In this episode of Embarrassing English Errors Ep02 I teach you the subtle difference in pronunciation of the words ankle & uncle.
Download the full PDF transcript here.
Embarrassing English Errors Ep02 – Ankle & Uncle
G’day guys, and welcome to episode two of Embarrassing English Errors. Today I’m going to run you through the difference between the pronunciation of the words “ankle” and “uncle”. “Ankle” and “uncle”.
So, these are two different nouns, and obviously “ankle” is part of your foot, where your foot meets your leg. That’s your ankle. And “uncle” is one of your parents’ brothers. So, it could be your mother’s brother, it could be your father’s brother, and that person is called your uncle. And he will quite often be married to your aunt.
Anyway, so, obviously you can confuse these two nouns and if you’re talking about your “ankle”, the part of your foot, but you’re mispronouncing it “uncle” you’re going to confuse people. And if you’re talking about your “uncle” and aunt, but you’re pronouncing “uncle”, “ankle”, you’re going to also confuse a few people.
So, what are some other words that sound like “ankle”?
And what are some other words that sound like “uncle”?
So, let’s practice the pronunciation of “ang” vs “ung”, and I’ll repeat this five times.
Ang – Ung x 5
So, now we’ll go through some real and fake words to practice the pronunciation of these two vowel sounds after certain consonants. So, don’t worry too much about these words, more use them for a way of practicing these two different vowel sounds “ang” and “ung”.
Bang – Bung
Strangle – Strungle
Flangle – Flangle
Thrang – Thrung
Mangle – Mungle
Stang – Stung
Blang – Blung
Rang – Rung
Pang – Pung
Kang – Kung
And now we can just go over “ankle” and “uncle”, the two different words, ten times.
Ankle – Uncle x 10
So, that’s the difference between the two words “ankle” and “uncle” guys. I hope this episode has helped. Um… practice it multiple times if you need to keep practicing your pronunciation. And if you have any other words or sounds that you’re finding difficult to pronounce in Australian English or English in general then please let me know on Facebook. Send me a message or comment on something and I’ll do an episode on it as soon as I can.
Have a good one 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
Get the Premium PDF transcript here:
[sdm_download id=”2131″ fancy=”0″]
Pronunciation: Contracting WOULD onto NOUNS & NAMES
Alright, guys. Here we are in the next episode for contracting WOULD.
Hopefully you’ve been enjoying the series so far.
I would eat this,
I would go there,
I would be here.
So, in the case of contracting WOULD onto nouns whether they’re names or objects, things, WOULD just becomes “’D” and it sounds like “E-D”, like the past tense.
It sounds the same, that “ed” sound, “ed”. You bounce that “ed” sound, the “’D” when it’s written as contracted “ed” off the last syllable of the word onto which it’s contracted.
And the vowel sound in between the word and that “’d” isn’t really that important.
You could actually probably say any vowel that you want, it might sound a little weird, and this is where accents come into it.
But the most important thing is to have the “D” there.
So, for example:
PETE WOULD becomes PETE’D,
JANE WOULD becomes JANE’D,
SARAH WOULD becomes SARAH’D,
ALEX WOULD becomes ALEX’D.
So, you’ll hear there that if the words end with a consonant sound, like PETE, JANE and ALEX, like PETE, JANE, ALEX, you say an “ed” sound after those names for this contraction.
If the word ends in a vowel sound like SARAH you just say the “D”.
It’s almost like you’ve just turned that word into ending with a “D”.
So, instead of saying “SARAH’ED*” I say, “SARAH’D, SARAH’D.”
* ‘ED is only written hear to emphasise the sound I’m making.
Worst-case scenario guys, if you’re worried that someone’s not going to understand you if you do this sort of stuff, and this is what I do when I speak with people who don’t speak English as a native language and they get confused if I do some of these contractions, I just uncontract it.
So, if I said SARAH’D and the person looked at me a little strange and didn’t know what I was talking about I would just say SARAH WOULD.
So, don’t worry too much about confusing people.
Worst-case scenario you just repeat what you said without contracting things.
And again, this is why I like getting you guys to practice both the uncontracted and the contracted forms.
So, you’re thinking about both at the same time.
So, in today’s episode it’s going to be a little bit different because I’ve included the 10 most common male names and the 10 most common female names.
