PDA

View Full Version : An American way of saying things



Amberly
06-20-2010, 03:40 AM
Hi guys,

Here's my problem, i've done a bit of thinking about where to send the manuscript i'm currently polishing and my sights have been set on American agents. I don't want to admit they're better but Americal definatly has more agents and more publishing houses than Australia.

My problem - ironing out the Australian accent in my manuscript. I'm trying for the most part to find middle grounds. Here's some words i know won't flow properly for an American audience.

Mate - i've used 'friend' or the persons name.

mobile phone - they're 'cell phones' right?

meat pies - you don't really have meat pies in america do you?

Canteen - as in a school canteen, or is it 'cafateria'?

what about:

guys - as in 'the guys all burst out laughing' ?

and WRX - the type of car?

i know that the 'Commodore' in Australia is a 'Mustang' in America - do you have 'camry's?

What other words or thrases should i watch out for?

i'd be over the moon if someone was willing to read a chapter and tell me if overall it just sounds too Aussie? Spelling differences i'm sure can be ironed out in the editing process (if i get that far) but if anyone has an opinion on that too i'd love to hear it.

Thankyou

Smish
06-20-2010, 03:50 AM
Honestly, I'd submit it as is, with the Australian phrases. If an agent/editor thinks the language should be Americanized later, they'll let you know.

We do read Australian novels in the US. :)

But if you really want to change things, in the US, we do generally say "friends" and not "mates". Some people say "mobile phone", but most probably do say "cell phone". No, we don't really have "meat pies". Guys are called "guys", but sometimes so are girls (when speaking to a group of people, in certain parts of America "you guys" is a popular phrase). "Canteen" would be "cafeteria", except maybe in jail or the military. And I have no idea what an WRX is, but we certainly have tons of Camrys.

Kateness
06-20-2010, 03:50 AM
I'm female, from Philly, 22.

Mate - dude (this might be unique to me and my friends)
mobile - cell phone (or just phone; seems like almost everyone I know only has a cell phone and no landline)
meat pies - I know what they are (british heritage), but no, they don't have them here.
canteen - yep, cafeteria

Jersey Chick
06-20-2010, 03:56 AM
I want to know where the story is set - IMHO, the language should reflect the setting, not the market you're targeting. If it's set in Australia, to see a bunch of Americanisms littered through it would yank me out of the story.

MAP
06-20-2010, 04:07 AM
I agree with Jersey chick. If the story is set in Australia with Australian characters please use Australian terminology. If the story is set in the US with US characters, then you need Americanize the language.

Smish
06-20-2010, 04:08 AM
I want to know where the story is set - IMHO, the language should reflect the setting, not the market you're targeting. If it's set in Australia, to see a bunch of Americanisms littered through it would yank me out of the story.

Good point. I was assuming (perhaps incorrectly) that it was set in Australia.

citymouse
06-20-2010, 04:10 AM
Jersey Chick is right. If this is set in Australia, then keep it consistent with the culture. If you want to set the story in the US then that's a different story and you may need a US(?) beta reader to vet your phrases.

I beta read for a Aussie friend who sets her stories in Chicago where the students attend Uni. I keep changing Uni to university and she keeps changing it back. It's a game we play. :)
C

Collectonian
06-20-2010, 04:52 AM
As an additional note, if it is set in the US instead of Australia, it would help to indicate where as different regions have different colloquialisms

leahzero
06-20-2010, 05:04 AM
I agree with Kateness.

Re: "mate," though--this depends heavily on region, culture, age, ethnicity, etc. For example, "dude" works for mixed gender whites in their 20s-30s. Amongst young white males, "bro" is more common. But amongst blacks, Latinos, etc.? You'll get a variety of different slang words. It's key to know who you're talking about here.

backslashbaby
06-20-2010, 06:07 AM
We called the cafeteria the canteen at camp :D

There are a ton of differences you won't know to catch, I bet, judging by my experience at Uni (;)) in England. So do get an American beta if you plan on going American.

JulieHowe
06-20-2010, 06:16 AM
Hi guys,

Here's my problem, i've done a bit of thinking about where to send the manuscript i'm currently polishing and my sights have been set on American agents. I don't want to admit they're better but Americal definatly has more agents and more publishing houses than Australia.

My problem - ironing out the Australian accent in my manuscript. I'm trying for the most part to find middle grounds. Here's some words i know won't flow properly for an American audience.

Mate - i've used 'friend' or the persons name.

mobile phone - they're 'cell phones' right?

meat pies - you don't really have meat pies in america do you?

Canteen - as in a school canteen, or is it 'cafateria'?

what about:

guys - as in 'the guys all burst out laughing' ?

and WRX - the type of car?

i know that the 'Commodore' in Australia is a 'Mustang' in America - do you have 'camry's?

What other words or thrases should i watch out for?

i'd be over the moon if someone was willing to read a chapter and tell me if overall it just sounds too Aussie? Spelling differences i'm sure can be ironed out in the editing process (if i get that far) but if anyone has an opinion on that too i'd love to hear it.

Thankyou

Definitely cell phone. No meat pies. Yes for the word cafeteria, instead of canteen. Also, we don't use the words car park, boot or bonnet to describe driving and parking.

Edited to add: Americans eat meat pies, but we call them something else, and I think the differences are regional.

Cassiopeia
06-20-2010, 06:19 AM
Meat pies in the US are called Pot Pies. And our equivalent of a meat pie you get at the petrol station in either South Africa or the UK is called a Hot Pocket. So yes, we do have them.

thothguard51
06-20-2010, 06:19 AM
Like any other country, America has lots of different terms for the same things. East coast/west coast might not have the same terms, and then there is big city versus small Midwestern town or southern coastal areas. Believe me, the south is very different than the northeast...

Depending on where your story takes place, I find Aussie speech to be intriguing to read, or just listen to someone speak. Why destroy that trying to fit in American terms if you don't have too. We do publish writers from Australia in the U.S., and Britain and Denmark and hell, from all over the world. A good read is a good read...

Now if you have a single American in the story with a bunch of local Aussies, well, part of the fun would be seeing how the American interacts with the local slang. IMHO.

Amberly
06-20-2010, 06:49 AM
Definitely cell phone. No meat pies. Yes for the word cafeteria, instead of canteen. Also, we don't use the words car park, boot or bonnet to describe driving and parking.

So let me get this right;

What do you say when you're describing a cark park? a parking lot?

And what is the back storage compartment of a car called? (ie if it's not a boot?)

And the front? the engin bay? (if it's not the bonnet?)

Cheers mate

Jersey Chick
06-20-2010, 06:52 AM
Parking lot

Trunk

Hood

Later, gator

:D

Cyia
06-20-2010, 06:59 AM
Hi guys,

Here's my problem, i've done a bit of thinking about where to send the manuscript i'm currently polishing and my sights have been set on American agents. I don't want to admit they're better but Americal definatly has more agents and more publishing houses than Australia.

My problem - ironing out the Australian accent in my manuscript. I'm trying for the most part to find middle grounds. Here's some words i know won't flow properly for an American audience.

Mate - i've used 'friend' or the persons name.

Dude. (kinda regional, I think, but it's what I use)

mobile phone - they're 'cell phones' right?

cell phone

meat pies - you don't really have meat pies in america do you?

Pot Pie (usually chicken, but there's beef and turkey, too.) The chicken ones are like thick chicken soup in a pie crust. Ditto the beef (no potatoes on top like with a shepherd's pie, it's regular pie crust.)

Canteen - as in a school canteen, or is it 'cafateria'?

Canteen is for camp or military. Cafeteria is for school. Cafetorium for elementary schools where there's a stage in the cafeteria/

what about:

guys - as in 'the guys all burst out laughing' ?

Guys.

and WRX - the type of car?

WRX is made by Subaru, which makes and sells cars in the US, too. Not sure if that particular model is one of them, though.

i know that the 'Commodore' in Australia is a 'Mustang' in America - do you have 'camry's?

