AE 284: 5 Expressions To Sound More Australian
Welcome to this episode of Aussie English.
Today I’m going to give you five expressions to instantly sound Australian.
Expression number one. “G’day”.
Good day. You can say this as in “Hello”, “Hi” or “Hey”.
See someone you know in the street? “G’day”.
See a mate? “G’day mate!”
Maybe you walk into a classroom, you’re a teacher, and you greet everyone in the class. “G’day guys!”
Or maybe you have a podcast like I do, and every podcast you start with, “G’day guys!”. G’day.
How’s it goin’?
Number two. How’s it goin’?.
We can use this as, “How do you do?”, which we never say. We never say that.
We can use this as, “How ya goin’?” or “How are you going?”.
And we can use this as “How you been?”. How’s it goin’.
So it’s just a simple greeting, but you’re asking for a bit more information. (A) Bit more than just, “G’day”.
How’s it goin’?
So maybe you meet someone for the first time. “G’day mate. How’s it goin’?”
Maybe you see your parents. It’s been a while. You catch up with your parents. “G’day mum and dad. How’s it goin’?”
Or maybe you walk into a job interview. Even then you can be a little bit casual, and you could say, “G’day. How’s it goin’?”.
Maybe catching up with some friends as well, “G’day guys, how’s it goin’?
What’ve you been up to? How’s it goin’? How is it going? How’s it goin’?
Number three. “No dramas.”
No dramas, mate. No dramas.
This is the equivalent of, “No worries”, which is a very Australian one as well.
Or “You’re welcome”, “No need to thank me”, “All good”, “No problem”, “No issue”. No dramas.
“Drama”, as in if there’s a drama there’s an issue, there’s a problem.
And so, we say all the time, “Oh, no dramas, mate”. No worries, no problems.
Maybe someone’s bumped into you in the street, and they’ve said, “Oh! Sorry mate.”
You could say, “No dramas, mate.”
Maybe someone has come to a restaurant and accidentally spills a little bit of water on you, and they say, “Oh my gosh! I’m so sorry.”
You could just say “No dramas, mate. No dramas.”
Or maybe you give something to someone and they say thank you and you say in return,
“No dramas! You’re welcome. No need to thank me. No dramas, mate.”
Number four. “Righto.”
Righto. This is short for all right, and we’ve just taken it “Right” and we put an “-o” in the end, and we pronounce it like “righ-do”.
So it’s a D-sound, “righ-do”.
And we would say this any time you want to say, “All right” or “OK”.
So you might say this if someone’s giving you an order, “Can you go and do this?”.
You might say, “Yeah, righto.”
Maybe it’s time to leave. You might say, “Righto, guys. I’ve got to head off. I’ve got to get goin’. It’s time to go. Righto. Time to leave.”
Or maybe someone’s told you something, and as a way of just saying, “Oh ok. Oh all right.” you might just say, “Oh righto. Righto. OK. Righto.”
And the last one, and I couldn’t leave this one out for sure is, “Mate”.
And you’ve probably heard me say it about a dozen times already in this episode. Mate.
And we quite often mute that sort of T at the end. We’ll just say “Mate”.
So we’re not going “T”. We’re not saying “Mate”. We’re just saying “Mate”.
So, “Mate” can mean “dude”, “guy”, “man”, “friend”.
It’s the kind of thing that you would just add to feel a little bit more friendly when you talk to people, particularly strangers.
I would use this to say to someone I’m on the same level as you.
We’re friends. I’m talking to you as if I would be talking to a friend of mine.
How’s it goin’ mate? G’day, mate. Righto, mate. No dramas, mate.
So, if I was paying for my car to be serviced I might say to someone, “Oh, thank you so much, mate. Cheers!” and he might say, “No dramas, mate.”
So I refer to friends like this, I refer to strangers like this, and I would even use it in formal situations quite a bit, that’s an Australian thing, in order to sort of be a bit more amicable, be a bit more friendly.
So, I would use this, especially, if I was a foreigner.
It’s going to make it sound so Aussie when you refer to people as “Mate”.
They’re going to love it.
Even if you use it in the wrong places, at the wrong time, people are going to understand that you’re just trying to be friendly, that you’re just trying to be more Australian.
So that’s it for this episode, guys.
Use these five expressions in your day to day life, particularly, if you’re talking with Australians.
I think you’re going to be surprised just how much the average Australian is going to love hearing you say,
“G’day”, “How’s it goin’?”, “No dramas!”, “Righto” and “Mate”.
What would you like the next episode to be on, guys?
Have you got any other expressions that are Australian that you think I should talk about?
Put them in a comment below, and let me know.
See you guys.
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About the AuthorI learn languages, teach Australian English, and love all things science and nature!
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By pete — 3 years ago
In this episode I explain what the expression “to pig out” or “to pig out on something” means, as well as how and when to use it.
Download the full transcript PDF here.
Ep047: Expression – To Pig Out (On Something)
So, welcome to this episode guys. Another Aussie English expression episode. Today we’re going to do the expression “To pig out”. So, this is another animal related expression. Another animal related idiom or phrase. So, “To pig out”, “To pig out on something” or just “To pig out” in general.
So, what does it mean? “To pig out” if you think of a pig and pigs are big and fat and eat a lot. If you pig out on something it means that you eat a lot of something, you eat too much of something, that you make a pig of yourself. So, you behave kind of like a pig and you just keep eating and eating.
So, let’s define these words.
