Language differences in English speaking countries

Monday, 10th September, 2012 by Overseas Editor

One expected benefit when buying property and/or emigrating to an English-speaking country is the lack of language barrier. But is that strictly so?


Article written by The Overseas Guides Company

Many Britons who move to Australia, Canada, New Zealand or the USA come across little idiosyncrasies and slang words that are unique to a country or region.

Expat Malcolm Jarvis was surprised at some of the differences in words and expressions when he moved to Australia two years ago. “You hear about Australians being very friendly and outgoing, but I couldn’t understand why, when I would greet them with ‘You alright?’, I was often met with a grunt or an abrupt reply. It wasn’t until someone explained to me that you only really ask someone that if they look really unwell or unhappy, and generally only to people you know well!” he said.

The language differences also popped up when Malcolm bought his property on Sydney’s northern beaches, having rented for 18 months. “There were quite a few examples. In Australia, you use a removalist to transport your furniture and belongings, not a remover. And when I was looking at properties to buy, they talk specifically about the back-yard or the front-yard.”

Malcolm also said there are some subtle differences in the names and types of housing available in the country. “A villa means something quite different here. It refers to what can best be described as a single-storey townhouse in a small, suburban complex – not what I would usually expect a villa to be! Then there is the duplex, which is like a semi-detached residence with two mirror-image homes on the one block of land. I often hear a block of flats described as a block of units, and land is sometimes called a parcel of land. It’s amazing how many times I’ve come across everyday things like these – it really does remind you that you’re in a foreign country!”

To search for properties for sale in Australia, visit the Australian listings on Rightmove Overseas. Don’t forget that when emigrating to Australia or buying property there, using a currency exchange specialist rather than a bank to transfer your money could save you thousands. For more information visit Currency Zone or download the free Smart Currency Exchange guide, available at here.


To understand the full step-by-step process to buying a property in Australia, collect The Overseas Guides Company’s ‘Australia Property Buying Guide




The views and comments herein are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of Rightmove Overseas, Rightmove Group Ltd or Rightmove Plc


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