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Aussie Accent in
One thing that has changed is that most Americans now recognize our accent
Australian. I remember when we lived in
usually think we were English when they heard us speak. Some still do ask if we’re
British, but it has certainly come a long way. We even met some Brits
That old story common in the 60s where Americans would supposedly confuse
We think Steve Irwin has a lot to do with this, and probably Paul Hogan before him.
‘The Crocodile Hunter’ is absolutely huge here in the States, and he’s always on TV.
watched him dubbed into French in
We find they generally understand us OK, although it seems a little harder sometimes
on the phone than it is in person. It helps to speak slower, as to them it seems we
speak very fast. Also remember that the Aussie ‘a’ sounds like ‘i’ to them (e.g. when
we say ‘today’ they hear it as ‘to die’). Also our ‘e’ sometime sounds to them like ‘a’.
Especially when on the phone, you need to speak slowly and clearly when spelling out a
name or a credit card number, for example. Another thing is double letters. If your
name was Williams, you wouldn’t spell it out with a ‘double-L’, you’d say ‘l, l’. They get
really confused with that – they think you’re making up a strange new letter!
Some words sound particularly strange to the American ear when Aussies pronounce
them. One of the best known is the drink Coca-Cola. If we ask for a Coke, they hear
it as something like ‘co-ak’ or even ‘cock’!
We've been away long enough that the Aussie accent sounds just a little funny when
you hear it - as in when I called the credit union's automated phone teller to check our
balance. I remember the same from our year in
Aussie accents we heard there, apart from our family, was when they covered the Granville
Train Disaster on Canadian TV. We couldn’t believe how broad the accent sounded.
We mentioned Steve Irwin earlier, towards the end of our trip his accent sounds totally
over the top - then again he is playing the ‘professional Australian’, a bit like Paul