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I have been living in Australia for 7 years now, and still haven't been able to pin down the local regional accents. I can tell a "Town" from a "Country" accent, but I can't reliably tell which state a speaker comes from.

The only shibboleth I am aware of is "The Melbourne Noy" which is how some but not all Melburnians pronounce the word "No". Also, think of Kath from "Kath and Kim" saying "Look at moi, look at moi!" Unfortunately, this pattern isn't restricted to Melbourne or even Victoria.

So does anyone have any other tips for recognizing Australia's regional accents?

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I thought that 'Noy' was from Kath & Kim - do Melburnians actually say that, or are they just using K&Kisms? :) – gpr Feb 25 '11 at 12:29
What is the accent of that flamboyant foodie on Masterchef AU? – mplungjan Feb 25 '11 at 14:28
@gpr We really do say that, though we don't exaggerate it for comedic effect the way K&K do. It varies from suburb to suburb and speaker to speaker, as well. – user867 Dec 31 '12 at 3:16
FYI, clas.mq.edu.au/voices/regional-accents . – coleopterist Jan 7 '13 at 12:47
up vote 7 down vote accepted

I'm in a similar boat to you. I don't know that it's really possible to pin down a regional accent. The consensus appears to be that there are three types of accent, broad (that's your country, 'ocker' or Strine), cultivated (like Peter Costello or Geoffrey Rush), and general (that'll be your town accent).

You're more likely to pick up on someone's region from their vocabulary since this is what appears to change from state to state. Wikipedia has some examples.

I've noticed differences in accent based on people's ethnic or cultural background... I had originally thought I was hearing a 'Westie' accent from the western suburbs of Sydney, but I realised the actual differentiating factor wasn't where the people lived, but where their families are from. Mediterranean immigrants (Italian, Greek, Lebanese) have a particular twang which is not ocker, but I can't actually explain it or give an example. I'm in Sydney too, so I'm not sure if this exists in Melbourne or anywhere else where that Mediterranean community exists.

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