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  Reply # 1078393 2-Jul-2014 07:17
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The inability to pronounce i and e (and made worse when there is an a involved) vowels correctly is something that IMHO is getting a lot worse. With all of this talk of changing the flag, New Zealand is also going to need to change it's name as well because many of us are now quite simply incapable of correctly saying New Zealand!

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  Reply # 1078405 2-Jul-2014 07:37
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sbiddle: The inability to pronounce i and e (and made worse when there is an a involved) vowels correctly is something that IMHO is getting a lot worse. With all of this talk of changing the flag, New Zealand is also going to need to change it's name as well because many of us are now quite simply incapable of correctly saying New Zealand!


It's easier to say Aotearoa   wink




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  Reply # 1078407 2-Jul-2014 07:41
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The natural NZ accents are fine, it's the fake LA gang and fake US teenage girl accents that one hears often that irritates.




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  Reply # 1078412 2-Jul-2014 08:21
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Didn't think us Kiwis had any accents haha.

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  Reply # 1078417 2-Jul-2014 08:33
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At least the NZ accent is relatively homogeneous.  I've struggled to understand native english speakers in parts of England and the US.
I was brought up to speak BBC english - my father a philologist, my mother a singer and huge fan of Pygmalion and elocution lessons.  I was at the receiving end of pommy bastard jokes throughout childhood.  Cruel for a 3rd gen kiwi.
Living in Australia, it was easy just to transition to speaking in okker - once I got fed up with repetitive reference to sheep-shagging and whether I knew their third-removed cousin who they thought lived in Wellington - but may have moved.
I like the kiwi accent - it's home.


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  Reply # 1078419 2-Jul-2014 08:38
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Fred99: At least the NZ accent is relatively homogeneous.  I've struggled to understand native english speakers in parts of England and the US.
I was brought up to speak BBC english - my father a philologist, my mother a singer and huge fan of Pygmalion and elocution lessons.  I was at the receiving end of pommy bastard jokes throughout childhood.  Cruel for a 3rd gen kiwi.
Living in Australia, it was easy just to transition to speaking in okker - once I got fed up with repetitive reference to sheep-shagging and whether I knew their third-removed cousin who they thought lived in Wellington - but may have moved.
I like the kiwi accent - it's home.



My wife had elocution lessons and is always being asked what part of England is she from :p  A lot of the time it's me asking 




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  Reply # 1078421 2-Jul-2014 08:47
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sbiddle: The inability to pronounce i and e (and made worse when there is an a involved) vowels correctly is something that IMHO is getting a lot worse. With all of this talk of changing the flag, New Zealand is also going to need to change it's name as well because many of us are now quite simply incapable of correctly saying New Zealand!


Yeah, but that's possibly more about shift in the Kiwi accent over time, given that "acceptable" pronunciation is not a constant (more that what is considered "acceptable" moves slowly, so people have the impression it's immutable). "Worse" is clearly a pejorative term in such contexts - academic linguists generally appear to be far more sanguine with accent and pronunciation changes. I'd say that what is "acceptable" in this area has its origins in class - accent and pronunciation clearly have a lot to do with cultural capital - cf Bourdieu.

Personally, what I find the most depressing is more the move to mangle some words - while it's a pronunciation problem, these involve actual shifts in letters: my favourite is "aks" for "ask". What the???




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  Reply # 1078425 2-Jul-2014 08:56
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jonathan18:

Personally, what I find the most depressing is more the move to mangle some words - while it's a pronunciation problem, these involve actual shifts in letters: my favourite is "aks" for "ask". What the???



A lot of people (including many who should know better TV/radio announcers etc) can't pronounce pronunciation correctly.



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  Reply # 1078438 2-Jul-2014 09:41
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jonathan18: Personally, what I find the most depressing is more the move to mangle some words - while it's a pronunciation problem, these involve actual shifts in letters: my favourite is "aks" for "ask". What the???


"Aks" makes my skin crawl every single time.  I feel bad when ever I think about bringing it up with them too!  It's mostly Maori/Islanders that come from a family where butchered slang/gang words are commonly used on a day to day basis.  Or they do it to fit in I guess.







Sometimes what you don't get is a blessing in disguise!

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  Reply # 1078457 2-Jul-2014 10:04
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DravidDavid:
jonathan18: Personally, what I find the most depressing is more the move to mangle some words - while it's a pronunciation problem, these involve actual shifts in letters: my favourite is "aks" for "ask". What the???


"Aks" makes my skin crawl every single time.  I feel bad when ever I think about bringing it up with them too!  It's mostly Maori/Islanders that come from a family where butchered slang/gang words are commonly used on a day to day basis.  Or they do it to fit in I guess.




My wife works for a govt agency - part of their job involves giving presentations to workplaces/groups etc. One of her colleagues speaks thus, eg "Any questions yous guys want to aks?" And this is a represenative of a govt. agency, often talking to professionals!

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  Reply # 1078473 2-Jul-2014 10:11
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I was taught to listen to the meaning and not to listen to the how.




Mike
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  Reply # 1078477 2-Jul-2014 10:19
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An an American teaching ESOL in Auckland, my (anecdotal) experience is that many non-native speakers have difficulty with the NZ accent, but only insofar as British so-called RP and American non-regional accents are overwhelmingly prevalent in the English culture they absorb. I mean Hollywood movies, previous English study, pop music, etc.

There are regional accents that, in my experience, are MUCH harder to understand. East Texas/Louisiana, pockets of the UK and Ireland...The first time Trainspotting was broadcast in my area of California, it was subtitled. Some of my relatives & friends back home consider the Kiwi accent cute (granted, having only been exposed to Flight of the Conchords, Beached As, etc.)

One thing that DOES make me smile is when my Kiwi colleagues deride British and/or American English. Granted, American English has some silly idiosyncrasies, but glass baches are fragile as, bro.

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  Reply # 1078478 2-Jul-2014 10:22
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KiwiNZ: I was taught to listen to the meaning and not to listen to the how.

Yeah I think a lot of this objection to accent is a bit snobbish really.

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  Reply # 1078481 2-Jul-2014 10:25
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gzt:
KiwiNZ: I was taught to listen to the meaning and not to listen to the how.

Yeah I think a lot of this objection to accent is a bit snobbish really.

 

Accents are fine, but getting letters the wrong way round is surely a step too far?

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  Reply # 1078485 2-Jul-2014 10:35
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I was in the UK for the 90s and didn't find the NZ accent very strong when I visited home. I spent 4 years in Australia and, when I came back to live in NZ, found the accents on the News unbelievably thick. (I now find the Aussie accent ridiculous.)

 

 

I think that maybe the Kiwi and Aussie accents have diverged so much and in such a way that speakers from each country are down on each other (the Aussies think we sound thick, we think they sound bullying and untrustworthy) when people used to other accents (e.g. UK) don't get the same impression. I guess I'm saying that accents are also in the ear of the listener...

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