Australian English

What on earth are you saying?

Story By James Greaves (Backpacker)

With the threat of the Zombie Flu (COVID-19) spreading through Australia (and the rest of the World), countries, states, territories and regions are closing their borders or requiring isolation / quarantine upon entry.

With this in mind, Out&About with Dayv’s web-developer partner in Victoria (Kathie) reached out to a backpacker and offered him some safe harbour in his time of need.

Now, holed up in a caravan on Kathie’s property, James (a 22 yo Brit’) is now happy to use some of his spare time with us on to share with us some of his experiences and learnings gained while travelling and working here.

James now finds himself jobless, a very long away from home and sitting the virus out in a “strange land”.

Let’s see how he copes living through the Coronavirus lockdown with his new Australian family and ‘inside the tent’ with his new family at “Camp and Travel”. Please make him welcome…

Australian English Vs My English

Common words to both nationalities:- camping, caravanning, tents (lucky this is a camping site).

When you have two English speakers conversing in the same language yet you are  left scratching your head over the meaning of what you have just heard,  is a little confronting.  In the UK English is the official language and here in Australia, English is also the official language.  In the UK there are many colloquial variations of the Queen’s English.  However, I’ve never come across some of the expressions and words taken as a matter speech over here.

Wait until I get back to the UK and try out my new Australian English on my British friends and family.

Strange words which are all camping associated

To name a few, which I must admit now sound quite familiar …..kanga, mozzie, barbie.

Every language seems to have contractions, but I get really confused over some of the expressions I hear here.

Australians are a friendly bunch and before long I had to navigate the expression “how ya going?”

This to me as a non Aussie (another shortened word to mean Australian), means what mode of transport am I using to go where I am going.  My response “I’m clearly walking there mate”.

Australians are very friendly

Funnily enough the Australian is just acknowledging you with the meaning behind this weird question meaning hello or gidday !  (gidday mate has been popularised by Crocodile Dundee, so that was one that didn’t catch me out).

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Far out – a camp spot that is a long way off???

The other day I asked Kathie (My Australian host) the meaning of the term “far out” – Why I had no idea the meaning is to express surprise or disbelief or just give something a little more impact.  “Far out – did that really happen to James”.  I now think of it more like “Wow……..”

James:-  “Kathie, where are they going over the Christmas break?”

Kathie:- “Way out whoop whoop, to some place I’ve never heard of”.

What did she just tell me?

Thongs are footwear commonly worn in camping showers, referred to as flip flops where I come from.

And thongs – “Please don’t wear your thongs inside James”.  Now that is somewhat personal if you ask me and not an item of underwear I have ever personally favoured for myself.  To an Australian – well you “Aussies” all know what thongs are.

Don’t beat around the bush (OMG or should I say “far out”)

Lastly, if someone’s talking about “the bush”, they may not necessarily be referring to a tree!

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