Australia is the world's "dumbest continent" where people "drink constantly" and are "quite racist", according to training at Indian call centres.

Staff are taught "how to act Australian" and are told to "speak slowly" because Australians tend to be technologically "backwards".

They are also warned that Australians are "touchy" about their pets and their preferred term for Indians is "brown bastards".

The revelations appeared in an article in the US news magazine, which also refers to the British as sarcastic and Americans as shouty and "free with their anger".

Perhaps mercifully, there is no reference to New Zealanders.

Journalist Andrew Marantz spent weeks training in India at the Delhi Call Centre. "For three weeks, a culture trainer will teach us conversational skills, Australian pop culture, and the terms of the mobile phone contracts we'll be peddling," he writes.

The training programme taught employees about conversational skills and Australian pop culture in the hope that they would build a rapport with the person they were trying to sell to.

In "dissecting" the Australian psyche in 20 minutes, the teacher told the class, "Just stating the facts, guys: Australia is known as the dumbest continent. Literally, college was unknown there until recently, so speak slowly.

"Technologically speaking, they're somewhat backward, as well. The average person's mobile would be no better than, say, a Nokia 3110 classic" - a reference to a phone released four years ago.

That revelation "drew scoffs from around the room".

"Australians drink constantly," the teacher warned. "If you call on a Friday night, they'll be smashed - every time. And don't attempt to make small talk with them about their pets, okay? They can be quite touchy about animals."

When one student asked what kind of people lived in Australia, the teacher replied: "They are quite racist. They do not like Indians. Their preferred term for us is ... 'brown bastards'."