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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 — 1 year ago
AE 388 – Interview: Scottish Accents, Favourite Movies, & More with Christian from Canguro English
G’day, guys. Welcome to this episode of Aussie English. Today is another Aussie English interview episode. So, this episode was relatively impromptu. It was unexpected. It was spontaneous. And it was on Instagram. This was the first interview that I’ve done on Instagram. So, I got on Instagram. If you haven’t checked it out, go to Aussie English on Instagram. I have an account there, obviously, and I was on there fiddling around and I was chatting to Christian from Canguro English, recently, and he suggested that we do a live class together. So, apparently, before I actually realised that you could do this, you can do live classes on Instagram. So, we did that tonight. We were chatting about all kinds of different things in the live class. We were talking about different accents in English comparing American English, British English, Australian English, and talking about the difficulties that you may or may not have when travelling in these different countries if you have only been exposed to a single kind of English. We also talked about our experiences learning languages, whether bad pronunciation is worse than bad grammar, or good pronunciation vs. good grammar. If you had to choose one, which would be the one that you would choose to hear in someone speaking English? Christian and I have a bit of a debate about that. We talk about the future plans for Aussie English and for Canguro English. Christian has just started his podcast and there’s one episode up already. The link will be in the description for you guys to go and check out Christian’s podcast but just sit back and enjoy this episode, guys. It’s just a natural conversation between Christian, a fellow Australian, who’s currently living in Spain, and myself, obviously.
And remember, that if you want the breakdown of 5 to 10 minutes in this episode, you can jump over to the Aussie English Classroom where you will get a quiz and some vocab to study for a section of this interview episode. So, this is all in a bid to try to help you improve your English.
Anyway guys, I won’t hold you up any more. Here we go. Christian from kangaroo English and me just have a yarn.
Hello everybody and welcome to this live stream. I’m going to be going live this morning with Pete from Aussie English. The man, the legend…
Good! It worked! It worked.
Yeah! I had exactly the same problem with Adriana. For some reason, I’m like… I’m like, you know, cancer! Nobody wants me in their livestream.
I can’t even understand it was “unable to join”. So, it had like everyone else showing up that had them, and I could invite them, but for you said “unable”. And then, when I came in I just had to send the request. So, it’s technology.
So, maybe I have some setting wrong in my Instagram. I don’t know what it is, because I looked yesterday. I have to do some googling and find out what the problem is.
Man, I… this was the first time I even used it, yesterday, when I got on. I had no idea. I don’t do any of the live things on here. I’ve only ever used Facebook. So, I was just there like…
Wow! So, it’s incredible. This is amazing.
It’s pretty good. It’s pretty crazy. The only thing I think that they can improve on is it muting you when I talk and vice versa, ’cause I feel like I can’t hear your reactions whilst I’m talking until I stop talking. It’s like Skype.
So, where are you right now.
I am in my parents’ kitchen and living room. Behind me you can probably see their living room, and then their kitchen is here, and I am just sitting down at this big viking table. You can see it here. This is my desk at the moment.
It’s a beautiful house, actually.
Yeah, they renovated it a few years ago. So.
It looks like it has lots of glass everywhere.
Yeah. It’s pretty cheeky. If you come… you see behind me here there’s a courtyard with windows and everything, and then my room is up here, and I have a little… (I’ll) see if I can show you. I have a cute little like outdoor patio here and my bedroom’s behind here. So.
Is that… Are you living in the granny flat?
It’s part of the house. It’s still joined. But to get there, I have to go… (I’ll) see if I could show you guys, all the way… all the way up these stairs, and then turn in the door at the end there to get to my bedroom. So, you can see why I prefer to be down here. And it’s yellow, because the Sun’s setting behind me over here. So… I know.
I have the exact opposite this morning, ’cause right now the sun is just coming out.
You look like you’ve just woken up. Are you having coffee?
Yes. I woke up about half an hour ago. I’m definitely not a morning person. It takes me a long time to actually, you know, get started. So.
I’m the same. I get up at like I’m 9:30-10(am). That’s when I crawl out of bed, and I’m like, “Oh, yeah, I can do stuff now”, and then, I go to bed at 3am. So, that’s good.
Well. Yeah, well, I think probably from an Australian that’s a little bit more, like, abnormal, ’cause I’m like… I know that a lot of Australians get up very early, right?
I guess there are quite a few, especially down here, I don’t… you probably can’t… you won’t be able to see it, but through the windows here, if I take my head off (the screen), there’s sand dunes just here and then there’s a beach on the other side. And so, mum every morning gets up at like eight o’clock and goes on walks the dog and there’s, you know, hundreds of people down on the beach walking their animals. So, they’re all the people who get up early in are peppy and, like, “Oh… let’s get, you know… rise and shine!”.
But what a spectacular place to live. So, the beach is just there, just like.
Well. A kilometer away. Half a kilometer away. Maybe 500 metres. Yeah, so it’s pretty good.
Well, I know where I’ll be staking when I visit you.
Man, you should come down. I’m trying… I have to live here and, like, rent whilst I’m trying to save up to get a place here, ’cause I want to live here in Ocean Grove, but I need to save a bit of money first. So… but it would be nice. Definitely come to Melbourne.
We’ve got a question here. Well, Tum… Tum… Ok, I let me try say this. Tumwah Shifkuna says that we look like twins in the language sphere.
Yeah, that’s it. Except I think I’m slightly more freshly-shaved. There’s a little…
You might… So, you how much more spectacular beard.
Just at the moment, though. Like, for now. I just haven’t shaved for a month.
No, it’s nice. And we have an actual question here from… Well, he has… He doesn’t have his name, but his username is “Arfander”, and he says, “Is there any accents in English that we don’t understand?”.
Yeah. I have to agree. I think the most difficult accent, I think, for most native speakers would be Scottish, right?
I think so. Maybe some of those really regional American accents like in… in the south or, I think, some of those really weird places in Canada where they live in very small… like Newfoundland, right? Where they live in very small communities. And so, it almost intensifies as a result. But I remember, as a story, when my dad used to watch Billy Connolly videos, and Billy Connolly’s a really good comedian, but he’s from Glasgow. And I remember, for the first year or two not understanding it. Dad would put these on all the time and I wouldn’t understand. I’d miss the punch line. I wouldn’t know what he was saying, ’cause his accent is so strong. So, that took a long time to adapt to.
Yeah, I think that’s the interesting thing, right? But, like, it’s not… ’cause people sort of have this idea that there are, like, strong accents, but it’s, like, all accents are equally strong. It’s just a question which accents we are accustomed to hearing.
I think that’s it. And it tends to be… it tends to be that there’s… a lot of accents might be different, but they kind of converge a bit on… the vowels aren’t that different from one another, right? Like Standard British English, Standard American English, Standard Australian English, they’re kind of the same, but as soon as you go to sort of an outlier like Scottish Glasgow accent, it’s almost like their vowels are all switched around and that’s what messes with my wiring. I’m just like.
Exactly. And the vocabulary. I mean, like, in Glasgow they have so much slang that’s very specific…
That never leaves. That, you know, we don’t see on television. We don’t see it written in newspapers. So, you just… you have know idea what it means. Like, it’s.
I had to learn a lot of that from just Billy Connolly. I think he was my only sort of conduit for learning Scottish slang, because I only ever watched him, and it took a long time of watching, rewatching, getting the context, and then I was, like, “Finally! I think I know what he’s talking about when he says, “Wellies” or, you know, “Jimmy”, or something”, and I’d be like… that’s what compounds it, right? It’s almost like the accent is one thing, but then if they speak quick and on top of that they use slang everywhere, it just makes it so much harder, ’cause you can’t parse that in real time. It’s just like.
