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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 of Walking With Pete I chat to you guys about the Bilingual Talks podcast, career choices, me teaching English, and more.
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Walking With Pete – Bilingual Talks, Career Choices, Me Teaching English & More
Hey guys! Welcome to this episode of Walking With Pete.
It’s probably about 8 O’clock I think tonight on a Sunday night. I’ve just been spending the entire day at home. [I] put a few episodes up on the podcast and hung out with a few of my housemates, watched some TV shows. I’ve been watching a TV show called Penny Dreadful, which just wrapped up. Um… [It’s] a little big disappointing how it ended. It seemed to have been a little bit rushed. I think they ran out of funding and um… didn’t get very good ratings on the TV show. So, they had to wrap it up, as we say, to wrap it up, meaning to um… to finish or to complete, to end. And, yeah… So, [I] finished watching that just now and thought I would go for a walk in the park and make another episode of Walking With Pete.
So, what do I want to talk about today? I had something on my mind. Something on my mind. Um… Yeah… So, I was… I’ve been listening to this… this podcast called Bilingual Talks, and it’s a podcast by a guy in the US called Victor, and he speaks natively both English and Portuguese, Brazilian Portuguese, and I absolutely love it. So, I shared it today on the Facebook page and I just wanted to give a shout-out to Victor and say thanks for what you’re doing and if anyone on the page is either Brazilian or speaks Portuguese and is learning English, or speaks English whether it’s their native language or a language that they have learnt and they want to learn Brazilian Portuguese then I definitely recommend listening to his um… his podcast, Bilingual Talks. So, I’ll be sure to share a link below for this episode of Walking With Pete so you guys can find that if any of you are interested. ‘Cause it’s definitely one of those things that I think… it’s really useful if you… I like learning Brazilian Portuguese in French as well as English because it means that I get to use my French while I’m learning um… Brazilian Portuguese. And so, I really like resources like this where it’s bilingual. You can… you have all of it in Brazilian Portuguese as well as all of it in English. And so, anyone who speaks either of those two languages and is learning the other language can use this resource and make the most of it. So, [I] absolutely love it. [I] just wanted to let you guys know. Check it out if you want to.
And, I was also talking to him today and he was telling me that he teaches English [and Portuguese] and this is something that I’ve been debating doing for a long time just because of my… my fascination and interest in learning foreign languages, and it seems that teaching English is probably one of the best jobs that I can get if I want to be able to travel abroad, travel overseas, I lot more readily, a lot more easily, and have a job wherever I go, no matter where I go. So, for me, it’s difficult, like, I’m doing my PhD and I’ve done that for years. I’ve done a Masters degree before that in evolutionary biology. Before that I did um… an undergraduate degree which was 3 or 4 years long as well, and so, I’ve done all this study at university only to kind of finish my PhD hopefully by the end of this year and then completely change what I’ll be doing for a career, I guess. And, my train of thought keeps kind of changing. There’s so many things I kind of want to talk about, but I think initially I was really really afraid of staying… staying on path and doing the PhD or PhD related sort of area when I get a job. So, doing science or continuing in academia, continuing doing science in whatever area or field it was, when my heart doesn’t feel like it’s 100% in it at the moment. And I don’t know if or when that will ever change, you know? I could potentially never that passionate or interested in… in science as I used to be ever again. And so, I’ve… I’ve sort of been in two minds because you do all this study, you do all this work, and it leads you down this path and you don’t… you sort of don’t want to jump off this path because of the amount of effort that you have had to put in in order to get where you are, but by the same token I don’t want to stay on this path if my heart is elsewhere, you know? I don’t want to miss out on potentially having other experiences and ending up in a happier career because I was too afraid to take a risk and try something new and put what I had done in the past, albeit for a very long time, on the back burner, you know? And focus on other things for a little while. So, that’s why it’s sort of been difficult. I’ve wanted and I’ve debated a lot recently about doing English teaching, and you know, even if it’s just informal lessons here in Melbourne or on Skype through websites like Verbling or iTalki um… but we’ll see. I’ve been debating that. So, I’m going to look into it I think a little more at the moment, in the next, you know, few weeks, and see if I can start giving a few of these lessons, you know, whether it’s… whether it’s just a few to see how I go, to see if like it, to see if I can do it, to see if I’m good at it, you know, doing a podcast is one thing where I talk to myself, effectively, compared to teaching other people. So, who knows how it’ll go, but I would definitely love to hear what you guys think. Do you think it’s a bad idea? You know, quitting the PhD… or not quitting the PhD but changing my career direction. So, I would love to hear what you guys think, you know. Is it a bad idea changing your career sort of choices after such a long time having studied it? Do you think it’s a waste, or do you think it’s a good idea? You know, is it a good idea that you find something else a little more fascinating. You feel like it could be a really really big passion that you could fall in love with. So, is it worth risking it? What do you guys think? Would you do it? Would you give it a try? Or would you stick with what you know and keep doing what you’ve always done and play it safe? Or would you take the risk just in case what you try ends up being something that you absolutely adore, absolutely fall in love with and could pay off a lot more in the long run, you know, for the rest of your life if it turns out to be successful.
And, I guess also I wanted to see if any of you were interested in these kinds of lessons. Do you get these lessons like private English lessons from people, whether you live in Melbourne or whether you live overseas? Do you get them in person? Do you get them with people face-to-face? Or do you get them online via iTalki, via Verbling? Or… yeah, do you even have just other friends who are learning languages that you… that you learn with. ‘Cause I’m just really genuinely curious about how you guys are learning other languages as well as your Australia English or English English or American English, whatever it is that you’re learning at the moment. So, feel free to jump on the Facebook page and let me know, or send me a message. I’m just absolutely curious about how you guys are learning and what you… what you like doing in order to learn when it comes to getting ah… lessons, I guess. And, I guess also if you would be interested in getting lessons from me at all? I’m… I’m sort of interested in knowing how much interest there is in that. If I was to suddenly offer my services here in Melbourne or via Skype would any of you actually be interested in that? Or should I just stick to what I’m doing with the podcast and let you guys stick to what you’re doing? But, yeah… So, I thought I would just put that out there and let you get back to me if you can. Give me some feedback. And who knows, maybe in a year from now I’ll be, you know, living overseas teaching English full-time and continuing to learn languages, which is ideally what I would like to be doing at least at the moment. If you ask me where I would like to be in a year I think it would be overseas in somewhere say like Iceland, Brazil, France, while being able to teach English whether online or whether in person, and while being able to learn a lot of other foreign languages as well, because I kind of… after learning French last year, at least you know, I’m still in the process of learning French, but after reigniting my passion for French and getting to basic fluency last year… ambulance in the background. After doing that I got really passionate about learning languages again and… and started Brazilian this year, Brazilian Portuguese, and I thought I might try and challenge myself and… and learn, you know, maybe 5 languages in 5 years. Can I do that? You know, even if it’s just to basic fluency. You spend one year on a language at a time, but I’m getting to the point now where I’m seeing that I would be able to get so much better so much quicker if I was actually to go overseas obviously.
So, that’s why I’m sort of playing with these ideas and trying to work out what exactly I can do to facilitate that in the future. I definitely want to keep learning languages, and I definitely want to be able to travel, and it seems like teaching English would be the easiest option with regards to a career for allowing me to move around relatively often and freely, compared to if I was trying to find a job using my PhD in science. Um… and any time you would sign up for a job I’m sure it would be for a year or more wherever you go, and there’d be a lot of bureaucracy and paper work. So, that’s why I’m kind of afraid to do that. I don’t want to be too tied down.
Anyway, this episode’s probably getting a bit long so I might leave it at that guys. Let me know what you think and just in general let me know what you think of the podcast. I hope you’re enjoying it. I’ve changed that format up. So, I’m trying to do a weekly set of episodes where I do one pronunciation episode, a Walking With Pete episode, an expressions episode, and I might try and throw in a few odd bits and pieces here and there like the Embarrassing ah… English Errors episodes. I hope you’re liking those, but yeah, just in general give me some feedback. I haven’t really heard from many of you, so, I can definitely see that there’s quite a few people listening, but I haven’t really heard back from… from many people at all. But those I have have loved it. I would just love to chat to more of you though. I’m definitely keen to meet a lot more of you guys who are listening and… and um… not necessarily as active on the Facebook page. Anyway, all the best guys, and I’ll chat to you soon.
