Key to pronunciation: Australian English

View the pronunciation model for Australian English here.

The pronunciations given are those in use among educated urban speakers of standard English in Australia. While avoiding strongly regionally or socially marked forms, they are intended to include the most common variants for each word. The keywords given in this key are to be understood as pronounced in such speech.

All words indicated as being associated with Australia are also given British and American pronunciations alongside the Australian pronunciation(s). Where a word is associated with an additional part of the English-speaking world, further pronunciations in the appropriate global variety of English are also given.

To hear the pronunciation spoken aloud, click the blue play icon to the left of each transcription.

Note from Catherine Sangster, Head of Pronunciations, October 2020

“A small but significant number of our World English pronunciations lack audio at the moment. Audio is created by freelance actor-phoneticians working with our sound engineer in our Oxford recording studio, but for the last several months it has been unsafe for us to run these sessions. We will prioritize addressing this backlog as soon as we can safely get back into our studio.”

Vowels

Australian English As in…
fleece
i happy
ɪ kit
e dress
æ trap
ʌː father, start
ɔ lot, cloth
ɔː hawk, force
ʌ cup
ʊ foot
goose
ə alpha
ɜː nurse
ɪə here
square
ʊə cure
æe face
ɑe price
æɔ mouth
goat
choice

Consonants

Australian English As in…
b big /bɪɡ/
d dig /dɪɡ/
jet /dʒet/
ð then /ðen/
f fig /fɪɡ/
ɡ get /ɡet/
h head /hed/
j yes /jes/
k kit /kɪt/
l leg /leɡ/
m mud /mʌd/
n net /net/
ŋ thing /θɪŋ/
p pit /pɪt/
r red /red/
s sit /sɪt/
ʃ ship /ʃɪp/
t tip /tɪp/
chip /tʃɪp/
θ thin /θɪn/
v vet /vet/
w win /wɪn/
z zip /zɪp/
ʒ vision /ˈvɪʒ(ə)n/

The consonants l, m, and n can take on the function of a vowel in some unstressed syllables. It should generally be clear when this interpretation is intended, but in cases of potential ambiguity, the consonant symbol may appear with a diacritic, as in the British and U.S. pronunciations. A bracketed /(ə)/ indicates that some speakers may not pronounce the /ə/; in some cases this means the following consonant would take on the function of the vowel (e.g. U.S. saddle /ˈsæd(ə)l/).

After a vowel, Australian English only has /r/ when it is also followed by a vowel, e.g. mar /mʌː/ but marring /ˈmʌːrɪŋ/.

Between vowels, except at the start of a stressed syllable, U.S. English speakers have /d/ where British English has /t/, in words such as pitting /ˈpɪdɪŋ/ (rather than British /ˈpɪtɪŋ/). In Australian English both /t/ and /d/ variants are commonplace, so both pronunciations are given. In each case, the /t/ variant is given first.

Stress

The symbol ˈ at the beginning of a syllable indicates that that syllable is pronounced with primary stress. The symbol ˌ at the beginning of a syllable indicates that that syllable is pronounced with secondary stress. The symbol ˈˌ at the beginning of a syllable indicates that that syllable may be pronounced with either primary or secondary stress.