Yes. Camry is Toyota's big seller here.

What other words or thrases should i watch out for?

i'd be over the moon if someone was willing to read a chapter and tell me if overall it just sounds too Aussie? Spelling differences i'm sure can be ironed out in the editing process (if i get that far) but if anyone has an opinion on that too i'd love to hear it.

Thankyou

Don't worry about it too much. Americans generally love all things Australian. :P


So let me get this right;

What do you say when you're describing a cark park? a parking lot?
A parking lot.

And what is the back storage compartment of a car called? (ie if it's not a boot?)
Trunk.

And the front? the engin bay? (if it's not the bonnet?)
Hood.

Usually, if someone wants into one or the other, they'll say "Pop the [hood/trunk].

Cheers mate

Laters

C.bronco
06-20-2010, 07:01 AM
Cheers mate changes drastically from US region to region. "{Check you later" could be one option, but that only applies to the Northeast US. We have a lot of regional idioms. E.g. in New Jersey, "Yo!" can be a greeting, or and attempt to get someone's attention. Once away from NJ, NY, CT, it is most likely not used.

Amberly
06-20-2010, 07:08 AM
I want to know where the story is set - IMHO, the language should reflect the setting, not the market you're targeting. If it's set in Australia, to see a bunch of Americanisms littered through it would yank me out of the story.

Actually i never picked a place - i invented the towns using a mish of locations. For example the library i used to visit as a kid, the high school down the road, the beach i live on and a lot of pure imagination. So i doubt you'd find the town names on a real map - which means they could be anywhere, Australia or America.

You make a good point though, i hadn't thought the story would be all that popular if it sounded too aussie.

thanks for the tips

Chasing the Horizon
06-20-2010, 08:30 AM
Actually i never picked a place - i invented the towns using a mish of locations. For example the library i used to visit as a kid, the high school down the road, the beach i live on and a lot of pure imagination. So i doubt you'd find the town names on a real map - which means they could be anywhere, Australia or America.

You make a good point though, i hadn't thought the story would be all that popular if it sounded too aussie.

thanks for the tips
Then I would strongly suggest you set your story in Australia and let it sound authentically Australian. Because, honestly, if you try to sound American you're just going to end up sounding weird. American readers will find an Australian setting fun and different.

I've read lots of books where non-American authors (usually British) get the dialogue of American characters wrong. They usually fail to properly account for the effects of social class, age, and region on how we speak. America is a huge, diverse country, and it's challenging enough for American writers to get the dialogue right. This is a challenge you really don't need to take on, IMO.

Cyia
06-20-2010, 08:34 AM
America is a huge, diverse country, and it's challenging enough for American writers to get the dialogue right. This is a challenge you really don't need to take on, IMO.

No kidding.

Someone from around here - Texas - sounds NOTHING like someone from New Jersey, and it's not just the accent. There are local phrases and slang that make no sense to outsiders.

Even here in Texas, the heavily Latino areas speak one way, while if you go into the German or Czech heavy areas, the terms change.

People from up north have a particularly difficult time with some of the phrases that make perfect sense to a native. We had a guy move to our town from somewhere around Illinois, IIRC, that used to get very annoyed with "fixin' to" as a substitute for 'Getting ready to." He'd get beet faced angry because there was no way to "fix" to do something. ;)

And Yankees don't serve Dr. Pepper! Sacrilege in the south.

JulieHowe
06-20-2010, 08:43 AM
So let me get this right;

What do you say when you're describing a cark park? a parking lot?

And what is the back storage compartment of a car called? (ie if it's not a boot?)

And the front? the engin bay? (if it's not the bonnet?)

Cheers mate

What Jersey Chick said. :) Parking lot, trunk and hood. Cheers.

Michael_T
06-20-2010, 09:06 AM
Hi guys,

Here's my problem, i've done a bit of thinking about where to send the manuscript i'm currently polishing and my sights have been set on American agents. I don't want to admit they're better but Americal definatly has more agents and more publishing houses than Australia.

