Alright here we go. I’m Australian and I want to make sure that I’m using the right term when telling Chinese people where I’m from. The two main ones I’ve seen are:
澳洲 - Àozhōu - I was told by a Taiwanese friend in his 30’s that this is a more general term, that can include the islands and stuff around Australia. So I guess we’d call this “Oceania”
澳大利亚 - Àodàlìyǎ - Transliteration, feels very clunky and forced. Same Taiwanese friend told me this specifically refers to the country Australia, rather than the general part of the globe (like 澳洲 does)
土澳 - Tǔ ào - A different friend (from Zhejiang, 20 years old, currently living and studying in Australia) told me this is the word her and her friends use. She told me it meant “Old Australia” and was an affectionate term.
I’m worried that 土澳 might be something that is specific to young people, or only Chinese students in Australia, or that she was having a joke at my expense. I want to be able to refer to my country with affection, but I also want to be able to be understood by whoever I’m talking to.
Can anyone shed some light on the subtleties of the differences between these 3 terms? And is there any others I’m missing?