Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Speaking Australian 101

Now that I've been here 6 weeks (how did that happen?!), I've decided to share the list of Australian to American translations I've collected.  There are of course the simple ones that most people know - bin is trash can, when you want the check at a restaurant you ask for the bill, that kind of thing.  However there are essentially 4 basic rules you can follow if you want to learn to speak Australian (or at least understand it when traveling here). 

Rule 1: Australians shorten everything and add an "O" to the end.  It's taken me a while, but I can generally figure out what they're talking about if I just drop the O and think for a second about what words could be shortened to that particular single syllable.  For instance, rego (drop the "o", you're left with "reg") short for car registration.  

Rule 2:  Sometimes things are both named after something else AND shortened.  Such as eskie.  Short for Eskimo which is an ice chest.  If that's the case, don't even both trying to figure it out, because it won't make any sense anyway.  You just have to pick these up as you go along. 

Rule 3: Some things are just called something else all together.  Again, you pretty much have to learn these as you go, but make sure you don't use the wrong word (or pronounce it with a flat "A" sound) or you won't be understood. Example:  Wheelie Bin = the green garbage can that you wheel out to the street every week so that your trash (rubbish) gets picked up.

Rule 4:  This is not a judgement in any way, but political correctness is basically non-existent as far as I can tell, so if you think at first instinct that something is potentially off color, you're probably right.

So, without further ado - a pop quiz.  Here is the list of things I have collected so far.  See how many you can get.  The correct answers will be supplied in the next post.

1.  Arvo
2.  Rock Melon
3.  McOz
4.  Capsicum
5.  Coriander
6.  Rubbish tip
7.  Prawn
8.  Shrimp
9.  Lollies
10.  Chewie
11.  Softie
12.  Rocket
13.  Chook
14.  Blockie
15.  Chuck (As in chuck a sickie)
16.  Chemist
17.  Lift
18.  Tomato Sauce (No, it's not ketchup)
19.  Fanny
20.  Foot path
21.  Thongs
22.  Jag
23.  Ripped
24.  Ranger (also known as a Bluie)
25.  Main

Good Luck!