1. That Silly Welsh Guy
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    That Silly Welsh Guy Senior Member

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    Calling All Australians and New Zealanders or people with knowledge about them!

    Discussion in 'Research' started by That Silly Welsh Guy, Apr 8, 2009.

    Hi there. For a story I plan on starting to write, I'm gonna be setting the majority of the story in New Zealand, so I was wondering if someone would be kind enough as to give me a low down on what sort verbal ticks are most prevalent within the Northland area, and are there any colloquialisms that are especially specific to that area? What colloquial phrases and such are apparent all across the country? And - for those of you that may be swimmers/ have a knowledge of the swimming scene in New Zealand - is there anything that makes your swimming competitions/structure any different to the Brits? If so, what?

    And now to you Australians or to you people who know something of the country: where are the top surfing places in Australia? I need to know because I have a secondary character who moved from Australia to New Zealand and is in love with surfing and beaches.

    Thanks in advance.
     
  2. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    It's very difficult to write convincingly in a regional setting you are not personally familiar with. Third party familiarity doesn't work well, as a rule.
     
  3. That Silly Welsh Guy
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    That Silly Welsh Guy Senior Member

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    I take your point - what if that was the point? Like, what if I wanted to write convicingly about a 'foeigner's' struggle about living in a country different to thier own? Surely that's where research would come in handy? Or am I gonna have to wait until I actually get to visit you reckon?
     
  4. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    It would be preferable. Then you would have firsthand knowledge if the real difficulties you run into in that situation, instead of imagining them from whole cloth.

    A slightly easier writing project would be to write a main character from somewhere else visiting Wales for the first time. At least there you should be able to find a newcomer who could tell you anecdotes about his or her experiences and frustrations upon arrival, and you would better understand the local quirks that tripped up that person.
     
  5. NaCl
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    NaCl Contributing Member Contributor

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    I'd love to help, but all the Aussies and Kiwis I've had the pleasure to know were drunk too much for me to draw any legitimate conclusions about dialect. Of course, I can help with their drinking habits! LOL
     
  6. pacmansays
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    pacmansays Senior Member

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    All I can say for vocal ticks is from Flight of the Conchords

    American characters confusing the Kiwi protagonists pronunciation of 'dead' and 'Bret' as 'did' and 'Brit'
     
  7. RIPPA MATE
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    RIPPA MATE Contributing Member

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    well im aussie... could tell you much about surfing though. But i do know that in australia there are plaety of places to surf. Google some locations. the east coast(queensland and new south wales) would be you idea choice. Another thing, if your character is looking for better beaches, he/she won't find them in new zealand. :D
     
  8. That Silly Welsh Guy
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    That Silly Welsh Guy Senior Member

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    Haha - cheers everybody. I might actually come back to that actually NaCl ... but I don't need to know about drinking habits for a while yet lol.

    Yup - I saw that episode actually; 'twas quite funny. I shall see if I can hunt down some episodes/clips on the net maybe. Thankyou for reminding me about such a readily available reasearch resource! :)

    RIPPA MATE: I know a Kiwi from Northland that'd disagree with you vehemently on that score lol ;) It's just that we speak with such irregularity that I'm not able to pick her brians over colloquialisms and such; so I've got to do the research. Thanks muchly for pointing me in the direction of Queensland and NSW - I shall Google some places and pick somewhere.

    Is there anyone else out there with any helpful nuggets of information for me? =]
     
  9. B-Gas
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    B-Gas Contributing Member

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    I'm a New Zealander. I'm actually one step more useful to you than that- I'm an American whose been living in New Zealand for five years. As to your questions: The verbal tics are pretty nondescript- there are just a couple of strange pronunciations (take a look for a speech by our current Prime Minister, John Key, for a good selection). "Good-good" is a knee-jerk response that means "fine," most of the curse words come from British English. For the most part, understatement is how people live, and if you want to really capture the feeling of a typical New Zealander- and this is fairly solid for most of us- we're optimistic, but we hide it pretty well. We act pessimistic but we're not. If you can get your hands on a copy of "Black Sheep," that's a good New Zealanderly film. If you can get past the sheer undiluted stupid of it.

