In this episode of Embarrassing English Errors I teach you the subtle difference in pronunciation of the words piece & piss.
Download the full PDF transcript here.
Embarrassing English Errors Ep01 – Piece & Piss
Hey guys and welcome to the first episode of Embarrassing English Errors. So, this is episode number one. So, today I’m going to teach you the difference in pronunciation between the words “piece” and “piss”.
So, “piece”, “a piece” of something, is a portion of an object or of material, and it’s produced by cutting, tearing or breaking the whole. So, you can have a piece of cake, or a piece of fabric.
“A piss” or “to piss”. Piss is urine, or the act of urinating, depending on whether you’re using it as a noun or a verb. So, “I need to pee [piss]” or “I need to have a pee [piss]”. Um… so yeah, it’s going to the toilet to do a number one instead of a number two as we say in English. So you pee and you poo, or you piss and you shit. So, “piss” is to pee or to urinate.
So, some examples of how you could accidentally mix these two words up. You could say things like “I might have a piece” and you could accidentally say “I might have a piss”. “I might have a piece”, “I might have a piss”. It’s the kind of thing where it’s a little embarrassing to accidentally mispronounce these words. Another one could be “a piece of cake”, you could say, “a piss of cake” accidentally. “How many pieces do you want?”, “How many pisses do you want?”. So these sorts of things get pretty embarrassing if you mispronounce them. “Do you want to have a piece?”, do you want to have a piece of cake, and you could accidentally say “do you want to have a piss”, which is sort of asking someone “do you need to go to the toilet?” instead of saying “do you want a piece of cake”.
So other words in English that sound like “piece” are:
And other words that sound like “piss”:
So, we’ll go through some exercises now guys where I will just say the two different vowel sounds in made up words or real words. So, it’s not so much important to know or be worrying about what these words mean. It’s more about practicing the difference in the pronunciation of these two different vowels “ee” and “ih”.
Leese – Liss
Meese – Miss
Feese – Fiss
Theese – This
Deese – Diss
Creese – Criss
So, let’s break it down into just that first syllable guys and we can use the English words “pee”, as in “to need to pee”, and pier, as in “a pier at the beach” that you walk out on. It’s made of wood.
Pee – pier x 10
And now we’ll say and repeat the words “piece” and “piss” ten times.
Piece – piss x 10
So, if you guys have any other suggestions or words that you would like me to cover in Embarrassing English Errors, in an episode, then please jump on Facebook and send me a message or a comment with the word or the term that you’re having difficulty pronouncing, and I’ll do an episode as soon as I can.
All the best guys!
If you guys enjoyed this episode of Embarrassing English Errors then make sure you check out the rest of the episodes and transcripts here. Also, don’t forget to come visit me on Facebook and let me know what you think of the podcast and say hey to the Aussie English community!
Success! Now check your email to confirm your subscription.
About the AuthorI learn languages, teach Australian English, and love all things science and nature!
You Might also like
By pete — 2 years ago
AE 273 – Expression: To Take the bull by the horns
G’day guys. How’s it going?
Welcome to this episode of Aussie English. Episode Two hundred and seventy three.
So this is an expression episode, and before we dive into things today I just want to have a chat to you about everything, about what I’ve been up to, about what Aussie English has been up to.
So at the moment I am sitting in my room, obviously. I am recording this podcast.
It is Saturday afternoon, 2:00 p.m., and it is raining quite heavily outside.
So I had to run out there earlier and grab my clothing, my clothes, off the line, off the clothesline, because they were drying out there, and the rain suddenly started pouring down.
It started raining cats and dogs as we often say in English, and I had to run out there.
Got my feet wet. Got a little bit wet as well on the top of the head.
Although, the water tends to fall straight off my bald head.
And I managed to grab all of my clothing and bring it inside before it got too wet.
So aside from that I’ve been working at the restaurant. That’s been fun.
It was pretty busy in the last few weeks, because we had three of the Spanish speaking people there go either on a holiday or go home.
So one of my friends Carlos went back to Spain, back to Barcelona, and another girl from Chile were in Canada for a week, and a Colombian girl, Sandra, was travelling around Australia with her family.
So her family came over to see her and she’s been travelling around.
