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The most Australian thing you'll see today...

 
 
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Mon 1 Feb, 2016 06:09 pm
American regional accents seem to have been homogenized by television, they're not as distinct as they were even as recently as my childhood. Most regional differences these days seem to be in the locutions they use.
0 Replies
 
farmerman
 
  3  
Reply Tue 2 Feb, 2016 05:30 am
@dlowan,
They started selling Vegemite at our Amish (sell by) market named BB's . This place buys out of date foods and resells em at heavy discounts. Everybody knows not to buy medicines at their "pharmacy" but if you want a food adventure from around the world, this is the place. They have stuff like Russian vegetables in cans that, the only way you have any idea is by the picture on the label.

So theres this vegemite and I told my friend (who went up there with me to get Amish Butter). He bought a can of vegemite nd after he was totally repulsed, he found a use for it as CARP BAIT (hes a trash fisherman who catches carp nd then feeds em to the eagles).

I never knew vegemite was allowed to travel to LAncaster County Pa.
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Tue 2 Feb, 2016 09:36 am
@farmerman,
Your friend sounds great..
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Lordyaswas
 
  2  
Reply Tue 2 Feb, 2016 09:51 am
@dlowan,
I would agree with this.

To my ear, NZ and South African can get a bit intertwined, but I can definitely tell the difference between them after listening carefully to just a few sentences.

The thing I nearly always make a mistake with is the USA/Canada thing.

At first it sounds USA American, with enough of the twangs and rounded ends cropping up in all the right places to fool the brain to make the decision.
However, I have now learnt to hold back on the assumption and keep my counsel until certain, because it can cause some serious offence both ways.

One quick way to find out is to bump into them and see if they say 'watch it buddy', or 'sorry'. Very Happy
dlowan
 
  3  
Reply Tue 2 Feb, 2016 02:27 pm
@Lordyaswas,
I'm damned if I can distinguish US and Canadian! Unless I hear a really definite aboot. I'm still too scared to guess, though.
dlowan
 
  2  
Reply Tue 2 Feb, 2016 02:28 pm
@farmerman,
Vegemite is only bearable in small amounts with lots of butter on bread or a dry.....cracker,, I think you call them?

0 Replies
 
Finn dAbuzz
 
  1  
Reply Tue 2 Feb, 2016 09:37 pm
@dlowan,
dlowan wrote:

I can see why you'd have trouble.

Also, there is a major variation between different kiwis as to how strong the kiwi accent is.

To my ear, some US accents sound the same to my ear when they come from different areas, some are clearly different.

On the whole I'd expect most English speakers to be much better at discerning the difference between various US accents than you guys are at differentiation between say, England, Oz, South Africa and NZ. This is because we get bombarded by US shows and you guys seem rarely to broadcast stuff from other English speaking countries.

In the US most people think I am from England, for instance.


One of many things that struck me while I was in Australia was not only the number of American television shows aired in prime time but the number of Australian shows that were remakes of US series.

I agree that we don't air as many shows from other English speaking countries as they may air US shows, but a big part of the reason for the imbalance is the size of our entertainment industry and the scope and variety of its offerings. Having said that we do get a good bit of programming from the UK and to a certain extent the UK is to the US what the US is to Australia. A great many of our American made TV shows are reworkings of British series. In fact I would go so far as to suggest that we have copied far more shows of the UK than most Americans realize. A fair number of Americans know that "The Office" is a reworking of a British show because Ricky Gervais has fairly wide exposure here, however I doubt very many people know that the hilarious series in which Redd Foxx starred, "Sandford & Son" was based on the UK series "Steptoe & Son," that "Three's Company" was based on the UK's "Man About The House" (Frankly, I think we could have gotten by just fine without that import, but it was very popular among my countrymen) or that the hugely popular and critically acclaimed "All in the Family" was based on the British "Till Death Do Us Part."

