Author Topic: Divided by a common language...  (Read 1360 times)

Offline JayUtah

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Re: Divided by a common language...
« Reply #15 on: June 11, 2020, 07:03:30 PM »
Odd, in my experience the reverse error is more frequent.  Australian mistaken for English.
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Offline Obviousman

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Re: Divided by a common language...
« Reply #16 on: June 11, 2020, 07:39:05 PM »
That happened with me when I visited AMARG and the Pima Air Museum in Tucson, AZ. The hotel where i was staying had some Royal Air Force (RAF, the UK) people and we got to talking. Turns out that invariably the locals thought I was English, and the RAF guys were Australian.

I guess a similar thing happens between Americans and Canadians.

Offline Peter B

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Re: Divided by a common language...
« Reply #17 on: June 11, 2020, 08:29:23 PM »
That happened with me when I visited AMARG and the Pima Air Museum in Tucson, AZ. The hotel where i was staying had some Royal Air Force (RAF, the UK) people and we got to talking. Turns out that invariably the locals thought I was English, and the RAF guys were Australian.

I guess a similar thing happens between Americans and Canadians.

I have 'South Park' to thank for pointing out the clue that you're listening to a Canadian rather than a USAnian.

When I was in the USA a few years ago I deliberately wore a sweatshirt with a stylised kangaroo and the word Australia to provide a bit of a clue to locals about my country of origin. I don't know whether it worked because no one mentioned it to me when I spoke to them. In fact not one American commented on my Australian-ness*, until the last day I was there when I said "G'day" to someone, which triggered a bit of a conversation.

But one situation where my accent was apparently a problem was at The Amazing Meeting, attending which was one of the reasons I was in the USA. At the end of a talk I wanted to ask a question of one of the panel of speakers (an American). I was handed a microphone and spoke my question, and I thought I spoke clearly. But despite the speaker asking me to repeat myself a couple of times he simply couldn't understand me. It took an Australian on the panel of speakers to understand me and repeat my question to the American.

* Earlier in the trip when I was staying at a motel in Houston the person at the front desk one morning was from Sri Lanka (and in Houston for university), and he quickly picked my accent. He was thrilled to have someone he could talk to about cricket!

Offline Obviousman

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Re: Divided by a common language...
« Reply #18 on: June 11, 2020, 09:29:10 PM »
But one situation where my accent was apparently a problem was at The Amazing Meeting, attending which was one of the reasons I was in the USA. At the end of a talk I wanted to ask a question of one of the panel of speakers (an American). I was handed a microphone and spoke my question, and I thought I spoke clearly. But despite the speaker asking me to repeat myself a couple of times he simply couldn't understand me. It took an Australian on the panel of speakers to understand me and repeat my question to the American.

Don't ask me why this worked but I found if i put on a 'fake' US accent then people understood me! Go figure....

Offline Peter B

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Re: Divided by a common language...
« Reply #19 on: June 11, 2020, 09:53:27 PM »
As it turned out a "schooner and a rind o' peel" was a "beer and a round of pool."

Go figure!

'Rind' with a long 'i' (rhyming with 'find') or a short 'i' (rhyming with 'cinder')?

The former certainly isn't an Australian pronunciation, but more associated in my mind with some of the more constipated versions of Received Pronunication (where 'a thousand pounds' sounds more like 'a thysand pynds').

The latter I could just about believe is an example of a pretty broad Australian accent, but one which may have started out as being a little exaggerated for effect - the way people from Noo Yoik supposedly say 'moider' instead of 'murder'.

Offline Jason Thompson

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Re: Divided by a common language...
« Reply #20 on: June 12, 2020, 04:14:36 AM »
The former certainly isn't an Australian pronunciation, but more associated in my mind with some of the more constipated versions of Received Pronunication (where 'a thousand pounds' sounds more like 'a thysand pynds').

