I distinctly remember my own introduction to the wonders of Strine. In 1965, Ure Smith in Sydney published "Let Stalk Strine", by the creative genius, Afferbeck Lauder. I was probably about ten when I read it and the companion volume, "Nose Tone Unturned". My eldest sister, who is 8 years older than me, had the books. I still remember their pastel coloured covers. On the front, and throughout the books, there were charicatures of 'yer avridge Strine'. They were portrayed as 'typical' Australians, having sometimes inane conversations, which the reader had to attempt to translate into English - for these people were talking 'Strine'. As I read I could almost hear the nasal twang of their accents as they raved on about this and that. It was very cleverly done. I enjoyed countless hours of fun trying to relax my mind and 'feel' the words. If you were too literal the words looked and sounded like gibberish, but if you let them roll off your tongue as you read them aloud, eventually you were rewarded with a flash of recognition.
At this stage I must try and give you some examples, or I'll lose you completely... am I too late? Stick with me. You'll pick it up as we go along! I'll use an example from the title of one of the books. See if you can translate this. Let Stalk Strine.
Try it a few times. Does it ring any bells? If you're not completely confused you just might have worked out that 'Let Stalk Strine' translates into 'Let's talk Australian'. So come on, turn the page and we'll talk Australian together.
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