thumb|300px|rightthumb|300px|rightthumb|300px|rightthumb|300px|rightthumb|300px|rightNew Zealand English is close to Australian English in the pronunciation; but there are several differences. The New Zealand accent is practically impossible to differentiate from Australian accent. There are differences in history that marked the relations of these two different nations. Australia was possibly settled by humans over 50,000 years ago, contrary to New Zealand that was the last habitable part in the world to be populated.

The nearby dialectal family member of NZE is Australian English; certainly, NZE is descended from Australian English. Trying to get NZE and Australian English differences, I think the two accents share some features, but differ clearly in others.

How to recognize a New Zealander: Native speakers of NZ can distinguish an Australian pronunciation quite readily, though the converse is not always true: Australians tend to classify a NZ accent as coming from a distant and unfamiliar part of Australia, such as Tasmania. Native speakers of English from other parts of the world, on the other hand, can usually not distinguish an NZ from an Australian pronunciation.

The differences are very slight, different sounds can be found in the lacking of the æ-sound in dance, words like ultimate produced, and ea as in New Zealand pronounced short. Here we show you some words with different spelling meaning almost the same.




Cellphone / mobile / mobile phone (cell)/phone(mobile)

Mobile phone (mobile)

A portable telephone.

Chilly bin


Insulated container for keeping drinks and food cool.

Crib / Bach (New Zealand)


Structures akin to small, often very modest holiday homes or beach houses


Milk bar


Equivalent to convenience store. In New Zealand in the 1950s and 1960s "milk bar" referred to a place that served non-alcoholic beverages, primarily milkshakes and tea, and ice cream. In some states of Australia "milk bar" is used; others use the term "deli".

Domain, field

Oval, paddock

An area normally used for recreational purposes, usually grass or earth covered



A padded quilt.



Backless sandals.



Jumper or sweater. In New Zealand and Australia "jersey" is also used for top part of sports uniform.

Judder bar / Speed bump

Speed bump

Humps or the like in urban or suburban roads, designed to limit the speed of traffic. "Speed bump" is also a common term in both New Zealand and Australia


Maroon, marone

Purplish-brown. Called by the same name in New Zealand as in the United Kingdom; Australia occasionally uses a different spelling and predominantly uses a different pronunciation - in New Zealand it rhymes with spoon, in Australia it rhymes with bone

No exit

No through road

A road with a dead end; a cul-de-sac.

Oil skin / Swanndri


Driza-Bone Oil skin (also "oil skin parka")

Oil skin: Country raincoat; Swanndri: heavy woollen jersey (often chequered).


Bathers Swimmers Cozzies Togs budgie smugglera



Shopping trolley

A device, usually four-wheeled, for transporting shopping within supermarkets.

Trolley, Trundler

Shopping jeep/granny trolley

A two-wheeled device for transporting shopping from local shops (nowadays rarely seen).


Bush walk

Bush-walking or hiking.


Wite-Out or Liquid Paper

Correction fluid.

Vivid Felts, Felt tips , Marker


A permanent marker pen

Australian EnglishEdit

HISTORY: Australian English began diverging from British English shortly after the foundation of the Australian penal colony of New South in 1788, they were joined by free settlers, military personnel and administrators, often with their families, there were other populations of convicts from non English speaking areas of Britain, such as the Welsh and Scots. English was not spoken or was poorly spoken, by a large part of the convict population and the dominant English input was that of Cockney from South East England.

In 1827, Peter Cunningham, in his book “ Two years in New South Wales” reported that native born white Australians of the time know as “Currency lands and lasses” spoke with a distinctive accent and vocabulary with strong Cockney influence. The transportation of convicts to Australia ended in 1868, but immigration of free settlers from Britain, Ireland and elsewhere continued. The firs of the Australian gold rushes, began in 1850, began a much larger wave of immigration which would significantly influence the language. During the 1850, the UK was under economic hardship about two percent of its population emigrated to the Colony on the New South Wales and the colony of Victoria.

