Friday, September 08, 2006

The language of the ex pats

Being an ex pat (riot) is not as easy as some may imagine. There is the issue of language.

The folks at home expect that one will continue sounding like one sounded when one lived at home. The folks in the new country expect that one sound like - - - well, like they expect someone to sound like they imagine a homey would sound.
But as is often the case , there are many sounds (dialects) in the country of origin. And those dialects may not be pleasing to the ear of the new contriates.
For instance, I come from midwestern North America. I used to say wRash and wRashington. I gave up the 'R' when I travelled to California to earn my living. However, I did not add the 'T' to kep and slep when I moved to California and no one there seemed to mind.
However, my Australian friends object to the missing 'T'. Their response to the missing 'T' of slepT and kepT is to correct me, to tell me I sound uneducated.
I explain the dialect. I cook in a frying pan, not in a skillet. I have a crick, not a creek behind my house which has a roof that is not a ruf.
Oh, the problems of the ex pat - - - especially the one who wonders how television commentators can 'reckon' anything. And who tries but can't quite get g'day to slip off the tongue.