People who know me are probably aware of my “language-chameleon” skills. After two days in Vienna, I am already speaking like an angry, old man used the term “ur” in every other sentence. Thus, I immediately adapt to the local dialects and use their phrases unintentionally. This can be utterly annoying and. Or hilarious for people around me. During my time in Ireland, I discovered this skill is not only restricted to German, but English too.
My classmates taught me some Irish slang every now and then and defined the ones I didn’t know. Me, being myself, picked them up and quickly and in a high quantity. It probably seemed like I was making fun of them, but honestly, I wasn’t.
The most Irish word to me is definitely “grand” (what a surprised, after reading the title of this boo.) The Irish use it all the time and for numerous purposes: “You’re grand!” – it’s going to be fine. “That’s grand!” – cool, tell me more (I’m not interested though) or just “Grand!” – when you don’t know anything else to say. So, it was only a matter of time until I adopted it.
Other typical terms I learned included “shifting” for making out or “craic” for fun. Apart from that, I started to incorporate “like” into my sentences as if I’d get money for every time I said it- just like a real Irish man (or so).
I also spent much of my freetime with people from North America. Some of my best friends in Ireland came from Canada or the US and therefore also they influenced my way of writing and speaking in English. For instance, I picked up their heavy usage of the word “actually” and their abbreviations: from tbh (to be honest) and af (as fuck) to hbu (how about you) and fam (family). I even went as far as to invent my own non-existing abbreviations.
Moreover, I learned a lot of other expressions that are obviously quite common on the other side of the Atlantic. “I’m dead ass”, “You’re killing me” or “That’s the funniest shit ever” are only a few of those that were added to my active English vocabulary. Eventually, I started using Irish and North American phrases at the same time and ended up talking like a cheap combination of a basic American girl and a redhaired Irish lad.