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Why do North Americans think the British accents sound Australian?

  1. petenali profile image86
    petenaliposted 6 years ago

    Why do North Americans think the British accents sound Australian?

    I get mistaken for an Aussie 95% of the time in Canada and talking to others I don't think it's just me.  Are the accents really that similar?

  2. donnaisabella profile image79
    donnaisabellaposted 6 years ago

    They sure do sound alike very much. Even I who has been with the British all around me for years, once I lived in America for 5 years I discovered British people who did not sound quite like the British even if they sounded like the British all right. I just began to notice the difference between Aussies and the British here, before I would not have known the difference primarily because I did not meet a lot of Australians in my country.

  3. Tracy Lynn Conway profile image95
    Tracy Lynn Conwayposted 6 years ago

    I am a North American and don't think they are that similar at all.  I am guessing that the people making the comments don't have familiarity with foreign accents and as a result just group them together into one.

    I have spoken with people from Australia and they certainly emphasize different parts of a word. My husband is from Ireland and I have family in England and I can tell the difference between the regions within those countries themselves.

    Even English spoken in South Africa has a distinct sound.  I have always loved that accent.

  4. oceansnsunsets profile image88
    oceansnsunsetsposted 6 years ago

    I think people just know that both accents sound really cool, and aren't clear on which is which.  If I heard two different people with pretty thick accents talking from each country, one after the other, I could tell them apart.  On another day, I might have to think about it. 

    No matter what, I think its a compliment.  People want to sound British, and Aussies sound really cool but with a different twist.  They just don't know, and assume I think.

  5. steveso profile image78
    stevesoposted 6 years ago

    I usually can tell the difference between a British and Australian accent. I have found that if I have a great deal of difficulty understanding the accent, it must be Australian or Cajun from New Orleans!

  6. ithabise profile image83
    ithabiseposted 6 years ago

    They are similar but I've learned to hear the difference, especially having a friend from Australia. To me Australian English is "flatter" in sound than the "voluptuous" British sound...if this makes any sense :p I find Australian English far closer in sound to American English.

  7. Mr Nice profile image81
    Mr Niceposted 6 years ago


    I never heard this statement before, however it is opposite. It's like Canadian English mix of British & American English.

    Do you mean.......??
    Why do North Americans think the Australian English sounds like British accents?

    Then here is the actual truth.

    People from Britain and Ireland first came to live in Australia in 1788. They brought many different kinds of English dialects with them.

    Australian English was also influenced by American English because during the Second World War there were many American soldiers staying in Australia.

    Also American television shows and music have been popular in Australia since the 1950s.
    I hope this is the right answer to your question.

  8. lburmaster profile image83
    lburmasterposted 6 years ago

    Because they sound similar to us. However, I normally mistake Australians for British. The British accent is probably the most easily recognized accent anywhere.

  9. petenali profile image86
    petenaliposted 6 years ago

    @Mr Nice - I understand why the accents could be deemed as "similar", but yet there are definite differences. In the same way, American accents can be distinguished from Canadian in most cases.
    As a Brit, I never take offense to being called an Australian.  I do, however, find it amusing when I am asked, "What part of Australia are you from?" as if the person asking is 100% confident I am an Aussie and wants me to know that.

  10. JKenny profile image93
    JKennyposted 6 years ago

    I remember reading somewhere that the Aussie accent originates from cockney, with a bit of Irish mixed in. So its understandable when somebody mistakes an Aussie accent for one of the British accents.

  11. PhiMaths ATB profile image60
    PhiMaths ATBposted 6 years ago

    I find that the Aussie accent is somewhat similar to a light cockney accent, with people from outside London however, I find there is little similarity. For Example, people from the west country sound nothing like Australians.

    So, if you are indeed a Cockney, and you are around people who haven't spent much time in Britain, I can see why this would be, otherwise it would be difficult to understand.

  12. tigerbaby777 profile image84
    tigerbaby777posted 6 years ago

    Because you both speak the Queen's english?  Or maybe its because they have never been around anybody from either country before.  I think it could even be because we have so many actors from one country playing a character from a different country so they may think thats how they sound.  Its hard to say.  I'm shocked when Leno or others ask people on the streets questions about the United States and they get the answers so wrong!  Lack of education or desire to know the history or learn about different cultures I would say.