I am a particularly proud Australian. My father came to Australia as a 19 year old and could not speak a word of English. My grandparents derive from Europe and Wales, and I had the fortunate upbringing of growing up in rural Australia on a property in a small town named Charters Towers. I am particularly mixed up on where I really come from, but being Australian is something to be very proud of. It's a good country, beautiful beyond belief and the people in general are the nicest, most easy going in the world.
Having travelled around the world many times, my accent is not as thick as most, but its still quite evident, although when I travel to the UK I tend to be more likened to an American accent and usually in the US I am likened to a British accent. I am not sure where they get this one wrong, but it happens and I always seem to laugh it off.
Australian English is more in common with British English with many similar expressions and words used for everyday language. In particular, through my own upbringing, my pronunciations of words like 'castle' sound more like 'carrrsale' whereas I think middle Australia pronounce the word similar to the American version of 'casssale'. Perhaps this is through watching too much American television - I am not so sure.
Australian - American
Bottom - Fanny
Dressing Gown - Robe
Booking - Reservation
Dollar Note - Bill
Autumn - Fall
Chemist/Pharmacy - Drug Store
Cyclone - Hurricane
Conference - Congress
Diary - Date book or planner
Mobile Phone - Cell
Friends - Buddies
Holiday - Vacation
Jug - Pitcher
Lawyer - Attorney
Postcode - Zipcode
Queue - Line
Fringe - Bangs
Bum Bag - Fanny Bag
Shopping Centre - Mall
Tick (the box) - Check (the box)
Whinge - Complain
Biscuits (savoury) - Crackers
Cafe - Diner
Lemonade - Sprite (brand name)
Lollies and sweets - Candy
Prawns - Shrimp
And the list goes on...
Sitting at dinner last night with my girlfriend, a former Rockette, we had a good old laugh about the word 'Classy'. Now, if I were to say someone is classy, I think I would use the term in a 'tongue in cheek' way meaning that they in fact lack class. Instead, I would say that they are sophisticated, have style or etiquette. It's a word that I find is used a lot here, and every time, I have a moment of cringe, particularly if it relates back to me.
IN BUSINESS... it's the same. When you choose to do business in another country, it's important to come up to speed with the frequently used basic words so as to avoid misunderstandings. Just by googling language differences, you will be able to easily find a list of words that are utilised in the basic language of most countries.
Also, note spelling is different from country to country and if you are doing business, make sure all your communications take this into account.
What words stand out for you when you travel?
Mellissah Smith is a marketing expert with more than 20 years experience. Having founded and built two successful marketing companies internationally, she is well recognized as a industry thought leader and innovator. Mellissah started her career working with technology and professional services firms, primarily in marketing, public relations and investor relations, positioning a number of successful companies to list on the various Stock Exchanges around the world. She is a writer, technology developer and entrepreneur who shares her thoughts and experiences through blogs and written articles published in various media outlets. Brag sheet: #2 marketer to follow on Twitter (2003), Top 150 Marketers to Follow (2015), Top 10 innovative marketers (2014), 60K+ followers on Twitter with 97% authentic.
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