Archive for June, 2012

How to Deal With Criticism

It was one of my first days at the university (department of translation and interpreting studies) and the name of the course was “Turkish for Translators”. One of my friends asked the teacher about barrowing new words from other languages. My friend supported the idea of barrowing new grammar structures and words from other languages; however, my professor got furious and told my friend “You cannot be a translator ever!” She was quite intimidated as a freshman. Everybody can have a different attitude towards languages and nobody can be judged because of their preferences about using the language. One can support borrowing new words, others can insist on using only native words or structures. We live in such a globalized world that a TV series from US can be more popular in Turkey than US 🙂 It seems impossible not to interact and borrow cultural and linguistic elements from one another.

When it comes to translation and different ideas, I came across the article of Marissa Sayno who gives advices about dealing with criticism. I’m quoting the parts that I like most. You can always click on the link at the bottom to read the whole text.

“Aristotle once said that to avoid criticism, you must say nothing, do nothing and be nothing… and yet, people will still judge you no matter what.  Still, there are times when you feel that you’re unreasonably criticized; your confidence level plunging down to zero and beyond.  Freelancers in the creative field know well the sting of criticism – from those who don’t like their work to those who think you’re simply bad.  In fact, it doesn’t really matter whatever your job is as you will always have to face the positive and negative aspects of life.  To be criticized is an inevitability.  Do you keep your defenses up or do you take it too subjectively?

Understanding the Concept Behind Criticism and How You Can Cope

Negative criticism is a hard pill to swallow and the toughest part is to handle the situation with dignity.  There are those who will criticize your work to make you feel bad about your efforts and there are those who are simply making suggestions, out of frustration.

Think Before You Speak

You can deflect criticisms, minus becoming too defensive.

Ignoring Can Be the Best Option, Sometimes

When your online reputation is on the hot seat, you simply can’t ignore the power of criticism which can have good or bad effects on your freelance career.

Having a High Level of Self-Awareness Works All the Time

To err is human and by accepting your mistakes and welcoming useful, constructive criticism.. you can improve yourself as a freelancer.

Know the Difference

There’s surely a difference between a criticism and an encouragement.

Break the Ice

This time, we’re talking about the iceberg that you’ve built around yourself.

Build Your Pick-Me-Up Moment

Criticisms can make you feel down and out that you need to build a positive vibe around you.  Get yourself a support buddy.

Summon Your Wit and Hold Fast

I know it’s tough, but if you can keep your emotions at bay and focus on the tangible lessons you can take to improve your skills, that’s good enough.

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Common Grammar Mistakes in Translation

There are certain words or phrases that most of the people use wrong. Spelling is also another issue considering such mistakes. For example, I always misspell “grammar” as “grammer”. I can only edit this mistake after proofreading. I do not know why, I am also confused when it comes to import and export 🙂 Whenever I work as an interpreter, I write these two words on post-its and put them somewhere close to me. I came across a good article explainingthe common grammar mistakes in translations. It is a column by JON GINGERICH, I want to thank him for this wonderful post. If you have more grammar mistakes in mind, please feel free to add 🙂

Who and Whom

This one opens a big can of worms. “Who” is a subjective — or nominative — pronoun, along with “he,” “she,” “it,” “we,” and “they.” It’s used when the pronoun acts as the subject of a clause. “Whom” is an objective pronoun, along with “him,” “her,” “it”, “us,” and “them.”

Which and That

This is one of the most common mistakes out there, and understandably so. “That” is a restrictive pronoun. It’s vital to the noun to which it’s referring.  e.g., I don’t trust fruits and vegetables that aren’t organic. Here, I’m referring to all non-organic fruits or vegetables. In other words, I only trust fruits and vegetables that are organic. “Which” introduces a relative clause. It allows qualifiers that may not be essential. e.g., I recommend you eat only organic fruits and vegetables, which are available in area grocery stores.

Lay and Lie

This is the crown jewel of all grammatical errors. “Lay” is a transitive verb. It requires a direct subject and one or more objects. Its present tense is “lay” (e.g., I lay the pencil on the table) and its past tense is “laid” (e.g.,Yesterday I laid the pencil on the table). “Lie” is an intransitive verb. It needs no object. Its present tense is “lie” (e.g., The Andes mountains lie between Chile and Argentina) and its past tense is “lay” (e.g., The man lay waiting for an ambulance). The most common mistake occurs when the writer uses the past tense of the transitive “lay” (e.g., I laid on the bed) when he/she actually means the intransitive past tense of “lie” (e.g., I lay on the bed).