    We drink. We drink a hell of a lot. Most of us, anyway. But we drink socially, most of the time. We're friendly people. Really. There's a tradition called the "O.E."- the Overseas Experience- that every Kiwi is expected to partake in, where you go abroad for a long time. Usually a couple years. And you come back and talk about it.

    We've got a friendly rivalry with Australia- kind of like America has with Canada. And a big culture of jerry-rigging solutions to problems- we call it the "Number Eight Wire" philosophy. It's like duct tape on steroids. Anything specific you're asking for?
     
  10. That Silly Welsh Guy
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    That Silly Welsh Guy Senior Member

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    Thankyou very much B-Gas: if the majority of lexis choice is the same as British English then I should be fine. But what would be interesting to know is if there are any Maori phrases that have worked their way into everyday Pakeha speech? If so, what and what do they mean?

    What else would be interesting in knowing is, are the Kiwis so interested in rugby/cricket (depending on the season xD) that if you follow another sport you are a viewed as 'weird' for want of a better word.

    Oh and could you explain the whole thing about the 'Number Eight Wire' philosphy please?
     
  11. B-Gas
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    B-Gas Contributing Member

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    Er... not many. Kia Ora (pronounced kyorah), welcome, is used occasionally, but for most people that's only for formal greetings. "Kai" for "food" is used a bit, but again, it's only occasional. "Hui" for "meeting" is surprisingly common, and most places choose one of the two- often the former- and stick with it. "Haka" is one you should know- if you follow Rugby at all- and if you don't, take a quick Youtube search. It's not used much in the language, but it's important. "Koha," meaning "gift," is also often used to describe the entry cost of a mostly-free music gig. We also use the phrase "gold coin entry," because our one- and two-dollar coins are gold. And there's the term "squiz," which replaces "look" in "Take a look at that." I don't know why either.

    The sport question- Well, you're expected to follow it, but we're an accepting bunch. If you don't, that's fine, but most people do. Just make sure you cheer for the All Blacks. Or the All Whites. Or the Black Caps. Or the Tall Blacks. Yeah, we love that type of team name.

    The Number Eight Wire philosophy says, basically, that I can fix it, and cheaper than those purse-cutting bastards down at the repair shop, and with a fraction of the materials. It's a lot like the mysterious power of Duct Tape. People- mostly men- in New Zealand are supposed to be practical people, hands-on types who can get the job done without looking at the instruction manual. We can fix things. It's what we do. That's Number Eight Wire philosophy. The phrase came from the massive amounts of Number Eight wire that farmers stock up on- it makes the best fences, you know- and the fact that it's a very practical substance for fixing things.

    There is one other major thing about NZ you should know, and that's dairies. Like the kind that deliver milk. In New Zealand lexicon, "the dairy" refers to the local shop where you can buy basic necessities, meat pies, snacks and magazines. It's our word for a convenience store. I don't know why.
     
  12. RIPPA MATE
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    RIPPA MATE Contributing Member

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    ha there proabaly is lol, but any chance to rip the kiwi's ;)
    for more directness try towns along the gold coast (queensland) and central coast (new south wales)
     
  13. That Silly Welsh Guy
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    That Silly Welsh Guy Senior Member

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    What about Sydney? Would that be okay-ish?
     
  14. Gone Wishing
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    Gone Wishing Contributing Member

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    ^^ Sydney's Bondi Beach is arguably our most well known surfing spot.
     
  15. RIPPA MATE
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    RIPPA MATE Contributing Member

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    Is it? wouldn't you call it one of our most prettiest and atmospheric beaches (not nessesarally the best surf spot? Plus i don't think sydney is the best idea as their beaches are within the city and have a heap of people. It would be much better for the character to have the accesibility to more secluded spots. However i'm not writing the story, maybe sydney is where he should be. It all depends.
     
  16. Gone Wishing
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    Gone Wishing Contributing Member

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    I said well known. I don't surf, so I offer no opinion whatsoever as to whether it's the best, but plenty of people do surf there.
     