To hang out with someone
- Definition: To spend time with someone.
To wrap something up
- Definition: To conclude something; to finish up; to end.
On one’s mind
- Definition: To be thinking about.
- Definition: A special mention.
One’s train of thought
- Definition: A succession of connected ideas; a path of reasoning.
To stay on path
- Definition: To continue doing the thing one is doing.
For one’s heart to be in something
- Definition: When you really want to do something or are passionate about it.
In two minds
- Definition: To be unable to decide about something.
By the same token
- Definition: In the same way or for the same reason.
On the back burner
- Definition: A condition of low priority.
To look into something
- Definition: To try to discover the facts about something.
In the long run
- Definition: Over or after a long period of time; eventually.
- Definition: Meeting with someone personally.
- Definition: Within each other’s sight or presence.
When it comes to
- Definition: As for something; speaking about something
To stick to something
- Definition: To persevere with something; to hold to something.
To reignite something
- Definition: To restart something.
To play with ideas
- Definition: To be considering different ideas.
To tie someone down
- Definition: To limit someone’s freedom.
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By pete — 7 months ago
AE 460 – Interview: Tips for Overseas Students in Australia with the Melbourne Vibe Team
G’day, guys. Welcome to this episode of Aussie English, the number one podcast for anyone and everyone wanting to learn Australian English, and in this interview episode specifically, for anyone wanting to learn about how to get a job, how to buy food, cost of living in Australia, everything for students and new arrivals to Australia, okay?
So, remember guys, if you would like the transcript for this episode as well as all of the other episodes, you can get access to every single transcript and MP3, you can download these when you sign up via theAussieEnglishPodcast.com.
You will see the words “Sign Up” in the menu, click that, and then it is just a small fee per month if you would like access.
Also, don’t forget, guys, if you would like to take your English to the next level, this podcast is brought to you by the Aussie English Classroom, an online learning environment with quizzes, with videos, with MP3s, all the bonus content for anyone interested in taking their English to the next level. And you can try that at TheAussieEnglishClassroom.com. It is just $1 for your first month. Go over there and give it a go.
Anyway, today’s episode is an interview episode guys, and I have a special set of guests, not just one guest, I have two guests, for you today in this interview. The first is David and the second is Jocelyn, and these guys are the team at Melbourne Vibe.
Now, Melbourne Vibe I found on YouTube and these guys are a start-up, obviously set up in Melbourne, down in the south east of Australia, and these guys produce awesome, awesome videos. They’re taking off on YouTube at the moment and the videos are all about being overseas students in Australia. So, if you are currently an overseas student, you’re living in Australia, you want to find out where you can work, you want to find out about which cities you can live in, how to rent somewhere, the kinds of prices you’ll have to pay for renting, where to find food, all of those kinds of pieces of information for people living in Australia at the moment in these different cities, this channel, and Melbourne Vibe the start-up, is just a brilliant, brilliant resource for you.
So, I want to say a massive thank you to both David and Jocelyn for coming on today’s podcast. It is full of so much good information that is going to make the lives of a lot of you guys listening to this podcast easier if you’re trying to find work, food, somewhere to live, all of that sort of stuff.
So, anyway guys without any further ado, let’s get into it. Jocelyn, David from Melbourne vibe, thank you so much. Let’s go.
G’day guys, welcome to this episode of Aussie English. Today I have Dave and Jocelyn from Melbourne Vibe, a YouTube channel that I found recently that’s sort of become my secret little addiction. David and Jocelyn welcome. How did you guys get started?
How did we get started? Basically, there was a gap in the market and there wasn’t that many videos that were catering to international students and we played around with a few different things like travel and vlogs and things like that, and we fell into this one.
Yeah pretty much. These are the things that a lot of people that look for, they are coming here and there are so many people coming to Australia. So there was nothing there. like I myself before coming here was looking for these things and it wasn’t there. So we just decided “Why not just make it?”.
So what were you left with Dave? And when did you get to Australia? Do you want to talk a bit about that story and how you discovered all these things on your own before there was a resource for you to search for and get this information?
Yes. I’m in my 3rd semester at Monash University. I’m doing my Master’s of Business there and I came here late last June and when I was coming here… Before coming here obviously I was looking for things like how is Australia and how are people and what’s the weather like all the basics questions that a lot of people that are coming here they have. So I was just looking for it and there weren’t much things, like if you talk about the United States there are a lot of things that by each State you would get to know. But in Australia particularly they weren’t videos and these days a lot of people don’t wanna read pages and pages.
Exactly! I’m one of those people. I’m always… I open an article and I’m like “oh my God! more than 500 words! Can’t be bothered.”
So that was pretty much it. And they’re… It’s pretty surprising; students from almost 200 countries come to Australia every year.
It’s amazing. And then we just started and in a month or two the response that we got was pretty amazing.
I definitely noticed that. But I mean how did you guys meet too? And how did you… Did you come up with this idea together or was it something one of you is doing beforehand and you just decided we’re going to work better as a team?
Well basically… So I already had a YouTube channel, I just stopped uploading. I was originally a make-up artist and then I started uploading make-up tutorials and things like that back in the day, 2014/2015, when it was really popular. And then I’ve also got a background in photography as well. So I had all the equipment and everything and I knew how YouTube worked and social media and things like that. Then I actually went to India and when I came back I met Dave and we started talking randomly at a party and he also had an interest in photography, so then we just basically kept talking. And he’s wanting to do YouTube and things like that, and he already sort of had an idea of where he wanted to take things, and obviously I had that technical background in everything. So we just kept brainstorming and this is what happened.
So what was it step by step? For any of the listeners right now thinking “I want to start a YouTube channel!” How did you go through that process and how did you get started? Did you just jump in and you were like “Look, it’s going to be quick and dirty to begin with but we’ll just give it a go and see what happens and get better as we go,” or did you fully plan things out and try and make it as professional as possible from the beginning?
I’d say we researched and planned a lot. Like I said, I had the technical and experience on youtube and I had somewhat grown a channel. I also had friends that are doing really really well on Youtube; it’s their full time job, so I had that support. But in saying that it came down to knowledge about SEO and basically the knowledge that we had in the videos. So making sure that… Obviously we had all the information for the particular videos and then… I don’t really know what I’m trying to say, to be honest…
I know what you mean…
I think the most important part to somebody who was actually goiing to start a YouTube channel is think of an idea, shortlist it, and just go for it. You never know whether it’s going to be successful, it’s not going to be successful, but you don’t do it to make it successful. You do it because it’s your hobby. So just do it that way, because a lot of people… I think there are 22 million YouTube channels these days…
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Yeah! But the important part is the consistency. Like the way you keep uploading your new language lessons that we have been learning, it is really cool! So that’s what you have to do. That’s consistency is the key.
I know. It does feel like throwing shit at the wall quite often, where you just like “I keep having to just keep doing it and eventually something random will happen and suddenly people find it…” But yeah, you can sort of nail or cut down on the “buying lottery tickets” kind of style of making videos when you can implement really good SEO, definitely learnt that the hard way after probably a year of doing really really bad search engine optimisation and then finally sort of having friends go, “Maybe you should try this,” and that made a huge difference. So what have you with… Some of the videos that I like that I really wanted to chat to you about was cities around Australia and things like cost of living and lifestyle. If I was a foreign student thinking of coming to Australia and I came to you guys and said “Okay I want to study at university,” could be anything, but which city would you recommend if I could live anywhere in Australia and why?
So what would we recommend to those people? We’re biased! Melbourne, obviously!
Why Melbourne then? Why Melbourne? I’m sure people always say that because they will here all the time “Melbourne! Melbourne! Melbourne!” What makes Melbourne so much better than everywhere else in Australia? And then what’s the number 2?
