Australian troops in Darwin have been advised to cut back on the local slang when speaking around US troops, as the communication breakdowns have become a problem when it comes to getting messages across.
The Aussie habit of using colloquialisms has proven difficult for US troops, particularly when it comes to understanding what the other person is saying.
“We have lost-in-translation moments more than you would realize,” Royal Australian Air Force Group Captain Dowrie said. “The time to figure that out is not on the battlefield when the bullets are flying.”
According to News.Com.Au, Dowrie expressed how Aussies often don’t give a second thought about the slang, as it’s simply English to them. However, this proves difficult for Americans, who feel as if they’re listening to a foreign language.
“The danger in the Australia-US relationship is that we actually assume we mean the same thing,” Dowrie said. “In military training scenarios we use very prescriptive means of communication.”
Often times, Dowrie pointed out, a person can say one thing in Aussie English, but it would mean the opposite in American English.
“So you start using colloquialisms and, all of a sudden, you have complete misunderstandings about whether something is going to happen,” he said.
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