After nearly nine years of living in New Zealand, my family returned back to England on June 13th 2017. Inspired by Jill Hadfield's experience with her daughter and their move to New Zealand in her article, Becoming Kiwi, I have decided to document the reverse with my children, Tom aged 10 and Evie 6.
Evie at Auckland Airport, New Zealand
With both parents being British, Tom and Evie have a mixed accent (more British to the Kiwi ear) with some clear Kiwisms in the pronunication of vowel sounds and intonation.
Regarding vocabulary, they are familiar with using the Kiwi terms for the following everyday items on the flashcards. I also used pictures of items that highlight the vowel shift. I recorded Evie first and then her cousin, Harry who is also 6. I am using this as a baseline to see the shift in Evie's language change.
Evie's terms and pronunciation of the following Flashcards.
Evie describing what the girls are wearing Togs (NZ) Swimming Costume (UK)
1. Jandals (NZ) Flip flops (UK)
2. Gumboots(NZ) Wellies (UK)
3. Ice Block (NZ) Ice Lolly (UK)
4. Lollies/Candy (NZ) Sweets (UK)
5. Undies (NZ) Pants/Knickers (UK)
What was so interesting was that both children used the term candy. This is an American English term.
Tom and Evie's last day at school in New Zealand.
June: First Impressions
Arriving at Heathrow
Recording One (June)
Evie: The trees are different because they (UK) have big trees with big leaves on, we (NZ)have small medium ones with medium leaves on.
Evie: They don't have sushi there (UK)
Evie: There's old people, it's cause England's old. They (New Zealand) have no old things, they have new things.
Tom: Tom's Differences
Tom: There are different cars. There are number plates which are yellow.
Tom: The accent's weird
Tom: The taxis are different.
Evie and Harry talking about Evie's pictures of Auckland and New Zealand:
Tom: Why are there so many old people?
Tom: The money in England is crispy not floppy like New Zealand.
Tom (listening to girls at the playground) What does shove mean?
Evie: Mummy was born in England, Daddy was born in England and Tommy was born in England. I am a proper Kiwi bird because I was born in New Zealand. ( We moved to NZ when Tom was 23 months, in New Zealand he often made the distinction between his birth place and his sister's called himself a Brick (Brit)
Grandma: Go and get a pepper Evie! (Evie is confused at first as she is used to calling them capsicums in NZ)
How long will both children use the Kiwi terms in the UK?
In what ways will they continue to identify and share their New Zealand culture?
In what ways will they identify with their Britishness?
Evie in New Zealand.