March 23, 2010

What's In A Word?

These are the layers of my lingo. I have Singaporean and Australian colloquialisms in my vocabulary, and this confuses my husband on an everyday basis. I'm working on the American lingo... give it time :)

In Singapore we speak English, but there's so much Chinese and Malay mixed in that it's become something we call Singlish. Plus we speak like we have a train to catch. My husband finds this extremely amusing and tries his best to learn it but he just sounds like he's having an epileptic fit.

I was talking to Julie earlier today and we got on this topic because I was talking about parcels (packages). So here's a few things off the top of my head that've made people around me scratch their heads...

My word and the US translation
Lemonade -- Sprite or 7-Up
Bin -- Trash can
Capsicum -- Bell peppers
Coriander -- Cilantro
Rocket -- Arugula
Trolley -- Shopping cart or carriage (thanks for reminding me Julie!)
Serviette -- Napkin
Arvo -- Afternoon
Post -- Mail
Ring -- Call
Full stop -- Period
Mad -- Angry Crazy (Oops I had a brain fart and did the US translation...)
Ta -- Thanks

I learned not to do the last one very early on because everyone kept thinking I was saying goodbye haha :)


Soja said...

Interesting stuff. Apart from capsicum (oops, I thought this was American, is it more Australian?) and arvo (arvo is well known from "Neighbours") sounds like British English. Though I've been living in Spanish speaking countries so long now, I think I might even mix up whole languages. And sometimes the slang has moved so far on, I find my English not very current when I go back to the UK. :-) And ta doesn't mean thanks in the US? eek!

Julie @ Jaybird Quilts said...

love this... i hear that people in the new england area call shopping carts "carriages" ... um what?? isn't that what a baby does in??

CitricSugar said...

You should have moved to Canada - most of us would understand all these.... And most of us keep Australians as friends, so we become familiar with the odd one we don't. We have a few of our own words: Dainties in Saskatchewan means a plate of squares and cookies usually shared at a social function. In Ontario, it means your undergarments.

Kelli said...

Its funny that you mention this! I was watching Arj Barker the other day on the TV and he was joking about how we Aussies make up our own language and don't seem to notice that no one understands us when we talk. It was hilarious!!! So So true.

DIDI said...

I grew up in England and "your" words are the ones I use....
I thought ta was universal language! :)

Averil said...

don't forget us S'poreans throw in lots of Hokkien and Cantonese dialects too =)

i still don't get the car lingo - bonnet/hood, boot/trunk, wind shield/wind screen, etc... confuzzling to the max!

Rebekah said...

I would love to hear what your voice sounds like and what accent you have!

It's fun to hear specialized words that are used in different countries. I think I like the sound of Capsicum better than bell pepper

Kylie said...

I dunno - I think it sounds all Aussie!


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