  17. RIPPA MATE
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    RIPPA MATE Contributing Member

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    ah sorry missed that. Yes your probably right, but to me bondi feels more touristy. If you want that more authentic feel, maybe hit the more secluded, non touristy areas, and if you were to go touristy it would probably better to go with the surfers pardice etc in quensland...
    anyway just trying to help
     
  18. That Silly Welsh Guy
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    That Silly Welsh Guy Senior Member

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    Hrm - touristy is probably the way I'm gonna be headed. It gives me scope for the secondary character not to like the ruralness of my place in New Zealand where I'm gonna set it =]
     
  19. NaCl
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    NaCl Contributing Member Contributor

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    I can attest to that! When I went on my first R&R (short vacation) from Vietnam in '69, I went to Hong Kong with a Kiwi that I had gotten to serve with in combat. He was a loud, friendly guy who drank until he withered into helplessness. Then, he sobered up and started again! LOL

    One morning during a brief period of sobriety, he called his mother from our hotel room. After chatting with her for maybe five minutes, he called out to me, "Hey mate, me mum wants to talk ta ya." I politely took the phone and answered dozens of questions for her about "America" and our society. She offered, almost demanded, that I come stay with her family some time, promising she would introduce me to everyone in town. Even commented about her "lovely eighteen year old daughter who respects a man in uniform, and you are single, aren't you?"

    What really threw me for a loop is that while his mom was talking nonstop, he waived to me as he went out the door and yelled, "Tell mum I love her and I'll call her soon." He left! And, she wouldn't shut up. Went on for an hour while I politely listened. Now, if that is a realistic representation of the friendliness of all Kiwis and Aussies, then you have wonderful cultures.
     
  20. sophie.
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    sophie. Contributing Member

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    Bondi is probably the most famous, but def not the nicest - always jam-packed with people, who then leave tons of litter and crap behind on the sand..But if you want to mention somewhere well-known, Bondi is a good idea. Like if I mention syndey to my friends in England one will say 'oh yeh did you go to Bondi?' - not if we could help it we didn't!
     
  21. A2theDre
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    A2theDre Active Member

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    I'm a Kiwi living in Australia so if you need to know anything just ask. B-Gas is right on the money, however. I can't find anything wrong with what he said. Some of the Maori words he mentioned I haven't even noticed before!

    Just something I might add is that we like to say bro a lot. In my opinion and experience, though, it's more the Maori population that use it. It's a friendly and, I believe, unique way of saying mate/friend/pal/buddy/etc. There is another one however, that is used in a more agressive, unfriendly way. I don't know exactly how you would spell it but I would hazard at "au," and pronounced in the way you would say ow if you hurt yourself. This was used a fair bit by people at my school (I've been out of school for five years now).

    Don't know if that helps or not. If you have anything specific to ask, feel free.

    Also, secluded spots north of Perth are good for surfing. There's a bunch of Aussie guys I found on youtube that won't disclose the location they found and the waves they get there look awesome.

    Good luck with your venture...
     
  22. arron89
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    arron89 Banned

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    I can't believe no one has mentioned "cuz" (as in cousin). It's a predominantly Maori thing, but its become really widespread. Basically its like "bro", but no one says bro anymore...
    We also say "ay" a lot (as in "You're coming, ay?"). Also, "sweet as" (azzzz). And if you wanna get a clue as to how the accent sounds, just let "fush and chups" be your guide :D


    oh, i should qualify this: I've lived in NZ all my life (though thats only 19 years, so maybe others have lived here longer...), so yeah, I'll hep alli can...and NZ has some pretty decent beaches for surfing....the east coast is fairly easy, nice beaches....the west coast (especially of the south island) is really rugged and has the huge wall of death waves, if thats your thing...
     
  23. Brightsmiles
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    Brightsmiles Senior Member

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  24. arron89
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    arron89 Banned

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    lol theres an ad (by tower insurance i think) about the extensive list of things australians stole from kiwis, pavlova and pharlap among them :p wonder if its on youtube...
     
  25. Nervous1st
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    Nervous1st Senior Member

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    There are also some good beaches in Victoria - Bells Beach would be one of the most popular.

    Also, I just thought I would add: BEFORE the pavlova....

    BBQ

    There is no greater honor amoung Aussie men than to assume the position of 'Top dog' and command the tongs. Just as the head female shows off her pavlova. There is an art to turning a steak on the BBQ, one which I am yet to master... blah blah blah... just ask my husband.
     

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