Posted by Linda in NZ on March 4, 2019, 6:56 pm, in reply to "Pronunciation
Haha, yes my mind starts working if I wake in the middle of the night and sometimes I canít stop it. My first formal English lessons were in NZ, having left Hebburn in 1965 with my parents , for work. Dad, Jim Smith,was a welder in shipyards and was always in and out of work, so they must have thought give NZ a try. Anyway, I was Geordie spoken, actually listener, as my Mam, Mary Jane Smtih nee Thomas, said I only spoke in nonsense sounds till one day she heard someone out in the garden having an animated conversation... it was me talking to the kid next door in a perfect kiwi accent. The motivation was I suppose, wanting to be understood by the new local kids. However, I was only a kiwi at school and play and remained a Geordie speaker at home, where I was surrounded by the Geordie way of life and talk. Fast forward to 1971 and Mam and Dad had decided to return home. Iíll never know the true story now, but some people say Mam couldnít settle, and some people say Dad couldnít. I prefer to believe Mamís when she told me years later she wanted to have a bungalow built like all her ex pat mates and was sick of Dadís refusal to commit so one day she went to the Travel Agent and booked a cruise home for us all. (It was cheaper to cruise than fly a family back then). That cruise is etched on my memory forever, it was some fo the best 6 weeks of my life. Anyway, I digress. So, they settle in Bristol( Mamís sister Nora lived there) and Dad got work welding in ICI, My first day at school and we were sticking some poetry sheet in our books and I asked the kid by me ďCan ah yews the peeaste afta you pleaseĒ. It was the paste word, said in Geordie, which I repeated three times as she couldnt understand me, by now, the whole class was looking, so i repeated it once again in a southern version of peeaste. End of unwanted attention. So I was bilingual (or was it trilingual) for many years, but once I got to secondary school, with mates coming to the house and embarrassed to speak Geordie to Mam and Dad, I stuck with Bristolian and stopped speaking Geordie. I wish I hadnít but there we are , kids needing to not draw attention to themselves. However, I think in Geordie, and although not in Geordieland since I was 4, Geordieland came with us in the form of Mam and Dad so I feel a Geordie even if I dont sound like one. To finish, I left Bristol again in 1995 a year after Mam died and returned to NZ, where by now my younger sister, who was born here, had returned a few years earlier. I now talk a hybrid of accents I think, not a lot of kiwi, although when back in England they say I do, but my kiwi husband says he loves my English Accent. I still think in Geordie and after reading your piece, realise I prounounce some words in Gerodie (owa for hour, haff and harf) which I think the southerners confuse as kiwi. Iíll always feel a Geordie because my Mam and Dad took it with us wherever we went. Iíve visited home a few times, last year the latest, and was so excited when I saw our lovely golden beach, I wondered why I loved the golden beaches here and I like to tell myself it must be because there is our beautiful beach in my no lomger remembered memories.