I've noticed that for lots of people for whom English is a second language, they tend to learn it with an American accent. Consequently, they find it easy to understand Americans (and Americans find it easy to understand them), and seem to have more trouble understanding those who speak it with a different accent (eg Aussie, English, Scottish, Irish). I guess a lot of us are so exposed to American culture (particularly Hollywood movies) worldwide that it's hard not to get used to the accent, and I think that factor is far more influential than it generally gets credit for. I understand Americans very easily, for example, since I've been so exposed to it, but since my Aussie accent is unfamiliar to them, I find that unless I slow right down and "tone down" the accent (or Americanise it a bit, I guess), I'm a bit hard for some Americans to understand. In fact, I think I'm more easily understood by Europeans who have English as a second language than I am by Americans who learnt it as a first language! Scottish accents are difficult for me for the first 30 seconds until I reboot my mindset, but I find English accents are very easy to understand. I find that people in the UK understand Aussies a lot more easily too. Dave's got a great Aussie accent for sure, but it's not surprising to me that it might be hard to understand for someone who learnt American English as a second language. I think it's a bit of a two way street in international English communication. We Aussies can try to tone down our accent when we think of it, and I guess we also need to educate the world more about what we sound like too! Keep listening Xandra, a bit of Aussie is good for you Also, as an aside, if any of you Aussies get the chance to ask Jim (Snape), to speak with an Aussie accent, it'll be worth the effort. I find it hilarious. He's got a natural Welsh accent, but crikey is his feigned Aussie funny after you've become used to how he sounds. The other thing we do a lot is use colloquialisms that make no sense elsewhere. I notice this when I go to other countries who have excellent English. Some of the things we say make no sense to most people anyway, so that probably doesn't help either!