Aside from that, obviously, I’ve been working on Aussie English.
I’ve been doing quite a few videos recently, guys, where I’ve been trying to help with Australian pronunciation and different words that we pronounce differently.
So if you haven’t checked out the YouTube channel I definitely recommend that you jump over there.
Just search Aussie English on YouTube, and check out some of the more recent videos that I’ve put up.
I put up one last night on the /ɑ/ sound that we say at the end of words that end in -er, -re, -or, -ar, -a, -ure and -our.
Quite often in English they are pronounced /ɑ/, at least in Australian English with our dialect.
Anyway. That’s a nice little intro there for you guys. I should dive into the expression.
Cut to the chase. Get to the crux of the lesson today.
So the expression today is to take the bull by the horns, to take the bull by the horns.
As usual, we’ll go through and define the words first in this expression.
So “to take”. We’ve gone over this a few times in recent expressions.
“To take”, in this example “to take” means to hold, to grasp or to grab it.
So if you take something or someone by something you are holding something of theirs and leading them somewhere.
So if you took someone by the hand it means that you have grabbed their hand, you’ve grasped their hand, you’re holding their hand and you’re potentially leading them somewhere.
So you’ve taken someone by the hand.
“A bull”. “A bull” is a male cow, you know, mooooo. “A bull” is the male cow it’s the cow that has horns.
At least, I think most cows have just the males with horns.
There could be breeds where both the males and females have horns.
But typically the bull is the large male cow that has horns.
And “a horn”, “a horn” is a bony protrusion.
So something that protrudes, it comes out of the head of a bull.
It grows out of the animal’s head and other animals have horns including the rhinoceros, which can have one or two horns on its nose on its head.
Deer have horns. Moose have horns.
And then we even have animals like rhinoceros beetles, you know, those small beetles with big horns on their head that they fight one another with.
There’s (there’re*) chameleons that have horns.
These are those lizards that can change colour, chameleons.
Some male chameleons I think can have horns.
And then obviously creatures like a unicorn can have a horn.
The mythical horse that has a big horn coming out of its head.
And then even species of whales. So the Narwal is a species of whale that has a horn.
Although the horn is actually a tooth that grows through the front of its head.
And I found some cool stuff out about Narwals recently.
I might have to do an episode on that in the future.
So to define the expression “to take the bull by the horns”.
“To take the bull by the horns” means to confront a problem head on, right away, versus sitting back and waiting for it to resolve itself, or for a person to tackle it, to confront that problem for you.
And “grab the bull by the horns” is also a very similar idiom that’s commonly used.
So it’s similar, but it uses the verb “to grab” instead of the verb “to take”, but it means the same thing.
So as usual, I looked up the origin of this expression.
And the exact origins of this phrase aren’t really known.
It said that it originated from bullfighting around 1800, and the term likely alludes to grass being a safely tethered bull and not one that the matador is fighting in the ring.
However, other people have argued that the idiom originates from the American West, instead of bullfighting in places like Spain, and that it found its roots in rodeos where it was common for ranchers and cowhands, so the people who grew and took care of bulls, and, you know, raised them as livestock, and then sold them.
It was common for these guys to attempt their luck at steer wrestling.
So “steer” as in the male cow, so bulls. A steer as a young one.
And it was said that the only way to really control and bring down a steer, a young bull, was to grab it by the horns, and then you could control the head.
And if a person tried to grab it elsewhere they stood the risk of being bashed or gored by the horns of the steer or the bull.
So, regardless of the exact origin there is one thing that is certain and that is that it’s a bad idea to grab a ball by the horns.
So, let’s go through some examples, guys, of how you would use this expression.
So, example one, imagine that you have worked at your job for a very long time, and you are wanting to ask for a raise.
And “a raise” is a pay increase. So you want to go to your boss…
Maybe you work as an engineer or a lawyer or a scientist.
You want to go to the boss the guy who hires you or the guy who manages you, the guy above you, and you want to ask him for a pay increase.
You work more than what you paid. You do overtime. Maybe you work extra hours for free.
You even take your work home at times, which could make your partner incredibly unhappy or stressed.
You know you deserve a raise, but you’re very nervous when it comes to asking for one.