Moot

Contrary to common misuse, “moot” doesn’t imply something is superfluous. It means a subject is disputable or open to discussion.

Continual and Continuous

They’re similar, but there’s a difference. “Continual” means something that’s always occurring, with obvious lapses in time. “Continuous” means something continues without any stops or gaps in between.

Envy and Jealousy

The word “envy” implies a longing for someone else’s good fortunes. “Jealousy” is far more nefarious.

Nor

“Nor” expresses a negative condition. It literally means “and not.” You’re obligated to use the “nor” form if your sentence expresses a negative and follows it with another negative condition.

May and Might

“May” implies a possibility. “Might” implies far more uncertainty.

Whether and If

Many writers seem to assume that “whether” is interchangeable with “if.” It isn’t. “Whether” expresses a condition where there are two or more alternatives. “If” expresses a condition where there are no alternatives.

Fewer and Less

“Less” is reserved for hypothetical quantities. “Few” and “fewer” are for things you can quantify.

Farther and Further

The word “farther” implies a measurable distance. “Further” should be reserved for abstract lengths you can’t always measure.

Since and Because

“Since” refers to time. “Because” refers to causation.

Disinterested and Uninterested

Contrary to popular usage, these words aren’t synonymous. A “disinterested” person is someone who’s impartial. For example, a hedge fund manager might take interest in a headline regarding the performance of a popular stock, even if he’s never invested in it. He’s “disinterested,” i.e., he doesn’t seek to gain financially from the transaction he’s witnessed. Judges and referees are supposed to be “disinterested.” If the sentence you’re using implies someone who couldn’t care less, chances are you’ll want to use “uninterested.”

Anxious

Unless you’re frightened of them, you shouldn’t say you’re “anxious to see your friends.

Different Than and Different From

This is a tough one. Words like “rather” and “faster” are comparative adjectives, and are used to show comparison with the preposition “than,” (e.g., greater than, less than, faster than, rather than). The adjective “different” is used to draw distinction. So, when “different” is followed by a  preposition, it should be “from,” similar to “separate from,” “distinct from,” or “away from.” e.g., My living situation in New York was different from home. There are rare cases where “different than” is appropriate, if “than” operates as a conjunction. e.g.,Development is different in New York than in Los Angeles. When in doubt, use “different from.”

Bring and Take

In order to employ proper usage of “bring” or “take,” the writer must know whether the object is being moved toward or away from the subject. If it is toward, use “bring.” If it is away, use “take.”

Impactful

It isn’t a word. “Impact” can be used as a noun (e.g., The impact of the crash was severe) or a transitive verb (e.g., The crash impacted my ability to walk or hold a job). “Impactful” is a made-up buzzword, colligated by the modern marketing industry in their endless attempts to decode the innumerable nuances of human behavior into a string of mindless metrics. Seriously, stop saying this.

Affect and Effect

Here’s a trick to help you remember: “Affect” is almost always a verb (e.g., Facebook affects people’s attention spans), and “effect” is almost always a noun (e.g., Facebook’s effects can also be positive).

Irony and Coincidence

“Irony” is the incongruity in a series of events between the expected results and the actual results. “Coincidence” is a series of events that appear planned when they’re actually accidental.

Nauseous

Undoubtedly the most common mistake I encounter. Contrary to almost ubiquitous misuse, to be “nauseous” doesn’t mean you’ve been sickened: it actually means you possess the ability to produce nausea in others. e.g., That week-old hot dog is nauseous. When you find yourself disgusted or made ill by a nauseating agent, you are actually “nauseated.” e.g., I was nauseated after falling into that dumpster behind the Planned Parenthood. Stop embarrassing yourself.

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Orange: The Fruit or The Color?

