Manny's Reviews > Let Stalk Strine / Nose Tone Unturned

Let Stalk Strine / Nose Tone Unturned by Afferbeck Lauder
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Mar 12, 2012

really liked it
bookshelves: linguistics-and-philosophy, well-i-think-its-funny, why-not-call-it-poetry, not-the-whole-truth, what-i-do-for-a-living, australia
Read in October, 1975

As people may have noticed, I enjoy learning languages. I pick up grammar and reading ability quickly, but my Achilles heel is pronunciation. Some of my francophone friends say my French pronunciation isn't very good. I love them dearly. The others make far less complimentary remarks.

I have recently been trying to acquire a basic knowledge of Australian, a language which on the surface appears deceptively close to English. As usual, the grammar has not posed a problem, and I have already acquired a decent understanding of the central role played by the topic/intensifier particle fucking (not to be confused with English "fucking", which has quite a different meaning). But the pronunciation! I was close to giving up altogether, but then I remembered Dr. Lauder's seminal work. There are a few extracts available on the Web, and if I can just get hold of a complete copy I know I'll be able to crack the problem.

If you haven't come across this magnificent example of the field linguist's art, here is one of my favorite passages:
Aorta The English language contains many Greek, Latin, French, Italian and other foreign words, e.g. valet, vampire, vaudeville, vox-humana, hippocrepiform, etc. Strine, similarly, is richly studded with words and phrases taken from other, older tongues. Many of these have, with the passage of time, come to possess meanings different from their original ones. Two typical examples are the German words Eiche (pronounced i-ker; meaning oak-tree) and Ersatz (pronounced air-sats; meaning substitute). Both these are now Strine words, and are used in the following manner: `Eiche nardly bleevit', and `Ersatz are trumps, dear, yegottny?

However, it is English which has contributed most to the Strine vocabulary. Strine is full of words which were originally English. Aorta is a typical example.

Aorta (pronounced A-orta) is the vessel through which courses the life-blood of Strine public opinion. Aorta is a composite but non-existant Authority which is held responsible for practically everything unpleasant in the Strine way of life; for the punishment of criminals; for the weather; for the Bomb and the Pill; for all public transport; and for all the manifold irritating trivia of everyday living. Aorta comprises the Federal and State legislatures; local government councils; all public services; and even, it is now thought, Parents' and Citizens' Associations and the CSIRO.

Aorta is, in fact, the personification of the benevolently paternal welfare State to which all Strines - being fiercly independant and individualistic - appeal for help and comfort in moments of frustration and anguish. The following are typical examples of such appeals. They reveal the innate reasonableness and sense of justice which all Strines possess to such a marked degree:

`Aorta build another arber bridge. An aorta stop half of these cars from cummer ninner the city - so a feller can get twirkon time.'

`Aorta mica laura genst all these prairlers and sleshers an pervs. Aorta puttem in jile an shootem.'

`Aorta stop all these transistors from cummer ninner the country. Look what they doone to the weather. All this rine! Doan tell me it's not all these transistors - an all these hydrigen bombs too. Aorta stoppem!'

`Aorta have more buses. An aorta milkem smaller so they don't take up half the road. An aorta put more seats innem so you doan tefter stann all the time. An aorta have more room innem - you carn tardly move innem air so crairded. Aorta do something about it.'
_______________________________________

I have already received comments from an Australian native speaker, who is highly critical of Dr. Lauder's effort. Apparently his advice is worse than useless if one wants to master the notoriously demanding Melbourne dialect.

Sounds like one of those Mandarin/Cantonese deals... I knew it was too good to be true. Sigh.

_______________________________________

My hints were not dropped in vain. This morning, I was overjoyed to find, sitting on the breakfast table, a neatly wrapped copy of Let Stalk Strine. It is quite the best present I have received this year, and I am indeed fortunate to know the kind, generous, exquisitely tasteful person who gave it to me! I can already feel my accent improving.

_______________________________________

We have been improving our online language learning platform, which as of a couple of weeks ago is now equipped with Australian acoustic models. In order to determine whether they worked correctly, we constructed this small app. Enjoy, fucken!


