Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Lost in translation

After 16 years across the pond, I have finally learned all the lingo of the land. The word "cute" is used to describe, well just about anything you like the look of, for example "That boy is cute" or your hair is "cute" (English readers- I am deadly serious! the word cute is not reserved for puppies and babies so do not take offence at someone describing your outfit as cute, they mean pretty, glam, sexy or something similar)Also when someone asks for the age of a child, I would expect a number in response but was often given a grade in school which left me puzzled as we didn't have grades in England, only Marks? I realized on my last trip back to the mother land, that I have lost a lot of my language skills and I find myself fumbling for words like a tourist with a sort of weird accent that is often mistaken for Australian (Really people, that is like saying Colin Farrell sounds French in stead of.....a sexy, bad boy Irish man)
Anywhoo, while I try not to stare, as young lads on a train, bicker back and forth, in the most adorable little accents ever, I am reminded that I actually sound that funny to some people. It's not always the accent but the words or phrases I use that I don't realize are different until someone giggles at me. Last week, I took Asha with a couple of chums to the Pioneer Day Parade and as I was considering a blog about it, it dawned on me that in England a Parade was called a Carnival and a carnival was called a fair and a fair was called a show and a show was only at a theater but here a theater could play a movie but going to a movie was called The pictures and...and..... It had flown past me, just how different the two languages are. Boyd spent the first several months of marriage, sweeping up after me when I made statements like "I can't be bothered" which in England would be a polite way of saying "I'm too tired" but here would be more like, "your not worth my time"! Likewise, when someone described my kids as little "buggers" or referred to a "fanny"whilst speaking in church, I looked all shocked and well, you can look those ones up. It's just funny to me that we consider our nations to be so similar, just one is bigger than the other and yet the differences are vast. Seeing the actual Queen, communicate with James Bond (a fictional character)was shocking and awesome to me. This is not your President, who does interviews and has a Facebook account. I'm not sure she ever speaks directly to anyone besides her family and the Prime Minister and that my friends, is the British, stiff upper lip.
If asked "how are you?" you must simply reply, without any thought of your recent accident, ailments or financial stresses that "I'm fine thank you" You may also vary this with "mustn't grumble, yourself?" and then you go merrily on your way, minding your own business. This whole ramble, sparked by a question of what to call my next blog. We all love parade/carnival?

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