Culture shock one-on-one!

Au pairs: this is your place to post the funniest misunderstandings, culture shock type situations, tell us how you put your “foot in your mouth” with American slang you didn’t quite understand!!

Since I am starting this thread, my turn to start: okay – my English was already pretty good when I arrived to Greenville as an au pair in 1999… but I was still speaking “British English”… I used the word “fortnight” to express “2 weeks”, the word “flat” for appartment, etc.
Well, my host mom would tell me every few days: “Okay – I’m gonna run a few errands, I’ll be back in a little while”. For the LOOOONGEST time, I thought she said “I’m gonna buy a few EARRINGS…” – she had a friend who made beautiful silver sterling jewelry, and I thought she just kept buying more for friends’ birthdays, etc… I had to finally ASK!
So: don’t be shy, ASK WHEN YOU DON’T KNOW! 🙂

~ Nadia, LCC and former au pair.


About FrenchNad

English to French Translator & Interpreter; blogging at about a French word of the day, the challenges of interpreting and translating, and my adventures in Oregon!
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