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Thread: Oi! Waddya mean, I don't speak proper?

  1. #1
    Cyburbian JNL's avatar
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    Oi! Waddya mean, I don't speak proper?

    Kiwis face language barrier to get British passport
    23 August 2004
    By KERI WELHAM

    Kiwis may not speak the Queen's English with a plum in their mouths but you'd reckon we'd be easy to understand, eh?

    Not on your nelly, British bureaucrats have decreed.

    The Home Office has decided that New Zealanders, Australians, Americans, South Africans and Canadians will all need to prove sufficient English language knowledge before they can get a British passport.

    Expat Kiwis, who will have lived in Britain for five years prior to applying for naturalisation, are now being forced to prove their English prowess by having a chat with one of the Home Office's "designated judges". They are being asked to describe events, hopes and ambitions.

    You could understand them not understanding our trans-Tasman neighbours; strewth, they can hardly understand themselves. And those Yanks and Yaapies can be dreadfully confusing, but us? Fair suck of the sav, mate.

    Kiwis being interviewed may have to turn their backs on a rich vernacular, leaving out the bros, dairies, hoons, long-drops, and cases of the bot. Forget memories of summers with cuzzies at the bach, or jandals that matched a favourite jersey.

    Margaret Maclagan, senior lecturer in The Department of Communication Disorders at Canterbury University, says New Zealand English is further from the mother tongue than comparable dialects, such as Australian. Which raises the possibility that the Aussies could be better understood than us.

    Might as well make "five minutes chatting" an Olympic event and be done with it.

    Maclagan says young New Zealanders fail to distinguish between cheer and chair, beer and bear, ear and air. And all Kiwis raise their tone at the end of a statement, in a questioning way, which foreigners often mistake as a show of uncertainty.

    So, what if we don't do so well and the Poms are reluctant to cut us some slack?

    Presumably, our Kiwi expats will tell them their system is a crock, and a balls-up.

    And perhaps to keep our linguistic mana, there could be some utu – a reciprocal test for former British citizens here. That will sort out the real blokes and sheilas.
    Last edited by JNL; 22 Aug 2004 at 9:05 PM.

  2. #2
    Cyburbian donk's avatar
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    When I looked into grad school in the states a few were going to require that I take TOEFL. Would have been embarassing if I'd failed.

    Wonder if they would have recognized "clube", "teh" and other phrases we use around here.
    Too lazy to beat myself up for being to lazy to beat myself up for being too lazy to... well you get the point....

  3. #3
    Cyburbian biscuit's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by JNL
    Maclagan says young New Zealanders fail to distinguish between cheer and chair, beer and bear, ear and air. And all Kiwis raise their tone at the end of a statement, in a questioning way, which foreigners often mistake as a show of uncertainty.
    Geez, I could only imagine what would happen if a Southerner, like myself, were to have to take that test. I already catch a lot of flack here in my own country for not speaking "english." My wife and co-workers seem to think that I can't distinguish rural from rule, pen from pin and well from we'll. And apparently 3/4 of my speech is made entirely of vowels. Oh, weeel, no passport for me.

    And to think they say that a southern accent is the closest the US has to the Queens english....
    Last edited by biscuit; 23 Aug 2004 at 12:44 AM. Reason: no more posty after drinking ginny

  4. #4
    Cyburbian jordanb's avatar
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    That's teh sukc.

  5. #5
    Cyburbia Administrator Dan's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by jordanb
    That's teh sukc.
    OMG WTF A/S/L LOL!!!1!! Joo m3an teh suxxorZ!!!!1! UK 3nglish with teh bloody this and bollocks that and calling hoods bonnets and teh God $@v3 teh Qu33n. Tehy dont now teh langiage.
    Growth for growth's sake is the ideology of the cancer cell. -- Edward Abbey

  6. #6

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    What is so steely over English spoken? All mouths and persons with them can say words with repetition. Yes?

  7. #7
    Maybe our officials have a hard enough time keeping up with our own butchering of the language without taking American, Canadian, Australian, New Zealand, etc English into account. After all, they aren't the same as British/UK English - or for that matter Yorkshire English, Cockney English, ...

    (Yes, it is daft though!)
    Glorious Technicolor, Breath-Taking CinemaScope and Stereophonic Sound!

  8. #8
    Chairman of the bored Maister's avatar
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    Not you, JNL !!! I heared you and you talk English good.
    People will miss that it once meant something to be Southern or Midwestern. It doesn't mean much now, except for the climate. The question, “Where are you from?” doesn't lead to anything odd or interesting. They live somewhere near a Gap store, and what else do you need to know? - Garrison Keillor

  9. #9
    Cyburbian Plus JNA's avatar
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    HOW TO WRITE ENGLISH GOOD
    (from the Casey Stengle School of Brooklynese)

    Google it - list of 23 reminders
    Oddball
    Why don't you knock it off with them negative waves?
    Why don't you dig how beautiful it is out here?
    Why don't you say something righteous and hopeful for a change?
    From Kelly's Heroes (1970)


    Are you sure you're not hurt ?
    No. Just some parts wake up faster than others.
    Broke parts take a little longer, though.
    From Electric Horseman (1979)

  10. #10
    Cyburbian Cardinal's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Maister
    Not you, JNL !!! I heared you and you talk English good.
    Yep, nuttin' 'bout her talkin' dat din't sound good.
    Anyone want to adopt a dog?

