In this lesson, I’ll introduce you to Allan! He’s an American 🇺🇸 and he happens to be my brother-in-law!! When we filmed this video, Allan had just arrived in Australia for the very first time… And was feeling confused about some of the Australian slang words he had been hearing!
In his FIRST EVER YouTube appearance, he helped me to demonstrate some of the pronunciation differences between the American & Australian English accents!
You’ll probably learn some new words too!
CLICK HERE to read the full lesson transcript.
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Emma: Hello! I’m Emma from mmmEnglish and in this lesson I found an American all the way down here in Australia and I thought that I’d use him to show you some of the pronunciation differences between Australian English and American English. You don’t mind if I use you, Allan?
Allan: Use away!
Emma: How long have you been in Australia Allan?
Allan: Two weeks now.
Emma: Two weeks! And what do you think of it so far?
Allan: It’s beautiful.
Allan: Actually this is our first rainy day but for most days it’s been really, really nice out here in the west side.
Emma: Rainy days are good for filming actually!
Allan: Oh! That’s good, perfect day.
Emma: Hey, what’s one weird thing that Australians say? Australians say a lot of weird things with slang words. What kinds of things have you heard that have kind of just ‘weirded’ you out?
Allan: Maybe if someone said, you know, “go to the boot and get some bush chooks and we’ll crack a tinnie.” And you’re like, “I have no idea what you’re talking about!”
Emma: Nobody knows what you’re talking about! What he actually said was, can you go to the car – the back of the car – open it, get out a can of beer and open the beer.
Allan: Drink it.
Emma: So we can drink the beer. Boot is actually not that weird, that’s just, you know, you have a different name in America, right?
Allan: We just call it a trunk.
Emma: A trunk. The back of a car in America is called a trunk but here in Australia and in the UK too it’s boot.
Emma: You also say some really weird things actually, this morning you said to me “I’m going to go and pet that horse out there.” and I was like “what?” because pet is just like an animal in Australia, like a dog or a cat.
Allan: Right, right.
Emma: But you’re using it as a verb like you would – like we say pat, pat the animal – and you say pet.
Allan: Yeah, yeah pet.
Emma: Pet the animal. But my point is that even native English speakers have, you know, sometimes we have words or even pronunciation that we don’t quite understand about each other and you have to sort of piece the puzzle together and that’s definitely what we’ve been doing the last few days, right? Since I met you.
Emma: Piecing it together.
Allan: Yeah right, piecing it together. Figuring it out.
Emma: I’m going to, I’ve got some words actually written down here that I want to, I want to test your pronunciation on because I think that the way you say these words is quite different to the way that we say them here in Australia. So I want to test that out and I want to demonstrate to you guys what that actually, what it looks like or what it sounds like. The different – the difference between the American accent and the Australian accent. So the first one is this one, Allan. How do you say this?
Allan: That’s ‘hot’.
Emma: OK, so we would say hot. So more like oh rather than ah. Yeah so it’s a little bit different – that’s an easy one to start with. What about this one?
Allan: Going to be very different. We say car.
Emma: This one, car.
Emma: Car. So the main difference there is that Allan pronounces the ‘r’ at the end of this word. You say car.
Allan: We use the ‘r’, yes.
Emma: And we just dropped that ‘r’ sound, it’s kind of silent, it’s just ah.
Emma: Yeah! That’s like, that’s proper Australian accent. Car. All right, what about this one?
Emma: Now the way that I say bottle is –
Allan: with T’s.
Emma: Yeah but it’s not, actually, lots of Australians have the same pronunciation of these two T’s like, like you do and often I say bottle as well. So you, instead of pronouncing that T, it’s like a ‘d’ sound, like a lazy D sound.Bottle. Yeah. Bottle. Bottle.
Emma: Yeah that’s pretty good, it’s pretty close. But that’s one similarity between the Australian accent and the American accent – this double T or even just a single T in the middle of words like a bottle of water.
Allan: A bottle of water.
Emma: Yeah, like someone from the UK would say a bottle of water – in a better accent than me. OK, how about this one?
Emma: I think the way he says this is hilarious! We say burger but you pronounce this ‘u’ in a different way.
Allan: Burger. Yes.
Emma: Bur-burger. Burger. And I just say burger. OK!
Allan: Sometimes we’d drop the ‘a’ there, we’ll say garage.
Emma: Garage? Oh, like that’s really, really soft.
Allan: Yeah, sometimes it’s garage or sometimes it’s just garage.
Emma: So the main difference between the American and the Australian or the UK British accent pronunciation of this word is that we would put the stress on the first syllable and we would say ga-rage, garage. And you would say garage, so the stress pattern is different for this word. Garage.
Emma: That is not how you say that!
Allan: Bought. Yes.
Emma: Bought. It’s pretty similar.
Allan: Bought. Bought.
Emma: Yeah it’s pretty similar.
Emma: What about this one, then?
Emma: Daughter or daughter. That’s another good example of that ‘t’. Daughter. How about this one?
Allan: Aunt. Or aunt. But it’s mostly, I think you hear people say aunt more.
Emma: Aunt. We say aunt. Aunt. My auntie. Do you say auntie?
