Do the British speak English?
Vacations to English speaking countries are easy trips for Americans to plan. After all, there is no language barrier or is there? The Irish have an accent and so do the Brits, although they’re always surprised when we mention it to them. On a recent trip to London, we spent a day in Southampton with our new friends, Joanne, Margaret and Polly. Three generations of lovely British women. They told us they watch so many American TV programs that they don’t even notice our Yankee accents anymore. Who knew?
I didn’t have any problems understanding the people we came in contact with, but I did have to interpret for Tom on several occasions! I guess some people are better at languages than others and years of studying French must help.
The other interesting thing we found was almost every single person who worked in retail, hospitality and food service in London were foreigners. I bet 90% were from other European countries. The spoke English, but with a different accent. Even the manager at our hotel was from New Jersey.
The written language is another story. The British and Americans have different words for the same items. A US car has a trunk, theirs has a boot. We eat sausage and they eat bangers for breakfast. Some of the signs and sayings are really a hoot to our American ears.
Every busy street corner has “Look Right” written on the pavement. We’re lucky they constantly remind us. It’s one of the hardest things to remember. NEVER, ever cross the street against the walk sign! You think traffic is bad in New York or Chicago? Those cities have nothing on London.
I was thrilled that Kensington Palace recognized that I am a Queen and should be treated like one! My favorite.
Train lingo. The conductor reminds you to “Mind your step” when you alight from the train.
A bump in the road. Has anyone read Le Petit Prince? This sign should remind you of the French classic.
Road closed, use another route.
This is from the Churchill War Rooms Museum.
Harrods sells “take away” food. Order in advance.
The English are so orderly.
Did you find other interesting signs that we would never see in the US?