Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Potatoe, Potahtow

"I was rooting in my bag for a pencil".
The phrase that changed my life.
Well, my accent anyway.
Note - rooting = looking.
You didn't know that?
Well, neither did the rest of my Australian grade three class who laughed themselves stupid at my expense.

When I migrated to Australia at the tender age of eight, I had myself a nice, thick, woolly Irish accent. I also had a bunch of Irish lingo to boot.
Much to my Dad's absolute disgust it took approximately two weeks (and a mortifying classroom experience) for me to 'Aussify' myself and my speech patterns.
I quickly became "Shaz", dropped the 'r' from words like park, car and star and ditched the accent quick smart. Whenever we spoke to my grandparents back in Ireland, I had to revert back to 'Irish Shar' in order to be understood by them.

When my little (Australian born & bred) brother returned to live back in Ireland with my parents, he did the exact reverse. He sounds so Irish that it is almost inconceivable that he is not. Hear that bro? You are Austraaayleean, mate.

I'd almost forgotten about the great language barrier that exists between my two English speaking homes. That was until the attendant at Dublin airport didn't have a clue what I was saying.
I have difficulty ordering food, asking for directions and telling tales here. Plenty of people, including my own relatives, nod and smile when I know full well they're struggling to understand the twangy drivel coming from my mouth. As for Magoo, he is difficult to understand at the best of times, even in Australia. Here in Ireland, I play the role of constant interpreter. It can be very handy though when he is being a tad cheeky as I can omit or alter his rudeness in translation.

This week's Aussie to Irish dictionary looks a little like this :
stroller (strolla) = pushchair, buggy
nightclub = disco
church = mass
rubbish = refuse
cigarettes, smokes, darts = fags
vacuum = hoover
road = motorway
oven = cooker
realise = cop on
bottle shop = off license
clever = cute
angry = raging
*&#!@  = feck

Magoo is acclimatising too.
He's slowly understanding that ABC 2 = RTE 2, treats = sweeties, sultanas = raisins and cute smiles = any darn ting you want!

Are you speaking a different (English) language too?

Shar :-)


Anonymous said...

my best friend is irish and although she has no accent, i could listen to her mum for hours! i love the irish accent! ps: i am not speaking a different language in answer to your question :)

Mama of 2 boys said...

Ooo I love your conversion chart Shar, hehe, sometimes I get confused with what my UK friends are saying ;o) Though I am understanding the lingo alot more these days, it's incredible how diverse the english language is.
Magoo looks so darn cute in that photo, what a groover! :o) xo