Monday, November 02, 2015

Expat Observations: How To Speak Australian

Australia may be an English speaking country, but that doesn't mean you won't have issues understanding what people are saying. Things can get lost in translation here, not only due to accents and different pronunciations of words, but also Aussie slang. I remember when I first arrived here I was speaking to a guy who was from the country and I literally could not understand a word he was saying - it sounded like a foreign language. Lecturer Dean Frenkel from Victoria University wrote an opinion piece for The Age last week saying that due to Australia's forefathers getting drunk together, it added "an alcoholic slur to our national speech patterns." Needless to say it didn't go down too well.

Foster's ran a famous advertising campaign in the States on "How To Speak Australian." It played on the outback, masculine stereotypes from the Crocodile Dundee films and ended in the tag line "Foster's: Australian for Beer." This is funny because no Australian would be caught dead drinking a Foster's. Here is a compilation of some of the ads:

Over my ten years of living here I have picked up on a lot of the slang and also learned what phrases and words NOT to say as they have a very different meaning. The majority of Australian slang is abbreviations of words as Aussies love to shorten things. Josh and Rhys do a pretty good job explaining this in the video below:

So these days I may say "no worries" and "mate," use "capsicum" instead of "bell pepper," and speak with a rising inflection at the end of sentences, but if you start using Australian rhyming slang I will have no idea what you are talking about.

No comments:

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...