Kiwi English

There is usually some linguistic history to account for given regional dialects of English; see that PBS programme, “Story of English” for example.

But I don’t recall coming across a good explanation for the big difference between Australian and New Zealand dialects. Is it the Maori influence ? [doubtful] The colonizing British were from the same general areas, IIRC. What gives ?

“Proverbs for Paranoids, 3: If they can get you asking the wrong questions, they don’t have to worry about answers.”

  • T.Pynchon, Gravity’s Rainbow.

How about the fact there is a greater distance between New Zealand and Australia than between New York and Atlanta? It is a terrible mistake to think of New Zealand as some sort of Australian island chain… There is no reason to think they would have similar accents and dialects.

Didn’t think that at all. EG. Much as Arcadian English is similar whether you’re in Louisiana or New Brunswick, because of the original colonists, and despite distance. Or although NYC and Boston are a stone’s throw away, they have specific accents (not to mention Brooklyn and the Bronx)…

Was there a general difference in the “home range” of Aussie and NZ colonists ? Irish vrs. Scot, or Welsh vrs. Manchester, or whatever ?

It’s not Arcadian you dolt, it’s Acadian. BTW for those of you who have no idea who the Acadians are, most people pronounce and spell it Cajun.

If you can’t dazzle them with brilliance, baffle them with bullshit.

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I haven’t heard a lot of Enzedders speak, but I was under the impression they spoke something similar to a pretty fair grade of British English. I would guess the fair percentage of British criminals / political prisoners, who spoke a different quality of English, who were dumped on Australia’s shores early on, affected that country’s speech to a fair degree. Also, maybe the expanse of rugged terrain available in Australia for homesteading brought in more of those who didn’t exactly speak parlor English. And I think Kiwis maintained much closer ties to England for much of their history.

Ray (Never been to Oz.)

A typo. Je suis un vrai con, chiant sur le bon nom des Acadiens. Sorry.

Excuse me for taking this thread off-topic, but this kind of tactless comment is really dragging this board down. Do people like you (and Monty, I might add) get some sort of ego boost out of calling people names and picking through otherwise intelligent posts to find something to quibble about? If you had ever bothered to read the entirity of Jorge’s many brilliant contributions to this board you would realize how insulting it is to call him such a thing. “Your wrong, ha, ha!” contributes nothing to the understanding of any of the topics we discuss here. Most of us got that out of our systems in the second grade. If you feel it necessary to correct someone try to do it with a little class. Insults should be reserved for those that deliberately post as fact what they know (or have been shown) to be false.

If you can’t do that, do us all a favor and confine yourself to the Pit.

Gee, PapaBear; you might add that only if you’re an asshole. Thanks for showing you are.

I agree with PapaBear - calling someone a dolt for a simple typo is needlessly inflammatory. Plus, I would disagree with the substance of Big Rory’s criticism, anyway. Travelling in the Maritimes, I only heard the phrase “Acadian”, not “Cajun.” “Cajun” is derived from “Acadian”, but has not replaced it.

I’m tempted to cut and paste all the numerous instances of your pettiness just in the last week, Monty, but you’re not worth it and this isn’t the place for it (my fault!)

Thanks jti & Papa. But I guess one should show some charity: apparently I hadn’t made it clear in the OP that I was looking for comments on “Kiwi English”, and not comments from small, timorous, flightless, cheeping things. Now, lest the moderator yank me & my thread off to the Pit…

Perhaps rephrasing the question: are there particular areas of the U.K. from which significant numbers of New Zealanders and Australians emigrated, and are they the same, linguistically ? (Again, thinking along the lines of the Story of English series. Their accents are really quite different.

No offence intended Nano but only an American would say that. Kiwis sound absolutely nothing like the British to anyone else (in the English speaking world).

Also, please remember there are MANY variations of ‘British English’ most of which also sound very little like the Cockney or BBC accents you’re probably accustomed to. Again no offence intended but as a Scotsman it does grow tiresome hearing people say ‘British’ when what they really mean is ‘English’.

Bíonn caora dhubh ar an tréad is gile (there is a black sheep even in the whitest flock).

Well, it sounds a little funny to say ‘English English’. So if Scottish have a problem with this, how come they don’t speak Scottish Gaelic?

