How to Speak to an American: A Fresher’s Guide

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You’re in college now. This means getting up at 3pm, sashing every night, and basically doing what and who you want. Life is good. However, it can also be a strange and frightening place. While there is many a reward to reap from your new-found independence, it also means shopping by yourself, washing your own clothes, and paying bills. And on top of all that, your new classmates sound a lot different from the friends you left behind in Ballyhaunis Community School.

You’ve been in college for a couple of weeks now and, unless you’re doing Ag, chances are you’ve happened across one of our American cousins. Until now, you’ve only ever seen an American in movies like “Police Academy 2” and “When Harry Met Sally”. Unless of course you’re from the D4 area, in which case you probably think you are American – hashtag skinny-frappa-latta-chino with extra foam and stardust shavings.

So, when you meet and maybe even make friends with Brad, Tad, Tod or Chad (those are American names, right?) you’re going to want to impress them.

In the unfortunate event that you happen to be a culchie (don’t worry, many of our readers are), you’ve probably never even met a person from Dublin before, so seeing one of those American people like the ones you see on telly is going to be quite the culture shock. When you meet Chip from New York, you are without a doubt going to feel a mild sense of “star-struckedness”. After all, this person probably lives in an apartment across the hall from Joey and Chandler in Friends season 4 and survived the alien invasion in Independence Day.

Now, you’ll most likely want to say something cool to impress your new American friend. Best thing to do is think of something you always hear them say on the telly, like “What’s up dock?” or “You talkin’ to me?” This will make them feel at ease and less likely to want to walk away from you.

Americans love a good Irish accent. Think: Colin Farrell, Jamie Dornan, or Marty Morrisey. So, if you’re from Cork, Kerry or Limerick, you need not apply.

Your cool new American friend may want to do something American, like “go grab a cup of coffee”, or, “cawfee”. Now, for any culchies reading this, coffee is a hot caffeinated drink similar to tea (see also “foreign muck”).

You’re going to want to say something cool to your American friend, like “wanna go grab a beer?” (they like grabbing things). Again, if you’re from the D4 area, you will likely have just the sort of pretentious accent to pull off saying shit like this. If you’re from Roscommon, it’s another story – “Ja want ta grab a beer hi?” Doesn’t work.

They will definitely have done drugs. Drugs are cool in America. Particularly “Weed” (see also, “cannabis”, “pot”, “marijuana”, “sweet Mary Jane”, “wacky tobacci”, and “herb”). If you really want to impress them, tell them you’ve done hard cocaine. Hard. Again, culchies please note, you will not impress them with your beguiling tails of JCBs with front loaders and high back bale spikes. You should just hang out with the other Ag students and leave the Americans alone. Please.

Finally, only greet your American friend with fist bumps and high fives. Immediately afterwards, follow up with a cheery “what up dawg?” or “yo homie!”. Especially if you’re from Cork. Not because it will be cool, it’ll just sound funny.

By James Simcox

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