“Pig”. Most of you I’m sure will know what a pig is. It’s an animal on a farm that we get pork and bacon and other kinds of meat from. Um… they’re really big and fat, most of them that you will see on TV or that we’re familiar with will be pink or at least not very dark coloured. They’re often pale um… they make that sound “oink oink oink”. Um… French people use them, I think, to search for truffles. The really expensive fungus that is found in forests and they often use pigs to find these. Wild forms of pigs are hogs or boars and we have some in Australia. We have wild boars that are pretty dangerous that people can hunt. Um… so that’s what a pig is.
In the sense of the word “out” in this sense. Literally it means the opposite of the word “in”. So, if you’re outside you’re not inside you’re outside of something. You’re at the exterior, in the exterior, you’re not on [in*] the interior. However, we often use the word “out” with verbs like this and it doesn’t really carry that literal meaning but… it’s difficult for me to explain because it doesn’t carry the literal meaning of the opposite of “in”, but it’s just attached to some verbs that kind of give it the sense of going all in or all out. So, giving it everything. And so if you “pig out” it means that you’re giving it everything when you’re eating, you know, you’re doing something to excess. You’re doing a lot. You’re giving it your all. You know, so if you pig out, you’re really going at it, you’re really going all out with eating.
So, let’s get through some examples of when you would hear this or when you would use this expression. And, so, it’s associate with food. So, if you were say, at a conference, you know, you’re giving a talk and there’s free food and there’s free wine, you could say, “If the food’s free I’m going to pig out”. So, if the foods free [and] I don’t have to pay for it I’m going to go all out. I’m going to eat like crazy. I’m going to eat a lot of food. Maybe too much food and I’m going to behave like a pig. I’m going to pig out.
Um… another way of using it is just saying that whenever you say, get a food that you really really like and you can’t really control how much of it you eat. So, like chocolate, ah… ice-cream, pizza, any kind of junk food like that. You could say “Oh when I get this food I really just pig out, I can’t help but pig out, I can’t help pigging out”. So, “I love pigging out on pizza, I love pigging out on chocolate, I love pigging out on ice-cream. Every time I get these foods I pig out. I just can’t help it”.
So, when you use this verb if you say, “To pig out” and then you want to say the thing on which you’re pigging out it goes with the preposition “on”. So, you always say, “To pig out on something”. “Pig out on chocolate”, “Pig out on ice-cream”, “Pig out on pizza”, “Pig out on something”. But if you’re just saying in general that you’re pigging out you don’t need to say “on” anything. It’s just “I’m pigging out”, “He’s pigging out”, “She’s pigging out”, “Pigging out”.
So, let’s run through some exercises for you guys. And today we’ll just conjugate a few different phrases. The first one’s going to be “I pig out on chocolate” and we’ll conjugate that one through in the present tense.
I pig out on chocolate.
You pig out on chocolate.
He pigs out on chocolate.
She pigs out on chocolate.
We pig out on chocolate.
They pig out on chocolate.
The next one I’ll do conjugating as well, but I’m going to use the phrase “I’m going to pig out tonight”, but I’m going to contract “going to” and I’m going to say “gonna” as I would when I speak more familiar, more colloquial English. So, I would say “I’m gonna pig out tonight”. So let’s try that one.
I’m gonna pig out tonight.
You’re gonna pig out tonight.
He’s gonna pig out tonight.
She’s gonna pig out tonight.
We’re gonna pig out tonight.
They’re gonna pig out tonight.
So, that is “I am going to pig out tonight”, “He is going to pig out tonight”, etc.
So, that’s the phrase, the expression “To pig out” or “To pig out on something”, guys. I hope you’re liking these animal expressions, and stay tuned for the next one. Have a good one guys!
If you liked this expression episode guys then please jump over here and check out all the other Aussie English expression episodes to help you improve your Aussie English.
Also be sure to come over to the Aussie English Facebook page and chat to the many other Aussie English learners. Practice a few of these words or phrases, ask any questions you may have, and be a part of the conversation! All the best guys!
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AE 259 – Interview with Matt: Bogan Australians, slang, working as a geologist and making friends Down UnderBy pete — 2 years ago
Learn Australian English this interview episode with Matt who talks about bogans, slang, working as a geologist and making friends Down Under.
AE 259 – Interview with Matt: Bogan Australians, slang, working as a geologist and making friends Down Under.
G’day guys! Welcome to this episode of Aussie English.
I’m here with my mate Matt and we were out today having coffee and Matt brought up the fact that he reckons he has a bit of a bogan accent.
So I was like alright… I inherited one you know.
I thought it’d be a good idea opportunity to get him on the cast so that we can have a chat about things. And Matt’s done quite a few interesting things, like, I guess we just start and see where it goes, but where did we meet?
We met in like Marine Zoology in Queenscliff in third year biology. Yeah. Yeah at the start of it. Yeah. So January February. So would have been about eight years ago.
Yeah. 2009. Far out, that’s a long time. Yeah.
So since then I went on I did a masters after that. And you took some time off right and went and did.
I worked for three years in mining and then I was a geologist I didn’t do any mining and I didn’t do much geology either really.
So, we differed, I guess, I did like straight biology but your undergrad was both, wasn’t it? Geology and.
…and zoology. Yeah.
Yeah. So what was that like? What made you do both? Why were you interested in both rocks and animals.
So, I wasn’t interested in rocks. So I did science degree because of zoology.
So I originally want to do that and then I… we did a as zoology at school and I thought, “Nah, behaviour’s pretty cool.”
I’d like to get into conservation, and then first year uni I had to see the Earth Science building for anyone be interested in reading… learning about rocks? It just sounded like the weirdest thing ever.
