So I tried, I really did.
After all, Australian television has so many American shows and sit-coms, right?
All I needed to do was make a few adjustments – no ‘u’ in ardour, behaviour, colour, honour, glamour, flavour, labour, neighbour, odour, valour, vapour, favourite …
I’d change words like centre, litre, theatre to center, liter, and theater; and replace the odd ‘s’ with a ‘z’.
American and Australian language has a LOT of similarities. However, I ended up changing more words than I expected –
Gravel became road metal
Car park > parking lot
Windscreen > windshield
Boot > trunk
Bonnet > hood
Lift (building) > elevator
Toilet > washroom, restroom (so much nicer!)
Chips > french fries
Serviette > napkin
Restaurant bill > restaurant check
Bucket > pail
Verandah > porch or deck
Wardrobe > cupboard
Door frame > door jamb
Jumper > sweater
Singlet > talk top, athletic shirt
Bitumen > asphalt
Gutter > kerb
Tyre > tire
Dressing gown > robe,
My writing began to look like a mixed breed dog. Arafura had an Australian setting with Australian characters, but you could hear the fake American accents a mile away.
A rough example – ‘Hey y’all, this dude must have a few kangaroos missing in the top paddock’ , or ‘I’m super excited to be wearing my awesome new togs!’
I gave a very wide berth to ‘fanny’ and ‘rooting’ (not even going there …) For some reason I couldn’t come at blokes saying ‘ass’ instead of ‘arse’, and stubbornly held onto ‘thongs’ (meaning flip-flops, not G-string).
In the end my prose sounded awkward, so I decided to stick to Australian words. Although I tried to stay away from slang, I think a few colloquialisms snuck in here and there. (Hope I didn’t make too much of a galah of myself.)
This Aussie-American couple have it sorted –
What word differences come to mind for you?