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Reading Progress

01/31/2016 marked as: read

Comments (showing 1-46 of 46) (46 new)

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message 1: by Richard (new)

Richard Manny, Yaorta tackle "Newfie"!


Manny Is there a book?


message 3: by Richard (new)

Richard There are some on GR if you put in "Newfie" as a search term. I haven't read any of them myself, being from a different part of Canada.

There are some hiliarious websites however. The "Newfie Dictionary of Medical Terms" exists in many places online, with some variations. Here's one example : http://groups.google.com/group/wpg.ge...


message 4: by Riku (new)

Riku Sayuj just curious, which languages have you mastered yet?


Manny Oh, only English, Swedish, French and Norwegian are good enough to be able to read interesting books. I know bits and pieces of several other languages.


message 6: by Riku (new)

Riku Sayuj Manny wrote: "Oh, only English, Swedish, French and Norwegian are good enough to be able to read interesting books. I know bits and pieces of several other languages."

Oh, that's all...



....


Manny Well, since moving to Switzerland I feel my German and Italian improving due to some kind of osmotic effect. I make no effort to study them, but I hear them all the time and both are close to languages I already know...


message 8: by Riku (last edited Mar 12, 2012 07:58AM) (new)

Riku Sayuj Richard wrote: "Riku wrote: "Oh, that's all..."

LOL! All right sir, how many languages do you know? :)"


that was shock, that's all...


message 9: by Ian (new)

Ian "Marvin" Graye How strange that we've been thinking about pronunciation at about the same time.

I hadn't seen this review until Richard drew it to my attention.

I assume that all present appreciate the significance of the author's pseudonym?

His other pseudonym was Al Terego.


message 10: by Kenny (new)

Kenny Bell Hey...Hey..Manny...you're so awesome man! I wish i had time to read all these books you do, man!


Manny Thank you! I don't really have time either, to be honest, but I'm afraid I do it anyway.


message 12: by Kenny (new)

Kenny Bell Manny wrote: "Thank you! I don't really have time either, to be honest, but I'm afraid I do it anyway."

LOL!


message 13: by Richard (new)

Richard Kenny wrote: "Manny wrote: "Thank you! I don't really have time either, to be honest, but I'm afraid I do it anyway."

LOL!"


Reading on the sly is the best way to read!


Julia I read aferbek lauder's classic a million years ago, and loved it! Thanks for reminding me of this little jewel. Of course the phrase " ema chisit?"
(how much is it?) when presented to an English author signing copies of his latest work, came out as ... to Emma Chissit, happy reading!


Manny Julia, I am glad to hear you are another fan! My new copy of Let Stalk Strine is truly an adornment to our Gloria Soame.


Julia Of course, and mine too!


message 17: by Alan (new)

Alan Aorta give Manny agold star.


message 18: by Richard (new)

Richard Alan wrote: "Aorta give Manny agold star."

You're all heart, Alan! :)


Manny Where cheque etcher goals ta inny why?


message 20: by Alan (new)

Alan Manny wrote: "Where cheque etcher goals ta inny why?"

still working on that one...


message 21: by Ruby (new)

Ruby  Tombstone [With A Vengeance] Have you mastered South Australian yet? Happy to be a guinea pig on that subject. I have English parents, so my accent's stronger than most!


Manny I've only just started the book, and you ask if I've mastered one of the toughest dialects! But thank you.


message 23: by Ruby (new)

Ruby  Tombstone [With A Vengeance] No, no - the toughest dialects by far are the Indigenous ones. I'm moving to Far North Queensland soon, so I get to learn a whole bunch of new ones...


Julia Even in the wilds of north Queensland, one can discern a faint resemblance to English!


message 25: by Ruby (new)

Ruby  Tombstone [With A Vengeance] Noooooot necessarily! Lots of different accents/dialects/languages to learn up there. I had a bash at Torres Strait Creole last time I was up that way. Couldn't figure out why an inebriated elderly gentleman kept telling me he'd been urinating - turns out the "f"s are replaced with "p"s, and he'd been trying to tell me he'd been "fishing".


