Saturday, October 29, 2011

Speaking Australian

Since arriving in Sydney, I've picked up some common words used regularly. Sometimes I find myself caught between using Canadian language or Australian language. (Plastic wrap? Or cling film?) Yes I know it sounds weird, since both countries are English speaking, but each place really has it's own distict lingo.

First off, since I work in the kitchen, I made a mental note to remember some common kitchen ingredients that are named differently in Australia:

Arugula= rocket
Bell pepper = capsicum
Swiss chard= silverbeet
Kale= tuscan cabbage
Beet= beetroot
Belgian endive= witlof
Ground beef= minced beef
Whole wheat flour= whole meal flour
Cornstarch= corn flour

I'm starting to get into the habit of saying the Australian term first. Sometimes I forget and say "bell pepper", and people just look at me with a weird face. There are some words that I still have to get used to:

Lollies= candy (no one uses the word candy here)
Mum= mom ( I still think spelling it with a "u" is a spelling error)
Bottle shop= liquor store
Chemist= pharmacist/ pharmacy
Docket= ticket
Paddle pops= popsicle sticks (really?)

One word I really can't see myself using is "reckon", meaning "think/ guess". I reckon that it is just too foreign to me. To use it means that I really have switched to the other side. Who knows, maybe shortly after I'll start picking up "G'day mate!".

I noticed in the kitchen, they use the words "hectic/ sick/ epic" alot. Mainly to describe something wicked or awesome. For example, " Staff dinner looks hectic. I have to take a picture". (Pronounced "pick- cha").

Being in Australia for the short four months already, I've noticed that even the way I speak has changed slightly. I guess it's natural for humans to mimic what they hear. My r's are less sharp and pronounced. The other day I shocked myself when I said "here" as "hee-ya". Their accent is really starting to rub off on me.

McDonalds to me, is known as McDonalds all around the world. But here, it's shortened it to Mackers, really pronounced "Mackahs". Weird huh? Even the word chocolate in the McDonalds commercial is shorted to "choc" when describing their McFlurry.

I'm starting to pick up the lingo pretty quick, even though I don't immediately know what it means. I understand what is being said. Yes, I'm still learning Australian.

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