Thursday, October 18, 2007

There's "English"--and there's English (Part I)

Last week, one of doors to the shower cubicle had a post-it sign that said ”Shower not in use.” I thought that was a strange—but I figured that maybe the lock wasn’t working and so you need to use that post to indicate when it's in use or when it's not. But since it wasn’t the shower cubicle I normally use, I didn’t give it another thought. Until one day when I was using one of the sinks in that bathroom and a bathrobed-Brit dorm mate came in and groaned, “Oh no, not again!” and left with a sigh for the other bathroom. It was only then that it dawned on me that “Shower not in use” actually meant it was NOT WORKING.

Obviously, there’s "English"---and there’s English—and no two are the same (nor created equal as the Brits would insist, and I know from experience since they have observed loudly that I spoke American English--observed with an accusatory tone, I might add).

I’ve learned that…

Rugby here is not to be sniffed or administered in “gaping” shoes, but actually it is all about grown men groping and clawing each other for the sake of an oval ball.

A bonnet is not where a bee flies into but where men stick their heads into when they're fixing their cars.

When you go into a surgery, nobody will cut you open, they might just check your tongue and make you say, “aahh.”

You can have dinner at lunch time and have tea in the evening, and be quite full.

A rubber is the innocent eraser and not something that controls population growth.

A boot is not what you give people who are not performing well but its actually where you stick your luggage in (or in the case of the Mafia, dead people).

The first floor is on the second floor and the second floor is on the third floor.

Half nine is not 4.5 but 9:30--am/pm.

People walk on pavements not sidewalks, and so do their dogs.

Brit cars prefer petrol to gasoline.

A crèche is not something you eat but it’s where you put your baby if you have to go somewhere else.

There is no yellow color on their traffic lights, only amber.

Afters are what you look forward to when you've finished your main meal but when you are dining with the Queen you will have dessert instead.

24 comments:

carlotta said...

wow, interesting.

sosyal ha, amber. so ano yung red, erm, crimson? hihihi =)

Paolo Mendoza said...

ok. so if the first floor is on the second floor, what's on the first floor?

vernaloo said...

hey mare! you know a lot of Brit stuff already hehehe yibaaaa!

spot some decent Brits lately? *wink wink*

snglguy said...

Hehe, great observations on the un-similarities of Yankee English and the Queen's language. Oh and if I may add... trucks are called lorries and elevators... lifts. A spectacle is something you wear for your eyes. :-)

Toe said...

Hahaha... just imagine... we Filipinos need our own interpreters when we go to the UK. :)

Lazarus said...

bloody english! he he.

But you'll be fine there, Gypsy! btw, I tagged you!

Anonymous said...

Gypsy, you had me chuckling & reminising with your list ... remembering many mix-ups when first here in the Phils - because of the English rather than culture or Bisaya :-)
Glad you'r keeping your sense of umour in the middle of all the assignments
San

rowena said...

Hi Gypsy, learned something new today, thanks for sharing. Keep that in mind when I visit the Queen, he he.

zherwin said...

oh, what if somebody asks you "do you have a rubber?" *sniggers*

Gypsy said...

Carlotta, naku marami pang ibang mas sosyal--abangan ng part 2..hehe.

Pao, oo nga no, forgot to put that in--well the first floor is called the ground floor. :)

Verns, they're all very decent and polite *wink*

Snglguy, oh yeah, lorries and lifts as well. Dami pa no!

Toe, the comforting thing is, its not just us who need interpreters here...even the Americans! Haha!

Lazarus, ei, thanks for the tag! Yeah, they like to say bloody too. Hehe.

San, I'm sure the "comfort room" had you in stitches back then. Haha! My sense of humor (or humour) is my lifesaver, anytime..Thanks for dropping by!

Rowena, oh then you'll have to learn how to courtesy to the Queen,too, I guess!

Zherwin, in America if you ask that to a stranger or an acquaintance, they might slap you silly, I guess! Haha!

mitsuru said...

they use the "not in use" thing here and with the same meaning.:)

what's in a name anyway?

from a proud a race that once declared that the sun never sets on the british empire, --- a lot!:)

someday, i'm going to london with my pussycat to visit the queen.

btw, have you met a bunch of nincompoops in the tube or near your flat already? lol

Abaniko said...

