All it took was a single sentence by an Aussie and the confidence acquired after my almost lifelong association with English and a Masters degree in it, disappeared into thin air. Never having heard the Australian English accent before, for weeks after my arrival in Sydney, I could not understand most of the conversation taking place. My confusion was taken as a sign of my ignorance of the language. Everyone was patient with me and gave me sympathetic looks, making sure they spoke slowly and repeated themselves. Even after I…