And in the following examples I’ve actually put them into sentences.
So, let’s practice two forms in this first exercise with the 10 most common male names.
And the form’s going to be NAME + WOULD LIKE TO + VERB as well as NAME + WOULD LOVE TO + VERB.
So, these are pretty much the same thing. WOULD LOVE TO and WOULD LIKE TO are just gradations of the same thing that you want to say.
WOULD LOVE TO is probably a little more intense than WOULD LIKE TO. So, WOULD LIKE TO is like, “Yeah, I’d be interested in that.”
And WOULD LOVE TO would be like “Oh my gosh! I am incredibly interested in doing that.”
So, for example.
“I’d like to each chocolate” is sort of like “eh… I could eat chocolate. I want to eat chocolate. Alright”.
But “I would LOVE to each chocolate” is like “I really really really want to each chocolate!”.
So, there’s just that basic idea of a more increased desire to do something when you say WOULD LOVE TO than WOULD LIKE TO.
Anyway, let’s just get straight into it guys.
Here are the ten most common names in America.
Substitution Exercise 1:
10 most common male names:
- Noah would like to go home.
- Liam would love to eat more.
- Mason would like to play.
- Ethan would like to learn guitar.
- Lucas would love to go to sleep.
- Oliver would like to go surfing.
- Aiden would love to leave the party.
- Elijah would like to hang out with us.
- Benjamin would love to see you again.
- James would like to know more.
So, now we’ll go through 10 of the most common female names, guys.
And this time we’re going to practice a different set of structures or forms, where we’re going to practice WOULD RATHER + VERB, and we’re also going to practice WOULD PREFER TO + VERB.
So, WOULD RATHER + VERB, and note WOULD RATHER + VERB, there’s no TO.
You don’t say WOULD RATHER TO + VERB.
No, no, no, no, no.
It’s just WOULD RATHER + the VERB in the infinitive form.
Would rather go.
Would rather be.
Would rather see.
Whereas, if you’re saying WOULD PREFER TO + VERB you have to say PREFER TO.
(Would) Prefer to go.
(Would) Prefer to see.
(Would) Prefer to be.
So, WOULD RATHER and WOULD PREFER TO are synonyms.
They mean exactly the same thing and can be used interchangeably.
So, let’s go guys.
Here are the 10 most common females names, and we’re going to be saying sentences where I want you to contract WOULD onto the names, and we’re also going to be practicing WOULD PREFER TO and WOULD RATHER.
Substitution Exercise 2:
10 most common female names:
- Emma would prefer to drink orange juice.
- Olivia would rather play with her dolls.
- Ava would prefer to go outside.
- Sophia would rather be with her parents.
- Mia would prefer to watch TV.
- Isabella would rather stay up late tonight.
- Charlotte would prefer to go to the zoo.
- Amelia would rather play in the playground.
- Harper would prefer to sleep in this morning.
- Abigail would rather go surfing.
So, practice those a few times guys and hopefully you learn well those different sentences, the different ways of being able to say WOULD LIKE TO or WOULD LOVE TO in that first example with the 10 most common boys names. And then also the different ways of saying WOULD RATHER or WOULD PREFER TO.
So, hopefully you guys are enjoying that.
And just to end here guys I’ve got 10 of the most common English nouns where we can do another substitution exercise this time just focusing on contracting WOULD onto the different nouns.
So, this is going to be a simple one guys, and you can focus solely on the contraction of WOULD into ‘D.
So, listen and repeat after me. If you want to make it a little easier or treat it as a substitution exercise if you guys want to make things harder.
Substitution Exercise 3:
10 most common English nouns:
- The time would go so slowly.
- The year would be over soon.
- The people would get angry.
- The way would never be easy.
- The day would feel pretty long.
- The man would never know.
- The thing would look better here.
- The woman would scream at you.
- The world would never accept this.
- The child would be hungry.
So, there you go guys.
I hope it’s not getting too long and frustrating learning these things. Just keep practicing.
Don’t worry too much about perfecting it.
It’s ok if you get things wrong from time to time.
We all make mistakes and even native speakers make these kinds of errors too from time to time.
The only thing you guys should be worried about is improvement.
If you make 10 mistakes today but tomorrow you make 9 mistakes you’ve improved.
So, don’t worry too much.