So I actually come from New South Wales. So I was brought up about four hours away from Sydney itself. I lived on the coast and it was beautiful and I love NSW’s beaches, and the bush and everything. But when it comes to Melbourne it is a totally different atmosphere and there’s so much more culture here. There’s a whole art scene which I’m really into as well. So personally for me I feel like I fit in better here in that respect, because there is more things for me to do, more of my interests that are based here. And it’s just… I think it’s a more relaxed city and for me I feel like it’s easier to get around, but I’m in the city basically 24/7, so I’m just on TransLink and so… If you want a really relaxed lifestyle, obviously then you’ve got Brisbane. It’s a lot more quieter. It’s basically like a country town to be honest.
Yeah, I’ve been there to pass through, but never actually hung out spent some time getting to know the place.
I’ve only gone for holidays and things like that but people that I know that’ve liked there a long time; they really get to know the community and everyone around there. So you want that community and you want that small town and you want to know pretty much everyone who’s anyone then Brisbane is the place to go. And I guess coming third for me would be Sydney. The only reason coming in third is because to me it’s just too big, like Crazy! And for me the traffic – I can’t deal with that.
I found out recently… My girlfriend and I drove in for the weekend to go to some restaurants and we saw three accidents in a single day and I’d never experienced that, where a car had… And it wasn’t like big accidents it was just they’d gone into the back of someone. That same accident I kept seeing. I couldn’t believe it, three times! and I was like… I never see this in Melbourne so I don’t know if these guys are just overly aggressive, or if this was a chance thing, but it definitely did feel more claustrophobic too. I don’t know if it’s like… Everything’s very close-in. There’s nowhere to park. There’s yeah… Seems crazy but it is very beautiful there. But what about you?
So I was just going to say that I’m taking Dave and his friends to see Sydney this weekend. So it’s their first time, so it’s going to be really interesting.
What are you planning to see? Are you planning to go to restaurants? You planning to see the sights or?
As much as possible. Obviously all the touristy things like Sydney Opera House and Sydney Harbour Beach. We’ll be staying on the beach so they’ll get to see the Bondi Wharf, everything like that.
So what about you Dave? What was your experience coming to Australia and obviously you ended up in Melbourne. Did you start in Melbourne?
Yeah I pretty much started in Melbourne, but I friends all around the country. So because… Whenever we make a video we obviously talk to somebody who has lived there, who knows everything there. I mean, I would I like Melbourne, and I had heard it has come 8 times straight “The Best City to Live in.” But I don’t know why do people not complain about the weather here!?
Yeah! The weather, you can’t deal with it! Was it a shock? Were expecting it to be pretty…
I was not expecting it! I was not! I didn’t think it! Any commercial about Australia… What is shown? It is shown that it’s sunny. There are beautiful beaches. It’s amazing. Nobody ever talks how cold that is!
Yeah that’s pretty surprising! I think too… We just moved to Canberra. So we’ve been here for maybe three months now and aside from it getting pretty cold at night, I was really shocked with just the consistency of the weather, to be honest. That was like reverse shock for me because I’m used to Melbourne. I’m like “Okay, it’s going to be cold in the morning. It’ll probably get hot when the sun comes out, it might rain and that’s probably gonna be cold again. But in Canberra it was like even when it was cold you walk outside and there’s no clouds and the sun just burns you and you’re like “Oh okay, well it’s like this for the rest of the day.” Yeah it definitely is pretty funny. So have you ever travelled around Australia as well, much in your time whilst you’ve been here?
No. I’ve travelled around Melbourne but Melbourne is pretty much where I’ve been based. So next thing would be Sydney, this weekend.
Oh wow. Awesome. Well I hope it goes well. And how did you find acclimating to the language here in Australia? How how did that go? And was it a tough experience, or did you come prepared, or..?
I definitely did not come prepared. If I talk about myself… I think it was my second day in Australia, and then somebody was showing me around and they just took me to some mall and they just greeted and they must have said “How are you going?”, and I had no idea what they said. I’m just staring at them for two second then I’m like “This is gonna to get awkward, so I’m just going to smile and leave,”.
Man, I came up with the best response. My girlfriend… We were walking – she’s Brazilian – so we’re walking into Safeway the other day and there was a guy there who must have been from somewhere in Southeast Asia working there. He walked up to us and he was just like he said something like “Angi mangi maa!” I just had no idea what he said and I’m just like “That’s it!” And the guy just started laughing and was like “Yeah man!”, and we walked off, and my girlfriend’s looked at me and she’s like “What the hell did he say!?” and I’m like “I have no idea, but if you just point at them and say ‘that’s it’, it doesn’t matter if it is a question. It doesn’t matter what it is!” So did it take long to get used to the slang?
I mean… it pretty much did. I don’t really understand a lot of slangs, but because a lot of people that come here, they are pretty comfortable with English, so that… Obviously you’re going to be able to communicate well and that’s… It not gonna to be a major issue. But when it comes to really Australan language, those slangs and everything, then you know this goes top of my head. I don’t get it at all.
I think it’s one of those things. It takes time and you have to not really think that all of your English is going to require you to understand every single slang word. It’s like context or give it away or you just asnk someone and they’ll be like “oh you know.” Anyone who keeps using too much slang with a person who’s clearly from overseas too is just an arsehole right. Especially if they can see you don’t understand and they keep doing it… So what about you Jocelyn? How have you go on with learning Australian English? Obviously you’re native, you’ve been doing this a while!
Obviously. Growing up, born and bred!
Do you have advice for students or foreigners like Dave coming over here that would better prepare them for the language and the difference… The differences they may experience compared to the US or the UK?
I don’t think there’s much you can do to prepare yourself particularly Australian slang. It’s something that you just learn once you get there. But the more people you talk to and the more open you are to meeting people, you’ll start to get used to it. And obviously people understand that you’re not from the country so if you’re just like “what does that mean?” you’re not you’re not gonna look like an idiot, because… Some of the stuff even I understand. sometimes I go to other states and I’m like “I don’t even know what that means and I’m from this country. What are you talking about?”.
I think it was a rude awakening for me when I finished high school and left Geelong and then I remember… I think we went somewhere interstate and someone was talking about “togs” and I was like “What the hell togs!?”… “Swimmers!” and I was like “Oh my God. Bathers, Jesus!”, but now I use “togs” all the time and I’m just “Togs, of course!” It’s so funny that you kind of absorb these things all the time. Crazy. And so what about getting used to uni life here in Australia? I saw that you had a lot of videos talking about paying for university fees, finding a university. Do you have any advice for students who are thinking about coming to Australia or who may already be here, with regards to just setting up their lives as students in Australia?
Yeah so primrary thing that I think benefited me was that I was very open to talk to people from all over the world. And that’s one thing that I want everybody to do. What happens is that because you don’t have family here, you may have come out of your house for the first time in a different country, you don’t know anyone. So you try to speak with people of your country. Which would be with Indians and Saudis… All the countries. It’s just more comfortable because you can talk to your language, you’re a little bit homesick but you don’t want to accept and… I would just say that just have more friends from all over the world, because it’s just amazing fascinating to know everything. To know a different culture. Just journey with other people. And once you start doing that another thing that you don’t even consciously do but you’re going to network like crazy. And that’s going to come handy so much.
So is that how you guys obviously met, too? You were putting yourself out there, getting social and going to events, and you guys obviously met as a result?
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What kind of activities or events would you suggest people do then? Because I know you know if I… Tomorrow I move to Sri Lanka or Africa or something I would be thinking “I have no idea about what activities to do here, I’m just gonna look for Australians or people who speak English.” And obviously if you want people to avoid doing that what can they do in order to try and do that as seamlessly as possible without it being really traumatic?
Yeah I think the easiest is going to be is if they’re student, they have the university.
They’re forced to meet other students.
Yeah there are going to be students from all over the world so that is the easiest, and if… So i always tell everybody when you go to university and when you graduate you should have five people that you should count on that’s going to be even when you die. So those five things… Those five people you should care about, you should have in your life…
And make sure they’re not from your home country!
Exactly! And that should be from different countries.
