Language Barrier in London?

Wow, I am in the final week of my study abroad program here in London for this summer, and it would be a huge understatement to only say that this has been an incredible experience. In fact, it is hard to quantify all the things I have learned and done on this amazing journey.

I have finished my internship, and my last day was full of sad goodbyes. I only have a couple more assignments left, and then I will be done with all of my classes too. Of course, there is still some time to get some last minute sightseeing in before I leave! I do not have any classes on Friday, so it will be a day filled with both exciting things (sightseeing!) and not so fun things (packing). Regardless, it is so hard to believe that the entire program is coming to a close.

One thing that I did find surprising was that there is definitely a language barrier at times. While it is not nearly the same as the language barrier one would find if they travel to a country that spoke a completely different language, I originally did not expect to find a language barrier in London at all. The dialect is different than that of much of the US, and there are phrases and words that mean very different things. This is especially important when working in a business; I wouldn’t want to send an email to a customer by saying something that has a different meaning to them than it does to me! There are also words that we do not really use. Khaki pants in the USA are called chinos in London. A subway means an underpass for walking underneath the road (not the Tube!). I also had to get used to the spellings of various words when working at my internship because there were many words that were spelled differently.

Before long, I will be lining up to board my flight back to the United States at London-Heathrow. There are times that I wish this experience could last longer because it has been so amazing. At the same time, however, going home is always great as I can start looking forward to what’s next! Next time I write, which will be my final blog post of the summer, I’ll be home – that’s sad to think about.

Justin