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The Learning Adventure of a Lifetime

Talking Aussie

Almost all Australians speak English, although immigrants often use their native languages at home (much like in the USA) and in their social clubs. Aborigines once had more than 250 languages, but only about 50 have survived in teachable form.

Australians use some terminology not used in American English. For example, "rubbish" means garbage; "over the road" means across the street; a "rubber" is an eraser; and the hood of a car is a "bonnet," while the trunk is a "boot." Australians have also introduced their own colloquialisms and idioms, such as "No worries, mate" (No problem, pal), and "prang" (an auto collision). Australians make great use of diminutives, shortening words such as university to "uni," kindergarten to "kindy," and television to "telly."

See Aussie-speak for more on Australian language.