You can have one! your allowed one from your own home country, that you can talk with in your native language in breaks when it’s just you two. So would you put a lot of emphasis, though, on having native speakers as your friends if you want to improve your English or is having people who don’t speak your mother tongue but speak English as friends just as good because it still forces you to be using English all the time?
Yeah. I think if you want to be good… If anybody wants to be good at English they shouldn’t have the best friend who’s Australian, because their English is going to get stuck!
Why is that?
That’s just a joke!
Could be true!
No, but definitely they should not talk… Even when they are with their people from their country, they should make sure that they talk in English, because it’s just about being comfortable with that language. So when you reach a level when you start thinking in English that’s when you’re going to get comfortable speaking, and it’s very difficult.
Was that something you had to sort of build over time? build that confidence? Or did you just come in all-guns-blazing and you were like “I don’t care, I am just going to just put myself out there,” or is it something you just have to be obviously conscious of growing over time?
Even myself, I was very conscious that if I had to talk to anyone, I have to walk and talk to anybody you say, I don’t think I still can do. I can if I need something from them or if I have something to talk about, but if it’s just like “Hey, yeah, what’s up? What’s your name?” That’s something that is really difficult… But it starts from there. You have to put out there, not everybody’s going to respond to you well, but it’s just practice; You’re gonna learn, you’re going to understand what to say, when to say, how to say, how to present yourself, how to market yourself. And that only comes with practice. You cannot read it. You cannot watch any videos. I mean you can learn little bit, but if you want to master it you have the practice it.
Well I’m always saying that if you wanna run a marathon you don’t learn on YouTube, you can get tips, but she ultimately have to do the running, you have to do the time on the road, and it’s the same with any language, I think, where you just have to keep doing it, doing it, doing it. That’s awesome. Jocelyn I’ve got a question for you: with regards to Australia compared to the US, Canada, Britain, New Zealand, what would say, obviously from a biased point of view, are the reasons you should choose Australia compared to those other countries for studying or living abroad?
Well I mean…
I mean, you can go to new beaches for 27 years straight…
Is that once a day is it? If you go to one new beach a day you’ve got to take 27 years or something, is it?
Literally! That’s what brought me here, and then came to Melbourne and then I realised I cannot even go to swim, it’s so cold!
Yeah, and there’s sharks right?
Honestly just being able to travel so freely in Australia, obviously with the road trips, the a country itself, and the people. The people are amazing and I love Australia.
So what would you say people don’t expect? Are there any things you would warn people about… When they come to Australia, are they any things that most people get shocked about, that they had no idea about before getting here?
That we have so many metropolitan areas. People seem to think they come here and it’s the middle of nowhere. Again, the weather. So many people have said to me “Why’s Melbourne so cold? Where is the summer?”, we get three months of summer, guys… You got to go to Brisbane.
And it’s 40 degrees on several of those days, so it gets hot but it still sucks!
Exactly! So just expect a lot of that.
I think another reason why… Because I personally, before coming to Australia, I was looking at different countries and I was 99 percent sure that I was going to go to the United States and then Trump happened! And that’s it. I’m not going there!
So that wasn’t so much that you were unable to go there., did you just see that and you were like “Nope. Not doing that.”
I mean… I had a visa, I can go today. But the point is that Australia is, if you think about it, United States, Europe… Australia is still growing, and growing quite fast. So that’s exactly why people… A lot of people from all over the world wants to come to Australia. Canada is growing as well, but then Canada comes… They don’t even get three months of summer that we get here. And you need that. You want to go to the beach, you want to stay there, chill for a weekend, all the things that you want. It’s this quality life here. Australia has pretty much everything; if you want a little bit chill yet fast life, you come to Melbourne. You want really fast life, you go to Sydney. You want chill life, good weather, amazing, you go to Brisbane. And there’s so much to do. So I think Australia has been pretty much on top three countries that people want to go to, even to stay, to study, for anything.
And are you thinking about staying here long term after you finish studying, or would you like to live elsewhere, or go home, or what is it sort of like from a student’s perspective and is it easier to get PR and citizenship if you were wanting to stay here than, say, America or Canada?
So based on our research, and obviously we’re not… You have to give any advice regarding immigration, you have to be authorized, but we’re not. And personally, I’m not really sure if I want to live in Australia because the reason I wanted to come to Australia was to explore, and there is so much, and the world is so huge. So I wouldn’t be able to say that I want to live here or not. And in fact… I come from India. And India is so diverse and so amazing, so if I can live in my country I would be more than happy there. But thinking about it, I think I would… I personally would, and a lot of people who are thinking that they just want to go to Australia, you guys come to Australia, it’s great, but also main thing that anybody comes to Australia should have is an open mind over everything. Think about what you have been doing; these languages, listening to 50 sentences every day. Learning these things. That takes a lot. And that happens when you want to do something new, maybe you wanna grind. That’s so amazing. That’s the thing everybody should have: an open mind to learn things.
So do you think in your experience too Jocelyn, have you met people where they tend to do a lot better if they do have an open mind and are a lot more open to opportunities as opposed to “this is what I’m doing and I’m not deviating from that path at all”?
Yeah definitely. And I think… Going back to the English thing as well, I’ve seen so many people that have come from overseas just so intensely with their language themselves just by hanging out with English speaking people or just forcing them and their friends to speak English. And then even with myself, just in career and everything, when I started there I was like “This is what I want. This is what I’m doing. this is where I’m going.” I was opening myself to other opportunities and then the last couple of years I was like “No like I have to stop doing that,” and so many things grown from that including obviously Melbourne VIBE, and meeting so many people and… So I agree, definitely. Open up yourself to as many possibilities as you can because you’ll definitely grow tenfold.
And switching now on to cost of living in Australia. How does that compare? Because you guys have done quite a few awesome videos comparing the different cities in Australia and the cost of living in these different cities, which I really recommend anyone listening – if you’re thinking about coming to Australia to check out these Melbourne via videos on the different cities… When you were doing that, did you find anything that surprised you? And what is the average cost of living? Does it vary a lot? Could you talk a bit about how it differs between cities in Australia?
The most variation is going to be your accommodation. That is where it’s really gonna get you. So obviously if you’re looking at Sydney, I think it is the most expensive city in Australia by a lot.
Canberra’s catching up.
Yeah Canberra is crazy. All of the politicians they’re buying out of all of the houses probably.
We got here and we went to some inspections that had a hundred people inspecting this… Like crack dens, horrible houses and the rent for our little room, which is this tiny, tiny room we can’t fit a desk in It’s 350 dollars a week for two of us.
Yeah I used to live in Canberra. Even 10 years ago, it was stupid amounts of money for studio apartment. I pay half in Melbourne than I was 10 years ago in Canberra, and I get more in Melbourne.
I left Melbourne thinking “Oh my gosh this is one of the most expensive places in Australia! I can’t wait to get elsewhere and save money,” and it was like “WRONG!”
No unless you’re making twice as much money!
So it’s going to be a culmination between these places and can you offset that, though? Even if you look these numbers up and you see, “Okay, oh god. Melbourne’s 600 bucks a month to maybe 900 dollars, depending on where you want to live,” is it easy to offset that with working as well? I remember I just saw a video from you David, talking about making up to three thousand dollars a month, right? from 20 hours of work. So obviously if you do the right hunting, you can actually make enough money, as even a foreign student, to cover costs by a mile.
So one video that we are coming up with, and that blew our mind, that is something that we have never heard, is I just… I was talking to somebody who grabbed a job for $55,000 a year, and she only has to work 20 hours a week! And that is unbelievable! I still cannot digest that!
What job is that? Can you tell us?
It’s part of her degree. She’s doing part-time work, or a project-management company, so she’s actually able to study in her Masters..? She’s studying a Masters but she’s already got some form of work experience, so that obviously helped her. The advice would be if you have a degree behind you, find companies that you can try and work part time for, because you’re going to half the wage, which obviously when you have a degree in Australia your wages are going to generally be higher than working in hospitality or as a delivery driver or anything like that.
And you’re pretty much set up for a job once you graduate.