So, you’re worried that at best your boss will say no and at worst you may lose your job.
But ultimately you chat to your partner, your wife, your husband, and they tell you, “look, just take the bull by the horns and ask for a raise. Do the difficult thing. Take the bull by the horns. Grab the bull by the horns. Confront this difficult situation head on. Take the bull by the horns.”
So, example number two, maybe you want to travel, but you are worried about leaving your home country.
So you’re nervous about living overseas, somewhere foreign, somewhere unknown, without any friends, without any family nearby.
Although, you know that there are going to be many benefits and amazing experiences that you’re going to have when you travel abroad.
Your friends and family might say, “look just do it. Move abroad. See how you go. Grab the bull by the horns. Take the bull by the horns. You can do this. It’s time to take the bull by the horns. Buy the plane tickets and just go. Take the bull by the horns.”
Example number three. Imagine that a family member drinks too much.
So, this person has become a bit of a problem, and he or her (she*) has turned into a bit of an alco, and “alco” is slang for an alcoholic.
He or she drinks a lot of alco or a lot of booze at parties, at family events.
Maybe they always have a tinnie in their hand, or a stubby in their hand.
And “a tinnie” is a can of booze or alcohol, and “a stubby” is a bottle of booze or alco, alcohol, that you hold and drink.
So, imagine that they’re always at these family events getting drunk and then causing a scene.
So they’re doing something stupid. They’re saying something stupid.
Maybe they’re not even doing that. They’re falling over or spilling things.
It’s obvious that the alcohol has become a problem.
You and your family want the person to stop and you all agree that it’s time to take the bull by the horns and mention something to this person.
It’s time to say, “look alcohol is a problem. You need to do something about it.”
It’s time to take the bull by the horns.
It’s time to grab the bull by the horns and ask this person to do something about their drinking.
So you have to confront this problem head on and tell them it’s not on. It’s not okay.
It has to stop. It’s time to take the bull by the horns.
So let’s do a listen and repeat exercise as usual guys, and we’ll do this one in the Simple Past.
And remember “to take”, the verb “to take” is an irregular verb.
So when we turn this into the Simple Past the past participle is “took”.
I took, you took, he took, she took, we took, they took, it took. It’s all the same.
So listen and repeat after me guys.
Listen and repeat:
I took the bull by the horns.
You took the ball by the horns.
He took the bull by the horns.
She took the bull by the horns.
We took the bull by the horns.
They took the bull by the horns.
It took the bull by the horns.
One little thing that I want to mention here guys as I’ve been doing recently is a pronunciation tip, and we’re going to go over this in the Aussie English Support Pack in more depth.
But in this example sentence I, you, he, she, we, they, or it took the bull by the horns, there’s a dark L that is pronounced.
And it sounds a little more like a W.
And this is obviously at the end of “bull”. And you’ll hear me say “bull” instead of “bull”, “bull”.
So that is with the L well pronounced, “bull”.
But quite often across a lot of English dialects, not just Australian English, we will sort of mute the L and we don’t pronounce it like a “Leh”.
And it sounds more like a “ew” a W kind of sound. So, “bu-w”, “bu-w”, as opposed to “bull”.
So I’ll say some sentences to show you here guys.
“I’m not ab-ew to”, see I said I’m not “ab-ew” instead of “I’m not able”.
“I drove into the poo-w”. I said “poo-w” instead of “pool”.
“I drank a lot of mi-wk”. I said “mi-wk” instead of “milk” with the L sound there.
“He had a litt-w bu-w”. “Litt-ew” instead of “little”, and “bu-w” instead of “bull”.
And now I try and do a sentence with all of these.
“I wi-w be ab-w to see the bu-w in the litt-w poo-w that was fu-w of mi-wk”.
So I’ve tried to use dark L’s, as they’re called, the W sound in there instead of, “I will be able to see the bull in the little pool that was full of milk”.
So we’re going to go over this more in the Aussie English Supporter Pack guys.
I hope you’ve enjoyed this episode. Just a quick mention if you guys want to upgrade your learning, if you want to learn faster, I really recommend signing up to the Aussie English Supporter Pack.
