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US vs UK

September 6, 2011 2 Comments »

Several years ago I was invited to spend some time with my aunt in UK. I thought, what a great opportunity!

Of course, they use a different currency and drive on the opposite side of the road, but how difficult could the transition be? I mean, at least they speak English there.

True, they speak English in England, but they speak American in America.

While checking in at the hotel, the hotel clerk asked, “Would you like to be knocked up in the morning?”

I paused for a moment. “Is that included?”

US vs. UK

I was unprepared for the tremendous differences between the United States and the United Kingdom.

Not only is the accent different and sometimes not easily understood, but the vocabulary is different, the measurements are different, the brands are different, the mindset is different, the spelling is different, the weather is different, and the food is especially different.

Men’s underwear is “pants” and pants are “trousers”. Jelly is “jam” whereas Jello is “jelly.” Garbage is “rubbish,” and a garbage can is a “dust bin.” A truck is a “lorry” which you fill with “petrol,” while “gas” is what you get after eating a heavy meal.” Fries are “chips” and chips are “crisps,” while sausages are “bangers.” The trunk of a car is a “boot” and the hood is a “bonnet” Food to go is “take away”.

 

The same applies to the different dialects spoken in Latin America. While it’s easy to think of Latin American Spanish as one entity, as textbooks and lessons often do, you should note there are differences in the Spanish of various countries in the Western Hemisphere.

It is important to note that the Spanish dialects and varieties are the regional variants of the Spanish language, some of which are quite divergent from one another, especially in pronunciation and vocabulary, and in grammar. While all Spanish dialects use the same written standard, all spoken varieties differ from the written variety, in different degrees. There are differences between European Spanish and the Spanish of the Americas, as well, as well as many different dialect areas both within Spain and within Spanish America.

There are also significant differences in vocabulary among regional varieties of Spanish, particularly in the domains of food products, everyday objects, and clothes; and many Latin American varieties show considerable lexical influence from Native American languages.

 

 

 

 

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2 Responses to “US vs UK”

  • Commented on September 6, 2011 at 10:50 am

    Hahaha… I have friends and acquaintances from both countries and I was so confused when, after having made friends from Chicago, I met these guys from London: they would scold me if I said elevator instead of lift, they also told me about the pants/trousers difference. Afterwards I became friends with another girl from the US, and she laughed when I said “Do you fancy going out?”. True, there are also huge differences with regard to European Spanish and our Latin American Spanish, and even among Latin American countries, I’m from Argentina and I know that apart from Uruguay, our Spanish variety is very different from the rest of Latin America. Nice article, thanks! Cheers mate! (I heard this a lot when I visited England a few months ago!) 😀

  • Commented on September 7, 2011 at 1:01 pm

    […] del original de Kurt […]