Saturday, September 21, 2013

Shrimps on the Barbie?

So somehow I've been in Australia for 2 months now, don't ask me how because time has flown by. It's strange actually, it's like I've only been here for a week sometimes, but other times it feels like I've lived here for years. It all really depends on the situation though I've learned, but more often that not it's a strange mix of the two. BUT that's not the point of this post, I tend to get sidetracked and all introspective sometimes incase that wasn't already obvious. Since I've been here for 2 months, I've learned a fair bit about Melbourne, but also Australia and it's culture. And whoever said you don't get culture shock when going to another english-speaking country was completely wrong! We may both speak english but we're definitely both separated by a common language. 

It's been an adventure learning all of the slang (they really can be quite lazy with their language) and different sayings and expressions! I still get funny looks most days for using some "foreigner" expression as they've come to be known, or pronouncing something terribly wrong because of my Canadian accent. So I thought I'd share some, for anyone planning on travelling to Australia it might be helpful, and more so it's just pretty entertaining.

*note: this list is going to keep growing, because I know I've forgotten a ton of things. I need to start writing them down as they actually happen because there's multiple ones a day that I always seem to forget.

-snag: a sausage (uhm?)
-arvo: afternoon (like I said, they really like shortening words...)
-tea: dinner (though not everyone uses this, it depends on the area you're from and your family)
-Craigeburn: Australian pronunciation turns this into CragIEburn, never fails to make me laugh
-Geelong: Australian pronunciation is Gelong, if you say GEElong you will be ridiculed (not that I'm speaking from personal experience or anything)
-touch wood: equivalent to saying "knock on wood"
-Tassie: Tasmania (pretty obvious)
-CBD: the "downtown" of a city (central business district, if you say downtown no one will know what you're talking about...)
-Oz: term for Australia that is only used by tourists/wanna be Australians, no one that's from here would ever actually say that.
-AFL (Australian Rules Football): the centre of the known universe during the winter/spring, especially in Melbourne. It's basically a religion. You will learn it, pick a team, follow it, and love it. More to come about this in a soon to come post about my experience going to a game. 
-as: used commonly after descriptive words, that's cool as, sweet as, crazy as. It adds emphasis, and erases the need to continue with the rest of the sentence. 
-Melbourne will always say they're better than Sydney. Sydney will always say they're better than Melbourne. That's a road that you don't even want to go down haha.
-whitetail spiders: deadly little suckers that are very common in Melbourne. Also known as the spider that was on my kitchen floor the other day. Also have a bite that causes your flesh to eat itself. Yep.
-music festivals: they're massive, everyone goes, and they're epic. They put anything I've ever been to shame, and I'm so stoked for the 2 upcoming ones that I've got tickets for!

AND last but not least
No one will ever ask you to "throw some shrimp on the barbie". I hate to burst that bubble, but not only is it just a tourist stereotype, shrimp here are called prawns. So yes, you might hear throw some prawns on the barbie, but chances are it would be snags instead.

The funny thing is that I've already noticed when I talk to people back at home that I've picked up some of this slang. And apparently my pronunciation of some things is morphing a bit too. So who knows maybe I'll even be saying mate by the time I get home! That should be an interesting mix with the "eh" I've got from home and the "ya'll" I still use from Texas... my poor confused vocabulary seems to be getting more entertaining the more I travel and I love it. 

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