My accent can be a real mishmash of the various influences in my life. There are some words which have been phased out of my vocabulary – like ‘ain’t’ or saying ‘good’ in place of ‘well’, i.e. saying “He did good” vs “He did well’. Some of those things really bug me now but I would never have changed the way I speak if I had stayed in Georgia.
One phrase which my ear always picks up on after I say it is ‘Come On’. In Georgian that sounds like ‘Moan’ with all of the letters all mashed up together like gravy and biscuits. I know the concept of ‘gravy and biscuits’ will have most of you scratching your head at the insanity. But to us Georgia girls a biscuit is not a cookie – it is like a savoury scone type thing. And the gravy is not the equivalent of Bisto – it is made from a roux created in the leftover bacon grease which sounds a bit gross but it is delicious. (And deadly probably but all good things are bad for us, right?) You can also make it from your leftover sausage grease – and to us southerners sausage is not always shaped like a sausage. To me the best sausage comes in a roll like ready-made cookie dough, and you slice it off and fry a patty of it. And if bits of the sausage end up being incorporated into the gravy, then all the better.
Here is an image I blatantly stole from the interwebs to show you what I mean.
When I first meet people they sometimes have a hard time placing my accent. To me, I find this funny as I feel like I sound soooo American. But then I hear myself pronounce certain words and I can see why it can be confusing. I often soften my ‘R’ – as in the American ‘Waterrr’ is pronounced ‘Watah’ here or no one can understand what I am saying.
Sometimes I even struggle to remember what word applies to which country. For example is it ‘rubbish’ or ‘garbage’ or do I ‘pop it in the bin’? And that example from above – is it a ‘cookie’ or a ‘biscuit’? Is a biscuit a ‘scone’ or a ‘cookie’? I think I just created a referential integrity conflict.
In our house we have American, Scottish, South African and a hybrid of these all chirping away, often all at the same time. We quite often take the mickey out of Norman and his scots words – like ‘book’ (poronounced ‘booooohk’ or ‘toys’ pronounced ‘tays’).
Living in SA there are so many varied accents around us and we sometimes struggle to understand some of them. But I love that I have been lucky enough to experience so many different accents, cultures and lifestyles.
Yes the crime is on the up – yes our lives are ruled by this at the moment – but I love Africa. I love the spirit of the people who all live here. We all take a little of everywhere we have been with us when we move to the next place. It is what makes us grow.
One thought on “A Twist of the Tongue”
Just wanted to share my blog with a like minded traveller. Hope you enjoy mine as much as I have enjoyed yours.