There’s a bunch of Aussie’s living here in Texas, and we all have varying degrees of Aussie/Texas twang. Some of my mates still sound pretty ocker, while some of us have completely converted to Texan.
I purposely converted when I got here. So may other Aussie’s complained all the time about not being understood. They had to repeat things 3 times before someone knew what they were asking for. To me, it just seemed easier to recognize that it was a different language and speak it. Just like when we go to Mexico, I speak Spanish, in Texas, I speak American. Or Spanish, since it’s almost 50/50 here. After seeing so many people bitch about the fact that I sound American these days, I wondered if I was the only one who had changed their accent. Then, I visited some friends who’ve been here for about 10 years too. Vicki still sounds Aussie, but her 4 daughters who are only a couple years younger than me all sound American. We all have certain words that we still sound Aussie on, but for the most part, we choose to blend in. Just like my step dad in Oz, who’s a Kiwi and used to say Fush and Chups when we first met him, he now sounds like an Aussie. For the most part, when all the Aussie’s get together, we convert back to Ocker and use Aussie slang. We head back out with Texans, we convert back to Y’all and Fixing to. Instead of complaining that people don’t understand me, and therefor getting homesick, I just fit in and feel at home here.
For the most part, people here think I have a slight accent, and assume I’m from Boston. Especially if I’ve been drinking… Ever seen “Good Will Hunting”? Southies from Boston have long A’s like Aussies, so when we say Park the Car or ask for a Harp Lager, we sound similar. Apparently it’s not polite to ask someone if they’re a Southie though. That’s like asking someone in Sydney if they’re a Westie.
There’s a few words I still keep Aussie though, like Tomato, Banana and Herbs. I refuse to say erbs, no matter how much I’m chastised about it.
Although lately, a new word has come up that I hadn’t noticed before. NUTELLA. Most Aussie’s say Nuh-tel-lah. But here, people say New-tella or Noo-tel-la. So, I wondered, is this like Rodeo? Where Aussie’s who’ve never been to one say Row-Day-Oh and those who play with bulls say Row-dEE-oh. The Spanish pronunciation is just like the Aussie Row-Day-Oh, or like the street in Beverly Hills. I say it Row-dEE-Oh. Unless I’m shopping on that street in 90210. Then I say it the other way.
So, I decided to look it up. Apparently, both are correct. You can say Nuh-tel-la if you’re like me, and recognize the Nuts in Nutella or you can say Noo-tella if you’re trying to sound Italian…
Well, I’ve successfully wasted a small portion of the morning pondering that, so now I’ll sign off.