1. bsbvermont
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    bsbvermont Active Member

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    Any suggestions for authentic Aussie dialect?

    Discussion in 'Character Development' started by bsbvermont, Jul 25, 2012.

    Dear Folks...One of my main characters in my novel is Australian and although I have 8 solid seasons of McLeod's Daughters, and lots of Steve Irwin under my belt, I am looking for more TV, Movies or websites that would represent current day Australian idiomatic language. I am starting the screenplay now and the dialog is crucial. Any Aussie's out there? Any suggestions?
     
  2. prettyprettyprettygood
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    prettyprettyprettygood Active Member

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    I'm sadly not an Aussie, but I expect like any other country the dialect will depend on the exact area your character is from, and their upbringing etc.

    That said, if they happen to be a Sydney/Bondi type I can thoroughly recommend the TV programme Bondi Rescue, it's a great programme and the lifeguards all have strong accents for you to get a feel for.

    You could also watch The Castle, which is possibly my favourite film- it isn't bang up-to-date but should give a nice flavour of a few Australian accents.
     
  3. bsbvermont
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    bsbvermont Active Member

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    prettyprettyprettygood....I should probably add that I am in the US and we can't access Australian networks (Channel 10 which I'd LOVE to watch is blocked). But thanks...I keep waiting for more to come on to netflix...I might try to see if I can access them through my mobile...Sometimes they have different access. Thanks for the suggestion though. I've heard fun things about Bondi Rescue.
     
  4. prettyprettyprettygood
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    prettyprettyprettygood Active Member

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    Ahh, we got a few series of it in the UK on an obscure Satellite channel, then I bugged the husband for the DVD box set for Christmas :)

    I'm sure there are lots of clips and perhaps full episodes on YouTube, so that's worth a try.
     
  5. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Yeah. Don't do it unless you can have a Gen-u-ine Aussie look it over with a critical eye. If you don't REALLY know a dialect, you'll come up with egg on your face for sure!
     
  6. bsbvermont
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    bsbvermont Active Member

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    Yep...that's what I'm worried about... When I get close I'll need to find an Aussie reader...not real sure where...
     
  7. Steph4136
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    Steph4136 Senior Member

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    I thought someone here was from Oz? I thought I read that recently.
     
  8. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Keep in mind that Australia is a rather large country. Expect regional differences.

    People make the same mistake with a "British dialect" or an American "Southern dialect."
     
  9. nzric
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    nzric Active Member

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    Check out the long-running Aussie soaps Home and Away, or Neighbours, or a new one Packed to the Rafters. It'll give you a range of Australian speaking styles. Otherwise look for anything done by Aussie comedians Hamish and Andy.
     
  10. shadowwalker
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    shadowwalker Contributing Member Contributor

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    What Cogito said. Also bear in mind that it would probably be best to go with 'widely understood' phrasing, otherwise the nuances will be missed anyway (ie, the reader will be wondering what the heck the character meant). And, as with any accent or dialect, season lightly.
     
  11. bsbvermont
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    bsbvermont Active Member

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    All great suggestions! Since the character is somewhat based in academia, it should be believable to pepper lightly. And although I can't get some top Aussie shows here in the states, the youtube suggestions have worked out well. I can see why Bondi Rescue is soooo popular! :D
     
  12. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    snce you're writing a screenplay, why aren't you downloading scripts set in australia, beth?
     
  13. thewordsmith
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    thewordsmith Contributing Member Contributor

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    Yeh. I was just about to point out that, as with many other large and small countries, not everyone sound the same. There are regional distinctions and differences And, in Australia, as with any large country, you are going to find a wide range of speech variances.
     
  14. bsbvermont
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    bsbvermont Active Member

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    A ha...the scripts set in Australia idea is an excellent idea (Even though only a small portion is actually set in Australia/New Zealand.) The IMSDb site is a great resource...Thanks for sending me that way Mammamaia!

    And yep, I'll probably stick to mainstream Aussie sayings, that sound Australian even to my undiscerning ear. I love this site and really appreciate all the replies!
     
  15. sealingwax
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    sealingwax New Member

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    I have just joined this forum so hi.

    I am Aussie and would be happy to read it through.

    Australia does have regional dialect but it isn't as prenounced as the UK or US. Also a note of caution, be careful of some of the dialouge you pick up from TV shows, much of it is a bit hammed up and filled with phrases that no Australian would really say.
     