Exactly. It’s obviously harder in the beginning to try and get those jobs. Once you lock something that is going to set you up for the next 20 years, or however long you want to stay.
And I think the important part is that if it comes to work… Because students can work for only 20 hours. Or even in future, even if you can work for 50 hours 60 hours, just work your ass off! That’s what happens! A lot of people who just don’t do that!
That’s it. they want a free ride, right?
Yeah yeah. So they’re like, “When am I getting promotion?” But you’re not putting enough hours made… That’s what you have to do. Even if as a student, somebody gets 20 hours, then make sure you work for 30 hours in those 20 years.
Don’t just go there, cruise along, take your paycheck home and think “I did a good job,” but put the effort in and try and build the relationships or show them that maybe after you finish studying you’re worth hiring. And so what else was it like? If accommodations obviously really expensive and that’s the biggest thing people need to worry about, obviously after they’ve paid for their degree, assuming they paid for that upfront, what are the other things that they should factor into cost of living in Australia?
Obviously putting aside the essentials like eating and accommodation and utilities, things like that, we mention all of that on our videos. So a student can generally around a thousand dollars to $1500 a month, depending on how they choose to live. Obviously as a student you don’t need that much, so we always recommend you share your room, share as much as you can, barely going to be there anyways…
Exactly. I work full time and I even keep on costs because I want to save for my future as well. I mean… Exactly, prioritise. But I think the biggest thing is when you do come to a new country you want to experience that country as well and travel, so that’s going to be another big expense for you. So obviously working three to six months and then wanting to go and travel in your university breaks, it can set you back a couple grand just travelling around Australia itself, which is crazy and I think a lot of people don’t realise that when they come here…
So they come empty handed, expecting they can do everything, but then realise…?
Yeah. Obviously travelling around in your own city… There’s so much you know Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane, Perth, Adelaide, where ever you end up, so much you can do for free. But obviously once you start looking at travelling to different states it’s going to get expensive.
So maybe also factor in, “Okay, where do I want to go and visit Australia as a holiday or as a tourist?” And maybe think about cities that are close to that location so that you can just peak your head out on the weekends as opposed to having to take an interstate flight.
Yeah exactly. And as you probably know, flights in Australia are not cheap. I think it’s cheaper to go to Bali than it is to go to Sydney.
So overall, you should be able to live off about 1000, maybe 1500 if you’re a bit extravagant a month, and how much you’re expecting to make? Even the lower end, I think I remember from your video David, was even if you’re on like 15 dollars an hour, 20 hours a week, that’s 450 what’s that 900 a fortnight? So about eighteen hundred bucks, and that’s the lowest end. So as long as you can find a job as a waiter or something somewhere, you should be easily able to make the money that’s that’s required for all of your living expenses and a bit to save to travel right?
Yeah 100%. So students generally get jobs of 20 dollars an hour and they can work for 20 hours, so thats 400 dollars a week. So that’s around $1600 to $2000, so what you said was right. So that’s what they can. And the things that we see in our videos is it’s very… We ask people not to spend a lot of money, because this is the time – if a student is watching – this is a time when you can save money. This is the time when you don’t have a lot of responsibility. This is a time… This is the only time probably, the last time that you to share your room. Because after you’re 25, 26, 27, you just want your space, you have started working…
Pretty much! Until you meet someone and then you’re like, “Oh I guess I’m sharing the room for the rest of my life!”
So that’s why all the amounts that we say is low. Because I’m sure you will have experienced, we know people that they actually their minimal expense in Melbourne and at least $2500, $3000, and it’s not something extraordinary. It’s just that they’re $1,300 is going in the rent! So it’s just for students, that these $1000 or $1200 dollars that we say, that they can manage it.
What sort of tips would you guys have for ways to save money in your research for making some of these videos? Have you found any unique or things that most people might not think about with regards to being able to save a bit of money here and there? Or is it just the standard stuff of “Don’t eat out, don’t buy extravagant stuff, don’t waste money on things you don’t really need.”.
That’s obviously, having said that, it is very important. Another thing is that, I personally have started this only after coming here, because when you are your own country, life is very comfortable. So one thing that I was wait for sale if you want to buy something. Very simple!I was like, “I like this! I’m gonna buy this,” and I buy it. And then I realise that it’s fifty dollars less. I think, “What did I just do!?” So just think about it, if you want to do something there is going to come a Boxing Day. All you get to do is wait for 4:00am or 5:00am in the morning if you want to but that laptop!
I keep having those moments at the moment, where I’m out. And I love my camera gear as well, as you can probably se I’ve got a whole bunch of stuff. And I always walk into Teds and check out their camera gear and I’m like, “Crap I really want it. Do I buy it?” And I’m like, “No, go home, Get on the internet, find a cheapo, you just have to wait two days for delivery,” and I always end up saving like 60 bucks and I’m like, “Oh thank god!”
That’s so important, that’s amazing. It’s just self control, it’s don’t buy this right now, just for two hours, you’ll find something 100%.
I think we’re almost trained nowadays, with social media and being able to get access to anything any time, to just not want to wait. A lot of the time I have an idea, I want something, it’s like, “Well I’ve got I’ve got money, I’ll go do it. Bam,” and I don’t think about it, I just do it. And it’s like you have to retrain yourself to be patient, to be a little more frugal, to save money and not be so wasteful.
True. In fact, what you say was, I think I was listening to Gary Vaynerchuck from the United States, and he said the exact same thing that you just said right now.
Well I think… Was it him who was just saying, “Stop eating all the effing smashed avacados!” And it’s so true. Eating out in Australia is frickin ridiculous… Even for me, if I go out and I’m like, “Oh my God! two burgers and two beers? that was $65? Are you serious!? Are you kidding me?” And you could do that everyday easily, if you had the money, but it adds up quickly.
Yeah, really quick!
Alright guys, well finishing up, what’s next for the channel, Melbourne VIBE? You guys are running out of cities to review, with regards to living expenses, where are you guys heading and what are you going to be covering in the near future?
Actually it’s pretty exciting because Melbourne VIBE is actually turning into a Startup, and that is going to provide a one stop solution for all international students, no matter where your from.
Yeah. So in the near future hopefully if you talk about accommodation, we’ll be able to provide. If you talk about jobs, we’ll be able to provide. You just name it, we have it.
How are you planning to do that? Is it going to be something like a website? A walk-in company? An app on the phone?
Yes so it obviously will be a website, everything will be online. As of now we just don’t… We don’t want to reveal everything because in the pipeline right now. It’s going to be a portal it’s just basically going to make all those hundreds and thousands of students who are gonna come to Australia every year. It’s going to make their lives easier. So that’s what Melbourne VIBE started with, that’s what we want to do, and that’s what we’re going to do in the future.
Do you have any timeline on when that might be ready? If people are listening right now and they’re like, “Oh man, I’m coming to Melbourne soon!” How long ’till you think things will be up and running?
Well we’re basically going hard for the next three months. So we are working we’re with a whole team at the moment to get this up and running but we don’t have… Well we have a deadline, but we don’t have a launch date at this stage.
Yeah and in fact the amazing thing is that I think a lot of people are listening and planning to come to Melbourne, is that Melbourne VIBE is launching and having a party, a meet-up, for all the new people that are going to come here in July. And that’s something that’ll be very regular. For the people who want to hang out and meet people from all over the world. That’s that’s something pretty interesting happening in July.
Awesome! So how can people find out about that? Obviously you’ll be mentioning this through social media, where can people go to hear about parties?
The best thing to do to keep in contact with that would be to join our Facebook group. Facebook.com/groups/MelbourneVibeStudyinAustralia. Basically because we can put announcements on there and that’s just going to go through to everyone’s Facebook. If they don’t have Facebook, there’s obviously Instagram and Twitter, and they can follow us on social media like that or we’ll announce it on YouTube as well.
Awesome guys! Jocelyn and Dave thank you so much for coming on the podcast today.
It was lovely talking to you!
No worries, Cheers guys!
