When planning a trip Down Under, it’s reasonable to assume that you won’t have to employ your foreign language skills much, but that doesn’t mean that you won’t experience a slight language barrier between yourself and the locals. While English is the official language of Australia, the country is famously known for its surplus of slang phrases, some of which are universally known (think: “g’day mate” or “selfie”), but many of which are nearly indecipherable.
Before you jet off to one of the most naturally beautiful and culturally rich destinations in the world, study up on these commonly used Aussie terms so you can avoid culture shock and interact like a pro!
How ya goin’?
How are you doing today?
This is a common greeting you’ll hear from any friendly face on the street. While it’s similar to the American phrase, it’s just different enough to catch you off guard the first time you hear it.
Whether you just surfed your first wave or saw a kangaroo in the wild, this is a phrase you’ll want to have in your back pocket to express your excitement. Sweet as what, you may ask? That’s up for you to decide.
This is just one of the many Australian slang words ending in -o, but it’s less obvious than many of the others. If you’re meeting for a “cuppa in the arvo,” get ready for tea in the afternoon.
Make sure to pack your togs for the Great Barrier Reef, or you won’t get to enjoy yourself much!
While “shrimp on the barbie” is mostly a myth (shrimp is called prawn in Australia), you’ll likely try a snag on the barbie – delicious!
The “bush” is very important to Australia, especially the Aboriginal, or native, people who historically used fire-stick farming on the bush to maintain plant and animal populations. Today, a bushwalk is any kind of hike or nature walk through an uninhabited area.
Get around it
Check it out / Join in
Aussies are nothing if not welcoming and fun-loving, so you’ll be encouraged to “get around it” and dive into adventure. Immerse yourself in the culture and get around Australia!