It’s a dollar to try it for a month.
In this episode, we’re going to have a vocab glossary and table, listening comprehension questions for this entire episode, a substitution exercise going over the phrase or verb “to turn into”.
We’re going to go over slang related to drinking.
We’re going to go over the dark L that sounds like a W for pronunciation and connected speech.
And then in the grammar exercise we’re going to compare the Simple Past with the Perfect Past.
If you sign up to this, guys, you’re going to really upgrade your English learning.
You’re going to learn a lot faster.
You’re going to have more access to me online, and be able to interact with me so that I can help you learn even faster.
So, I really recommend that you give it a go, guys.
If you have any questions feel free to message me on Facebook or email me and I’ll chat to you soon.
I hope you guys have a great week.
See you later.
Not a Member yet?
Get bonus exercises when you upgrade to the premium transcripts
Success! Now check your email to confirm your subscription.Post Views: 3,383
By pete — 2 years ago
[sdm_download id=”1628″ fancy=”1″]
Pronunciation: Contracting HAS onto NOUNS & INDEFINITE PRONOUNS
G’day guys. Welcome to this episode of Aussie English.
Today we’re just going to practice contracting the word HAS onto nouns. So, obviously, in the singular form as well as [onto] indefinite pronouns such as SOMEONE, SOMEBODY, EVERYONE, EVERYBODY, etc. Those are the indefinite pronouns.
So, HAS is obviously the second person singular form of the verb TO HAVE in the present tense. And to start with we’re just going to dive straight in and do a listen and repeat exercise here guys where I’m just going to use a few different nouns to start with and contract HAS onto them. And then after that I’m going to do some of the, or all of the, indefinite pronouns and again contract HAS onto them. So, let’s go through and practice the uncontracted followed by the contracted form of each one of these one time. Listen and repeat after me.
Listen and repeat:
The dog has
My car has
That tree has
A bag has
This guy has
That book has
The computer has
And now for the indefinite pronouns:
No one has
So, that’s it guys. It’s pretty simple. I’m sure you’re getting the idea by now after having done all of the previous episodes with HAS. So, I’ll keep it short. We can jump straight into the substitution exercise guys where I’ve listed a whole bunch of different sentences using the word HAS, and we’re going to contract that word onto the word before it, which is either going to be a noun or an indefinite pronoun.
So, listen and repeat after me guys, if you want to make it a listen and repeat exercise and just practice your pronunciation. Or treat it as a substitution exercise as we’ve discussed in the past.
A bag has got a zip.
A bag’s got a zip.
The dog has got a bone.
The dog’s got a bone.
That tree has fallen over.
That tree’s fallen over.
My car has been repaired.
My car’s been repaired.
Someone has just arrived.
Someone’s just arrived.
This guy has just been hired.
This guy’s just been hired.
No one has seen him in days.
No one’s seen him in days.
Somebody has got the answer.
Somebody’s got the answer.
I think the computer has got a virus.
I think the computer’s got a virus.
Everybody has finished the lesson.
Everybody’s finished the lesson.
I don’t think anyone has asked him.
I don’t think anyone’s asked him.
That book has got a twist in the story.
That book’s got a twist in the story.
No body has been watching us at the moment.
No body’s been watching us at the moment.
Do you think everyone has eaten enough food?
Do you think everyone’s eaten enough food?
If anyone has got some spare time, let me know.
If anyone’s got some spare time, let me know.
So, that’s it for this episode, guys. Listen and repeat a few times until these contractions become natural, you don’t have to think about it, and you can improve your fluidity of spoken English. See you in the next episode.
If you wish to support me and the many hours of hard work I put into The Aussie English Podcast then please consider donating a few dollars a month via Patreon! The more support I get, the more I can work on The Aussie English Podcast!
Check out all the recent Pronunciation episode of Aussie English below!
Success! Now check your email to confirm your subscription.Post Views: 965
By pete — 11 months ago
AE 426 – Expression: Spit the Dummy
Spit the Dummy, the segment where we involve you the viewer. Last week, I spent the day with myself at a lack of interest from you guys stumping up and offering a view on the program. We’ve now got Crazy Jane who’s out of Melbourne who’s joined us. That is her Twitter call sign, or whatever you call it. Her real name is Marian Dalton. Depending on what you’ve got to say though, I’ll go with either Marion or Crazy Jane. Welcome to the program. Thanks for your company.
