The Joys of having a South African Accent in London
If there's one part of being a South African in London is that no matter how long you're here, there is one thing that will always cause spontaneous laughter or pure frustration… and that is, our wonderful accent…
While those who invented the English language sometimes need to go back to school to learn that its not pronounced "innit" but rather, "isn't it" and "wha eva" should in fact be pronounced, "what ever". Now I know you're probably thinking this is a bit random, which it probably is, but you weren't the one on the phone the other day talking to a "voice recognition" machine trying to change the your address for your TV license… good luck for those who are about to move house and have to endure the pain, I do feel for you. After repeating virtually every word a million times and receiving the prompt, seemingly sarcastic response, "Sorry, I didn't get that… please speak slowly and clearly", my poor beloved iPhone almost met its end in pieces on the floor.. turning my frustration into a bit of fun, I decided to put on a bit of a chav accent and I shit you not… it virtually got it all in one go… obviously my fun was short lived but that virtual slap in the face from the bitch on the other end of the line.
Kinda makes you feel like this poor bastards… voice recognition doesn't understand Scottish either…
Trust me, I know how these okes feel…
Now its not only machines that don't understand South African accents, as many of you have no doubt experienced first hand.
Like if you say 1 2 3 4 5, this is interpreted as 1 2 3 4 9 to the common Englishman. And try stop a person in the street and ask where you can find Ice Cream… you will get a very strange look as this is interpreted as "Arse Cream".. however the English are being educated on our lingo somewhat, thanks to our friends in the Lick Your Viva Ad
Working in an office environment I have endured years of ridicule over our awesome accent, such when I say, "Right I'm off", if I pause I would no doubt get this echo, "so are your ORF Mark?" followed by a lame giggle.
I will tell you this though, as I found out first hand, if you are a dude then now is the time to concentrate, our interpretation is VERY different from what the English version means…
That my friends, it the word "Buggered"… yip… I was once asked what I did on the weekend by a work colleague.. my reply was quite simply and to the effect of, "Nort, I was so buggered on Saturday I stayed in for a change"… now at first I couldn't figure out what had caused everyone around me to start laughing… that was until someone told me the "English" meaning of the word Buggered… let just say it's something that Ronan gets up to
Girls don't think you get off lightly…A friend of mine worked in a hotel here in London, and was the only young female amongst some old toppies at a weekly meeting. On the agenda was a complaint from the reception staff that they would like heaters on the floor by their feet in winter as it gets very cold in the reception. My friend was asked if she had experienced this when she helped cover the reception if they were short on staff… her reply: "It doesn't really bother me that much but it does when I don't wear pants"… lets just say she's never seen a whole boardroom full of old farts start blushing so quickly in her life before… soon after she realised that, whilst we call pants, pants… the English interpretation of pants is of course panties
Apparently we do however sound quite posh when we say, Ja… go figure
Now I'm sure you probably have a story to tell… so bang it in the comments
- Marky Warren
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