Separated by a common language/Undurchsichtige englische Tweets

Congratulations to me for winning a Twitter competition on the weblog separated by a common language against a field of six! and thanks to Lynne, who is going to send me a packet of McVitie’s ginger nuts, thus bypassing the many expat British food sellers.

The test was to find a tweet that was either in American English and incomprehensible to speakers of British English, or vice versa. I went for the vice versa.

As Lynne writes, it’s often easier for British speakers to understand American English, because they hear so much on TV or in the cinema. I did try to find some incomprehensible American tweets, by searching for words like grits, but nothing was really convincing:

I had the “Going to bed alone” dog. Lots of kraut, garlic, red onion sauce and pastrami.// well done, well DONE!

I found one American who’d been on Chatroulette and asked a British person what crumpets are. The answer: they are like ‘English muffins’ but sweet. (Sweet?) Not good for international understanding.

4 thoughts on “Separated by a common language/Undurchsichtige englische Tweets

  1. The definition of “crumpet” would also depend where the British person came from. This bakery item is not the same in England and Scotland. As far as I remember, Scottish crumpets are like large Scottish pancakes.

    • I wasn’t aware of that, although I’m very fond of Scottish pancakes. I see that Wikipedia illustrates both [url=http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crumpet]English and Scottish crumpets[/url], though.

  2. My instinct would have been for rhyming slang – always gives me trouble. Or would that have been too much like shooting fish in a barrel? Did the tweet have to be from your friends, or could you search randomly?

    • The tweet could be from anyone, and I searched on a few obvious terms. I would have had trouble finding one like that from my friends (friends? have I got any? I suppose those are the few translators I follow and vice versa!)

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