Just keep practicing and you are only going to get better.
See you in the next episode guys.
Additional exercises + tips in the PDF of this transcript:
[sdm_download id=”2131″ fancy=”0″]
Check out all the other recent Pronunciation episodes below!
Success! Now check your email to confirm your subscription.Post Views: 1,066
By pete — 9 months ago
Learn Australian English in this interview episode of The Aussie English Podcast I chat with Rhys Linnett about how he became a karate world champion and is now traveling the world.
AE 427 – Interview: Becoming a Karate Champion & Traveling the World with Rhys Linnett
G’day, you mob. How’s it going? Welcome to this episode of Aussie English. Today is another interview episode, and I’m looking forward to bringing you this one, because it is another interview, or it is the end of the previous interview, that I did with my cousin Rhys Linnett. So, I hope you enjoyed that interview with him. Make sure that you go and check that interview out episode of 412 – Interview: Life Working as a Brickie in Australia with Rhys Linnett. So, in that interview, we talked a lot about working as a tradie in Australia, what kinds of expectations you should have, work life on the trade sites with other guys in Australia in particular, you know, workplace bullying, what’s okay, what’s not okay. So, that was a really good interview, and then after that interview, he and I spoke a bit about his career as a karate fighter, a karate champion. So, Rhys has actually traveled the world quite a bit, more when he was younger, competing as a professional karate fighter, and he now teaches in Dubai. So, he has scored a job recently. He got sponsored, sent to Dubai, and hired to teach karate there full-time.
So, this one has a lot of vocab related to fighting and injuries and travel. So, I really think you’re going to enjoy this episode, guys.
And don’t forget if you want the bonus content to this episode, if you want to practice this interview episode, work on your listening comprehension, as well as learn all the more complicated vocab from a 5 to 10-minute snippet from this episode, make sure that you sign up to the Aussie English Classroom. Remember currently, it’s just one dollar for your first month whilst you get used to it, whilst you give it a go, guys. That is an amazing offer as most other memberships of this kind charge you the full fee straight out. So, I really want you guys to take advantage of that one dollar for the first month as it currently is. So, get over there to TheAussieEnglishClassroom.com. Sign up, give it a go, and start improving your English, and you will instantly get access too to all the previous episodes of interviews with all of the bonus content for those. So, if you want to work on Aussie accents. This is where you can. And you’ll also get everything else in there related to the podcast and the YouTube channel.
Anyway guys, let’s get in to today’s episode with Rhys talking about karate. Let’s go.
Awesome, awesome, man. We should just quickly switch onto Karate, I guess. So, Rhys, can you tell me how on earth did you end up as a black belt in karate world champion, who is about to move to Dubai for, potentially, two years being a sensei over there? In your own dojo, is it? So, just give me the story and talk to me about what’s about to happen.
So, I’ve got this job in Dubai teaching kids that like after school care, so basically is for a lot of expats that are working long hours and, you know, their kids are over there, you know, doing school and they just don’t have, you know… they’re going to put them into daycare, they want them to get something out whether it be sort of soccer, swimming, just general sports or for my aspect Karate. So we’re going over there doing that and then with the opportunity to open up my own club within the company that I’m working for.
I got the job through a mate of mine that I met travelling overseas and competing from England and I just sort of put my name down and, you know, I had to go through all these interview processes and I actually didn’t think it was going to get the job and then, yeah, eventually, you know, three, four weeks ago, I found out I got the job. So, that’s just sort of fell in my lap a little bit, and it was just sort of fortunate that my mate was… obviously had the job there because it made it a lot easier, ’cause I’m quite good friends with him so, you know, he probably would have put in a good word for me, I’m assuming. I mean I suppose starting karate was probably from getting bullied at school. My mum was just, you know, sort of fed up with me coming home and, you know, kids generally are cruel to each other. So, having some sort of escape and somewhere that you feel confident within yourself, I suppose, is, you know, is quite good, and karate, I think every kid in their life and at least tries karate, you know, it’s one of those things that I think it’s like a… especially in any of the Westernised country where it’s such a big thing, you know what I mean? And all the movies that you see and stuff like, everyone wants to sort of try it. So, I think it was bound for me to try it eventually, and, yeah, I just fell in love with it when I started, started competing, got really into it, was training like every day. I started doing, you know, Vic State Championships, started doing well in them, started doing national championships, started doing well at them, then started going overseas, starting doing well in them, and then basically, yeah, just progression, and just working really hard for, you know, for big tournaments and just doing lots of preparation and, yeah, end up going to big tournaments and doing pretty well. So, it’s been a long process. It didn’t just happen overnight. I mean, I’ve been doing Karate for nearly 13 years now, and it would have been probably four years were like the golden years for me, like, where I was winning lots of tournaments, going overseas, travelling for karate, going… you know, several different tournaments overseas and missing school and stuff like that. So, it was always really awesome for me, you know, being 15, going overseas, training with people and competing, and while my friends were at school, like, you know, doing exams and stuff like that and I would just get sort of pardoned for it and didn’t have to do them. So, it was always really cool for that aspect.
