Speak Australian

It’s true that like US Americans and Canadians, Australians are English-speakers. However, when the first English-speaking settlers – primarily convicts from Britain’s over-crowded gaols and prisons, most of whom were guilty of nothing more than being economically impoverished – arrived in Botany Bay starting in 1788, there was no mass media. Left to develop in isolation for over a century, Australian English became a unique dialect of its own that people who choose to study abroad in Sydney, Australia might have difficulty understanding at first.

Most of Australian speech is derived from the Cockney dialect of London’s back streets, but also contains elements of Irish as well as “Received Pronunciation,” or the “Queen’s English.” There’s also a considerable American aged care certificate influence as well, thanks not only to the modern media, but the presence of Americans in Australia during two significant periods in the history of that country; the Aussie Gold Rush of the 1850s and the Second World War, when Australia and New Zealand were the last free nations in that region standing against Tojo’s imperialist ambitions.

When you spend your spring semester abroad in the Land Down Under, you’ll learn some new vocabulary that while unfamiliar, is nonetheless understandable. For example, instead of driving on the freeway, you’ll be motoring on the motorway; instead of filling up with gas, you’ll be filling up with petrol. If your motorcar breaks down, it is said to be bunged up, which is not immediately familiar, but gets the meaning across. However, don’t be surprised if the mechanic needs to look under the bonnet instead of the hood; you might also keep tools and a spare tire in the boot rather than the trunk.

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