Across Continents

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Watch your vowels

July 1st, 2011

You’d be forgiven for thinking that Australians and Kiwis sound, well, Australian. But that’s definitely not the case. For the latter have a very distinct, and rather likeable, accent. Actually, it’s more than that. More pronounced. Literally. For they shift vowels. First in a word one to the right. Skipping over ’o’. And sometimes ’u’ as well.

So the ’e’ in "Ken" becomes ’i’. And I become "Kin". Has a rather nice, warm ring to it. And those padded gloves worn by cricketers? In New Zealand, betsmens wear betting gloves when playing crucket. This may be a fairly rough and ready rule. But it does seem to work for the most part. As these examples suggest:

Crosby, Stulls end Nesh – Sixties pop group

Ear – mostly oxygen and nitrogen

Ella buy – Proof of your whereabouts

Fibbery – Pretty chilly month of the year

Fuggers – Something accountants work with

Ed. That’s surely enough for now…

[With especial thanks to Ian for sharing his insights into the local lingo]


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