English culture is a fascinating mix of old and new traditions. People often think that English culture is stuffy and boring, but they couldn't be more wrong! In fact, English culture is one of the most diverse European cultures in the world.
With a rich British history and a vast array of traditions, there are plenty of unusual facts about English culture that everyone ought to know. From the British monarchy to pub culture, there are many unique aspects of English life that make it so interesting.
Furthermore, by learning about English culture, you’ll have the opportunity to peek at the everyday life of British families and navigate cultural differences in your private life later on. Let’s dive in!
Why Learn About Foreign Cultures?
Before we get into the list of unusual facts about English culture, let's first talk about why it's important to learn about foreign cultures in the first place.
In today's globalized world, it's more important than ever to have a cultural understanding of the people around us. By learning about other cultures, we can build bridges of understanding and create a more tolerant world.
In addition to making the world a better place, learning about other cultures can also be incredibly interesting and fun! It can give us a better sense of how other people think and see the world. By understanding foreign cultures, we can appreciate their customs and traditions more.
So, without further ado, here are some interesting facts about English culture that you need to know:
The English language is one of the most widely spoken languages in the world. It is also the official language of many countries, including the United Kingdom, the United States, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand.
While English is a relatively simple language to learn, there are some quirks that can trip up even native speakers. For example, did you know that the word "scone" is pronounced differently in different parts of the UK? In Scotland, it's pronounced "skohn," while in England it's pronounced "skoan."
If you're interested in learning English, there are plenty of resources available. There are also many online communities where you can practice your English skills with other learners from around the world.
English literature is world-renowned for its quality and depth. From the works of William Shakespeare to the novels of Jane Austen, there are plenty of literary classics to choose from.
In addition to being enjoyable, reading English literature can also improve your language skills. By immersing yourself in the language, you'll learn new vocabulary and grammar rules. You'll also gain a better understanding of how native speakers use the language.
If you're looking for a good place to start, we recommend reading Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen. It's a timeless classic that you're sure to enjoy!
The Royal Family
The English Royal Family is one of the most famous in the world. They have a long history dating back centuries to the beginning of the British Empire, and they continue to be a major part of English culture today.
While the Royal Family may seem stuffy and out of touch to some, they are actually quite down to earth. For example, Queen Elizabeth II is known for her love of corgis, and Prince Harry is famous for his charity work.
The Royal Family also has a strict set of rules they must follow. For instance, did you know that members of the Royal Family are not allowed to vote?
British humor is often dry, sarcastic, and self-deprecating. It can be a bit difficult to understand at first, but it's definitely worth the effort.
One of the best things about British humor is that it's often based on wordplay. By understanding the puns and jokes, you'll not only get a good laugh – you'll also learn more about the English language.
Some of the most popular British comedies include Monty Python's Flying Circus, Black Books, and the recent Fleabag. If you're looking for a good laugh, be sure to watch one of these classic shows!
The most popular sport in England is football (or soccer, as it's known in the United States). Football is a passion for many English people, and the country's top league, the Premier League, is followed by fans all over the world.
However, there are other sports that are very popular in England as well:
Rugby is a contact sport that is played with an oval-shaped ball between two teams of 15 players each. It’s similar to American football.
Rugby is a very physically demanding sport, and injuries are common. In fact, rugby players are more likely to suffer from concussions than players in any other sport.
Rugby is a particularly popular sport in the northern part of England, where it is said to have originated. You can watch some matches on TV or in person to get a better understanding of the game.
Cricket is a popular sport that dates back centuries and is a particularly beloved pastime in many Commonwealth countries, including the UK, Australia, and New Zealand. It's a bat-and-ball game that is played between two teams of 11 players each.
In the UK, cricket is often considered a gentleman's game. This is due to its strong association with the British aristocracy. However, if you're ever in England during the summer, you'll see people of all ages playing cricket in parks and open spaces all over the country.
Cricket can be a bit confusing for outsiders, but it's actually quite simple once you understand the basics. If you're interested in learning more about this popular sport, there are plenty of resources available online.
Horse racing is another popular sport in England. This centuries-old tradition is enjoyed by people from all walks of life. In fact, horse racing is so popular in England that there are over 60 licensed racecourses (or horse tracks) in the country, with a further two in Northern Ireland.
If you ever have the chance to attend a horse race in England, you'll see that it's a festive occasion. There are often grandstands for spectators, and people often dress up in their finest clothes to attend.
Golf is also popular in England. In fact, the sport is thought to have originated in Scotland, which is part of the United Kingdom. It's a game that is played with a small ball and a set of clubs. The objective is to hit the ball into a series of holes on a course.
