Sunday, February 8, 2015

Well it finally happened......


After now living longer in Canada than Britain when we went back in January I had trouble understanding the local accent.  Okay my hearing isn't as sharp as it should be; but that Carlisle accent had me just plain confused.

I was standing in line in a fish and chip shop and it was a heck of a line, right outside of the door.  The guy behind me recognized someone further back in the line and struck up a conversation.  The guy had a thick Carlisle/Cumbrian accent and although I did get part of the conversation, "haven't seen you in a long time, thought you were mad at us," the rest was a mystery.  When I got to the counter I asked what something was.  The lady explained to me and I nodded; she went to serve another customer; while I turned to the lady in front of me and said "what did she just say."  Turned out it's some sort of "patty" which is mashed potato, cheese and onion, coated in batter and deep fried.  Looked good, but had to have plain old fish and chips.  Which by the way had me up all night with chronic heartburn!!

I was in a book store in Carlisle and they had a number of things including cards that had Cumbrian Dialect on them.  One said "Yur Deed Clever."  All I could think of is why is it that you are dead and that you are clever?  Dh then pointed out it was to congratulate someone on passing an exam, "You're very clever!!  I don't use the Cumbrian language as much anymore, although I do for the most part understand it.  Here is a link to words that are used in Cumbria.

I do use the word MAM for mother.  Never called her anything else.  After going through that list of words, I see I do slip in a Cumbrian word here and there it seems.  I slip back into the dialect more when I talk to my dad or in a group of people who are from the area.  The kids understand it but speak with a totally Canadian accent.  Their partners occasionally have a confused look on their faces.

At Christmas I had been talking to my  (I pronounce it ME instead of my) mam on the phone and then went to have our Christmas lunch.  I then asked who wanted pudding.  The partners thought we were having chocolate pudding, what I meant to have said who wants dessert; I had forgotten to switch back to speaking the Canadian way.

For anyone from the North of England I found this site with cards that are written in the local dialect.

For the rest of you:

"aas gay thrang, so aas best be gan"

translation: I am very busy, so I had better be going.

See you tomorrow!!



20 comments:

boopnut said...

I can't imagine that, but Gil, you tell an interesting story! Your US friend,
Deb

EG CameraGirl said...

Fun post to read, Gill. How interesting that you are slowly becoming more Canadian than British.

Leigh said...

What a great post. When we first moved to North Carolina, we could not understand the locals! I remember standing in line at the grocery store, listening to the check-out gal talking with the person she was checking out. In a light bulb moment I realized I knew what she was saying! Was I ever pleased with myself.

Every time we get BBC or All Creatures Great and Small DVDs from the library, I find I have to listen carefully to get the "hang" of the language again. So interesting how one language can have so many variations and nuances, isn't it?

DeniseinVA said...

I had a similar experience when I went home. At our wedding reception in 1975 I found myself acting as translator for Gregg's family. When I went back after an absence of several years I had to tune my own ear. it took several days.

Evelyn said...

I was born and raised on the South shore of Nova Scotia so I k ow what you mean!

Boyett-Brinkley said...

Reminds me of my son-in-law -- still sounds very British to me but his folks (who still live in England) say that he sounds American. My grandfather (American born to Welsh immigrants) always called his mother Mam.

LANA said...

Love your blog. I am also retired and starting to be careful with my grocery purchases, so I am quite interested in what you do. I live in Florida, USA.

Enie Dub said...

Very funny Gil! i especially found the pudding incident hilarious!

I call my mother "Mam" too - I thought it was an Irish thing!

Jane and Chris said...

Teeheehee!
Jane x

stitchersanon said...

My mother was from Norfolk, which is where I was born: my father is from Manchester which is where I lived up to the teen years. If I talk to northern relatives, I speak Northern: if I speak to Norfolk relatives, I speak Narfalk lol: and I live in Ireland where every one is just plain confused rofl

Veronica Roth said...

Oh so true...lol. Sometimes I look at Robert and ask, "Was that English?" And then he has to translate. And this is in OXON, never mind Wales or further!

Country Gal said...

When I refer to my mum or dad it usually is me mum or dad lol and I am not even British but both my parents were and I was raised with their way of speaking and phrases even now if I am with one of my British friends well you would never know I was born here in Canada as I just go all Brit lol ! Me mum was from Liverpool and me dad from Hammersmith pronounced ammersmith the H is silent in their tongue lol Most of my family are both British and Scottish what a mixture right ? I was often teased as a kid in school because I spoke well clear and used funny phrases . The British language has changed so much and become so slang even I don't recognize some it now same with Canadian language . To this day I use the Brit phrases a lot and Papa is now used to it all and knows what I mean for a while there he had the stunned look on his face as if to say WHAT? lol . Thanks for sharing , have a good day !

Linda said...

Warm greetings from Montreal. Great post, thanks so much for sharing.

William Kendall said...

That's almost crossing the threshold from dialect into new language.

I find the Newfoundland dialect to be richly different from mainland vernacular.

Paula said...

I find the language difference very interesting and fun! Enjoyed your blog today...

Jane said...

Yikes - I'm going to have fun when I'm in Carlisle aren't I?

Rose said...

Oh, my, I did recognize a few words from reading, watching TV, but sure didn't know many. Didn't look through the whole list, but want to after while. I did enjoy this.

JacquiG said...

When my parents moved from mid-Wales to Cumbria they were given directions that included "when you get to Trupna turn left" or something similar. They got out their trusty map but there was no listing for Trupna. Turns out it's spelled Torpenhow!! Yes, the Cumbrians have a unique way of speaking at times :)

April's Homemaking said...

I love hearing about different accents and dialects, so fun! My mother gave me the book British English A to Zed when I was in high school because I was a huge BBC fan. Very fun to learn about! Sounds like a fun visit. :)

Wean said...

ha ha, I'm British through and through and can't understand a word they say 'up north'. I need a translator !