Aug 27, 2010

Learning the Language

The three primary languages spoken here are English, Tok Pisin, and Motu. As I become acquainted with more members of the expat community, I struggle a bit with a fourth language I can only call "Aussie English". Here are some of the things I've learned:

  • Almost everything can be, and is, abbreviated in some way. The Yacht Club is the YACHTI, the bar-b-que pit is the BARBIE, a journalist is a JOURNO etc.
  • A meeting that takes place after lunch happens in the ARVO
  • When someone has way too much to drink, they are PISSED
  • A SKIVVY is a turtle neck shirt
  • I NEVER hear anyone say G'DAY, NEVER
  • Everyone is addressed as MATE
  • I hear what I consider "quaint" phrases almost every day, like the ever popular LOVELY TO MEET YOU
  • You should NEVER use the phrase FANNY PACK here as it means something entirely different and will embarrass everyone
  • A STUBBIE is a beer in a short brown bottle

There are so many more, and I always try to ask so I get them straight, but I have to admit, it's a bit of a struggle for me not to appear so out-of-place with my south Texas accent and slang.


  1. Strewth! Good to see nothing has changed with the ex-pat community in Moresby!

  2. From your blog postings, I gather you are a bit of an expert. Too bad you are not here. I would certainly call upon you to help me navigate the waters of this crazy, wild, and beautiful place!

  3. Thanks Bea, my 3 years in PNG was a fantastic experience, and I am pretty sure that 99% of the non-PNGeans that I met there had a wonderful time too. I knew of some who couldn't get out of the place quick enough, but they deserved it.

    It sounds like you are having a great time! Enjoy the Land of the Unexpected!!!