Should I Embrace the British Language?


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?

What do you all think? Should I embrace the new lingo or hold back? Or should I learn to switch off and on depending on who I am talking to?

Author: Susanna

I'm Susanna, a 20-year-old Christian girl incorrigibly addicted spontaneous adventures. My first dream was to become a pioneer. Unfortunately, I was born a couple centuries late, so I've decided to read, cook, run, and travel the world until my time machine is finished. You'll mostly likely find me getting into trouble and/or eating licorice. I am currently blogging the misadventures of a middle-school teacher in training. Come join me on my quest to become the next Ms. Frizzle!

10 thoughts on “Should I Embrace the British Language?”

  1. This sounds hard…. I’d instinctively say, do whatever comes naturally to you! If that means speaking with a slight accent, but still using the few American slang terms that come naturally, I’d say go for it! Or if that means maintaining your American accent and using a variety of different terms and slang,I think that’s awesome too! Let your surroundings shape you, but don’t change who you are to please other people too much!

    Again, this comes from a Canadian girl who doesn’t travel much – haha!! But those were my first thoughts after reading. I’m sure whatever you decide to
    do will be perfect! 🙂


    1. Thanks so much Olivia. Your comments mean a lot to me. Perhaps I am just way overthinking this whole thing. Should I just try speak as naturally as possible and let what happens happen?


  2. I think you should always remain close to your roots, but for the sake of clarification, I think it’s fine to switch to the lingo that your listener understands. =) Hope you’re enjoying your stay abroad!


  3. It’s always fun to switch to another identity! I have found it fascinating that we all have different faces according to the languages we speak or the cultures we’re exposed to. There have been many times that I would have reacted to something differently if I spoke in another language. 😛 Let’s explore it more Miss Adventure.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Ooh, Susanna, embrace the British language! 😉 I mean you don’t need to go hard-core or cockney, or try to force an accent that you can’t come by naturally, but be willing to have those little accents and phrases to rub on you, and I think your friends and family in the US will just think you to be cool :D. You will swing back into your natural American accent when you get back there, but yeah, it’s a great opportunity to learn a new accent!!

    “Cheers! I am a uni student. . . ” is just the sort of thing we say in Australia too, but we throw in a lot more slang! 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I definitely won’t force anything. After all this positive feedback, maybe I’ll relax a little and not police my own voice so much. I do love their idioms and phrases here.


  5. Hm, that’s a hard one. I guess I would say that you should do whatever is convenient for you—right now, it is easy to use the words that will not confuse the British people you live among, but should you return to the United States, it’s likely that you will revert back to American talk with some time, so it may not be a long-term big deal. Just do what comes naturally, is my thought.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Heather. That is kinda what I am going with. More and more the British terminology just feels right. At the same time, translating back to American terms when talking to my family is becoming slightly more of a bother. I’ll probably end up switching depending on where I live, although the majority of the time I’ll have some sort of confused hybrid accent.


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