But then I heard the truck drivers got about 100 K a year first year out. So, I thought I could do this half my HEX and I just to one subject so I get a bit of an idea, and then I thought “Well, I’ll just double major,” ’cause at that time…
So it’s 2007. The mining boom was going crazy and geologists were getting plucked out of uni before they’d even finished degrees.
Ah, I remember that as well.
So, I was just like, well, I don’t mind getting treated as royalty for a few years to look at a couple of rocks. But then in 2008 everything went to crap, and things go that’s usually a first. But, yeah, it picked up then I think I threw in the towel off a few years and when I went travelling.
Yeah. What was that like? So you finish your undergrad you’ve done geology and you did get plucked or you got, you know, you applied for a job and got given a job. This was up in NSW.
So I got a job off Facebook. Really?
I applied for all these places like BHP and Rio and.
And what are all those companies?
They’re some of the biggest resource companies in the world, certainly Australia so…
And because there wasn’t a lot of jobs going one of the top blokes in our sort of class in terms of light and grades wise, he got an enviro job for about 50K. And I thought well if he’s getting that well then I’m in big trouble, because I didn’t attend very regularly even with zoology which I really enjoyed. I wasn’t always in class. I was at home doing nothing. Anyway, I applied for this job on Facebook and it was in coal seam gas and I was to discover how bad that is.
And it’s it’s weird spending three years in an industry that you despise, and I hated it even at the time so it was a weird but very three years, but I met some pretty interesting people during that time.
So tell us about that. What was it like? You left obviously… you got a job on Facebook then, and then what did they just fly straight up there. You were in the thick of it. You were just thrown in the deep end.
Yeah. So, I was 21, and I was a supervisor on mine sites trying to tell people that are old enough to be my grandfather what to do, and when you get like a 60 year old driller who’s been doing it for more than half his life you just need to be as… You don’t… you want to just keep out of their hair.
And I think that the geology and the industry is more… your ability, not that not so much about what you know about rocks, but more your ability to keep away from the drillers when they’re in a bad mood.
And I was good at doing that, so like, they tend to like me because I always had lots of movies on my hard drive. So this before people… we all streamed everything. So you know I’d give them, you know, like a thousand movies, you know, I was their best mate, and if anything went bad well I’d just not report it, and then no one would get in trouble when they’d just get on with it. So I… and at the end of the day I didn’t care about the industry at all so as long as we’re all having fun and we’re all getting paid.
It’s absolute cow… it’s such a cowboy industry.
I’ve heard stories about like a decade, two decades beforehand, and it’s a lot better than then but, like, me compared to like any 9-5 city job mining’s.
So what’s it like going to that? So what are these drillers… Tell us what they do, and then what were some of the stories you heard, what was it like in the past compared to what it’s like today?
I mean you can’t drink on site anymore.
No no. So I think back in the day I think in the 80s, I mean like I sort of heard stories of, you know, stories that sort of thing, like they’d drink a slab or a carton.
Well this is actually the stuff you want, isn’t it? So, a slab or carton or whatever you want to call it.
Which is what, 24 beers?
24 beers, so like smashing one of them while at work.
One dude? Yeah. Yeah.
And then hitting the pub that night and then smashing another slab, and then calling that a day. And then I’ve heard worse stories than that. I heard like some of the drillers smoke like three cartons, like, you know two cartons.
So not like a deck, a carton!
How much is a carton, how many cigarettes? I’ve heard like 10 (packs) or something. So that number doesn’t make sense.
So that’s like 20 decks. But apparently there was this one guy and he’s…I don’t know what the condition is, is it jaundice? I know jauntice when your eyes go like yellowy. But like his skin.
Just from so much smoking?
From like liver failure as well I think that your skin can go that yellowy colour and this… you just get some units out there.
And there’s also some of the old school guys there. I remember there was a guy there from, I think it was, QBC… QGC.
What does that stand for?
I think it was QGC, Queensland Gas Company. I think it was something like that. And he had about three teeth in his mouth, covered in moles, morbidly morbidly obese, but then he kind of had a really like refined sort of accent.
But he was just… you could… he just he looked like a human equivalent of Jabadahut. He was disgusting. And.
So, this is where you would go to see a lot of the real rough Australians are in this industry.
You do. This is exploration. So when I worked on a mine site it was less so. But yeah, you still had some…you still had a bit of that.
Also don’t say too much as well, ’cause if it goes on Facebook, and like somebody saying a few years, but I still like them as well, and they’ve got jobs so.
You don’t have to go into the specifics. I’m just interested. What are the characters like, yeah? And so what accent like?
It’s like… you could imagine. I’ll just say too, well, this actually refers to the accent a bit. So if you’ve got 300 guys in one spot together you get a bit of a alpha thing going where… and it’s almost like who can be the biggest dickhead. The worst person you are the more celebrated to a point. So you know, like, the F word it’s replaced by the C word and it’s literally used for everything. So…
This is what happens when women are taken out of the equation.
We are animals.
And… but then also to the awareness of that actually makes it a whole lot more fun. So you know when you’re literally just sitting there and you know it’d be 7 in the morning I’d rock up and they’re like oh… You’re literally picking each other apart. I mean it’s who can be the cruelest to each other, and then who can handle it the best.
And ah yeah.
So it’s tricky because like I… I don’t know like repeat a lot of it.
You don’t have to.
But then it’s sort of like in terms of the accent element I know some sayings which I wasn’t used to is like in New South Wales they say like “hey.”[00:09:15] Yep. At the end of sentences?
…like “Ey” and “Hey”, like Queensland a lot they’ll go “Ey?” like “Oh, I feel like dinner, ey?” or something like that. That’s a really pronounced thing but, like, it doesn’t seem to happen that much in Victoria and that caught on. I started doing it a bit, and I think sometimes I still do it a bit now. “E-h” “Eh?”