Did you ever see The Two Ronnies doing exactly this as an occasional recurring gag in their shows? Two gentlemen sitting in a club talking about things that naturally included a lot of 'ow' sounds rendered as 'eye' sounds for comic effect.
"Tiling dine" after a dip in the sea, for example. Or a buch of cockney "lay-a-bites".

"And I a-nine-ced lidely that I'd give them something to shite abite!"

"And did you?"

"I'm afraid I did, my trisers fell dine..."
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Offline Britmax

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Re: Divided by a common language...
« Reply #21 on: June 12, 2020, 09:04:03 AM »
Odd, in my experience the reverse error is more frequent.  Australian mistaken for English.
When I travelled around America just over five years ago now I was always being asked whether I was Australian. Actually passed through your home town but didn't see much of it, for reasons explained by a brief look at the schedule of the California Zephyr (!)

Offline JayUtah

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Re: Divided by a common language...
« Reply #22 on: June 12, 2020, 10:32:07 AM »
When I travelled around America just over five years ago now I was always being asked whether I was Australian.

Well, there you go.  Apparently my experience is the minority.

Quote
Actually passed through your home town but didn't see much of it, for reasons explained by a brief look at the schedule of the California Zephyr (!)

Ah, yes.  That means you stopped at the modern Salt Lake Central station, rather than either of our historic stations -- Union Pacific or Rio Grande.  My grandfather grew up in Hurricane, Utah (pronounced as two syllables, "Hurr-c'n" because it was originally settled by Mormon ex-Liverpudlians) and in his youth he was a fireman on the Denver and Rio Grande Railroad.  This was until they stopped using trains that needed someone to shovel coal into them.  The historic stations are closer to walking distance from the downtown attractions, obviously by intent.  I wouldn't advise walking around the Central stsation area of town during the lesser traveled hours.  Best to get on the local commuter trains straight away.

Fun fact:  The city block adjacent to where the new station now stands was once the site of Salt Lake City's entirely legal brothel.  Fed up with the shady houses of ill repute that dotted the western half of the city, the city fathers proposed that all such activity -- if it could not be abolished altogether -- be moved and confined to a place near "the tracks," that it be safely and prudently operated, and that the indulgence of the police and judiciary would be granted so long as good conduct in all other respects be observed.  They enticed Belle London, a madame notorious in Ogden, the city to the north of us, to move to Salt Lake and run the operation with the city's blessing.  Her dubious mission has been immortalized by "London Belle," a new pub on the portion of Main Street that was historically nicknamed Whiskey.  Yes, you could most certainly get a drink in Salt Lake City during its frontier days.  The early Mormons did not drink themselves, but had no religious qualms about providing excellent beers, wines, and spirits to others.
"Facts are stubborn things." --John Adams

Offline gillianren

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Re: Divided by a common language...
« Reply #23 on: June 12, 2020, 11:40:44 AM »
Sure--there was money to be had!
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Offline Britmax

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Re: Divided by a common language...
« Reply #24 on: June 13, 2020, 05:37:18 AM »
Sure--there was money to be had!
And the Mormon pragmatism: If anyone is going to make money here, it's going to be us!

Offline JayUtah

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Re: Divided by a common language...
« Reply #25 on: June 13, 2020, 12:54:49 PM »
And the Mormon pragmatism: If anyone is going to make money here, it's going to be us!

That's another whole thread.  In modern times there is a gin made in Ogden (by non-Mormons) named after Brigham Young's son who was -- get this -- a drag queen.

I think the most egregious example I've witnessed of the separation among English speakers happened on a trip to the Caribbean islands.  A member of our party from Minnesota (essentially identical to a Candian accent) was talking to native Cayman Islander about the differences in their respective dialects.  It was hard to imagine they were speaking the same basic language.
"Facts are stubborn things." --John Adams

Offline Britmax

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Re: Divided by a common language...
« Reply #26 on: June 13, 2020, 05:53:11 PM »
When I travelled around America just over five years ago now I was always being asked whether I was Australian.

