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Thread: Using Proper English

  1. #1
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    Default Using Proper English

    Several threads (http://www.enz.org/forum/showthread.php?t=30504, http://www.enz.org/forum/showthread.php?t=29128 and
    http://www.enz.org/forum/showthread.php?t=30884) in recent times dealt with "English". As by-notes I noted several comments relating to what could be called "Using Proper English".

    Some observations/thoughts on this topic:
    1. It is expected that non-native speakers of English immigrating to NZ adopt a proper English; they generally do - or at least try.
    2. Native speakers of English immigrating to NZ often reject the NZ English in ways of pronunciation, spelling and usage of words.
    3. Is NZ English not being considered as a "proper" English?
    4. Which of the different versions of English should non-native English speakers adopt if not NZ English?

  2. #2

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    Quote Originally Posted by ralf-nz View Post
    3. Is NZ English not being considered as a "proper" English?
    4. Which of the different versions of English should non-native English speakers adopt if not NZ English?

    3. It certainly should be - it is just as "proper" as any other version.

    4. They should adopt whatever feels right - in most cases they will inevitably pick up some of the local dialect, sayings etc, but may well still have a recognisable accent from their country of origin - china, india, south africa, scotland etc etc. It would be very unlikely they will ever become completely indistinguishable from a native kiwi, and that's a good thing.

  3. #3
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    As a person from the south of England I wouldn't expect to move to Yorkshire, Liverpool, Scotland, Ireland or Wales and start speaking the lingo like a local - for one thing everyone would know you were a fraud and wonder what your game was. Granted, certain words and phrases do rub off and creep into your everyday vocabulary, but it's a natural process and people should just speak how they always have.

    What exactly is New Zealand English? Is there such a thing and how does it differ from UK English? As far as I am concerned it's just English English with a different accent. We don't have Scottish English or Irish English and they have many words and phrases of their own.

    Having been here over five years I say yis a lot these days, it makes me feel foolish sometimes but it can't be helped, I didn't suddenly decide I was going to speak this way. My OH has definitely started to muddle his Ds with Ts, so we drive on the moder-way and he now has budder on his toast.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ngeru View Post
    What exactly is New Zealand English? Is there such a thing and how does it differ from UK English? As far as I am concerned it's just English English with a different accent. We don't have Scottish English or Irish English and they have many words and phrases of their own.
    Ah, but we do have such things. There is Scottish English, Irish English, American English, Australian English... etc.

    The fact that it is English with a certain accent makes it New Zealand English or Irish English.

    I think the situation is quite different for native speakers as opposed to learners of English as a second language. I would not expect a native speaker to change their accent, but I would expect (not as in 'they should', more as in 'they probably will') people who first learn their English here to acquire it with an NZ accent.

    Personally, as a speaker of English as a second language, I have always felt it most advisable to aim for the least regionally distinct version of English, which for the most part has served me well in different regions.

    Although I have been told I have a distinct Irish accent when drunk, go figure.

    Daniela

  5. #5
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    1. It is expected that non-native speakers of English immigrating to NZ adopt a proper English; they generally do - or at least try.
    2. Native speakers of English immigrating to NZ often reject the NZ English in ways of pronunciation, spelling and usage of words.
    3. Is NZ English not being considered as a "proper" English?
    4. Which of the different versions of English should non-native English speakers adopt if not NZ English?

    1, Agree.
    2, I don't think native speakers reject local usage, they just don't feel they need to adopt a NZ accent and start chucking 'sweet as' into every conversation in order to be understood. This is true to a degree, although there are certain terms its helpful to know/pronounce properly in order to avoid misunderstanding (route, etc.). And if you've been speaking/spelling one way for 30+ years your native habits are quite hard to break.
    3, I don't see why it shouldn't be, it's a distinct variation on British English with its own pronounciation and colloquialisms. (Wondering here if there's a NZ dictionary in print?)
    4, It depends on where you've learnt your English. If you were taught from a US textbook you'll use american spelling and pronounciation, if British, likewise. Same goes for the accent, I hear many non-native speakers sounding slightly american these days, due perhaps to the influence of tv/films or where they've studied. If you come to NZ speaking a fairly fluent English of any origin, just carry on, and you'll probably pick up some kiwisms as you go along. I think the important thing is to be able to communicate, the assimilation comes later.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by frootbat View Post
    (Wondering here if there's a NZ dictionary in print?)
    There are several Oxford New Zealand dictionaries.

  7. #7
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    This thread reminds me of a recent incident at work. I started chatting over smoko to a young guy who was helping a visiting kitchen fitter. Now, as far as I am concerned ( being a s/e England boy and all), the guy had quite a thick Yorkshire accent. I was more than a little bit surprised when I asked which part of Yorkshire he was from, to be told "na mate, I`m an ozzy. Just spent five years playing league in Yorkshire"

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Timbo View Post
    This thread reminds me of a recent incident at work. I started chatting over smoko to a young guy who was helping a visiting kitchen fitter. Now, as far as I am concerned ( being a s/e England boy and all), the guy had quite a thick Yorkshire accent. I was more than a little bit surprised when I asked which part of Yorkshire he was from, to be told "na mate, I`m an ozzy. Just spent five years playing league in Yorkshire"
    When I came back from my 3 years in Sydney, people kept thinking I was Australian. Nooooooooooooooooo! It's faded, mostly, but I still get the odd query.. that's probably down to living with a Kiwi for the last 10 years though!

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jo Jo View Post
    Thanks for that, I only ever come across UK published books in my job.

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