Are we all speaking the same English language? 😜😏

I agree with @Amparo about still needing to learn the lingo, even when both countries speak English. I’m a British Canadian, and still stumble over the different words at times.

I’ll add to @Amparo’s list for UK/US English:

  • The doctor’s surgery is the doctor’s office - not a procedure involving a scalpel.
  • First floor in the UK is the ground floor in the US. Important if stairs are an issue for the sitter.
  • A joint means a roast of meat - nothing to do with drugs.
  • Pavement is the sidewalk, not the area where cars drive.

I know there are lots more, but those are the ones that first come to mind.

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Hi. My apologies as now I’m totally confused and can’t be sure which is which. Maybe someone will clarify things. Sorry to confuse you. :face_with_hand_over_mouth:

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@Snowbird :rofl: don’t worry

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@Snowbird @Düsenzofe
I’m British - I hadn’t noticed until Düsenzofe mentioned it.
In the UK, first floor is one flight of stairs up from the ground floor.
I know in some other countries first floor is the same as ground floor.
Definitely something to consider if you struggle with stairs!

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I was absolutely sure that the (US) Americans use first floor when they talk about the ground floor. I wasn’t aware that there also were differences between Canada and the US. But why not? German German is also slightly different from Austrian or Swiss German.
Actually I find it highly amusing to see how countries, where the same language is spoken, use different words for the same thing.

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I’m in the US and I have found it completely unpredictable. It varies from building to building. Sometimes the bottom floor is the first floor, the ground floor or the basement. The hospital here has a ground floor (basement-below ground ), then a main level or lobby floor and above that the first floor.

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But wait there is more…
Learn to speak the language!
American English is not the same as Anglish, British English or Island English…

A hob is a stove and AGA
A hoover is a vacuum cleaner
A lift is an elevator
the coach is the bus
the rail the train
the tube is the underground or the subway
like minding the gap and looking left instead of right :eyes:
I can’t tell you the number of times a stranger gave a good tug in the arm to keep me upright.
These are examples But you must make sure that your sitter and HO are understanding what you mean.
Things that are routine and “normal” everyday stuff to one is not to another.
Common sense to you is not that common to another.
I spent 3 weeks in a 400+ thatched cottage eating ready made, microwavable or cold food, unless I could add hot water to it because I did not know how to use the massive 6 burner double oven gas thing in the kitchen and was afraid to start a fire. (That’s all changed now I am happy to say). Though I had no hesitancy starting a log fire.
So yes, communicate, speak up and ask again if you need to. Each party has to be comfortable.
The welcome guide is another way to be mindful of one another.

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Here are some food differences that I can think of:

Canada has a rutabaga - UK it’s a swede
Canada it’s a zucchini - UK it’s a courgette
Canada it’s beets - UK it’s beetroot
Canada is chips - UK is crisps
Canada is French fries - UK is chips
Canada is graham crackers - UK is digestives

That’s it from my memory, but I just found this food-related word differences. It’s no wonder we sometimes don’t understand each other when speaking English :roll_eyes: :rofl:

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AA h… I didn’t know that the Graham crackers that I keep hearing about on American cookery programmes were digestives…… those recipes all makes sense now!:grinning:

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I had also heard of graham crackers but didn’t know what they were!

Yes and words in general have different meanings to people as we each have our own interpretations. We tend to give meaning to things based on our previous experiences.

How we describe something when we use words can have a completely different “feeling” to someone else.

In the US a Graham cracker is sweet, much sweeter than an English digestive, which I interpret as delightful. Not too sweet, not to bland just right. :laughing:
image
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Don’t forget the Scottish dialect.
Girl= Quinn
Boy= loon
Hot water bottle=piggy
Cuddle= coorie
Slippers=baffies
Small=Peerie

I could go on.

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That’s a whole nutter world. Same in Wales. In the US as well.
Southerners speak completely different than Northern people and California can be a country on its own :rofl:

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This is the reason I have to put the subtitles on when I watch English, Scottish, Irish movies,
Australian or New Zealand/kiwi movies. Then I keep my phone beside me so I can look up all the “odd” :wink: terms. I love this topic. Love accents and dialects too – I should have been a dialect coach.

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Oh I do this all the time now and with foreign language films, even if it’s a language I speak. I have found that enhances my understanding and appreciation of the places I visit (or intend to visit). It has been extremely helpful.
Aside from those obvious things, it stimulates the brain! Maintaining and enhancing alertness.

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As a Canadian married to an Englishman who I met on a holiday 42 years ago, my favorite is “fairy liquid”. I had no idea what my hubby was talking about the first time he asked about that to wash the dishes! :slight_smile:

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Everything in the UK is made by fairies.
This is known. :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

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Just logged on and catching up with this. In Singapore, in 1987 they decided that English should be the main language, but over time that has developed into “Singlish” which, if you are not native, is almost impossible to understand, Lah.

Also, the picture below. This was a great topic of conversation in a Singapore bar one evening a couple of years ago. Try to explain some of these Scottish Expressions to a guy from Myanmar.!
image

It’s a Tea towel!

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Hi @Amparo This is a very good list. I believe that English is one of the more harder languages to learn because of all the slang and many words that sound alike/even spelled alike, but have different meanings.

lift - can also mean to pick up something: Can you lift the heavy box?
coach - can be a classification by which one travels by airplane: I often fly coach when I cannot afford First Class.
coach- a person that gives instruction to a sports team. Sharon coached 7/8 year olds in basketball.
tube- can be a long hollow object: Did you close the toothpaste tube?

Words that sound alike – but have different meanings:

hear/here
their/there
to/too/two
flower/flour

Words that are spelled alike, but have different meaning:
bat/animal
bat/used for softball/baseball
bark/refers to a dog barking
bark/refers to bark of a tree

The list is endless

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As someone born in England to a Canadian mother and an Irish father (with American, English, Italian & Scottish grandparents) I understand most of the differences between UK & American English but sometimes forget which word is used where!

You all might enjoy this episode of Something Rhymes With Purple, Susie Dent’s podcast about words, that delves into dictionary pioneer Noah Webster and the changes he made when attempting to reform the English language to establish a national language for America in the 1700s.

Here’s a link for those of you who use Spotify but it’s available on all podcast platforms!

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