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Odds and Ends
24 4, 4:45am
It's a "lift" in the UK and an "elevator" here. For us, a "lift" is a ride in someone else's car (as in giving your sister a lift), or an insert in the shoes that makes you look taller. Also, something that makes you feel good is said to "give you a lift", like what you get from a cup of coffee or tea.
I'm pretty familiar with the differences between British and American English (lift/elevator, lorry/truck, dole/welfare check, and so on), but the terms used about automobiles still puzzles me sometimes. Like what they call the boot, the bonnet, the silencer, and the cubby box, we call the trunk, the hood, the muffler, and the glovebox (or glove compartment). Their "saloon" is our "sedan", and their "estate car" is our "station wagon". Gasoline is "petrol" over there, and kerosene is "paraffin" (which to us is the kind of wax you make candles from).
On top of all that, they drive on the wrong side of the road.
I can understand the most common British accents, but sometimes I watch British films where the characters speak with thick Cockney or Northern accents, and I feel like the darn thing ought to have subtitles so I can tell what they're saying.
I have a bit of trouble understanding the actress presently playing Doctor Who, because she has a Yorkshire accent. The previous Doctor was Scottish, and the rest mostly had London accents which I didn't have any trouble understanding. Well, with one exception: the Ninth Doctor had a Manchester accent, but I still didn't have any trouble with it.
If you're from another planet, how come you have a Northern accent?
of planets have a North!
What you say about Malay and Indonesian reminds me of the relationships between Russian, Ukrainian, and Polish. Even though those languages are closely related, Russians and Poles can't understand each other, but Ukrainians can mostly understand both.
The closest language like that to English is Dutch; but it's different enough that we can't understand each other's language most of the time. When I hear spoken Dutch, it sounds so familiar that I feel like I should understand what they're saying, but don't.
Most Dutch people speak fluent English, though, so that's rarely a problem.