Where are you from?

Whenever I speak, people hear my accent, and of course they know right away that I'm not a native New Zealander.

Where are you from, they ask politely.

There are a few ways that I can answer this question. Sometimes I say, San Francisco, which is the last city that I lived in. But usually I just say, Ohio, which is where I grew up.

My accent is all over the place. Surprisingly, a few people have guessed that I'm English. But not because I have a posh accent.

At least I don't mumble.

A couple days ago, I wrote this post. And then, coincidentally, today in the Dom Post's Saturday magazine, there was a nice story on the New Zealand accent. I would link to it, but I can't seem to find it online.

Edited to add. The brilliant article in the Dominion Post was by David Killick.

1 comment:

Sarah said...

I still get that question - after 12 year's of living here. Sometimes it's nice to be treated like a tourist from retailers in town. Now we have Kiwi born children everyone is always listening to their accents and trying to place them. They have quite a mix - what with my southern English tones, my husband's northern English ones, and then the 'Kiwi' vowel sounds they hear every day!

I couldn't find the article you mentioned (tried searching on stuff.co.nz) - but did find this one from Feb. 2008 - Studying the sound of Kiwi