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Old 03-11-2012, 01:52 AM
 
58 posts, read 162,765 times
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I've just joined this forum as I found some fascenating threads on the Australian accent while researching for an article for a creative writing assignment. I've been blind since birth - and find accents very interesting. I'm from the UK but worked in Perth for a while last year and was amazed at how quickly I picked up Australianisms and the Australian accent. A friend had a theory that as I have nothing to focus on visually when people are conversing with me - my brain is constantly processing what it hears so people without sight are more susceptible to picking up accents. Does anyone else have an opinion on this? How quickly do you pick up on accents and certain frequently used words.
Lastly, one of the things I noticed (and I'm wondering if this is purely an Australianism as we don't seem to do it in UK) is for most sports people, politicians and members of the public to start a sentence with the phrase: "ah look!" this again is quite easy to lapse in to if you spend time in Aus or listening to the local radio stations.
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Old 03-11-2012, 04:37 AM
 
Location: Riachella, Victoria, Australia
359 posts, read 658,377 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by clovervale View Post
I've just joined this forum as I found some fascenating threads on the Australian accent while researching for an article for a creative writing assignment. I've been blind since birth - and find accents very interesting. I'm from the UK but worked in Perth for a while last year and was amazed at how quickly I picked up Australianisms and the Australian accent. A friend had a theory that as I have nothing to focus on visually when people are conversing with me - my brain is constantly processing what it hears so people without sight are more susceptible to picking up accents. Does anyone else have an opinion on this? How quickly do you pick up on accents and certain frequently used words.
Lastly, one of the things I noticed (and I'm wondering if this is purely an Australianism as we don't seem to do it in UK) is for most sports people, politicians and members of the public to start a sentence with the phrase: "ah look!" this again is quite easy to lapse in to if you spend time in Aus or listening to the local radio stations.

Ah look, your friend could be right, (most probably is), but accent change more generally is a reflection on how easy you cut ties from your place or origin.


I actually have never noticed "Ah look" as an Australian-ism. Look here perhaps. Suspect it is more confined to a debating style than just normal living.

You sure you aren't confusing Australia - ism with the drawl.
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Old 03-11-2012, 07:10 AM
 
Location: The western periphery of Terra Australis
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I've heard it commonly said that the Aussie accent is not usually quickly picked up, but is often quickly lost. Like An American or English person can be here 50 years and not pick up any Aussie accent, while many Australians who have gone over to the US for even a year have been known to come back sounding Yank.
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Old 03-11-2012, 09:33 AM
 
Location: Perth, Western Australia
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You do hear a lot of people even if they've lived in the UK for just a year or so come back with a bit of a British influence to their voices. Perhaps in general the accents are quite similar so both Brits and Aussies have a higher chance of acquiring elements of each other's accents (acknowledging the fact there are many British accents). The difference in accents as well as the age at which you come here would be major factors as well, my Mum for instance has been living here for half her life but still sounds Singaporean.

I find myself slightly modifying my speech sometimes when talking to people with British accents here, not entirely sure why, may have something to do with exposure due to large numbers of English migrants amongst other things.
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Old 03-11-2012, 09:41 AM
 
Location: The western periphery of Terra Australis
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Originally Posted by sulkiercupid View Post
You do hear a lot of people even if they've lived in the UK for just a year or so come back with a bit of a British influence to their voices. Perhaps in general the accents are quite similar so both Brits and Aussies have a higher chance of acquiring elements of each other's accents (acknowledging the fact there are many British accents). The difference in accents as well as the age at which you come here would be major factors as well, my Mum for instance has been living here for half her life but still sounds Singaporean.

I find myself slightly modifying my speech sometimes when talking to people with British accents here, not entirely sure why, may have something to do with exposure due to large numbers of English migrants amongst other things.
Aussies are just as likely to pick up American speech patterns after living there. The accents really are poles apart, so an predominantly Aussie accent with a few Americanisms is jarring. An example of the opposite is the accent of former NSW premier, the American Kristina Kennealy, who had a mostly American accent but would occasionally slip into Aussie. It just sounded quite wrong, I must say. Also some Aussie actors who go to Hollywood: just hear how their accents have changed. God bless him, but another jarring example is that of AFL legend Jim Stynes: his Irish/Aussie hybrid wasn't the most pleasant to listen to, for me at least.

I even hear some kids here picking up Americans. 'Noos' for news, 'Sher' for sure, not using the typical long 'a' vowel as in 'cake.'
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Old 03-11-2012, 08:28 PM
 
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I like experimenting with different accents, i'm good at the different european ones.

I have a friend who moved to Australia 5 years ago from Canada, he came back to visit and his voice/speech was different noticeably. He says perth's accent is much more british sounding then on the east coast.

Have another friend who moved to Canada 2 years ago from the ukraine, can barely tell he has an accent. When he told people, they were shocked. Note he lived in the USA for 2 years from ages 8-10, not sure if that made a difference or not.
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Old 03-12-2012, 01:18 AM
 
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The drawl would be more to do with accent itself I suspect, whereas the definition of Australianism is:

An English word or phrase--or a feature of grammar, spelling, or pronunciation--that originated in Australia and/or is used primarily by Australians. We do use the word "look" as a sort of discourse marker in the UK but differently from it's use in Australia - I was just pondering the origins.
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Old 03-12-2012, 01:24 AM
 
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I'd never thought about age being a factor - that's a really good point. I suppose also if you're constantly living among people witht the same accent it's bound to have an affect? My sister has been living in Essex for about 15 years and sounds really essexish (we tease her for it alot actually)
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Old 03-12-2012, 01:32 AM
 
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I love the Perth accent - Obviously the diversity of accents in Australia isn't as wide as it is in UK - but I did notice differences. Perth's is softer (to my ears at least) (similar to how you might describe the republic of Ireland's accent) The Melbourne accent for example (I'm not sure if it's specifically confined to Melbourne so I am sorry if this is incorect to say) seemed a little harsher (like the Northern Irish) i'm using these as examples of variation - and not saying that they actually sound Irish. is that fair?
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Old 03-12-2012, 02:18 AM
 
Location: The western periphery of Terra Australis
24,544 posts, read 56,054,732 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by clovervale View Post
I love the Perth accent - Obviously the diversity of accents in Australia isn't as wide as it is in UK - but I did notice differences. Perth's is softer (to my ears at least) (similar to how you might describe the republic of Ireland's accent) The Melbourne accent for example (I'm not sure if it's specifically confined to Melbourne so I am sorry if this is incorect to say) seemed a little harsher (like the Northern Irish) i'm using these as examples of variation - and not saying that they actually sound Irish. is that fair?
I don't think there's any noticeable 'Perth' accent, and I've lived here all my life. I've heard we say some words differently like 'beer' though.
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