Monday, December 5, 2011

Language Barriers - Learn to Talk the Talk

As you make your way through various European countries, you will notice that most Europeans know a good deal of English, but what you may not realize is that you still have the opportunity for a language barrier. Many countries in the UK have jargon different to that in America. There are a list of words that will help you acclimate into British society or even if you prefer to be viewed as a Birt or savvy world traveler. Rather than giving you a huge list of translations, here's just a small list of words that may help you out along your journey:

Fiver or tenner: A shortened term for a five pound note or ten pound note. 
Traniers/Joggers: Sneakers/tennis shoes 
Chunder: Throw-up/vomit
Cheers: Thanks
Tracky dacks/Tracky pants: Sweatpants
Bludge: Chill out, be lazy
Rubber: Pencil Eraser
Bubbler: Drinking fountain
Water fountain: Large ornate outside fountain.
Chips: Fries
Bakers: Baked potatoes
Quid: A pound, the American equivalent for "a buck"
Car Park: A parking lot
Tube: The British underground subway.
Brekkie: A shortened term for breakfast.
Advert: Commercial; a shortened term for advertisement.
Bugger: Expression describing dismay, just like "Oh, shoot!"
Flat: Apartment 

Another common British word is "whilst" or anything ending in "ist." Although no direct translation is needed, it would be beneficial to know the slang and regularly used British phases. Along the same lines of language, you'll also notice that the English replace many of the "z"s or "c"s, like in organization or practice, with an "s" or add a u into words such as behavior or color.

To all you fellow world travelers what are some words that threw you off whenever you traveled to Europe?

As always, if you have any questions, you can e-mail me at

Happy Travels!


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