But, yeah, it just sort of… it sort of just, yeah, from bullying, I suppose, yeah, I just got involved in that, and it did really make me so much more confident in myself, and dealing with bullies in not just a physical way. You know, a lot of people think we learn karate to defend yourself and physically, you know, block a punch and punch someone back, but it’s more… I wouldn’t ever try to fight somebody with my hands and stuff like that, I fight them by, you know, I calm the situation down walk away, because, I mean, I’ve been injured so many times and, you know, this is a big thing in Australia remember this this ‘one punch’, you know, people can die, and it’s just… it’s not worth it, you know, to me. I do fighting for sport. I don’t need to do it when if I’m out at a bar with my friends, you know?
So, what is the one punch thing exactly? Can you talk about that?
So, it’s basically a king hit where they punch someone from behind at the back of the head, and generally what happens is when you get knocked out, your brain hits your skull and then, after that, when you get hit again, so your head hitting the ground, is really, really bad for your brain. And a lot of people will wake up, feel fine, go to sleep, and never wake up again.
And it’s been a big thing they’ve cracked down… and I know in Sydney it’s really a big thing they’ve cracked down on. That… you know, they’re really trying to get that one punch out of, you know… for people doing it, and they’re really trying to crack down on people doing it. I know if you… if anybody’s a boxing fan, if they see the boxer from Australia, Danny Green he’s a big supporter of (getting rid of) the one punch, where they’re really trying to eradicate it, and he speaks a lot about it after his fights and previously before his fights about it.
So, why do you think that is so common in like Australian, I guess, pub culture with guys in their say 20s, probably? It’s become sort of… not necessarily popular, but like a common thing that people seem to be punching strangers or getting into fights purposefully, but then, yeah, hitting someone once, them hitting the ground, hitting concrete, and then dying.
I think it’s because as well the drinking culture in Australia, and especially with younger men, I mean, I’m sure I’ve done it several times. Your eyes are a lot bigger than your stomach. You think you drink a lot more than you can. You drink way too much and, you know, somebody says something that’s probably… it’s probably not even that insulting to you at all. It’s probably just something that they’ve, you know, he said and you’ve just taken to the complete wrong context, let it sort of go, it’s stewed in your head, and then you just go up and try and hit him. I know for me and all my friends, you know, I’ve spoken to a lot of the times, because I have been knocked out cold, and I’ve told them about how dangerous it is when you get knocked out and you hit your head again.
Was that in one of these instances or was that only in competing?
Sorry, from competing, not in a bar or anything else like that. From competing. And it just basically my coach telling me that, you know, if you’re ever in a tournament and you do knock somebody out that you really want to try to make sure you catch them before they hit the ground, because it’s not the knockout that is bad for you, it’s when you hit your head again.
Enjoying Aussie English?
Support AE on Patreon today so I can bring you even better content!
But the trouble is, I think too, people don’t realise and I’ve learnt this from being surrounded by MMA (Mixed Martial Arts) fighters, you probably have two or three of those that you can experience in your life before you have significant brain damage. One of them can potentially lead to noticeable brain damage, but if you get knocked out cold three times, I think like in the UFC some of those guys… they won’t, like, let them fight again or they’ll tell them, you know, if you keep doing this, you’re going to end up with some significant mental issues.
