We shouldn’t really laugh at another person’s pronunciation but sometimes you can’t help yourself and just do the un-PC thing. In a country with so many cultures, official languages and accents South Africans can do one of two things – be annoyed by the effects of that multiculturalism on linguistics or find the humour in it.
Another example of pronunciation that identifies a particular cultural group it the tendency of Afrikaans speakers to insert “H” sounds into English words – for example create becomes cree-hate.
I’ve never set foot in any part of North America but I can usually tell a Canadian by the way they say out. In a similar manner if I think somebody I encounter locally is a native Zimbabwean I will listen out for him to say crocodile (or try to work it into the conversation) because that usually gives it away, for me at least.
We all have our peculiarities of language and this adds to the wonderful diversity of our society. How boring and robotic would it be if we all spoke, thought and acted exactly the same way.
Can you think of any words, phrases or pronunciations that identify a person as being from a specific culture? If so, share them in the comments section below. Remember though that the goal is to celebrate our diversity in a light-hearted way not to be nasty about each other’s cultures. The best humour is usually the type that we direct back at ourselves so feel free to share the idiosyncrasies of your own culture.