Sunday, 29 January 2012

will Americans understand me & less than 3 wks to go

It's less than 3 weeks to go till our flight to Denver and I'm both excited and nervous. A lot of the stuff has been sorted out but there is still a lot to be done. So my main goal for the next 6 months is to stay positive and not freak out. Some days can be really hard and stressful but at least at the moment we are in Australia, a familiar place. USA is going to be a real challenge as everything is going to be strange and different.

Putting the American bureaucracy aside, a basic thing called “English” can be an obstacle. While reading about the common experiences of Australians is the USA I noticed that many Aussies stated that American struggle to understand them.

Firstly, the accent is totally different. Aussies are lazy in their speech and don’t pronounce a fair few letters. While going through a list comparing how Aussies vs Americans pronounce words, I realised how Australian I must sound! I’m especially bad with pronouncing my R’s and I definitely should practice my pronunciation if I want Americans to understand me.

The second reason Americans struggle to understand Aussies is the actual words we use. As little dissimilarity as pushbike vs bicycle can make the whole difference. And while Australians are familiar with a lot of the American words through American television and movies, Americans don’t have the privilege of being exposed to another English. I also discovered that saying “toilet” (instead of bathroom or restroom) can make Americans go red and that the Australians national footwear – the thong (flip flop) means a completely different thing over there…

So, speech being an important way of communication and my English being potentially hard to understand, you can see while I’m a bit stressed. Who knows, Spanish might come in handy…

1 comment:

  1. All very true Irena! Aussies use alot of words that half the world does not understand :o). Americans reckon that we speak really fast also. They seem to say "pardon me?" all the time when we speak. You might have to slow things down a bit for them as well. Although, if they piss you off, sometimes it's fun to use some of our colloquialisms... they have no idea that you are "taling the piss". Good luck with everything. Stay in touch. Cheers, Gray :o)