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Firstly, is "ダウンアンダー" the correct spelling? I think it is, based on the Japanese Wikipedia articles メン・アット・ワーク and ツアー・ダウンアンダー , but I could be mistaken.

But apart from that, is the average non-Australian Japanese speaker likely to understand the term, which is used as slang to refer to Australia (even though there's plenty of other southern hemisphere countries)?

  • Does anyone outside of Australia use "down under" to mean Australia? I've never heard it used that way. – Blavius Jan 3 '16 at 16:58
  • @Blavius that's probably my most common way to refer to the land of kangaroos and koala chlamydia – MichaelChirico Jan 3 '16 at 20:19
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    @Blavius Quite common in America (at least on the east coast), though perhaps only used jokingly/mockingly. – Darius Jahandarie Jan 3 '16 at 22:07
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The short answer would be a simple 'No'. Seriously, I do not think that the word 「ダウンアンダー」 would exist in the vocabulary of more than even 1% of us.

The most common name for your country in Japanese is 「オーストラリア」 by a landslide, followed by 「[豪州]{ごうしゅう}」. In people's daily conversations, it is 「オーストラリア」 nearly 100% of the time. 「豪州」 is kind of "common" in the printed media because it is a neat space-saver.

「ダウンアンダー」? One used to hear/see the word when Men At Work were popular (But that is like 30 years ago!). I suppose we just never registered it as a household word.

(I have personally used both 「ダウンアンダー」 and "Down Under" a few times in my conversations with Australians living in Japan, and I seemed to surprise them each time for even using those words actively as a Japanese person who has never been to ダウンアンダー. This should probably tell you something about how uncommon 「ダウンアンダー」 is around here.)

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