I mean, imagine the poor English learner who, you know, who’s been studying English with a teacher for four or five years and then they go to Glasgow. They don’t understand…
But that’s the same for us, right? Like, if we did a sudden school trip in Glasgow, the average Australian would probably feel like they were in a different country. You know, like, they would be like “You alright pal? You alright? You alright?”, and you’d be like, “What are they saying?!”.
Yeah, if anyone wants to… if anyone watching wants to hear some authentic sort of Scottish… you know, with slang, they should definitely look for the comedian Billy Connolly.
Yeah, he’s brilliant. With subtitles!
I’m going to type his name down in the comments.
Billy Connolly. Connolly. Is it with two L’s?
I think so. That’s one of those… Billy, and then Con… yeah, it’s double N and double L.
Oh, yeah. He’s a funny guy.
And also, there’s a video on YouTube and sometimes I show it to my students. And if you go to YouTube.
This is the guy. If you can see him. I don’t know how the… the screen’s probably too bright, but.
I mean, he just looks like a comedian. He’s funny… just looking at it him’s funny.
He’s so good. He’s amazing.
Yeah, if… on YouTube, if you… there’s a video. If you just type in YouTube, “Scottish people speaking in English maybe”, that’s the title of the video, and it’s it’s a little excerpt from Jeremy Kyle.
And it’s these two Scottish people arguing. And honestly, it’s impossible to understand. (It’s) absolutely impenetrable. It’s crazy.
Yeah. I’ll have to find it. There’s a few of those videos. I remember seeing one where there’s a guy who’s stuck on a roof and he doesn’t know where to put his feet. And these guys are teasing him like, “Just put your feet in the flashing. Put your feet in the flashing”, and he’s say of “flashing” or something like that of the roof and the guy’s like, “Where the fuck do you want me to put my feet? Where am I supposed to put my f…”. And he’s just, like, losing it, and you’re just, like, ***laughter****. It’s amazing. It’s amazing.
But it is… like, speaking about, like, how we get used to accidents. I remember recently, I was watching an episode of… what’s the name? The Ellen Degeneres show, and she plays a game called “Accents”. So, basically you… the people, they hold, they put a tablet on their heads and it says, you know, you have to do a Scottish accent or an Irish accent or New York accent, and the actor… It was the actor…Oh, I can’t remember his name. Man, I’m getting old. I can’t have anything. Anyway it had this really famous American actor on the program. And so, they were playing the game, and he could do New York and California and Scottish and South African and he could do British. And then, she does this, and it’s says “Australian”, and he’s like, “….”. He couldn’t do it, because… and I think because nobody really sort of hears it, right? Nobody practices the Australian accent.
No one cares. No one cares about us.
I think they… you know, didn’t they do that thing where they asked all these Americans where to show Australia, and they put a map out, and they… just the dots were just everywhere from South Korea to Iraq, and, like, no one knew where it was. So, it wouldn’t surprise me. But that’s what I find interesting. People say I have a strong accent, and… who are also English speakers, and a lot of the time I feel like they’re just Americans who just aren’t exposed to the Australian accent. Whereas, we hear… we watch TV from Britain, from, you know, Ireland, Scotland, America, Canada, and so, we get sort of everything and learn to understand it. Whereas, I think countries like America and Canada are probably a lot more insular and just focus… They only see their TV. And so, learn their accents and that’s it.
What’s it like in Spain?
I met a guy from California, recently, and I asked him, I said, you know, “What do people think the British accent?”, and he was like, “Wow. It’s like the British accent is like so elegant, and, you know, like James Bond, basically.” You know.
Well, what was it like for you with learning Spanish, because obviously you had, you know, Spanish-Spanish, “cena” instead of “cena”, and then you have all of these other Spanish-speaking countries that are larger than Spain. So, it’s not like you’re not going to come across them. Was it weird learning those accents?
I think, honestly, I think that when you’re learning a language, like, the last thing that you can do is have, like, a perfect accent, and in fact, it… look, like even now, I couldn’t tell you the difference between an Argentinian Spanish accent or or a Cuban Spanish accent, because, like, those little details of the language, that comes with time, with social awareness, with cultural awareness. Like, that’s something that… that if… you have to be very deep in a language to notice. I mean, I’m sure that most of our learners wouldn’t know the difference between American accent, South African accent, you know.
South African. Especially, the Australian and New Zealand (accent) tends to be one where we hear it, we hear it, and we’re like, “Man! It’s like day and night. What are you talking about? We’re totally different!” And everyone’d to be like, “You guys are the same. It’s like…”You bastards!”.
But was it like that? Learning Spanish, was it… initially, you learn Spanish Spanish, and then had to sort of adapt and learn all these other accents to like hear and understand them? Or did you learn all of them as a result?
I think, in my experience, ’cause I only speak one other language, so I can’t say for what it’s like in other languages. Maybe it’s much more different. But, for me in Spanish, Spanish is… lots of people try to say that there’s a big difference between Spanish Spanish and Latin American Spanish, but really there isn’t. The grammar is identical. The accent is more or less, you know, the same. For example, to give you an example, one of the main differences is in Latin America, they would they would drop the ‘s’ of any plurals.
So, a correct pronunciation of cars would be “coches”, “coches”, but in Argentina they would have “coche(s)”. The ‘s’ would just…
Ah! So, it’s a shame just through context, is it? You hear, like, the articles or something before it, and you’re like, “Yeah, it’s plural.”.
Yeah, exactly. Just… I mean, context is so important in language. And the other difference would be, as you mentioned, like in Iberian Spanish, you know, the ‘Z” would be like a “Th”. But in South America it’s more like soft… like a “Sss”. And as you have “Zorro”, which is a fox, and also the famous (Zorro), in Latin America.
Oh! (I) never knew that! I didn’t realise that meant “fox”. All these years, I thought it was, like, “zero” or something.
Yeah, me too! I was like, “What do you mean, it’s “Fox”? He’s called “Fox”. That’s really weird. Exactly. Oh yeah, so some people here are saying that’s Brazilian Portuguese and Portuguese Portuguese is the same situation.
It’s actually… It’s… I think it would be a bit different from Spanish and South American Spanish, because they use different pronouns and there aren’t grammatical differences. Again, I’m not that good, I’m not that proficient, in Brazilian Portuguese, but from what I’ve read there… well, and there’ll be completely different words. Like, I remember I was learning the word for “girl” in Portuguese Portuguese, but I didn’t know, and I was just using it, and I said it to Quel, and she’s like, “You just called me a “slut”!”. And I was like, “What?”. And she’s like, “Yeah, in Brazil, that word is a bad word.”. And I was like, “But it’s… “. I showed the source, and she’s like, “Yeah it’s fine in Portugal, but in Brazil, it’s very bad for you to call women “girl” or whatever in (Portuguese)”. And I was like, “God damn it…”.
Well, yeah, but I suspect it’s similar to, like, American English and British English, like, yeah there are some differences, but the total number of differences probably fit on one piece A4.
How would you… and that’s a good segue into, I guess, the differences between British English, American English, and Australian English. From our point of view, from our biased Australian point of view, what… how would you sum up… if someone sat you down, whether they were an ESL learner or they are an American or a British person, and they said to you, “Can you just tell me what the differences are? The biggest differences that I should expect when coming to Australia? Aside from potentially pronunciation, what are the differences in the language?”. ‘Cause I’ve got a few my head that I can mention, but.
