Tuesday, June 10, 2014

The Scottish Language Barrier

We have been in Dundee nine months, give or take.  Audrey has been in school for eight of these months. Although the language wars ("You have to say trousers, Mommy! Pants mean underpants!") started the minute we arrived, it is now clear that our family has lost one member to the other side.  By this I mean Audrey's Scottish accent has taken over.

Paul marveled at how fast it has happened. "I knew it might happen, but I didn't expect it to be this fast. Especially since her teacher is Irish!" A visiting Scottish friend commented on in when she visited on Sunday - "She's rolling her R's!" and when I said she's been dropping her T's (Mummy, can I have some wa'er?) the same friend nodded knowingly and said, "Yes, that's very Dundonian." 

So now it's three against one, and I'm not holding out much hope for Claire. After burping today, she said "Pardon me!" and in the science center she asked Paul if they could "take the lift." Even I am starting to slip into British English.  I have started to say "straightaway" to mean "right now/right away," and sometimes I'll even say "half-three" if I want to set a meeting with my boss for 3:30.   Paul has taken to the standard Dundonian greeting (Hiya!) , but both of us change slower than the kids.

Audrey already asks for "a wee bit of this" and "a wee bit of that" - before long, the wee bit of American vocabulary that she retained from the States ("America") will be buried under an avalanche of British and Scottish vocabulary and pronunciation. I close with a question (and some help from Scotranslate:)   Whit's this world comin' tae? 


Ellen Dunscomb said...

Love this! Don't change a thing!
Ellen Dunscomb

Ellen Dunscomb said...
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