This is a never ending discussion. It is actually similar to the relation between egg and chicken 🙂 But, today we will put an end to it with this article! 🙂

Anyway, let’s be serious 🙂 Last week, we had a discussion about the names of colors. For example orange. Did our ancestors name the fruit after the color, or the color after the fruit? At first, my friends claimed that the fruit was named after the color; however, I disagreed. I gave the violet example to prove it. In my opinion, the color violet was named after the flower. When people saw similar colors to violet itself, they just named this color as violet. When it comes to orange, the situation is the same. I also found an article supoorting my discussion. It is a very funny one so I strongly recommend you to visit the website itself. I want to thank DAVEN HISKEY for this funny article.:

Today I found out the color orange was named after the fruit, not the other way around.   Before then, the English speaking world referred to the orange color as geoluhread, which literally translates to “yellow-red”.

The word orange itself was introduced to English through the Spanish word “naranja”, which came from the Sanskrit word nāraṅga, which literally means “orange tree”.  The English dropped the leading “n” and eventually we got the word “orange”.

In the early 16th century, the word orange gradually started being used to not only refer to the fruit, but also what we now know of as the color orange.

Bonus Factoids:

  • There is an orange tree in Europe called “Constable” that is estimated to be almost 500 years old.
  • Lightning kills more orange trees annually than any disease.
  • Temple Oranges and Murcott Honey Oranges are actually hybrid oranges, being crossed with tangerines.
  • Over 25 billion oranges are grown in the United States every year.  That’s enough oranges for every American to eat about 83 oranges a year.
  • Christopher Columbus brought the first orange seeds to the New World on his second voyage in 1493.  On this same voyage, he also brought seeds for lemons and citrons.
  • Navel oranges are named for their belly-button-like formations on the opposite side from the stem.  As a general rule, the bigger the navel in the orange, the sweeter it will be.
  • There is no single English word that rhymes with orange.  There are however half rhymes such as “hing”, “syringe”, “sporange”, etc.  There are also proper nouns that come very close to being a perfect rhyme with it, such as “Blorenge”, which is a mountain in Wales, and “Gorringe”, which is the last name of the US Naval Commander who discovered and named Gorringe Ridge in 1875.

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Product Names of IKEA

To me, they mean nothing; however, it is not the case for Thai people! IKEA opened its first store in Bangkok and it resulted in a linguistic problem 🙂 In Swedish, I guess all the product names have a certain meaning but in other languages, these words might mean very very bad things! We have many examples for this issue. You should remember the Ford Nova case, which is quite popular in marketing classes 🙂 You know the French or Spanish (I Dont quite remember) pronunciation of “Nova” means “No Go” or something like that. So when you give this name to a car, it is not good at all 🙂 The car “should go”. In IKEA case, there is a similar situation which requires further linguistic and marketing research. Let’s see what UPI.com says about this:

“BANGKOK, June 9 (UPI) — A language squad spent four years vetting IKEA product names before the Swedish furniture giant opened its new Bangkok store last year.

Natthita Opaspipat, a member of the team, told The Wall Street Journal IKEA’s Swedish names “bring a unique character to the brand.” But she said misunderstandings are easy when they are heard by Thai speakers.

“We’ve got to be careful,” Natthita said. “Some of them can be, well, a little rude.”

The Redalen bed, for example, named after a town in Norway, sounds like a Thai term for sexual intercourse. Part of the name of the Jattebra plant pot also sounds like a term for the sex act, a term not used in polite society.

IKEA’s founder, Ingvar Kamprad, began using children’s names and place names in the Scandinavian countries for his products in the 1950s because he himself was dyslexic. While the company’s sources of names have expanded along with its product line, it is still Scandinavian.

Natthita said the team has tried to keep as close to the original as possible, sometimes only changing a single letter. Team members have to consider both how a word sounds and what it will look like when spelled out in Thai’s cursive alphabet.”

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Different Ways of Learning a Language Online

3-4 days ago, some one asked me on Linkedin if I know any good website where one can learn a language online. I sent her the links of my previous posts. I introduced you a couple of online learning tool before but after answering her question I got more curious and I came across this web site on internet: http://www.readwriteweb.com. Some time ago, they published a post about the online language software and websites. I checked all the websites they recommended; however, some of them are not working anymore. I have just pasted the recommendations of readwriteweb.com. I found some of them quite interesting and useful. If you want to learn a language online, I’m sure you will like one of the following links!

– Mango Languages: 12 different online language courses presented in conversational format with prices starting at free.

