No worries mate! Aussie lingo run down at Orientation (Issue 3, 2013)

whisperNewly arrived students from around the globe were quickly adapting to the local lingo at the Melbourne Campus recently.

‘No worries mate.’

‘We’re having chook and spuds for dinner.’

These were just some of the many phrases that the students repeated out aloud during a one hour presentation on informal English spoken in Australia, hosted by Michele Mooney who works in the Faculty of Science, Technology and Engineering.

The presentation was part of a string of Orientation sessions aimed at welcoming international students during University activities held over two weeks before the start of Semester 1 at the Melbourne Campus.

Around 200 students were busy taking photos, writing down and practising phrases and common sayings to near perfection as Ms Mooney encouraged them to have a go in the interactive and engaging session. Some prizes were awarded for correctly answering her questions.

She emphasised that it was a challenge to grasp the difference between formal English and casual English, the former of which students had learned extensively before arriving in Melbourne.

‘Learning English from a textbook is not enough – you need to know how English is spoken,’ she said.

Ms Mooney, a former ESL teacher, also pointed out that Australians speak quickly and shorten their words, such as ‘lippie’ for lipstick and ‘bikki’ for biscuit. They also shorten first and family names, such as ‘Wazza’ for Warren or ‘Fitzy’ for a surname of Fitzgerald.

‘But don't take offence because it means that people like you if they shorten your name,’ she said.

Orientation is designed to help students settle into University life and study in Australia. It is highly recommended for international students to attend. International Enrolment and Orientation for Semester 2 will be held from 16 to 20 July at the Melbourne Campus, on 26 July at the Bendigo Campus and on 25 July at the Albury-Wodonga, Mildura and Shepparton campuses.