Tuesday, 18 August 2009

Since when did we start preparing food on the chairs?

You have heard many times that Love is the universal language. Regardless of your language barriers, if you are in love you will get by.

True enough sentiment if you like being misunderstood by every other person in your lover's life.

When Dal and I first met all was well with the world. We got along famously and we both spoke english. What a coup! Love is blind and maybe deaf as well, because I can't remember having any issues with difference in speech or language in those beginnings. I dare say Dal noticed many differences but just bit his tongue and endured the little nuances in my language.

It wasn't until I moved down to Orem, Utah to date Dal properly that I even suspected that Australian's and American's spoke a little differently.

I had the opportunity to help a friend out by answering a few phones and during this time I realised that a lot of people couldn't understand me. And for heavens sake .... how DO you pronounce Orem? Is it Oh-rem, Oar-rem, O-rem? I lost the count on the times my friend had to correct my pronunciation of that wonderful little city. I am STILL completely confused about it's pronunciation - all because I have been corrected so many times.

It was so difficult for me to pronounce Orem the correct way because I had to speak like an American to get it right. Those hard 'R's ' get me every time. So in an effort to help those poor unsuspecting souls on the phone and protect my sanity, I began to slightly change inflections and important 'R's' in my speech. Oh, it's alright - I didn't change my accent, because that is one way people remembered me. But my accent became more... mixed. It was not only my accent that change ever so slightly. Certain words came into my vocabulary that I would not have otherwise used.

I call it my "Amestralia Language". I continue to perfect this bastardisation of the two languages every time I visit the Land of the Free.

Admittedly, I still get a few things wrong.

"Ju-Ju! Would you mind passing the hairdryer out to me. I think it is there in the bathroom with you on the bench!" I am yelling through the bathroom door to my youngest sister-in-law.

There is silence.

"It's a COUNTER sweetheart! She's not going to know what you mean," shouts Dal from down the hall.

"Oh... Sorry! I mean the COUNTER." Immediately I am rewarded with a hairdryer.

"Um... I guess we could use the bench to cut these vegetables." A perfectly reasonable suggestion to me until those around me start looking confusedly outside at the bench.

Yes... I call both a chair and a counter top the same thing. Only occasionally - and now only in Australia.


Melanie said...

Ha! I had no idea you struggled with the pronunciation of Orem! That's awesome. So, all Australians call counters benches? Interesting!

DeNae said...

"Orem" mostly sounds like a bashful guy asking out a beautiful woman: "Or" "Um" And yeah, if your tongue doesn't go into a spasm at the base of your throat, you aren't saying your Utah "R's" hard enough.

Oh, and as a general rule, we don't say "bastard" much, but I'm all in favor of adding it to the list of acceptable words. In fact, I'm going to say "bastardization" thirty times tonight. I'm very excited!