Hi Peter. Thanks for having me. So, what do you want to spit the dummy about? What’s your gripe?
My gripe is the way that the media when they’re interviewing the various politicians about the asylum seeker issue don’t challenge them on the notion that offshore processing is the only way.
Guys, you would laugh so much if you saw me right now. I am currently sitting underneath a rug, because I’m trying to mute the echo in this room as much as possible for this episode of Aussie English. But yeah, I thought I would share that with you. I have a rug on my head and it’s also over a chair, and in this little cubby kind of fortressed space I am currently recording this episode.
So, g’day you mob. I hope you are going well. Welcome to this episode of Aussie English, The Aussie English Podcast, the number one podcast for anyone and everyone wanting to learn Australian English. Whether you want to learn to understand Australians or whether you want to speak like an Aussie, this is the podcast for you.
So, today I have a ripper of an episode for you, guys. I try to have a ripper of an episode every single week, but today, I can definitely say that I have one ripper of an episode prepared.
So, today’s intro scene, today’s intro scene was from a TV show called The Contrarians, and I found this little clip on YouTube, it’s from Sky News Australia, where they have a segment called Spit the Dummy. Okay? So, it seemed like a good idea to include this segment. So, that a lady has come on to this segment called Spit the Dummy in order to spit the dummy about how the media, when interviewing various politicians about asylum seeker issues, don’t challenge them on their assertion that offshore processing is the only way to deal with asylum seekers.
So, anyway guys we’ll get into that, we’ll get into the expression, and we’ll discuss asylum seekers at the end in today’s Aussie Fact, but there’s a link in the transcript to day for you to go over to the YouTube channel for Sky News Australia and check out the entire clip. So, I recommend that you go and do that.
Don’t forget also guys that you can download the transcript and the MP3 for today’s episode if you would like to study that in your own time, whether it’s on your computer, on your phone, whether you want to print it out and write on it, any of that sort of stuff, you can download it via the website. There will be a link somewhere. You should be able to see it in your podcast app or on the website if you’re using it currently, but you can get those free downloads.
And don’t forget too, that if you would like all the bonus content for today’s episode, to sign up to the Aussie English Classroom. That’s where I form courses from these episodes with lessons, with quizzes, with MP3, exercises, and now videos as well. So, I’m adding to it every week, and if you want to learn Australian English in depth, even faster, I really recommend signing up to the Aussie English Classroom. It’s a one dollar, guys, one dollar for your first month, and it’s what helps me keep the lights on, keep the water coming to the house, and obviously it keeps me in a position to afford rugs to put over my head to record these episodes.
Anyway guys, let’s dive in today’s joke, Aussie joke. Today’s joke. Okay so, how do you put a baby alien to sleep? How do you put a baby alien to sleep? You ‘rocket’. You ‘rocket’.
Alright so, that’s a pun there, guys. That’s a joke. The word ‘rocket’, as in, a shuttle, something that takes off from the planet and goes into outer space. That is what we would expect an alien to be in if they came to earth. We would expect them to be in a rocket. But if you want to put a baby to sleep usually you will ‘rock’ the baby, and this verb means to move from side to side. To gently rock. And so, it’s a pun here guys with the word ‘rocket’, a shuttle, some kind of vehicle for space, and the two words to ‘rock it’, right? ‘Rock it’, as in, rock the thing from side to side.
How do you put a baby alien to sleep? You rocket.
Alright. So, today’s expression, guys, is ‘to spit the dummy’, ‘to spit the dummy’. So, I wonder if you guys have ever heard this expression before. It’s a pretty common one here in Australia. My dad used to use this expression on me all the time as a kid any time I would get upset, he would say that I was spitting the dummy. But we’ll go through the definition for the expression after we describe the words in the expression. Okay.
