Ready for a short trip? Today, our journey through global translation markets takes you to a country without an official language. However, most inhabitants speak the country's national language, English. Pack your suitcase! We're going down under to discover the necessity of localization for Australia.

Diversity down under

More than 26,3 million people are living in Australia (2023). The country's population is more than half of the Oceanian population. Compared to Canada, the Australian market represents almost two-thirds of the Canadian population. Colonialism has imposed English, but "Aussies'' speak their version, which differs from others. Generally, 29 different languages are spoken in Oceania, falling into three major groups:

  • Austronesian languages like Malay and Tagalog
  • Aboriginal Australian languages like Pama-Nyungan
  • Papuan languages

Diving into Australian English

Australian English is related more closely to British and New Zealand English. It differs not only from English spoken in other countries but there are also slight differences within Australia. Regional language differences in pronunciation and tone can be found throughout the country. Thus, localization for Australia isn't just about publishing English content.


Australian English spelling is close to British, as the following indicates.

  • Australian and British people both spell words like colour and favour with "ou".
  • Centre and theatre use "re" spelling.
  • It's also common to use double L spelling for words such as travelling and cancelled.

However, the exception proves the rule. Unlike British English, words ending in "-ize" are rarely used down under. It's more common to use the "-ise" spelling.

British EnglishUS English
I'll have a goI'll have a goI'll give it a try
How ya going?How are you?How's it going?
Heaps goodBrilliantAwesome

According to the 2021 census, 72% speak English at home, while 28% other. The most common languages in Australia besides English are:

  • Mandarin,
  • Arabic,
  • Vietnamese,
  • Cantonese,
  • Punjabi,
  • Greek,
  • Italian,
  • Tagalog,
  • Hindi,
  • Spanish.


Regarding grammar, Australian English is related more closely to American one. The following list contains some grammar examples.

  • Collective nouns are primarily used in singular, e.g., the government can't make a decision today.
  • Similar to Americans, Australians pronounce numbers like 1500 as fifteen hundred rather than one thousand five hundred.
  • As in North America, the river follows the name of the river in Australia, e.g., Snowy River, while the British use it the other way round, e.g., River Thames.


Many words in Australia originate from British English but have fallen out of usage there or changed their meaning as time passes. Besides, there are internationally well-known examples of Australian terminology like outback and the bush.

Using expressions like G'day (for greeting) or throwing something on the barbie is characteristic of Australian English. The phrase "to throw something on the barbie" derives from an Australian ad. The original quote "I'll slip an extra shrimp on the barbie for you" became part of everyday conversation. So barbie is just a synonym for barbecue.

Take care about tiny details

Like every localization process, the localization for Australia requires taking care of different small details.

  • Date and time format. In Australia, the date format is typically written like in the United Kingdom and New Zealand, 20 Jan 2023, for the numeric dates, mostly used the ISO 8601 format (2023-01-20). Also, in Australia, 24-hour (15:00) and 12-hours(3 pm.) notations are correct and familiar.
  • Phone number. The phone format is (01) 2345 6789, without any separators. But to share the number for international calls, you must write the dialing code + phone number, including the area code and minus the 0. The Sydney phone number (02) 1234 5678 will be written 61 2 1234 5678.
  • Measurement system. Since 1947 Australia has used the metric measurement system.
  • Separators. The accepted notation is a decimal point and a space as a thousand separators.

If you want to learn more about different countries' specifications, follow us on Twitter - there, we regularly add exciting information about the world's regions, languages, and localization. Find there the infographics like one below:

facts about australia

To translate or not to translate shouldn't even be a question

English speakers around the world understand each other, so one may ask himself why to localize English content. The answer is simple and clear. There are significant grammar, spelling, vocabulary, and much more differences, as listed above.

Australian users will find spelling errors in American English content, like a color without "ou" spelling. Imagine the bad reputation this can cause. Localizations remove any language borders; thus, translating or not translating shouldn't even be a question. Let your content be a "dinky-di Aussie" (a true Australian)! :)

Try lingohub 14 days for free. No credit card. No catch. Cancel anytime