-It is very common when walking into a store to hear “How ya going” instead of the typical American welcome, “How are you doing today”
-“Heaps” is a very common term used to describe “a lot” or “tons”. For example in the library it is common to hear, “I have heaps of assignments to finish before the weekend”.
-This was a very confusing difference to learn…I was asked if the ‘PowerPoint’ at my desk worked. I turned to this girl with a very confusing look and said that I had Microsoft PowerPoint on my computer if she wanted to use it; she just laughed and pointed to the electrical outlet. ☺
-In the dorm we have ‘lifts’ not elevators.
-“My mates and I” is equivalent to the United States phrase, “My friends and I”
-‘Keen’ is a very fun word that is extremely common in Australia. It can mean good or it is commonly used in the phrase “I’m keen”. Replacing what we say in American “I’m game” or “That sounds good”.
-When my professor handed back papers he congratulated us by saying “Good on ya” instead of “good for you” or “good job on your papers”.
-As it seems to be in Australia every phrase is cut short so it is no surprise that Australians say “Come over to ours for dinner” instead of what we would commonly say in America “Come over to our house for dinner tonight”.
-Going along with this same idea it comes to no shock that at McDonalds or as Australians call it ‘Maccas” the morning menu does not say breakfast instead it is called the ‘Breaky’ menu.
These are only a few of the many verbal differences between the United States and Australia. When I arrived it was hard to get used to these differences. From being here I have learned that as interested I am in learning about Australia, the Australians and students from all over the world are just as interested in how we do things in the United States, so it has become fun and interesting to compare and contract between cultures. Making me appreciate my own culture while learning about others, making me more and more eager to explore the world!
Susan Hiller is studying abroad at Bond University in Australia.