What’s the other one.
Oh “Heaps”, “Heaps good” something’s “Heaps good.
But that’s not even really slang. That’s… Well I guess it is, but it’s like almost bad grammar. “It’s really good? Nah It’s heaps good!”. And I was… There’s actually a song. I can’t remember the song in the song, but they go, “It was heaps good”. I’m like… “Uh!”.
But then after a while you hear it a lot, and then you start using it yourself. I’m like “No!”.
So was it hard for you at first? ‘Cause that’s what a lot of my listeners and a lot of people watching this are going to be thinking, you know, when we come to Australia is going to be difficult talking with Australians, and I guess I wanted to show that even for other Australians it can be difficult, right?
Yeah. Well, I…
When you first go out there, not just necessarily that you don’t understand the accent, but they start using slang terms or expressions you don’t understand and even you as a native speaker have to learn those things and then become part of the.
Well it’s almost like, well, you would’ve… you’ve heard of them all, you know, some stuff like “Bonzer”.
Yeah there was that ad campaign or whatever years ago that that “Bonzer” like look that was of. Can you with that at all?
I remember vaguely.
I didn’t know it was an actual real thing and then I heard one of the guys say, “Oh yeah, nah, I picked up this girl last night. Yeah, she was a real bonzer chick.” I’m like, “Wait, is that a thing?” like, people actually say “Bonzer”? Stuff like that. “Old mate” actually. I didn’t know “Old mate.” meant. That was probably the only thing that I didn’t understand. So when they’d be like “Oh, I’m going to go get “Old mate”, and I’m like “Well, who’s old mate? like, someone that you’ve known for ages?”. And they’d use it on strangers and I’d say “Oh, yeah, old mate did this.” And I’m like, “Oh, yeah, where’d you meet him?”. “Oh I just met him.” like “I was with you. What do you mean?.” “But you call him “old mate”?”
It’s like, what are you talking about? And, like, I think that’s.
It’s just become like a slang term for someone, right?
For someone, yeah, for anyone. And…
I just went got this dude, this make, this guy. Old mate.
Anyone. And “Old love”. That’s not very commonly, but sometimes for the girls it’s “Old love”, but I heard that a handful of times, but “Old mate’s” infectious. So, it’s… it gets thrown around so much that you start using it all the time. Like, “Old mate will get it!”. Yeah…
It’s funny how words and expressions catch on like that, because I remember hearing that for the first time I think after high school one of my friends kept saying it, and I was like, he was from the country out in Shepparton, so northern Victoria, and I remember being like, “What the hell does this mean?”, and he explained it to me and I was like, it kind of has this ring to it, like this… it sounds cool, and be like, “Yeah, I was hanging out with old mate.
It’s inclusive. You’re part of this group.
Yeah, so it’s funny how things like that catch on, and then… but, yeah it is like, those kinds of expressions and terms are only really used by Australians with other Australians because it is just so confusing. And I think too because it’s not absorbed by everyone who speaks English in Australia it’s only used by those groups that it’s hard to use holistically because it’s just not common until you go into those areas.
But you do see, like, in terms… especially the Geologists you get a lot of people on 457s (visas), a lot of people from the UK, they soak it up real quick. I think they loved it. But, some of the Indian people I worked with, it was pretty funny. Hearing the Indian accent. Well I’m sure there’s more than one, but like, but you know, people from India who’d spent, you know, less than six months in Australia, you know, saying “Old mate”, and “How are ya?”, and just, you know, all the slang you just incorporating it in, and it’s just hilarious just seeing like the cut off in their own accents when they’re trying to emulate it. And, but also too, like, we loved it when that happened as well.
So what advice would you have if you were someone who’s recently come to Australia and is going to be working with these kinds of guys, and… or, you know, people in general, it doesn’t just have to be men, but what is the kind of advice you would have for someone becoming friends with these people, working with these people, learning to understand the accent and these terms?
I think that just ask them directly what it means. I mean it could be hard though if… some of the real country country guys, so, you know, if you know, like Longreach Central Queensland where some of the guys are just country… very country.
Rough as. You literally can’t pull them up everything, on every single point, because they… it’s just slang with everything. So I think you just have to listen and eventually you will hear sentences in context and you pick up on it. But if you hear a repeating element that’s repeated a lot like “Old mate” is, pull them up on that, and then I think all the other terms will fall into place in time. But I think that that would be the biggest one.
‘Cause that’s one of those things.
It’s tricky ’cause it’s still English, and it’s still Aussie English, still obvious, the same country. I still understood them. But that’s really the only term I sort of struggled with that I can remember. But a lot of it was the sentence structure and grammar. It was a bit different. And anything you just worked that out after a while I think.
It’s just exposure.
So, it was surprising actually. You think ’cause Australia’s quite young we don’t have the same variation in accents sort of… even language. In other countries, say like Europe where, you know, you drive an hour and it’s a different language in certain parts. But we do have quite a bit of variation between the states and even within states if you’re really listening for it.
And I’d… They knew that I was from Melbourne just for how I said Melbourne, which I don’t think a lot of Victorians realise. We say “Melbourne” different than… Yeah.
So, what’s the difference? Can you say it?
That’s how we would say it, but.
I don’t know. For me I don’t understand what I’m saying. They’re just like, “Oh, they way you say “Melbourne”, say it again!” I’m like, “Well, what do you mean?”. It’s not either like “Melbourne” (American accent), like, they just say it seemingly the same as me but.
