thegreatpuddinglcubhunt says:

      Hehe – this is true! Although my husband gets away with it more so, people think he is James Bond 🙂 we have been given extra discounts at places before just for the accent.

      3 months in London seems just about the right amount of time to fall in love with it and not get frustrated with it!!!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. justasec83 says:

    Love this post, I used to work with the States and caused confusion with the word “suspenders”. For a Brit they are of course part of sexy lingerie, but in the States they are what we over here call braces (like those things that hold up trousers). Caused all sorts of trouble 🙂

    Like

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