  11. #11
    Cyburbian
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    Bah! Who's wants to goes to britain anysway! *

    *Translation to proper english: Good God! Who would want to go to the amazing kingdom of Britain anyways!

  12. #12
    Cyburbian el Guapo's avatar
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    My guess is that the rise of the EU has amplified the French influence upon the unsuspecting British. This is clearly effident in the Crown's new-found anal retentiveness over the mother tounge. If the Crown were to adopt the Euro its citizens would become stinky, pissy and its army would become ineffective in combat virutally overnight.

  13. #13
    DA Monkey's avatar
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    Does anyone know what the "Queens English" actually is, afterall, have you ever talked to a Scouser or a Welshman, its loads worse than talking to a kiwi.

    The English lesson

    We'll begin with box, and the plural is boxes;
    But the plural of ox should be oxen, not oxes.

    Then one fowl is goose, but two are called geese,
    Yet the plural of moose should never be meese.

    You may find a lone mouse or a nest full of mice,
    Yet the plural of house is houses, not hice.

    If the plural of man is always called men,
    Why shouldn't the plural of pan be called pen?

    The cow in the plural may be cows or kine,
    But the plural of vow is vows, not vine.

    I speak of my foot and show you my feet,
    If I give you a boot, would a pair be called beet?

    If one is a tooth, and a whole set are teeth,
    Why shouldn't the plural of booth be called beeth?

    If the singular is this and the plural is these,
    Why shouldn't the plural of kiss be named kese?

    Then one may be that, and three may be those,
    Yet the plural of hat would never be hose;

    We speak of a brother, and also of brethren,
    But though we say mother, we never say methren.

    The masculine pronouns are he, his and him,
    But imagine the feminine she, shis, and shim!

    So our English, I think, you all will agree,
    Is the craziest language you ever did see.

    I take it you already know
    Of tough and bough and cough and dough?
    Others may stumble, but not you,
    On hiccough, thorough, slough, and through?

    Well done! And now you wish, perhaps
    To learn of less familiar traps?

    Beware of heard, a dreadful word,
    That looks like beard and sounds like bird.

    And dead; it's said like bed, not bead;
    For goodness sake, don't call it deed!
    Watch out for meat and great and threat;
    They rhyme with suite and straight and debt.

    A moth is not a moth in mother,
    Nor both in bother, broth in brother.

    And here is not a match for there,
    Or dear and fear for bear and pear.

    And then there's dose and rose and lose,
    Just look them up, and goose and choose.

    And cork and work and card and ward,
    And font and front and word and sword.

    And do and go, then thwart and cart.
    Come, come, I've hardly made a start.


    Or in a similar vein

    English is a crazy language.

    There is no egg in eggplant nor ham in hamburger;neither apple nor pine in Pineapple.
    English muffins were not invented in England or French fries in France.

    Sweetmeats are candies, while sweetbreads, which aren't sweet, are meat.

    We take English for granted. But if we explore its paradoxes, we find that quicksand can work slowly, boxing rings are square, and a guinea pig is neither from Guinea nor is it a pig.

    And why is it that writers write, but fingers don't fing, grocers don't groce, and hammers don't ham?

    If the plural of tooth is teeth, why isn't the plural of booth beeth?

    One goose, 2 geese. So, one moose, 2 meese?

    One index, two indices? Is cheese the plural of choose?

    If teachers taught, why didn't preachers praught?

    If a vegetarian eats vegetables, what does a humanitarian eat?

    In what language do people recite at a play, and play at a recital? Ship by truck, and send cargo by ship? Have noses that run and feet that smell? Park on driveways and drive on parkways?

    How can a slim chance and a fat chance be the same, while a wise man and a wise guy are opposites? How can the weather be hot as hell one day and cold as hell another?

    When a house burns up, it burns down. You fill in a form by filling it out, and an alarm clock goes off by going on.

    When the stars are out, they are visible, but when the lights are out, they are invisible.

    And why, when I wind up my watch, I start it, but when I wind up this note, I end it

  14. #14
    Cyburbian Michele Zone's avatar
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    DA Monkey, in that same vein is a poem called "The Chaos" but is better known as "English is Tough Stuff": http://www.unique.cc/ron/estuff.htm

  15. #15
    Quote Originally posted by JNA
    HOW TO WRITE ENGLISH GOOD
    (from the Casey Stengle School of Brooklynese)

    Google it - list of 23 reminders
    In the UK, the correct grammar would be: "How to write English well"

    My name is Jo and I'm a pedant
    Glorious Technicolor, Breath-Taking CinemaScope and Stereophonic Sound!

  16. #16
    Quote Originally posted by el Guapo
    My guess is that the rise of the EU has amplified the French influence upon the unsuspecting British. This is clearly effident in the Crown's new-found anal retentiveness over the mother tounge. If the Crown were to adopt the Euro its citizens would become stinky, pissy and its army would become ineffective in combat virutally overnight.
    So no change there, then.
    Glorious Technicolor, Breath-Taking CinemaScope and Stereophonic Sound!

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