Do Australians really pronounce ''say'' as ''sigh''?

Gharr   Wednesday, May 26, 2004, 00:54 GMT
Do Australians really pronounce ''say'' as ''sigh''? I hear a lot of people say that they pronounce ''say'' as ''sigh'' and it sure does sound like they do?
Jim   Wednesday, May 26, 2004, 01:32 GMT
No we don't. Though, to someone unused to Aussie and/or Kiwi accents (or Cockney too, I think) it might seem that we do.

Have a look at the links below and you'll see that we distinguish /ei/ and /ai/ but our /ei/ sounds a little like an RP or US /ai/.

/ei/ as in "paid"/"bayed"
/ai/ as in "hide"/"buy"




Mighty Mick   Wednesday, May 26, 2004, 11:42 GMT
Americans and certain Brits pronounce "say" as sèï. (è like in bet)

We Australians pronounce it as "saï" where the "a" is the vowel in "dad". To foreign ears, it sounds like "sigh" because they don't have this diphthong.
anna to jim   Wednesday, May 26, 2004, 12:09 GMT
funny about aussie accent is when they say 'am going for a droyv to nowhea' :-) is sooo sweet...
Damian   Wednesday, May 26, 2004, 12:32 GMT
Talking about our Aussie friends I read something interesting today. As you probably know they like to call English people "Poms". Perhaps Jim can tell me if Scots and Welsh are included in this. Anyway, the guy who wrote the letter I read in today's paper said that Poms are really the Aussies themselves, or there forbears at least. The correct word apparently is Pohmie meaning "Prisoners of His Majesty in Exile"! However the word Pom originated, I'd like to know if, when the Aussies use it, it is supposed to be friendly or a wee bit offensive? :-)
Damian   Wednesday, May 26, 2004, 12:36 GMT
Oops...I forgot to thank Jim for those links.....very interesting. As for my Scots pronunciation of "say" is something like "seh" said with a short sharp vowel and with the teeth hardly parting.
Jim   Thursday, May 27, 2004, 00:11 GMT
When we use "bastard" is could be friendly. Friendly or offensive it all depends. I wouldn't include Scots, Welsh or Irish in the definition of "Pom" but I'm not the only one who uses the word. I've read tha etymology too but I've also read that it might have come from pomegranate because, I suppose, when they first arrived the got sunburnt. Who knows the origine of the word?
Damian   Thursday, May 27, 2004, 15:01 GMT
Hey...anyone spot the "deliberate" error in my posting on Poms?...genuine slip.....head hanging in shame...