My problem - ironing out the Australian accent in my manuscript. I'm trying for the most part to find middle grounds. Here's some words i know won't flow properly for an American audience.

Mate - i've used 'friend' or the persons name. Dude, Buddy, Bro,

mobile phone - they're 'cell phones' right? cell phones or just phone...landlines are dying

meat pies - you don't really have meat pies in america do you? nope...unless you describe them and it turns out we do

Canteen - as in a school canteen, or is it 'cafateria'? cafeteria. or Cafe

what about:

guys - as in 'the guys all burst out laughing' ? yea I'd say that works

and WRX - the type of car? Subaru WRX, yes we have those

i know that the 'Commodore' in Australia is a 'Mustang' in America - do you have 'camry's? Bingo

What other words or thrases should i watch out for? <snark>I'd say thrases might be said as phrases here</snark>

i'd be over the moon if someone was willing to read a chapter and tell me if overall it just sounds too Aussie? Spelling differences i'm sure can be ironed out in the editing process (if i get that far) but if anyone has an opinion on that too i'd love to hear it.

Thankyou

But if the story does not take place in America than don't change a thing

Amberly
06-20-2010, 09:08 AM
Then I would strongly suggest you set your story in Australia and let it sound authentically Australian. Because, honestly, if you try to sound American you're just going to end up sounding weird. American readers will find an Australian setting fun and different.

I've read lots of books where non-American authors (usually British) get the dialogue of American characters wrong. They usually fail to properly account for the effects of social class, age, and region on how we speak. America is a huge, diverse country, and it's challenging enough for American writers to get the dialogue right. This is a challenge you really don't need to take on, IMO.

I'm not really trying to set the story in America, or make my characters sound like they are from a specific place - more like making it more accessable to an American Audience. Though i'm unsure now what to change and what to keep.

I do like the WRX - which is a car that plays a key role - but if you can't picture the car and get excited then it might go straight over your head , making my careful choice of a really nice car useless.

if saying 'mobile' as opposed to 'phone' alienates the reader from the scene then i'm happy to use phone. I'm leaning towards keeping my meat pies and tim tams - i don't like vegemite so i haven't mentioned it at all!

There's nothing worse then reading a book that sets up a great scene but you have no idea what's going on. it sounds like their in the army but they're actually at school and it's because of the word 'canteen'.

Thankyou everyone for your idea's and input.

Amberly
06-20-2010, 09:10 AM
seriously thanks everyone - this is all great stuff.

benbradley
06-20-2010, 09:38 AM
The Official Way to rewrite an Austrailian novel set in Australia for America is to Americanize all the wordings and phrases, then throw in the folliwing at random: "Crickey!"

:D

And when characters go to Waffle House they all order their Vegemite sandwiches scattered, smothered and covered...

Like any other country, America has lots of different terms for the same things. East coast/west coast might not have the same terms, and then there is big city versus small Midwestern town or southern coastal areas. Believe me, the south is very different than the northeast...
Now if you have a single American in the story with a bunch of local Aussies, well, part of the fun would be seeing how the American interacts with the local slang. IMHO.
And we Americans would know just what part of America he's from depending on whether he orderes soda, pop, a soft drink, or a coke. :D

No kidding.
...
And Yankees don't serve Dr. Pepper! Sacrilege in the south.
And there's a REASON Emory University buildings and roads are named Woodruff this and Woodruff that ... ;)

Georgina
06-20-2010, 12:43 PM
Realistically, I would query this novel both ways: with Australian language for Australian agents and publishers, and with slightly modified language for the US market. Novels set outside the US are a tough sell to US publishers in most genres. You may have better luck becoming successful in Australia first, then having your agent try to sell US rights.

("Slightly modified" is the key. If it's clear through context, I'd leave it. Books that are heavily modified often irritate readers, because they're buying a foreign-set book specifically to experience another culture, not a sanitised American version of one. Nobody's going to read "meat pie" and go, "huh?" It's a pie with meat. Even if the reader doesn't know exactly what it looks like, the concept is clear.

