About

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I was born in Scotland in 1970 and lived there until I was 18. Then I studied English at Leeds University, moved to Manchester, then Suffolk, then back to Manchester, across the pond to Toronto and then south to Pennsylvania.

My language is muddled. Almost everyday I say something odd – not odd to my ears but definitely to the people I’m speaking to. There is a specific slightly glazed look people round here get when I either mis-pronounce something or just come up with a word they’d never use; or that they might use, but not in the context I’m using it. My kids (especially the youngest one) correct me – a lot. And her piano teacher frequently has no idea what I’m talking about. We’re okay if I reply to her but if I start a topic she often has no idea what I’ve said. That feels weird. But at the same time my Mum (not Mom!) who still lives in Edinburgh, recently told me I’d become quite American in my writing. I’m thinking about having an identity crisis.

In the meantime, I have been toying for ages with writing about the daily differences to be found between English and American English – at least as noted by my Scottish/English brain. And last night I found myself putting the word ‘hoagie’ in a game of Words with Friends. There is a whole world of trouble out there for the English speaker who wants to eat some bread.

So I will begin.

If you enjoy this blog, please consider finding me on twitter @KMBraithwaite or on Facebook

I am also the author of the historical novel, Charlatan. More about it (and me) can be read here

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5 thoughts on “About

  1. I, too was born in Edinburgh.

    I emigrated to Canada in my late 20’s and had all sorts of trouble making myself understood. I had to drop a lot of Scottish words from my everyday conversation because no-one knew what I meant. And even when they knew the words, they didn’t understand the way I used them, e.g., I’m just going to get some messages (trans. I’m going to do some shopping)

    Now I live in England and friends are always pulling my leg because I picked up a lot of american/canadian expressions and use them instead of the equivalent british term (e.g., cell phone instead of mobile)

    Seems i’m destined to be forever misunderstood πŸ˜†

    I read a few of your posts tonight and enjoyed them

    I’ll be back later to read more when time allows

    Cheers !

    • The Translator says:

      Hello! Glad you liked the blog. I only ‘go for messages’ in Edinburgh and always have to force myself to say I’m ‘going to the store’ here in the US, rather than saying the shops or the supermarket. If you can think of other examples, let me know πŸ™‚

      • when I moved to Canada, folk used to give me blank looks when I asked them where they ‘stayed’ instead of where they ‘lived’

        P.S. I wasn’t long in Canada before I discovered that the word ‘beer’ did not carry the same meaning there as it did in Scotland – what Canadians call beer, Scots call ‘rat’s piss’ πŸ˜†

  2. Joyce says:

    Dear The Translator,

    My name is Joyce and I work for ExpatFinder.com.
    ExpatFinder.com is a free one stop website for people preparing to move or working and living overseas. We provide a myriad of services for expatriates and we have over 2,000 articles to help and support the people moving around the world and we are now creating an interview section to help the expats with real life experiences!
    We quite enjoy your blog about living in United States, it is very interesting and informative. Would it be possible to interview you to further share some of your tips and feature some of your first hand experience as an Expatand your interview will be published on our Expat Interview section as a guide for our expat readers. The questions are mainly about the day to day lifestyle of an expat. If it would be possible, could you also send some photographs that we can use?
    Of course, if you accept, we can add a link to your blog or some of your website.
    The questions are enclosed, feel free to respond freely. You can return the doc with your answers if you accept this invitation.
    Thanks in advance and do let me know if you prefer other means to conduct this interview and we would be happy to accommodate your terms.

    Best regards,
    Joyce

  3. Hi

    My name is Joyce, I am a marketing executive at expatfinder.com which is a leading expat information and services website.

    I saw on your blog that you are and expat. I wish to interview you to further share some of your tips. The questions are mainly about the housing, the daily life etc.

    It just takes 5 minutes (or more depending if you have lots to say πŸ™‚

    Of course, if you accept we can add a link to your blog or some of your website.

    If you are interested to participate at this project, please send me an email at interview@expatfinder.com.

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