10.1 British English VS American English 2nd part – podcast episode 10.1 – transcript

Hello! Do you remember our episode number 10 about the differences between British English and American English?  Here’s an interesting follow up.  Meet our English friend Sarah!

As usual, you can find this episode on iTunes as usual or here on podomatic.com :  http://info40650.podomatic.com/entry/2011-11-21T11_14_33-08_00

And here’s the transcript!  Enjoy!  Marta


M – So, this is a follow up episode, right?

C – Right, because our episode number 10 about British English VS American English was so popular that we decided it would be a great idea to do a follow up.

M – That’s why we have invited a very special guest.

C – Yes. Hi Sarah, could you introduce yourself to our listeners?

Sarah – Hello, my name is Sarah and I live in Imola. I’m married to Matteo who is Italian and that’s why we now live in this town. I am originally from a town the size of Imola in the UK, called Leamington Spa which is in Warwickshire in the centre of England.

In England, I worked as a foreign languages teacher and now I teach English as a foreign language to all ages, but mainly adults at the moment. I love my job and hope to expand my teaching and translation skills to as wide a variety of situations as possible.

C – Great, so Sarah, when you’re speaking with Americans, like myself, what are some of the main differences that strike you between British and American English ?

Sarah : I, as British speaker, I’m more formal, still, I prefer form. AMERICANS ARE MUCH MORE OUTGOING, GENERALLY, THEY’RE MUCH MORE RELAXED, THEY HAVE A MUCH STRONGER “CAN DO MINDSET” which comes across in their language and in the way that they interact with people. WE BRITISH ARE STILL VERY RESERVED, VERY CAUTIOUS WHEN WE’RE MEETING PEOPLE. I think we’re much more relaxed now than we ever have been, but I think we’re still very reserved, WE’RE STILL VERY CONCERNED WITH FORM AND POLITENESS.

M – Can you think of any examples in particular ?

Sarah : “I GUESS” AND “I SUPPOSE”. I mean, Americans would say: “I guess that’s correct” whereas “I suppose” is very British, very English and it’s much more formal, I’m not guessing anything, I’m assuming something to be the case, so I therefore say “I suppose that’s true” instead of “I guess that’s true”.

C – Oh, Sarah, I think we need to discuss a very important topic that affects us all ! RESTROOMS VS TOILET.

M – Good point! 🙂 So, British English?

Sarah – “May I use your bathroom, please?” or “May I go to the toilet, please?”. Americans, on the other hand, they say “restroom” or “bathroom”, definitely “bathroom”, most usually “restroom”. And to me that seems very strange actually….to say restroom…I mean, I think it’s a euphemism for what you do there… you are taking a little rest perhaps…

M – You’re right! Ok. Can you think of anything else?


M – Oh, you mean the present perfect VS the….

S – …the simple past.

M – Right.

S – For example, if I say in English : “HAVE YOU BEEN TO SCHOOL TODAY?”, Americans would say “DID YOU GO TO SCHOOL TODAY?”. When we use or teach the past simple it’s always with a marker of a specific time in the past. A specific time which has finished, I mean, ok, “today” is ongoing, so that goes with the present perfect, which is “have you been to school today?”, because the day hasn’t finished yet. I could say “Did you catch the bus this morning to go to school?”

M – Another difference between American and British English pertains to our dear friend Barb.

C – The chicken truck driver that sometimes joins us here on my American friend. I guess that she wouldn’t be called a TRUCK DRIVER in the UK, right?

Sarah – I would say: “LORRY DRIVER”.

M – Uh uh, so, she would be : Barb the chicken lorry driver. All right then, we’ve added some useful details to what we had already covered in our episode n.10, thanks a lot to our friend Sarah!

S – Well, goodbye to you too and I very much look forward to taking part in this again in the near future.

C – Thanks for being with us and come back any time!

Sarah – Bye bye! Bye now.

C – It’s so great having guests here, we feel it’s important to give our listeners a full experience in the variety of accents found among the English speaking world.

M – Ok, don’t forget to read the transcript and to come visit us on www.myamericanfriendblog.com . We’re also on facebook, twitter, podomatic and iTunes. Thank you for listening and see you soon!

C – Bye bye!


You can contact Sarah for English lessons and translations at this e-mail address: sarah_lapietra@hotmail.com

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