They can hear the difference.
They call us Mexicans because we’re south of the (Qld) border.
So I guess too, one of the points that I wanted to get at, was how do you penetrate that kind of culture too, because a lot of foreigners have trouble when they come here. A lot of the guys that listen and chat to me tell me how hard it is when they are working as tradies or in groups with guys who are really rough, use lot of slang, and just… I guess that culturally not bogan Australian, but those kind of… those small guy groups that are really hard to penetrate and become friends with. And they feel like they work there for a year, for two years, and even then they’re not really in the group. What sort of advice would you have, ’cause it can be hard for you and me, right? If we go to these kinds of places a lot of the time we’re treated the same in that we aren’t originally from there, we don’t speak like them, we don’t use the same language as them, and we get treated as a bit like outsiders, and it takes us a little bit of time to get into the groove.
I think the biggest thing is not taking what they say seriously and being able to take a joke. I saw some people that couldn’t. I literally saw one guy on a drill rig, scrubbing a drill rig with a toothbrush. Like, that stuff still can happen. And it was a guy that didn’t know when to shut up, and didn’t know how to take a joke. He liked to give, but couldn’t take them. And he got himself in a situation that he sort of created for himself. But I think if you can take a joke, if you can at least try to be… like make some jokes as well, you know, like, even just talking to them, like, generally even a lot of the ones that are more confronting or sort of intimidating looking a very laid back and quite friendly. Even the ones that seem to be really grouchy some of them are the friendliest blokes and they’re there, they’re grouchiness, or apparent hostilities, it’s all show.
And it’s when they’re on the job and they’re stressed out, but then afterwards.
Yeah, if they’re swearing and carrying on after a while you hear it enough, and you’re just like “Ah, he’s alright. He’s just having a sook.” But I think the biggest thing too is that if you are going to… I think a lot of those crew groups that they really are respected if you you pay out on them but then you can take a joke in turn. But you got to be careful doing it. You’ve got to really read the situation.
Yeah, so maybe don’t start with walking up and dropping the C-bomb and being like “Hey you C*&^!” like.
No. No… and, you know, if they’re angry and then you call them a bunch of sooks, well, that won’t work very well. You know you’ll find your ute on bricks. But in saying that even like after work a lot of these guys go to the bar and that sort of thing, and I’m not saying that, like, in order to fit in with Aussie culture sort of in rural areas you have to be a raging alcoholic, but, you know, even just spending the time even if it’s an hour or two a couple of days of the week, if they do end up going to somewhere just joining in and just getting chatting with… people are going to start loosening up after a work and it’s… that’s a good time to really sort of, like, edge your way in. People are a lot more open than they like to let on.
It’s funny because it feels so much like high school. Like we… I don’t know, it’s.
Guys are… we mature in our own little way, but at the end it’s all a big boy… You get a bunch of guys together and they’re kids, like, you know…
And you kind of have to be able to turn it on and off, right? Like in these situations, and that’s part of the, I don’t know, the delicacy. When you get in here it’s… I think… and it’s not just an English speaking… what do I want to say? It’s not just foreigners that suffer from this. When Americans come to Australia and English people come to Australia…
Well, I mean, they’re foreigners.
But English language learners.
It’s not just ESL learners who have this problem. It’s Americans British people, you know, they come to Australia and they suffer the same thing where they go to places like this, they have jobs working with other Aussies, and they don’t get the Aussie humour and the Aussie culture of teasing one another as a way of showing that you like someone. And if you can’t take a joke and you can’t show that you can be teased and then brush it off and tease back you’re… that’s when people get uncomfortable and almost don’t like you because they don’t… they know they can’t joke with you. And that’s… I feel like that’s… I’ve had a lot of listeners to the podcast, say “We just, like, they seem mean. These people they say things to me. I don’t understand and.
They’re just testing water with you a lot, and I notice that…
Exactly. And part of it is you just have to get used to ignoring what people say and not taking it literally, right? Especially, this is for Americans, for British people too, ’cause they get really offended when they’re not used to the Australian humour.
Because like Americans.
I find people from the UK tend to be pretty good at it. They tend to be better, but yeah, the Americans can be quite literal. I suppose it depends what area you’re in as well. But, some Americans that I’ve met can be quite literal and I think that you’re openly offending them.
And the problem with that is it causes a kind of ripple effect there, because then Aussies find that hilarious in itself, so they’ll keep doing it.
Yeah, it’s almost like you find the chink in the armour, or that the weak spot, right? And then you just keep picking at it and picking at it. So you almost have to practice tolerance and having a thick skin.
When it comes to how these people may treat you, you know, I mean within reason. Obviously, there is a lie, and that’s what you have to get used to, because there can be bullying and nastiness of course.
Yeah, of course.
But at the same time as someone is joking around with you and says something like “Hey dickhead! How’s it going mate.” You know, that’s… they’re not calling you a “dickhead” as in “Oh, we hate you and we think you blah blah blah.” It’s just Australians seem to be a lot more loose with their… the way that they’ll refer to someone.
With their abuse. Loose with abuse.
Yeah, I mean, and it is…I guess my advice would be just don’t take everything personally straightaway, and try and read the situation and get used to it, and see how they treat other people that they’ve obviously friends with, ’cause if they’re treating you the same way and they’re treating their friends that way, then it’s not a sign that… (they don’t like you.
And in a very weird way if they’re as abusive say to you as they are to their own friends then you need to start to think “Well, is it really abuse or is this just how he is.
And, in a weird sort of way is this actually a good thing? If he’s talking me the same way as his friends well maybe he might actually like me.
