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Australian Accent Task 1 Task 2 Task 3 Rating Form

Australian English was created by the first generation of children born in the new colony, who due to a wide variety of accents, began to speak in a distinct dialect of English. Australian English differs to other varieties of English language in vocabulary, accent, pronunciation, register, grammar and spelling.

It can be said that the Australian accent is a blend of the accents of the first white settlers from the British Isle, in particular Ireland and South East England. The Australian accents or varieties are not measured according to region, rather it is considered as a sociocultural phenomenon by linguists. The three categories are; broad, general and cultivated varieties.

This video explains and demonstrates the three variations of the Australian accent and also the know-how into achieving the accent.

Australian accent: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GPMSpw0CLEg

Broad Australian accent is easily recognizable and familiar to English speakers around the world. It is the most stereotypical accent that people associate with Australia. It is spoken nationwide but is most common in rural areas. Many Australian idioms are used by people who speak in this variation.

Steve Irwin (Australian wildlife expert and TV personality)

- Steve Irwin interview on GMTV (United Kingdom)

General Australian accent is the most common accent spoken in Australia and is primarily spoken by people living in the metropolitan areas. This variation often uses more American and British words rather than idioms and words.

Nicole Kidman (Australian actress)

- Nicole Kidman interview on Today (United States of America)

Cate Blanchett (Australian actress)

- Cate Blanchett Interview ABC News 2013

Hugh Jackman (Australian Actor)

- Hugh Jackman’s opening number at the Oscars 2013
- Australia (film) - Exclusive interview with Hugh Jackman

Cultivated Australian accent is similar to Received Pronunciation, also known as, the standard accent of English in the United Kingdom. Over the generations, the use of this accent has sharply fallen.

Malcolm Fraser (22nd Prime Minister of Australia)

- Malcolm Fraser interview on Tony Abbott

Geoffrey Rush (Australian Actor)

- Geoffrey Rush Oscars Speech

Features of the Australian Accent

Watch the video below for a quick introduction to the distinctive features of the Australian accent by comedian Adam Hills.


Distinctive feature of the Australian accent:

  • Australian Question Intonation (AQI) – sentences are uttered with rising intonation which makes it sound like a question
Note: Follow the link for more information on Australia accents
- Department of Linguistics, Macquarie University (Sydney, Australia)

Commonly used Australian idioms and slang

Australian slang is widely spoken across the country. It consists of words or phrases that are mainly considered as informal and most often used in speech.
Word Meaning Example
arvo afternoon What are you doing in the arvo?
Aussie an Australian Hugh Jackman’s an Aussie.
away with the pixies daydreaming Don’t bother talking to her, she’s away with the pixies.
barbie barbeque Let’s put some meat on the barbie!
bloke man, guy He’s a nice bloke
boozer a pub I’m going to the boozer for a few drinks.
dipstick an idiot She such a dipstick.
dunny outside toilet The dunny stinks real bad.
fair dinkum true, genuine He’s a fair dinkum Aussie.
fellas group of guy friends I’m going to the pub with the fellas.
G’day Good day! How’s it going? G’day! How are you doing?
Maccas Mcdonald’s Let’s go to Maccas tonight!
mate friend He’s a good mate of mine.
mozzie mosquito Bloody hell, there’s so many mozzies in here.
Oz Australia Visit me in Oz next year.
postie postman Has the postie come by today?
rack off! Get lost! Stop bothering me, rack off!
ripper great The parties going to be a ripper.
Sheila female/woman/girlfriend Look at that Sheila over there
stoked very pleased I’m stoked about tomorrow’s trip.
veggo vegetarian He doesn’t eat meat. He’s a veggo.
yewy U-turn in traffic Let’s make a yewy at the lights.
- Note: Follow the link for more examples of Australian slang.
Task 1) Australian Slang
Jacki-O’s (Australian radio host) interview with Kevin Hart (American singer/actor/producer) on Australian slang.

Watch the video and complete the subsequent exercises.

Choose the word or phrase that is closest in meaning to the underlined expression.
  1. I just got a ripper barbeque but I found out it wasn’t a dinky-di.
    1. broken
    2. slashed
    3. great
    4. solid
    (Correct answers are bolded.)
  2. …but I found out it wasn’t a dinky-di
    1. false
    2. genuine
    3. functional
    4. worthless
    (Correct answers are bolded.)
  3. Fair go mate, don’t do your block.
    1. Take a chance man
    2. Don’t worry about it man
    3. Nice try man
    4. We’re all equal man
    (Correct answers are bolded.)
  4. The studio is 50km south of woop woop.
    1. downtown
    2. bad area
    3. middle of nowhere
    4. country side
    (Correct answers are bolded.)
  5. The studio is 50km south of woop woop. I’m going to need to chuck a yewy.
    1. make it there fast
    2. make a U-turn
    3. put in some petrol
    4. go to the toilet
    (Correct answers are bolded.)
  6. I tried to get a root with my Sheila but she was away with the pixies.
    1. room with my girlfriend
    2. dig with my girlfriend
    3. ride with my girlfriend
    4. sex with my girlfriend
    (Correct answers are bolded.)
  7. Shut your trap and give me the fair suck of the sav.
    1. give me a kiss
    2. let me have a say
    3. let me eat it
    4. give me something dirty
    (Correct answers are bolded.)
Task 2) Australian words

Song: Aussie lesson for Ellen

This song was a collaboration between Australian radio hosts Fitzy and Wippa and also Sydney brothers, Dailius and Julian Wilson. The songs purpose is to explain Australian words to Ellen Degeneres, an American TV host.

Exercise 1) Australian words
Listen to the song and match the words with their definition by dragging them into the appropriate box.

Exercise 2) Interpretation of American and Australian words
Listen to the song and match each listed word with its Australian counterpart.

Task 3) Australian expressions spoken in the general accent

Watch the video and then match the expressions with its meaning.

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