The most common of all Australian terms we all know is fair dinkum which simply means OK, fair enough but when you put that with another term things start to liven up in the language, here is an example of how quickly Australian can take on a language all on their own. See if you can work out what the Australian below is saying to his friend:
“Fair dinkum, you gave it a fair crack of the whip last night with your barie and bangaroo.”
Which when literally translated means “Fair enough you gave it a very good effort with your B-B-Q (out door cooking) and marathon sex efforts last night.”
This not only has caught your attention but also serves to highlights the dangers of the language because on the face of it nothing would prepare the casual listener for such shocking revelations.
“I had a bingle last night because I was a possum up a gum tree. I ended up flat out like a lizard but it is nothing to get off your bike about now.”
Now this is slightly more animal focused and you would be forgiven to thinking the person was a zoo keeper however it is nothing to do with animals at all and in fact recalling a narrow escape during a self inflicted accident which should not alarm the listen. With this clue would you like to try and figure it out before we provide a direct Translation:
“I had an accident last night because I was going too fast. I ended up lying flat out but there is no need for your concern now.”
With such diverse wildlife it is easy to see why they are used in every day speech. Let us continue immediately with another opportunity for you to sharpen your improving Ozzie language skills .
“Please don’t do your lolly, the drongo was dry as a drovers dog so has a Darwin stubby after he hit the tin, that is why he is bombed out.”
Until now a person using these terms in Australia would have left you confused but luckily having taken the time to immerse yourself in this wonderful language you may have been able to translate that yourself. If not I can now reveal for the less Australian people reading it means:
“Please don’t get angry the foolish man was very thirsty that is why he put his money in the kitty and drank a 2 litre bottle of beer which led to him falling asleep.”
Well done to everyone who got that one before reading the translation.
Here is another to test you further and remember to practice the Australian accent as you read it out.
“A jillaroo was yakka when a swagman laid out his Matilda in front of her. He was a dinkie-di ocker for doing that while holding a long neck.”
Yes, somewhat more challenging now but I can share with you this is again an Australian scene you may see played out in the outback (big open area in Australia). If you have not managed to completed the translation or just want confirmation you are correct here it is now.
“A lady was working hard when a gentleman who travels around laid out his blanket. The lady thought he was a genuine horrible person for doing that while she was working hard and to upset her even more he was holding a large bottle of beer.”
This is a wonderful example of the Australian language but also a good example of the role men and women play in society where the male will often find any opportunity to relax and watch the ladies.
However, we need to focus on language today rather than mating rituals which we can cover in another session. So let us continue with our use of Australian today and well done to everyone who got that one right.
“My budgie smugglers were shonky and so had buckleys of keeping me in, I should not have been like a hornet in a bottle when they ripped.”
Did you manage this one on your own? It is chilling fact that budgie smugglers are common place to this day in Australia and no laws are in place to protect against them. If you have not managed to translate this one here it is. This sentence is relaying to the listener an embarrassing incident when a gentleman’s swim wear ripped due to poor quality materials. The direct translation is:
“My swimming shorts were poor quality so had no chance of keeping me in and I should not have been so cross when they ripped.”
An unfortunate incident that could have happened to any of us on those Australian beaches so Gents be sure to purchase quality shorts when hitting those Australian beaches, especially if your budgies are slightly larger and more like parrots maybe!
“Beyond the black stump while in my ute I had a true blue moment and feeling bonza I jumped into the ditch.”
A real chance here to practise your Australian skills now. The comments above are typical of what the average Australian would write on a postcard back home to loved ones. It is lovely message which reflects nicely the carefree lifestyle Australians enjoy. Well done to the budding Australians who got this one right.
The translation reads:
“Way beyond the city limits in my car I had a wonderful moment and while feeling absolutely fantastic I decided to jump into the ocean for a swim.”
A moment in time we can all appreciate and would love to do ourselves.
I hope these examples of Australian compared to English highlights just some of the challenges the average immigrant or visitor to Australia will face on arrival. Please do not be put off by this but instead embrace their language. The best place to encounter true Australian in full flow would be in any watering hole (public house which serves beer) on most nights. All lessons would be completely free and lots of fun.