English for the non-Brit...

>> Friday, 10 June 2011


My dad sent me this* (click on it to increase the size to make it easier to read). It's hilarious if you live somewhere as an expat or indeed interact with people of virtually any nationality other than British. We - the Brits - tend to use our Mother Tongue in what I will (politely) call a very subtle manner, and that can make conversation with us difficult, as a non-British person talking to you often has no idea of the unwritten translation of what we are actually saying.


So in the interests of spreading light-heartedness and furthering British/non-British communication, I forwarded the picture above to a number of my friends here in Moscow.

They thought it was hilarious - but then one or two of them started to pay attention to what I was saying. One morning this week I bumped into a friend (a Canadian) who said to me "I loved that English -Eu translation you sent out. But I have to admit that when we all had dinner yesterday evening and you said to someone 'That's - interesting...' I nearly lost it..."

Ah.

Curses.

* I would credit it if I knew where it came from originally.

10 comments:

dulwich divorcee 10 June 2011 at 09:41  

Love it! Having spent years in the depths of the EU this rings all too true. There are a few I could add, 'this discussion has been very helpful', trans: a total and utter waste of time. And, of course, 'let's do this again soon,' trans: I hope I never have to see you again EVER .... what fun. Do the Russians have any?

lulu's missives 10 June 2011 at 12:44  

Brilliant! Love the translation and so much of it is true.
I shall send it to my ex-pat friends in the States.
Thanks for sharing. x

Muddling Along 10 June 2011 at 16:10  

That's fab - we did something similar at a firm I worked in a few years back to try and help some of the guys out

e.g. that's helpful - go away please

That's really helpful - bugger off and shut up

Have we considered - have you done this yet?

Belgravia Wife - sort of 10 June 2011 at 16:21  

Merci this I need. My 9 yes NINE year old wanted to be Commander Cody ??? for Halloween - I could have used the babysitters help, I finished up on the Woolworths website.... Have a super weekend xx

London City Mum 10 June 2011 at 17:33  

Damn! You beat me to it! I was sent this as well and it still makes me laugh.
We can practice next week. See if anyone else finds it... uhmmm... interesting.

LCM x

MummyMummyMum 10 June 2011 at 17:37  

Brilliant! I love the 'I hear what you say'. I feel like I use that a lot. Came to you from MLM.

Knackered Mother 10 June 2011 at 20:07  

My mother to this day calls some friends of hers the 'Mustcomes', as they spend their lives saying 'oh you MUST come for dinner'...

Rachel M. 11 June 2011 at 02:26  

Hmmm, best keep this cheat sheet ready for my British client's emails. Although I've found they seem to have no problem being very direct!

yorkshiremumatlarge 12 June 2011 at 12:00  

Well, that had me chuckling this lovely Sunday Morning. I am told I am an indirect communicator LOL
Great blog. You can find me at www.yorkshiremumatlarge.wordpress.com

Aly 12 June 2011 at 14:57  

Hi! Found you via Blow Your Own Blog Horn. Fab!I can identify with quite a few of these but i will feel subconscious about saying them :/

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