Saturday, November 03, 2007

British English vs American English

It has been almost 4 months since I came to El Paso, and often when I speak English, people would immediately know that I am not a local, because:

1) Definitely because of my Manglish slang, but I've been trying to avoid saying 'lah' or 'leh' as I want to master proper English.

2) Choice of words and pronunciations. Because I learned British English in school, so my choice of words and pronunciations would be pro-British than pro-American.

Few examples:

British English vs American English
Rubbish vs Trash
Lorry vs Truck
Sweets vs Candy
Primary School vs Elementary School
Secondary School vs High School/Middle School
Vase (WAh-s) vs Vase (waste)
Holiday vs Vacation
Torchlight vs Flashlight
Autumn vs Fall
Queue vs Line
Route (root) vs Route (ra-out)
overtaking vs passing
wardrobe vs closet
cheque vs check

Till date, I still have to hesitate a moment before I write a date, because in USA, 25 December 2007 is written as 12/25/07 (MM/DD/YY) rather than 25/12/07 (DD/MM/YY). It's so confusing.

There is another confusion related to numbers. I usually say 1 thousand 2 hundred, but the local would say 12 hundred. Hmmm...

Another big difference is the measurement. Here in USA, they use gallon, inches,yard,mile,pound,Fahrenheits and etc. I am still more comfortable with my metric system such as kg,km,cm,Celcius etc. There is an interesting experience that I would like to share with you. Remember the International Food Fair that we had not too long ago? Well, we were collecting recipes for food preparation. So our friend from France converted the measurement from kg to pound, and when we got the recipes, we have to convert it back to kg for easier estimation. And from there, we know that actually all the ambassadors are using the kg rather than pound in their countries. At last, we have something in common.

Last but not the least, goes too... Football vs Soccer. This gave me much problems. So usually I will double check in such way:

Are you referring to David Beckam's soccer or American football?

I guess 'David Beckam' is a very good term to differentiate between football and soccer.

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