Questions For The World

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Outchanter
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Re: Questions For The World

Postby Outchanter » Thu Aug 28, 2008 6:53 am UTC

South Africa has milo too, and the same temperature scale as Australia. But we have marmite instead of vegemite.

Can Americans tell the difference between British, Australian, New Zealand and South African accents? Because most of the Americans I've met seem to think I'm British, even though to me most British accents sound distinctly different from my own.

I have no problem understanding American accents, probably because of TV. Some Americans seem to have trouble understanding non rhotic pronunciation though.

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Re: Questions For The World

Postby Quixotess » Thu Aug 28, 2008 6:56 am UTC

I've not heard a South African accent. British is impossible to confuse with either Aussie or Kiwi, which are nearly impossible to tell apart.
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Re: Questions For The World

Postby cyberia » Thu Aug 28, 2008 6:57 am UTC

Quixotess wrote:I've not heard a South African accent. British is impossible to confuse with either Aussie or Kiwi, which are nearly impossible to tell apart.


Aussie and Kiwi are very easy to tell apart if you happen to be an Aussie or a Kiwi.
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Re: Questions For The World

Postby KingLoser » Thu Aug 28, 2008 7:00 am UTC

Outchanter wrote:Can Americans tell the difference between British, Australian, New Zealand and South African accents? Because most of the Americans I've met seem to think I'm British, even though to me most British accents sound distinctly different from my own.


I have huge problems telling the difference between South African and Australian accents.

But I'm not American... doop dee doop.
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Re: Questions For The World

Postby Outchanter » Thu Aug 28, 2008 7:16 am UTC

Quixotess wrote:I've not heard a South African accent.


If you're curious, try some streaming talk radio. Although I think English is a second language for some of the presenters, who will have notably stronger (Afrikaans, Zulu, Sotho etc.) accents than the native English speakers.

cyberia wrote:Aussie and Kiwi are very easy to tell apart if you happen to be an Aussie or a Kiwi.

Not surprisingly, since accents are relative. I don't really know what Kiwis sound like though. Hmm.

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Re: Questions For The World

Postby Bobber » Thu Aug 28, 2008 8:38 am UTC

A question Some questions for Americans in Florida: How common are alligators? Surely, there must live quite some of them in the Everglades, but are alligators (sightings, not movie-like attacks) an everyday thing, or do they mostly just lurk in the muddy waters?

Also, are there a lot of small channels that allow people to sail their boats in-land, and "park" them in front of their houses, or were I fooled by Patricia Cornwell?

And finallly, what're prices of some basic foodstuffs? I was thinking bread, milk, sugar, flour, candy, soda, liquor.

Thanks in advance.
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Re: Questions For The World

Postby Hawknc » Thu Aug 28, 2008 8:57 am UTC

Ieatsoap6 wrote:
Quixotess wrote:Ooh, I have a question mostly for my fellow Americans. (I r politician?)

You know how every single gas station everywhere has the same type of sign? With the three types of gas (Unleaded, Unleaded Plus, and Unleaded Premium) listed and the prices next to them and they're always exactly ten cents apart?

Right. So does anyone actually buy the Plus or the Premium? If so, why?

I think the pricing is a quasi-traditional thing, sort of like the 9/10 cent. It's growing less and less common, but is still very normal.

The plus and premium stuff is usually for higher-end cars. My grandparents have a Mercedes Benz and it says on the dash next to the fuel gauge "Premium fuel only". The difference is in the amount of octane (or heptane if you want) in the fuel. This affects how it burns and the higher-end cars have differently tuned engines, I suppose.

That's pretty much it. A lot of new cars are designed for premium unleaded (at least 95 RON); while they can run on regular, you won't get the same performance that you'd get with the higher octane fuels. Blending it with ethanol also bumps up the octane number and is usually cheaper.

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Re: Questions For The World

Postby 3fj » Thu Aug 28, 2008 11:26 am UTC

I had this discussion the other day!

