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April 15 -> A Guide to Kiwi Pronunciation

Planning a trip to New Zealand? In that case, please consult this primer on Kiwi pronunciation. Soon you will be ordering 'fush and chups' with ease!

Rule #1:
Replace the soft 'i' sound in the American pronunciation of 'fish' or 'hit' with a soft 'u' sound such as in the American pronunciation of 'cushion.' When an Aussie does a Kiwi impression it is almost always done saying 'fush and chups.'

Rule #2:
Replace the soft 'e' sound in the American pronunciation of 'pen' or 'letter' with a sharp 'ee' sound such as in the American pronunciation of 'beet' or 'eel.' In this way, 'pen' becomes 'peen' which sounds more like 'pin' to the American ear.

Rule #3:
Replace the 'a' sound in the American pronunciation of 'last' or 'cat' with a soft 'e' sound, such as in 'pen' or 'letter.' In this way 'last' become 'lest' and 'cat' becomes 'ket.' Note that this does not apply to the 'a' sound in the American pronunciation of 'large' or 'harm.'

Rule #4:
The 'oo' sound in the American pronunciation of 'good' or 'look' becomes similar to the 'u-like' sound of the American pronunciation of 'boot', but with a very slight 'y' sound at the beginning. In this way, 'good' becames 'gyud.'

Rule #5:
Kiwis tend to lisp slightly, a trait more common in women than men. This does not mean replacing 'yes' with 'yeth' - it is more subtle, something like 'yes' with a slight 'th' whispered at the end.


Practice Quiz:


Translate the following to Kiwi.

1. My farm has pigs and chickens.
Answer: My ferm has pugs and chuckeens.

2. I looked everywhere for my good jacket.
Answer: I lyuked eeverywheere for my gyud jecket.

 

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