You Need To Watch ‘How To Talk Australians’
The new web-series will teach ya a thing or two about Strayan culcha.
As Australians, we have a love/hate relationship with how we are perceived. We laughed at the New York Times’ newfound obsession with “Australian breakfast”. We delighted in that Simpsons episode ‘Bart vs. Australia’, and its hilariously inaccurate depictions. And we have a heap of fun asking travellers for their perception of our country (a German person recently asked me if I’d ever been in a wet t-shirt contest. I had to explain that we don’t do that here).
And now we have even more reason to laugh/cringe at our global brand:
From director Tony Rogers (Wilfred) and writer Rob Hibbert (Images You Should Not Masturbate To), How To Talk Australians is an eight-part satirical series presented as an instructional video, set in an Indian call centre training college. A selection of Indian teachers explain facets of Australian culture, such as the importance of chucking a sickie, intercut with re-enactments of Australian activities, including barbecues and drink driving. Classic pastimes, you know?
The first episode takes us through basic Aussie lingo, history and culture. We learn that Australia was discovered by a man named Doctor Hook. We learn the pronunciation of the word “arsewipe”. We also learn about the makeup of our population: “A recent survey revealed that 30% of Australians are casual racists. Which means the other 70% are full-time.”
Another favourite episode of mine is ‘Grub’, about Australian cuisine; apparently our everyday meals are mostly composed of Chiko Rolls and meat pies (rat’s coffins). This episode also includes a recipe for an Australian icon: the lambington (a cut of raw lamb rolled in chocolate and coconut).
But How To Talk Australians also hints at deeper concerns. In reality, Indian call centre workers are taught to neutralise their accents in order to improve customer service on the phone, and there’s been a recent shift in the industry from India to the Philippines, where the accent is easier for Australians understand. It’s interesting to think that this video might not be that different from the way call centre workers are trained.
Let’s just hope they’re learning to chuck sickies as often as we do.
Watch all eight episodes of How To Talk Australians below: