actually did have eggs for breakfast but that’s really just a lead in to my experiences with language here in nz. overall i think the accent is much softer than the uk or australia, but there are two things that jump out to me – the short e has been replaced with the short i and the frequent use of rising inflection at the end of sentences (high rising terminal to lingo geeks).
the short e -> short i shows up all over in places like yes (yis), seven (siven) and eggs for breakfast (iggs for brickfast). easy to understand but it does catch the ear.
the agent at the auto insurance agency (aa) that was helping me through the process had an exaggerated rising inflection that trailed off at the end of each sentence.
- “so i’ll need a note from your us insurance company stating that you’ve had insurance for over 5 years?…
- and then when you get your nz drivers license you can just let me know and that will lower your deductible?…”
is she asking a question?
two other things that stand out are the frequent use of “cool” (kewhl) and “mate”.
cool is a used where “ok” might be otherwise be used – “i’ll have a flat white and an apple juice”, “cool”.
mate is often used in the first exchange between 2 males, even if they don’t know each other:
- guy working the counter at the diary – “how you doin’ mate?”
- me “just fine mate”
the language bit that i’m struggling with the most is actually the dates. nz like much of the world uses a DD/MM/YY format vs. the MM/DD/YY format used in the states. does seem like it is more consistent but i still have to do the translation in my mind each time. the kicker is when they verbalize a date. what would be “the 11th of october” or “october 11th” in the us is “the 11th of the 10th” here. that will take a bit to “take on board” (another common phrase here)