So, the verb ‘to spit’, the verb ‘to spit’. ‘To spit’ or ‘to spit something’ is to eject something from a mouth. Okay? So, usually, this will be a person, for example, or some kind of animal, with a mouth, and if it spits something out of its mouth, it’s that it has ejected that thing out of its mouth. So, I could spit saliva out of my mouth, you know? A cobra, a snake, could spit venom. And a volcano could spit lava. Okay? So, that’s ‘to spit’.
‘A dummy’. ‘A dummy’ can be several things. ‘A dummy’ can be a model or replica of a human being. So, for instance, if you’re doing CPR on a practice replica of a human, CPR as in you are doing… I can’t remember what that stands for, but you’re trying to resuscitate the person… I think it’s Cardio Pulmonary Resuscitation. So, you’re trying to breathe air into that person or you’re pushing on the person’s chest to make their heart inflate and deflate, to pump blood around. So, if it’s a model, that’s ‘a dummy’. You’re playing with the dummy person.
But ‘dummy’ can also be an object designed to resemble and serve as a substitute for the real thing, for the usual thing. Okay? So, it’s anything that can be used to substitute something else.
But in the case of, I guess, a baby and this expression, ‘a dummy’ is a pacifier. It is the plastic, the soft plastic, thing that resembles a woman’s nipple, you know? when babies are breastfeeding, they like to suck on the woman’s nipple in order to drink the milk, but a dummy is that soft plastic thing that resembles a nipple that the baby can suck on to stay calm. Okay? That is ‘a dummy’, and Americans call that ‘a pacifier’.
Enjoying Aussie English?
Support AE on Patreon today so I can bring you even better content!
Expression Definition & Origin:
Alright, guys, so the expression ‘to spit the dummy’. I think this is very Australian, and, okay so, if you use this with Americans or British people they may need an explanation as to what you mean, but it’s very common here in Australia. You’ll see it in the media. You’ll see it on TV.
‘To spit the dummy’ means to behave in a bad-tempered or petulant way. So, to suddenly lose your temper. And it’s often used to infantilise someone, to liken someone to a baby getting upset. So, you have to be careful when you use this, because you’re likening them to being a child getting upset. So, it kind of trivialises the thing, the issue, over which they’re getting upset. So, journos and pollies will often use this expression, journalists and politicians, they’ll use ‘to spit the dummy’ when referring to people they don’t like or other politicians, usually in order to trivialise or infantilise what it is they’re getting upset about, to say it’s childish, okay? ‘To spit the dummy’: to suddenly lose your temper in a petulant kind of way.
So, you’ll also see other expressions similar to this one like ‘a dummy spitter’, and that is someone who spits the dummy. That is ‘a dummy spitter’.
Or ‘a dummy spit’, which is the action of spitting the dummy. The reason for which or that that series of events where you have spat the dummy, that is ‘a dummy spit’.
So, a dummy spitter can spit the dummy, and when they do so, it’s called a dummy spit.
Alright so, the origin of this expression is probably pretty obvious to you guys. If you spit the dummy, it’s obviously a colourful expression that invokes an image of a baby getting upset, so upset that it spit its dummy out of its mouth so it can cry and howl incredibly loudly to get everyone’s attention. So, it makes it a fun way to describe an adult losing his or her temper.
So, as usual guys, let’s go through some examples of how I would use this expression.
So, example number one, imagine that you are literally a baby, you’re a baby, you’re getting upset. Maybe you’ve got gas, maybe you can’t reach a toy, or maybe you want to be fed, or you need a nappy changed. You’re a baby and you’re getting upset. If you suddenly lose your temper and get upset and start to cry, it’s that you’re spitting the dummy. You could be doing this literally where you have a dummy in your mouth, and you have to spit that dummy out, spit it out of your mouth in order to cry. So, you’re literally spitting the dummy. But if you don’t have the dummy in your mouth, it’s figurative. You’re getting upset. You’re spitting the dummy. Okay? And if you do this quite often, your parents might consider you a dummy spitter, and they might ask, “What was the reason that he spat the dummy? What was the dummy spit over? What was the reason for it?”.