For the most part I think our television industry has done a very good job adapting UK hits for American audiences, but there are some notable exceptions. Our "Top Gear" for example is a very pale imitation of the UK show and neither "Payne" nor "Amanda's" couldn't hold a candle to the brilliant "Fawlty Towers" upon which they were based. I do think that in a few cases our "copies" are superior to the original, but they tend to be when the UK series is a broad comedy. For all the talk of the dry, subtle with of the Brits a lot of their comedy (on TV at least) is pretty broad. It's all a matter of taste of course.

Our Public Broadcasting network PBS might as well be BBC America for all the UK shows it runs, but we already have a BBC America where we can catch "Doctor Who" among others. One UK show which I would like to see our TV people try to copy is one of my favorites, a strange and darkly funny show called "The Misfits." It would be tough to match the quality of casting and writing for what I also considered the two main leads: "Nathan" played by Robert Sheehan and his "successor" character when Sheehan left the show, "Rudy" played by Joseph Gilgun. The succession was one of those extremely rare instances when a brilliant character played brilliantly by an actor is replace by another that is equally brilliant and played with equal mastery. When Sheehan left the show, I thought it spelled doom for the series. If you've not seen it, it's basically an ensemble cast of all good actors playing interesting characters, but Nathan was clearly the show's sun around which the other characters revolved. Thankfully when he left, the producers didn't try to keep Nathan as a character and simply recast the role. I've seen this work at times but it's a very tough thing to pull off. Instead they created a new character "Rudy" who replaced Nathan as the focus of the show's wild and bizarre humor but who never-the-less had a very different personality all his own. Robert Sheehan is/was a very good looking young man with a load of charisma (I'm surprised his career didn't explode after he left) while Joseph Gilgun, to put it bluntly, is quite funny looking but strangely, equally charismatic. I haven't seen Gilgun in anything since then and Sheehan in only one other non-lead role. Perhaps they have thriving careers in the UK. I certainly hope so. The only member of the ensemble to have wider exposure (in the US at least) since his role ended is Iwan Rheon who played the shy nerd "Simon" in the series, but who now plays the sadistic psychotic, Ramsay Bolton in "The Game of Thrones."

Doing a little searching while writing this post I found that Joseph Gilgun with be starring in AMC adaptaion of the comic book "Preacher" airing this year. Looking forward to that. I also found that he appeared in another excellent UK show that airs on BBC America, "Ripper Street," but I obviously missed that episode. Apparently he played a Fagin like character which I can see him doing perfectly.

Personally I have no problem differentiating between the accents you've cited (I now have kiwi down after my trip and the series " The Flight of the Conchords"), but I've probably had more exposure to them than a lot of Americans. Unless you speak like Crocodile Dundee or Steve Irwin I'm not entirely surprise that you might be mistaken for British by Americans. I met quite a few Aussies who could pass (no offense intended) for Brits here in the US although everyone of them had the Oz up-speak that gives you away.

It is tough sometimes to distinguish between Canadian and American accents, but it doesn't take long for a Canuk to give themselves away with certain words. Obviously "aboot" is one but not every Canadian says the word that way whereas virtually all of them pronounce Organization with a long "i." It a dead give away.
glitterbag
 
  1  
Reply Tue 2 Feb, 2016 09:52 pm
mark
0 Replies
 
dlowan
 
  1  
Reply Tue 2 Feb, 2016 10:23 pm
@Finn dAbuzz,
Re the copying shows. You guys copy the concept, but remake them as US shows.

My understanding of why this happens has been that people from the US don't like having to get used to foreign accents and cultures.

I have always seen this as a plus for your entertainment industry workers but a minus for you in terms of awareness of the world.

I would much rather be exposed to the shows in their original conception.

Which of our shows did you think were remakes of US shows? I am really curious.


ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Tue 2 Feb, 2016 10:35 pm
@Finn dAbuzz,
Dlowan came to Albuquerque a few years ago and we got to meet up.

To start with, I've never been all that great with english speakers from England and the many modes of speech, and that was before I started to lose my hearing slowly over time. I will have trouble with Brit commedians on youtube and give up. Sometimes I catch on, but many times not.

