NOTE: You might think the writing is simple. This article was written for both native English-speakers and for ESL students.
Because Part 1 was so popular, I had to make another part. There were also a number of things I forgot to write in the first part.
If you still want to try speaking English like an Aussie, continue reading.
Australian pronunciation of places
Australians pronounce places in their country differently to how foreigners say it. If you don’t pronounce these places like an Aussie, you will sound like a tourist.
I hope I did my best in teaching pronunciation in a blog. I also hope you can read the phonemes.
Do you notice how Australians usually try to say their places shorter and with less syllables?
Pronouncing the “ay”, “igh” and “o” sounds
Australians generally pronounce each of the three sounds /eɪ/ (ay),/aɪ/ (igh) and /əʊ/ (owe) a little bit longer compared to other English speakers. Also to make their sounds longer and slower, the way they sound when saying them is like they are merging two sounds into one quickly.
They pronounce the following as:
|/eɪ/ (ay)||/ɑ:/ (ahh) /ɪ/(ee)|
|/aɪ/ (igh)||/ɒ/ (aww) /ɪ/ (ee)|
|/əʊ/ (owe)||/əʊ/ (owe) /ʊ/(u)|
Technically, each of the two phonemes do create the one sound who pronounced together, however Australians tend to pronounce them longer and slower allowing you to hear the two phonemes that make the one sound. Here are more examples of the three sounds.
|day||/dɑ:/ (dah) /ɪ/(ee)|
|way||/dɑ:/ (wah) /ɪ/(ee)|
|Hi!||/hɒ/ (haw) /ɪ/ (ee)|
|Bye!||/bɒ/ (baw) /ɪ/ (ee)|
|go||/gəʊ/ (goh) /ʊ/(u)|
|blow||/bləʊ/ (bloh) /ʊ/(u)|
One tip you can do is pronounce each bolded sound long separately. Then, try saying the two long sounds together.
Hopefully, I was able to explain that as best as I can without audio or videos. So when someone says “Are you ready today?”, it’s almost like he’s saying “Are you ready to die?”
Slang for people of different cultures
These are some slang words that refer to certain people from other countries or cultures. If you are of any of these nationalities and an Australian calls you any of these, don’t be alarmed. Some of these slang may cause offense.
|Pom/Pommie||British (usually English, not Scottish or Welsh)|
|Wog*||Italian Australian or Greek Australian|
**WARNING: Do not ever use the word “Abo” to refer to an indigenous Australian. The indigenous community finds that word highly offensive. That word as carries historical context about colonial abuse against indigenous Australians. The word is just as offensive as the “N-word” for African Americans or anyone African. I’m teaching you this word so you’ll understand the background behind it. You have been warned!!! Do not blame me because you got into a fight with someone for using that word.
*This was once a very offensive word to call Australians of Italian or Greek descent. It was a slang that originally meant “disease“. However the younger generation today are more relaxed when being called this word.
In my experience of growing up in Australia, I am Filipino yet I have never been called a “Filo”.
Slang for different kinds of people
These are some slang words for different occupations and other people.
|cleaners (technically not a slang)||janitors|
|dole bludger||someone who abuses unemployment benefits by not looking for work|
|Barmy Army||the English cricket team|
|bogan, yobbo, bumpkin||loud, obnoxious, ignorant, uncouth, uncultured, uneducated, overly patriotic simpleton from the rural area who likes beer and footy. (Australia’s version of rednecks and chavs)|
|larrakin||good ol’ Australian who you’d want to be mates with. Similar to bogan but is a positive term|
I have left slang out from the previous article. A lot actually. Here are some of the slang I have missed. This time, the list is longer.
|Aussie Battler||working class man who works hard to put food on the table for his family|
|dodgy||lame, less than average|
|’till the cows come home||for a long time|
|for ages||for a long time|
|to take the piss out of||to anger someone|
|to spit the dummy||to have had enough and become angry|
|Bloody Oath!||That’s right!|
|What do you reckon?||What do you think?|
|old bomb||an old, ugly, unreliable car|
|bikie||an motorcycle gang member|
|barbie||barbecue (not the doll)|
|cuppa||cup of tea, not coffee|
|rego (pron. “reh joh”)||registration|
|dummy bid||fake bid at auctions|
|donkey vote||invalid vote at elections|
Once again, this list does not list every slang used by Australians. However, these are very commonly used in conversations amongst Australians. Hopefully, you’ve learnt more terms in order to speak like an Aussie.
There is too much to cover and I may need to create another article about Aussie English. Try learning these. Good luck practising, mates.