Before traveling to a foreign place or with cultural differences to those of our habitual residence, it is important to know certain customs and peculiarities about our destination country.
In this article we are going to talk specifically about the differences that characterize the United Kingdom, a country that has become one of the main destinations for English courses, with respect to Spain or Europe in general.
First of all, let’s highlight the social distance. As we well know, in Spanish culture we are very close to each other, but in the case of most European countries there is an opposite situation, and the United Kingdom is no exception.
In Spain, we tend a lot to automatically give two kisses when greeting someone or when we are introduced to a new person. In the UK, this gesture is reserved for more familiar gatherings. In the above case, in British culture they would use a handshake, a hug or a simple verbal greeting, depending on the situation and the relationship with the other person.
On the other hand, when communicating with each other there are also great differences, which many of them can lead to misunderstood.
We Spaniards are very direct and abrupt in speaking, on the other hand, the English tend to turn the sentences around more before formulating them. It is very important to take this into account and not translate what we would say in Spanish as is in different situations. For example, if we are talking to someone and have not understood what he tells us we should say something like “Pardon?”, because if we let go of “What?” it can be rude and outrage our interlocutor.
By far one of the most consumed drinks in the UK is tea. It may seem like a myth because of the stereotypes that appear in movies, but nothing further from reality. They have even developed a new term, the “cuppa”. In fact, the British not only consume this drink at 5pm, as we see on TELEVISION, but it is the exact substitute for our coffee (breakfast, dessert, drink between hours, etc.)
Another of the terms that the English have introduced in their vocabulary is “dunking”, that is, spreading a cookie in the tea when eating it, as if it were a glass of milk.
Unlike in Spain, which are usually ordered and paid for drinks individually, in the UK they do so in rounds. This means that when you’re going to order a beer for example, you order one for each of those in the group and of course you pay for it. When you finish it, it’ll be another group that asks for it. If you leave the pub and one owes you one, it will remember and invite you another day. Don’t go over the booze!
As we well know, the english’s worship of the royal family is much greater than that in other monarchical European countries. This adoration we are talking about is so great that it has made the royals an identifying mark of the country.