On Monday afternoon Aotearoa lost a Kiwi icon and trailblazer – Georgina Beyer. An amazing woman and an inspiration to many. She will be fondly remembered and sadly missed, not only by New Zealanders, but by discriminated against minorities in many parts of the world. I’ll leave it to others better skilled than I to sing her praises.
Over the last week I seem to have come across an unusually large number of blogs discussing the oddities of the English language. So here is my little contribution to the discussion relating to regional dialects.
Most English speakers from outside the antipodes are unable to distinguish the difference between New Zealand and Australian English. But there are differences, particularly in vowel shifts. In Australian English (Strine) The “I” sound in hit has moved to sound more like heat. In New Zealand English (Nyu Zild), Vowels have moved further but in the opposite direction, resulting in hit sounding more like hut.
Nyu Zild has also seen shift in “e” in red and pen so that it sounds like rid and pin to British and American speakers. A similar shift has occurred with the “a” sound as in mat and sad sound like met and said.
So If I were to say “Peck the pack of pickles“, an American might hear “Pick the peck of puckles“. If I said “Fix the bit that’s bent” they might hear “Fucks the but thets bint“.
A New Zealander can sound like Lyn of Tawa:
Or like Member of Parliament Maurice Williamson during his speech supporting the the final reading of the Definition of Marriage Bill:
Oh what a beautiful sound!
So what’s the relevance to the Title of this post?
A Kiwi was driving on an Australian motorway, and noticed some graffiti on a overpass, which read NZ sux (New Zealand sucks). A few days later, he passed under the overpass, but now someone had added AUS nil. Get it?
You must be logged in to post a comment.