December 8, 2017

English: As spoken in New Zealand

 
By Clive Dalton 



The English language is in a constant state of change, which is a good thing to help cope with how life and the world is changing.  But it doesn't make it easy for those who have learned the language in the past, and expect it to stay how they learned it.  In fact it can be very annoying and considered to be worthy of protest and downright outrage.



The English spoken in New Zealand has changed greatly in the last 50 years when the BBC was the standard and it was described as 'Queen's English'.  Since then, the most recent change has been a massive 'vowel shift' and which is now very well established - to the frustration of the old and the confusion of hearing it today for the first time, and especially for visitors and those who come here to learn English.

 

TV and radio have always been the gold standard, and have people appointed to be guardians of the language - it's pronunciation and grammar.  Many of us are now wondering where they have gone?



Here's a list from listening to TV news readers and radio announcers over the period of a few weeks.  

The first column was what was heard and the second is what was intended to mean.





New Zealand English as heard from TV and radio announcers, and English spelling and meaning


Kiwi as heard
English spelling/meaning
acadimic
academic
afears
affairs
akshally
actually
beer
bear/bare
bid
bed
bist
best
bitta
better
binafut
benefit
cheer
chair
cheery
cherry
cintral
central
chicken
check-in
chickout
check-out
chickpoint
checkpoint
contist
contest
deery
dairy
earport
airport
eer
ear
effected
affected
essue
issue
fairy
ferry
fear
fare
fect
fact
git
get


heer
hair
hid
heard
hively
heavily
icho
echo
iksipted
accepted
idge
edge
ingine
engine
iscort
escort
ividince
evidence
Keens
Cairns
keer
care
livel
level
meer
mayor
nitwork
network
nivva
never
pardy
party
peerents
parents
percint
percent
pin
pen
pirished
perished
pitral
petrol
preer
prayer
prepeer
prepare
rear
rare
really
rarely
repeer
repair
rid
red
rist
rest
sheering
sharing
sickend
second
sinate
senate
sivril
several
skeer
scare
spishel
special
tear
tare
tist
test
twenny
twenty
vinew
venue
woman
women plural (‘wimmen’)
yis
yes



 

The influence of American English on Kiwi English

 American English in spelling and especially in voice tone, is having the greatest influence on English learned and spoken around the world.  This is probably a good thing, because of the massive variation in regional English in the United Kingdom, where some dialects are a complete mystery to many - even within areas 100km apart in the UK!



Voice tone changes

The voices of female TV speakers  in New Zealand has now become very nasal and grates on the ears, and it seems to have arrived in New Zealand from America.  There must be no checking of voice tone when staff for radio and TV are recruited these days.  The only solution is to turn off the sound and switch on the captions on TV on channels where these are available.


 

November 16, 2017

Northumbrian verse. Pills for All Ills

 
By Donald Clegg

Don entered this verse in the Morpeth competition for dialect poetry - and won the cup for a second year along with other awards.

Don Clegg with his cup and other wards for Northumbrian dialect verse
 Aa went to the doctor’s on Monda, Aa thowt Aa was gettin’ the flu,
Aa was gannin’ cowld an’ hot, an’ coffin’ a lot. When Aa got there he says, ‘How de do’?
He says, ‘If yo’re ill Aa’ll give ye a pill’. So he did. Aa said ‘Thanks’. It was BLUE.

Aa went to the doctor’s on Tuesda. Aa hev a job gettin’ about,
It might be rheumatics or an ingrown toenail, or corns, or summat, or gout’,
When Aa got to the car it was rainin’, so Aa thowt Aa’d tek me umbrella.
Doc says, ‘By, ye look ill, Aa’d bettor give ye a pill’.  An’ he did. Aa said,’Thanks’. It was YELLA.

Aa went to the doctor’s on Wensda, Aa hed sic an ache in me arm.
It’s a mystery to me, but Aa think it must be, years ago, muckin’ oot on the farm,
It was the same canny doctor. He says, ‘Nuw just let’s hev a wee think’
Aa’ll give ye a pill, then ye’ll not feel ill.” So he did. Aa said, ‘Thanks’. It was PINK

Aa went to the doctor’s on Thorsda. Me heed was achin’ and sare
Aa’d been on the pop (didn’t know when to stop). Aa’ve nivvor felt like it afore,
The doc wasn’t that sympathetic. He asked, If Aa’d  been on the town,
Yo’re boond to feel ill, but Aa’ll give ye a pill.  An’ he did. Aa said, ‘Thanks’. It was BROWN.

Aa went to the doctor’s on Frida. Me wattor works aal of a twist
Aa’d not been to the loo for a day or two -Aa’d give owt to gan oot and git p.........d (put right).
‘By heck’! says the doc. ‘Ye must hev some kind o’block, it’s the warst Aa’ve seen aal this summer’.
‘But if yo’re feelin’ see ill, Aa’ll not give ye a pill, here’s a note for Jack Nixon, the plumber’.

Aa was back at the doctor’s on Satdy. He was theor as Aa went through the door
He says, ‘Hello, me good man, you divn’t look vary grand. Let me think - have I seen you before’?
‘Aa just think ye have’, was me sarky reply. ‘Aal this med’cin ye think such a boon’,
‘Aa’ve had that mony pills, Aa’m fed up to the gills, an’ rattle when Aa jump up and doon’.

But noo Aa’m aal sorted and fit as a lop. Ivvry mornin’ Aa gan for a run
Aa play footbaal, gan bikin’ an’ swimmin’ and such so Aam hevin’ nee end of gud fun,
So here’s to the doctors that keep us alive an’ save us from aal kinds of stress.
Cos Aa sometimes fear, Aa just wadn’t be here, if it warn’t for the NHS.

But as we get owlder and faalin’ apart, we suffer from aal sorts of ills
So in case wor good doctor’s not able to come, Aa’ve still got me box full of pills.

Donald Clegg (Aad Wattie)