mite ?", "G'day mite" landing in 'Down Under'
these greetings everywhere in a typical Aussie tone will be
somewhat new to a stranger as it took some time for me to figure
out what this "mite " is. Soon I discovered starting
from a young child to a prime minister everyone is addressed
as "mate", sometimes even irrespective of genders.
A "fine thank you" answer to the above
greetings will again put you in the strangers’ list. I'm still
struggling to say "good, thanks" in the Aussie way
instead of "fine thank you "which comes first as a
The most stunning difference with Asian culture
is the equal status of every human being whether he is a plumber
or a professor. It's not abnormal for example to find that a
top boss of an office taking a cigarette break or coffee break
with a cleaner and having good chat on the weather or rugby.
"Nice weather, isn't it?"- This is
another typical greeting to start the conversation, be it in
a shop, or in a bus on meeting a stranger. I never looked for
the reason why they say "No worries " instead of 'welcome'
when you thank any one for anything.
So much of twist and turns of English you will
find here that you might think a revised Oxford Dictionary is
needed. Even a native Englishman from the UK or an American
may find Aussie terms and accents a bit peculiar. But over a
period of 'time' you get used to Aussie terms (children especially
pick up the accent very quickly) and you learn to pronounce
“taimh" (not time).
The typical abbreviation and shortening of words
is another characteristics of the Aussie brand of English, like
Chewing gum -- Chewie
Thank you - Ta
The abbreviations are somehow acceptable in
the context of saving their costly time, where time is counted
by $$$ (otherwise most of the wages here are calculated per
hourly basis). But some terms are so unfamiliar that it's hard
to see any link with the English Language.
Ute- pick up van
Skippy-- Australian born
Shonky- poor quality
Although these appear to be colloquial they
are widely used even in radio, TV, talk shows etc. I think that's
"fair enough" to give an impression of typical Aussie
lingo. I'm sure a hardcore oz (Aussie) will be "cranky!"
on me for dissecting his mother tongue in this way. No I don't
expect that, rather expect another interesting word to me "goodn'y"
(Good on you).
Before I dig out further let me say "Hooroo"
(Good bye)……..for today.