What Is Paraphrasing and Why Might You Need to Use It?
Before analyzing our example of paraphrasing a paragraph in Australia, let’s make sure you know what paraphrasing is. Paraphrasing is the process that is used to rewrite something that has been said or written by another into your own different words while still maintaining the same meaning. This is commonly done when you want to have a different audience understand what has been said or to simplify or improve something to make a paraphrased sentence easier to comprehend.
This can surprisingly be required when you want to use text that has been produced within another English speaking country. While English is widely spoken in the US, England, Australia, and Canada to name just a few countries there are some very wide differences. A quote often attributed to George Bernard Shaw says:
That difference, however, stretches across all other English-speaking countries such as Australia. Trying to understand something written by an Australian if you have been raised in the US can be a real chore. So if you are an American and want to reuse text from Australia or you are an Australian that wants to repurpose your writing for the US then you will need to use paraphrasing. The paraphrasing process is almost the same as translation in many ways and will require you to fully understand what has been written to be able to transform it into the text required for your new audience.
How to Paraphrase a Paragraph in Australia
As with any paraphrasing it is a matter of understanding and not merely something that can be achieved through just swapping words. This is why software will rarely be able to reword a paragraph effectively as it just cannot understand the original text. To paraphrase you need to:
- Fully understand your target audience’s expectations
- Read the original text several times to ensure that you fully understand it
- Make notes of the main points raised within your own words
- Arrange your notes into a logical audience
- Rewrite the text using your own notes and words without referring to the original
- Review the rewritten text to ensure that it is different to the original
- Ensure that the new text uses the correct US English (If moving from Australia to the US)
- Proofread to ensure that there are no errors
Example of Paraphrasing a Paragraph in Australia
The following is a paraphrase sentence example written in Australian English and then Paraphrasing it for an American audience:
Original Australian Paragraph:
Paraphrased for an American Market:
Some Other Simple Paraphrasing Examples for Australians
The following are just some Australian words or short phrases and their equivalent in American English:
- Sweets – Candy
- Jam – Jelly
- Jelly – Jell-o
- Chips – Fries
- Thongs – Flip Flops
- Bum Bag – Fanny Pack (Don’t use fanny pack in Australia!)
- Tap – Faucet
- Shopping trolley – Shopping cart
- Sunbake – Sunbathe
- Sacked – Fired
- Jumper – Sweater
As Amy Nutt says writing for English without accent:
Paraphrasing from Australia for a US audience can be surprisingly difficult if you do not fully understand how both speak. This really can be more like a translation than a simple paraphrasing.