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Difference Between English and Australian Accent

English vs Australian Accent

English is the most widely used language in the world. It is spoken by people in countries that have been under the British Empire, including Canada, the United States and Australia.

The areas where it is spoken as a first language show different varieties of accents. Their accents are actually part of their local dialects and have unique features in pronunciation, vocabulary and grammar.

Australian Accent

The first Australian settlers were from Britain, most were from Ireland and London. A few were from Scotland and Wales and other British colonies. The gold rush of the 1850s invited more settlers from different parts of the world which largely influenced the language.

Australian English began to be influenced by American English which introduced new words, spellings, and usages from North American English. Bonzer, a word that means great, superb or beautiful is a corruption of the American mining term, bonanza.

Because of these different influences, people who are born in Australia have distinct accents and vocabulary. Australia has an accent that is unique and which has diverged from its original British or English accent.

There are three main varieties of spoken Australian English. These accent varieties reflect the social class or educational background of an individual.

One is the broad Australian accent which is recognized because it is used in films and television. Another is the general Australian accent which is spoken by majority of Australians. The third one is the cultivated Australian accent which is similar to the British Received Pronunciation.

The Australian accent is a non-rhetoric accent and is similar to South African and New Zealand English. It is distinguished by its vowel phonology. The vowels are divided into two categories, the long and short vowels.

The short vowels only have monophthongs that correspond to the lax vowels used in pronunciation, while the long vowels consist of both monophthongs and diphthongs and have tense vowels.

British or English Accent

The British or English accent follows the Received Pronunciation, also called Oxford English. It is the accepted form of pronunciation which is the common speech of Oxford University.

It follows Standard English and is believed to be based on the accents of Southern England. It has three different forms; the Conservative which refers to the traditional accent associated with older speakers, the General which is neutral and the Advanced which refers to the accent of the younger generation.

The accent’s long vowels are slightly diphthongized, especially ‘i’ and ‘u’.  Due to the phonological process, vowel length is affected and short vowels may be longer or shorter depending on its context.  It also has triphthongs.


1. Australian accent is distinguished by its vowel phonology, while British or English accent has both vowel and consonant phonology.
2. Australian accent is non-rhetoric, while British or English accent is also non-rhetoric which means that the ‘r’ does not occur unless followed immediately by a vowel.
3. Australian accent have three main varieties, while British or English accent has three forms.

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  1. “non-rhetoric”? What do you mean? It has nothing to do with the pronunciation of lack of pronunciation of the /r/ sound! That’s called (non)-RHOTIC

  2. Wouldn’t that be a dialect then not actually an accent? The southern accent is popular in the United States however different parts of the south have different dialects but people in the United States do know when someone is from the southern or to be more specific southeatern United States.

  3. As I posted about the southern accent or dialects it is also easy to figure out who is from up north on the same basis however to me Michigan west to Washington state all sound the same however I’ve not been up North enough to be able to make certain distinction of the states dialects. So accent and dialect I believe are commonly misunderstood I know I’m confused can anyone explain the difference? I mena hell its all english derived just different ways of speakin the language and in certain cases different words for the same thing. Its very confusing.

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