Friday, June 4, 2010

Say what?

Nearly three months have passed since we set sail* from the Emerald Isle; enough time to start to figure out what we've exported from our three years there. I've written before about wanting to hold onto our American positivity; with Ireland, what seems to have lasted is the language. Jonah, the only one of us to have ever truly passed as a native (despite his brother being the actual born-and-bred Gael), is starting to lose his Dub accent, which is both a shame and also a relief; it means he's hanging out with new buddies and absorbing their accents. A shame to be losing the accent, but a relief that he's not all alone in a corner of the classroom mourning his lost pals of the West.

Still, although an Irish accent isn't part of our family any more, it seems that certain words have crept in and are here to stay. I took the kids to buy new school shoes and runners last week; despite our best efforts, it's impossible to call the damn things 'trainers' when 'runners' is by far a more appropriate term for the footwear of a small boy.

Earlier this week, I had cause to teach Jonah when to use 'lashing' and when to use 'drizzling'; a distinction that made me giggle, because of course you'd need to know the word for a bloody great downpour in Ireland and a polite sniffle of rain in England. We're still inclined, as a family, to ask, 'Will I bring (the boys with me to the shop)?' rather than 'shall I take (the boys with me to the shop)?' Incremental differences, but they make me smile when I hear them. We seem to have slotted back into life in England with relatively few seams showing; but if you listen closely, the time overseas is there, embedded in our lexicon. Grand, so.

*oh, OK, it was RyanAir, but who the hell wants them in an opening sentence?


Rebecca said...

I am glad that you are feeling settled. But it is great that you are having these little reminders popping up in your every day life. It would be such a shame to move on and just blank out the past. Great post!

Liberty London Girl said...

Oh I love looking for this aural reminders of the differences between English speaking countries. Living in America, I am endlessly fascinated. For example, it took me ages to understand 'visiting with'. As in going over to someone's house to visit with them...which means staying in the house, not leaving with them to go somewhere sounds so wrong! LLGxx