Australians. Do you agree that in every state, the accent is slightly different?

I'm Victorian, and I think that Western and Southern Australians talk very proper. Where as we Victorians and NSW people talk not proper but not bad. And I think the upper Western Australians and Northern Australians talk with a lot of slang and very typical Aussie.

178 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    I read all the above answers with great interest and have to agree that while accents and terms used vary slightly from state to state it has much to do with city/country and class differences as well. I am also from South Australia originally but I am English so never noticed anything funny about the accent :-). A few years ago we moved to Tasmania and I did notice that the accent was different but what really struck me was how many women call people "Darling". I felt as if I had come to live in the land of many Jeannie Little's!

    Source(s): Personal observation
  • 1 decade ago

    Having living in WA, Tasmania, the ACT and QLD, I can say that there are some slight differences in slang and accents. WA definatly has a roughish accent which I've heard from Europeans is very difficult understand.

    In Tasmania on the other hand I find the differences in more in the slang used and the apparent slowness of speaking. It's difficult to really say how they're different, you just notice the slightest changes in slang terms and expression.

    Although I have heard that Australia is a linguistic anomoly as if you travel to say England, the differences in accents are so stark. Whereas, Australia which is the size of like 20 Englands, doesn't really have accent/slang variation on that scale. It's bizzare. Maybe West Australians and Tasmanians and Queenslanders are rougher around the edges, so we speaks differents.

    Also, do you notice that Queenslanders always put 'but' on the end of a sentence instead of at the front! That was pointed out to me by a Victorian!

  • 1 decade ago

    I agree and it can even vary from suburb to suburb. My parents are a perfect example. Both had similar working class backgrounds but my Dad grew up in the inner city of Sydney and my Mum grew up further out (but only about 30kms away). Funnily enough my Dad is the one that is much more "ocker". I see it even in myself. I got back in contact with several people that I went to school with in the Sydney Hills and was quite surprised at how ocker they all sounded. I have lived on the North Shore of Sydney for a long time now and while there are a LOT of those fake posh accents there are a lot more of the "general"Aussie accent. The difference between accents is very clear. I do notice a difference in Queenslanders who speak more slowly, South Australians have more of the "proper" English accent and Victorians are somewhere in between NSW and SA. Generally speaking the accent gets more ocker the further north you go. (and that's not a put down - its just another thing that makes Oz such a great place!)

    Source(s): Lived in and traveled through many states of Australia.
  • 1 decade ago

    At the moment it is still quite subtle but if you have a good ear there is a discernible difference in accent between different parts of Australia. That's a totally different thing to regional slang or drawl. But over time regional accents will become more pronounced. That's just a logical presumption as it has occured in every other part of the planet. Nobody can actually explain why people who speak the same language have a different accent according to region. Look at the UK for an example where the difference in accents can be quite stark even over very small distances. And most people who are old enough will swear that there was no discernable Kiwi accent 50 years ago! Listen to them now!

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  • 1 decade ago

    Hey! I'm from South Australia, and i recently moved to Queensland last year. I think accents all depend on where you come from and your family history. I've read here some people think SA's speak with an almost English accent - well, coming from there i would agree but it differs from person to person. My mother is English so i've been asked many times by several people in SA if i come from England. Generally speaking, people's O's and R's are more rounded and pronounced in SA. If you come from the York Peninsula, people there generally pronounce their L's as W's or Y's, such as Miw-yen for Million.

    I've found that people who come from Victoria or, and particularily, NSW pronounce tool, school as toooool and skoooool. And also graph (instead of graRph as its pronounced in SA) they pronounce it like graph as in graph-ic. This is how my friend from the Victorian/NSW border spoke. Also branch and plant (and all words that rhyme with them) were pronounced brahnch and plahnt (instead of br-ar-nch or pl-ar-nt in SA).

    In Queensland i've found its similar to Victoria and NSW, except they don't pronounce tool and school the same way. They pronounce project as proh-ject, very similar to the way American's say it.

    I haven't been to Tasmania, WA or Northern Territory so i can't make any judgements. I do know that the more 'outback' you go the more broader the Australian accent gets, or you get the Crocodile Dundee type accent there. The slang is also used a lot more often and is hard even for some other Australian's to understand.

