Go Hear the language

Posted on May 11th, 2008 by A/C

One of the things that erks me big time is miss pronounciations.

It sounds silly but it really bugs me.  The worst is place names. You see if you travel the one thing you need to know is how to say the place names like a local, it is how we tell you are tourist.  If you have an accent but say the name like a local then your in.

So here is my little contribution to solving this puzzle.

Here is a list of the most mis pronounced Aussie Cities and the correct way to say them.

Please add yours in the comments so we can all share in this language exchange.

Newcastle: tourist say New Ca sel, correct New Car sel

Sydney: tourist Sid in nee, correct Sid nee

Melbourne: tourist Mel  born, correct Mel Bin

Brisbane: tourist Bris Bain, correct Bris bin

Canberra: tourist Can Berra, correct Can Bra

Uluru tourist Uluru, correct Ayres Rock

Australia: tourist Au stra li a, correct ost stral ya

So there you have it, if you are coming to Oz practice these before you come and you’ll be treated like a local. Just dont order Fosters at the Pub, thats a dead give away.


20 Responses to “Go Hear the language”

  1. It is very true that it bugs me as well with the mispronounciation..

    Another thing I want to add is that most Malaysian can never speak proper English as when they speak English, they tend to have their own accent and they like to add this ‘lah’ word to the English word they say for example:

    “I forgot lah”

    or sometimes they are more comfortable speaking totally broken English for example:

    “Why you no come one”

    Nur Sarah Lam’s last blog post..The Story of Stuff

  2. Gareth in Malaysia says:

    errrmmmm,
    AC, you can’t be bugged by this sort of thing when you have only a loose grasp of English yourself.
    ‘Your in’ I must point out that ‘You’re in’ would be far better.
    Certainly if you hold fast to your theory and ever go to China or anywhere else in Asia you would break your rule every day.
    Plus most Aussie place names are English in origin, if you pronounced Newcastle that way in the real Newcastle you’d get laughed at.

    As for people not speaking English correctly, if its not their mother tongue then surely I am normally grateful they have taken the time to make my life easier. I only have very basic skills in French, German, Spanish and advanced beginner level in Mandarin. So cheers to all those people who speak English when its not their mother tongue.

    • aussiecynic says:

      It is not those who accents deny them opportunity to say it… it is those whose general knowledge lets them down…
      I would be in a similar position when traveling to countries outside mine and would hope I was corrected when wrong…
      as for newcastle I lived there for 38 years and that is how we say, I guess it is to take away the English origin and make it ours. Many names are English in Origin or Aboriginal…
      As for my spelling that does appear to be one the things that bugs you,
      Hows the honeymoon, how was your wedding, all good I hope…..
      ;)

  3. Interesting article and comments. I’ve had Aussie friends who never corrected me and they knew they could, but they had also lived in England for a time. Very informative…but give us tourists a break!!

    SomethingJust’s last blog post..Mother’s Day~heartfelt whether you are in pain, sad, angry, happy or excited. Or all because you can feel all of these at once.

    • Gareth in Malaysia says:

      Being corrected by an Aussie is totally ironic. They have no grasp of English, only a bastardised version somewhere between English and Pigeon English.
      I’m afraid AC is talking rubbish here. She is simply trying to make everyone use an Aussie accent when pronouncing long established English words and place names.
      The town in England where my house is has a district called Melbourne and it is pronounced ‘Melbourne you caaaaant’ as it is in Essex, not hailing from the area I simply pronounce it Melbourne.

      The question we should be aksing ourselves is would we want to be treated like a local?
      You can’t get more local than an Aboriginal, so I guess take the advice only if you want a load of white Aussies to turn up, steal your property, kidnap your kids and perhaps experiment on one or two of you.

      • aussiecynic says:

        Gareth you really pull that stick out of your bum…

        How dare you…. as if you are the authority on all things British,
        As far as your comments about the Aboriginals, if I remember my history it was your lot who killed them in the first place…
        You seem to be far more pre occupied with chasing the all mighty dollar to have much of interest in anything else….
        I actually liked you and thought here is someone worth a healthy debate but after your last comment, I find this not the case at all…

        Kidnap your kids what a load of bollocks, yes they did remove children and yes this was in hindsight was wrong, but there isnt to many of them who returned to their homes when they reached 16years, mostly because the children who were half white half black in some tribes where killed…. and as far steal your property that was your lot, if I remember rightly…. hmmmm yep James Cook was British… Perhaps we should bring you over here, set you up in a tribal community and see how long you last under tribal law….
        The Aboriginal People who have the problems at the moment are the tribes who where given there lands back, and allowed to self law with in their tribal communities….
        As for the so called stolen generations, heres a little thought to keep in the back of head…. most of the complaint are from second generation so the children of these people, but not one of them has given up the jobs, homes, big screen tvs, or anything else to go and live in their native tribes, and very few of them have ever gone back to help their tribes… but many of them are sueing the governments for compensation ….. and none will return to the tribal home lands to help the people, learn the culture etc….