Among the changes wrought by the gold rushes was “Americanisation” of the language the introduction of words, spellings, terms and usages from North American English, the words imported included some later considered to be typically Australian like a :

· Dirt and digger

This was once a common Australian slag word meaning: great, superb or beautiful , is thougth to have been a corruption of the American mining term bonanza which means a rich vein of gold or silver and is itself a loanword from Spanish, the influx of American military personnel in World War II brought further influence though most words were short- lived and okay, you guys and gee have persisted.

Since the 1950 the American influence on language in Australia has mostly come from pop culture, the mass media (books, magazines and television programs, computer software and the internet) some words such as freeway and truck, have even been naturalized so completely that few Australians recognize their origin.

Joseph Furphy, one of the first writers to attempt rendition of Australian accents and vernacular was the novelist. John O´Grady´s novel “They are a weird Mob” has many examples of pseudo phonetically written Australian speech in Sydney during the 1950 such as: “yair” for “yes” and “noth-think” for “nothing”.

British words such as mobile (phone) predominate in most cases. Some American and British variants exist side by side in many cases freeway and motorway for instance regional, social and ethnic variation within Australia typically defines word usage.

Australian English is most similar to New Zealand English due to their similar history and geographical proximity. Both use the expression “different to” (also encountered in British English, but not American) as well “different from”.

Words of Irish origin are used some of with are also common elsewhere in the Irish diasporas, such as bum for “backside” (Irish bun) tucker for “food” “provisions” as well as one or two native English words whose meaning have changed under Irish influence, such as paddock for “field”, which has exactly the same meaning as the Australian paddock.

Australia adopted decimal currency in 1996 and the metric system in the 1970, this too has affected Australian English. Three main varieties of Australian English are spoken according to linguists: Broad, General and cultivated, they are part of a continuum, reflecting variations in accent. They often, but not always, reflect the social class or educational background of the speaker.

The majority of Australians speak with the General Australian accent. This predominates among modern Australian films and television programs; cultivated Australian English has some similarities to British Received Pronunciation, and is often mistaken for it. Cultivated Australian English is spoken by some within Australian society.

Australian pronunciation is determined less by region than by social, cultural and educational influences. In Tasmania, words such as "dance" and "grant" are usually heard with the older pronunciation of these words, using '''''[æ]''''', whereas in South Australia, '''''[a'''''ː''''']''''' is more common. Other regions of Australia show different patterns of pronunciation of words with this vowel sound.

PHONOLOGY: Australian English is a non rhotic accent and it is similar to the other Southern Hemisphere accents New Zealand English and South African English. Like most dialects of English it is distinguished primarily by its vowel phonology.

The vowels of Australian English can be divided into two categories:

*Long and short vowels.

* The short vowels: Consisting only of monophthongs, mostly correspond to the lax vowels used in analyses of Received Pronunciation.

* The long vowels: Consisting of both monophthongs and diphthongs, mostly correspond to its tense vowels and centring diphthongs. Unlike most varieties of English, it has a phonemic length distinction: that is, certain vowels differ only by length.

  • Many speakers have also coalesced /'''''dj/''''', '''''/sj/''''' and '''''/tj/''''' into '''''/d'''''ʒ'''''/''''', '''''/'''''ʃ'''''/''''' and '''''/t'''''ʃ'''''/''''', producing standard pronunciations such as '''''/t'''''ʃʉ'''''ː'''''n/''''' for tune.
  • Intervocalic /t/ 'and /'d/ to alveolar tap [ɾ] before unstressed vowels:

Example: butter, party and syllabic '''''/l/''''' (bottle), as well as at the end of a word or morpheme before any vowel what else, whatever. Thus, for most speakers, pairs such as:

Example: ladder/latter, metal/medal, and coating/coding are pronounced identically.

Australian English has many words that some consider unique to the language:

- Outback, meaning a remote, sparsely populated area.

- The Bush, meaning either a native forest or a country area in general.