Example number two. Okay, imagine that you are a lawyer. You’re a woman working in a law firm. So, you’re vying for a new job. You want a new position at this law firm. There’s a promotion coming up or something like that, it’s available. But there’s only a single position and there’s many different lawyers going for this spot. They’re all competing. If you don’t get this promotion or this position, but you think that you easily were the best candidate and you should have definitely beat everyone else, you might get upset and you might get angry, and if you do this in a bit of a childish manner, you’ve spat the dummy. You’ve spat the dummy because you didn’t get the job. So, you’re acting like a bit of a child. Your boss might get annoyed. He might say, “I think you’re spitting the dummy a bit, you know? You’re getting upset. You’re being a bit childish. You’re spitting the dummy.”. He might say too, “There’s no need to spit the dummy. Don’t be a dummy spitter!”.
Alright example number three, guys. Imagine that you are a kid opening your presents on Christmas Day. So, it’s Chrissie and you’re opening your prezzies. Some good Aussie slang for you there, guys. ‘Chrissy’ and ‘prezzies’. And you’re really hoping for a new bike. So, you’re hoping that Santa has brought you a new bike. He’s wrapped it up in some paper, he’s put it under the Christmas tree, and you’re opening it on Christmas Day, but you find out it’s not a bike. So, you lose your temper, because you didn’t get what you wanted from Santa or from your parents. So, if you spit the dummy, your parents might say to you, “Don’t be so selfish. Don’t be ungrateful. Don’t overreact.”. They’ll say, “Don’t spit the dummy! You might get a bike for your birthday, but if he keeps spitting the dummy like this, you definitely won’t. And Santa doesn’t bring good gifts to kids who spit the dummy. (There’s) No reason to spit the dummy.”.
All right guys good job. So, by now, I hope you understand the expression ‘to spit the dummy’. It’s Australian slang, and remember that it means to behave in a bad-tempered or petulant way, so kind of childish, or suddenly losing your temper, alright? And remember that if you use this on someone it is somewhat infantilising, okay? It makes them seem like they’re being a child.
So, as usual, let’s go through the listen and repeat exercise, guys, and then we’ll go through the Aussie Fact. So, listen and repeat exercise guys is where you can practice your pronunciation. So, find somewhere quiet, away from everyone, and listen and repeat after me. Try and practice your Aussie English pronunciation. Okay, so listen and repeat. Let’s go.
Listen & Repeat:
To spit the
To spit the dummy x 5
Now let’s conjugate the phrase ‘to be going to spit the dummy’ through all the different pronouns, and focus on the pronunciation and connected speech that I use here, guys, okay? Let’s go!
I’m going to spit the dummy
You’re going to spit the dummy
He’s going to spit the dummy
She’s going to spit the dummy
We’re going to spit the dummy
They’re going to spit the dummy
It’s going to spit that dummy
Great job, guys. Well done. Remember that if you would like to learn how to use the connected speech and other aspects of pronunciation from today’s listen and repeat exercise, then sign up to the Aussie English Classroom. There’s some cool stuff happening with muted consonants and contractions of “going to” becoming “gonna”. So, if you enroll, you’ll see the video that I will create showing you step by step how to pronounce all of these things like a native, and each video at the moment is about 10 minutes long. So, they’re really, really helpful.
Anyway guys, the Aussie Fact for today. The Aussie Fact was about asylum seekers, which they were talking about in the intro scene to today’s episode. So, this is a bit of a contentious issue in Australia. There’s a lot of heated debate and discussion about this by politicians, by the public, in the media. And so, I thought it would be something cool to talk about to give you some insight into Australia, okay, and why we talk about these things.
So, what’s the difference between a refugee and an asylum seeker? Let’s start with that.
A refugee is a person who has been forced to leave their country in order to escape war persecution or natural disaster.
An asylum seeker is a refugee who is seeking asylum in another country, and in order to be successful, they have to show the reason they were forced from the country was due to reasons such as race, religion, nationality, or political opinions. So, this is according to the United Nations High Commission for Refugees.
Australia actually accepts and settles quite a few refugees. We’re in the top three countries in the world. The US accepted and settled about 100,000 last year, Canada’s accepted almost 50,000, and Australia was close to 30,000 people. So, on a per capita basis too, as a percentage of its small population, Australia actually settles more refugees than any other country in the world. That shocked me. I didn’t realise that when I was researching this.
