Archives for the day Sunday, May 24th, 2009

“Surgery” in American English VS “Surgery” in British English

  “Hi,my name is Yassy” “Nice to meet you””What is your name?”

 That is how I started learning English in Japan. We start learning English at junior high school at least when I was in Japan and, textbook is based on American English. We start from easy conversation,alphabet letters, and often times,there is a couple of pages as one chapter that include key phrases and words and, we memorize them and will have small tests at next class.

 For me,English is one of those milestone thing in my life. That is because,to be honest with you, I did not like English and I even had test points about 30 to 50 points out of 100 points. At that time,I met English teacher who encouraged me to study English more in fun way:writing to pen pals. So,I eventually found pen pals around the world,and I tried reading their letter with my English dictionary in my hands,and if I did not understand what they wrote,I visited teachers’ room and asked questions. That boosted up my interests in English,and grade went up. And, I was taking notes of social study or history subject class in English too while teacher was writing in Japanese. I then went to University with English major, and I even was student teacher for English for junior high school and high school and got teaching license. Then, all of my past works are English related. I was job interviewing English speaking people who wanted to teach English to Japanese people at cultural center,and I was the one to say no or yes to them. I was making boarding announcement in English or check-in assistance etc in US Airport…When I think of how much I did not like English subject, I have strange feeling.If the English teacher did not encourage me to study English in fun way,I probably would be having different life experience.

 Anyway, I have been to England,France,Holland,USA,Canada (it was just one day in Canada though), Australia  and, since English is universe language, I thought I would understand what I hear in all those countries. England was one of those unique country when it comes to language.They speak English but their sounds/accent in conversation is different,and they use different words to point out the thing we recognize with different words.Or maybe familiar words but it has different meaning to them. English is very interesting language I would say.

 In America, if someone say ” I have  surgery”,what you would imagine is surgical operation. But if you hear the same phrase in England,it means, “you have an office,clinic” If you hear British people say ” I am going to the surgery”,it means they will go to particular doctor’s office. They do not mean surgical operation.

 So, while American people is familiar with words ” Dentist’s office”, British people is familiar with words “Dental surgery” to point out the Dentist’ office.

 You can find more American words,British words difference from “British English to American English” website.To seethe list of words,please click here.

May 24, 2009 | 0 | Uncategorized