Australian English

English in Australia: unique accent, words, grammar, and language difference

Have you ever wondered what English Australians speak? If you have ever watched a movie or other original Aussie content, then you must have heard some slang you are unfamiliar with. 

Over 73% of Australians speak English. And if you are going to visit the country, you would need to master the language! 

This article will discuss the origin of Australian English, the difference between Australian English and American English, and improve your listening skills.

Ready? Let’s go! 

How to learn Australian English 

To master the language of the Aussies, make sure to use the right resources. These resources include books, tapes, and apps. You can take a step further by getting a teacher online on italki. 

italki is a site on the web that offers you the ability to learn English online on time. iTalki serves over one hundred languages at the disposal of learners. 

italki allows the learners to set their time of study too. So yes! You can learn at any time of the day, whenever, and wherever. 

Practice always makes perfect! What better way to practice than with native speakers of the language you are learning? Hop on the app to chat with Australian English native speakers to make sure you are getting the slang and accent right. 

Language lessons on italki are so affordable that your price can be negotiated. This often happens when you book many lessons. So don’t worry about anything, mate! 

Unique features of Australian English

Does Australia speak English? The answer is yes! Although it isn’t considered an official national language. 

The Australian English language is unique. It follows the British spelling form very closely, and it is different from the American English form. The words are spelled differently, but this does not change the meaning. They remain the same. 

There are many Australian English accents. Australians are known for their way of pronouncing “r.”  The absence of a strong “r” pronunciation and the use of inflection or intonation at the end of sentences, would make statements sound like questions.

According to Felicity; first colonial kids would deliver the many British expressions talked by grown-ups around them to build their tone. It is believed that the first Australian ascent began with the first Australian-born colonial children.

In Australia and at the moment, there is a project called Australian Voices. This project aims at listening to voice recordings and aims to collect one thousand voices, past and present all in Australian-English accents, to learn more about what’s behind the Australian drawl. 

The Australian accent has accents such as the; Aussie, Ocker, and posh tones. The 20th and 21st-century separation of Australian English is greatly nonexistent from the pronunciations of today’s minors. This could be a consequence of the changes in society.

How to Speak Australian English

G’day mate! Want to speak like a true Australian? We got you! The first thing to note is that you have to be lazy to get it right. 

Lazy you say? 

Yes, lazy! 

Take your time when pronouncing the words and make your vowels sound unnecessarily long. Talk like you have had a long day and you are incredibly tired. Should be easy! 

Here are some tips to help you through your joinery: 

  1. Don’t pronounce the last letters of words. Australians typically omit the last letters of most words. For example: meeting = meetin, what = wha and trying = tryin 
  1. This would sound odd but hear me out… Change the last letters at the end of words. See these examples: after = aftah, super = supah, order = ordah and diner = dinnah. 
  1. Lastly, “oo” sounds should be pronounced as “ew”. When you do this, you’ll definitely sound like a true Aussie! It’s simple! For instance: cool becomes ‘kewl’, pool becomes ‘pewl’ and school becomes ‘skewl’. 

Try it out! You may sound silly for a bit but you’ll get a hang of it! 

Australian English words you should know 

The majority of the words or vocabulary that are of Australian English is shared with British English. It is explained that Australian English is derived from mostly British English slang. However, we can see that there are notable differences.

The words in Australian English are also drawn from many dialects including Australian indigenous languages. Some words of Australian origin are:

  • Battler:  

someone with few normal benefits, who labors doggedly and with little reward, who strives for a job and who exhibits strength. “I sat on him beautifully for his arrogance, and reimbursed him out for all the commerce he’d worked off on me… and told him never to bluff to me again he was a battler”.

  • Bludger: 

a person who resists laboring or doing their percentage of work a slug, scrounger, a hanger-on, one who does not pull his weight. Originally, a pimp.

  • Bogan:

Bogan is an Australian phrase for characterizing an individual who may be a yobbo. The main discrepancy between both is that , yobbo is mostly utilized as a noun while bogan can also be utilised adjectivally to compare or explain subjects about species who are bogans. Particular deviations include “Bevan” in and around Brisbane, and “Boonah” around Canberra. It’s often a naive individual with hard behaviour, speech, clothing, etc.

Big Smoke – any big city such as Melbourne or Sydney. This is not exclusively Australian.

  • Didgeridoo 

It is a wind device that was initially created only in Arnhem Land in northern Australia. It is a lengthy, stiff, tubular tool that produces a low-pitched, vibrant sound with complicated, rhythmic contours but a small tonal difference.

  • Digger: 

an Australian fighter. The phrase was assigned during the First World War to Australian and New Zealand fighters because so much of their time was wasted uncovering pits. A first Australian understanding of digger  “inner digging gold”. Hughes, main ambassador through out the First World War, was remembered as the Small Digger. 

  • Dinkum or fair dinkum: 

“true”, “the truth”, “uttering the truth”, “authentic” and related significances, depending on context and tone. It emanated as a on-site dialogue word from the East Midlands in England, where dinkum (or dinkum) means “hard work” or “fair work”, which was also the tangible significance in Australian English.

  • Fair go: 

an acceptable chance, a fair deal. Australia frequently beholds itself as an egalitarian community, the land of the fair go, where all citizens have a right to fair treatment.

Jackaroo: a type of agricultural worker.

  • Nasho: 

a term meaning a person from the National Services, mandatory military service in Australia. The word is repeatedly usyed for Vietnam War army during periods when conscription came to be dubious. Since that time, conscription has not been invoked in Australia.

Differences between Australian and American English

In spelling and sentence construction, Australian English is often similar to British English. The words and spellings are very much alike. Australian English and American English differ in spelling although the meaning of the words is the same.

Australian and British English often differ in words that end with words such as “use” and “is”. There are also differences in the spelling of words that end with z and s.

Some examples of words that end with you and use in British and Australian English and American English are;

In British and Australian English the words end with ise. There are some words like; 

  • Finalise
  • Organise, 
  • Realise.

Meanwhile, In American English, it is spelt as; 

  • Finalize
  • Organize 
  • Realize.

Different words in Australian and American English 

There are also a few verbs which always end in -use in Australian English such as;

  • Analyse
  • Catalyse 
  • Electrolyse
  • Paralyse
  • Breathalyse
  • Dialyse
  • Hydrolyse
  • Psychoanalyse

In American English, they are all spelt with the ending -yze

  • Analyze
  • Catalyze
  • Electrolyze
  • Paralyze
  • Breathalyze
  • Dialyze
  • Hydrolyze
  • Psychoanalyze

From the above examples, we can see that Australian English models British English more closely than American English. The same can be said for Australian English grammar. So if you know British English, learning Australian English should be a breeze. 

Conclusion 

If asked to use Australian or British English in any case, remember that they are the same. 

From the article above, you would know how to differentiate them from American English.
This can not all be done by reading. To learn better, get a professional online English tutor on italki to better understand how they are to be used.