Learn yerself Strine (Teach yourself Australian)
Thread poster: Jack Doughty

Jack Doughty  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 13:39
Member (2000)
Russian to English
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Aug 13, 2004

From "The Daily Telegraph", 13/08/04:

Strine lessons just the go for new banana benders
By Nick Squires in Sydney

For the newly arrived immigrant hoping to become a true blue banana bender or a fair dinkum sandgroper, it could be just the go.
A college in Sydney is offering lessons in understanding Australian slang to migrants who find themselves bamboozled by the country's colourful argot, once introduced to Britain in the 1960s by the cartoon character Barry McKenzie in Private Eye.
While many immigrants arrive in Oz with a firm grasp of textbook English, they are often left scratching their heads when faced with phrases such as "She'll be apples" (It will be OK), "Take a squizz" (have a look) or "As flash as a rat with a gold tooth" (people with a high opinion of themselves).
Australians' nicknames for each other are similarly confounding: a banana bender is a Queenslander, sandgropers hail from Western Australia, while South Australians are known as crow-eaters. Fair dinkum, true blue and dinky-di all mean authentic or genuine.
The nine-week course, offered by the Eastern Suburbs Community College, aims to acquaint students with hundreds of the most common colloquial phrases.
"A lot of my students have lived in Australia for two or three years but don't feel as
though they are part of the community because they don't understand slang and don't get the humour," said Ilana Katz-Mizrahi, 48, who teaches the class, the only one of its kind in Australia.
The range of nationalities attending the course, from Chinese and Korean to Brazilian and Greek, makes it a real life version of the 1970s televisionseries Mind Your Language, she said.
Mrs Katz-Mizrahi, who was born in Israel and spoke no English when she came to Australia as a small child, teaches her students words and phrases such as "Don't get your knickers in a knot", "drongo" (an idiot), bonk, and sanger (sausage).
Speaking genuine "Strine" (Australian) also necessitates slurring words into each other or lopping off entire syllables. So "How much is it?" comes out sounding like "Emma chisit?" while air-conditioner becomes "egg nishner".
Australian rhyming slang, which has diverged widely from its Cockney origins, is also a source of perplexion for new arrivals. "Have a Captain Cook" means take a look, a "septic tank" is a Yank, and "frog n' toad" is a road.
Insults are a particular speciality of Aussie slang. "He's got a face like a half-sucked mango" is one of the few which are printable.
Understanding such peculiarities could be an uphill battle for even the most dedicated student. Those who despair of grasping their work colleagues' larrikin lingo may feel like chucking a sickie.

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Russian to English
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the Australian theme Aug 13, 2004

The questions below about Australia are from potential visitors. They were posted on an Australian Tourism Website and the answers are the actual responses by the website officials, who obviously have a sense of humor. Enjoy!

Q: Does it ever get windy in Australia? I have never seen it rain on TV, so how do the plants grow? (UK).
A: We import all plants fully grown and then just sit around watching them die.

Q: Will I be able to see kangaroos in the street? (USA)
A: Depends how much you've been drinking.

Q: I want to walk from Perth to Sydney - can I follow the railroad tracks?(Sweden)
A: Sure, it's only three thousand miles, take lots of water.

Q: Is it safe to run around in the bushes in Australia? (Sweden)
A: So it's true what they say about Swedes.

Q: Are there any ATMs (cash machines) in Australia? Can you send me a list of them in Brisbane, Cairns,
Townsville and Hervey Bay? (UK)
A: What did your last slave die of?

Q: Can you give me some information about hippo racing in Australia? (USA)
A: A-fri-ca is the big triangle shaped continent south of Europe. Aus-tra-lia is that big island in the middle of the
Pacific which does not... oh forget it. Sure, the hippo racing is every Tuesday night in Kings Cross. Come naked.

Q: Which direction is North in Australia? (USA)
A: Face south and then turn 90 degrees. Contact us when you get here and we'll send the rest of the directions.

Q: Can I bring cutlery into Australia? (UK)
A: Why? Just use your fingers like we do.

Q: Can you send me the Vienna Boys' Choir schedule? (USA)
A: Aus-tri-a is that quaint little country bordering Ger-man-y, which is...oh,forget it. Sure, the Vienna Boys Choir plays every Tuesday night in KingsCross, straight after the hippo races. Come naked.

Q: Can I wear high heels in Australia? (UK)
A: You are a British politician, right?

Q: Are there supermarkets in Sydney and is milk available all year round?(Germany)
A: No, we are a peaceful civilization of vegan hunter/gatherers. Milk is illegal.

Q: Please send a list of all doctors in Australia who can dispense rattlesnake serum. (USA)
A: Rattlesnakes live in A-meri-ca which is where YOU come from. All Australian snakes are perfectly harmless, can be safely handled and make good pets.

Q: I have a question about a famous animal in Australia, but I forget its name. It's a kind of bear and lives in trees. (USA)
A: It's called a Drop Bear. They are so called because they drop out of gum trees and eat the brains of anyone walking underneath them. You can scare them off by spraying yourself with human urine before you go out walking.

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Rebekka Groß  Identity Verified
Local time: 13:39
English to German
very funny - here are some more Aug 15, 2004

Check out this web site:


And here's a wee taster:
A woman rang a tour operator to ask what temperatures she could expect on her holiday to a Greek island. When her question was answered, she replied huffily, "Well, if that's the case, I'm going with Thomson. It's hotter with them."


[Edited at 2004-08-15 11:45]

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Edward Potter  Identity Verified
Local time: 14:39
Member (2003)
Spanish to English
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LOL! Nov 17, 2005

Loved the Aussie stuff! Stupid answers to stupid questions.

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Learn yerself Strine (Teach yourself Australian)

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