Monday, October 4, 2010

Lesson 4: Just because they speak English...

Doesn't mean you'll understand them.

As Americans, most of us are obsessed with England. I mean how could we not love our itty bitty mother country? These are the people thought brought us Harry Potter, Burberry, The Beatles, The Spice Girls, David Beckham, Rob Pattinson, Princess Diana, Jude Law, and get my point. They're hot and they have those snobby, yet extremely sexy, accents. Well, off the coast of England is another itty bitty country called Ireland. You may have heard of it?

When you're stuck in a class full of people that can't speak English, you kind of freak out. You know that you have no option but to speak in French, and you better damn well be able to explain things because they will ask you questions about America. Millions of questions. Try explaining the concept of sororities and fraternities in a foreign language. Yea, not possible. It's barely even possible to explain it in English without telling someone to "just Google it" or go watch "Sorority Row."

Anyway, at the school that I was taking my classes at new students just showed up every week. My first week there I had an Irish guy named Bernard in my class. I about died from sheer happiness when he said he was from Dublin, and I'm pretty sure he felt the same way when I said I was from the U.S.  Bernard and I sat near each other every class so we could whisper in English when our teacher wasn't listening. After a week though he had to leave and go back to work in Ireland. He had a real job because he was probably 30. Old people like to learn French too. Yet again, I was the only Anglophone in my class and I was slightly annoyed.

The second week a pretty red head (or shall I say "ginger") named Amy showed up. She was from Dublin too, and I was so happy because she wasn't 10 years older than me. Since she was a badass I invited her to eat lunch with me and the rest of the OU people.

me and Amy

We all met up in the same building everyday so we could go eat together. That day there were three other people I hadn't seen before: Sophie, Stephan and Rory. Sophie and Stephan were both German, but they could speak English so they got to be in our clique. Rory was another Irish guy that Madeline made friends with in her class. It was very hard to contain my laughter when he introduced himself because I immediately thought of Gilmore Girls. He was really hot though so I suppose it's okay that he has a girl's name.

Jon, Madeline, Sophie, Stephan, Amy, Jennifer, me and Rory
You know I thought having seen/read everything pertaining to Harry Potter that I pretty much knew British slang. Then again, Ireland isn't really part of Great Britain except for the northern part. There were some times that I didn't have a damn clue what Rory or our other Irish friend Aidan were talking about. Amy on the other hand, was born in Jersey and could recite Mean Girls. Aside from the fabulous accent, she could have totally passed for an American.

Jennifer, me, Amy and Madeline in Marseilles
Now without further ado, here is my list of random Irish phrases you might want to know.

1. footpath - sidewalk
2. jumper - jacket
3. seched - drunk, wasted, smashed. "I'm so seched right now"
4. crisps - chips
5. bobbin - hair tie, ponytail holder
6. scoops - drinks, as in "want to go back for some more scoops?"  Don't reply with "scoops of what you douche?"
7. jellies - gummy bears/worms, etc.
8. rubbish bin - trash can
9. surname - yea, we all know it means last name but when you hear it in a conversation it throws you off
10. chips - french fries
11. biscuit - cookie
12. to score - to make out with someone (not what it means in America!)
13. your man - your friend, I guess? as in "what happened to your man's leg?"
14. grand - everything is grand to the Irish, not cool. It's grand, just grand!
15. fringe - bangs. "Your fringe is lovely"

And now, my short list of things Irish people won't understand/will sass you about.

1. badass - apparently it's not a universal term
2. totally
3. douche, douchebag, douchelord
4. the goods
5. Ireland - no, it's not IREland, it's arrrland!
6. back up off me!
7. your guys's - as in "I like your guys's accents."  Yes, I know it's not grammatically correct. It's a southern thing, and it's better than saying y'alls.

Another thing I thought was strange is the difference in the Irish accent. Aidan and Bernard sounded like the stereotypical Lucky Charms leprechaun.

Amy and Rory sounded like Harry Potter to me, though they insist there's a difference between their accent and the British.

So while you may all speak the same language, the slang will get you every time. There is only so much that JK Rowling can prepare you for.

WARNING: you will never build up an immunity to the extreme hotness that is the British/Irish accent. Don't get drunk around the attractive ones, my friends. That is all.

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