How to Speak Australian: Blogging from Down Under

 

Sydney Opera House

G’day mates! So far I’ve been in Australia for three days and one of the first things that has stood out to me (besides the natural beauty of this place) is language! Of course it has.

 

But it’s not just the seemingly minute vocabulary differences like “way out” versus “exit” or “take away” versus “carry-out” or “rubbish” versus “trash”, it’s oh so much more:)

 

What’s interesting, is that the accents aren’t really what I thought they’d be.  Is it sad that the Foster’s Beer commercial, Crocodile Dundee, and my friend’s husband from Perth are all I got in my repertoire of Australian accents??  I met a woman whose Australian accent seems to have a Dutch influence.  I wonder if people think she speaks “bad” or “broken” English? or is her accent considered one of the “elite”?

AU Way Out airport

 

From what I’ve learned from my studies, language and dialect are a huge topic of conversation in the Australian academic world, but I’m starting to think it’s also a huge topic of conversation for everyone else as well.  Even on a morning news show the other day, I heard the journalist mention the language of the women who called in, he said that he “loved the language she spoke.”  Although, I interpreted “language” as her accent, hmmm.

So, I’m curious, just as a lot of Americans seem to think there is only one correct way to speak English, I wonder if Australians feel the same way about their Australian English…but, if it’s anything like America, with the different races, classes, cultures, and geographic locations, there can’t just be one way to speak Australian, right?

During this next week, as I continue to drink wine and enjoy this beautiful land, I’ll also do some investigating and try to get answers about the languages and cultures of the people who live Down Under.