I remember having… When I started jujitsu and going to the gym, I remember this one guy that was always poking fun at me. And I was just like, even as an Australian, I was just like, “What is up with this? Does he just not like me?”. And I remember talking to him one day, and he’s like, “Man if I didn’t like you I just wouldn’t talk to you. I just wouldn’t say anything. I’d ignore you.” And that is what probably one of those things to take into account is in these sorts of situations. If someone’s teasing you and still, you know, to an extent, but, if they’re not ignoring you and they’re still laughing and they’re kind of friendly by using some of these words that may confuse you. Don’t have your automatic reaction of being offended, because that will probably lead to them going further with that.
Yeah, or they’ll start to feel a bit awkward and then they might not do it again for a while, and then it can just make it… the whole situation can feel a bit weird. Yeah.
Anyway, we’ve gone off on a bit of a tangent, but the side note’s get a thick skin and be able to handle insults a little bit within reason and get used to it.
And get used to it. Probably expect it too. If you’re working with a lot of guys.
Expect it. And it could be a lot of fun. Friendly insulting can be fun. I find that hard. Not everyone does it. It’s hard to explain to people that aren’t into it, but yeah.
Awesome. Maybe we can finish up man.
I sort of don’t even know what we talked about. We tried to keep it to something relevant to Aussie English, but it sort of went a bit everywhere.
I wanted them to get exposure to your accent, and, man, I think we use so many slang terms in there. I was just thinking some of the times you drop these things and I’m like.
I don’t know you think I did.
I was like I hope when I go back over this I’m going to be able to remember what he said, ’cause I don’t use that, and sometimes when you listen over things and try and transcribe you’re like, “What?”.
Yeah I remember when I was even in South America I… one thing I liked is yeah you speak slower and you pronounce your words properly, and I thought this is good it’s like sort of correcting my accent or whatever, and ’cause, you know, Aussies can slur a bit as well. I don’t think a lot of Aussies realise that, but we can… we slur through our sentences sometimes, and… but then as soon as… So, I was like alright this is getting a bit better I’m pronouncing words correctly, that sort of thing, but then you see one Aussie it just all goes, and it’s just it’s a battle.
It’s funny how that happens, ’cause I remember doing that too where I went to Queensland and used to do research on turtles, and we would go up there and be in a group, and it would just come out. You’d have, you know, you wouldn’t realise you sound… like I remember being asked, “Are you English?” … I’m like “What’re you talking about I’m just from Melbourne.
But that’s weird too because then.
And then my accent came out after a month I come back to Melbourne and everyone’s like, “Jesus man. You’re full bogan!”.
But when I was in Central America I had a few people who thought I was English. And this is really weird because one guy said… he said, “Are you sure you’re not English, your parents are? Your language isn’t as vulgar as all of Australians.” I’m like, “It’s the opposite man!”. I told people at home just ’cause I knew they’d find that hilarious. But I got quite a lot of people thinking, you know, I was English, and I don’t really understand that at all.
I think it’s difficult though, right?
Even if I’m in a group of other Aussies they keep me out of thinking that I had spent time in England, and I don’t really… I don’t get that.
I think that’s just that… I don’t want to sound, you know… I think it’s the education thing. The longer you believe in education going to high school, going through university, the longer you stay around those organisations, I think one because you’re around people who are more educated and speak with a more clear accent, and you’re in so many foreigners so that you have to speak with a more clear accent. I think that’s part of the reason, at least personally, I have a more neutral Australian accent then I would have if I had left high school and gone to become a tradie or something Werribee or in the middle of Australia, and then had that, you know, instead of saying “Australia” I would say “Astralya”, like, you’d just start getting the…
Well, I mean, in year 7 I used to call a “Toilet” “Tawlet”. I got rid of that pretty quick. I thought that was normal, I was like, “Oh, tawlet” and then the class was laughing at me. I’m like, “Damn!”.
Oh God. “Tawlet”.
We should probably end up here, man. Thank you so much for the interview. See you guys.
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By pete — 3 years ago
In this episode I chat to you guys about changing your attitude when trying to do well in any given field. I argue that the best attitude to have is to look for reasons to say yes instead of excuses to say no.
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Walking With Pete: Look For Reasons To Say Yes Instead Of Excuses To Say No
G’day guys and welcome tot his episode of Walking With Pete.
