March 14, 2011

Glimpse into the Everyday (NZ Edition)

A little background on the N and Z.

NZ is pronounced (with a Kiwi accent) "In Zed". As a Canadian, we refer to the letter Z as "zed", though I lived in the States for 4 years and took on the "zee" pronunciation. While I grew up with "zed" we were very accustomed to the American way, and "zee" was commonly used. It was very easy to use them interchangeably in Canada, and no one made much of a fuss. Though in the States, nothing says SORE THUMB (or pick on the Canadian!) faster than "zed" so I made a conscious effort to say "zee" (are you still with me on this?!).

Which brings me to my medical for my NZ immigration back in San Francisco last October. During the eye test without my glasses, I started reading the first two lines. Then, I abruptly stopped, pausing a bit too long, causing the nurse to ask in shock, "Can you not read that?!"

Embarrassed little ol' me: "Uh.... I forget how to say it."
Nurse: ...
Me: "The letter!! The letter Zee or Zed, ugh, the ZEE!"
Nurse: ...


In any case, I was very self-conscious when I moved here, and wanted to remove the "zee" and refer to the proper way of "zed" without confusion, pausing, or more awkward moments. So I decided to just say the whole sentence "In Zed" complete with a Kiwi accent. It's helping me refer to the letter Z correctly, but now I go from a North American accent (btw not sure if it's more Canadian or American at this point...) to suddenly speaking with a very heavily announced Kiwi accent for those two letters. I'm sure I'm going to make friends real fast, help!

Moving on to the glimpse of NZ, the beauty of this gorgeous country...

Sneak peak to downtown from the Wellington Botanical Gardens
Sneak peek to downtown Wellington from atop the hills at the Botanical Gardens

Downtown (CBD) Wellington, Lambton Quay shopping
Downtown Wellington, shopping on Lambton Quay

Wellington Civic Centre
Wellington's Civic Centre (quietly I chant: "not E R, not E R, not E R,") then I learned it's the Civic SQUARE. FAIL.

I wish fall/winter wasn't around the corner... a whole 'nother year of winter until this lovely sunshine warm weather comes back.
Oriental Bay Beach

Loving New Zealand so much, feels like I'm on a daily vacation. Just like San Francisco and Vancouver. Beautiful cities with so much to offer. And keeping busy trying to navigate the language and culture without feeling so awkward about it all and continuing to embarrass myself!

Have you ever caught yourself in a language mishap?

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So glad you wandered by!