The ridiculousness of accents (not Hyundai Accents, though)

The ridiculousness of accents (not Hyundai Accents, though)

Last night I was chastised for pronouncing the Portuguese word ‘casa’ (meaning ‘house’, I think) in a very un-Portuguese way. The main reason is because I’m from the north of England, and our steady diet of mushy peas and black pudding doesn’t give us the required vocal ability. Though, we can very convincingly say, ‘Oi, did you spill my pint.’ I digress. When someone from Brazil comes to New Zealand and can’t say the words in a New Zealand or British accent, do I pull them up on it? No. We know they struggle with the diphthongs so we politely strain to understand.

And this brings me to the real point of this post: how the hell do you pronounce Subaru. Before moving to NZ 14 years ago, I only new it with an equal stress on each syllable. New Zealanders, though, extend the middle syllable into a sound so long I could fit another sentence in there – Su-baaaaaaa-ru. Perhaps it’s the amount of sheep here.

Then, my American friend says Mahzda, whereas I say Mazzda with a hard A. Other NZ friends say Toyota with a d instead of a t (Toyoda). Porsche is pronounced Porsh and Porshah. And the cardinal sin is saying Peugeot Pyujo (it should be Perjo with a very soft j).

Hyundai (which seems to be able to be pronounced High-un-die, Hee-un-day, and various other ways) has the whole thing sussed, though: it has a car called an Accent – talk about owning the territory.

Last night I was chastised for pronouncing the Portuguese word ‘casa’ (meaning ‘house’, I think) in a very un-Portuguese way. The main reason is because I’m from the north of England, and our steady diet of mushy peas and black pudding doesn’t give us the required vocal ability. Though, we can very convincingly say, ‘Oi, did you spill my pint.’ I digress. When someone from Brazil comes to New Zealand and can’t say the words in a New Zealand or British accent, do I pull them up on it? No. We know they struggle with the diphthongs so we politely strain to understand.

And this brings me to the real point of this post: how the hell do you pronounce Subaru. Before moving to NZ 14 years ago, I only new it with an equal stress on each syllable. New Zealanders, though, extend the middle syllable into a sound so long I could fit another sentence in there – Su-baaaaaaa-ru. Perhaps it’s the amount of sheep here.

Then, my American friend says Mahzda, whereas I say Mazzda with a hard A. Other NZ friends say Toyota with a d instead of a t (Toyoda). Porsche is pronounced Porsh and Porshah. And the cardinal sin is saying Peugeot Pyujo (it should be Perjo with a very soft j).

Hyundai (which seems to be able to be pronounced High-un-die, Hee-un-day, and various other ways) has the whole thing sussed, though: it has a car called an Accent – talk about owning the territory.

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