Allan: No, we just say aunt. We don’t really use auntie as much.
Emma: OK so that’s quite difference! Aunt and aunt. How about this one?
Emma: OK so the main difference there is in this last couple of syllables. We say entrepreneur.
Allan: Oh really?
Allan: Now I don’t even know how to say it! Entrepreneur.
Emma: So you kind of do two syllables at the end here, where we just go entrepreneur or entrepreneur.
Allan: Entrepreneur. That’s a weird word.
Emma: Entrepreneur. What about.. this is kind of related, this word.
Allan: There’s niche or niche.
Emma: What do you say?
Allan: I say niche but maybe I’ve been saying it wrong for a while but I think people say niche though. It’s your niche.
Emma: Everyone, lots of people in America say niche but everyone outside of America says niche.
Allan: Is that true? Did you have to look that up?
Emma: No that’s true!
Allan: I want to make sure I’m not the only one here.
Emma: It’s not just you! Lots of Americans say niche and add a ‘t’ sound in there but the rest of the world, the rest of the English-speaking world, says niche. Find your niche.
Allan: Interesting, very interesting.
Emma: Sorry what?
Allan: Caramel. We’ll say, caramel, caramel apple!
Emma: Caramel, caramel apple!
Allan: Yes it’s very different. And I don’t know why it’s caramel but it’s caramel or people will say it both ways. It’s caramel or caramel.
Emma: Yeah and even then if you say caramel, you put like a stronger stress on this third syllable, don’t you?
Allan: Yeah – mel.
Emma: Caramel. OK this one.
Allan: Very different.
Emma: It’s quite different. But this is like –
Allan: – you say it correctly.
Emma: You would normally, you would normally say just cell phone, right?
Allan: Yeah, we say cell phone.
Emma: When do you use this word?
Allan: Like a mobile home, like to move things.
Emma: Yeah, not like a phone?
Emma: Right because we would use this for a phone.
Allan: Even, well actually, I jumped in the ocean with my mobile.
Emma: You did too!
Allan: And I went to look for cell phones and it’s like in Australia it’s not really, they just always use mobile phones so I was searching for what’s the best cell phone plan and it’s not how they say it.
Emma: Oh like you were Google-ing that?
Allan: Yeah yeah.
Emma: But if you said that to someone here though, they’d know exactly what you were talking about. Cell phone, mobile phone.
Allan: Right, right.
Emma: But if you said say mobile or what do you say? Mobile?
Emma: Mobile. They’d be like “what?”. Actually that’s like the petrol company.
Allan: Yeah we don’t use petrol either, we call it gas. It’s just gas or gasoline.
Emma: So these are like loads of vocabulary differences between American and Australian English. We’re trying to focus on pronunciation but there’s a whole ‘nother lesson in vocabulary for sure! OK what about this one? This one is one of my favourites!
Allan: It’s very simply said. Aluminium.
Emma: Aluminium is what we say but actually when I, when I looked this up, you guys spell it differently.
Allan: That’s why! Because I’m looking at it, I’m like I don’t think that’s how we spell it, right.
Emma: You actually have changed the spelling so instead of aluminium, aluminium. You, you just write it aluminum. Is that right?
Emma: Aluminum. Just the -um at the end. Stop knocking that plant!
Allan: Hey buddy!
Emma: OK how about this?
Emma: Leisure. But I can see why leisure, that would probably makes more sense but American pronunciation, leisure, with the ‘r’ and Australian pronunciation, leisure, bit lazier.
Allan: Yeah turmeric.
Emma: Here, turmeric.
Allan: Yeah yeah.
Emma: This is like –
Allan: Maybe I’m wrong but I think I’ve called it turmeric for all that I can remember.
Emma: Don’t doubt yourself that’s just totally how you –
Allan: – try not to doubt myself.
Emma: Don’t doubt yourself in everything you’ve known for thirty years!
Allan: Yeah yeah.
Emma: But this is the spice, the yellow spice that’s used a lot in Indian cooking and Malaysian cooking. Very, very tasty, delicious spice. So are you kind of surprised by how many differences there are or did you already know about a lot of those differences between American and Australian English?
Allan: I think I get surprised by something almost everyday!
Emma: That you’re here! Yeah it’s still very new for you, isn’t it?
Allan: Yeah, it’s just pronunciation. It’s very different. Yes.
Emma: Yeah, yeah.
Allan: But it’s fun!
Emma: Yeah? Do you find the Australian accent easy to understand or is it sometimes quite difficult?
Allan: I think for the most part you can understand it. There’s just, there’s that – I think the more harder things in Australia is like using different words for different meanings.
Emma: Different vocabulary, slang words and stuff like that.
Allan: Yes, definitely.
Emma: Alright well if you would like to watch any more videos about the difference between American English, Australian English, British English I want you to go and check out these two here that I’ve just right on top of Alan right now. Sorry about that Allan but can you just hold these videos for me? Right here.
Emma: Thank you that’s perfect! If you would like to watch more of these videos and get updates when I release new videos, make sure that you subscribe to my channel by clicking this red button here and I will see you in the next lesson. Thanks for joining us and thanks Allan!
Allan: Well you’re very welcome! Thank you for having me.
Emma: Bye for now!