South African sounds like English with contorted vowel sounds (no offense)
If you ever see it spoken next to a an english accent (i advise "celebrity mastermind" on bbc iplayer if you have an english proxy) they have a much more closed mouth, whereas english accents use wide vowel sounds.

Scots, however, flap wildly all over the place.
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Re: Questions For The World

Postby cypherspace » Thu Aug 28, 2008 11:30 am UTC

Quixotess wrote:I've not heard a South African accent. British is impossible to confuse with either Aussie or Kiwi, which are nearly impossible to tell apart.

A Kiwi geography teacher of mine said to ask them to say "Fish and chips". An Aussie will say it with very bright vowel sounds, whereas with a Kiwi it'll sound more like "Fush and chups".
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Re: Questions For The World

Postby Quixotess » Thu Aug 28, 2008 11:41 am UTC

Uh...oh dear. We've been...discussing that elsewhere. I've been informed it's not such a good idea.
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Re: Questions For The World

Postby hermaj » Thu Aug 28, 2008 12:32 pm UTC

You'd almost be better off asking how they feel about sheep. :P

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Re: Questions For The World

Postby cypherspace » Thu Aug 28, 2008 12:34 pm UTC

I'd do it a bit more tactfully. She was the one that told us, but I believe it was more an illustration of the difference in sounds than actual advice...
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Re: Questions For The World

Postby JayDee » Thu Aug 28, 2008 1:12 pm UTC

Fish and Chips is a good way to tell, I guess. Or six, or anything with that vowel. You just need to keep in mind that Australians hang shit on them for this, and that might be how your question is taken.
hermaj wrote:You'd almost be better off asking how they feel about sheep. :P

On that, I remember Sarah Kendall saying that in South Africa it is Australians who are considered sheep shaggers. And it's the welsh in Britain. Is this true?
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Re: Questions For The World

Postby cypherspace » Thu Aug 28, 2008 1:15 pm UTC

JayDee wrote:And it's the welsh in Britain. Is this true?

That is completely true. The Welsh of course take this as a compliment, being the bloody brilliant race they are. The typical cry when a Welsh football team is beating an English team is "One-nil! To the sheep shaggers, one nil... to the sheep shaggers" etc.
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Re: Questions For The World

Postby JayDee » Thu Aug 28, 2008 1:18 pm UTC

Huh. Must be something special about welsh sheep.
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Re: Questions For The World

Postby KingLoser » Thu Aug 28, 2008 1:18 pm UTC

Wales, where the men are men, and the sheep are scared.

Huray for Wales!
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Re: Questions For The World

Postby 3fj » Thu Aug 28, 2008 3:25 pm UTC

The general rule in Britain is anyone north of you is a sheep shagger, and anyone south of you is a pretentious wanker.
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Re: Questions For The World

Postby telcontar42 » Thu Aug 28, 2008 4:01 pm UTC

When I hear a South African accent, I usually don't initially identify it as South African. Instead I get confused trying to figure out whether it is a British accent, or an Australian accent, or some other European speaking English, but it doesn't sound like any of those. Only when I'm pretty sure that it's not some other kind of accent do I realize that it must be a South African accent. I guess I just don't really distinguish a South African accent well, but I know it sounds different from other accents.

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Re: Questions For The World

Postby Felstaff » Thu Aug 28, 2008 4:21 pm UTC

3fj wrote:The general rule in Britain is anyone north of you the Watford Gap is a sheep shagger Northern Monkey, and anyone south of you is a pretentious wanker Southern Fairy.

Guy Ritchie put it so succinctly.
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Re: Questions For The World

Postby crowey » Thu Aug 28, 2008 4:40 pm UTC

Felstaff wrote:
3fj wrote:The general rule in Britain is anyone north of youis a sheep shagger Northern Monkey Coal eating wippet lover, and anyone south of you is a pretentious wanker Southern Fairy foreign.

Guy Ritchie put it so succinctly.


I like my friend Tom's version better.

