AMERICANS! Please help...

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xiamenese
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Sat Jul 30, 2016 10:26 am Post

And yet I've just been told by an American that Americans won't know what I'm talking about if I say "old-fashioned dial telephone"—in my experience the standard UK designation—rather than "old-fashioned rotary-dial telephone". And American's are always telling me that they find British English too difficult to understand; in fact several years back, a New Zealand Scrivener posted asking if anyone knew of a sort of Google Translate between British English and American, as his readers were mostly American and were continually complaining about his English being too hard to understand.

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pigfender
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Sat Jul 30, 2016 11:45 am Post

Thanks Big Soft Moose. There's a subtlety in the phrase that I want to make sure isn't missed. I'm checking that DD is recognised as something that requires absolutely no effort on the part of the donor; that it's absolutely the least effort and thought that someone can put in and still technically be being charitable (assuming that they're financially stable enough that £5 a month is a nominal sum). From the answers, I'm guessing that's not obvious to US or Australian readers.

I don't mind the whole elevator / lift thing, or color / colour, but I'm interested to know if anything I write will cause the reader to experience a beat I'm not anticipating, and I'm *very* interested to know if any meaning is lost in translation (as Mr X's experiences illustrate nicely).
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big soft moose
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Sat Jul 30, 2016 4:18 pm Post

Fairy nuff

One point though, i suspect, based on experience with american friends, a greater issue might be with americans not knowing what the RSPCA is ... if its important to the story thats its about animals you might want to say 'humane society' who are international

talking of international misunderstanding, my day job is as a ranger team leader with the National Trust ... one american friend concluded that my job was like in yogi bear, while a rather ditzy american girl concluded that I was special forces ... actually the latter worked out okay if you get my drift :wink:

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kewms
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Sat Jul 30, 2016 4:35 pm Post

big soft moose wrote:Fairy nuff

One point though, i suspect, based on experience with american friends, a greater issue might be with americans not knowing what the RSPCA is ... if its important to the story thats its about animals you might want to say 'humane society' who are international


Well... which Americans are you trying to reach? For some of us, RSPCA is similar enough to ASPCA to be obvious. Some of my fellow citizens, on the other hand, would stumble over it even if you spelled the acronym out because the idea of 'royal' anything is so foreign. :roll:

There was much outrage on this side of the pond when the American editions of the Harry Potter books were edited to remove obvious Britishisms. It was seen as unnecessary and condescending. OTOH, once Harry got going, Rowling probably could have gotten away with pidgin if she wanted to. You're not her, and so publishers may be a bit more skittish.

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markfasano
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Sun Jul 31, 2016 7:12 pm Post

pigfender wrote:So, I've got another one of those questions.

Is "Direct Debit" a recognisable term? A search shows that you have DD as a concept in America (Automatic Clearing House), Australia (Direct Entry), etc, but it's not clear if the term Direct Debit itself is a term you'd recognise.

As in... "I have a £5 a month direct debit to the RSPCA."
Is it obvious that means you've set up an automatic donation to charity that just happens without you ever having to think about it again?


An automatic charge is most commonly called "auto debit" here in the colonies.

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markfasano
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Sun Jul 31, 2016 7:14 pm Post

big soft moose wrote:of course if your principal is an American then that's different, but it will be really hard to pull off if you're not.


Yeah, every time Raymond Chandler has Phillip Marlowe refer to someone as a "lad" it's like hitting a speedbump.

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markfasano
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Sun Jul 31, 2016 7:21 pm Post

xiamenese wrote:And yet I've just been told by an American that Americans won't know what I'm talking about if I say "old-fashioned dial telephone"—in my experience the standard UK designation—rather than "old-fashioned rotary-dial telephone".


We would likely think you're referring to a landline telephone, full stop. The device you're describing would be called a "rotary phone."

xiamenese wrote:And American's are always telling me that they find British English too difficult to understand;

Reading this, I'm thinking of the scene in European Vacation where the Cockney desk clerk is jabbering away at Clark Griswold. Thoroughly confused, Clark pulls out his "pocket translator" and starts punching its keys. Clark's son, Rusty, looks over at him and says, "Dad. He's speaking English."

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pigfender
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Tue Jun 19, 2018 7:43 pm Post

HELLO! I need your help once again.
(will he ever finish this damn novel?!? I certainly hope not!)

Americans, Australians, New Zealander’s, Canadans...
Can you name for me please some varieties of apple that are common in your jurisdictions? Bonus points if you highlight which varieties you think have funny names.
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Ahab
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Tue Jun 19, 2018 8:01 pm Post

Mackintosh seems to be the most popular in the Northeast, though I'm unable to understand why. Cortlands taste better and they don't turn brown as fast when they're sliced.
Red Delicious is the default choice nationwide. Otherwise known as The Favorite Apple for People Who Don't Like Apples.
Give me a Roxbury Russet, or a Sheep's Nose or a Northern Spy, the quintessential pie apple from Olde Newe Englande.

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kewms
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Tue Jun 19, 2018 8:44 pm Post

pigfender wrote:HELLO! I need your help once again.
(will he ever finish this damn novel?!? I certainly hope not!)

Americans, Australians, New Zealander’s, Canadans...
Can you name for me please some varieties of apple that are common in your jurisdictions? Bonus points if you highlight which varieties you think have funny names.


The two major apple-growing regions in the US are the Northeast and Washington state. Probably the central midwest grows some for themselves, but they don't really ship to the rest of the country (or world).

In Washington state, the varieties you'll most often see in stores are Gala, Fuji, Braeburn, and Granny Smith (which are tart cooking apples). http://treefruit.wsu.edu/varieties-bree ... var-guide/

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devinganger
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Wed Jun 20, 2018 6:27 am Post

Here in the Puget Sound region of Washington state, the Honeycrisp variety is fairly popular as the go-to "eating" apple. Nobody eats Red Delicious because they may be red, but they're not delicious -- they're bland and mealy.
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John Dodds
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Wed Jun 20, 2018 6:47 am Post

My audiobooks are set in Glasgow and have a fair amount of local dialigue and phrases. The publisher is American and my first fans American..one of them a hairy biker from Texas. Stck to your guns. After all, US authors and publishers don't translate for us.