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  • Jenny Murphy MARN 0852535

Getting to Know Australian English: A Guide for New Migrant

Australia is a diverse country with people from all over the world coming to make it their home. However, one thing that can be a challenge for new migrants is the unique form of English spoken in Australia. Australian English can be quite different from the English spoken in other parts of the world, so it is important to understand some of the key features of this dialect.

Firstly, Australians have a reputation for using a lot of slang words and phrases in their everyday speech. While this can be difficult to understand at first, it is worth taking the time to learn some of the more common terms. For example, "arvo" means "afternoon," "brekkie" means "breakfast," and "servo" means "service station." There are also many idiomatic expressions unique to Australia, such as "no worries" (meaning "it's okay"), "fair dinkum" (meaning "honest"), and "mate" (a common term of address for friends).

Another aspect of Australian English that can be confusing for new migrants is the use of diminutives. These are shortened versions of words that are often used to convey affection or familiarity. For example, "barbie" means "barbecue," "uni" means "university," and "footy" means "football." It is worth noting that not all words can be turned into diminutives and that their use can be regional or even specific to particular social groups.

In addition to slang and diminutives, Australians also use a lot of informal language in their everyday speech. This can include contractions, such as "gonna" (meaning "going to") and "wanna" (meaning "want to"), as well as sentence structures that are more relaxed than formal English. For example, it is common to hear sentences that start with "So" or "Well" in Australian English.

Finally, it is important to note that there are some words and phrases that are unique to Australian English and may not be widely understood outside of the country. For example, "ute" means a utility vehicle, "esky" means a cooler box, and "thongs" means flip-flops.

In conclusion, while Australian English may take some getting used to, it is an important part of life in Australia. By learning some of the more common slang terms, diminutives, and informal language, new migrants can better understand and communicate with Australians. It is also worth remembering that while Australian English may differ from other forms of English, it is still a valid and legitimate dialect in its own right.

Disclaimer: The information provided herein is of a general nature only and does not constitute immigration advice. For more detailed and case-specific information or advice, please contact SCA Connect.


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