Incidentally, a meat pie is not the same as a pot pie. A pot pie comes in a dish and has a lot of filling with a pastry lid on top. You eat it with a fork and/or a spoon. A meat pie is completely surrounded by pastry and has a narrow amount of filling inside, and you eat it holding it in your hands. I've not seen anything like our meat pies in the US.

If you describe your characters walking around the schoolyard eating a pot pie, the reader's going to laugh. It would be like saying they were walking around eating a bowl of ice cream. One more reason not to sanitise, or if you must do it, have somebody familiar with both cultures read it through first.)

Good luck!

ElsaM
06-20-2010, 02:37 PM
A couple of other words/phrases you might want to look out for:

Rubbish (garbage or trash)
take away (should be 'to go' I think)
sausages (like the Australian meat pie, the ordinary Australian sausage isn't easily found)
bum bag (fanny pack)
nappies (diapers)

Americans, correct me if I'm wrong on these, but I seriously confused some Americans by trying to order takeaway and telling people to throw leftovers in the rubbish bin.

waylander
06-20-2010, 03:20 PM
Once of the most important things in a succesful novel is a sense of place, so that the reader can immerse themselves in the story. If you haven't clearly established where this story takes place I think you need to.
If you can really evoke the smell of a warm summer evening or the feel of a wet Monday morning to your reader then you will have a much better chance of of getting an agent's attention, and to do that you need to know way more about your setting than ever appears in the story

mtrenteseau
06-21-2010, 05:52 AM
Americans, correct me if I'm wrong on these, but I seriously confused some Americans by trying to order takeaway and telling people to throw leftovers in the rubbish bin.

I've heard the word "rubbish" used in the context that something is untrue or invalid, "oh, that's rubbish."

To be completely technical:

"Garbage" is discarded food products.
"Yard waste" is grass trimmings, autumn leaves, dead tree branches, etc.
"Trash" is everything else.

When I was growing up in Philadelphia most people didn't have garbage disposals in their sinks, so we had separate pickups for trash and garbage. Our garbage can was smaller and on a pole to keep raccoons away.

I side with the majority - set the book somewhere in Australia and write the way you want to write. Rewriting it so that it's set in the US will require specific research into a region.

There's a television show, "Leave It To Beaver," which went out of its way to avoid revealing where it was supposed to be. The characters almost never went on vacation because they didn't want anyone to know what would have been a convenient driving distance to them.

(And regarding Emory University - it was founded by the first president of Coca-Cola, Asa Candler. The first president of the school was Mr. Candler's brother. The business school and the museum are both named for subsequent presidents of Coca-Cola.)

johnnysannie
06-21-2010, 03:06 PM
A couple of other words/phrases you might want to look out for:

Rubbish (garbage or trash)
take away (should be 'to go' I think)
sausages (like the Australian meat pie, the ordinary Australian sausage isn't easily found)
bum bag (fanny pack)
nappies (diapers)

Americans, correct me if I'm wrong on these, but I seriously confused some Americans by trying to order takeaway and telling people to throw leftovers in the rubbish bin.

Confusion depends on the individual American; none of the above would confuse me in the least - most I've used in that context myself all my life.

shadowwalker
06-21-2010, 05:31 PM
Just to throw my two cents in - the characters should speak the way they would in that location. So if the story takes place in Australia, that's how they should speak; if it's in the States, then - it depends on where in the States ;) As to the narrative, that might be handled differently. I think most Americans would understand the "generic" Australian terms, but WRX threw me completely. So there might be some terms that the publisher would want to change so it's more universally understood. (And correct me if I'm wrong, but don't some publishers have different editions, depending on where the book will be distributed? I thought I'd heard that some place.)

