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Home » Travel Tips

The perks of knowing the local lingo in London

Submitted by on 15/11/2012 – 4:28 pmNo Comment
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When learning a new language like English, it’s important to get the formalities, grammar and subtle differences in meaning down in order to be understood in a different country. However, colloquialisms and slang speech are just as important if you want to make a true connection with locals in the UK. Gaining an understanding of these can feel like learning a new language all over again, but it’s worth looking into if you really want to make the most of your trip.

Here are five reasons why learning the London lingo will serve you well for your holiday in the UK capital…

Keep up with casual speech

Once you’re away from classrooms and textbooks, language becomes much more fluid. In advertising, online and in general conversation, the structures you learn on courses are used more flexibly. Look for schools such as that offer an immersion experience, with social activities that encourage you to learn more informal aspects of the language too.

Enjoy a night out

While you might be going strong in your studies and already have a good grasp of English, visiting a bar or nightclub will give you a good idea of how complicated things can get! Regular speech is very different from textbook language, and if you want to make new friends, you’ll need to be able to keep up.

Clear up confusions

By knowing the local lingo, you might be able to save yourself some embarrassment when it comes to social interactions. For example, in London, if someone says they’re going to “give you a bell”, you’ll know that they mean they will call you. You can also feel glad when someone calls you the “bee’s knees” or know someone’s tired when they say they’re “knackered”.

With knowledge of local lingo, you won’t be left feeling lost or need to ask your acquaintance to clarify what they mean whenever they open their mouth! English lessons for foreign students in London can help you to get used to local slang more quickly.

Be prepared for change

Language is an ever-evolving thing, and slang language can change very fast. Certain phrases that were often used in the past may be heard more rarely today. By familiarising yourself with how regular people talk, you’ll be better placed to keep up with how the London slang is changing.

Go where you want

You might not feel brave enough to try out your new-found slang in the early stages, but Londoners will appreciate the effort! There is a lot to be said for speaking to someone in the way they’re used to speaking. You’ll go a long way towards making friends in London if you can show an appreciation for the local language.

Slang is an important part of learning English and it’s a good idea to get a strong knowledge before spending time in the UK. However, don’t panic – it’s much easier to pick up slang words and phrases than it is to learn a completely new language. Over time, you’ll be able to adopt these new ways of saying things as your own.

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Blanche has written 742 articles. +Aaron Bradford is the leader, mentor and chief geek of HappyTimeblog. He put together the crack team of writers known by codename “The Firm“. He's a permanent traveller and a lifestyle hacker. Wanna know more? Check out my Bucket List or my About page... I'm here to show you how to live a Life Less Ordinary

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