Thursday, August 11, 2005

Europe 2005 - International English

With English originating in Britain and the largest group of English speakers being in India no one is taught USA English. (personally I don't think I was speaking the same language as the locals in Scotland similar to Spanish and Italian speakers understanding each other) this list is by no means definitive and is only what we came across.

ATM=bancomat, bancoautoma, cash machine, money from the wall, automatique banco, automat.
Restroom= WC when written, toilet when spoken. I got the strangest looks when I slipped up and asked where the bathroom was on the bus.
Vacation=holiday, saying you are on vacation apparently means you have been fired or headed to prison I couldn't quite tell.
bed & breakfast=Pension, Penziun, Zimmer.
Open 24 hours=non-stop
Freeway callbox=SOS phone
Pharmacy=Apothecary, Chemist (they all have a neon green cross)

Diet coke=coke light
Lemonade=fresh mix
ranch dressing Doritos=cool American Doritos
Loaf of sliced bread=American bread
Circus=American circus
Regular (uncarbonated) water=flat, natural, sans gas, still.
Dine in or take out= stay or take away.

Everyone everywhere was so helpful when we did not know the local language. I’m afraid to say, much more polite than someone not knowing English would be treated in the USA. I guess dealing with it so often they get used to it. We tried learning the basic words (or at least how to ask if they speak English.) in all the local languages and I’m sure we sounded badly enough that communicating in English was easier when possible.

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