StephanieFox
06-22-2010, 08:00 PM
Meat pies: Yes, we do have meat pies. Chicken pot pies are a standard, but they're always frozen and considered cheap food for unmarried men (or for kids). We don't have the kind or meat pies they do in the British Isles, though, except in Michigan. where they have pasties.

johnnysannie
06-22-2010, 08:32 PM
Meat pies: Yes, we do have meat pies. Chicken pot pies are a standard, but they're always frozen and considered cheap food for unmarried men (or for kids). We don't have the kind or meat pies they do in the British Isles, though, except in Michigan. where they have pasties.

I make meat pies - often - that are NOT pot pies but are like those in the British Isles and almost every American cookbook I have includes at least one recipe for one.

Sevilla
06-23-2010, 06:21 AM
Meat pies in the US are called Pot Pies. And our equivalent of a meat pie you get at the petrol station in either South Africa or the UK is called a Hot Pocket. So yes, we do have them.

Oh that's what a meat pie is? I've heard of them before - I always just pictured crumbled up hamburger in a pie crust!

Chris P
06-23-2010, 06:26 AM
We call meat pies "pot pies." They were really popular in the Midwest, but not so much here in the South.

If the narrative is Aussie, then by all means use Aussie. However, American characters should use American expressions. I have a beta reader in Birmingham (UK, not Alabama) checking my British characters' slang. I've also recently read a book by a Brit writing American characters, and it really makes a difference to get it right.

Post for a beta reader in the beta reader forum. I'd offer, but I wouldn't have the time to do it right.

kuwisdelu
06-23-2010, 06:35 AM
I'm American and I tend to think of pot pies and meat pies as interchangeable...

*shrug*

ElsaM
06-23-2010, 09:33 AM
Confusion depends on the individual American; none of the above would confuse me in the least - most I've used in that context myself all my life.

These were ten year old girls from the midwest and teenagers from a couple of different regions in the US. Perhaps their vocabulary wasn't as broad?

johnnysannie
06-23-2010, 10:12 AM
These were ten year old girls from the midwest and teenagers from a couple of different regions in the US. Perhaps their vocabulary wasn't as broad?

Overall, most teens these days in the US lack broad vocabularies - and I know; I work at a high school. So, yes, that could be it.

mgoblue101415
06-23-2010, 11:50 AM
Actually i never picked a place - i invented the towns using a mish of locations. For example the library i used to visit as a kid, the high school down the road, the beach i live on and a lot of pure imagination. So i doubt you'd find the town names on a real map - which means they could be anywhere, Australia or America.

You make a good point though, i hadn't thought the story would be all that popular if it sounded too aussie.

thanks for the tips



I'll echo the others and say that if the story takes place in Australia, then don't change the dialogue. And if you are going to have it take place in America then you need to decide where in America before you start asking for ways of saying things.

I'm working on a book where my MC, from the Midwest, goes to college in Boston. I know plenty of people in that area and have pretty much had them teach me "Bostonian", which at times can be a totally different language than "Midwestern". It's worked nice for my book because my MC has to learn the "language".

So, yeah, west coast, south, deep south, southwest, midwest, northeast, new england... You're going to find different ways of saying things.


In regards to meat pies... Again, depends on where you are in the US. I live in the midwest and I would never confuse a pot pie with a meat pie. There are a couple restaurants in my area that have real meat pies on the menu. A little further north, mostly in northern WI and the Upper Peninsula, they're called pasties, although they are a little bit different than a pie. I know that there are a few different versions in other areas of the country, as well. So again, if you're going to set your story in America then you're going to want to pick a particular area of the country. Once you do that then you can ask people from that area what words and phrases they use.


Or just set in Australia and have the Americans who read it try and figure out what the hell you're talking about. :tongue

waylander
06-23-2010, 12:07 PM
Oh that's what a meat pie is? I've heard of them before - I always just pictured crumbled up hamburger in a pie crust!


This is what we're talking about
http://www.pukkapies.co.uk/our-range.php

RJK
06-23-2010, 05:30 PM
I see your problem about the WRX. I Googled it and here in America it returned a Subaru station wagon. I'm not sure if that's what you're referring to (doesn't sound too sporty). I'm not sure if folks realize it, but when you Google from different countries, you'll get different answers, because you're not Googling the same site. There's a Google.com for the U.S., a Google.CA for Canada, a Google.AU for Australia, etc.

