Week 2 Study Guide Activity – Great Debate Over Australian Voices

Summarise the arguments for and against the use of Australian accent by broadcasters.

FOR –

  • Australian speech has its own quality when taking into consideration various Australian characteristics and also the country in which Australians live.
  • It is acceptable and pleasant and it seen as just as good English as any other speech to be heard anywhere in the English speaking Commonwealth.
  • A.G Mitchell (1942) argued for tolerance when confronted with difference in language and accent.
  • ABC Weekly stated that it was definite that the voice that was broadcast should be Australian; whereas, the BBC argued if that were the case then broadcaster should be made in the basis of how well they spoke the Australia brand of English well but not those who merely imitate something foreign to our      environment.
  • The Australian accent was explained as refreshing and pleasant to hear.

AGAINST-

  • There are too many Australian voices and accents.
  • Most Australian voices have nasal intonation which does not come through the microphone at all well. Some argued that the words are quite unintelligible.
  • Australians have tendencies to slur vowels. This is evident when they are asked to spell the word in question.
  • It was finally agreed that the English accent should not simply be copied or replicated; but a respectable and distinctive Australian sound should be spoken.

1J, Damousi, ‘There is nothing wrong with Australian speech’,‘The Australian Has a Lazy Way of Talking’: Australian character and accent, 1920s–1940s, vol. 1, no. 1 (no date): 1 of 1, http://epress.anu.edu.au/tal/mobile_devices/ch07s02.html

Reference

1Damousi, J, “There is nothing wrong with Australian speech”,”The Australian Has a Lazy Way of Talking’” Australian character and accent, 1920s–1940s, vol. 1, no. 1 (no date) 1 of 1, http://epress.anu.edu.au/tal/mobile_devices/ch07s02.html (accessed July 10, 2012).

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