All right, guys. That was Melbourne Vibe, the team from Melbourne Vibe. Thank you so much again David and thank you so much again Jocelyn.
Remember guys, if you want to find out more about these guys, if you want to check out their amazing videos, you can jump on to YouTube and just search ‘Melbourne vibe’. That is two words: M E L B O U R N E, Melbourne, and the second word is ‘vibe’, V I B E. Okay? And make sure you give them a thumbs up, give them share, and give them a comment saying “G’day from Aussie English”.
Anyway, guys, I hope that helps. I hope your stay in Australia is going really well if you happen to be an overseas student who has just arrived and needs this kind of information, and if not, I hope it was still helpful. I hope you guys have an amazing week and I’ll chat to you soon. See ya!
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By pete — 4 months ago
AE 496 – Interview: Why You Should Learn Canadian English with Dana Catherwood
Hey, guys. How’s it going? Welcome to this Aussie English interview today.
Today, I have a special one for you guys. As we spoke about recently in that Walking with Pete episode where I was chatting to you about the future directions of Aussie English the podcast and, I guess, business in general, I have tried to sort of strike out and obviously interview more people from overseas, and this interview is hopefully going to be not the first one, I guess, ’cause I’ve done quite a few people from overseas, but one of the first ones more recently, I guess, heading in that direction of interviewing people from overseas, and today I get to interview an amazing girl from Canada.
So, this is Dana from Can Learn English, and we talk all about what it’s like in Canada as an immigrant going there, learning English, the differences between Australian English and Canadian English. I kind of just get to know her and try and have a natural conversation where we talk about these things. Right? So, without any further ado, guys, hopefully are going to enjoy this interview, and if you are interested in learning Canadian English, this is definitely the interview for you, guys. Okay? So, let’s go next.
Hey, guys! Welcome to this episode of Aussie English! today I have another interview episode for you, guys and I am here with Dana from Can Learn English at canlearnenglish.com so, Dana welcome to the Aussie English podcast.
Thank you so much for having me!
That’s awesome to have you. I think you might be the first Canadian on the podcast so, congratulations!
I reckon there’s not many Canadians are there usually so…
What’s the population of Canada? I’m always wondering if Australia is bigger or smaller.
Yeah, about 35 million now.
You’re like a third bigger than us then… damn. Little brother.
Yeah, we’re like barely 25.
Well, you’re way down there so we’re hard to get to.
Yeah exactly. Can you tell me your story? You’re currently living in Switzerland. You’re from Canada and you teach Canadian English. So, I heard about this through… I heard about this through Justin, who I interviewed recently, and he was like man you got to chat to Dana. She teaches Canadian English like you teach Australian English. How on earth did you end up doing what you’re doing where you’re doing it?
Yeah well what happened was is I moved to Brazil in 2016 and that’s when I really started teaching English full time. And I was kind of combining it with teaching kids and then I was also teaching adults and most the adults that were coming to me in Brazil were preparing to go to Canada.
So, yeah, pretty much all of them had some type of connection to Canada or wanted to go to Canada. And then one of my students was like oh Dana can you please start a YouTube channel because I watch…you know, he named a bunch of youtubers that he watches he is like there is no one really there from Canada and that’s where I want to go and I’d like to learn more about Canadian culture and learn your accent more and just things about Canada so, you need to start one. so, I did, and then I started my YouTube channel Can Learn English and I already had a website for my teaching business, but that kind of turned more into a blog. I got on Instagram and stuff so yeah, it’s been pretty fun.
How did you end up in Brazil like that seems like a random place and you’re in Switzerland?
My partner’s half Brazilian. So, we went down there for…
Man, my fiancée is from Brazil.
So, you are learning Portuguese then?
Exatamente, eu to falando Portugues cada dia (“Exactly, I’m speaking Portuguese each day”). I’m speaking every day.
That’s so crazy!
Portuguese is very hard, very, very difficult. I mean, I can understand a lot more than I can speak.
That’s my position as well. But that’s always the case, right? As soon as you get to intermediate/advance in a language it’s almost like… I hate this the beginnings of starting a new language because you sort of like you can say so much more than you can hear because people throw it at you and you’re just like… overwhelmed. And then all of a sudden though the listening takes off and you’re just like, all of a sudden, I can’t reply.
Like a sophisticatedly as I would like to reply to these things.
And there’s like, there’s holes where you can’t completely understand what someone is saying, but like certain words you have no idea what they mean, but within the context that must kind of mean this.
That happened to me recently where I live with three other Brazilians as well as my fiancée, like…
You’re basically living in Brazil…
Exactly, we moved into this house we had to move houses and I was like Can you see if you can find a Brazilian one? Like online on Facebook? And we can go there and I’ll just like learn Portuguese this year and she’s like yeah, yeah, yeah, no worries. So, we moved here, anyway, they showed me recently a song by a band called o Rappa, like the rap. It’s called Rodo Cotidiano and it’s like this amazing song and I thought I loved the song we’re listening to it, didn’t understand anything. Try to translate it and I was just blown away by like the metaphors the expressions and just like I just know nothing. I can talk to these guys for hours about my day and hobbies, but as soon as it gets to something advanced I was like…no.
Now. Yeah, and right now a lot of the conversations that Brazilians have leaned towards politics because they’re having an election in October, so in the point it’s like…Complete check out, just like, nothing. I will listen for the sake of listening, but I do not understand.
That’s the worst, they did that recently to me where they had a few beers and then all of a sudden, they just went crazy chatting about politics and I’m like I just can’t even… I have nothing to add and I am physically incapable of keeping up with this conversation.
So, you were in Brazil teaching English living there with your partner?
And then for how long was that and how did you end up in Switzerland?
We were there for about a year and a half and he’s also Swiss. So, this why we’re in Switzerland.
Damn, best of both words. Which part of Switzerland is he from? Which languages does he speak?
The German speaking part of Switzerland. German is the next hurdle for me.
Holly molly. Man, I’ll have to put you in touch with my friend Shannon because it’s such a… it’s such a small world she was in…. She was in Germany for eight years and then moved to Colombia for six months and then was like actually I want to go to Brazil, moved to Brazil ended up falling in love with a guy and marrying him, being there for two years and so now she’s like fluent in Portuguese, fluent German and just moved back to America and is teaching English in Portuguese on Facebook. So, it’s just… Brazil, man. They’re attacking everyone, they’re getting all the English teachers.
Yeah. You know, and that was the thing. It’s very hard to just like move to Brazil. Like as a non-Brazilian and someone without any visa. So, there’s not a whole lot of native English teachers there.
So, when they find someone, you know, you’re just completely busy. When you’re teaching in Brazil it’s kind of like a little bit of a novelty.
That was so crazy. So, what was the thing that made you want to teach English? Were you doing this from a very young age after high school or something or was it something you fell into?
It was something I really… I really fell into. I was working actually in business in sales and marketing for many, many years and then we moved to Brazil and I said you know, let’s try the teaching and I absolutely loved it. I had always done and been involved with kids and that was really what, you know, I had done a lot of… swimming instructor and I’d done all that kind of teaching other things, so I said let’s start teaching English they started doing that and I loved it.
That’s so funny. It was the same sort of story for me where. Similar to you I was I was studying something completely different at the time, started learning a foreign language and I had friends who were asking me…you told me about this podcast you were listening to in French, is there an equivalent for Australian in English? And I was looking couldn’t find anything and that’s how I began, I was like oh I know how to podcast, I used to be on a podcast so, just tinker away and create some materials for you and then it was so satisfying helping people on a daily basis and getting that sort of… the constant replies and e-mails and comments just thank you, can you do this? and that that really felt like I was actually helping and making a difference as opposed to doing science behind a desk every day. Do you miss business at all?
Yeah, not really. That’s funny that you say science because I actually did a science degree as well. It worked in a lab for a little bit, so we have very similar stories.
I don’t really miss it too much because like, you know, with YouTube and Instagram and I’m running a course in November for my students that there is a lot of business and stuff involved that you do still have to do.
The other side of teaching which is not teaching it’s more…
That’s so good though that you obviously had that background because I kind of had to dive in the deep end and just to learn all the business stuff online and just make it up as I went along.