Well, I am going to throw it right back at you, because, you know, I think you’re definitely more have much… ’cause, you know, ’cause you’re still living there, and you specialise in talking about these differences. I mean, what do you (think the biggest differences are).
Don’t put me on the spot, man. Don’t put me on the spot!
I think, I guess… we kind of break rules quite a lot, I think, grammatically, at least. Instead of saying “My car”, people will say “me car”, “me car”. And they use the wrong noun, wrong personal pronoun. They’ll say, “This is me wife. This is me car. This is me stuff”, you know. So, they’ll use those, and they’ll say, instead of “those”, they’ll say “them”. “Them ones”, “Them ones over there”, instead of “those”. They’ll do those sorts of things. I think too, we won’t say… what’s another example? “You guys”, I find that I say that quite a lot for plural “you”, instead of just saying “you” and it being… just leaving it as “you all”, like, I have to add something else to always make sure that people know that I’m talking about multiple people instead of just using “you”.
Yeah. I mean it’s incredible that English lacks a pronoun to talk to a group of people. I mean it’s such necessary thing. It’s such a necessary thing, and we don’t have it. I mean, but yeah, like, you could say “yous”, “yous lot” maybe?
That would happen too. Yeah “yous” where we’ve pluralised it by putting an “S” on the end. You’ll hear bogans say that. “Yous. What are yous doing? Are yous coming? Are yous coming with us?”. I know, and you’ll be like,… I’ll be there, and I’ll be like, “Oh my gosh! I can’t handle this! I’m going to have an aneurysm!”.
But isn’t it… I mean it just… if you said to somebody, “Okay. We need to invent a pronoun, a new pronoun, for a group”, you would say, “Well, we’ll put an “S” on “you” it’s a solution. You know, “Yous.”.
I know, that’s it. I can’t think how else… I wonder… there must have been a plural pronoun that just somehow fell out of use in our history, you know, from Middle English or Old English, and I wonder if we could bring it back, you know, “thou” or “thine” or something crazy. I think also though, we probably use… the thing that blows my mind about British English, American English, and Australian English is that we quite often use the same language, but at different frequencies. So, like, I’ll say certain expressions or things like, “I reckon”. I’ll use words that the Americans and the British probably know, and they probably use from time to time, but I use them way more often, and maybe in different circumstances than they would, you know. And the same with, like… what’s an example? American saying, “It’s called out.” You know, “it’s cold out.
It’s cold out.
And you’ll be like, “Out what?”
And they’re just like, “out”, and you’re like, “Oh, “outside”. Okay, gotcha!”.
Yeah, it is… Yeah, I think, that there’s… maybe there’s a little bit of business aspect to creating this idea there’s a big difference between British English and American English, but I really… I think that there’s not. I think it’s just marketing, really. And.
Well, there’s a question for you. What advice would you give people who want to learn English, but they don’t know where they want to go, if they want to leave their country and go to an English-speaking country, which English would they… should they learn, or should they… it doesn’t matter?
I don’t think it matters. I mean, I don’t think that it is… in the history of English teaching, nobody has ever gone to a country… like, no one’s arrived in America, and people would say, “Oh! Are you speaking British English?”.
I can’t imagine… I can’t imagine too, though, be like, “I’ve just spent seven years learning British English and I ended up in Canada. Shit…!”. Like, how am I going to communicate with the locals?!”
No, but I mean, it’s never happened. I mean, you know, maybe if you had studied British English for 30 years intensely, and, you know, you had… your words were perfect, an American would think that your turn of phrase, some of your vocabulary, was British, but it would never create a problem with understanding. I mean.
I mean, so… I mean, I want to ask you a question, because I’ve been wanting to ask you this for a long time. Are you travelling around Australia in a…? Tell me about this. What are you doing? What’s your plan?
I’m not yet. I’m not yet. That’s the goal, though. That’s the goal. At the moment, I’ve just moved out of my… the house I was living in Melbourne whilst I was studying. So, I was doing my PhD up in Melbourne, and that required that I was in Melbourne to go to the university and the museum on a daily basis, but the rent is.
You finished your PhD?
Yeah, yeah, yeah. I did.
Oh my God! So, I need to call you Doctor Pete?
Please do not. Please do not call me Dr. Pete.
From now on, this is Dr. Pete, right here.
Do not call me Dr. Pete. I’m a doctor in rats, the evolution of rats. That’s… it’s meaningless.
Wow, what a great thing. No, congratulations. I know that’s a lot of work.
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Oh man, I’m so glad it’s done. Believe you me, believe me, I am so glad it’s done. So, I was… I decided to move, ’cause it was $900 dollars a month just to live in Melbourne, and I just decided I don’t need to be here, I can do it online, it’s just pointless. That’s it. I can come and mooch off my parents, and not pay anything for a short period of time. So, it’s like.
(What a) tough choice! So, but, now is the goal. I want to go around and I want to show people the real Australia. I guess, that’s the goal. I would love to go round and interview real Australians about who they are, what their Australia is, where they grew up, what they… what their opinions on things are, like, living a happy life or having good relationships with people. Those sorts of things I would love to get in and just ask the average day person and bring that to the language learning scene on the podcast or YouTube so that people can just learn Australian English, whilst also learning English, but then, understand the Australian mindset. So, that’s the goal with that at least, and that’s why I’ve got a car now, and not enough money to put fuel in it.
Wow. But like, is there not any interest from the world of academia? Like, are there not any universities interested in this project from, like, sociolinguistic perspective, or…?
(I’ve got) no idea. I should probably find out.
I think… because, you know, when they do analysis of, for example, if they want to know how many people use the present perfect when they’re talking about, I don’t know, a story of the past, they try to get hold of real recordings. And I thought that you could collaborate with the university or something.
I’ll have to get… I’ll have to get locality data on all of these people. I’ll have to get like a GPS position before I start every interview so that I can be like, “This is where they were when they spoke these words.”.
And listen, you know that in the world nobody has more money than education.
So, that’s it. We’re loaded. We’re balling.
They might pay for your car, right?
Who knows. Who knows, but it’s probably worth following up and asking, yeah, if anyone here has interest in it, or… no idea.
There’s some questions here for some people.
Yeah, sorry, guys.
LiveLifeEnglish wants to know what our favorite movie is.
Oh my God. I hate when people say, “What is your 1 favorite…?”, and you’re like, “That’s worse than just saying, “Do you have a few…?””, and you can, like, spout them off. I’ll let you go first.
For me, I think probably my favorite film would be Eyes Wide Shut. Stanley Kubrick’s final film. An incredible film. And a lot of people really hated that movie. So.
Or maybe a close second would be the film There Will Be Blood with Daniel Day Lewis. That was an amazing movie.
Oh, man. He is incredible. I think that’s probably an easy thing for me to say, “Who is your favorite actor?”, than, “What is your favorite film?”, but based on that, I would say The Dark Knight with Heath Ledger. That blew me away. That absolutely blew me away. He was phenomenal.
Yeah, he was incredible. I mean, no one can ever be The Joker again, ’cause he was just so good.
I know, Jared Leto tried and it was a shambles.
So, is… would he… would you say that Heath Ledger was your favorite actor as well?
He was one of them, definitely. I think Tom Hardy is one of my favorite actors too. He is really versatile, and he was in the third installment of that Batman series, as, you know, “Let the games begin”, to be like this I guess, “Let the games begin, Batman”. Like… He was jacked in that film. He was… that was amazing.
Ok. There’s another question here. What is… what is worse to you as native speakers, grammatical mistakes or a bad accent?
