Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Family tree-d

I've been trying to get to the last scene of my current WIP... and failing. Real life keeps getting in the way.

This weekend, I'm taking the maternal influencer to Canberra for the 60th anniversary of her family arriving in Australia from England.

I'm working on organising photographs and printing out that side of the family tree for those who know nuffink about their origins. Some, we rarely see or hear from.

But that's the way with families. They came out as children, grew up here and wandered off to different parts of the country - and Australia is a rather big land. The grapevine, however, is alive and kicking and various cousins, second cousins, aunts and uncles have promised to turn up. It will be great to see them all: a generation of English and two generations of Aussies, all mingling.

What I find interesting is that no matter how long they've been in Australia, they still retain an English accent. I'm thinking it's because of the household they grew up in. Although... when my brother came back from a year in New Zealand, he had a New Zealand accent, and when I came back from a year in England, I had an English one. I'm guessing it's the people we're constantly with that gives us the speech patterns. (While in England, I was also mistaken for being Swedish or South African. What's up with that?)

It's something to think about - especially with the latest WIP *hurries off to make a note* - um, where was I? Oh, yes. I can't recall any books I've read that has someone returning home after a long absence with a different accent; attitude, personality and looks, yes, but accent? No. I wonder why that is? I'll have to rummage around my bookshelves, I think, and seek out any books that have this change.

1 comment:

Pandababy said...

The only one I can think of C. J. Cherryh's Foreigner series, in which the hero undergoes a deep cultural shift and I don't have the page numbers to cite here, but I think Cherryh wrote about his accent changing in the new language as he spoke it, and then later, his speech in his native language becoming different.

But then, the main character in the nine books series was a translator!