Accents and dialects: I either understand them or I don’t, but I am definitely not good at figuring out where people come from. Listening to a Kiwi on the phone, I pretty much detect the accent and love it. Meeting the same person face-to-face, s/he sounds differently and the accent is often not so strong.
However, what I can make out are words and phrases commonly used in New Zealand. My collection up to date is not so large as I have been in the country only for 3 weeks and do not constantly engage in conversations with Kiwis but people from around the world. What I already picked up are the following:
“Hey mate, how are you doing?” “Come on in mate.”
–> used as a generic for men and also women. Also in “my mates came…” as in “my friends came…”
A: “I got this to work.” B: “Sweet.”
A: “Where do you live?” B: “Close to the CBD [Central Business District].” A: “Sweet.”
–> used as affirmative and to express a positive opinion on the topic, e.g. “That’s cool.” “That’s great.” “Good.”
The sales guy of my phone provider answered almost every single sentence of mine with “sweet”. 😉
A: “Thanks a lot for your help.” B: “No worries.”
–> used in the sense of “you are welcome” or “don’t mention it”
3 in 1
And the best is that you could use all three expressions in one conversation turn:
A: “Thanks to your information, I found the correct information.”
B: “Sweet. No worries, mate.”
You can come up with unique Kiwi terms doing a simple Google search. Even back in the day before Google, I created a Kiwi English dictionary for a friend by doing some online searches. However, as my internet connection has not yet been established at home, I can’t check if I could find a site with background information on these three expressions and can thus just voice my observations.
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