I think for me, you can have the strongest accent in the world, but if you don’t make as many grammatical mistakes it’s just not as difficult to listen to, because it takes me a moment to get used to your accent and then it’s fine. But, if I hear a native person making massive grammatical errors, I’d prefer to listen to someone with a strong accent who doesn’t make as many grammatical errors than a native speaker who makes lots. You know. So, it’s not that big a deal, but if I had to choose, I think that would be it.
Yeah, it’s funny that, isn’t it? It’s almost like a type of prejudice, like, in the sense that we expect… you expect a native speaker to be able to control grammar properly, right?
I don’t know if it’s that or if it’s more that I just… my brain has to work harder to fill in the gaps. If someone makes grammatical errors, I have to think harder about… what are they trying to say? Whereas, if the accent’s just strong, that’ll… as soon as I get zoned in on the vowel sounds they’re making or they’re different… slightly different consonant sounds, then I don’t have to work anymore after I’ve realized, “Okay, they’ve got a slight accent. I’m used to it”, but if they make big grammatical errors, sometimes I’ll be like… you know, like, if they completely change phrasal verbs, you know, to say “look under” instead of “look after someone”. They could say that perfectly, and I’d be like, “I don’t understand what you’re trying to say.”.
I’m going to get up and just turn on the light, ’cause the Sun’s setting me. There we go. Let there be light!
What about you Christian?
Well, yeah. I mean, really… I think it’s a difficult question to answer. I think, if I can understand you, I don’t really care. Oh, man see… (Pete just put a hat on his head)
I’ve got to… if I do this, my head’s shiny, right? So, the light comes from here. And, you know, so I’ve got to, like, put my hat on to cover the light off my head. Bald man issues, bald man issues.
Oh my God. Maddik said that he prefers to listen to native speakers because his brain doesn’t have to work as hard.
I’ve got an interesting anecdote for that. I… when I was learning French really really hard, like, working away at it, and I was doing it every day, I found it so easy to speak to French people, and then one day when I was at the gym, I was speaking to one of my friends who was French and another guy who was Australian came up to me, and started speaking French to me, and I had the biggest issues with his accent. He had it… he didn’t have… He didn’t put any accent on to try and speak French. So, instead of trying to use the French accent, he just didn’t use it. And then, on top of that, he was making a lot of grammatical errors. And again, it wasn’t a judgment on him or anything, it was just that, all of a sudden, I went from perfectly understanding the native speaker to having to work really really hard with trying to work out, as someone who’s… French isn’t my first language, so that made it even more difficult. But yeah. So, I can understand both. You’re having breakfast at the same time, are you?
As you know, I only got up five minutes before we started. So, you know. I eating… it’s more malt loaf.
Malt loaf? What’s in it?
It’s a really dense fruit bread. It’s really good. The problem is it’s very cloying.
It’s very what?
Cloying. Like, it sticks to everything. It’s very intensely, you know.
You’re not producing enough saliva to deal with it.
You are getting old Christian!
Yeah, let me just take my teeth out so that I can eat it better.
That’s it. You just need a glass of saliva from yesterday that you can just sip on every now and then, you know.
My coffee’s all gone. SO…
That’s it. But what about you? What were you saying? Which is more difficult for you, a strong accent or bad grammar?
I don’t know. I think if I can only if I can understand you, I don’t care. Like, if… like, you could have perfect grammar and a bad accent, and I can’t understand you, or, you know, you could have really terrible grammar, but you pronounce it words well and I can understand you it’s… so many different… I mean.
It’s almost like it depends what grammatical errors you’re making, really.
Because, I had the opposite experience to you. One day I was at the school, and this person came in, a Spanish person and said… and said in English, “I ah…” he came in and he was like this. “incomprehensible English”, and I was like, “What are you saying to me?”.
And then, in the end, we spoke in Spanish to organise the class, and during this time, there was a student waiting to have class with me, and she understood what this guy said perfectly.
Her mind… Her… she had like the accent, the Spanish accent, when speaking English was, like, in her mind. It was very peculiar. I couldn’t understand the guy. He was completely… you know, he displayed all of the worst characteristics of the Spanish accent in English, and you know, he spoke really fast, and oh man, but…
So, what advice would you have for English learners then, who say, “Alright. I am ever going to work on my pronunciation or grammar. Which one should I focus on first and, you know, most heavily.
I don’t know. I think people have an idea. You know, they have no idea what their problem is. Don’t you think? Like, I think people know.
Your weak spots.
Yeah, and I think you just have to be honest with yourself. And I think, as well, you have to be perceptive. Like, people don’t understand you, you’re speaking and they’re like, “???”. You have to work on that.
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I think that’s one of the keys that I always tell my students is once you get to the intermediate to advanced level the thing you need to start becoming an expert at is finding what things you’re screwing up, whether it’s your accent or it’s grammar, and it’s not that you can just identify them all today, find the answer, and “bam!” it’s all fixed. It’s an ongoing process, literally, on a day to day basis, for the next year, 10 years, 100 years. You’re going to have to spend… just constantly identifying your mistakes. And it’s the same with me. I have to keep doing that on a daily basis with my English. I find things that I’m saying, you know, incorrectly, maybe even my pronunciation. Until two years ago I was saying “pronOUncation” instead of “pronUnciation”. And at the time I was like, “Well, “to pronounce” something. It’s “pronounciation”.” And then, one of my friends looked it up and show me, you know, (they) grabbed the computer, and was like, “Pronunciation*”. And now every time I hear someone make that error it just hits me in the.
Yeah, I mean it is… these kind of little misunderstandings. You know, they’re quite common, I think. And it’s more embarrassing, right, if you’re a native speaker, because you feel like, “I should know that. This’s my language. I should know.
Yeah, well that’s like when you call me out on spelling.
Even when you’re spelling correctly.
Oh man, that got me! So, Christian keeps catching me making spelling mistakes or… on Instagram. And he’ll be like “Wrong! Wrong”. And I’ll just be like, “Damn it!”. I did that too fast. I didn’t check it. I was lazy. And then, he did it yesterday when it was all 100% correct, and I was sitting there for five minutes like, “Oh my God! what have I screwed up? Why can’t I see it?”.
Oh, it was… I’m really sorry about that.
That’s ok. I… you trolled me. You got me. You trolled me well. I was totally like, “I can’t see it! Am I that dumb?!”.
Well, I think that your merch, your merchandise, your t-shirts, and everything, is really cool, and anybody watching you should definitely buy some of Pete’s stuff and support him through buying some of his t-shirts and hoodies, and you can wear them with pride.
See if you can show me. Send me a photo if any of you get it. And I’ll have to get some as well, and start wearing them around the street so that people think I’m learning Australian English.
Well, what about you Christian? Tell us about the podcast and your yawls for that in the near future. What’s the… what’s it called and what’s the aim of the podcast? And how can people find it?
Well, the… I’ve only made one episode so far, and my goal was to… because, sometimes there are things I want to talk about in videos, but too heavy for a video or to, like, long, and a podcast seemed like a perfect place to talk about those things. But, if I’m going to be honest, I think my first podcast was too dry, and it was a little bit too serious, and, you know, I’m not sure if I said all the things I wanted to say.
That’s how it goes. That’s how it goes. You just have to keep (at it. Would’ve… I think, someone… they tell me when I started, they were like, and this is a bit crass, but you guys’ll love it. “Just keep throwing shit at the wall and see what sticks.”. So, it’s a vivid image. Just keep throwing. It doesn’t have to be “shit”. It can be “mud”. Just keep throwing things at the wall and see what sticks to the wall, and just keep, you know, keep doing the good bits that stay. So…
Yeah well, I mean for me, the experience was… ’cause I had to sit in this sort of like a room with lots of blankets to absorb the sound, and I was doing take after take, and, oh, it just wasn’t… It was really frustrating. Super frustrating. And.