On the other hand, while Dlowan's voice was soft sounding to me and I had to lean in, I could mostly understand her well. Her voice, not to pour it on, but it's true, her voice is one of the loveliest I've ever heard. Clear speaking, no garbledegook as many of us humans speak with, a lightness with almost a lilt.
If a lot of the denizens of south australia like she does, that'd be a pleasure to hear.
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Tue 2 Feb, 2016 10:38 pm
@ossobuco,
Adds, I remember a doctor who came to work with us from New Zealand - well, I may be mixing it up, as it was in the 70's: he might have been from Perth and worked/lived in New Zealand - anyway, I don't remember having any trouble at all understanding him.
0 Replies
 
dlowan
 
  1  
Reply Wed 3 Feb, 2016 02:42 am
@Finn dAbuzz,
Finn....I re-read. Are you saying PBS plays shows from overseas without remaking them as US shows? Cool! But that's small exposure, no? What about cable?

I like the Misfits.

Personally I think all the originals are way better than the US remakes...except for one exception where you guys remade a Brit show from years ago about politics. I can't recall the name but I thought it a good remake. Had Kevin spacey whom I'm prepared to watch on the loo.
dlowan
 
  1  
Reply Wed 3 Feb, 2016 02:44 am
@ossobuco,
South Australia, speaking very generally, has a softer accent than most of Oz.

Joe nation and tsarstepan can't understand me though. They think I sound Bostonian!
roger
 
  1  
Reply Wed 3 Feb, 2016 02:50 am
@dlowan,
And, how do they sound to you?
Lordyaswas
 
  1  
Reply Wed 3 Feb, 2016 03:20 am
@dlowan,

"except for one exception where you guys remade a Brit show from years ago about politics. I can't recall the name but I thought it a good remake. .."


That would be House of Cards.

The Brit original was made in the late seventies, and certainly seems dated when viewed again today.
At the time though, it was absolutely bang on with the language, snobbery and shenanigans that went on in Parliament at that time.

The phrase "you may have every reason to believe that, but I couldn't possibly comment" has been used time and time again since that series was on TV.

A comedy version of Parliament's goings on came out a few years later, called 'Yes Minister', followed by 'Yes, Prime Minister' which again took the lid of the manipulations that went on behind the scenes.
It was one of the best comedy series to be aired on Brit TV.

Maggie Thatcher said that it was almost like real life.
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Wed 3 Feb, 2016 03:32 am
@dlowan,
I've never heard any Canadian say "aboot." Some of the older Ontarians say "eye-run" rather than iron, and "know-wen" rather than known, "show-wen" rather than shown, "grow-wen" rather than grown, etc. That's disappearing, though, and i've not heard younger Ontarians speak that way. There are subtleties of stress in speech, in cadence more than accent which distinguish the two.
Lordyaswas
 
  1  
Reply Wed 3 Feb, 2016 03:53 am
@Setanta,
The first Canadian I talked to in Vancouver sounded just like a Scot who had been living in the USA for a few years. It reminded me of an old school mate who emigrated to Chicago and then came back to visit after a year.

He sounded like a cockney doing an impression of Jiimy Cagney.
Neither one nor t'other.

I've heard someone describe the Canadian accent as Glasmerican, which is obviously simplistic as there are probably many regional accents, but I sort of see where that is coming from.
farmerman
 
  1  
Reply Wed 3 Feb, 2016 04:51 am
@Lordyaswas,
ya want to hear NEWFIE if you want a distinctive Canadian accent. I dont think those people can understand each other
0 Replies
 
farmerman
 
  1  
Reply Wed 3 Feb, 2016 04:52 am
@Setanta,
I heard aboot around Frederictown NB. They also say "SAHVENEERS" for tourist crap.
0 Replies
 
dlowan
 
  1  
Reply Wed 3 Feb, 2016 05:23 am
@roger,
ER...like Americans?
0 Replies
 
 

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