It’s Still English… Right?

I’m reading an interesting British book, about a guy who traveled around the world for six months looking for birds.  My best friend found it for me at a used book store in Houston and brought it to me when he came to visit.

I enjoyed reading his impression of Canada and two locations in the United States – seeing familiar countries through an outsider’s eyes is always fun.  It’s also giving me the traveling and birding bug again, so it’s a good thing I’m already planning a couple of trips in the next couple of years!

The unusual thing about this book is the language.  For the most part I don’t notice a difference; he doesn’t write with a lot of slang.  When there are unfamiliar terms, I’ve been able to get enough from context.

This current chapter, though, is different.  Perhaps because New Zealand (the location for this part) reminds him of home, the descriptions are full of slang terms that I don’t get.  Google translator will not do English (Britain) to English (American) but I did find one online British to American translator that did the job for some of the words.  Now I know that a “semi” is not a truck, it’s a duplex, and even though it sounds cute, “twee” really means tacky.

Isn’t language fun?

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2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Kate Ferguson Writes
    Dec 08, 2012 @ 08:30:38

    Hmm for me (I am Irish), “twee” is not so much tacky but more a little bit cringe-inducingly quaint.How did Nanowrimo turn out for you?

    Reply

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