You may be able to solve the problem by including a scene where you compare your WRX with a similar American sporty car. That way, we readers up here will get a visual of your car.

shadowwalker
06-23-2010, 06:27 PM
These were ten year old girls from the midwest and teenagers from a couple of different regions in the US. Perhaps their vocabulary wasn't as broad?

Oh, the Midwest has its own language! Several, as a matter of fact. A Midwesterner can tell immediately if someone's from Iowa, Minnesota or Wisconsin. :D

shadowwalker
06-23-2010, 06:31 PM
This is what we're talking about
http://www.pukkapies.co.uk/our-range.php

The "pies" pictured there are "pot pies" in the Midwest; the pasties are the same as around here. I've never heard anyone call them "meat pies" except for "mince meat pies" and I'm pretty sure that's not the same thing :tongue

Alpha Echo
06-23-2010, 06:48 PM
Just another little tidbit b/c it's fun:

Up on Long Island:

people stood "on line" not "in line"

"cheese pie" instead of "cheese pizza"

NYC is just called "the city"

Never cook-out - always a BBQ

johnnysannie
06-23-2010, 07:58 PM
I make several different meat pies that I don't consider "pot pies" at all.

One is very much like this recipe here:

http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/French-Meat-Pie/Detail.aspx

Although I often do the pie crust and fill it with cooked, cubed beef chunks, onions, mushrooms, and gravy.

I also make these:

CRUST:

3 c. flour
1 tsp. salt
1 c. shortening

FILLING:

1 lb. round steak (with potatoes and onion, in equal proportion to meat)
Salt
Pepper

Cut in small pieces one pound round steak. Place in large mixing bowl. Add about as much cut up potatoes and onions as you have meat. The English go a little shy on meat and lean hard on potatoes and onions.
Cut dinner size rounds of pie crust. On half, place meat, potato and onion mixture. Season with salt and pepper. Turn over half of pie crust onto mixture to make a turnover. Seal and flute edges and bake three pasties with with fluted side out and up in each pie plate. Large pasties can be baked two in a pie plate. Bake for one hour at 350 degrees or until browned.


And not quite either style of meat pie above, I also make these from off the "Jiffy Mix" box:


Meat Roll

2 cups "JIFFY" Baking Mix
1-1/2 lbs. hamburger
1 medium onion, thinly sliced
1 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
1/2 cup milk

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Preheat oven to 400, grease baking sheet.

In a large skillet brown hamburger; add onion, salt and pepper. Cook until onion is tender; drain any excess fat. Blend baking mix and milk to soft dough. Turn onto lightly floured surface and roll into 12"x9" rectangle. Spread meat mixture over dough. Roll up and place on prepared baking sheet, seam side down. Slash top several times. Bake 20-25 minutes. Serve with gravy, tomato or mushroom sauce.

Evestar
08-11-2010, 06:10 AM
Mate - i've used 'friend' or the persons name.

Friend, buddy, buddies


mobile phone - they're 'cell phones' right?

Yes :). Cell phone, cell, phone

meat pies - you don't really have meat pies in america do you?

We don't have them, but we know what they are.

Canteen - as in a school canteen, or is it 'cafateria'?

Cafeteria

what about:

guys - as in 'the guys all burst out laughing' ?

We use guys here in the US too :)

and WRX - the type of car?

Same as in Australia :)

i know that the 'Commodore' in Australia is a 'Mustang' in America - do you have 'camry's?

We have the camry over here too, and they are quite popular :)



I'll read a chapter if you send it to me :)

mtrenteseau
08-11-2010, 03:04 PM
Then there's a "shepherd's pie," which sounds like typical meat-pie contents (ground beef, carrots, peas, onions) covered with mashed potatoes.

