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Quick primer in New Zealand english

The first thing I immediately picked up here was saying “Yeah yeah”. Very catchy. I met a young woman named Emma (pronounced EEma by her) and I think she was the one who gave me this first linguistic gift. I have a feeling I will be annoying you guys with this one when I return back to the States. Watch out for it.

Kiwis also end lots of sentences with “eh?” just like the Canadians. I don’t think I will pick that one up, since I am already immune to it. “Good on you” means “good for you”. And I have already earned a couple of those. Oh, and “chocker” means full.

My name is pronounced something like this: beeyeth.

All the municipal signs, etc., here have the Maori translation printed on them as well. Very cool. Imagine if we had the local native american language printed on our garbage cans, street signs and tourist information posts. The indigenous culture here is very visible, it seems to me. Or at least seems like it in comparison to America.

2 comments

  1. i can totally hear the accent when you write it out.

    that reminds me though i was recently thinking about whether our names are the sounds of our names or the written version. it’s like on heroes there is a character named ando. he’s japanese and introduces himself as ahndo. but one guy with a new york accent calls him anne do. and unless he’s seen it written, i don’t see why he’d do that. i mean, why doesn’t he pronounce it the way that he was told it? it’s like he translated the japanese pronunciation into it’s written form, then pronounced it like he was reading it, instead of just repeating what he hears. i’m not sure that’s making any sense. there is a different pronunciation of al in philadelphia (especially the full alison) and that’s what made me think about how that was odd.

    anyhow, i look forward to your acquired accent. i will work on acquiring a new york one for you to hear.

    oh, in scotland all the signs are in scottish gaelic and english. but some people are frustrated because they don’t put scots on the signs. apparently ulster scots, the northern irish version of scots, gets funded by the uk government, but they maintain that scots is just a dialect of english in scotland. i’m gonna go read about maori now because i don’t know anything about it.

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