Trash or Rubbish?

February 7, 2015

While shopping around a New Zealand town center, I walk up to the store’s register and start a cordial conversation with the clerk.

I’m an American, and their New Zealand accent is almost too thick for me to understand what they’re saying.

Now, look at it from their perspective: I’m the visitor with a thick American accent and they don’t understand what I’m saying.

So we both stand there talking gibberish to each other, thinking “just smile and nod” and secretly hoping that they aren’t talking about their dog that just recently passed away.

An accent is determined by where an individual grew up. A big part of every accent are the conversation fillers that are driven by a person’s upbringing.

It’s amazing how different the same language can be.

There are so many different forms of English. Seriously, think about how many different ways people can refer to the bathroom: bathroom, restroom, the loo, powder room, toilet, the can.

Here’s a list of some differences:

American:                          Kiwi:

-Trash                               -Rubbage

-Bathroom                       -Loo

-Backpacking                  -Tramping

-“Have a good day”        -“Cheers”

 

Trash Cans

It was very interesting to watch the shift in the language throughout the plane rides over here, the flight attendants changed from using “trash” to using “rubbage.” Now the word “rubbage” has become normal.

 

 

 

But as long as we’re all speaking the same language, does it even matter?

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