  16. ThievingSix
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    ThievingSix Member

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    I'm also an Australian, and I'll say that you should be careful in particularly the phrases you choose at the risk of sounding cliché.

    There is really no regional difference between accents, and Aussie accent is pretty stock standard around the country apart from the more inland you go, the harder the accents get. Unlike the UK or even america where there is a far greater variation in the accents themselves.

    Also i think an Australian accent is very hard to portray in text, your going to have to use clichés and stereotypical Australian banter. Avoid using "mate" excessively, use it sparingly for emphasis. A good example would be, "Where are you going mate?" to a stranger, or "nah mate, just havin a few down at the pub", to a friend. A bad example would be "nah mate, me and my mates were just chillin at the gabba when a copper came along, mate, he was off his nut, gave me and my mates a hard time." As a general rule of thumb, mate is used to refer to a singular person you aren't familiar with, or your group of friends(mates). You generally wouldn't refer to a close friend as your mate unless you were talking to a stranger. A girl is never a mate(usually) and contrary to popular belief, "sheila" is rarely if ever used. If it is used, its generally to refer to a rough, attractive woman. The Americanised "chick" is far more common.

    It might sound cool to use expressions like "fair shake of the sauce bottle" or "fair go", but use them sparingly. Contrary to popular belief, no matter how much "hard yakka" you put into your screen play its always going to be hard duplicate an authentic Australian accent as most will speak pretty non-colloquial language although there are always those who will just "yabber on at the whacker" but i would think most Australians would. Oh and don't confuse american swag, with Australian "swag", hell "if you don't have a swag your going to freeze your bloody arse off". These are just some classic clichés, use them sparingly, for a rough guide, and Australian might say one of these per 20-30 minutes of conversation.
     
  17. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    here's a list of current and future australian tv series: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Australian_television_series

    you can check imsdb and script-o-rama for whatever scripts may be available to download... just make sure you don't use any that are listed as 'transcription' since those are not real scripts...
     
  18. bsbvermont
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    bsbvermont Active Member

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    Great...some aussies! Thievingsix and sealingwax - I'll be messaging you folks for sure if that's OK) Two way street too...if you are wondering about US dialect, let me know. I'm from the northeast, but I also teach about linguistic differences in the US.

    You have all brought up wonderful questions:

    I think I have used mate 3-4 times, but I think it's appropriate...EX. Cal is not Australian, Duncan is:

    CAL (O.S.)
    Duncan, it’s Cal. I figured I’d catch you right about now.

    DUNCAN
    Cal?? Na... really? How are you doin’? Are you in Sydney or Vermont?

    CAL (O.S.)
    I’m in Vermont, but I wanted to catch you this morning.

    DUNCAN
    Evening here mate...what’s up?

    Also, at one point Cal, who is NOT Aussi refers to Sheilas (trying to sound Australian for Duncan's sake...) Believable?

    Mammmaia...great point about the distinction between scripts and transcriptions...It is so interesting to read a variety of scripts. There are so many variations on the amount of direction and how they set scenes there too.
     
  19. ThievingSix
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    ThievingSix Member

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    If you give me a character profile i can probably find you a TV show with a character that matches your profile, so you can pretty much study him.

    Things like, where they live, level of education, job and age tend to come into play. Are they sporty?, perhaps a surfer? Things like that can affect the accent a lot. You'll find surfers have a hard accent however, lawyers for example, will never use colloquial language other than perhaps mate, in general speech.

    Instead of "How are you doin'", generally most Australians would say "How are you going?" spoken like "owyagoin". Used in a sentence, "How are you goin mate?".

    "Shiela" is fine to use, its often used in a sarcastic way in major cities like Sydney to refer to a female who is particularly Australian. In the outback(or country side), Shiela is a more generalised term for women that the male has a fancy in. In your case i think its a good use of it.
     
  20. bsbvermont
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    bsbvermont Active Member

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    Thievingsix...you're a mate :D (can I say that??) Any questions about US English, let me know!
     
  21. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    television scripts are not always exactly the same as film scripts, since they have more 'acts' to allow for commercials... and sitcoms are entirely different in format...

    as for the addition of direction and editing details, keep in mind that scripts you download are mostly shooting and director's scripts and even when screenwriters' drafts, they're not going to be spec scripts, which is what you're writing...

    a spec script should be 'lean and clean'... a known writer with a good track record can afford to indulge in idiosyncratic excess... an unknown newbie can't...
     

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