– Vocabulix: Free vocab building lessons in Spanish, German and English, as well as other languages, with a baked in social network.

– Pod NetworkSpanishpod – Frenchpod – Chinesepod – Free online lessons in three languages.

– BBC Languages: A host of language learning tools and self-contained online courses from the BBC.

– eLanguageSchool.net: Free lessons for learning 10 different languages online.

– LiveMocha: This site combines lessons, with an online community allowing you to practice speaking with native speakers, which dovetails nicely into the next set of sites.

– xLingo: A language exchange that lets users create and share flashcards with each other.

– Palabea: Reviews of language learning software in addition to an online language exchange.

– Interpals: A large language exchange from a popular penpal social network.

– Mixxer: A free language exchange using Skype built by Dickinson College.

– TT4You: A free global language exchange site.

– Language Buddy: A free language exchange with 115 supported languages.

– Convesation Exchange: Text and voice chat, email, or face-to-face meetings can bet set up via Language Buddy to improve your conversational skills.

– Lingozone: Build vocab skills by playing game of Word Ladder and Hangman, while making friends with whom to practice speaking.

– Language Exchange Network: Think Craigslist for language learning; this site has super-simple language exchange classified listings.

– MyLanguageExchange: One of the oldest online language exchanges (this site was a Yahoo! Internet Life pick in 2001), it claims over 1 million members speaking 115 different languages.

 

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And The Last Part of British Slang…

Hello friends! This is the last part of our British Slang article. Thanks for your contributions and beautiful comments. I guess some of our friends took me wrong and they said these are not true. However, some other British friend said they are true 🙂 In my opinion, the slang differes from city to city and from generation to generation. Anyway, I just found an article which was quite interesting for me and I wanted to share it with you. As I have told you before, I am not British and I did not personally write the article. I am just a messanger :)) Here is the last part. Enjoy!

Splash out – If you splash out on something – it means you throw your senses out the window, get out your credit card and spend far too much money. You might splash out on a new car or even on a good meal.

Squidgy – A chocolate cream cake would be squidgey. It means to be soft and, well, squidgey!

Squiffy – This means you are feeling a little drunk. Some people also use it to mean that something has gone wrong.

Stone the crows – This is an old expression with the same meaning as “cor blimey“.

Stonking – This weird word means huge. You might say “what a stonking great burger” if you were in an American burger joint.

Strop – If someone is sulking or being particularly miserable you would say they are being stroppy or that they have a strop on. I heard an old man on the train tell his wife to stop being a stroppy cow.

Suss – If you heard someone saying they had you sussed they would mean that they had you figured out! If you were going to suss out something it would mean the same thing.

Swotting – Swotting means to study hard, the same as cram does. Before exams we used to swot, not that it made any difference to some of us. If you swotted all the time, you would be called a swot – which is not a term of endearment!

Ta – We said “ta” as kids in Liverpool for years before we even knew it was short for thanks.

Taking the biscuit – If something really takes the biscuit, it means it out-does everything else and cannot be bettered. Some places in America they said takes the cake.

Taking the mickey – See taking the piss. Variations include “taking the mick” and “taking the Michael”.

Taking the piss – One of the things Americans find hardest about the Brits is our sense of humour. It is obviously different and is mainly based on irony, sarcasm and an in-built desire to “take the piss”. This has nothing to do with urine, but simply means making fun of someone.

Tara – Pronounced “churar”, this is another word for cheerio or goodbye. Cilla Black, ascouse TV presenter has probably done most to promote the use of this word as she says it all the time on her programmes.

Throw a spanner in the works – This is an expression that means to wreck something.

Tickety-boo – If something is going well with no problems we would say it is tickety-boo.

Tidy – Apart from the obvious meaning of neat, tidy also means that a woman is a looker or attractive.

Toodle pip – This is an old expression meaning goodbye. However, I only hear it when Americans are doing impressions of Brits as it has fallen into disuse, along with steam trains and gas lights.

Tosser – This is another word for wanker and has exactly the same meaning and shares the same hand signal. Unfortunately my house in Texas was in Tossa Lane, which was a problem when telling older members of the family where to write to me!

Totty – If a chap is out looking for totty, he is looking for a nice girl to chat up. There is an Italian football player called Totti – which is pronounced the same. It’s really funny hearing the commentators when he gets the ball saying “it’s Totty for Italy”. It sounds like some beautiful Italian girlies have invaded the pitch.

