Up or Down?

Sono contento che abbiate inserito alcuni articoli sull’Australia, ma c’è una cosa che ho trovato confusa: pensavo che la speaker Sarah Davison fosse britannica, invece nell’articolo è indicato che ha un accento australiano. Da dove proviene in realtà? Inoltre: l’espressione “Down Under” è veramente usata dagli australiani?

Sarah has lived for many years in the UK but is actually a ’Kiwi’, i.e. from New Zealand, where the accent is similar to the Australian accent (both countries might disagree with this statement but to the European ear, at least, the accents are not dissimilar!) Sarah is also an actress, and therefore has a very good ear for different accents which she can imitate extremely well. As for the expression “Down Under”, it was originally coined by the British convicts who were sentenced to be transported to Australia in the late 18th and 19th century but is in common use by Australians themselves today. Most of them are amused by it, although some Aussies do object to their country being regarded as an ‘outpost’ and at the ‘bottom’ of the world in typical maps showing the globe oriented with the north towards the top.

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2 Responses to “Up or Down?”

  1. Hi there! I got curious reading the newsletter and listened to the article “Winter in Summer”. I am Italian, I have taught English at high school and uni for 4 years and now I have been living “Down Under” for the past 2 years and a half. I can confirm that people here use the expression – quite often and quite proudly also, I must admit! However, listening to the speaker, it is really clear that she has a New Zealander accent. The main difference between Aussie and Kiwi accent is the way the letters “i” and “e” are pronounced. In some words they get even misplaced, so it may sound a bit strange what a Kiwi may be saying: the number SIX, for example, is normally pronounced as if it was spelled with an E, and the very similar word, actually spelled with the E gets to be pronounced as the number – quite confusing! From this, you could also write an article about similarities and diversities between the neighbours Aussies and Kiwis….who are very different! The slang is the main thing…the Aussie “eskie”, for instance, is a Kiwi “chilly bin” :-)

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