I assume they're common in the UK, because they were mentioned in Sondheim's Sweeney Todd, which is about a murderous barber and the lady who runs the meat pie shop downstairs.

johnnysannie
08-11-2010, 04:18 PM
In our American home, traditional meat pies with flaky pie crust and shepherd's pie are often on the menu.

dirtsider
08-11-2010, 06:03 PM
Just so you know, if you're in New Jersey, we "go down the Shore" rather than go to the beach. I got a chuckle out of hearing someone commenting on that because it was obvious he wasn't from the area by that remark.

Hallen
08-13-2010, 10:03 PM
Just a couple of comments since most everything has been covered.

Canteen is a water bottle in the US Army. We don't go to the Canteen or Cantina to eat; we go to the Chow Hall or Mess (where that one comes from, I don't know. It's mostly Navy so...). It may have been used in the past to represent a bar, pub, tavern, for military people, but it isn't really a place to just eat.

WRX is a type of Subaru car. It is not a substitute for a car in general.
A Camry is a Toyota car model here and there's lots of them. Again, it's a specific model, not a general term for a car.

A saloon is a place to go get an adult beverage in the old west; it is not a 4-door car. We call that a sedan here.

lenore_x
08-13-2010, 10:59 PM
take away (should be 'to go' I think)

Americans, correct me if I'm wrong on these, but I seriously confused some Americans by trying to order takeaway and telling people to throw leftovers in the rubbish bin.

This could vary regionally, but 'round these parts (Washington State), "to go" is an adverb and "takeout" is a noun. So you order Chinese takeout, but you get a burger to go.

To the OP -- it's hard to get away with "Anytown, USA" because there is so much geological, ecological, and cultural variety in the US. If you don't assign a setting, people will imagine one, then get irked when your details contradict it. If you've watched much of the Simpsons, you'll be familiar with how their illogical mish-mash of settings is poked fun at, because there is no place in the US quite like Springfield.

Kathie Freeman
08-14-2010, 07:19 PM
There's so much regionality in American speech, any way you write it will be wrong somewhere. My thought is this. Would you rewrite Shakespeare for the American audience? Just write your story and people will figure it out. The stuff you are concerned about is niggling details.

Jessianodel
09-04-2010, 05:34 AM
Hi guys,

Here's my problem, i've done a bit of thinking about where to send the manuscript i'm currently polishing and my sights have been set on American agents. I don't want to admit they're better but Americal definatly has more agents and more publishing houses than Australia.

My problem - ironing out the Australian accent in my manuscript. I'm trying for the most part to find middle grounds. Here's some words i know won't flow properly for an American audience.

Mate - i've used 'friend' or the persons name. Most americans will understand this. In fact, i kind of enjoy reading 'in' accents as long as I understand the words. But this is fine. (although if you wanted to replace it, your replacement is correct)

mobile phone - they're 'cell phones' right? WE understand both, but for the most part, yes, they are cell phones

meat pies - you don't really have meat pies in america do you? We can kind of deduce what you mean. When I see that I imagine something along the lines of a Jamaican meat patty but in a pie crust. Am I right?

Canteen - as in a school canteen, or is it 'cafateria'? Actually never heard htat, and would never understand it. It's the cafeteria or Caf for short.

what about:

guys - as in 'the guys all burst out laughing' ? perfectly acceptable. Whether they're guys or girls too.

and WRX - the type of car? Not good on cars sorry

i know that the 'Commodore' in Australia is a 'Mustang' in America - do you have 'camry's? I'm pretty sure we do, because I've heard it before. Unfortunetly, not good with cars, sorry!

What other words or thrases should i watch out for? Um I'm not sure, but if you have weird sounding food (i.e bangers and mash) you might want to edit that around. At least decribe what it is.

i'd be over the moon if someone was willing to read a chapter and tell me if overall it just sounds too Aussie? Spelling differences i'm sure can be ironed out in the editing process (if i get that far) but if anyone has an opinion on that too i'd love to hear it.

Thankyou

Actually I'm not sure you should even change around some of your words. They give authenticity to your book.