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Essay: Australian English

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  • Published: 30 September 2015*
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Australian English
The official language in Australia is obviously English, but in some aboriginal-towns people still speak original aboriginal-languages instead of English. Australian English is called Strine. Strine doesn’t only have accents but also knows words that are not really used in other English languages.
For example:
‘ barbie, means barbecue
‘ chook, means chicken
‘ roo, means kangaroo
‘ joey, means baby kangaroo
Stine also isn’t a real dialect but more some sort of language, like ‘Fries’ in Friesland in The Netherlands. Strine is spoken by almost every inhabitant of Australia and there are not many variants of it. Strine originated when Irish prisoners were brought to the island. This is also a reason that Australian English sounds more like Irish than like American or British English.
The following words which are known internationally, used to be just Australian:
‘ kangaroo
‘ boomerang
‘ wallaby
In Australia words are pronounced differently compared to British or American English. The following are some examples I found online:
‘ oo (in foot, hood or chook) is usually pronounced as u in cute
‘ Aussie is pronounced as Ozzie
‘ a (in for example the word face) is pronounced as aye (as I in hi)
A version of Australian English was first spoken by people who lived in Australia around the year 1790. Many of those people were criminals from Ireland and Great Britain. Most of those who came from Ireland didn’t speak English. In 1827 a guy, named Peter Miller Cunningham, wrote a book in which he describes the Australian English language.
Around the 1850s gold rushes took place in Australia and a part of the population of the United Kingdom emigrated there. This also had a big influence on the Australian accent as we know it now.
In the 19th century some words, spelling and grammar were imported from North American English to Australian English, some of these words are now seen as typical Australian. When Australian American films became more popular and when Australians joined the military in the second world war the influence of American English became even bigger.

New Zealand English
There are several languages of New Zealand. English (New Zealand English) is the dominant language spoken by most New Zealanders and is one of three official languages of New Zealand. New Zealands official language is M??ori, but around 95% of the people in New Zealand have English as their main language.
Oxford University Press produced The Dictionary of New Zealand English, which was based on over 40 years of research. It has published several more dictionaries of New Zealand English, culminating in The New Zealand Oxford Dictionary in 2004. A different look at English as spoken in New Zealand is Kiwi-Yankee Dictionary. This slim volume lists many of the potentially confusing and/or misleading terms for Americans visiting or emigrating to New Zealand. New Zealand English has excised from 1912 and was described as carefully modulated murmur. Audio recordings from the 1940s of very old New Zealanders captured the speech of those born to the first generation of settlers in New Zealand, which means linguists can hear the actual origin of the accent. For example, a recording of 97-year-old Mrs Hannah Cross, who was born in New Zealand in 1851 and lived there her whole life, shows she had a Scottish accent. Even some second generation New Zealanders did not have a noticeable “New Zealand accent”, such as Mr Ernie Bissett, who was born in Kaitangata in 1894 and lived in New Zealand his entire life. But people growing up in the mining town of Arrowtown, where there was a mixture of accents, developed a recognisable New Zealand accent, such as Annie Hamilton, whose parents arrived there in 1862. The children growing up exposed to different accents picked up different features of these, but in their children, the second generation, there is a unification towards the “foundation accent”.

New Zealand as well has word that are not often used in other English-speaking countries.
‘ Chilly bin (a cooler)
‘ Ice block (popsicle)
‘ Dairy (convenience store)
‘ Candy floss (cotton candy)
The language people living in New Zealand speak, is English with the usage of some M??ori words. M??ori words are used more often in the north of New Zealand than in the south. Some M??ori used in New Zealand are waka (boat), matangi (wind), aroha (love) and kia ora (hello).
The New Zealand’s accent sounds a lot like the Australian accent but instead of awake (and almost hyper), people in New Zealand often tend so sound tired or lazy because their speech often sounds like they are mumble.
Some words sound the same eventhough they are written differently and have different meanings. For example
‘ Sit, sat, set

Spelling (Australia-New Zealand)
‘ -able or -eable, usable or useable
Both are used in Australian, New Zealand and British English. American English uses -able.
‘ -ae or -e, -paediatrician or pediatrician
British spelling uses -ae, American -e and Australian and New Zealand spelling uses -ae with some words (paediatrician, anaesthetic) and -e with others ( encyclopedia, medieval).
‘ -ing or -eing, aging or ageing
Both are used in Britain, aging is standard in American English. Ageing is the preferred Australian and New Zealand spelling.
‘ -ise or -ize, customise or customize
The -ize spelling is standard in American spelling, the -ise ending is the preferred British, Australian and New Zealand usage.
‘ -l or -ll, instal or install
American English tends to use the single l, Australian and New Zealand English uses single for many words (instil, enrol, enthral, dispel), but two lls for forestall and install.
‘ -ment or -ement, judgment or judgement
American English tends to use no -e ( judgment, acknowledgment, abridgment). Australian, New Zealand and British spelling use both forms. The preferred form in everyday writing seems to be with an -e (judgement, lodgement), though judgment is used in legal writing.
‘ -oe or -e, foetus or fetus
The -oe spelling is British, the -e American. Australian and New Zealand English uses -oe for some words (homoeopath, oestrogen), and -e for others ( homeostasis).
‘ -our or -or, colour or color
The -or form is American and -our form British, Australian and New Zealand.
‘ -yse or -yze, analyse or analyze
The -yze form is American and the -yse form British, Australian and New Zealand. Similarly, American English uses -ize and British, Australian and New Zealand English -ise (civilize, civilise).


Knowing the Aussie accent

Knowing the Aussie accent



Video’s over Australische accenten:


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