[Australian Greeting] You alright, mate?

peter199083

Senior Member
Mandarin
I go to an interview the other day, one of which interviewers is said to come from Australia. Is it acceptable or polite to your ears for me say 'You alright, mate?' greeting him?
 
  • Biffo

    Senior Member
    English - England
    No, it would probably be perceived as sarcasm. Some people can get away with this sort of thing if they have a good sense of humour and a ready smile. I would not recommend it to anyone - the risk of offending someone is too great.

    ______________________________________________________________________________
    Note
    This type of imitation can be extremely irritating to a visitor from a different country.
     

    Wordnip

    Senior Member
    British English
    I agree with Biffo.

    As an Englishman living in Australia, I can assure you that it is not acceptable. I have been amused to have been greeted in that fashion by recent immigrants who think that it is part of the Australian way. It sounds alright amongst Australians of a certain type but it is not at all universal. Anyway, the expression is more likely to be, "You right, mate?'"
     

    Biffo

    Senior Member
    English - England
    Thank you, Biffo. I thought of it as an Australian colloquialism.
    It may be but that is not the point. As a British English person I would never speak to an Australian in Australian slang. That would appear to be stereotyping.

    For example some American and European people imagine, from seeing movies, that everyone in China knows Kung Fu. If every time you met someone from Europe or America they pretended to attack you, you would I imagine soon get annoyed. :)
     
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    Bevj

    Allegra Moderata (Sp/Eng, Cat)
    English (U.K.)
    Apart from the issue mentioned by Biffo above, it would be completely out of place for a prospective employee to go to an interview and say 'You alright, mate?' to the person interviewing him :eek:
     

    Egmont

    Senior Member
    English - U.S.
    An interview is a formal business meeting. This is a very informal greeting. As everyone else has said, do NOT use it.

    (I have visited Australia about ten times, most recently this past May, and will be there again in January. The only time I can imagine saying this is if I'm having a beer with a friend and he falls off his bar stool.)
     

    Biffo

    Senior Member
    English - England
    Apart from the issue mentioned by Biffo above, it would be completely out of place for a prospective employee to go to an interview and say 'You alright, mate?' to the person interviewing him :eek:
    Agreed. At a formal occasion, do not use colloquialisms of any kind whether they be British, American, Australian or whatever.



    _________________________________________________________________
    One of the problems is that, just as we Westerners get our ideas of Chinese culture from Kung Fu movies, so movie-goers may think that all Australians are like Crocodile Dundee. In fact Dundee is deliberately played as a stereotype for comedic effect. He is portrayed as wily but unsophisticated and ignorant of civilised ways. He uses all the colloquialisms that we can expect. This is funny coming from him but the average Australian would not want to be seen that way especially someone sitting behind a desk at an interview!
     
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