In somewhat of a preamble, or introductory post to a series of posts I (hope) to do about Australian accents, I thought I’d start with some general tidbits.
First, a quick geography and history lesson for those…how do I put this…less inclined to look outside their corner of the globe. And for everyone else too. Australia is that oddly shaped lump plus island down south somewhere. USA (minus Alaska) is, well, you all know where it is. I include Britain largely because they’re included in our history. Basically, Australia did have indigenous people (Aboriginals) here already, but Britain decided to claim it for themselves. So, with a new bunch of land only a ship’s journey away, what better do with it than turn it into a penal colony. If you’ve heard us called convicts it’s not due to our crime rate but due to the fact majority of our original (non-indigenous) population were indeed criminals. Though those days stealing a loaf of bread was enough crime to be shipped halfway across the world.
Fascinating (Click to enlarge)
I won’t bore you with the rest of the history but people explored, the population grew, immigration started, etc etc and here we are. If only all history classes went like that. Onto some more geography, if you take a look you’ll notice that USA (minus Alaska and I guess Hawaii) actually looks a similar size to Australia. That’s because it they’re almost exactly the same size. That’s right, you guys have ~48 states in the same space we have 8. (technically 2 are ‘territories’ but they are basically the same thing) Your population is probably about 14 times as large as ours. (check out all these figures, I feel so official)
Now, I’m not trying to compare us too much, Australia and America are very different despite both being English speaking countries. Both have their ups and downs, and even though Australians probably know more about Americans than Americans know about Australians, I still wouldn’t claim to be any sort of expert.
What does all this have to do with Australian accents? Well, honestly, not much. The main thing is I wanted to highlight the Australia and British connection (we’re also a part of the Commonwealth see:the Queen) so those of you Americans (*cough* Cotton *cough*) who have tried to speak in an Australian accent and sound woefully British don’t feel too bad. It’s hard to understand, but to us, English people sound very different, but a lot of you seem to not notice that difference. It may be a sort of dialect thing, or something else, I have no idea. Any suggestions why feel free to let me know in the comments.
Don’t stick figures look fabulous with flags for faces?
I’ll leave you with a few tidbits of Australian slang (those online dictionaries of slang are a bit hit and miss you see). You may have heard some of these before, but it’s a start right?
‘Arvo’: Afternoon. (“I’m going for a drive this arvo.”) Generally not used entirely in place of the word afternoon, more when you would say “this afteroon”
‘Maccas’: McDonalds. (“I had Maccas for breakfast this morning.”)
‘Servo’: Service Station (Gas station) (“I need fuel, we’d better go to the servo on the way home.”)