How to Talk with an Australian Accent

by Culture & Society Editor

Australian actors are increasingly prevalent in movies and TV shows. Learning to speak in an authentic Australian accent is an asset when preparing for theater, drama class or adding it to your repertoire for performance art. Practice with friends and acquaintances. Their feedback is invaluable to gauge your accent. A few simple adjustments to your speech will have you speaking Strine like the Aussies in no time.

Talk to Australian natives or watch Australian films. Listen closely to the dialogue to get a general idea of how Australians speak. First practice pronouncing individual words. Mimic entire lines to familiarize yourself with Australian speech patterns.

Learn to speak from the back of your tongue while limiting the movement of your lips. Hold the tip of your tongue as close to the roof of your mouth as possible while pressing the middle of your tongue down.

Pay attention to the pronunciation of individual letters. Vowel pronunciation is the most significant difference between American, British and Australian English. Elongate your vowels ("Eel-oon-gayte uur vowls"). Note that words ending with "ay" sound are pronounced "ie." Practice "to-die" so you will be ready tomorrow.

Speak quickly so the words run together. End sentences with an upward intonation. Make every comment sound like a question.

Shorten or abbreviate words and add an "o" to the end. Afternoon becomes "arvo" and business becomes "bizzo."

Study Australian slang. Consult an American-Australian Dictionary to increase your vocabulary. Australians use many words common to British English, such as "lift" instead of "elevator." Learn the preferred word choice to sound authentic.

Tip

  • Keep your tone light and jovial. When speaking with an Australian accent, you should convey happy enthusiasm.

Items you will need

  • Australian vocabulary guide

Photo Credits

  • DragonImages/iStock/Getty Images