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How to speak like an Australian

Written by on February 18th, 2016.      0 comments

Do you live in Australia and work with Australian colleagues or clients?  Sometimes it can be frustrating when you have to repeat what you say, because others don’t understand your accent.    You may have fantastic technical skills and be brilliant at your job, but find it difficult communicating clearly in English.   Learning to speak like an Australian can make your life a little easier.

How can I do that you ask.  Well that is a very good question.  Firstly, let’s look at what it means to speak like an Australian.

As you have most likely already realised, speakers of Australian English do not all sound the same.  Some people are easier to understand than others.  There can be regional differences, age related differences, and social differences that vary the type of Australian English that a person speaks.

We can say that there are three types of Australian accent; 

- A broad accent – a local type of accent often spoken in more rural or remote areas.  
- A cultivated accent – often related to a more British style of formal speech.
- A general accent – a range of accent that is somewhere in between the above types, and is more common (particularly in the work place) and often more desirable.

When we think about speaking like an Australian, we look at the sounds people use rather than the spelling of a word. For example, think about the word  “one”, pronounced as “wun”, or the words “walk” and “work”, two words which are often confused.

As speech is quick and spontaneous, we do not have the luxury of taking the time to edit our words as we do with writing. As such, it is much easier for us to make mistakes and get jumbled with our words or ideas.  That is the difficulty of speech.

When it comes to learning how to speak like an Australian, we need to consider the sounds, expression and delivery of the speaker.   The accuracy of these can increase the effectiveness of our messages. 

So to increase self-confidence, social bonding and the ability to transfer information in a way that others can understand, learning to pronounce words and speak with a ‘general’ Australian accent can be a big help.

Remember that we need to speak differently in different situations.  How we speak at work may be very different to how we speak to our ‘mates’ at a barbeque.  We might need to speak more precisely at work, then much more casually with friends.  These are things you can learn in an Accent & pronunciation course.

Being able to adjust our speech to suit our audience and situation gives us more self-confidence, and is one of the benefits of completing a course in Australian English.