There are two areas in particular where I have noticed the biggest divide: cars and babies.
Car and vehicle terminology varies widely: tire/tyre, trunk/boot, stick shift/gearbox, gas/petrol, rental/hire. Working in transportation and logistics for the past few years, I have started to adopt the local words, for ease of communication if nothing else.
Now I'm learning a whole vocabulary. While it is not yet second-nature, I figure there's plenty of time to confuse Junior later on - I might as well try to be consistent at first. Here is a glossary that I have started in no particular order (British to American). Hope it helps his relatives on both sides of the Atlantic!
- antenatal :: pre-natal
- Moses basket :: bassinet
- carrycot :: bassinet
- cot :: crib (although these seem to cross over a bit)
- bath the baby :: bathe the baby
- pram, buggy, pushchair :: stroller
- babygro :: onesie (as well as more terms for each in both countries)
- dummy :: pacifier
- nappy* :: diaper
- breastfeed :: nurse (some cross over, but preferences in each country)
*which gives a whole different meaning to the song we used to sing to put my sister to sleep: "it's happy nappy time..."
Aside from spoken and (eventually) written English, I would like to teach Junior sign language. My dilemma is American Sign Language (ASL) vs British Sign Language (BSL). I studied ASL for several years in high school, and while I don't remember much, it would be far easier for me to pick it up again. But would BSL be more useful in the long run? Or will it really matter if I just stick to a few basic words like milk, more, hungry, want, yes/no...?
Junior, like me, will be a dual citizen. I wonder if he will develop a London accent, which neither S nor I have. Will he be able to switch between American and British accents? Which one will he favo(u)r someday? Will he struggle with other languages? How much Japanese will he learn if I teach him?
It's exhausting/knackering just to think about it!