That’s the learning experience, though. That’s, you know, starting a new language.
It is! It’s like a new language. There’s no visuals. It’s just voice, and wow. So, I’m hoping that I will improve, you know, over the next 10 or 20 podcasts. I really want to improve my… well everything: delivery, content, everything. So…
I think you just… the way to look at it, and it’s like language learning, it’s almost like, you know, at first you have your first conversation, and you’re like, “Oh, that one’s so bad!”. But you have to look at it like, “How am I going to be after ten conversations, twenty conversation, a hundred conversations?”, and then just go out and have them as soon as possible. And like, get in there, dive in there, make them awful, but then walk away from it with the experience of 10 conversations, 20 conversations, 100 conversations. Just punish it. Punish mate. You’ve got this.
Great advice. I’m sorry Pete, but I have to go, because my battery is going to go flat at any moment.
Man, you(‘ve) got to be MacGyver, mate. You(‘ve) got to always be prepared.
I know. I feel bad about that.
We’ve had some questions in here asking us to make this a podcast. Is there any way I can get the audio off you and we can check this up? We could do, you know, both of us.
You know, I don’t know, ’cause I did a long stream yesterday, and I tried to save the video to my telephone. And it was impossible, and I don’t know why, and I don’t know if I can do it through the Instagram website. I don’t know. But I will try to do something to.
We’ll give it a go.
But, I don’t know if anybody wants to really hear us rambling.
Man, they love this sort of stuff. They love it. They love practising English hearing two people speak at once. That’s the funniest thing I had… A whole bunch of them are just like, “More conversations! Not just one person speaking. You need everyone in there.”. So…
Well, listen, we should definitely do this again soon.
I had a great time chatting to you.
I need to find out what’s wrong with my telephone so that we can do the stream on your account and you could invite me.
Yeah. Just give it a go. See if you can save this one. But worst-case scenario, we’ll just have to catch up again.
Yeah. So, for anybody who doesn’t know, this is Pete from Aussie English, YouTube channel, podcast, courses, everything. The man, the legend, the doctor.
And this is Christian from Canguro English, another Australian. if you guys from my channel, go and follow Christian at, I guess, it’s Canguro English on Facebook, on YouTube, and you don’t have a current web site for the podcast, yet or do you?
No, it’s just on Soundcloud. Yeah, there’s no website.
Soon. It’s in the making, guys. It’s in the making. But if you want access to another Aussie, follow Christian.
Alright, well, it was a pleasure Pete. Speak to you soon my man.
Alright, guys. So, that was an interview with Christian and myself. But Christian from Canguro English. That’s spelt CANGURO ENGLISH. Canguro English, but two words. You can check him out on YouTube, his podcast has come out and it’s on Soundcloud, he also has an Instagram account, and you can see him on Facebook. So, check Cristian out, guys, if you want to learn English from a fellow Australian English teacher, and the links will be in today’s transcript.
Don’t forget guys, if you’d like to support this podcast and maintain it ad-free on the podcast, (to) help me do what I do every week and keep bringing you awesome content, then you can sign up to be a patron via my Patreon page that is PATREON. Just search Aussie English Patreon. You can sign up there and donate as little as a dollar per month to keep the lights on in my house and to keep me bringing new content on a weekly basis just like this.
Aside from that guys, if you want to support the podcast and you want to upgrade your English at the same time, don’t forget to sign up to the Aussie English Classroom. You can try it for one dollar for your first month, for your first 30 days, you can get in there, do courses, do all sorts of lessons and quizzes, interact with other people, and now with the new speaking challenge, every week you can practice making videos and posting them in the Aussie English Facebook group in order to practice your spoken English. Also, you will find a breakdown of between 10 to 15 minutes of today’s interview in the Aussie English classroom that’s designed to focus on teaching you more of the vocab and expressions used in this interview. So, it’s all about reinforcing your English.
Anyway guys, you’ve been awesome. Keep doing what you’re doing and keep levelling up your English and you will only succeed. I look forward to chatting to you in class. See you guys.
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By pete — 1 year ago
AE 335 – Expression:
To Let Someone Off The Hook
What’s up guys? Here’s a little surprise for today.
I thought that I would give streaming the Expression episode for the podcast, that’ll come out tomorrow, I thought about streaming that online, instead of just recording it here as I usually do behind my mic.
So, I mean I do the usual format. I guess, first, I want to give a shout out to the patrons, Veronica Pineal, as well as Maria Haro.
Thank you guys so much for being patrons via my Patreon page and supporting the podcast.
You guys are amazing.
And everyone else who’s been supporting the podcast there too, thank you so much.
Crazy fact about Australia.
I thought I would start introducing these more at the start of these podcast episodes.
Australia is as wide as the distance between London to Moscow.
So, if you’re from Europe and you know where London is in England and you know where Moscow is in Russia, Australia’s width goes from London to Moscow.
So, how crazy is that? Anyway.
Give me a thumbs up, give me a love heart if you guys can hear me okay, if the audio is okay via the live feed.
And if you can give it a quick share, ’cause I’m going to do that now quickly just to give it a bit of a boost on Facebook.
And then we can get into the expression episode for today.
But let me know what you think.
Would you like these expression episodes to be streamed on Facebook Live so that you guys can interact with me during and at the ends of these episodes?
So, I’ll just give this a quick share. All right.
So today’s expression is “to let someone off the hook”, “to let someone off the hook”.
And I’m getting these suggested in the Aussie English Virtual Classroom now.
So, I’m actually setting it up with a poll each week where any expressions that are suggested I’ll put in the poll, and you guys get to vote on which expression I do.
And so, this one this week is “to let someone off the hook”.
And it was picked or suggested by Laleh.
And then, you guys in the group all voted for this one to be this week’s expression.
So, as usual guys, let’s dive in and define the different words or the different verbs, nouns, everything inside the expression.
The verb “to let”, “to let”. If you let someone do something you’re allowing the person to do something.
So, it means to allow. You’re permitting the person to do something.
So, it also means that you permit the person to do something.
You could let someone go outside. You could let your friends come over.
You could let people out of a classroom at the end of the day.
So, it’s just allowing them to leave. Permitting them to leave.
Permitting them to do something. Allowing them to do something.
When we turn this into a phrasal verb and we say “to let off” instead of just “to let” this means to release, to release something.
So, if you let someone off for something it means that you release them of, I guess, responsibility of that thing.
So, you let them off, you let them off. It can also mean to emit something.
So, if you let off a smell or you let off a sound it means that you emit the sound or the smell.
So, it’s coming away from you. You’re releasing it. So, that’s “to let off”, “to let off”.
“The hook”. “A hook”. “A hook” is a curved piece of wire that is often used for catching animals or hanging things on.
So, a hook is this shape, a hook.
And often it has a little sharp end with what we call a barb.
And we’ll use it on the end of a fishing rod, for example.
We cast out the hook. We pull it in, when we catch something on the end of it.
So, that’s what a hook is.
A curved piece of wire that will be used to catch animals, and we might use it for hanging clothes on as well.
If we come inside we might take our hat off and hook the hat up or hook our jacket up.
That’s what “a hook” is.
When we combine all of this together to form the expression “to let someone off the hook”, you’ve got to imagine in your head that this person is stuck up on a hook.
Imagine like a hat or a coat. They’re on the hook.
And the hook in this expression would be like trouble that they’re facing punishment.
And if you let them off the hook you’re allowing them to avoid blame for something, avoid responsibility for something, and avoid obligation to do something that might be not what they want.
