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Get to know the Kiwi English

A visitor from Germany has sent in their thoughts on Kiwi English .

Choice, mate! – Pardon me? – It’s a good day, ay? – Eh, yes.

When you will first arrive here, you will find it really hard to understand most of a conversation. If you haven’t been to Australia before, you wonder if that is really the English you learned at school for years.
Don’t worry, after asking people to repeat themselves a million times what they just said and learning to say pardon? or sorry? You get used to it.
Just in case: Don’t wonder if you don’t get used to it. You should maybe try to talk more to the Kiwi’s instead of just to your friends from you own country. Seriously, don’t miss that part, it’s heaps of fun!
Most of it comes day by day but the very first thing you learn will definitely be that ”how are you doing?’ This is not a question about your well-being. It’s just part of their Hello. All you have to answer to that is ‘Good, thank you’. Everything else you add, especially the answer back, will make clear that you are definitely not from their country. Ahh, don’t worry, your accent will betray you anyway.

To not discourage you: here are a few things you can keep in mind.
For example the ‘e’ like in ‘ten’ sounds like an ‘i’. Try it with the word ‘deck’ and you will understand how funny it might be sometimes.
Another really funny thing is they use yeah for ‘yes’ and nah for ‘no’.. And if you hear yeah-nah.. don’t worry it’s just similar to ‘yes, but..’
Furthermore they add an ay behind what they say like an appendix to indirectly ask for your agreement.

Still, the best way is figuring it out by oneself and rely on learning by doing.

Have fun!!

By the way: If you ever stand in the supermarket and the lady says ‘ That’s tin dollar 55 ‘ remember my words.

Maria Gelen

TravelNZGet to know the Kiwi English