New language course for migrants as Kayweay as
By VICTORIA ROBINSON - Stuff Last updated 05:00 16/04/

Puzzled migrants are being offered a course in how to understand the 'Kay-weay eksent'.

The Auckland Regional Migrant Services Charitable Trust promises the classes will help foreigners "understand the Kiwi accent and use of English".

Nazli Effendi, who wrote and teaches the course, says there are several aspects of the way New Zealanders speak and interact that are confusing to new migrants.

"One of the things that migrants identify as being difficult is the speed at which New Zealanders speak. The way New Zealanders pronounce their vowel sounds is also very different."

Ms Effendi says the course also focuses on lingo that could be confusing to anyone coming to the country, not just non-English speakers.

"There are some English words which have a different meaning in New Zealand. For example, 'crook' in New Zealand means sick, not a thief. I'm a South African, native-English speaker and I didn't understand that one!"

The course also deals with workplace culture. "In other cultures the workplace is very formal," says Ms Effendi, "but in New Zealand it is less so. We look at particular work situations and talk about what is appropriate."

The 10-hour course, which runs over five weeks, costs $195 per person. The next course begins on May 1.

Trust director Mary Dawson says it is aimed at highly skilled migrants "to ensure they obtain employment relevant to their skills".

Engineer Amit Ohdedar, from the Auckland-Indian theatre group Prayas, found some social situations confusing when he first arrived. "We once invited a neighbour around for afternoon tea and it wasn't until we'd served her sandwiches and a hot drink that we realised she was actually expecting her evening meal."

Indian film-maker Sapna Samant says the Australian accent is more familiar from television programmes. "It took me some time to understand the accent because it's not something anyone else in the world is exposed to. You don't watch New Zealand TV in India," she said.

"The New Zealand accent is quite different mostly the vowels. Who else says "fush und chups?"

From here.