Lost in Translation

In this video I discuss a few words and expressions that I use every day that are not used the same way here in North America as they were in New Zealand (for example in New Zealand we say “nappy” as opposed to “diaper”).

I describe some situations where my use of Kiwi English confuses people here…especially with my ‘accent’.

And finally I go over how lost in translation I am with the weather, still needing to convert Farenheit to Celsius in order to really know what the temp is going to be.

You’d think being born in one English speaking country (Canada), living for nearly a decade in another (New Zealand) and then relocating back to North America wouldn’t cause so much confusion.

Have you ever had a lost in translation moment while on vacation or after relocating? Are you aware of a phrase or word that is relevant only to where you live?

Check out past videos from the Mama

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9 Responses to Lost in Translation
  1. Emily
    Twitter: naptimeismytime
    March 9, 2012 | 4:15 pm

    After I moved from Massachusetts to Florida, I was working at a restaurant. I brought one of my first guests a bottle of Asti.

    She said – in a thick southern accent – “Darlin’ what is that? I wanted Iced Tea with lemon!” Turns out, she was from Alabama – between her southern accent & my Boston accent we were from two different worlds!
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    • Ghada V
      Twitter: OMGhada
      March 10, 2012 | 6:40 am

      Boston and a Southern accent are about as far apart as you can get. Working in the hospitality industry is like baptism by fire! One of my first jobs in New Zealand was as a bartender – you learn alot, like how similar ‘six’ sounds to ‘sex’ with the Kiwi accent!

  2. Elle
    Twitter: Elleberra
    March 9, 2012 | 4:39 pm

    Hah. Just going from Arkansas to Alabama changes the meaning of lots of things…maybe not so much words themselves but the feeling behind them.

    I know that it isn’t safe to just assume you know what someone means when they say something down there…there have been a few times that I could have gotten in trouble from misunderstanding.

    I’m sure going from different countries makes that several times worse.
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  3. Danielle
    Twitter: simmworksfamily
    March 9, 2012 | 9:03 pm

    I can’t think of very many phrases or words here in So Cal that have been confusing to anyone while I’m traveling. Or at least nothing comes to mind. My best friend moved to Switzerland a few years back and she comes back with a few funny sayings and words :)
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  4. Gena
    March 9, 2012 | 11:27 pm

    Haha! I love this! I have lived in Texas all my life so there have never been any funny moments like this. I did find out, recently, that people in the rest of the world don’t say “chunk” like “chunk that in the trash can!” like we do in my state…they say “chuck”! Who knew?
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    • Ghada V
      Twitter: OMGhada
      March 10, 2012 | 6:38 am

      LOL, chunk it! Yep, I wouldn’t have known that one.

  5. marissa lee
    May 1, 2013 | 1:44 am

    I know that from my language some words dont have the same meaning as to the words from columbia. The words are pronounce the same but have different meanings.

  6. Amy L. Norman
    Twitter: artzamy23
    May 6, 2013 | 7:04 am

    I live in Tennessee, and I have relatives that I can barely understand while conversing. I do say, “y’all” quite a bit, but that phrase was adapted from the Olde English saying, “ye all”. My husband watches a show on the History Channel (Sunday evenings at 10EST) that tackles the origins of American slang. It is very interesting.

    • Ghada V
      May 6, 2013 | 8:20 am

      What’s even more fascinating to me is that I can’t hear my own ‘accent’ :)

KiwiCanadian expat adventures with my husband and 2 kids from life in New Zealand to New York and back again. Adventures in inspired family living, travel, health & fitness.Read More »