So I’ve been living in the UK for over a month now. No, I do not have a British accent yet. I still sound very American. Yet, in the interest of not constantly confusing people and needing to explain myself, I’ve taken to using as much British vocabulary as I know. I call zucchini courgettes and soccer football, it just makes life simpler for me and all around me.
As I’ve begun to incorporate British vocabulary into my every day speech, other things have been slipping in too: British idioms and phrases, some British tones and inflections, and, once in a while, a word said with an undeniable British accent.
When I FaceTime my family back at home, I switch back to American word choice and resist the urge to use my favourite British idioms and phrases. I suppose I don’t want them to make fun of me for being a vulnerable little sponge. And yet, is there anything wrong with being a sponge? Is there anything wrong with soaking up the culture and language of my new home unabashedly?
I’m afraid that if I return to America talking like
“Cheers! I am a uni student and cannot be bothered to cook with aubergine”,
people will think I am doing it on purpose and being obnoxious.
On the other hand, if I hold on to all my American lingo over here, will the Brits be offended by my refusal to acknowledge that the sidewalk is called pavement?