Right? So, let’s go through some examples for the expression “to let someone off the hook”.
As usual guys, I’ve got three examples here for you.
Imagine the first one is that you are a kid in a classroom and you’re doing some naughty stuff.
Maybe you’re swearing. You’re throwing paper planes.
Maybe you’re writing some notes and you’re passing them to your friends.
You know, maybe you’ve got a crush on the girl at the front of the class, and you’ve written her name down and a love heart and you’ve passed it to her.
You’ve got in trouble, ’cause the teachers seen you doing all this naughty stuff, or he’s heard you swearing, and has said, “Alright. I’m going to give you detention for misbehaving. You’ve been misbehaving. You’ve been doing the wrong thing, and I’m gonna give you detention. Come and see me at the end of the class, and I’m going to hold you in after class during lunch.”
So, imagine that you do that.
The class finishes, you go up, and at the end he says, “You know what, forget about it. I’m going to I’ll let you off the hook. I’m going to release you from your obligation to come to detention from your punishment. I’m going to let you off the hook this time, but next time I’m not going to let you off the hook so easily. Next time, you’re going to stay “on the hook”, figuratively, and you’re going to have to go to detention. So, I’ll let you off the hook this time. You can go.”
Example number two, might be that a policeman is using his radar gun or his laser gun to catch people who are speeding in their cars.
So, you’ve got a policeman, he’s on the side of the road, he’s hidden somewhere he’s obscured from view.
The cars driving really fast can’t see him.
So, they’re driving along and maybe they’re doing five kilometres over the speed limit.
So, they’re doing 105 in a 100 zone. Maybe they’re doing 150 in 100 zone.
Although you’re probably not going to get let off the hook, in this case if you did 150 in 100 zone.
But say you’re doing a few kilometres above the speed limit and you get pulled over, and the cop says, “How fast we drive and mate? How fast do you think you are going?”.
And you said, you know. “Oh, I don’t know. 103. I know it’s 100 zone. I’m really sorry. But yeah maybe 103?”.
And he says, “Yeah, it was actually 103. Look, it’s not that bad. I’m not going to give you a fine this time. I’m gonna let you off the hook, but I’m going to give you a warning, and I want you to be careful next time not to speed.”
If you were doing 150, so half the speed again, in 100 zone I doubt that the policeman would ever let you off.
You would go possibly to jail for that amount of speed over the limit. You’d get in quite a bit of trouble.
He would not let you off the hook with a warning in that case. So, that’s the second example.
Number three, imagine that you’re arrested by a policeman.
They come to your house at night and they say, “We’re arresting you for murder. You’ve been implicated in a murder that’s happened. We’re taking you to jail.”
You know you’re innocent. You’ve said, “Look, I didn’t do it. I’m innocent. I didn’t murder anyone.”
The police investigate further. They do more investigation. And they find the culprit.
They find the criminal who actually committed the murder. They find the real guy.
And they arrest him and then they let you off the hook.
So, this time, it’s not so much that you’ve done anything wrong and you’re escaping punishment, but you’re escaping punishment for something that they thought you had done.
But this time they’re letting you off the hook because they found the real culprit.
They found the real criminal that did the thing. So, that’s the idea.
“To let off the hook” is to escape punishment, to escape obligation, to be released from something.
And it’s commonly used everywhere, guys.
All English speakers everywhere will know the phrase “to let (someone) off the hook”.
So, as usual, let’s do some listen and repeat exercises, guys. It’s, I guess, “as usual” on the podcast, although, I’ve never done this obviously via streaming to you guys.
So, now is your chance to do some listen and repeat exercises with me right here.
Go and find somewhere where you’re away from other people, you’re on your own, in your bedroom, or if you’re out and about in the street go find a place where no one can hear you, and you can practice comfortably and on your own.
And let’s dive in and do some listen and repeat exercises.
First of all, I’m just going to say the expression. I’ll break it apart and then repeat it a few times.
And then, I go through the expression “I let him off the hook”, and I’m going to go through all the different pronouns.
We’ll conjugate it through. Although, it’s going to be in the past so it’ll be the same.
Anyway, listen and repeat after me guys.
Listen & Repeat:
To let off.
To let off.
To let off.
To let off the hook.
To let off the hook.
To let off the hook.
Good job. Now I’m going to say this phrase using different pronouns.
We’re going to say it the Simple Past. So, it’s in the Past tense.
And remember, “let” is one of those weird irregular verbs.
I think So… It’s just. Actually, no, it’s not a regular.
Anyway. Just listen and repeat after me guys. Ignore that.
Listen & Repeat:
I let him off the hook.
You’ve let him off the hook.
He let him off the hook.
She let him off the hook.
We let him off the hook.
They let him off the hook.
It let him off the hook.
Good job guys. Good job.
It does feel a bit weird doing that in front of the camera here, because usually when I do these I actually say them really quickly, like, with no gap between them.
I’ll say I let him off the hook. You let him off the hook. He let him off the hook. And then I insert space in between.
So, it feels really weird to kind of sit here in silence, but I hope you enjoyed it.
Now let’s go through the pronunciation and connected speech side of this episode.
I want to draw your attention, I want to get your attention,
I want you to focus on two points, in the expression that we just went over here “to let him off the hook “, you let him off the hook, he let him off the hook etc..
There’s two cool things that are happening here in English.
The first thing is H deletion, H deletion.
So, what’s happening there is that the H at the start of the word “him” is disappearing.
And we do this quite a bit when words like “him” or “her” are said really quickly in the middle of a sentence we’ll get rid of the H.
So you will have heard me say “I let_-im off the hook”. “You let_-im off”. Let_-im.
There’s no “let him”, it’s “let_-im”. You’ll also hear this when I say things like “I can see_-er”. ”
You can watch_-im”. “He can call_-er”. “I said to_-im”. So, the H disappears.
So, when you go back and listen to this check out whether or not you can hear the H when I’m speaking really quickly they’re like a native.
The second thing that I want to draw your attention to is the T-flap.
The T-flap is when we say T’s in English, but it sounds a little bit closer to a D.
And so, I’m doing this in the word “let”, I’m saying the T there properly. “Let”, “let”.
When the T is followed by a vowel sound, “let_-im”, you’ll hear there that I’m not saying “leT -im”, I’m saying “let_-im”, “let_-im”.
And that’s the T flap in English.
And so, we’ll do the listen and repeat episode, episode… exercise* one more time, and I want you to pay attention to the T-flap at the end of “let”.
It’s going to be “let_-im”. And I want you to pay attention to getting rid of the H at the start of the word “him”.
So, let’s do it one more time guys, and then we’ll finish up.
And if you have any questions… this’ll be interesting, for the first time one of these expression episodes is live.
You guys can ask me questions straight away about this expression, about this pronunciation, and we can get through some of those questions.
So, let’s go through. Listen and repeat after me again guys.
And pay attention to the T-flap, “Let_-im”, and getting rid of the H, The H deletion, at the start of “him”.
It just sounds like “-im”. Let’s go.
Listen & Repeat:
I let him off the hook.
You let him off the hook.
He led him off the hook.
She led him off the hook.
We led him off the hook.
They let him off the hook.
It let him off the hook.
That’s it guys. Good job. Good job.
Let me know what you think of me streaming these episodes.
I’m thinking that I might do this more often, because I like interacting with you guys more.
I want you to be able to ask some questions directly related to this expression, to this episode, but also more broadly English if you like, and we can spend the last five minutes of the episode chatting about any problems that you currently have.
So, if you’ve got some questions now’s the time to ask.
