Film shows how NZers will talk in 600 years
Wed, 01 Aug 2012 11:08p.m.
By Janika ter Ellen
Audiences at this year's international film festival will have the chance to hear what Kiwis might sound like in 600 years time.
Existence is Wellington director Juliet Bergh's first offering and it's ambitious, with a whole new language being created for the movie.
And according to a group of Massey University linguists it could be how kiwis sound in 600 years time.
Actress Loren Horsley is a bit worried about it.
“It's horrifying actually that that's how we're going to end up sounding - how deeply depressing.”
Bergh and her actors had to learn it all by listening to recordings.
It's all based on the changing way kiwis are speaking. The theory is, we're shortening our vowels.
“It's the "vats" and the "I dunno" - and it sounds like you've got a really big tongue,” Horsley says.
Existence is a survival story, set in a world with few resources left. People are spread across an unforgiving rural land in small groups.
“When you're that isolated as a group you develop your own manner of speaking and it starts off as English, but you've perverted it so far, and no-one can understand what you're actually saying.”
The film centres on the struggles of Freyah who despite being married is drawn to a mysterious character know only as Rider.
You can probably guess what happens between them, and it needed a name.
“It translated to "get fa",” Bergh says.
“Charming eh,” Horsley says. “That's where kiwis are heading in 300 years. Shall we get fa? High my darling shall we get fa tonight?”
And the actress admits she's not a fan of the way our dialect's heading.
“I guess if you find All Blacks sexy. It's quite testosterone-y, so I guess it's sexy in a manly kind of way, like ‘hurgh-urgh’. Depends if you like articulate people, I guess.”
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