Australian and New Zealand English

The English speaking countries of Australia and New Zealand are very young nations.

Australia was colonized by Britain little over 200 years ago and used as a penal colony or prison for convicted criminals and unwanted members of society. These initial inhabitants were followed by successive waves of voluntary immigrants many of whom spoke an English dialect called cockney. One can trace the exceptional vocabulary in Australian English to older local English dialects. The influence of American English is also increasingly apparent in the use of words such as truck instead of the British lorry, elevator, instead of lift, and freeway, instead of motorway. Apart from place names, few aboriginal words from the various languages of Australia's indigenous tribes have found their way into Australian English.

Interestingly, there is very little regional variation in Australian English when compared to America where, for example, the usage and pronunciation found in the South differs markedly from that spoken in the North.

The English of neighboring New Zealand, settled about half a century later in 1840, is very close to that of Australia. Although pronunciation in the two countries differs slightly, to a foreigner the two varieties are often indistinguishable. There are more words in New Zealand borrowed from the indigenous Maori people, reflecting perhaps a more tolerant relationship than is found between the Australian and Aboriginal people.

The slang commonly spoken by 'Kiwis' (as New Zealanders call themselves) is their own.

Australian and New Zealand English pronunciation differs in certain respects from British English as well as from one another. The vowel “I” in New Zealand is pronounced as an unstressed vowel like the “a” in about. The frequent joke among Australians is that New Zealanders like to eat “sux buts of fush and chups”.

Tabelle: A few Examples of Kiwi-Slang (New Zealand)

Tabelle: A few Examples of Kiwi-Slang (New Zealand)

Stand: 2010
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