So, refugees brought in by the government on its own terms, the support for them is second to none. They receive some of the best support in the world with regards to health care, counselling, education, and financial aid in Australia.
So, what’s the problem? Every year thousands of people try to enter Australia illegally, and many of these people do so via boat through places like Indonesia. The boats are often incredibly old or dodgy, and sometimes they’re only meant to make it one way in order to prevent being forced to travel back.
These people are smuggled. So, they’re smuggled by organised criminal gangs who make exorbitant amounts of money through the fees that they charge these poor refugees for their trip to places like Australia with no necessary promise of actually arriving here, let alone being able to stay here. This is known as human smuggling or human trafficking.
The Howard Government, which was the government in Australia in the mid-to-late 90s and early 2000s, had a strict set of border protection policies, which were dismantled by the following government, The Rudd Government, after they came to power in the early 2000s. As a result of this, 51,000 illegal maritime arrivals occurred, which included about 8,500 children, and out of this 51,000 people, about 1,200, so 1,200, died at sea, hundreds of which were children. So, there was about a 1 in 50 chance that you would die on the trip across the ocean in this time if you were an asylum seeker coming by boat.
So, due to the outcry from the public, when the Conservative Liberal government took power again in, I think, it was about 2013, they brought through some much stricter border protection policies, and this was called Operation Sovereign Borders. So, this included military ocean patrols that turn back any boat that is discovered coming to Australia in the ocean between, usually between Indonesia and Australia, as well as offshore processing for those who do arrive in Australia. And that means that even if they get here, their application for asylum is processed outside of Australia on small neighbouring islands including places like Christmas Island, Manus Island, and Nauru Island.
So, the idea with these policies was to stop people dying at sea, to stop people entering Australia illegally, and to sort of show that if you wanted to come to Australia you couldn’t jump the queue. You couldn’t be a queue jumper. You had to do so by legal means like all of the other refugees and immigrants coming to Australia. So, it was meant to show that you could not successfully get to Australia by boat, and even if you did get here, you would be processed offshore and settled in a country other than Australia. And the idea here too would be that families going through this process would pass the word on to other people in their home countries and eventually criminal gangs would stop having people to smuggle and it would all fall apart. Okay? So, that was the basic idea with how the current government has set up their border policies.
So, offshore processing, let’s chat a bit about that. This has been incredibly controversial as many people in these facilities, on offshore islands, have been there for years now. They don’t know when they’re going to leave, and they don’t know if or when they’re going to be accepted into a country. They’re living in slum-like conditions in foreign countries where the local people often don’t want them there, and they may experience racism, and they are also suffering from mental and physical health issues, and a lot of them have been self-harming. And the most disturbing part about this is the fact that a lot of children in these places as well and are self-harming.
So, that’s the controversy, guys. That’s the issue around asylum seekers in Australia. I don’t know what the answer is, but my thoughts are that I’m not opposed to immigration. Far from it. Obviously, I’m teaching English to foreigners hoping to come to Australia or who already live here. My family immigrated here from England. They weren’t here originally, obviously, we’re not aboriginals, but with the original group of colonisers who came to Australia, we were not in that group of people. But I think in order to be fair to those past immigrants who went through the legal process of immigration and coming to Australia, as well as those going through it now and those who will go through it in the future, Australia needs to be tough on queue jumpers, people trying to sneak in fast and jump over everyone else in the queue.
So, we also need to be able to control our borders too for the sake of security. We need to know who is coming into the country, why they’re coming in, and whether the reason for which they’re coming in is just.
However, I do agree that the current set up with the offshore processing is really screwed up and that, although, no lives are being lost at sea, at least reportedly by the government, it’s not the greatest set up, and offshore treatment of asylum seekers is incredibly cruel and brutal, and needs to be rethought.
Anyway guys, that’s enough for me to day, but I would love to know from you, what do you think about the asylum seeker issue in Australia? Is it too strict or is it appropriate? Let me know in a comment on the website or on Facebook.
And until next time, guys, I hope you have an amazing week. Chat soon. See ya!
Complete this episode as a course when you enroll in The Aussie English Classroom!
Each course is a comprehensive English lesson covering these areas:
Success! Now check your email to confirm your subscription.Post Views: 1,571