Linguistic Efficiency

18 Jul

Ugandans use the English language very differently from Canadians. This is one thing that reminds me, on a daily basis, of how much I will never fully understand about the culture I’m surrounded by. I’m at the point where I understand most statements, and am appreciating how much can be said with so few words… but I do take a few extra seconds to translate things inside my head. Here are a couple of quick examples:

Ugandan: Juli, help me smear.

Canadian: Julia, could you please help me by spreading peanut butter on the pancakes you made yesterday, while I prepare our tea?

Ugandan: Noodles.

Canadian: Come prepare the instant noodles that Bridget sent you as a present from school (which you forgot to eat yesterday when I told you to). We will eat them with supper.

Ugandan: Extend!

Canadian: Could you please squeeze yourself into this tiny corner of the car? We need to fit in two more people, and you’re taking up far too much room.

My Canadian brain misses all of the excess words that we use. But a small part of my brain seems to be learning Ugandan English too… Slowly slowly.

One Response to “Linguistic Efficiency”


  1. In case I say… | A lot of stories - August 27, 2013

    […] see: Linguistic Efficiency by Julia, Malawian English by Lauren, and Sorry Sorry by […]

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