Australia – Understand the country

Australia – Understand the country

It can be kind of stressful when you arrive in a new country with a different culture, especially when you know this is for a long period of time. Some things are unique to Australia, and I will share with you what my problems were at the beginning, how I solved them and what I learned about.

The accent / slang

I can’t start with anything else other than the Australian accent, which is famous around the world but I didn’t know why at this time… I understood quickly! I did have trouble to understand the “linguo” at the beginning, but every english speaker who were with me as well! This is even more accurate when you’re getting away from cities to join remote places… They do not articulate at all !

I personnaly learned to speak english in Australia, and I kept some intonations and expressions. Today a loads of people are asking if I come from Australia…

So how to understand the Australian accent ?

Know the slang

Here is a little list I made, with some very common words but also the ones that made me laugh a lot :

  • Mate : Buddy
  • No worries : No problem / You’re welcome
  • Good day / G’Day : Hello !
  • Are you doing? / Are you going? : How are you ?
  • Yeah nah / Nah yeah : No / Yes (Very strange, but the trick is to always take the second word)
  • Cheers : To say when clinking glasses at a bar, also a way of saying thanks, hello, goodbye. It is not only Australian, but they use it a lot
  • Reckon : Think
  • Aussie / Tassie : Australian / Tasmanian
  • Root / Shag : A great pleasurable time 😉 
  • Bloke : Man
  • Sheilah : Woman
  • Brekkie : Breakfast
  • Barbie : Barbecue
  • Snags : Sausages
  • Sanga : Sandwich
  • Arvo : Afternoon
  • Servo : Petrol station
  • Maccas : Mc Donalds
  • Bottle-O : Liquor shop
  • Stubbie : A glass 375mL bottle of beer or cider
  • Eski : Cool box 
  • Prawn : Shrimp (they don’t actually chuck shrimps on the barbie, its prawns.)
  • Durry : Cigarettes
  • Knackered : Tired

Some practical examples : 

  • “Hey mate how ya goin’?
  • G’day cobba, yeah real good, cheers mate.
  • Whaddya reckon we go get a sanga and a stubbie, its real late in the arvo.
  • Yeah nah, lets go back to mine for a barbie, chuck a few snags on there.
  • Maate, yeah, I’ll stop by the bottle-o so we can get fuckin’ maggot, or nah?”

You can hang up by saying “Alright, see ya mate, yeah no worries, cheers, bye, yeah, cheers, cheers, bye mate”, and it will be a perfect echo !

The Backpackers

Backpackers are probably the places where you are going to spend most of your time. It is basically youth hostels for travellers from all around the word, cheap enough to let you stay as a foreign traveller. There is generally a common bathroom, a kitchen, WI-FI, with activities in a warm environment (of course it depends on the hostel).  There, you can prepare yourself before your next trips, rest a bit and keep meeting new people.

These places are a huge information source, because there are groups of people from all over the world, who have the same goal as you: to discover the country and the culture of this place. This is an advantage if you’d like to learn new things about other culture and country, and also to share good plans (especially jobs!).

However, forget the notion of privacy : you might stay most of your time in a 6, 8, 10 or 12 bed dorm (and it can increase, once I lived in a 32 bed dorm!), and you will rarely be alone. No problem, you’ll get used to it, meeting new people everyday is fascinating. Even if you don’t really know them, you’ll share a part of your adventure. It is defintely a new way of life.

For information, backpackers varies between 22$ and 30$ / per night, and once again all depend of what you are looking for. A good location, lots of comfort, great nightlife, you can basically find everything, at every price. Feel free to look at the critics on the online booking reservation! Generally, you can have a discount if you take one full week in advance, so don’t forget to ask about it. It is sometimes also possible to work in some hostel and get some free nights in exchange.

Shopping

The cheapest store you probably can find in Aussie is K-mart. It’s generally huge and is divided in different Section : Kitchen, bathroom, camping, garden,… You could basically find almost everything for nothing, for this reason it is the best place to go before a road trip.

Coles & Woolworths are the 2 supermarket’s leader. It exists some others as Aldi and IGA, but they way less common than the 2 big ones. Which one to choose ? I can’t really tell you as they almost the same. I fell that there is more discount in Woolworths, which are changing almost everyday, and this is nice to change what you want to eat according to a low budget.

Target is one the cheapest clothing store where you can find all type of outfit, from working stuff to everyday life. 

Finally, Bunning Warehouse is the last one I’ll put in this non-exhaustive list. This is handy work shop of Australia, where you can find all you need according your construction sector. Also, every weekends the hardware chain offers barbecue facilities in front of there store, which is call sausage sizzles. this became kind of a tradition the past few years and many people are meeting over there.

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