TTFN – Short for “ta ta for now”. Which in turn means goodbye! Said by older folks and one Radio Two DJ in particular.

Twat – Another word used to insult someone who has upset you. Also means the same as fanny but is less acceptable in front of your grandmother, as this refers to parts of the female anatomy. Another use for the same word is to twat something, which would be to hit it hard. Get it right or I’ll twat you over the head!

Twee – Twee is a word you would generally hear older people say. It means dainty or quaint. A bit like the way you chaps think of England I suppose.

Twit – You twit! Not so rude as calling someone an idiot but it amounts to the same thing. Remember Monty Python’s “Twit of the Year” competition? Other versions include “nitwit”.

Two finger salute – When you see a Brit stick up two fingers at you in a V shape, he may be ordering two of something (if his palms are toward you). The other way around and it’s an insult along the lines of your one finger salute. Which, by the way, is very popular here now too!

U – A letter used far more in British. It is in words like colour, favour, labour etc. I think this is why UK keyboards have 102 characters on them instead of your 101, or is it because they have a pound sign on them?

Uni – Short for university, we would say we went to uni like you would say you went to school. School here is just for kids.

Waffle – To waffle means to talk on and on about nothing. It is not something you eat. Americans often think that Brits waffle on about the weather. The truth of course is that our news reports last 60-120 seconds and the weather man is not hyped up to be some kind of superstar as he is on the TV in the US. If you want to see an example of real waffle watch the weather channel in Texas where there is nothing to talk about other than it is hot and will remain so for the next 6 months. Another example is the ladies who waffle on about anything on the Home Shopping Network. They would probably be classed as professional wafflers!

Wangle – Some people have all the luck. I know some people that can wangle anything; upgrades on planes, better rooms in hotels. You know what I mean.

Wank – This is the verb to describe the action a wanker participates in.

Watcha – Simply means Hi. Also short for “what do you” as in “watcha think of that”?

Waz – On average, it seems that for every pint of lager you need to go for a waz twice! A complete waste of time in a serious drinking session.

Well – Well can be used to accentuate other words. for example someone might be “well hard” to mean he is a real man, as opposed to just “hard“. Something really good might be “well good”. Or if you were really really pleased with something you might be “well chuffed”. Grammatically it’s appalling but people say it anyway.

Welly – If you “give it welly”, it means you are trying harder or giving it the boot. An example would be when accelerating away from lights, you would give it welly to beat the guy in the mustang convertible in the lane next to you. Welly is also short forwellington boots, which are like your galoshes.

Whinge – Whingers are not popular in any circumstance. To whinge is to whine. We all know someone who likes to whinge about everything.

Wind up – This has a couple of meanings. If something you do is a “wind up” it means you are making fun of someone. However it you are “wound up” it means you are annoyed.

Wobbler – To “throw a wobbly” or to “throw a wobbler” means to have a tantrum. Normally happens when you tell your kids they can’t have an ice cream or that it’s time for bed.

Wonky – If something is shaky or unstable you might say it is wonky. For example I changed my chair in a restaurant recently because I had a wonky one.

Write to – When visiting the US one can’t help noticing that you write each other. You don’t “write to” each other. Here it would be grammatically incorrect to say “write me” and you would be made to write it out 100 times until you got it right.

Yakking – This means talking incessantly – not that I know anyone who does that now!

Yonks – “Blimey, I haven’t heard from you for yonks”. If you heard someone say that it would mean that they had not seen you for ages!

Zonked – If someone is zonked or “zonked out” it means they are totally knackered or you might say exhausted. When a baby has drunk so much milk, his eyes roll into the back of his head, it would be fair to say he was zonked!

Thanks for VousDeux for this precious information. This is all I know about the author. You can reach his/her posts on StumbleUpon by clicking here. If you come across this book, please give me the link so that I can buy! :)

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For the first part, click here.

For the second part, click here.

For the third part, click here.