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Re: Questions For The World

Postby SecondTalon » Thu Aug 28, 2008 5:12 pm UTC

tmcfulton wrote:To clarify:

Japanese and Korean are related languages, I believe they share about 40% of their vocabulary.
HadouKen24 is correct: Chinese is a group of languages that share their written components but pronounce their words differently, i.e. Mandarin and Cantonese speakers will be able to read the same text but will speak it completely differently.
Japanese took many of its words from Chinese several millenia ago, as such, many Japanese kanji are very similar or identical to Chinese characters, but the pronunciations will not be the
I'm not asian either, I just know a bit about the languages.


Japanese is from the Japonic languages, while Korean is either an language isolate or possibly part of the Altaic Languages (which would include Japonic, Turkic, Mongolic, and Tungusic) assuming Altaic is an actual language family, and not just someone seeing languages borrowing words from their neighbors and calling it a language family.

Japanese and Korean are probably about as related as French and English - lots of words swapped back and forth, but two different origins. And both Japanese and Korean were influenced by the Chinese, which itself has six or seven major dialects that may or may not be distinct languages. Depends on how you look at it.
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Re: Questions For The World

Postby Alpha Omicron » Thu Aug 28, 2008 5:48 pm UTC

I've heard two South Africans speak.

One sounded British to me (her family was British, so this might have something to do with it). Native language: English.
One sounded like a cross between a British person, and a Dutchman with a broken nose. Native language: Afrikaans.
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Re: Questions For The World

Postby arcticfox.sq » Thu Aug 28, 2008 5:55 pm UTC

tmcfulton wrote:To clarify:

Japanese and Korean are related languages, I believe they share about 40% of their vocabulary.
HadouKen24 is correct: Chinese is a group of languages that share their written components but pronounce their words differently, i.e. Mandarin and Cantonese speakers will be able to read the same text but will speak it completely differently.
Japanese took many of its words from Chinese several millenia ago, as such, many Japanese kanji are very similar or identical to Chinese characters, but the pronunciations will not be the
I'm not asian either, I just know a bit about the languages.


Each Chinese dialect though, has a wide variety of it's own slang. Official documents can be read by either side but casual conversation over the internet, etc, is hard to understand between dialects, as in they have their own way of writing phrases how they sound rather than what they mean.
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Re: Questions For The World

Postby stockpot » Fri Aug 29, 2008 7:37 pm UTC

Outchanter wrote:Can Americans tell the difference between British, Australian, New Zealand and South African accents?
We can tell the difference between British and Australian, but most of us very rarely hear New Zealand or South African accents. To me, a South African speaker will sound like they have a distinctly "off" British or Australian accent (depending on the speaker).

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Re: Questions For The World

Postby crowey » Fri Aug 29, 2008 10:05 pm UTC

If you can't figure out the accent, it's probably South African. :lol:

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Re: Questions For The World

Postby Alpha Omicron » Sat Aug 30, 2008 12:01 am UTC

For Americans: Can McCain win? Please, oh please, tell me he can't.
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Re: Questions For The World

Postby A. Smith » Sat Aug 30, 2008 1:26 am UTC

He can. ATM, however, it seems quite unlikely, in my (canadian) view.

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Re: Questions For The World

Postby Quixotess » Sat Aug 30, 2008 1:29 am UTC

American, and he has a pretty good chance. If nothing else, did you watch our last two elections? Hello, vote-count corruption, it's nice to see you again.
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Re: Questions For The World

Postby Alpha Omicron » Sat Aug 30, 2008 1:41 am UTC

If he does win, how do you think residents of your 'blue' states would feel about being annexed to Canada as Provinces?
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Re: Questions For The World

Postby sje46 » Sat Aug 30, 2008 1:42 am UTC

Obama has a better chance, I think.
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Re: Questions For The World

Postby Vox Imperatoris » Sat Aug 30, 2008 3:18 am UTC

The thing one has to remember about American elections is that we don't have compulsory voting or a national election day holiday, so only about 60% of eligible voters actually vote. This, in my opinion, isn't a bad thing, since if you care so little about the process that you don't even make the effort to vote, you don't deserve a say in the outcome, but it does change the dynamic. If you take that into account, combined with the fact that political parties in the U.S. are really entrenched, it means that the election is decided more by the amount of people who support you party whom you can convince to vote than actually persuading people to join your side.

