What is it like living in a foreign country?
When we came to Brighton from Hungary, we expected a few bumps on the road which we didn’t experience in the end, and a few ones we didn’t expect but we had.
First, of course, is the language. We both learned English in middle school and a lot of films were subtitled and of course, we played games which were in English. We thought there will be no problem at least with making ourselves clear. How wrong were we!
The first thing you realise that it doesn’t matter if you have learned years of English in school or in a course. You most probably learnt international or American English. And while the grammar rules and majority of the words might be the same, the pronunciation is a whole different story. No wonder in the U.S. they need to subtitle people who speak Biritsh English. I don’t even have the vocabulary to explain what the difference is, but while American English sounds straight, plain, engineered, British English sounds more like art. You can imagine American English as a geometric piece of art by Vasarely, and British English is like Salvador Dali with all the melting clocks.
But after two years, I can say I can fairly understand almost everything, my ears got used to the accent. Of course, when I try to speak British, it’s horrible, my accent is like I am making fun of the language. Sometimes I pronounce “ankle” as “uncle”, “sign” as “sing”, but I think people around me can understand me good enough.
Right now, amidst Covid, it’s even harder to practice. I can work from home, but it limits the communication with my co-workers to that 15-20 minutes video conference every day. My wife got furloughed, so she is in an even worse situation, she only speaks English every morning when we are doing our every-morning dance routine online.
So for us, the only choice is to watch British TV shows, listen to British podcasts and radios and of course, playing games is always a good plave to keep our English skill sharp(er than without it).
How are we doing? You tell us. I think this blog is a pretty good demonstration of my English skills.
To be continued…