Thursday, December 6, 2012

Interesting language differences

Just got back from a trip to Australia and New Zealand. Had a lovely time and noticed some fun language differences.

There was a sign on the cruise ship's Promenade Deck asking people to walk or jog in an anti-clockwise direction, rather than counter-clockwise.

You don't call someone on the phone, you ring them up.

If you are a bit chilly, you need to put on your jumper (sweater).

You don't have to yield to traffic, but you may need to give way.

I did have a terrible time adapting to seeing vehicles driving on the "wrong" side of the road.  The idea that a left turn is easier than a right turn seems so odd to me.  I suppose that comes from more than 48 years of driving the American way.  I wondered which other countries do it the way New Zealand and Australia do:  the UK I suppose? Germany? Austria?  I know that some European countries drive the way we do, like Italy.  I think it would be pretty challenging to change back and forth.  Thank goodness I didn't have to do any driving.


Lin Floyd said...

welcome back...what was funny was riding in my son who returned from a mission in Japan where he occasionally drove a car on the wrong side. Then trying to teach him to reverse at!

Kay said...

We love seeing the cute language differences whenever we travel. Driving was quite harrowing in New Zealand. The Japanese also drive on the opposite side and it is scary. It's so easy to forget. We did love New Zealand especially though. It's so beautiful there.

Steve said...

There are more than 50 countries that drive on the left side of the road (as Oz & NZ do), including one part of US territory (US Virgin Islands).

It is only a few miles from the mainland US to the nearest country that drives on the left (Bahamas).

Changing sides isn't a problem after you've done it a few times.
There isn't even a problem if you've never done it before (because you're too scared to make a mistake).

The risky time is a few months after arriving in a "wrong-side-of-the-road" country, as that is when your guard slips.

Driving on the other side is actually quite a novelty. I love doing it!

Teacher Mama said...

What a great trip!!! I'm glad you got to go. Fiji has a lot of the same language differences as Australia... "rubbish" for garbage was another surprise word to me. :)