        So dont you even try going there

        You can say things however you like in England, my point here was to show to the differrence in how we say things, to how others say it… It appears that point was lost on you… Perhaps some aromatheropy might be inorder, you are living in China the capital of strange medical practices… perhaps who should get some Moonbear Bile extract and relax….

        • Gareth in Malaysia says:

          Nothing I said was wrong and you are the one telling us all how to speak. Getting all shitty with me because you don’t like one comment is your perogative but make sure you look the other way when you spit the dummy – wouldn’t want your PC screen to break.
          Accents are peoples and I embrace them, show understanding and certainly don’t sit on my hoop spurrting intollerant diatribes on how to speak. I do chase the dollar but don’t think for a minute you have a clue how I do it and that it is done at the expense of others. Why not get out more love?
          Having just endured hours of fat middle aged aussie biggots in Bali (mqainly female) I gained valuable insight into the Aussie culture.
          One quote ‘I haven’t got a racist bone in my body, they’re all in my head’ from a particularly nasty piece of Aussie lard.
          Sorry if this is a shock to you but I was gobsmacked by well over half the Aussies I met there and then the first post I see is you telling people to practise to speak the same or be treated like a ‘tourist’, surely if we go to Aus we are tourists. I only saw a small amount of this when I was there but it seems on their travels Aussies become incredibly right wing.

          • aussiecynic says:

            Gareth
            My point has/had nothing to do with accents….
            it was and is purely about mispronouncing names…
            I personally dont particular care whether it is correct English or not, it is how we say it…
            so many people come here and want to fit in…
            I think your attitude towards people with cultural differences mostly those from the west is rather odd
            Us aussie have far more dealings with Bali and other countries in the region than you do in China… and we do have a great relationship with most in the area as well as the large numbers who live here….
            The majority of Aussie who go there do not carry on as you described…
            If I spit the dummy at you or anyone else I will leave no doubt that it has happened… so rest assured…
            The majority of complaints about aussies in these countries relates to parties and not to the attitude of which you speak..
            Most of us at my age really dont give a bugger where you are from… it is how you treat people that is more the point… and cultural differences are left out of the mix…
            When we go abroad we do for the most try and fit in to the culture, and generally dont make a fuss… so if your point that some fat aussie insulted some bali waiter then so be it…
            If however you saw her beating some little begger kids in the street then I hope you went and slapped her… but if you did or said nothing then I am sorry but it is no use complaining about it now….

          • Gareth in Malaysia says:

            Your post was directly related to accents. 95% of those ‘mispronouncing’ place names or words will come down to accents.
            You do seem to presume to know rather a lot about who I do and don’t deal with. I deal weekly with Indonesians and have done for the past 1.5 years as we are exporting some designs there and I am acting as an advisor to the project team in a weekly conference as well as them having visited us several times.
            So far as the abroad references, how do you know? You’ve stated many times you haven’t done that.
            I was pretty surprised by the two groups in question and had a fair argument with one lot regarding their attitude to a party of Chinese that turned up which led to a comment directed at my wife. It stopped short of a punch up but only due to the fact I won’t hit people whom are clearly weaker than myself such as women (and her husband was in his early 60′s), funnily enough they couldn’t take getting it back either.

            If you don’t want to be questioned don’t post this sort of thing.

      • Gareth, each country has their own way of speaking English and if you been to Malaysia you would have known how Malaysian speaks English and I think Australian speaks very well English. I don’t have any problems if I am being recorrected the way I pronounce the names of the places by the native I mean we are learning and they are teaching us so why want to be so arrogant and showing off that “I am right, you are wrong” attitude in other people’s place? The world if full of diversity and cultures. Language is part of it..

        Nur Sarah Lam’s last blog post..The Story of Stuff

  4. Good tips Aussie….I’ll be sure to get the proper annunciation down…..as for the Foster’s I don’t have to worry about that :)
    Mighty Morgan’s last blog post..Addicts Anthem

  5. Jim & Em says:

    Hey AC!

    Thanks for the examples…

    Em and I always differ over the pronounciation of bath, for example.

    I say BATH
    Em says Baaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaarrrrrth

    I say Newcastle
    Em says New-Caaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaarstle

    Potato etc.

    It would be a boring world if we all hooked into one accent and in the UK for example accents vary every 26 miles, on average.

    The US we perceive has 3 accents – Eastern, Western and Mid west drawl, you’ll

    Are there accents in China, for example, Gareth in Malayasia?

    We’ve seriously no idea.

    • Gareth in Malaysia says:

      Yes and many variations on language. The obvious one is Cantonese and Mandarin but many have their own version of Mandarin. On top of this there are the dialects of Wuhan, Tibet, Uiyger, and and and. Hundreds in fact.
      The only standard they have is Putonghua which is sort of like their ‘Queens English’ – eg standard Mandarin.
      The accents are difficult for us to pick up on but there are many, the Shanghainese sound totally different to the Beijing guys. The Northeast tends to be more of a worzel sounding accent while the Shanghai one is more of a screach for want of a better word.

    • Bo Snr says:

      Hi Jim & Em
      Is the scouse acent different between Everton Supports and that other team called Everton??

  6. Ohh nice post nonetheless really??

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