Education: The Strain of Strine

Anyone who goes to Australia thinking he speaks the Queen's English is in for a shock called "Strine," meaning Australian—the cockney-like vernacular that most Aussies spout. Through the mysterious medium of Strine, magic comes out mare chick, a terrace house is a terror souse, house-proud is assprad, and sacks of potatoes are sex apertaters. Such metamorphoses particularly baffle Australia's many visiting Asian students, who arrive Down Under speaking textbook Hong Kong or Pakistani English, only to confront linguistic anarchy on their very first gloria sty (glorious day) in the country.

When an Asian student attends an art class, for instance, he...

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