They can be about anything, but if you do have them about this expression, about the words in this expression, about how to use this expression, put them in the comments section below here.
And other than that, let me know what you think of this episode.
Did you like the fact that I streamed the expression episode this time?
I guess the good thing too is that I’ll be able to put it up on YouTube. OK?
So, let me know what you think of that. Anyway, alright.
Some questions here. Can you use it in the opposite meaning, “you didn’t let him off the hook”?
You definitely can, Diana. You definitely can.
So, you can let someone off the hook or you cannot let someone off the hook. “Yesterday, I let him off the hook for shouting in class”, or you could say, “Yesterday I didn’t let him off the hook for shouting in class”.
So, yeah, you can definitely say it in the positive, “I let him off the hook”, or you can say it in the negative, “I didn’t let him off the hook” FOR whatever the thing is.
And the thing at the end there I guess I should point out is that you get let off the hook FOR something, FOR something that you’ve done.
So, make sure that you use the preposition “for” if you want to talk about the thing for which you are being let off the hook or the thing for which you are not being let off the hook.
So, what Simon said here? Awesome. Thank you, dude. He’s from England and he’s saying “G’day”.
How’s it going? Have any of you guys got any other questions before I finish up?
Because I want to keep the expression episodes for the podcast under 20 minutes.
So, if you have any quick questions that I can answer regarding this expression regarding the pronunciation in this episode regarding anything then feel free to ask.
Can you use “off the hook” in writing? You definitely can, Eileen.
You definitely can use “off the hook”.
The interesting thing there is that if you say “off the hook” by itself I think that can mean two things.
So, that can mean related to this expression “to be let off the hook”, but if you say that something “IS off the hook” it has… It makes me feel like it sounds like something is going crazy.
“Oh, man that movie was off the hook!”.
Although, it’s probably another expression “off the something”, off the, off the.
Anyway, it’s making me think of that. But you can definitely use it in writing if someone gets let off the hook.
It’s not slang at all. It’s a common expression.
You could use this in British English, American English, Australian English any kind of English.
It’s very very common expression.
Is it literally… does it literally mean to be freed from an obligation? Kate, it certainly does.
And it can be more like an obligation in that you’re being punished for something like you’ve done something wrong.
You’re going to get in trouble and then they let you off it. They let you escape punishment.
And in that way, I guess, the obligation would be that you have to face the punishment.
But I could also, say, imagine that I’m coming home after work and my wife wants me to cook dinner.
If I said, “I don’t really want to cook dinner”, and she said “Alright, I’ll let you off the hook tonight, but you’re doing it tomorrow.
You’re cooking tomorrow. I’ll cook tonight, but you are cooking tomorrow.
I’ll let you off the hook this time, but tomorrow it’s your turn.”
That’s where you could use it as well where you’re literally being freed, you don’t have to do this thing, this obligation, which is cooking dinner.
And Simon, Yeah, it could be “off the wall”. I can’t… “It’s going off”.
‘Cause it’s that idea, “off the hook”, “off the charts”, “off the wall”. I don’t know.
There’s some expression there that I’m thinking about when a party’s going crazy.
Australians could also say I think “it’s going off + something”, and I think it’s “off the hook”, but I’m having one of those brain freeze moments.
Anyway, one minute left guys. Any other questions before we finish up for today?
Any other questions? Feel free to chuck them below.
Otherwise, I’m going to finish up and I will probably do this next week as I enjoyed streaming this episode for you guys.
So, it looks like it’s it’s going, going, no more questions?
Going, going, going, gone…
Right cool. We’ll finish up there, guys. You did great. Thanks for joining me.
Again, give it a share, give it a like, if you want to support the channel and spread the word.
And if you want all the bonus content for this episode, all the extra exercises for pronunciation, grammar, phrasal verbs, the vocab that’s used here, sign up to be a member in the Aussie English Classroom at TheAussieEnglishPodcast.com.
You can try out for a dollar for the first four lessons, for a month.
Give it a go. Let me know what you think, and I’ll see you in class.
See you guys.
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By pete — 9 months ago
Listen to real Australian english conversations and learn about the Canberra renting nightmare in natural English in this vlog episode of Aussie English where I show you what my daily life is like!
AE 433 – Vlog: Canberra Renting Nightmare!
Alright, guys. Back again, back again, and I decided to go for a walk today. So, I’ve just come down out of the suburbs that I’m living in here and there is a nice park, bit of park land, out to the side here that you can hopefully see behind me with a bunch of different animals in there. We’ve seen foxes in there. We saw some kangaroos in there. Quel’s been coming out walking in the mornings and we sometimes go out in the evenings as well together, and there are… yeah, there tend to be these kangaroos just hanging around in different spots in there just eating grass, I guess, and when you walk along, it’s kind of funny, because you won’t see them. They kind of blend into the background really well and have that grey… the grey sort of coat colour, but as soon as you walk passing it close to them, they pop their heads up and then they sit up, and they have that look on their face kind of like cows where they’ll be chewing. You know that herbivore kind of look where their jaws are kind of moving up and down, but also from side to side as they’re chewing on grass. So, it’s kind of cute. You’ll see them there put their head up and be like, “What are you doing? What are you walk and pass for? This’s my joint. This is my place.”.
So, I thought I would come down here today and do a little walking with Pete episode again, and chat to you guys about the latest news in Canberra, as well as my impressions of Canberra, I guess, so, what I think of the place as a whole, what it’s been like living here for the last few weeks, and my experiences.
So, I guess again, we moved up here three weeks ago and we had quite a bit of fortune, because we were meant to be coming up and staying at a… at an Air BnB, and the Air BnB was going to be something like a nine hundred dollars for a fortnight. So, 900 bucks a fortnight for a room. Living with some lady and her dog. But the… probably two nights before we were going to come up here and stay there, I told one of my friends that we were planning to come up to Canberra, and he was like, well he lived here, and he said, “Oh, we’re going away on the day that you arrive we need someone to take care of our dogs.”. And so, that’s why as I’m sure some of you have noticed, I’ve been living in a house with a couple of dogs recently and taking care of them.
So, that worked out really well. Rent Free. We didn’t have to pay for anything. We just had to be there to take care of his dogs, keep his dogs company, feed them every single day, walk them every single day, and as a result we saved you know a thousand dollars each or something instead of having to pay for three or four weeks of Air BnB rent. So, that was amazing. Massive thanks to my friend if he ends up watching this. And yeah, we’ve been able to enjoy this beautiful park each day behind what is effectively suburbia up here behind me.
So, you’ve got all these houses and these suburbs that are really new. I’m not sure if you’ll be able to see over here, but you might notice that all these houses look incredibly new. They’re probably only one or two years old and there are a lot being built along here as well. You’ll see scaffolding up here behind me and there’s a few over in the distance here being made. But on the other side here, you just have paddocks and farms and other land being cleared and streets being put in, lights in the streets being put in. It looks like you can see where houses are going to be built. So, they’ve started shaping off the land and everything for where these houses will be, the lots that they’ll be on.
And so, Canberra’s obviously sort of growing quite a lot at the moment. It’s a small city. It’s I think less than 400,000 people. So, it’s less than 10 times smaller than Melbourne, probably 12 or 13 times smaller than Sydney.
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But I tell you what guys, finding somewhere to rent here has been an absolute nightmare. There is so much competition. I don’t know if it’s just this time of year. I know that obviously the start of the year is going to be busy with regards to people arriving in locations and trying to find somewhere to live no matter where you live. It’s always going to be like that, but everybody seems to be absolutely insane here in Canberra, because obviously there just isn’t enough housing for people to have to live in. So, every single house that we went to inspect had between 10, 20, 30, 40 people inspecting those houses.