Hahaha. It's really interesting to know other cultures, no? So, just like in the Philippines, can a driver go faster on amber? :)

freeze said...

interesting! looking forward for part 2.

A friend of mine once noticed theirs is red-green-yellow(amber), so there's no way to go faster, but only get ready to "go". noticed that? :D

Gypsy said...

Bill, haven't made it to London yet so will surely blog about the tube experience when I finally do get there. ;)

Abaniko, interestingly people drive quite fast here, but no, they are quite polite when they are driving...they don't even honk!

Freeze, huh? Dito sa UK yan? Actually the lights I see are just like the way it is in the Phils--red-"amber"-green..hmm...lemme check again if I missed it...

Leah said...

Hi Gypsy,
I remember commenting here before, not sure where my comment went....
At any rate...I'm looking forward to the lovely Part 2. It'll be a hoot I'm sure.

niceheart said...

Very interesting and informational, gypsy. :) Here in Canada, it's hood and trunk, instead of bonnet and boot. :)

When I first came here, my mother would tell me to always wear a muffler when I go outside. She meant a scarf. What we call bonnet back home, here, they call it toque.

ZJ said...

Hi Gypsy!
Oo nga, naka-relate ako sa post mo. I hear these words from R kasi e... imagine him asking me to have tea in the evening? O hindi, ayaw ko ng tea lang hehehehe... kaya ngayon medyo nag-expand na rin ang aking Brit Eng vocabulary!
uyy, natalo ang England sa rugby finals... i'm sure parang byernes-santo ang mga English fans dyan.

Jap said...

Argh. It's a new language altogether. Some are actually familiar cause Qatar uses Brit English. Have you encountered Belisha Beacon yet, Gypsy? hehehe

tutubi said...

ganyan din sa malaysia, at least for me, since i've been there, saka sa mumbai, India they call gasoline as petrol...

di ba tawag nila sa CR as water closet or WC?

gusto ko rin punta dyan

kathy said...

Interesting! I also picked up a few words and phrases during our short stay in London, courtesy of our British friend. Anyway, what really amuses me to no end is the sign "To Let" which you can find all over the place. ;) Makes you tempted to add the "I" in between the words, eh?

exskindiver said...

salamat sa translations, gypsy.
hey one guy in my post was in fact from Bataan. Shawn Hainsworth was a documentary film maker at the camp. He lives in NY now.

Speaking of CO, did you know a Gil Acuna? or a Wowie something--
Linda Penera was also from CO.

Also Gigi Manikan. She was a CO supervisor.

David Derthick too.

Any of those names ring a bell?
Come on! we must know someone in common. ALmost everyone knew everyone.

Did you know Karen Silva Crisostomo??? (I may have asked you this before)
Ang daming tanong, no?

Speaking of CO...Glad you are surviving your own
Cultural Orientation.

~Chesca

Annamanila said...

Thank you Gypsy for this fascinating crash course on British English. Though I am sure glad I don't have to visit the queen to get my just desserts and but not at all happy I can not boast I've never undergone surgery. Pero iba klase talaga yung 'shower not in use.' Parang carabao english ha.

Gypsy said...

Leah, hmm...di ko nakita comment mo before, it happens to me, too sometimes. Glad you can upload comments now! :)

Niceheart, haha! I have Canadian friends and I realize that their english is more British than American..so Americans only need to cross the border to learn British English! Hehe.

ZJ, sinabi mo pa! Para ngang Biyernes Santo dito, hehe...sorry, can't relate, eh. ;)

Jap, a Belisha beacon? hey! You just taught me a new word, I had to google it to find out that I have actually seen lots of 'em here..hehe.

Tutubi, they actually call it the "loo" and something else, I forget. I just say either loo or toilet, para walang mistake..:)

Kathy, oo nga no!! Di ko naisip yan ah!

Chesca, I know most of the peeps you mention! Yep I know Wowie, Gigi, David and Gil--and Linda was my roomate at Dorm 90! Ayan, may link na..hehe.

Annamanila, actually some of them admit that the "not-in-use" phrase is wrong--so carabao english nga! ;)

intsik said...

surgery? really! yup, ive heard aboutthe pavements... and rubber? good luck to me! hahahaha