Julia Good one! I taught up there for a year and had a whale of a time, even 'though I'm a Sydney girl!


message 27: by Ruby (new)

Ruby  Tombstone [With A Vengeance] Yeah, I've been wanting to head north for a while now. Palm trees and tropical cyclones.... here I come!


message 28: by Ruby (new)

Ruby  Tombstone [With A Vengeance] Whereabouts did you teach, BTW?


Julia In the redneck centre ... Not that far north actually, Gympie!!!


message 30: by Ruby (new)

Ruby  Tombstone [With A Vengeance] Ahhhh. You must've heard some real Strine then!


Julia Too true, took me days to understand what my neighbour was trying to tell me about snakes.


message 32: by Ian (new)

Ian "Marvin" Graye Julia wrote: "In the redneck centre ... Not that far north actually, Gympie!!!"

Haha, I was the last piece of gold to be extracted from Gympie.


message 33: by Matt (new)

Matt Eiche (pronounced i-ker)

I can hardly believe this. To me "Eiche" doesn't sound like "i-ker" at all.


message 34: by Matt (new)

Matt Great App btw. I didn't know any of the requested words in Strine. But I passed the German number test with flying colors :)


Manny Matt wrote: "Great App btw. I didn't know any of the requested words in Strine. But I passed the German number test with flying colors :)"

Thank you! If you want to try writing your own app (to be honest, it is somewhat easier than we made out on the Strine page) we can give you an alpha-tester account. There is draft documentation here and an overview paper here.


Manny Matt wrote: "Eiche (pronounced i-ker)

I can hardly believe this. To me "Eiche" doesn't sound like "i-ker" at all."


I am also a bit dubious. Though I guess the loanword could have changed its pronunciation significantly.


message 37: by Matt (last edited Dec 05, 2015 08:32AM) (new)

Matt Manny wrote: "I am also a bit dubious. Though I guess the loanword could have changed its pronunciation significantly."

Yes, maybe. I think the German "ch" is hard to pronounce for English/Strine speakers. As is the "ü". I had a girlfriend from the US and I couldn't make her speak the name of the town "Düsseldorf" correctly.

As for the app: I might try it out. I'll let you know. I suppose I have to speak the correct answers myself? How about a course with the German names for trees? ;-) Or how about the correct pronunciation of German authors/philosophers?


Manny Matt wrote: "As for the app: I might try it out. I'll let you know. I suppose I have to speak the correct answers myself?

We have been considering including a feature which lets you use TTS to add the spoken examples. It's easy to implement, but we're not sure we should encourage course designers to do things this way and make the students learn by imitating machine pronunciation.

How about a course with the German names for trees? ;-) Or how about the correct pronunciation of German authors/philosophers? "

I think the German author/philosopher course is killer. If you don't want to write it, I will!


message 40: by Matt (new)

Matt I agree. TTS isn't sufficient in this case.
I scrolled through the "BUILD YOUR OWN SPEECH-ENABLED ONLINE CALL COURSE" document. Seems easy enough. I'll have some time on my hands starting next Wednesday. I think I'll do it.


Manny Matt wrote: "I agree. TTS isn't sufficient in this case.
I scrolled through the "BUILD YOUR OWN SPEECH-ENABLED ONLINE CALL COURSE" document. Seems easy enough. I'll have some time on my hands starting next Wed..."


Cool!! I will mail you account details tomorrow!


Manny Harry wrote: "I love this book. Fraffly Well Spoken: How To Speak The Language Of London's West End is also marvellous."

I read Fraffly ages ago... I must see if I can find a copy...


message 43: by Matt (new)

Matt Manny wrote: "Cool!! I will mail you account details tomorrow!"

Okay. That'll be fun :)


message 44: by Fionnuala (new)

Fionnuala Let sthink a bit....nose tone unturned? I think I aorta learn strine before tackling any of those fuckings tones.


Harry Whitewolf I'm just looking through my falling-apart, ahem, first edition of Frafully Well Spoken.

The back cover has one person saying to aonther:

"Wonker noddly sair noffer bot this trooleh muffler spook. Rilleh quettex trod-nerreh!"

"Egg-wetter gree. A moffler swirk of grey chooma. Mirsten choiple. Wommer snoppy with otter copy."


Manny Tear bleed rôle! A muster choir won!


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