So, every single time we went in to submit an application to try and get one of these houses we’re competing with potentially 10, 20, 30 other applications as well. So, it’s been a nightmare. We’ve put in maybe five or six and all of them failed. They picked someone else.
I guess also, the rent is just ridiculous. So, to give you a bit of perspective, I guess, living in Melbourne I was paying… What I was paying? Two hundred and… maybe two hundred five dollars a week for the place that I was staying at, and to get somewhere here it’s about the same price. So, rent for one of the houses was at least… and these are the cheap houses. We’re not going for something that has 10 rooms, a pool, and is on five acres of land. We’re going for something that’s got two bedrooms, three bedrooms, and is pretty modest, you know? We just wanted somewhere that I could have a desk, we’ve got two bedroom, spare room for someone to stay in, but to give you an idea of the rent prices. Weekly room prices here. The cheapest I’ve seen for a house I think was about 390 dollars a week. So, what does that end up being? It’s about 1,500 dollars a month. So, you’d have to pay bond as well, but those houses, the ones that were under 400 dollars, wow they were crack dens. They were very run down, old, very small, one bedroom sort of flats. The most standard stuff that we see, the… on average houses tend to be about 450 to 500 dollars a week. And so, that’s, you know, about 2,000 dollars a month for rent. So, a thousand dollars each for Quel and I.
(I’ll) just give you a view here of the little bridge that we cross before we go into the park.
And so, yeah, the rent’s been pretty crazy. I was not expecting that. And something that blew my mind, we went to Batemans Bay, right? So, Batemans Bay is this picturesque, beautiful bay down the coast at the beach, and I was expecting… I just said to Quel, I was like, “Oh we should look up the rent prices and see how much it is here. Maybe it’s… you know, maybe Canberra’s not that bad for this sort of area in New South Wales and in the A.C.T.”, and Bateman Bay rent was like two hundred dollars a week for a house. So, like less than… less than half the amount that we are spending on somewhere here, you could get a place in Batemans Bay, a picturesque, beautiful location near the beach, you know, that you would imagine there’s a lot of competition for it, but obviously not a great deal, and it was half… less than half the price for some of these houses. I was like, “What?! What?!”.
So, anyway that’s been that’s been our experience so far applying for houses, but the good news, guys, the good news, the funny news. Oh my God. So, yesterday, we were like… we were chatting and I said, “Maybe we should just look for some share houses. This is going to be easier.” And a share house is somewhere where you are sharing the house with someone, right, or multiple other people, and you don’t have to pay a full bond. You know, you might have to pay your proportion of the bond. You don’t have to pay to rent the entire house, because obviously there are other people and you’re just renting a room and then sharing the rest of the accommodation like the living room and the kitchen.
So, you end up saving a bit of money. So, I said, “Quel we should do that. We should just see what’s out there. Maybe we’ll find some really nice lovely people to live with and it won’t be too bad, and we’ll end up saving quite a bit of money.”, because obviously we’re wanting to save as much as possible whilst here and whilst working full time.
So, Quel applied… well sent an e-mail to a few places and asked if we could come and check them out, and they got back to us pretty much straight away. Bugs everywhere! Got back to straight away. Two places. One place said, “Come and check it out on Sunday”, which is the day after the people whose dogs were taken care of get back. They get back on Saturday, which is tomorrow. And so, and the other one said to come over that evening. So, we were like, “Boom! Too easy!”.
Quel didn’t even really know where this place was, right? So, she’d seen photos and it looked really spacious, looked amazing, and guys, so we drive we drive to this place and all the houses… we’re like driving up, driving up, all the houses are millionaire houses, like, huge, and if they’re not these massive houses with these expensive cars in the front of them, they are embassies for places like the Dominican Republic or, I think, one of them was Nepal. And so, we were like, “Do we have the wrong location? Are you sure in the right place, Quel? I feel like we’re in the wrong place.”
Anyway, so here we ring up the person and tell them we’re here. No, we’re in the right place. And it turns out that this share house is the old embassy of Pakistan. So, I was just like, “What?!”. How the hell do we end up here? We walk in and check it out and it’s fantastic. It’s huge. I was really, really shocked.
So, we went in and looked at the room, and the room was like this big… big bedroom, queen-size bed, walk through wardrobes, with our own bathroom, which had two different showers. It has a bidet. And for those of you who don’t know what a bidet is, it’s kind of like a toilet that you squat over after you’ve gone to the toilet, and you press the button and water squirts up your backside. So, you sit down and water comes up here to prevent you from having to wipe, I guess.
That’s not something common that you would see in Australia. Maybe in like a five star hotel room or something, but… Anyway, so we went in, and a crazy thing… I guess, the reason we sort of saw this place as being a good place to stay at was that there’s a woman who takes care of everyone. So, there’s like up to 10 people who can live in this huge old embassy, ’cause it’s got heaps of rooms. She feeds everyone every night. She cooks their dinner and the dinner is a pretty good. Like, enchiladas, I think there was some Malaysian she was cooking that evening.
She… initially, we were kind of like, eh… she seems like a bit of a very strong, I don’t know how to put this, but like pushy kind of a person that you kind of think, “Eh, I might not get along with you. You might be a bit too much.”. But then after chatting to her for a bit she was actually really lovely, really funny, and was taking people out on trips on the weekend and stuff. She’s probably in her mid 60s and no real Australian Aussie battler. Who knows? Maybe I’ll get her on the air on the podcast in the future.
But anyway, so we were thinking, we were chatting after this, and it was it was funny, because we had the full process of walking and being like, “Maybe this isn’t for us”. We started chatting to her. We saw the rooms. We saw the shared spaces that we get to hang out in. And then, we were sort of slowly like, “Maybe this is for us. You know this is pretty easy. We don’t it to pay a massive bond.”. Rent’s 450 dollars a week with meals included, all bills included. So, that’s a massive plus, because we don’t have to buy anything, right?
So, we… another part of moving into a house for us that was going to be difficult, aside from just buying, sorry, just paying for the bond and paying for the rent, was the fact that we would have to buy a modem for the Internet. We would have to get the modem installed. We would have to pay monthly bills for the Internet. We would have to we would have to get electricity sorted out, water sorted out, gas sorted out. Again, all of those bills, I have to organise them, have them in my name, pay through the bank account for those things on a monthly basis. I would have to then buy a fridge, buy a washing machine, buy a dryer, buy couches, buy furniture, buy a desk.
And so, all these things were sort of becoming more and more apparent to Quel and I that this is going to be a bit of a pain in the arse if… and cost a lot of money, if we want to do this and get a house of our own. And so, after we went and saw this place, heaps of fridges, heaps of furniture in different rooms, the lady was like, “Oh, if you need anything out of these other rooms just take it. Just shuffle it around, you know, we’ll just organise it. Just say what you need and we’ll find it in another room and put it in your room.”.
So, long story short, once we finished checking the place out, we got in the car, we were having a bit of a chat about it whilst we drove home, and we were going to go, and see all these other places, but we ended up just deciding “Maybe, we just give this a go for a month. We’ll go… we’ll give her the rent for the month. We’ll get a place finally somewhere we can get settled, get organised, see how it goes, and just wing it, and just see… hopefully that works out. Otherwise I guess we keep looking. In a month’s time when hopefully it won’t be as busy.”.
So, that was yesterday and we now have somewhere where moving into on Sunday, the Pakistani embassy, the old Pakistani embassy. So, it should be really good. Fingers crossed. Fingers crossed, guys.
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