What is Smashing about British Slang? (British Slang is Ace- Part #3)

Part #3! We have still one more part to go! For those who did not read the previous two, here is the introduction. You can find the links at the bottom of this article:

Well, if you plan to visit the UK, you should definetely know what kind of slang they use. We know most of the American slang thanks to Hollywood movies and TV shows :) However, the British media or movie industry is less exposing. When we turn the radio on, the probability of hearing an American song is higher than a British song. Anyway… The point is we are less familiar with the details of British English. I tried to be picky while selecting the words from the list with the fear of offending someone. I hope my article is informative rather than rude :) It is a very long list so I want to publish it in 2 or 3 parts.”

Parky – Either short for Michael Parkinson, a famous chat show host, or more likely a word to describe the weather as being rather cold!

Pass – This means I don’t know and comes from the old TV show, Mastermind, where contestants were made to say “pass” if they did not know the answer to the question.

Pavement pizza – Well here the pavement is the sidewalk and a pavement pizza is a descriptive way of saying vomit. Often found outside Indian restaurants early on a Sunday morning.

Peanuts – I hated one of my summer jobs as a kid because it paid peanuts. The full expression is that if you pay peanuts, you get monkeys. It is a fairly derogatory way of saying that manual labour doesn’t need to be bright and doesn’t need a lot of pay. Typically these days peanuts means something is cheap. For example we would say the petrol in the USA is peanuts or costs peanuts. Compared to our prices it is.

Pear shaped – If something has gone pear shaped it means it has become a disaster. It might be preparing a dinner party or arranging a meeting, any of these things can go completely pear shaped.

Piece of cake – I remember saying it’s a piece of cake in front of one of my American friends, who then started looking around for the cake! It means it’s a cinch!

Pinch – This means to steal something. Though when you say “steal” it is a bit more serious than pinch. A kid might pinch a cake from the kitchen. A thief would steal something during a burglary.

Pip pip – Another out-dated expression meaning goodbye. Not used any more.

Piss poor – If something is described as being “piss poor” it means it is an extremely poor attempt at something.

Piss up – A piss up is a drinking session. A visit to the pub. There is an English expression to describe someone as disorganised which says that he/she could not organise a piss up in a brewery!

Pissed – This is a great one for misunderstanding. Most people go to the pub to get pissed. In fact the object of a stag night is to get as pissed as possible. Getting pissed means getting drunk. It does not mean getting angry. That would be getting pissed off!

Pissing around – Fooling about, in the sense of messing around or making fun or just being silly. Not terribly polite.

Plastered – Another word for loaded. In other words you have had rather too much to drink down your local. It has nothing to do with being covered with plaster though anything is possible when you are plastered.

Porkies – More cockney rhyming slang. Short for “porky pies”, meaning “pork pies”. Rhymes with lies. My Mum always used to tell me I was telling porkies! And she was right!

Porridge – Doing porridge means to serve time in prison. There was also a comedy TV series called Porridge about a prisoner starring Ronnie Barker of The Two Ronnies fame.

Posh – Roughly translates as high class, though if you look at Posh Spice there are clearly exceptions to the rule! Comes from the cabins used by the upper class on early voyages from England to India. The coolest (and most expensive cabins) were Port side on the way Out and Starboard on the way Home.

Potty – This isn’t just the thing you sit a toddler on – if you are potty it means you are a little crazy, a bit of a looney, one card short of a full deck.

Pound sign – Ever wondered why Brits flounder when voicemail messages say to press the pound sign? What on earth is the British currency doing on a phone anyway? Well, it isn’t. To a Brit, the pound sign is the wiggly thing we use to denote the UK pound (orquid), in the same way you have a dollar sign.

PTO – This is an abbreviation for “please turn over”. You will see it on forms in the UK where you would see the single word over in the USA.

Pukka – This term has been revived recently by one of our popular young TV chefs. It means super or smashing, which of course is how he describes all his food.

Put a sock in it – This is one way of telling someone to shut up. Clearly the sock needs to be put in their loud mouth!

Put paid to – This is an expression which means to put an end to something. For example you could say that rain put paid to the cricket match, meaning it stopped play.

Quid – A pound in money is called a quid. It is the equivalent to the buck or clam in America. A five pound note is called a fiver and a ten pound note is called a tenner.

Quite – When used alone, this word means the same as absolutely!

Read – If someone asks you what you read at university, they mean what was your major at school.

Really – This is one of those words where you say almost the same thing as us, but just can’t be fagged to finish it off. The word is “really”, not real. You say things like it’s real hot, something’s real cool, a baby is real cute. If we said that we would be sent to the back of the class for our grammar – or lack of it!

