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Thread: AUSTRALIAN Culture and Language Help!

  1. #61
    G'day, Mate,

    I'd be happy ta help. It's not that hard. It depends on how strong the bloody accent is. I was yacken to this (starts with bast ends in ard) the 'smorning, and he's accent was piss weak!

    LOL, like I said in that little paragraph, it defends on how stong the accent is. If you have your character in a city then the accent will be weaker because of the multi-culturalism. I grew up in small towns and visited me granddad who is a farmer. My accents stronger then most at my school. I now live near beachy's and their accent is medium. They have more of a surfers speach.

    Just remember:

    Yach- talk
    (that word again)- is a common word used to refer to mainly guys and isn't always meant in an insulting way.
    The F word- if you want swearing in your story, the f word is common amount labourers more the scolers.
    bludger- does not mean evil ball bent on killing quidditch palyers but a lazy person.
    G'day- Not many Aussies can actually say Good Day. It sounds weird.
    'smorning- this morning.

    Like xOxLyDzxOx said, you can alway PM an Aussie. I wont mind at all.

    ...xXxLove SandyxXx...

  2. #62
    As Sandy said, the language really depends on where in Australia you're from. Western Australia is different to the dialect used in states such as Victoria and New South Wales. And then there's also differences between rural and city areas. What I think your best bet is to use shortened words, and the occasional slang word. It's actually rather hard to say what you'll need since we don't know what dialogue you're using, but I hope that helps some.

    Again, feel free to PM me for any extra help.

  3. #63
    ms. leading
    From my experience, the way Australians talk and their use of slang generally depends on the age group.

    For example, older generations are more likely to have a broad accent (if they were born here or grew up from an early age), and young people a more general, confined accent.

    I've never met a young person who says "g'day". Ever. Unless they're trying to make fun of our stereotype. If you're in doubt, just use "hello", or "hey" as a greeting. Sandy mentioned "'yackin'" as in 'talking'. Again, I've only ever heard this used in attempts to be humourous. E.g.: "Quit your yackin'" i.e. "Shut up!"

    I know older men in rural areas tend to use 'g'day', or 'how are ya?' to greet. Something tells me your characters aren't going to be old men though. lol.

    What ages are your characters, Molly? I'm sure we can give you a better outline if you tell us.

    I mean, you don't even have to alter your dialogue at all, really. We do speak english

    Edit: I should have asked what year this is set, as well.

    ~ Cassie

  4. #64
    Well, the story takes place in Victoria, right along the coast. The main character is nine years old and her parents are somewhat old, bith of them doctors. along with their friend. The main character's friemds are all nine as well. There even my be the occasional old poeple just for comic relief.

  5. #65
    ms. leading
    Well, given that the parents are doctors, I can make a broad generalisation and say that they'd be well educated, and hardly 'bogan' material. Therefore you're safe to use general dialogue without altering for accents or slang.

    Kids are kids, and you'd write their dialogue as you would any other child (careful to use 'mum' rather than 'mom', or 'mummy' when they're feeling vulnerable).

    A better insight into the older people would be needed to help with dialogue, I think. Are you trying to portray them as average, middle class people, or perhaps upper-class and well educated? It also depends on how long they've lived in Australia. A lot of the older generations of Australians are migrants, and it is those that have lived here their whole lives that have the broadest accents.

    I hope I'm not confusing you.

    If you have any other questions, I'm available through PM as well as here

    ~ Cassie

    Edit: I've realised that from your posts, Sandy. As Molly is writing about a coastal area of Melbourne, I just wanted to give her a broader perspective of Australian young people. I know a few Melbourners, and never have I heard them say 'g'day'.

    I think Molly is safest to stay clear of using the term in her dialogue, otherwise people will doubt how much she's researched, and assume she's only writing from stereotypes.

  6. #66

    *cough* umm, Cassie, I'm 16 and I always say G'day and yach and etc. But I spent a lot of time in the more back towns and stuff where the accents are thicker and everyones pretty friendly.

    ...xXxLove SandyxXx...

  7. #67
    Fourth Year Ravenclaw
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    Phia Phoenix's Avatar
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    Jul 2007
    Oz- the REAL land of the free!

