Australian English (AusE, AusEng, AuE, AuEng, en-AU) is the set of varieties of the English language native to Australia. It is the country's common language and de facto national language; while Australia has no official language, English is the first language of the majority of the population, being the only language spoken in the home for about 72.7% of Australians. It is also the main language used in compulsory education, as well as federal, state and territorial legislatures and courts.
|18.5 million in Australia (2021)|
5 million L2 speakers of English in Australia (approx 2021)
|Latin (English alphabet)|
Unified English Braille
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Higher category: Language
Australian English began to diverge from British and Irish English after the First Fleet established the Colony of New South Wales in 1788. Australian English arose from a dialectal 'melting pot' created by the intermingling of early settlers who were from a variety of dialectal regions of Great Britain and Ireland, though its most significant influences were the dialects of Southeast England. By the 1820s, the native-born colonists' speech was recognisably distinct from speakers in Britain and Ireland.
Australian English differs from other varieties in its phonology, pronunciation, lexicon, idiom, grammar and spelling. Australian English is relatively consistent across the continent, although it encompasses numerous regional and sociocultural varieties. 'General Australian' describes the de-facto standard dialect, which is perceived to be free of pronounced regional or sociocultural markers and that is often used in the media.