Tonight I have just got home after I finished work. I went for a bit of a skate and as you may or may not know I’ve taken up the hobby of skateboarding again to see if I can apply the language learning approaches that I use and make the… methodology that I kind of put forth to learn languages, and apply that to skateboarding, and skateboarding was something that I absolutely loved as a kid. I always loved skating in the street with my mates and going to the skate park after school or on weekends and just spending a lot of time, a lot of hours there, bumming around, hanging out with friends and not doing a lot of anything apart from skating a little bit. And so, yeah, I decided to take that back up recently and it’s been a lot of fun. I haven’t really taken any big stacks yet. So, “a stack” is like a fall. If you take “a stack” usually on something like a bike or a skateboard, skiing, snowboarding, it tends to be when you fall on land. So, you wouldn’t really stack when surfing I don’t think but if you were riding a bike or riding a sta… uh skateboard and you fell over you could say you’ve taken “a stack”. “I’ve taken a stack”, “I’ve had a stack”, “I’ve stacked”. So, it can be a verb as well. “I um… I don’t want to stack today when I’m riding”. Anyway, I haven’t stacked yet. I haven’t had a big fall. I haven’t injured myself, which has been encouraging, it’s been good. So, that’s been pretty fun but for the most part at the moment I’m just trying to work on the basics and correct a lot of errors that I… that I acquired as a kid when I was skating and I didn’t really have any… have any friends to give me, you know, advanced advice. I didn’t really have any friends who were really really really good skaters, and knew proper technique and could break things down and give you a really good explanation for things, and I think this is where it kind of ties into language learning because, you know, you can just thrust yourself into a language, you can just throw yourself in, dive in the deep end as we say in English, you know, without any explanation for grammar and slowly over time as you speak the language and learn just through exposure you pick up the grammatical rules passively like you would in your maternal language. You don’t necessarily learn them specifically, explicitly, you don’t have them lined out for you, you don’t have them broken down and explained, but I feel like this approach is a little quicker. If you focus on an explanation for a concept, say a grammatical concept in… in a language and you nail it, you do really well at that grammatical concept, you practice it, you focus on it, you master it, and then move onto the next one, I feel like this is a much quicker way of advancing in a field, in a… in a language, in skateboarding, in any kind of pursuit that you are interest in mastering. If you do it like this where you master a specific area of that chosen field, that chosen area that you’re interested in, whether it’s skating or whether it’s language learning, it’s… it’ll get you a lot further a lot quicker. So, that’s what I’m trying to do at the moment with skateboarding. So, for an example, I… I used to have the wrong foot on the board when I was pushing with the other foot on the… on the ground to get moving. And so I’m trying to correct that and I have to use the other foot. And so it feels very unnatural for me but if I can do this it’ll advance my skating a lot quicker than if I were to just do what I used to and focus on my old bad habits. So, that’s what I’m doing at the moment. I’m focusing on just riding, getting good at balance, getting good at being able to push, go fast, get over cracks, you know, not fall over. So, just negotiate obstacles, get around obstacles. I’ve been doing that for the last week. [I’ve] been playing around a little bit with the Ollie, which is where you just jump the board up in the air. So, no… no real trick it’s just you get the board off the ground into the air. That’s an Ollie. So, I’ve been focusing on just riding and getting my proper Ollie technique down. So, like I would for learning a grammatical rule in a language I would go away, I would search YouTube video[s] or look up a textbook and try and find an explanation as to when and how I can use this, say, a tense conjugation, etc. in English. When to say “I would do something” as opposed to saying “I will do something”. So, I look for the videos for skateboarding and how to… how to push off, how to better ride, how to position your feet, how to better Ollie, how to position your feet while you’re ollieing and how to practice the techniques of ollieing etc. and I’m trying to just get the basics of that down. And I noticed, I put a video up and I noticed that straight after having looked at a little video that broke down how to Ollie better and breaking it down into several parts, each of which you can practice, I practiced all of those parts on their own and then I put them together to do the Ollie and I found even within five minutes, ten minutes, my Ollie had significantly improved. I’d learnt to Ollie a lot better just from having broken it down, practice the little bits in isolation like conjugating a verb tense in English. You practice each of them on their own so that when you actually have to use it in real life in a fluid dynamic conversation with someone it just happens naturally and you don’t have to pause and think, ah… etc.
Anyway, so that’s what’s happening with skating at the moment. [I’m] just sort of trying to see how I’ll go. I don’t know what’ll happen in the future but that’s where I am at the moment. Aside from that, what did I want to talk about today? I guess oh… it’s still tied in with the skateboarding, but the main theme of today’s episode was look for reasons to say yes and not excuses to say no. So, look for reasons to say yes and not for excuses to say no. Ah… what do I mean by this? I guess, this… this came to my mind when I was skating to and from work, and there’s a lot of uneven ground, there’s a lot of nice flat ground on the way to work, a lot of nice footpaths and roads that are really really smooth, so they’re really flat, smooth, they’re nice to ride on, they’re good to skate on, but then they’re often broken up by parts or paths that are really uneven, that are really bumpy and it’s really really hard to skate on. And so, whilst at the moment I’m just trying to work on ah… my riding abilities I keep telling myself, or at least I did keep telling myself at the start, maybe I won’t ride to…to work because there’s too many of these little areas where it’s too bumpy ground and I have to keep getting off the board, walking for a bit, then getting on the board, then getting off the board, then getting on the board, etc. etc. etc., maybe it’s easier if I just don’t skate, take it to work, and then skate when I get to work. But, that’s looking for an excuse to say no, an excuse not to skate, when… when I really thought about it I thought look it’s going to take a little more effort in that I’m going to have to put the board down, get on it, get off it, carry it, get on it, get off it, carry it, but every single time I do that, even if it’s for 100 metres, 200 metres at a time where I get to ride and I get to fool around, you know, practice my balance, it all adds up. It all adds up. So, I need to look for reasons to say yes instead of excuses to say no especially in the cases like this where it’s not a matter of a lot of effort, you know, putting down the board and skating a few 100 metres at a time and then getting off and carrying it for a bit, putting it down again, it’s a little bit of effort but it’s not enough to justify saying no. It’s not a big enough excuse for me to justify not riding the