OK, I guess this is supposed to get me on to the right track.

However, on this NZ Web page it says:

Guess they forgot to run that by a Scot. :wink:

Then again, I was offered this by a South African page, to help me understand:

Ray (Let’s all speak a different language so we can’t figure out what’s wrong with each other’s posts. :wink: )

Thank heavens! For a minute I thought someone in London had found a hole in a shoe polish lid.

The overwhelming majority of people have more than the average (mean) number of legs. – E. Grebenik

I am also willing to bet dollars against donuts that someone from Perth has a somewhat different accent than someone from Melbourne or Sydney.

Even among the English, there are substantial variations in accent and dialect. From what I have heard, it can be a surprise that Tyne-siders, Tees-siders and Mersey-siders all understand each other, and if you look at a map of England, there isn’t a heck of a lot of distance difference there! :slight_smile:

As for the Scots, calling what they speak ‘English’ makes the supposition that you can actually understand what they are saying! :wink:

Was NZ ever a transportation colony? That is not my understanding…

John W. Kennedy
“Compact is becoming contract; man only earns and pays.”
– Charles Williams

A good buddy of mine is from Christchurch and her accent is indeed a lot easier to understand than most. Any Kiwi will say they don’t sound like Aussies but to me they are similar but Aussies tend to be more nasal.

But for such a small country NZ is pretty sectionalized. The South Island was colonized first by Scots (in Dunedin) and English (in Christchurch). Most of the natives lived in the North Island.

But Oz is really much more diverse than NZ. And heck once you get from Chicago into Peoria you start to get a southern drawl. So you don’t need to go distances to change speech.

I’m an American who lived in New Zealand for two years (a lot of years ago). One way to get a New Zealander to quickly dismiss you as an idiot is to assume that ANYTHING that applies to Australia automatically applies to New Zealand. The history, geography, native culture and politics are very different.

There are no kangaroos in New Zealand. New Zealand was never an English penal colony. New Zealanders don’t speak with Australian accents. (Of course, in their opinion, they don’t speak with an accent at all. The rest of us do.)

Having said all that, there is a considerable number of Australians who live in New Zealand and there are a lot of words of Australian origin in New Zealand English – “sheila”, “back blocks”, “coo!” – but there is a much larger set of uniquely Australian words – “billabong”, “abo” – that set the speaker of as Australian, even in New Zealand.

New Zealand English is, in fact, surprisingly close to Standard British English (“the Queen’s English”) in pronunciation and vocabulary. There are, of course, frequently used native (Maori) terms, particularly for the names of plants and animals, geographical features, etc. But relatively few Maori words have become integrated into the common speech, much less so than, for example, in Hawaii. (Hawaiian and Maori are very closely related languages.) A few common Maori terms are understood by everyone (“maoritanga” – maori culture) but their usage depends on the speaker’s background. Maoris will use them among themselves and when speaking with “pakehas” but the English-ancestored seldom use them among themselves.

“non sunt multiplicanda entia praeter necessitatem”
– William of Ockham

It took me a week for this Virginian to understand the difference between a Roo accent and a Kiwi accent, but it is there, and it is significant. To subjectively describe it, the Australian accent is very slightly South African sounding, and Kiwi is more “classic” English.

(When I say “very slightly,” I really mean it. Please don’t accuse me of not being able to tell the difference between the two.)

New Zealand was not actively colonized until the 1840s or so, or some sixty years after Australia, so it stands to reason that the accent should be a little bit closer to the “mother tounge,” as if there were one. Put three poms from Cornwall, London, and Blackpool together, and you’ll quickly find out that a standard English accent is anything but standard.

Sofa King: I do believe you’ve hit the nail on the head. There is in every land what’s commonly referred to as “educated speech” and also what’s referred to as “colloquial speech.” I’m not that surprised that what most of us hear of other countries’ educated speech (assuming we’re limiting ourselves to English-speaking countries) is similar to a degree. I’d also venture that an Englishman or Australian would be more familiar with “Standard American Speech” than with any of our dialects.

An aside: yesterday, whilst shopping in the Borders’ bookstore in Sand City California, I saw a Yank-Kiwi dictionary.