    I don't think it matters much really. And to a previous comment, no SA's don't think they are still a part of England and we are in no way snobby people. Its just an accent. So, from my experience i'd have to say i agree with you that from state to state there is a variation between accents. Sometimes only slight, sometimes very noticeable.

  • 1 decade ago

    There are clearly regional varieties in Australia, although nothing to match those in England or the US. Australia tends to have sociolects, which largely reflects social identity. Some people will identify with the speaking styles of Steve Irwin and Paul Hogan while others will feel closer to Geoffrey Rush or for those of us old enough to remember the late great Alan McGilvray.

    There was a time in some Australian education circles when learning skills such as diction and writing were seen as important. Students were taught to be conscious of how they spoke and practiced the development of graceful writing skllls. The image that Australia has abroad is that we all speak like Steve Irwin (I'om Austraaaylian = I'm Australian, toime = time, dai = day, etc.) Of course that God awful tourism ad saying to the world "Where the bloody hell are ya?" Didn't help any either.

    The other point is, when you grow up among a certain speech community it becomes very difficult to hear how you may sound to others. I left Australia to work abroad for over 10 years. In that time I met and heard Australians only a handful of times. When I eventually came home I was flabbergasted! Australians almost sounded cockney and it had never ever crossed my mind to think about our language and how we might come across. It was only then that I started to remember the language and the people I grew up with who influenced me... Alan McGilvray (I'm a cricket lover), Gough Whitlam, Billy Snedden, Graham Kennedy, Bert Newton, Barry Humphries... these were my heros when I was forming my identity and language... and I came to realize it is reflected in how I speak now. (Nonetheless, I always loved the Aussie larrikin types like Hogan, too.) I really hope we can somehow keep the standards these people set and not simple promote ourselves as a country of local yokels. Australia is a big enough country to have different speech styles that represent our diversity.

  • 1 decade ago


    Whilst working for a retail company I have reps from all over Australia that I place my orders with and I can tell a Victorian Accent from a QLD accent, a WA accent to a NSW accent.

    I do believe it is something to do with the migrants in one particular area. Having said that though music and television/movies even computer games can taint the way we talk greatly depending on what we watch/listen to and how much of it.

    I think it is rather humorous that within one country the accents are so diverse.

    However look at the UK and the US. The accents vary from state to state county to county. Although the US is large the UK is not so much and to hear from someone from Kent vs London you can notice the real difference.

    In the US think New York vs Louisiana vs California. So diverse.

    Although th Australian accent changes are not as severe as these examples they are definitely there.

    Great question though.

    Source(s): Personal experience. Dad was in the Army whist growing up move state to state. Now in my late 20's Husband and I travel a lot in this great country of ours.
  • A few years ago I moved from WA to NSW. I was always being asked where I was from and when I said Perth, they would so "And before that?" I would give them the name of the town where I grew up and they would say "and before that?". I have never lived anywhere else!! Some words are pronounced differently. EG here in WA we pronounce Derby with 'er' whereas in the East it is 'ar'. I remember visiting Far North Queensland a few years ago now and they definitely spoke with a different accent. And then there's Alf from Home & Away...

    And you know what can be really hard? Ordering a beer in some kind of glass at a pub! Sometimes bar staff look at you like you are speaking Russian!!

    You are right though, none of the accents are bad, just slightly different. Wonder why??

  • 1 decade ago

    I'm not Australian but I do agree that accents do differ not only from state to state but in some cases city to city. Whilst I was living in Sydney I was suprised by the different accents of those from Sydney versus those from New Castle. In the USA accents also differ from state to state but I've never before noticed such a difference of accents between cities so close together and in the same state!

  • 1 decade ago

    The 'local' and genuine Nrth Aussie Yeah.

    I have travelled extensively and referring to Australians only and not the vastly mixed cultures found mostly in Melbourne and Sydney, I'd have to say Melburnians take the cake for plum in mouth speech.

    Sounds like most went to some fine french finishing school.

    And the argument between who's the best Sydney or Melbourne will still go on. So we have to know that because they are pretty closely bonded especially when it comes to the arts, it has rubbed off on the Sydneyites.

    As for the rest of the land, I think were pretty much down to earth Aussies and speak pretty good Aussie English and always with a bit of slang thrown in.

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