There are different variations of the Australian accent. Dr Gawne describes one variation as the "broad accent... [which is] your good, Aussie, ocker accents." Another variation is the "general accent, which is actually the majority of Australian English speakers."
The vast majority of Australians, then and now, tend to speak a version of general Australian English with only minor regional variations – not enough to amount to dialects, the regionally distinct forms complete with vocabularies of their own, as spoken in different parts of Britain and the United States.
While indigenous Australians had developed over 250 different languages at the time of European colonisation, non-indigenous Australians simply haven't been around long enough to develop regional accents. And as an English-speaking immigrant population, it was their common language that bound them together.
Today I will briefly give an overview of the Australian accent, the three major varieties of the Australian accent (broad, general and cultivated), as well as discussing the significance of the accent for the identity of Australians.
Let's face it, most of us are suckers for a sexy accent. According to a recent survey conducted by the popular dating website MissTravel.com, over 2000 American men and women regard Australian accents as one of the sexiest in the world.
Zed is widely known to be used in British English. But it's also used in almost every English-speaking country. In England, Scotland, Wales, Ireland, Australia, India, Canada (usually), and New Zealand, Z is pronounced as zed.
“How ya goin'?” is the ultimate Aussie greeting. If you're not from Australia, this mash-up of “How are you?” and “Where are you going?” might leave you a little perplexed. If it helps, think of how the Brits say “y'alright?” - it requires no detailed response. In fact, a simple “hey!” will suffice.
If you find the British accent difficult to understand, it's likely you'll find the Aussie accent even harder to grasp as, for the most part, Australia is a melting pot of all the different regional dialects of British English.
New Zealand. The New Zealand accent is most similar to Australian accents (particularly those of Victoria, Tasmania, New South Wales and South Australia) but is distinguished from these accents by the presence of three "clipped" vowels, slightly resembling South African English.
Three main varieties of Australian English are spoken according to linguists: broad, general and cultivated. They are part of a continuum, reflecting variations in accent.
The Mainstream Australian Accent is a distinct accent produced by native English speakers in Australia. It's a tough accent to replicate, even for actors in Hollywood.
The most widely accepted theory to why Australians have the accent they do is that the first Australian born children (of the colonizers, not the natives obviously) simply created the first trace of the recognizable accent amongst themselves naturally.
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.
The Australian National Dictionary explains that the Australian usages of mate derive from the British word 'mate' meaning 'a habitual companion, an associate, fellow, comrade; a fellow-worker or partner', and that in British English it is now only in working-class use.
bloke – man or guy
A stereotype of a typical Australian man: loves beer, sport and barbies. It's similar to “chap”or “fella”.
Too easy means something along the lines of that is easy to do and no problem (also known as no wakkas!). Example: After ordering a coffee, the waiter tells you that it is “too easy”.
Certainly if you're in the US, your mother is your “mom” – short for “mommy” and in the UK, Australia and New Zealand it's “mum” – shortened from “mummy”.
Clips of Australians saying this short, two-letter word have been trending on TikTok over the last year, with listeners fascinated by its pronunciation. Speakers from outside Australia are also having a go at pronouncing the word themselves. Interestingly, when they write it out, they spell the word “naur”.
While some Australian speakers would pronounce “no” as a diphthong, starting on “oh” as in dog and ending on “oo” as in put, others begin with an unstressed “a” (the sound at the end of the word “sofa”), then move to the “oh” and then “oo”.
So, we would say, instead of 'can't', we don't say the /t/ and instead we just say 'can't', and the tongue stops the air, 'can't'. So, it sounds like a very, very, very short N sound instead of a long N sound.
The expression has been compared to the American English equivalent "no problem". In their book Australian Language & Culture: No Worries!, authors Vanessa Battersby, Paul Smitz and Barry Blake note: "No worries is a popular Australian response akin to 'no problems', 'that's OK' or 'sure thing'."
Hooroo = Goodbye
The Australian slang for goodbye is Hooroo and sometimes they even Cheerio like British people.