Australians are, or were, also used in all or part of England, with variations in meaning. For example: creek: In Australia, as in North America, means a stream or small river, whereas in the UK it means a small watercourse flowing into the sea.

  • paddock in Australia means field, whereas in the UK it means a small enclosure for livestock; bush or scrub in Australia, as in North America, means a wooded area, whereas in England they are commonly used only in proper names.

SPELLING: Australian spelling generally follows conventions of British English. As in British spelling, the “u” is retained in words such as honour and favour, while the ise ending is used in words such as randomise.

New Zealand EnglishEdit

New Zealand is located in the south west Pacific Ocean, nearly 2 000 km from Australia, to the east, and 19 017 km, or 11 790 miles from Paris, France. New Zealand is over 1.600 kilometres long, and its widest part is 450 kilometres. The total land area is around 270 550 square kilometres, with approximately 10 000 kilometres of coastline. . The capital city is Wellington, near the southern tip of the North Island, with a population of approximately 360 000 (although probably over this figure by now). Wellington's central geographical position was the major deciding factor in the transfer of the seat of government from Auckland, in 1865.

Auckland is the largest city with a population having just reached one million. Over 200 000 inhabitants of Auckland are from the Pacific islands, which makes Auckland the largest Polynesian city in the world.

The English language was established in New Zealand by colonists during the 19th century. The most distinctive influences on New Zealand English have come from Australian English, British English in Southern England, Irish English, Scottish English, the prestige Received Pronunciation, and the Māori language.

The first native English speakers arrived in Aotearoa (it is the name of New Zealand in Maori language) in 1792; they were Australian rather than British, and were sealers from the recently established penal colony at Port Jackson which now is Sydney.

The principal influence of Māori on New Zealand English is lexical. Many words have been borrowed from the Māori language, including words for local flora, fauna, and the natural environment. The use of the Maori words is usually colloquial, and is very common in youth people, young adults and Maori populations. Some examples are the following words like "Kia Ora" that means "Hello", or "Kai" that means "Food" which almost all the New Zealanders know.

Māori language (is the language of the indigenous population of New Zealand, the Māori, where it has the status of an official language) has a present use on NZE and it has also an important influence in the legislature, government, and community agencies, where sometimes in certain circumstances the legislation requires that documents are translated into Māori.

The word kiwi has acquired other meanings, most commonly as an informal term for New Zealander, or as an adjective instead of New Zealand. The use of kiwi to refer to kiwifruit is not part of New Zealand English and will irritate many New Zealanders.

Many Maori words or phrases that describe Maori culture have become part of New Zealand English. Some of these are:

  • haka: a chant and (war) dance of challenge, popularised by the All Blacks rugby team, who use it to put off the opposition
  • hangi: a method of cooking food in a pit; or the occasion at which food is cooked this way
  • iwi: tribe, or peoples
  • mana: a combination of authority, integrity, power and prestige
  • marae: ceremonial meeting area in front of the meeting house; or, the entire complex surrounding this, including eating and sleeping areas
  • pakeha: people of non-Maori origin, especially those of European origin
  • whanau: extended family

Other Maori words may be recognized by most New Zealanders, but generally not used in everyday speech:

  • aroha: love, affection
  • haere mai: welcome
  • ka pai: good; well done
  • kai: food
  • kia ora: hello
  • korero: to chat; to speak in Maori
  • puku: belly
  • tangi: to mourn; or, a funeral at a marae
  • taniwha: legendary sea monster
  • tapu: sacred, taboo; to be avoided because of this
  • te reo: the tongue; the Maori language
  • tohunga: priest, shaman
  • turangawaewae: one's own turf
  • wairua: spirit
  • whakapapa: genealogy, to genealogise

There are also many non-Maori words that are unique to New Zealand English, or shared with Australia.

