Translating from English to… English

Posted on November 13, 2008 by yankeebean

yankeebeanSome English people have been to America. Usually Florida or New York. But some have actually lived there for some chunk of time. These English people (the ones who have lived in America), translate from English to English.

When they get chatting with an American, the pronounce words the American way -> ‘toe-may-toe’, ‘gar-aaah-je’, ‘highway’, ‘al-ooo-min-um’, ‘seh-my’, you get the idea. And they do it with an I’m-one-of-you twinkle in their eye.

I think this is fascinating and I THINK they’re doing it to try and be friendly… Which is nice. But I don’t really understand why. It inevitably leads to me saying ‘Oh! Good pronunciation there! *insert-rehearsed-laughter*’. And then we talk about the time they spent in America, what they did there, who they know there, ect etc etc…

Sometimes they even mention specific names of friends or relatives as if I’m going to know these people (because America is just a big village, really…)

The good thing is that the English-to-English translators are usually the people that actually LIKE Americans. So it could be worse.

So much for speaking a common language!

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What Others Are Saying

  1. Steve Shawcross July 29, 2009 at 11:04 pm

    People are being friendly when they ape USA pronunciation; trying to build a rapport, and make you feel welcome.

    If they are taking the p_ss, you have my permission to deck them!

  2. Pingback: Fancy a game of Throwball? « She’s not from Yorkshire…

  3. yankeebean November 15, 2008 at 7:32 pm

    One of my lovely-English-friends told me the other day that she’s been celebrating Thanksgiving for years because she’s always know someone American that was having a party :)

    I love it! Spread the Thanksgiving love!!

  4. pacificyorkshirebird November 15, 2008 at 4:17 pm

    Last weekend I was speaking to a friend who had just returned from 7 years in California. He was telling me how much he was going to miss Thanksgiving this year. He said it with that same twinkle in his eye. I think he was really genuine about it… awww.

  5. flamebrain November 13, 2008 at 10:04 pm

    I’ve always found that American pronunciations, and other former colonies, often result from pronouncing things phonetically don’t you think?

  6. peacefulyorkshire November 13, 2008 at 8:05 am

    Have you also noticed how a Brit that has lived in the USA has always liked it A LOT ?
    I always hear how much they loved it and how they wish they could go back! That always puts a smile on my face because its a compliment, right?

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