As an American, an outsider, there are many things I don't understand about the Irish, or more specifically, the people who come from the city of Dublin. We may speak the same language and we may be able to generally understand each other, but there are many differences culturally and linguistically.
For the record, coming here and learning to live like an Irish person was very easy. With the spread of US television programming everywhere, most people generally know about American culture and some slang. And I really enjoyed the Irish accent before coming to live in Ireland. Not so much anymore.
I have slowly been getting my Irish friend to speak more like an American with the way he pronounces things, because I think it's hilarious. People often ask him where he's from, and he says with his head held low that he's from here.
On the flip side though, I've been here in Dublin for six months now, and I have been told by a few Americans recently that I have a bit of an Irish accent now, WHICH IS SO FREAKING BIZARRE. I do not feel like I have changed the way I speak at all, except for the occasional Irish slang or common phrase.
Anyway, on to things I generally don't understand about Dubliners (also please don't take any of this seriously if you are Irish, it's all in good fun)...
1. Pronunciations and Grammar
Why do you not pronounce the TH sound? So instead of "the" it's te (pronounced as “tee”), or instead of "three" it's tree, or instead of "theater" it's teater (pronounced as “tee-a-ter”).
Why does the word film, have two syllables to the Irish? "Fill-um".
Phonetic pronunciations of letters are also strange. Z = zed, H = hach, R = or..
2. The Irish pronunciations of places and names threw me off so much when I arrived and still to this day. Quay Street is pronounced as “key.” Dun Laoghaire is "Dun Leer-ie."
I have definitely butchered many Irish names as well. In fact, the other day I pronounced three people’s names wrong, and much to my dismay, the people I was talking too, didn't know who I was talking about in each case.
3. How is it that a chicken fillet roll (fill-et, not fill-eh), is cheaper and more filling (usually ranging from 2-4 euros) than the cheap items from Burger King or McDonalds? Oh yeah, and McDonald's breakfast (the best part of Mickey Ds) sucks here. All American fast food here does not live up to the American standard, damn the American dream! (I keed)
Though for reals... I miss ranch, honey mustard, and rooster sriracha. Why are these not a thing here?
4. Ireland has been a developed western country for many years now (no idea how many). How is it that Ireland hasn't learned that bathroom sinks are much better suited to have one faucet that ranges from hot to cold, vs two separate faucets where the only two temperatures of water you get are scalding third degree burn hot or unbearably frigidly freezing cold? And most of them are TINY too.
5. Let's be honest. The American way of spelling is superior to the UK/Ireland way. :)
Using computers here is always an adventure, when you are constantly spelling words wrong, getting autocorrected, then feeling very uncomfortable about it. Also, when your foreign roommates (who are here to learn English) ask you how to spell certain words, and you have to tell them with uncertainty, "well in America we spell it this way, but I think here, they spell it this way."
6. The Irish definitely are doing the whole job thing wrong. Having to do an unpaid trial for a job in a restaurant or bar is complete bullshit! Especially with the difficulty to get a job and the lack of jobs that are actually available. It should not be legal for an employer to have a potential employee work for up to four hours for free. Total bullshit.
7. WHY ARE ALL THE REFRIGERATORS SO SMALL? Do people just eat like heathens here? I recently had to purchase a second fridge for my apartment because I prefer to go to the grocery store once or twice a week, not every other day.
8. Traditional Irish food can be very bland (but not always is). The only seasoning the Irish seem to know how to use are salt and pepper. Besides that, they flavor things with butter and mayo. Would it kill you to add some flavor?
9. Why doesn't free banking exist here in Ireland? I shouldn't be charged for every ATM fee, every debit card transaction, and every quarter just for having an account open.
10. For how much the Irish love to drink, and for how ingrained it is into their very culture, how is it that it's so expensive to actually get drunk here?
I'm sure I will have more things to add to this list eventually. These are just the things that come to mind immediately. My next post will be about the things I love about the Irish. I have to be fair, right? Till next time, thanks for reading. Have a good one.