When you’re an American moving to London, it’s a little like the song “Englishman in New York”, which describes that feeling of being out of place and yet in familiar surroundings. For all the similarities between the US and the UK, an American moving to London is going to encounter many new things and ways to do things.
American Moving To London and Language
The English language can be confusing at the best of times, and it is made more difficult if you’re an American, by the wide range of local accents that are found across the country. This is a cosmopolitan city, and is filled with people who speak many different languages as well as English, but since everything is in English, having a good understanding of the basics will make your move easier and smoother. Not getting offended if someone offers you a ‘fag’ is a good starting point!
American Moving to London and Fitting In
Much of the initial confusion you might face as an American moving to London will be in deciphering the English way of using phrases that cannot be translated literally. Another thing that confuses a lot of people from across the pond when arriving in England, is that some words have one meaning in England, and quite another in the USA. It’s worth your while to know a few of the most common ones. A torch is a flashlight, a lift is an elevator, a bum bag is a fanny pack, football is soccer, autumn is fall, a mate is a friend, a fag is a cigarette, chips are French fries, biscuits are cookies, rubbers are erasers, jam is jelly, Casualty is ER, holidays are vacations and the city centre is downtown. Now, go and try this out at your local (pub or bar) and you’ll be sounding like a native in a flash.
The best way to learn about your new home as an American moving to London is to integrate and try to meet as many people as possible.