Monthly Archives: November 2008

Watching the English

… is the title of a book by a British anthropologist I read last summer before visiting the UK. The author, Kate Fox, takes a close look at her fellow countrymen, and to this foreigner at least, her observations were both interesting and amusing.

Of course, queuing is a particularly English habit which I’ve often observed. The English do it everywhere and consequently get cross if someone tries to jump a queue. What I have never seen, though, is what they do if someone actually jumps a queue, but MeFi user garius explains it in this comment, which I urge you to read:

“If you ever want to see British queuing at its best, go to Victoria Station in London during the rush hour… “


The rest of the thread about queueing is worth a read if you are interested in queueing habits around the world.

How do you pronounce…

It’s not always easy to find out how to pronounce something in a foreign language. If you don’t know a native speaker you can ask and are not familiar with the phonetic alphabet, you can try the Acapela Text to Speach Interactive Demo. You can enter words or a sentence (or use their demo text), and the software will read it to you. There are 24 languages available, from Arabic to Turkish, and they’ve got the most common ones like English, French, Spanish and German, of course.

Found in this Ask MeFi thread.