‘Aussie’ English has its own unique vernacular that makes it subtly different to other variants. It’s just one of the reasons why learning English in the land ‘Down Under’ can be so much fun, as well as beneficial to your kids’ future.
What’s different about Aussie English
Due to Australia’s history as a former British colony, the language is based on British English, although there are local variations.
Compared to American English, which is standard in Japan, ‘Aussie’ English has a different accent and style of speaking compared to English speakers in the United States, Britain, New Zealand and elsewhere.
Examples of Aussie English
Common Australian expressions include:
- “G’day” – This is a greeting that translates as “hello” or “how are you”? Make sure though you emphasise the “day,” which sounds closer to “daaey,” while cutting the “g” sound short
- “Mate” – a synonym for friend, used mainly by males. It is also used as a greeting, such as “G’day mate” or just a head nod with “mate”
- “Fair dinkum” – this is used to state a fact or truth, such as “It’s true mate – fair dinkum!”
- “No worries” – A common phrase indicating everything will be OK
- O-words – Australians have a habit of adding an “o” to common words, such as “smoko” (having a smoking break), “arvo” (afternoon), “garbo” (garbage collector) and “bottlo” (liquor shop)
Speaking Aussie English
Speaking Aussie English takes practice, however the experts suggest the following:
- Skip letters at the ends of words – for example, “meeting” becomes “meetin,” “going” becomes “goin” etc.
- Change letters at the ends of words – for example, “super” becomes “supah,” “dinner” becomes “dinnah”
- Turn “oo” sounds into “ew” sounds – for example, “pool” becomes “pewl,” “school” becomes “skewl”.
In terms of phonetics, the Australian accent is “non-rhiotic” compared to the American accent which is rhiotic.
For example, the “r” sound is not heard at the end of a word, or in the middle of words, unless it is followed by a vowel or vowel sound. However, when a word ending in “r” is linked to a word starting with a vowel, like “and,” the “r” is pronounced.
If it all sounds too hard, try and get more exposure to Australian accents by watching television, listening to radio or talking to locals.
Note that Australia is a multicultural country, so not everyone in Australia speaks exactly the same!
Why study English in Australia?
Australia offers a number of advantages for English learners, particularly Japanese and Asian students.
- High quality teaching and language materials based on national quality standards
- Access to the latest technology
- Similar time zone to Japan/Asia
- Quality health system (particularly important during global pandemics such as COVID-19)
- Excellent support services for international students, including seven of the world’s best student cities
- Multicultural environment, proving a truly international experience
- Opportunity to gain employment in Australia, with the same entitlements to minimum wages and conditions as Australian workers
- Access to nearly 2,000 government scholarships.
These features have helped make Australia the third most popular international student destination in the world, with nearly 700,000 international students currently.
Importantly, student rights are protected by law under the Education Services for Overseas Students (ESOS) Act, which protects the wellbeing of all international students and the quality of their educational experience.
Even before you enrol, under Australian law you have the right to receive current and accurate information regarding courses, entry requirements, fees and modes of study, along with other protections including a complaints and appeals process.
During your studies, your educational institution is required to give you advice on support and welfare services, legal services, emergency and health services and other advice including career guidance.
Australian workplace laws also apply to international students, meaning you have the same rights and conditions as Australian workers should you seek employment.
While international and domestic travel is currently restricted due to the coronavirus pandemic, Australia also offers a wealth of opportunities for travel and experiences, ranging from diving on the Great Barrier Reef to enjoying Gold Coast theme parks or getting a firsthand look at cuddly koalas and other Australian animals, together with world-class cultural, dining and shopping experiences.
Talk to Hello Kids about how we can give you an outstanding English-language education from Australia for yourself and your family.