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Video

Pronunciation wars

How much attention must broadcasters pay to the pronunciation of words? Watch language experts and ABC staff discussing the preferred pronunciation of 'Don Quixote', a fictional Spaniard who appears in the novel bearing his name and in several significant artistic works. This clip reveals the importance placed upon the ...

Video

What your language says about you

Do you know what a 'bevan' is? Or are you more familiar with 'bogans', 'westies', 'chiggers' or 'boonies'? These are all terms used to describe the same kind of person. How is it that different places in Australia develop different expressions? In this clip, explore some of the reasons behind Queensland's colloquialisms.

Video

The keys to clearer explanations

G'day cobber! Are you a true-blue, dinky-di Aussie? Australian slang can be quite bewildering for anyone who is new to this country and even for those who've lived here quite a while. In this clip Professor Kate Burridge explores how to use verbal and non-verbal language to explain difficult concepts.

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One English language or many?

Do people around Australia all speak the same English? In this clip, explore the ways that language evolves and consider the impacts that other 'Englishes', such as British English and American English, can have on the way we speak.

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Devon, Polony, Stras or Fritz?

How much is your use of the English language influenced by where you live? Would it be possible to work out where in Australia somebody comes from just by listening to them speak? In this clip from a 1975 episode of Four Corners, find out how words and expressions we use every day might be revealing more about us than we realise.

Video

I speak, you guess

Listen to the voices of a small selection of students from around Australia to see if you can guess where they live. Is place the most important thing that shapes their language, or are there other factors that influence how people speak?

Video

Core speech with extras, thanks

A national survey in the 1960s indicated that the use of spoken English was surprisingly similar throughout Australia. This challenged the notion of 'regionalism', which suggested that people from different places would use language in different ways. In this clip, two leading academics discuss regionalism and suggest that ...

Video

Pretty polly: how politicians speak

If politicians are the 'voice of the people', does their way of speaking resemble that of the people? In this clip from 1975, listen to Professor John S Gunn describe what he sees as a uniquely Australian rhythm of speech. Then see how many similarities and differences you can find as you listen to some brilliant imitations ...

Video

Chilling with the butcher's dog

Perhaps no term conjures the Australian character more than the ubiquitous 'G'day, mate'. But are Australians in danger of losing the colourful language they're known for? This clip examines some of the colloquialisms that might be in danger of disappearing.