Wednesday, April 05, 2006

How To Speak Kiwi...

Per the previous post, not only are we struggling through speaking our own language here in New Zealand, we're also grappling with our listening comprehension. The Kiwis are friendly and it rocks when we ask questions or for directions in English and are responded to in English. But...many times, Andy and I are left bereft. Because we don't understand the words they're using, and sometimes even when we think we know the word, the vowels involved and their pronunciation are foreign.

It's pretty entertaining and we're having a great time trying to speak Kiwi. Maori, however, is a totally different story. Many of the names of cities, streets, mountains, parks and more are in Maori, which is of polynesian descent and similar to Hawaiian, and we're a lost cause. The corker for that was when we were given directions for a short cut and told to turn left at a town called "Fahta-Fahta", which of course gave us the giggles. When we later asked for help at a gas station because we just couldn't find that town on the map, the attendant pointed us to a dot named Whakawhaka!!!

Anyway, here's a little lexicon for your enjoyment:

fush 'n chups = fish and chips. Vowels are entertaining here!

tucker = to eat, "tuck into" does not refer to bed.

flat white = latte involving coffee. A chai latte, however, doesn't involve coffee.

bush = forest

footie = rugby; not your foot.

al-oo-min-ee-yum = aluminum, "aloo-mih-num" as we like to say. You can imagine the confusion when we went round and round understanding what the boat was made out from.

shattered = tired; Andy after mountain biking, not his dreams or anything else.

dairy, pronounced "dearie" = local mini market like 7-11; not cow milking place.

Mackers = McDonalds. Confusing term when asking directions and that was given as place to turn right.

sunnies = sunglasses, which are allowed on jet boat rides but not sledging.

chillie bin = a cooler

Hokey Pokey = not the dance. Toffee-butterscotch flavor of candy, ice cream.
Too bad! You can imagine how excited I got when thinking a restaurant had the hokey pokey on its menu!

tramping = not me, or any other lady, on a night out; it's hiking and you tramp through the bush here in NZ.

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