  • bach: A small holiday home, often with only one or two rooms and of simple construction. Pronounced "batch".
  • chip, punnet or pottle: Depending on the region, the unit by which strawberries and certain other fruit are sold.
  • crib: Another word for bach, more commonly used in the south of the South Island.
  • eh!: Used for emphasis at the end of a sentence.
  • electorate Parliamentary constituency
  • flatting sharing a flat (apartment)
  • footpath: Pavement or sidewalk.
  • footy: Football (usually Rugby Union or League, never soccer).
  • OE or Big OE: Overseas Experience; time spent travelling and working overseas, usually in Europe.
  • pavlova: A favorite meringue-like dessert made from egg whites, frequently served with cream and kiwifruit.
  • pom: English person (mildy derogatory).
  • super: old age pension scheme (from superannuation)
  • WOF: Warrant of Fitness test on car.

Now, it is evident that the similarity between NZE and Australian English isn’t due to the Australian’s legacy to its NZE offspring as to similar developments in these dialects because of similar contributions from English, Scottish, and Irish dialects. This took place through the process of dialect mixing and levelling: the blending of the British input dialects and the elimination of minority or marked features.

So the origins of NZE is no longer give the impression to be a simple legacy of character from a parent Australian dialect into a daughter NZE, although unquestionably NZE has derived much of its idiom from its large neighbor.

New Zealanders will often reply to a question with a statement spoken with a rising intonation at the end, this has the effect of making their statement sound like another question. There is enough awareness of this that it is seen in exaggerated form in comedy parody of working-class / uneducated New Zealanders. This rising intonation can also be heard at the end of statements, which are not in response to a question but to which the speaker wishes to add emphasis. High rising terminals are also heard in Australia, but are said to be more common in and possibly originating from, New Zealand.

In informal speech, some New Zealanders use the third person feminine she in place of the third person neuter it as the subject of a sentence, especially when the subject is the first word of the sentence. A clear example of the common use of the phrase is: "She'll be right" that means "It will be okay" or "It is close enough to what is required". This is a similarity of Australian English.


  • Vowels

The short front vowels:

- In New Zealand English the short-i of KIT is a central vowel not phonologically distinct from schwa /ə/, the vowel in unstressed "the". It thus contrasts sharply with the [i] vowel heard in Australia. Recent acoustic studies featuring both Australian and New Zealand voices show that the accents were more similar before the Second World War and that the KIT vowel has undergone rapid centralization in New Zealand English. Because of this difference in pronunciation, some New Zealanders claim that Australians say "feesh and cheeps" for fish and chips while some Australians counter that New Zealanders say "fush and chups".

- The short-e /ɛ/ of DRESS has moved to fill in the space left by /ɪ/, and it is phonetically in the region of [ɪ].

- Likewise, the short-a /æ/ of TRAP is approximately [ɛ], which sounds like a short-e to other English speakers.

Conditioned mergers

- The vowels /ɪə/ as in near and /eə/ as in square are increasingly being merged, so that here rhymes with there; and bear and beer, and rarely and really are homophones. This is the "most obvious vowel change taking place" in New Zealand English. There is some debate as to the quality of the merged vowel, but the consensus appears to be that it is towards a close variant, [iə].

- Before /l/, the vowels /iː/:/ɪə/ (as in reel vs real), as well as /ɒ/:/oʊ/ (doll vs dole), and sometimes /ʊ/:/uː/ (pull vs pool), /ɛ/:/æ/ (Ellen vs Alan) and /ʊ/:/ɪ/ (full vs fill) may be merged.

  • Consonants

- New Zealand English is mostly non-rhotic, except for speakers of the so-called Southland burr, a semi-rhotic, Scottish-influenced dialect heard principally in Southland and parts of Otago. Among r-less speakers, however, non-prevocalic /r/ is sometimes pronounced in a few words, including Ireland and the name of the letter R itself.

- /l/ is dark in all positions, and is often vocalized in the syllable coda. This varies in different regions and between different socio-economic groups; the younger, lower social class speakers vocalize /l/ most of the time.

Sources: -> This is one interesting dictionary i found