The thing about moving to England is that is SEEMS like things shouldn’t be all that different. We share a common language. I didn’t need to take language classes before I moved here, I have no anxiety with talking to people because I’m afraid I’m going to say things wrong. That has made my move here much easier than for a lot of other expats in the world since I don’t have that hurdle to jump over.
Of course, because of this common language sometimes you do get surprised when things pop up that are cultural differences. It is easy to get lulled into a false sense that things will be the same but what it is important for expats, especially those from the U.S.A, to remember is that England IS a different country and there are cultural differences. The most noticeable is that Americans are typically a lot more direct and likely to search out new people. Not myself in particular as I’m somewhat shyer than most. There are other difference but unfortunately I can’t think of them off the top of my head XD.
But there is more about language I want to talk about. Mainly, the different expressions that there are.
I like British expressions. I like that “love” is a common endearment that EVERYONE uses here. Even shop keepers, random people on the street. It’s sorta like dear, or sweetie back home. A term of endearment that you wouldn’t feel uncomfortable calling a stranger.
I like that people say “bless” when they think something is particularly sweet. It tickles me that “Ta” means thank you and not goodbye. There are so many expressions and words that I hear now that just make me warm inside when I hear them, not because of familiarity but because they ARE unfamiliar but in a nice, sweet way.
I like when my roommate thinks I’m being particularly silly, or cute, or in this instance because I’m sick, losing my voice and trying to talk that she says, “Ah, bless your cotton socks.” I think that is the cutest, sweetest expression and I smile every time she says it.
I like language and I like being in an English speaking country and hearing phrases in my own language that I haven’t ever heard before. It’s like learning a new language that I already know, if that makes any sense.
I’m not sure if I ever say phrases that my roommates think are cute. Although I sometimes say phrases that make them laugh and want to keep for themselves so I’m sure that is close at least. And I do say very American things apparently.
R and I were at the store (Argos) so that I could buy a clock/radio. While there I was thumbing through the catalog and I said, “Oh, I could do real damage here, yep, I sure could.” Which made R laugh and say, “You sound very American right now.” It was a funny moment.
On a side note, the store Argos is AWESOME! Basically there are catalogs that you look through, find what you want, write the number down, put it into a computer, pay for it and then they’ll call your number for you to go up to your pick up counter. The down side, you don’t get to actually hold the item in your hand. The upside, they have a LOT of stuff. They just keep it in a storage area (downstairs?) and since it isn’t IN the store they can have a lot more things stored away. Pretty cool.