When we're talking about expanding your global client-base, knowing specific details about the culture, customs, preferences and traditions of your target market can have a profound impact on the effectiveness of your eLearning materials. Even in countries where the primary language is English, such as Australia, there can be many variations in the use of the language. Let's explore some of the common cultural facts about Australians and their expectations when it comes to training and development.
Test your General knowledge of Australian Culture:
- Christmas falls in what season in Australia?
- Australians typically prefer which approach to presentations?
- Extremely detailed
- Brief and to the point
- English grammar in Australia is:
- The same as American English
- The same as British English
- A mixture of American and British English
Quick Tips For Training & Development in Australia1:
- While English is the official language, the Australian accent and colloquialisms causes their language to stand apart. Want to throw some meat on the barbie?
- It's common for Australians to shorten words to a single syllable and then add a long "e" at the end. This is how Australians are known as "Aussies."
- Australians are typically driven by facts rather than emotion or personal feelings on the subject. Keep this in mind if your training hinges upon emotional tenets and be prepared to back it up with facts and statistics.
- Personal lives are largely removed from the business setting and are not commonly discussed.
- You may find it difficult to stress the importance of timeliness unless there are clear repercussions.
- Australians tend to prefer modesty over boasting about their accomplishments and tend to value modesty in others. When possible, allow results to speak for themselves rather than discussing past achievements.
- When looking for every-day examples and scenarios, use sports and local sights rather than political or religious examples.
- If training in person, Australian proximity-distance is similar to the United States. Aussies prefer about two feet of distance when conversing, so be mindful of their personal space and don't get close like you would in many Latin American cultures.
- While translation is not necessarily needed for training materials going to Australia, localization of key phrases and images may be beneficial.
- (b) Brief and to the point.
- (c) A mixture of American and British English.
References:1Morrison, Terri, and Wayne A. Conaway, Kiss, Bow, Or Shake Hands, 2nd ed. (Avon: Adams Media, 2006).