Wednesday, June 13

Divided by a common language....

When we moved from the UK to NZ I worried about lots of things..... my job, the children's schools, having no friends, missing my family..... you get the picture. Not once did it enter my head that we'd have problems with the language. Why would it? Everyone speaks English. Wrong!!!! Okay, not wrong... we both speak English, but wrong of me for thinking UK English is the same as NZ English.

Let me give you some examples:

Crisps.............. Chips
Chips................Hot Chips
Flip Flops ....... Jandels
Trousers......... Pants
Sweets............ Lollies
Ice Lolly......... Ice Block
Kettle............. Jug
Polo neck........ Skivvy
Work top........ Bench
Vest................ Singlet

See what I mean? And it can, and did, lead to misunderstandings. Like the time when we'd only just arrived and my son did some homework and when he got it back it said 'fix it up'! How was he meant to know 'fix it up' meant 'do your corrections'?????

And who knows what 'down the gurgler' means?

And why don't they understand me when I say someone is 'all mouth and trouser', or that someone is 'on a hiding to nothing'?

Anyone else had trouble with lauguage?


Gerb said...

LOL. Trouble with language? Um, yes. But I'm a bakana gaijin, so I can get away with a lot...

But English to English, yes, that does seem odd, doesn't it? We were so excited to go to Australia for spring break because we thought we would be able to communicate. ;) (To be fair, yes, we did understand much more than when we went to, say, China or Korea...) But we noticed many of the same differences you pointed out... and we're coming from American English! So...

chips=hot chips=french fries

flip flops=Jandels=slippahs in Hawaii=thongs (before, you know, the other thongs came into being...)


ice lollies=ice block=ice cube?

And skivvies used to be what they called underwear...

And a singlet was like an undershirt...

And don't even get me started with the cute things my Southern (US) friend calls things. :)


Katie Alender said...

I think an "ice lollie" would be a "popsicle" in America...?

Sara Hantz said...

Thanks, Katie... I waas trying to figure out what you would call it.

stephhale said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
stephhale said...

I would be so confused. I live in the Midwest and the only things we say that sometimes make people laugh are:
pop instead of soda
cheese toastie instead of grilled cheese
that's about as fancy as it gets around here!


bevrosenbaum said...

I'm Canadian, so I've had some probs in the US as well as in the UK! And just for the record, we don't all end every sentence with 'eh?'

Kelly (Lynn) Parra said...

Yeah, I'm always messing up even with US slang or sayings. Heck, I just make up my own language half the time. :) :)

Unknown said...

I'm American, but what are the differences between Canadian and American English? I've only been to French Canada :-) Also, I'm from the South, but just North Carolina, so people up North AND people further South say things I don't understand! One side of my family is from New England, and the other is from Texas, but I grew up here, and sometimes when we get together on holidays I don't understand some of the things they say, and that's in the same country!