    I say "G'day" all the time, and I'm only fifteen. Then again, I usually get weird looks whenever I do so. Either that, or people half-chuckle, like they're not sure whether I'm joking or not. To be honest, even I don't know whether I'm joking or not!

    Ooh! Both my parents are doctors, too! And my dad comes from Melbourne! I'm your girl, Mollie! Well, it really depends on your characters - as Cassie says, the general stereotype is that doctors are well-educated and would therefore not have the typical Aussie thing going on. Well, my parents are certainly well-educated but my dad (not so much mum) like a surf and a beer with his mates as much as the next man; we have barbeques and avidly follow the footy. It's up to you whether you want your characters to be overly Aussie or just vaguely Aussie; actually, you'd probably be safer opting for the latter, as the Australian culture is not as strong as people always seem to think it is.

    My advice would be, keep it pretty much British except make sure your characters like sport, going to the beach and lazing around every so often.

    We're a patriotic bunch, us Aussies, aye? (It's not "eh", it's "aye" in Australia ) I'll be glad to help via PM, except as my siggy says I'm leaving our shores in a few days so probably won't be able to reply til I get back from Europe.

    Good luck!
    xoxo Phia

    (Avvie and banner by me, quote from Fancy, by John Keats)

  8. #68
    My guidelines for trying to write Aussie dialogue:
    1. As Cassie said, it is English. There's no need to change much - it'll probably end up being stereotypical and yuck.
    2. Don't try to capture our pronunciation. You might choose to have one character who speaks with a distinctive broad accent if it's important to their characterisation, and you could write their dialect - much like Hagrid. But generally, there's no need to try to show the accent.
    3. Make sure you use the appropriate vocabulary - if in doubt, choose the British word over the American, but check this thread first as we've probably mentioned all the main differences already!
    4. Use slang sparingly. The amount used depends both on the context and the character (which varies hugely from the standard accent to the broadest broad accent, depending on factors like age, gender, education and socio-economic status, location, ethnicity...). Don't use online slang dictionaries - I know I don't have a clue what 90% of the words and phrases they include mean.

    That all looks rather more complicated than I'd intended... really, it looks like a lot to think about, but it shouldn't be any more difficult than writing British dialogue! The only thing that might make it hard is a lack of familiarity, so, my final and most important tip:

    5. Get an Aussie to check it! Like Cassie, I'd be glad to help you out via PM, any time.

    Also, I guess if you want to get a feel for how we speak, watching a news or current affairs program would help. The reporters will have a pretty standard accent (or more refined depending on the show - find something from channel 7, 9 or 10 for the standard accent) and the various people interviewed will range from the standard accent to very broad ones. Just looking at them will probably enable you to guess how they'll speak.

    It sounds like your characters are reasonably educated, so I'd steer away from trying to capture a broad accent, Molly. Don't go OTT with Australianising your dialogue.

    I hope that helped, and wasn't too horribly confusing

    -- Chelsea

    And re: g'day... I don't know any girls who say it (apart from Sandy and Phia!), though I wouldn't be surprised to hear it from guys late high school and older. I have heard grown women use it, but only the types who use a broad accent with a lot of slang... more so in the country than the city... Anyway, LESS IS MORE. Use it sparingly.

  9. #69
    Well, I'm still studying Australian accents. Luckily for me, my niece has recently fallen in love with the show Bindi, the Jungle Girl.

    I'm just curious, does Bindi Irwin have what you guys would consider an authetic Australian accent? I have made it a habit to never completely trust what I see on television. Also, can you tell from her accent what part of Australia she is from? In America, there are dozens of different accent, so you can almost tell where a person is from right to the dot on a map.

    Any comments?

  10. #70
    Third Year Ravenclaw
    Bumper Cars in Gringotts
    xOxLyDzxOx's Avatar
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    Jun 2006
    Oh god, Molly, please do not use Bindi Irwin as a reference. Her mother is American and Bindi's accent is like a painful blend of Australian/American. On that note, you can't really make accurate distinctions between accents in Australia like you can with, say, the deep south of the USA and the northern states. You could generalise and say that the rural accent tends to be more recognisably Australian, but like I just said, this is a generalisation. No matter what locality, you're going to have a mix of standard and broad accents. Bindi lives in Queensland, by the way. I don't think you should try to differentiate between states of Australia, because we don't do it ourselves.

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