Well, there you go.  Apparently my experience is the minority.

Quote
Actually passed through your home town but didn't see much of it, for reasons explained by a brief look at the schedule of the California Zephyr (!)

Ah, yes.  That means you stopped at the modern Salt Lake Central station, rather than either of our historic stations -- Union Pacific or Rio Grande.  My grandfather grew up in Hurricane, Utah (pronounced as two syllables, "Hurr-c'n" because it was originally settled by Mormon ex-Liverpudlians) and in his youth he was a fireman on the Denver and Rio Grande Railroad.  This was until they stopped using trains that needed someone to shovel coal into them.  The historic stations are closer to walking distance from the downtown attractions, obviously by intent.  I wouldn't advise walking around the Central stsation area of town during the lesser traveled hours.  Best to get on the local commuter trains straight away.

Fun fact:  The city block adjacent to where the new station now stands was once the site of Salt Lake City's entirely legal brothel.  Fed up with the shady houses of ill repute that dotted the western half of the city, the city fathers proposed that all such activity -- if it could not be abolished altogether -- be moved and confined to a place near "the tracks," that it be safely and prudently operated, and that the indulgence of the police and judiciary would be granted so long as good conduct in all other respects be observed.  They enticed Belle London, a madame notorious in Ogden, the city to the north of us, to move to Salt Lake and run the operation with the city's blessing.  Her dubious mission has been immortalized by "London Belle," a new pub on the portion of Main Street that was historically nicknamed Whiskey.  Yes, you could most certainly get a drink in Salt Lake City during its frontier days.  The early Mormons did not drink themselves, but had no religious qualms about providing excellent beers, wines, and spirits to others.

Thanks for that. All interesting stuff. I turned in to my roomette approaching Provo and having been on the train since Chicago slept like a log until we approached Winnemucca. Incidentally, on that train in the dining car (or possibly the observation car) I met the first real person I've encountered who believed in the hollow Earth theory. I couldn't think of anything to say.

Offline JayUtah

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Re: Divided by a common language...
« Reply #27 on: June 13, 2020, 09:07:30 PM »
Sleeping through Provo is the best decision you could have made.  But as you go from the Salt Lake Valley to Utah Valley, just before the constriction between the two, and you know where to look up on the hillside to your left, you can see our assembly facility just below the motorway.
"Facts are stubborn things." --John Adams

Offline Peter B

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Re: Divided by a common language...
« Reply #28 on: June 13, 2020, 09:56:12 PM »
I think the most egregious example I've witnessed of the separation among English speakers happened on a trip to the Caribbean islands.  A member of our party from Minnesota (essentially identical to a Candian accent) was talking to native Cayman Islander about the differences in their respective dialects.  It was hard to imagine they were speaking the same basic language.

Oh, I dunno.

I have a friend through hobby interests who's from Aberdeen and now resident in Australia. I don't know whether he plays up his accent for my benefit or if he inflicts it on everyone, but I'm doing well if I can understand one word in four. It takes a lot of careful listening, and the fact that we're usually talking about hobby-related stuff, to work out what he's just said.

Likewise, two of my work colleagues are from overseas - India and Thailand - and for both of them English is their second language. On top of that, both of them talk quietly. When I first started working with them careful listening was necessary.

Offline Obviousman

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Re: Divided by a common language...
« Reply #29 on: June 14, 2020, 07:01:49 PM »
It reminds me of back in the days when I was flying and first joined 817 SQN at HMAS Albatross. One of the air traffic controllers had the thickest - but still understandable - Scottish accent I had ever heard on the airwaves.

Shortly after joining the squadron and hearing this guy, I went to look him up in the Wardroom. I spoke to some people and they said 'That's him over there' and pointed to someone - a slight, young, coloured man! I introduced myself and he was indeed the air trafficer. He was known locally as 'The Black Scotsman' and relished the moniker.

Just shows how an accent can bias our preconceived notions.