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  1. #1
    albertino is offline Senior Member
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    Default Australian English

    Could any teachers tell me what are the apparent differences in spoken Australian and British English? How can I improve my listening skill in communicating with Aussies? What areas, such as pronunciation or tone, I should pay attention to in order to follow what an Aussie says?

  2. #2
    Anglika is offline No Longer With Us
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    Default Re: Australian English

    You will have to get hold of Australian broadcasts and tv programmes. They have a very different accent and quite a number of their own idioms. As always when hearing another language, the rhythm of the language needs to be learned in order to hear the words being spoken.

    Here is a guide to the phonology: 12.1 Australian pronunciation

    This gives a glossary [sometimes facetious!] Australian English Glossary from A to Zed - Travelogue

  3. #3
    albertino is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: Australian English

    Quote Originally Posted by Anglika View Post
    You will have to get hold of Australian broadcasts and tv programmes. They have a very different accent and quite a number of their own idioms. As always when hearing another language, the rhythm of the language needs to be learned in order to hear the words being spoken.

    Here is a guide to the phonology: 12.1 Australian pronunciation

    This gives a glossary [sometimes facetious!] Australian English Glossary from A to Zed - Travelogue
    Oh I see, that's why I sometimes at a loss when conversing with the Australians. Thank you.

  4. #4
    albertino is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: Australian English

    Gee, I am speaking British English, what could I do if I act as an interpreter for an Austrailian in a conference, and I don't understand what he/she is saying? How embrarassing!! Any advice?
    Last edited by albertino; 22-Sep-2007 at 06:09.

  5. #5
    belly_ttt is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: Australian English

    Here we get cable TV so that I can practice listening to Aussie and Pomy or Yankies' accent... It's kinda difficult if you stick to American English for a long time then change it to British English right away. I myself spent a whole week to keep up with those British one, then I changed it to Australian network, I find it rather interesting when hearing "today" pronounced as "to-die" and Tuesday is pronounced as" choose day".... I have heard that Aussies' accent is considered rustic yet it is so fun to me and I really want to learn Australian accent that much

  6. #6
    Anglika is offline No Longer With Us
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    Default Re: Australian English

    Quote Originally Posted by albertino View Post
    Gee, I am speaking British English, what could I do if I act as an interpreter for an Austrailian in a conference, and I don't understand what he/she is saying? How embrarassing!! Any advice?
    Spend a little time with them just chatting about anything. That way you will be able to train your ear to their voice before you have to work on translation. If you have a problem, you ask them to speak slowly and to pronounce each word carefully. If in real difficulty, ask them to write it down.

  7. #7
    belly_ttt is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: Australian English

    I once watched the program called" Enstein somewhat" on Australian network, the MC speaks real difficult

  8. #8
    albertino is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: Australian English

    Quote Originally Posted by Anglika View Post
    Spend a little time with them just chatting about anything. That way you will be able to train your ear to their voice before you have to work on translation. If you have a problem, you ask them to speak slowly and to pronounce each word carefully. If in real difficulty, ask them to write it down.
    Thank you, Anglika. I will do my best.

  9. #9
    Naamplao is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: Australian English

    Quote Originally Posted by albertino View Post
    Gee, I am speaking British English, what could I do if I act as an interpreter for an Austrailian in a conference, and I don't understand what he/she is saying? How embrarassing!! Any advice?
    You don't say where the conference is located. I would assume that it is in your home country and you are translating from Mandarin or Cantonese to English.

    There should be no problem if you speak in simple British English terms and do not try to copy an Australian accent or use their idioms. Aussies do have their own way of talking but if this is a business man that you are working for this should be to a minimum.

    If this is a conference on a specific subject...let us say it is a business conference on the oil industry. Try to understand the idioms that are common for that industry. I am sure there are many Chinese idioms to learn as well as Australian ones. These may trip you up from both sides if you try to translate them literally.

    I was in a Shenzhen bookstore several years ago and in the ESL section there were marvelous books (dictionaries really) that translated Chinese (probably mandarin) idioms/terms to English and visa versa on a variety of subjects. You may consider getting on of these if you want to make a career of interpreting at conferences.

    The advice of getting to know your client is a good one. Meet him/her in a social setting over dinner prior to the event so that you can get to know one another. If they speak in Australian idiom a lot, ask them to not do this unless it is a business idiom and then have them explain it. Don't pretend to know something that you don't understand...they will appreciate it.

    Business idioms are tough to understand sometimes and can result in funny (costly)mistakes. For example: Let us say I was in the oil service industry and I represented a company that made the best "pigs" in Canada. Our "pigs" were used to clean oil pipelines in several countries. We even make an excellent "smart pig".

    Literally translated, a pig is an animal, but in the oil service industry, a "pig" is a special cylindrical device which travels down a pipeline under pressure to scrape/clean the walls of a pipeline. A "smart pig"? It is a pig with sensors built into it to find problems in the pipe as it travels along...perhaps a video camera as well.

    As you can see, if you are a translator...it is important to know the business idioms of the industry that you are involved in.

  10. #10
    albertino is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: Australian English

    Naamplao, thank you very much for your valuable advice.
    My worries have been disspelled.
    Ignorance creates fear~.

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