Redundancy – If you are made redundant it means you are laid off.

Reverse the charges – When you want to ring someone up and you have no money you can call the operator and ask to reverse the charges in the UK. In the US you would call collect.

Right – I’m feeling right knackered. That would mean you were feeling very tired.

Ring – You would ring someone on the phone not call them, in the UK. Try saying “give me a ring” to the next Brit you meet. This does not work well in reverse. I asked someone in a shop to ring me up and he dragged me to the till and pulled my head across the scanner!

Round – When you hear the words “your round” in the pub, it means it is your turn to buy the drinks for everyone in the group – nothing to do with the size of your tummy! Since beers are more and more expensive these days, the art of buying the rounds has developed into ensuring you buy the first one before everyone has arrived, without being obvious!

Row – Rhymes with “cow” this means an argument. You might hear your Mum having a row with your Dad, or your neighbours might be rowing so loud you can hear them!

Rubbish – The stuff we put in the binTrash or garbage to you. You might also accuse someone of talking rubbish.

Rugger – This is short for “rugby”. It is a contact sport similar to your football but played in muddy fields during winter and rain. Not only that, but the players wear almost no protection!

Sack/sacked – If someone gets the sack it means they are fired. Then they have been sacked. I can think of a few people I’d like to sack!

Scrummy – This is a word that would be used to describe either some food that was particularly good (and probably sweet and fattening).

Scrumping – To go stealing – usually apples from someone elses trees!

Send-up – To send someone up is to make fun of them. Or if something is described as being a send-up it is equivalent to your take-off. Like Robin Williams does a take-off on the British accent – quite well actually!

Shambles – If something is a shambles it is chaotic or a real mess. It’s also a very old name for a slaughterhouse. So if you ever visit The Shambles in York, then the name does not refer to the somewhat shambolic nature of the buildings; it’s a reference to the site it’s built on – an old slaughterhouse!

Shambolic – In a state of chaos. Generally heard on the news when the government is being discussed!

Shirty – “Don’t get shirty with me young man” was what my Dad used to tell me when I was little. He was referring to my response to his telling off for doing some terrible little boy thing. Like tying my brother to the back of Mum’s car or putting my shoes in the toilet. It meant I was getting bad tempered.

Shufti – Pronounced shooftee, this means to take a look at something, to take abutchers! It’s an old Arabic word, picked up by British soldiers during World War II, in North Africa.

Sixes and sevens – If something is all at sixes and sevens then it is in a mess, topsy turvy or somewhat haywire!

Skive – To skive is to evade something. When I was a kid we used to skive off school on Wednesdays instead of doing sports. We always got caught of course, presumably because the teachers used to do the same when they were fourteen!

Sloshed – Yet another way to describe being drunk. Clearly we need a lot of ways to describe it since getting plastered is a national pastime.

Smart – When we say someone is smart, we are talking about the way they are dressed – you might say they look sharp. When you say someone is smart you are talking about how intelligent or clever they are.

Smashing – If something is smashing, it means it is terrific.

Snap – This is the name of a card game where the players turn cards at the same time and shout “snap” when they match. People also say “snap” when something someone else says has happened to them too. For example when I told somebody that my wallet was stolen on holiday, they said “snap”, meaning that theirs had too!

Sod – This word has many uses. My father always used to say “Oh Sod!” or “Sod it!” if something went wrong and he didn’t want to swear too badly in front of the children.

Sod all – If you are a waiter in America and you serve a family of Brits, the tip is likely to be sod all or as you would call it – nothing. Because we don’t know about tipping.

Sod’s law – This is another name for Murphy’s law – whatever can go wrong, will go wrong.

Sorted – When you have fixed a problem and someone asks how it is going you might say “sorted”. It’s also popular these days to say “get it sorted” when you are telling someone to get on with the job.

Spend a penny – To spend a penny is to go to the bathroom. It is a very old fashioned expression that still exists today. It comes from the fact that in ladies loos you used to operate the door by inserting an old penny.

Thanks for VousDeux for this precious information. This is all I know about the author. You can reach his/her posts on StumbleUpon by clicking here. If you come across this book, please give me the link so that I can buy! :)

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