board. And by doing this, by riding the board, it all adds up. So, if I do this ten times over 100 metres on the way to work that’s a kilometer total, right? And maybe it’s five minutes, maybe it’s ten minutes all up on the board, and if I do that twice a day that’s an extra twenty minutes that I’ve practiced my riding, I’ve practiced, you know, my balance, my pushing, all of that that I otherwise would not have had the chance to do if I had made an excuse and said no I’m not going to ride on these little bits ‘cause it takes a bit more effort to do and I’ll just ride when I can when the environment’s perfect. So, I guess it’s like that. Don’t always wait for things to be perfect because a lot of the time suboptimal conditions, so that means conditions that aren’t perfect, for practice still add up. They still help you improve. So, it all adds up in the end and it all makes you closer to your goal of mastering the skill than if you were to accept that poor excuse to say that it’s too hard, I’m going to wait until things are perfect, you know. If a surfer only ever when out for a surf every time the weather was absolutely perfect, and the waves were absolutely perfect, he’d probably only surf ten days a year, maybe less. Whereas, if he says look I’m probably not going to catch any amazing waves today, I’m probably going to fall off a lot. I’m not going to be able to stay on these waves. They’re awful. The weather’s a bit off but I’m going to get out there and I’m going to do what I can. He’s going to learn how to paddle. He’s going to get better at riding crappy waves. He’s going to get a lot of time out there in suboptimal conditions where he may surf 100 days in the year as opposed to only ten. So ultimately, at the end of that year I think it’s a lot better to be the guy who finds the reasons to say yes and goes out in suboptimal conditions to practice, and in the context of language learning this could be going to a pub and speaking when it’s really loud and it’s hard to hear people, you know, and you want to have a conversation but it’s not… there’s not perfect silence behind you so you can’t hear every single word, you can’t hear the pronunciation of the person, you can’t hear the way that they’re conjugating verbs, it’s not perfect. It’s suboptimal, and it is easy to say well look it’s too hard. The conditions aren’t right. I would much rather find a one on one situations with someone in perfect silence where I can hear everything. But as I said with the surfer if you wait for those kinds of conditions often they don’t come or they come very rarely and so you’re going to spend a lot of time doing nothing as opposed to practicing in suboptimal conditions, which still helps you move towards your goal of mastering whatever it area, whatever field it is that you are interested in pursuing. And I guess also it’s nice to have small… small parts, small portions of the day where you do things like this as opposed to waiting for big chunks. So, practicing a language ten minutes a day, half an hour a day, is often a lot better if you can do this every day than practicing for two hours once a week on the weekend, even if the two hours adds up to more time than you would’ve done if you’d done ten minutes a day, it’s a lot better to do it more often for shorter periods of time than less often for longer periods of time. And I feel like this is what I’m trying to do at the moment with skating where on the way to work I am choosing, you know, doing a lot of little… you know, one, two minute skates on nice areas, and I take a break, I let my feet recover, my legs recover, and then I do it again, I take a break, let me feet recover, do it again, etc. etc. etc., and it all builds up, it all adds up at the end of the day. And I think a really good analogy for this is Lucas Lampriolli [Luca Lampariello*], I think that’s how you pronounce it, the polyglot Lucas Lampriolli [Luca Lampariello*] that some of you may or may not know on YouTube has an analogy where he… he likens learning a language to fluency to filling a bucket a drop at a time. And so, you can see that a bucket doesn’t get filled all at once. It takes time and if you drop one drop of water in there constantly once a day the bucket will eventually get filled and you’re going to improve at a steady rate effectively. Whether it’s language learning or skating. If I do a little bit every day the bucket will fill itself in the end. So, I felt like that was a really good analogy and that’s what I’m trying to apply here with skating.
And I think too, one last note before I finish up this episode, it’s so much better to have that kind of attitude towards life and towards things that you’re trying to improve upon, that you’re trying to… to gain, to master, whatever it is in your life if you have that kind of psychological attitude towards things where you say I’m going to find a reason to say yes and not an excuse to say no. So, you get confronted with a situation that may not be perfect, that could be suboptimal, and instead of saying straight away nup too hard, too hard, as we say in English, or as we say in Australia, “Too hard basket” which means you’ve… you’ve straight away put that thing in a basket with “Too hard” written on it. So, we say “we put it in the too hard basket”. Instead of putting it in the too hard basket straight away because it looks too difficult, and that’s your instant reaction, if you work on trying to find a reason to put it in the “it’s hard but I’ll try it” or “it’s hard but I’ll do it” basket, you’re going to get a lot more done, you’re going to feel a lot better about yourself, and ultimately you’re going to advance a lot further in whatever field it is. And so, I feel like that at the moment with languages where I’m constantly trying to find how do I squeeze more in the day, how do I do more? Like, I could not skate this little bit of path because it doesn’t look perfect, but at the same time if I do skate it that’s twenty seconds, that’s a minute, that’s ten minutes more that I get to put onto my um… list of experience with regards to skating. The same with language learning and podcasts, listening to podcasts. Am I going to be on the tram for ten minutes, or am I going to be going for a walk for ten minutes? Screw it. I’ll put the podcast in. I’ll listen to whatever language podcast I’m listening to to work on my French, to work on my English, and bam that adds up. That’s another ten minutes on the sheet of my language experience. So, it all adds up. It’s a lot better to look at life that way, to find reasons to do things, to find reasons to say yes. Do little bits and pieces. It all adds up. You feel great about yourself. Whereas, I feel like if you find excuses to constantly say no nothing will… will ever get done and you get yourself in a cycle where you’re going to feel depressed, you’re going to feel useless, you’re not going to feel like you can achieve anything or that you have achieved anything when you’ve been waiting the whole time for the perfect conditions to come and they haven’t come. Whereas, if you’d been practicing in suboptimal conditions you would still have something to show for your effort at the end of the day.
So, that’s probably enough for today’s episode guys. Just remember try and find reasons to say yes to whatever it is that you guys are working on, to whatever it is in life even if it’s seeing your family or going out, as opposed to trying to find excuses to say no. It’s a better way of thinking. It’s a better psychology to have. It’s a better way of looking at the world. Chat to you soon guys. All the best.
Check out all the other Walking With Pete episodes in the playlist below.
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