May 25, 2007 / 7:40 AM / 13 years ago

More "Kiwi" and less English on NZ airwaves

WELLINGTON (Reuters Life!) - G’day Wullington.

A New Zealand university study has found that television newsreaders have loosened their upper-class English accents to allow more Kiwi onto the airwaves.

Allan Bell of the Auckland University of Technology, who spearheaded the study, has listened to broadcasters for 30 years.

“We used to think that we had to sound rather like the Queen,” he told local media. “But pronunciations are becoming much more Kiwi than they were 30 years ago.”

The most common Kiwi pronunciations include “fush” instead of “fish”, “chups” instead of “chips”; and Wullington for Wellington.

Trainee broadcasters are still given voice lessons but they are now allowed to keep their accents.

“As long as they’re being understood we don’t have many problems with the whole pronunciation thing. It’s not as strict as it used to be,” Mike Aldridge of the New Zealand Broadcasting School told local media.

In 2005 the country published a dictionary of more than 1,000 popularly used Maori words, reflecting Britain’s ebbing influence over its former colony.

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