While golf is often seen as a leisurely activity, it can actually be quite challenging. In the UK, golf is often seen as a symbol of wealth and power. This is due to its close association with the upper classes.
When it comes to British food, there are some dishes that are particularly associated with England:
Fish and Chips
Fish and chips is a classic English cuisine dish that consists of fried fish (usually cod or haddock) and potatoes. It's a popular meal among both children and adults, and you can find it in most pubs, restaurants, and "chip shops" across the country.
While fish and chips is typically served with vinegar and tartar sauce, ketchup is also a popular condiment. If you're feeling adventurous, you can even try them with curry sauce!
Fish and chips is a popular dish to eat on the go. If you're visiting the UK, be sure to try this traditional dish – just be warned that it can be quite greasy and salty.
Shepherd's pie is a traditional English dish that consists of minced meat and vegetables covered in a thick layer of mashed potatoes. It's a hearty meal that is perfect for cold winter days.
The origins of shepherd's pie are actually quite disputed. Some people say that it originated in Scotland, while others claim that it was first made in England. Either way, this dish is now a popular comfort food in many parts of the world. If you're visiting the UK, be sure to try it!
Lamb is typically used as the meat in classic shepherd's pie. However, you can also use beef. If you're vegetarian, there are also many recipes that use lentils or beans as a meat substitute.
Black pudding is a type of sausage made from blood, fat, and oatmeal. It's a popular ingredient in many traditional English dishes, such as the full English breakfast (a hearty meal that typically includes eggs, bacon, sausage, and toast) or bangers and mash.
Despite its name, black pudding is actually quite dark brown in color. It has a slightly sweet taste and a chewy texture.
If you're interested in trying black pudding, be sure to ask for it at a traditional English breakfast. Just be warned that it's not to everyone's taste!
Sunday Roast with Yorkshire Pudding
The Sunday roast is a popular, traditional meal among families that is typically eaten together on Sundays (hence the name). It consists of roasted meat (usually beef, chicken, or pork), vegetables, and potatoes and is usually served with Yorkshire pudding – a savory dish made from eggs, flour, and milk.
In England, the Sunday roast is often served with gravy. This is a thick sauce made from meat juices and flour that is used to moisten and flavor the food. If you don't like gravy, you can ask for it on the side. Just be warned that most English people consider it to be an essential part of the meal!
In addition to iconic dishes, England is also known for its beverages:
British people are famous for drinking tea, although this beverage originated in China. It was first introduced to England in the 17th century, and it quickly became a popular drink among those from the “upper class.” Today, tea is still a very important part of English culture.
A quintessentially English tradition, afternoon tea is a must-do while in England. This formal affair originated in the 19th century, and it typically consists of sandwiches, scones with clotted cream and jam, and of course, plenty of tea!
While it may seem like a simple activity, there is an art to enjoying afternoon tea the proper way. If you ever have the chance to attend afternoon tea in England, you'll see that it is a very elegant affair. People often dress up for the occasion, and there is usually a lot of food involved!
Beer is another popular beverage in England. In fact, England has a long history of brewing beer – this tradition dates back to the Anglo-Saxons, who were known for their love of ale (a type of beer).
Today, there are many different types of beer brewed in England. These include pale ales, stouts, and lagers. If you ever visit England, be sure to try some of the local beer! You might even want to visit a brewery to learn more about this iconic beverage.
Cider is also popular in England. This alcoholic beverage is made from apples or pears, and it comes in both still and sparkling varieties.
If you ever find yourself in England during the fall, be sure to try some of the local cider. It's a delicious way to enjoy the autumnal season!
No discussion of English culture would be complete without mentioning pub culture. Pubs are a central part of life in England, and they play an important role in the social fabric of the country. They're typically places where people can go to relax, have a few drinks, and socialize with friends.
There are many different types of pubs in Great Britain, from traditional ones that serve only beer to more modern establishments that also offer food and cocktails. If you're visiting the UK, be sure to stop by a pub for a pint of beer. And, don't forget to try a traditional English pub snack, such as crisps (potato chips) or peanuts!
The Bottom Line
So, there you have it – some unusual facts about English culture that you may not have known! From the traditional dish of fish and chips to the unique sport of cricket, there are plenty of fascinating traditions that make England a unique place to visit.
If you want to understand English people better and integrate into British society over time, it's important to learn about their culture. So, download our Langster app to find out more about England’s cultural nuances and learn English with stories!
Now that you know a little bit more about this fascinating culture, you'll be sure to enjoy your time in the United Kingdom. Cheers!