Also, as a fiscal conservative, I support McCain, but only as "the lesser of two evils." I have no idea who's going to win at this time, though.
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Re: Questions For The World

Postby benjhuey » Sat Aug 30, 2008 3:35 am UTC

With the limited knowledge of the election that I have (thank you, Daily Show), I can infer that both candidate have their strong suits:

McCain is an old white guy (hey, it's worked before).

Obama will start performing miracles once he's in office (will revive New Orleans by turning water into wine).
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Re: Questions For The World

Postby Mr. Beck » Sat Aug 30, 2008 4:41 am UTC

I don't really feel like this is the thread for arguing, but I can guarantee that McCain will be far less fiscally conservative than Obama. Wars are expensive, ya know. I get the feeling that Barack might just do a thing or two about the U.S. having a defense budget as large as the rest of the world's combined. Plus, do you really know how much tax subsidies large corporations get? Ending their free ride will greatly offset any other budgetary increase- including lower working/mid class taxes and healthcare reform.

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Re: Questions For The World

Postby |Erasmus| » Sat Aug 30, 2008 8:12 am UTC

Vox Imperatoris wrote:Also, as a fiscal conservative, I support McCain, but only as "the lesser of two evils." I have no idea who's going to win at this time, though.


Not evil = supporting a war over oil?
or thinking it should be legal for the US to torture terrorism suspects?

I think you have pretty twisted values.

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Re: Questions For The World

Postby Quixotess » Sat Aug 30, 2008 8:37 am UTC

Actually, Alpha, I have to say I think McCain is going to win. This election feels the same as the last one did. It feels like when your PE teacher divides you up into teams for soccer, and you look at your group, and you can already tell who's going to lose, but you still have to play it through, watching as your team makes a fool out of itself. Or it feels the way you feel when you tell yourself you're going to write that paper today even as you log on to the WoW server. That's the best I can describe it. Which leads me to my next point:

Alpha Omicron wrote:If he does win, how do you think residents of your 'blue' states would feel about being annexed to Canada as Provinces?

Take us. For Maude's sake, take us.
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Re: Questions For The World

Postby Hawknc » Sat Aug 30, 2008 8:38 am UTC


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Re: Questions For The World

Postby Felstaff » Sat Aug 30, 2008 10:11 am UTC

benjhuey wrote:[Obama] will revive New Orleans by turning water into wine

I can see the headlines now:
PRESIDENT POISONS CITY WATER SUPPLY
Giggling population admits 'you're my besht mate', falls over
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Re: Questions For The World

Postby cypherspace » Sat Aug 30, 2008 11:42 am UTC

Quixotess wrote:Actually, Alpha, I have to say I think McCain is going to win. This election feels the same as the last one did.

I know what you mean. I can't help thinking that the dirty tricks campaign McCain is inevitably going to run, full of lies and bullshit, will work.
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Re: Questions For The World

Postby |Erasmus| » Sat Aug 30, 2008 11:54 am UTC

I think we get a misleading impression of the election over here. We see alot of Obama on the news, and don't really hear anything at all about McCain.

I am not convinced Obama will win, but I think having McCain as president will be an absolute disaster for the US. From what I've heard he seems to just be too conservative and wants to continue everything in the same direction everything has been going for years. Basically, the US not really caring about what the rest of the world thinks about anything, and really, screwing alot of people over.

Obama at least seems to have some good ideas, and is willing to attempt some kind of change. I think this also comes back to what I see as a fundamental problem with democracy... decisions are made on popularity, not necessarily merit. There are a lot of very good decisions that are made by politicians that are unpopular, and thus, they don't last.

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Re: Questions For The World

Postby ishikiri » Sat Aug 30, 2008 12:06 pm UTC

JayDee wrote:
hermaj wrote:You'd almost be better off asking how they feel about sheep. :P

On that, I remember Sarah Kendall saying that in South Africa it is Australians who are considered sheep shaggers. And it's the welsh in Britain. Is this true?

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