Friday, August 9, 2013

Are You Alright?

England has several speech things that are different from ours.
For example....
Instead of asking "How are you?" they ask "Are you alright?"
Now, in America, "Are you alright?" is asked when someone is choking, or tripping, or they just look ill.
You can imagine how I felt then being asked numerous times, in succession, if I was alright.
At first I just nodded and smiled apprehensively.
Then I examined myself thoroughly to see what the heck was giving everyone concern.
Then I turned to Dave and said, "What's the matter with me??!!"
He was as puzzled as I was.
But after several days we figured it out by having our children explain it to us.
They picked things up quicker than we did.
Especially the accent. Here's what it sounded like to be asked if you were alright.
Dave figured out himself that people in England say "pardon" rather than excuse me.
He said "excuse me" trying to get through a store aisle and people parted like the red sea trying to get away from him. Apparently he just announced that he had gas.

Speaking of gas, I had the first time experience of having to pay to use the restroom. Traveling with FOUR children can get very expensive if you have to pay every time someone has to go.

People in England also say "brilliant" and "lovely" as opposed to "cool" or "awesome" or whatever kids say nowadays. At first I thought the people I was talking to thought that I was brilliant and lovely and it boosted my self esteem considerably especially after the "are you alright" incident, but no, it was just slang. Sigh.

One night at Capernwray, the staff decided to do a song and sing it like different nationalities. When they got to how the Americans sing it, they said, "Now we have to exaggerate all the movements because Americans think that everything in America is bigger and better."
Oh really.
The next day the kids asked me what that was all about. I told them, "Well, they were making fun of us, acting like we think everything in our country is bigger and better than any other country."
Grant looked at me across the table and said, "It is."
Apparently I am raising a stereotype. With blond hair and blue eyes.

Anyway, we were amazed at how even though we speak the same language, it was so hard sometimes to understand the British, the Scottish, and the Irish. We resorted to smiling and nodding ALOT and just silently prayed to God that they wouldn't ask us any questions that we'd have to try and decipher.


"Are you alright?"

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