Monday, November 22, 2010

American X British English - differences again

This is part of the interview given by actress Emma Watson, the eternal Hermione from the Harry Potter franchise on the David Letterman show.

She's currently studying at an American university, so she talks about the difficulties she has adapting to the culture and the language.

But don't the two countries speak the same language?

Watch the video.

What did Emma think the differences between the two types of English were about?

Emma gives two examples of words that have different meanings in each country. What are the two words? Click here and here.




During the interview, David Letterman makes this observation: "That says something about American kids:they know you're bleeding, but yet they can't put two and two together".

What do you think the expression means? No idea? Try here.

4 comments:

Bárbara said...

This is great, Stephan. Really an inspiration.
I can see why your students love to have you as a teacher. :)

Cheers

Angela said...

Hi, Stephan:

I can highly recommend your blog for those who want to keep up to date withcurrent affairs.
I particularly liked David Leterman`s interview.
Very interesting!
I`ve travelled to some English speaking countries and I`ve had similar problems.
Have look at this tricky question:
Are there subways in Britain?
Non-native students generally have a prompt answer:
No! There are undergrounds there.

However....
In the UK, a subway is an underground tunnel that people can walk through to get to the other side of a busy road: It’s safest to use the subway to get from the car park to the museum. In the US, this is called an underpass. A subway in t he US is an underground railway in a city.

Live and Learn!
Cheers!
Angela Oliveira

Anonymous said...

Thanks so much Angela, your comment brings some more valuable and interesting info about Englishes around the world.

Angela said...

Hi, Stephan:
*First and foremost I`d like to say that it´s been a pleasure to post comments on your blog and get interesting feedback.
Thanks for this democratic space you share with us.
Angela Oliveira
PS:(*I know the expression first and foremost sounds formal but I`ve just learned it in the Non-Stop Conversation Course at Cultura,and...
You know : “Language- Use it or Lose it”.
Extending the comment I made about Emma Watson`s interview on the 29th ,I`m sharing some English Varieties (one of my pet subjects) one should notice when travelling abroad:
US-Cab - UK-taxi
US-to call collect UK-to reverse the charges
US-downtown- UK- city centre / town centre
US-driver`s license –UK-driving license
US-first floor-UK-ground floor
US-gas(gasoline)-UK-petrol
US-gas station-UK= filling station/petrol station
US-last name/family name-UK surname
US-Lost and Found Department –UK-Lost Property
US-one-way ticket-UK-single ticket
US-to rent a car-UK-to hire a car
US-round-trip ticket-UK-return ticket
US-sidewalk-UK-pavement
US-subway-UK-underground/ tube
US-underpass-UK-subway
US-wait in line-UK-queue
US-watch your step/head-UK-mind your step/head