Oh yeah, super challenging…like I’ve…podcasts and YouTube videos. I’m sure you’re the same…
Which do you prefer too? And how did you decide which platforms to use with regards to say Instagram, YouTube, Facebook podcasts all of that sort of stuff? Was there a clear one at the beginning you just said I’m going to do this or…?
So, I did YouTube at first, I was like, you know, we can just make some videos on YouTube. I’m pretty comfortable in front of a camera doesn’t really bother me too much, but there’s so like I’m kind of shiny object syndrome where, you know, and it’s like oh Instagram is really interesting and then…you know, I’ve been think thinking about a podcast as well, but I do kinda right now focusing on teaching my materials within my courses and stuff like that and then possibly we’ll do that later. You know, there are so many platforms to help people learn. So fun…
I know I feel like… my dad used to tell me this story about a baboon he used to work at the zoo as an educator there and he said there was a baboon and they used to put all of these coconuts in the baboon’s enclosure and the baboon would try and pick them all up but they’d always put in one extra that he couldn’t hold so he would constantly be dropping one as soon as he picked up the other one. And I felt like that kind of thing with social media quite often where I’ve got like YouTube and Instagram, Facebook and the podcast that it feels like this constant juggling act where a ball is always falling to the ground and you like ahhhh…
I’m sure like you can even take that into when you’re learning a language, you could sit there and focus so much on like your listening skills because maybe that’s a little fun and then you’re speaking falls behind and then, you know, reading maybe isn’t so good and writing. So you kind of have to learn how to incorporate everything and give everything the time that it needs, right?
Exactly. So, can you tell me more about Canada and what are the things about Canada that make it a better place to migrate than America or Australia or New Zealand or Great Britain? What are the pros and cons?
I think right now there’s a lot of process, especially compared to America, because you know what’s going on in the U.S. Donald Trump and his anti-immigration policy. Canada has always been very opposite to that, like diversity is really a pillar of our identity within Canada. And so we’re opening up our doors for immigration more so than ever before and especially more so now than the Americans. We have a really neat immigration policy that I think helps, you know, make our diversity work so well it’s based on a point system. So, unlike the US where usually if you have a family connection or if you’re married or your brother’s American somehow you can, you know, immigrate through family ties, whereas in Canada it’s a point system so you get points on your education, your language ability, where you want to go in Canada. So, if you’re willing to go to maybe a place that’s a little more rural that doesn’t have a huge population you could earn more points…it’s I’m not an expert this is just what I know.
Yeah, yeah, yeah…
Basic, you know, don’t take my word but that’s kind of the general thing of how the immigration policy works so, it’s really, really neat because you get some really well-educated people that want to be part of Canadian society. They have good language skills and can contribute.
So, which are the places too people should try to go? Which areas of Canada are the ones that you would recommend people go or maybe the ones that most people try to go to?
Yeah. Like I think all across Canada is a great place to migrate. I don’t think that one is better than the other. A lot of people prefer Toronto or Vancouver. That’s kind of like the two that people know. And so, they’re like I’ll go to Toronto or Vancouver. These are very expensive cities. Vancouver is one of the most expensive in the world, Toronto is very expensive. So, as long as people understand that when they’re moving there there’s going to be some larger costs than if they were to move to a smaller city or to somewhere, you know, less populated. And a lot of people that do go, you know, will study at a college and, you know, get a little bit of a Canadian education and then go on to start working, so yeah…
So, with regards to learning Canadian English, what are your suggestions? If I’ve got listeners right now listening to this podcast or watching this video, who are… wherever they are in the world they thinking about going to Canada or learning more about Canada. even migrating there, what is a way in which they can they can learn Canadian English? What are the difficult or different unique aspects of Canadian English?
It’s kind of a vague term Canadian English because it’s very similar to the American, we have a very similar to the American accent, the Northern American accent a lot of people have a hard time, just, I’m even sure yourself, have a hard time distinguishing if it’s a Canadian or an American.
Oh that’s the Australian New Zealand accent problem, right? We can here it really well, but you know others can’t and it’s the same thing I’m always like to ”say about, say about” she’s Canadian, got it!
Yeah. It’s always about. Even when I’m watching YouTube videos. I can tell if the content creator is Canadian or any subject. Pretty much as soon as they say ”about” I’m like ….
So can you say that first? Can you say those words? Can you do an American accent version, than the Canadian version at all?
No, I can’t do an American accent, but like you could say ”what about the house?” that would be like… because the OU sound.
What about the house? Yeah. What about the house? is how I would say.
What about the house? Is the OU is distinct, we say it differently.
Yeah. It sounds like that: “What about, what about the house”. I mean, that’s what exaggerating it.
Yeah, Yeah. And so, there’s not a whole lot of differences. There’s a few spelling differences, we kind of mashed together the British spelling with the American spellings, so for instance we spell colour, with an OU, labour with an OU, we don’t use the… like ‘organize’, we tend to use the Z and not an S. So, we have… and ‘Program’ it doesn’t have that ME at the end, like in England they spell it P R O G R A M M E.
See, that’s so funny because we suffer from the same kind of issue especially using computers. Anytime we get a computer like my Mac is constantly correcting me into American English. And it’s happened for so long that it screwed up my… I get the average one, I can understand okay you know like ISE what I’ll use instead of IZE or OUR r instead of OR, but then quite often you have words like program and I’ll be like… oh no. Is this with just one M or two Ms and a E. It’s so funny how that’s kind of leached into other areas of being way short of the dialects.
Yeah. Yeah. Especially anyone who moved, you know, away from Britain they kind of adopted their own spelling and then we kind of… because Canada is part of the Commonwealth and we kind of kept our ties to England, but we severed them a little bit. It’s just kind of weird how it turned out with spellings, but that’s kind of the main difference with the Americans. Same spelling and then pronunciation things, but then a lot of times I think students, you know, they can get more excited about learning especially if they’re going to Canada from a Canadian teacher. I think for them it kind of gives them a little step inside Canada. You know, they get to learn about it, they can ask questions. So, that’s really what I try to give my students.
And is there a big range of expressions or slang that differs from the U.S? and even accents too…I know that there’s the Newfoundland that accents that’s totally different, right, from Vancouver accent.
Yeah, I know, you would find that like I would sound very similar someone for Vancouver. There’s not a whole lot of accent difference. We have a little bit of like a rural accent. People that don’t live inside the city sound… yeah, really, really small, like you barely notice that accent differs, the differences than in Canada. And then slang, there are some slang words, like we add “ey” to the end of every sentence too.
Yeah? As in just saying that daradarara “ey?”.
Dadadada… it’s cold out, ey? Yeah, super cold!
So, that would kind of be what we would do. yeah, there’s a bit… I have a YouTube video on it, I can send you the link…
Yeah, definitely do, and that’s something there that pattern kind of happens every now and then in different dialects. If you go, in Australia, right? I’m from the south and if you go up to the north into a state called Queensland they do that, they have that sort of habit of putting hey, on the end of every sentence, so like ”it’s hot today, hey?” Would you like to go to the beach, hey?” so you know they’ll do that quite a lot and so it’s funny how those..
That’s our big one. I stopped saying it when I lived in Ireland because everyone would be like ”oh hahaha Canadian, that’s so cool”, so I stopped.
Well, that’s the funny thing too, any time I’ve been overseas I notice my accent…. I think it goes up and I like overdo it or it drops down because people are having trouble understanding me and I have to really enunciate and pronounce my words clearly and how do you find that, being in Switzerland now, how have you found your English, has that changed at all? or even after being in Brazil, did you find yourself changing at all?
To be honest, I think… you know. when you’re spending most of your time speaking to native English speakers, I think you’re just kind of… you start making some mistakes that they make sometimes. And I know a lot of other teachers say that that happens, you know, you start to kind of…”how do they say that? What happened there?”
Well, you used to what’s familiar, right? and that happens to me with Portuguese and French, after… especially when you are heavily learning them and watching TV shows, suddenly all use the same patterns, but I’ll say them in English but just with English words and then I’ll be like Wait… that doesn’t…. that’s how you would normally say that.
