I’ve probably mentioned it before, but a large part of the English-speaking Western world actually believes that Americans don’t speak English. So, what exactly do we Americans speak? American!
Look, I’ll give it to the Brits that perhaps their English is the more proper and correct version. They did, after all, father the language. We Americans then took it and simply made it… better. Ha, well, at least in my mind, we made it more efficient.
A big difference between American English and British English is the spelling of various words. I like to think that by leaving out unnecessary letters, we just make it easier. Think colour (British English) and color (American English). The u is simply an added chore to write or type.
Another difference is with the pronunciation of certain words, and I also like to think that we tend to sway on the efficiency side. Take the word mobile. In British English, it is pronounced like mo-by-ul, but in American English, it is commonly pronounced as mo-bull. The latter definitely takes a little less to say the same thing, right?
I’ve heard it all from the Brits, especially when some learned last year that I would be teaching American English in Ukraine. They always stated how stupid it was to only focus on American English, but the truth is that American English is generally thought of as the language of business. And, it even turned out that my short time spent virtual teaching Korean kids after first arriving in Australia involved American English as well. Yes, American English rocks, but since the Brits do have that whole “inventing the language thing”, I generally give their side of the argument a point from the start.
However, what I do have a problem with is when the friggin’ Aussies come around and try to say things like Australian English is better than American English because they happen to keep in all those crazy unnecessary letters and such.
What I’d like to know is if they have actually heard themselves talk because there is something silly going on down here in their lingo, and it makes it definitely different from the original. So, who are they to say their language is better, right?!
Fair dinkum, mate.
A Language Barrier
I always wondered what it would be like to date someone that spoke another language. It is quite interesting to see people in relationships with foreigners that barely speak a lick of English because I feel that so much of a relationship relies on the ability to communicate. If I couldn’t tell my partner exactly how I felt… I can’t even imagine! But, somehow, some people make it work.
Now, we may not speak completely different languages, my boyfriend and I, but you could say that we speak different dialects of English. You would be surprised how many times I find myself asking him the meaning of an Aussie word or phrase, or just to repeat himself because I couldn’t quite catch it the first time. Yep, we do have a language barrier between us. Here is one such instance:
When I moved into my new apartment, I needed to search out a mattress. We thought we would go to this foam shop he knew about because he heard they were quite comfortable for the price. To check out the exact address, we decided to do a quick web search and go from there.
I was manning the keyboard with Patrick by my side. He started by spitting out the store’s name, which sounded something like “Clock Robba”. Seriously, I had no freaking idea what he was saying. Dumbfounded, I looked at him in confusion as I tried to piece together whether “Clock Robba” could actually be the name for a foam shop.
My fingers couldn’t even begin to type because I honestly was so confused.
“How do you spell that? C l o c k?” I asked.
“No,” said Pat. “Clock like the name silly.”
“C l a r k!” he spelled.
Oh. my. goodness. I really had no idea. We laughed and I typed in “Clark” as was necessary, and then was shocked again when I had to spell out “Robba”.
Long story short, I was so confused because it was actually a store called “Clark Rubber”, but we just had a failure to communicate. True story!