Personal USA

They say, we say

24 October 2014

I never really consciously thought about how different American and British English Singlish (likely the form most dominant in my system lol) was until I came to the US.

Here are a few examples I recall off the top of my head from our experiences in our 2+ months here.

Bold = We (Fu & I)
Italics = They (people we’ve spoken to in USA)

Paper #1

“May I have some serviettes please?”
*blank look*
“… Oh! Did you want napkins?”

Paper #2

“I think the customs officer must have thought I was lying when I didn’t have a name card to show as proof.”
“Name card…? You mean business card?”

Paper #3

“Could you bring us the bill, please?”
“Could you bring us the check, please?”

#4 The more we get together

Email: “We’re planning an offsite in December for all engineers.”
Us to each other (and ourselves): “Offsite…??? OH! Retreat, is it?!”

#5 Food for cars

We say (pump) petrol, they say (fill) gas.

#6 Food for us

When you go to a restaurant, you don’t takeaway food. You takeout.

#7 I’m running out of ideas for headings

“Is your handphone with you?”
“is your cellphone with you?”

#8 Uh huh. You read what #7 said.

Don’t message me. I’ll text you instead.


  • Reply Mandy 25 October 2014 at 4:42 pm

    How interesting! I haven’t been out of the country (USA) much so this is all new to me.
    I didn’t even know what “offsite” could be until I read your next line :P

    • Reply Rin 28 October 2014 at 5:03 am

      Haha, yeah, it was interesting for us too! (once we got past the confusion and any embarrassment lol)

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