Yeah. I know, this happens in Germany people put like verbs at the end of the sentence and you can kind of… the word order gets all kind of funny. But, you know, I’m really lucky in this place a lot of people speak very, very, very well in English so it’s not too difficult we tend to get round in English so I’m thankful for that.
And so, what are you doing currently to learn German? If you, you know, you’re used to teaching English, have you found that the way in which you go about learning German is completely different from how people would learn English or is it effectively the exact same thing?
I think when you’re an adult and you start at like zero, it’s a little different, because a lot of people who are learning they’ve had like a little bit of English through their schooling. Most children know a little bit of English now and then they grow up, you know, you do learn it. and starting from absolutely nothing.
Never had any exposure or anything like that.
Nothing. You know, I’ve got a few work books and just trying to possibly get myself up past a one and two and then I can get into like… taking a course here.
Do you recommend doing that?
I think for me for the… for motivation I’ll go to school and do a little course, I might do something online and I still have to kind of research and see what is out there in terms of learning.
I didn’t do anything, I took an online course in Portuguese and that helped me a lot. So, I don’t know if you’ve heard of it, it’s called The Semantica Portuguese…
Yeah, I have, I have heard of it.
Yeah, I took that one so that helped me a lot and there was lots of video lessons and activities and stuff and it kind of jumpstarted me and then the exposure.
And is it something you’ve always interested in learning languages or was that just something that kind of fell in your lap?
Yeah, nothing it’s like I’m forced to do it. You can’t get around in Brazil unless you can speak a little bit of basic Portuguese.
So, was your husband like that, though, or partner when you guys got together was he like so… you were going to do Brazil first and then we’re going to Switzerland.
So, yeah, that’s how it played out. So, you know, and I got to Brazil and I had like zero, nothing in Portuguese and just kind of was on Duolingo, was on on YouTube all the time, was taking this course and then I would chat a lot with my Uber drivers when I was driving to make lessons. Yeah, yeah, it’s like it’s kind of a safe zone cause you get to get out of the car in 30 minutes and yeah I don’t have to ever talk to these people again.
I can make a fool of myself and no one will know.
So, I think that’s kind of what I did and it was it was a cool experience and I never…Canada is a bilingual country, people speak French and English, I don’t speak French. I learned French in school, but I grew up so far away from any French speaking area that, you know, it’s not uncommon for people to be fluent in where I’m from.
That always blew my mind. I’ve been to Canada once when I was a kid and my cousins lived with my uncle and aunty in Vancouver and I remember we went and everything was in French and English and I was like What? I thought that Canada was an English-speaking country. Can you tell us a bit about, I don’t know a brief history of how that came about and what people expect if they come to Canada with regards to the two languages? And I almost said ‘the both languages’, the two languages*.
The two languages. Yeah, so we have…. officially it’s a bilingual country. So, you can interact with the government on any level in either French or English. All services are provided in both languages. Any materials, the websites you see are both in French and English. We have a French speaking province that’s entirely French, province of Quebec. And then a small part of a neighboring province has a lot of French speaking communities and basically, you know, way back in history you had the French settlers, you had the English settlers and was, you know, a bit of a fight over who would reign, but as it turns out we have both languages in Canada and in government. For example, it would be required that people speak both.
Every time our prime minister speaks both languages or switch between the two. In like if he’s doing like a press conference, he’ll be speaking both. You’ll get a translation and then from a young age in school, about grade 4 or more about 10 we start learning French for about five or six years and then you can stop and most of us do and don’t really think about it ever again. Unfortunately. I think in English speaking, at least for myself, I didn’t like this was the complaint at school. It’s like, well, so why do we have to learn French? Like, you know? Yeah. That’s kind of the attitude.
Doesn’t everyone just speak English?
Yeah, because the people do speak English, you know, so I wish that maybe I had had more of a… I liked it more and I stick more with it but I couldn’t.
Well, you’re in Switzerland. You never know, you might be able to just find somewhere that’s close to the border between where those two languages are in the country and they smash those two out as well.
It did help me with Portuguese, so I must say, having a Latin language and understanding that they change the way the verbs change and conjugation and things like that, that really helped. So, it wasn’t completely useless, it was more… it helped me later on, you know?
Oh brilliant. And so, with regards to learning Canadian English, what sort of advice would you have for students if they are in their own country right now, what’s the best way, obviously going over to Can Learn English.com to get started and Can Learn English on Facebook or YouTube, but are there specific TV shows or books or things they should keep an eye out for that would be a bit of a boost?
Yeah, they can watch Canadian TV, there’s a bunch of comedians, I have a blog post about it, I can send you a link and put it in your show notes if you want.
Yeah, do it.
I list some Canadian TV shows that they can watch. they can… you know. always the news is a really good idea. You can watch the news from anywhere in the world. You know, you can pick a Canadian news channels, that helps a lot.
I know, YouTube is wonderful for that, right? You can get ABC News Australia streamed on their 24 hours a day, there are news channels in the US doing the same, I’m sure Canada as well. So, someone needs to put together a page or something that just has all these different dialects of English as YouTube channels, so that they can just stream them and switch between them.
They can all just stream all the news, because I think the news is great, it’s kind of a very understandable type of English and they can get in touch with kind of current events that are going on in the country and things like that. And Canadian news is always really cute and funny because it always tells the stories and there’s always this really sweet story at the end, you know, about a bear, who, I don’t know, visited someone in their back yard.
That it, there’s always like death, sad stuff and then at the end it’s like he’s a happy cat video!
Yeah, basically. A cat running for mayor or something like silly. So… It’s not a totally different thing.
Are there any other main big differences between say Canadian culture and American culture or anywhere else? Are there things that people should be aware of or consider before coming to Canada or would give them a bit of a boost as well, if they meet someone and they’re like ”yeah, I know this thing so I get you!”
Yeah, that’s a really good question, I have to think about that. I know one…. like there are big differences between Canadian and American culture and it’s just really good to like…know that. You know, don’t think you can just blend the two together, because we absolutely hate it, we are… I guess, we probably have like maybe a little sibling syndrome and ”we’re here too, you were too!” so we don’t like to be confused with Americans, and kind of like… you know, we have a very different government, we have a lot of social policies and we’re very proud of our free health care, so… A lot of the issues that are going on in America, we’re like you dealt with those like forever ago. Those aren’t a problem for us. You know, what’s going on? So, I guess you have to just be when you’re in Canada, be really mindful that people are very multicultural. We’re really uncomfortable with any type of like prejudice or racism or anything like that.
So, you know, it’s a very inclusive place.
And what are the guns like? I take that you guys are a bit more strict on that, right?
I think maybe in some places, but I don’t know anybody with a gun, so…
Anything else that you wanted to mention before we finish up then?
I don’t know, I think that’s it, I really liked it…Thanks for inviting me onto the podcast. I love your stuff. It’s really cool. I thought that you were doing, you know, Aussie English, I’m doing Canadian English it was great that we were able to connect, it was awesome.
I know. I’m so happy. Anyway, where can people find you, then?
Can Learn English.com, that’s my website. You can search Can Learn English on YouTube and Can Learn English on Instagram. And then I have a Facebook page as well and I have a group, so, if anybody wants… is moving to Canada and they want to join the group it’s called ‘Talking to Canada’, but you can find these links on my website and stuff so…
Oh brilliant, I’ll put them all in the show notes as well as the transcript so that you, guys, can them easily.
Awesome, Dana from Can Learn English, thank you so much for joining me today.
All right, guys. So, I hope you enjoy that interview.
Remember that you can find out more about Dana on her website CanLearnEnglish.com. You can obviously search “Can Learn English” on Facebook, on YouTube, on Instagram, and you will find her accounts. The accounts will also be in the transcript today. So, if you would like to learn more about her, what she does, how she teaches, and maybe just more about Canadian English, go to CanLearnEnglish.com. Big thanks once again, Dana. I hope to have you on again in the future. And I will see you guys soon. Catch ya!
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