Are teenagers in Australia/New Zealand starting to sound American?

I have a friend from Australia who says that kids born after about the early 1990s are taking on “American” features in their speech - like their accent is 70 percent Aussie and 30 percent American or something like that.

Can anyone vouch for this or do you think he’s wrong? I notice many people say the singer Lorde from New Zealand sounds kind of American, or like some Kiwi-Yank hybrid accent when she talks.

It sort of makes me wonder that if the youngest Australians and New Zealanders are already basically talking halfway like Americans that their kids will probably barely sound Australian/Kiwi at all! :eek:

Will the entire Anglosphere eventually sound like people from Beverly Hills?

Og forbid, they all end up talking Valspeak.

My kids use some American slang, and imitate American accents sometimes. They still sound mostly Australian to me. I pull them up on the slang when I hear it, like if they say ‘pissed’ for ‘pissed off’.

I remember hearing little kids in Aust putting on pretend American accents while playing pretending games. I suppose that’s coz how they talk on TV. Mostly kids sound like their parents.


I noticed this with my younger cousins when they were little. They sounded Australian the rest of the time, but put on fake American accents when playing pretending games. They seem to have outgrown it. I haven’t noticed my own kids doing it, but we seriously limit their TV time.

Like for sure, mate.

In general I would say he’s mistaken, or perhaps getting worked up over vocabulary and slang. There is definitely some penetration in slang terms, but the accents are as Australian as ever.

I’d be interested to know how old his friend of yours is. There has been a loss of some of the older Aussie terms, but they have been fading for a lot longer than 90’s kids. (Terms like ‘Cobber’, which I haven’t heard un-ironically from anyone younger than about 70)

Not around here mate. well not much any way. You might get an occasional “ass” rather than “arse” and such but only if they are trying to be funny. Mind you I live in a rural area and some of the old Aussie slang terms are still going strong.

He was born in 1986, so he’s referring to people who are really just a few years younger than him. I looked up some accent tag videos of Australian teenagers on YouTube and indeed they have a bit of that Valley-type intonation. Most of them still sounded pretty Aussie though.

Yeah, that’s about it. Especially if they’re the kind of teen who hangs around in potentially troublemaking congregations. It’s a pseudo-gang-related affectation.

With the Internet making the world a much smaller place, it wouldn’t surprise me if every teen is that much more homogenous. There might be a global accent one day.

HRT/uptalk is very common in Australia. That’s probably why they sound a bit Valley.

Adam Hills talking about Australian accents (mostly the first minute)

Not that I’ve noticed.

I’ve noticed that kids copy all the big name actors and since most of them are now Aussies…

My girls certainly use the Valley Girl uptalk and phrases but its in quotation marks amongst their usually flat Kiwi speech. And they had elocution lessons (sob).

Slang has become more Americanised (guys, bucks) rather than accent, in my experience. Australian slang is dying out but I’m doing my best to keep it alive.

Curious question: How many Americans referred bars as pubs pre the internet age?
I imagine the internet has blurred some geographical lines with regards to vocabulary.

In NZ we have unfortunately imported some of your gangsta culture, mostly confined to Auckland. It attracts young Maori and Pacific Island youth.

My American born kid doesn’t sound American, even. He immigrated fully at 10 and spent every winter here between 7 and 10. At 18 he sounds just like his Aussie born and bred mates except for a word here and there, but that’s usage, not accent (mom and not mum, ass and not arse, for example, but they sound Australian accented when he says them.)