Yeah, exactly. I mean, I know it’s, it’s… I mean, there’s so many studies they do with NFL (National Football League) players, they do with MMA fighters, you know, kickboxers, Muay Thai fighters, Karate full contact fighters, you know, like, I’m sure rugby players in Australia, in other countries… they’ve done so many studies about it and the effects it does. You know, I know heaps of people, like, I’ve got a kick boxing coach, I’ve known him for ages, and then sometimes he forgets my name. You know, and I know him quite well, and he’s really punch-drunk all the time. Like, he’s such a great guy, but he just sounds really dopey when you talk to him and it’s because he’s been hit in the head too many times, he’s been knocked out too many times.
Yeah. So, what’s punch drunk for those who don’t know that term or expression means?
So, punch-drunk is basically when it’s… you’ve been hit in the head too many times from other like a contact sport, whether it be, you know, martial arts or footy or NFL or rugby, and basically you just sort of speak with a bit of a slurred, sometimes a big characteristic or you forget things like, just really basic things, you know, like people’s names is a big one that you’ve just met. You know, you might have just met them and then 5 minutes later you can’t remember their name. You know? Or, yeah, slurring your words, forgetting things, like, you know, we forget just really basic things, like, you know, you’ll go to… you’ll go out for dinner and you forget your wallet. Things like that. It just basically means that, you know, you run a bit slower than normal… the normal person at your age, I suppose.
So, what was it like worrying about this kind of stuff when you were fighting? Was it ever in your head, “Okay, like, I’m fighting, but I need to make sure I don’t have to get knocked out”, or is it something you don’t really think about?
I don’t think you really think about it at the time. It’s sort of like… I suppose if you ask any surfer if they think about sharks when they’re surfing, you know? It’s something you just don’t really think about. I think that people who… for example, my mom, I know she would think about it a lot, just because she kind of sees it from a distance. She kind of looks at the bigger picture, whereas I look at the… I want to fight, I want to do well, I want to, you know, get a good a… I suppose like ranking, you know, in the world, I want to be a world champion. You sort of push all the other stuff to the side. Same, you know, surfers or mountain bikers or skateboards, stuff like that, you don’t really ever think about crashing and hurting yourself. You sort of think about the positive side of things.
I think, I suppose, as I got sort of older and started to compete less then I started to think about it more… and more, just as well, especially, you know, for a long term, wanting to get a wife and kids and stuff like that, I don’t want to sort of… don’t want my face to be all… you know, mangled, and have cuts all over it, and stuff like that just ’cause it’s a little…you know, pretty and stuff like that, you want to still have a…
For context, Rhys is actually also a model.
So, for those things, I mean, my coach used to always say to me, he’s like, “Mate, you know, if you want to get a good-looking girlfriend, you’ve got to protect yourself”, you know? “If you don’t want a good looking girlfriend, you know, you can have your nose splattered all over your face, it’s up to you”, but you know, he said, “For me, I want to have be good looking wife, I don’t know about, if you don’t care, that’s up to you, but yeah, it’s basically just protect yourself. I definitely think they want you to stop competing, you start to think about it more, and I know, whenever I teach, I always encourage, saying that, you know, it’s not always about the attack and like the countering, it is basically about protecting yourself first, especially for karate, you know, the first thing… Nobody goes to Karate and… asking, “I want to hurt people”. They go there and they want to defend themselves, and that’s the biggest starting, that’s the first thing you learn in karate is that it’s about defense.
Have you ever met any people like that coming to the dojo and say, “I’m here because I want to learn to hurt people?”.
You do meet them and generally what happens is that within a safe environment that the bigger people, the better people… It happens a lot in kickboxing, in Muay Thai, and I suppose it’d happen in jujitsu as well.
And basically, the people who are good, they smash you. They don’t hurt you, they just… they just show you that, you know, that attitude doesn’t go down well in those environments, and it doesn’t go down in any martial arts that I’ve ever met, doesn’t matter what sort of martial arts you do. If someone comes in like that, usually the people who are the big hitters, who are generally the people who are the best to train with, because they’re more helpful and they don’t… they don’t go… I just came from a seminar where I’m a lot better than anybody else, but I don’t go around pushing my weight around just beating people up because I can, I go around and I help them. So, I let them, you know, I let them throw attacks at me, you know let them go through, because it gives them confidence. If I just went and smashed everybody, well… everyone’s going to go back and I don’t want to do Karate anymore, you know what I mean?
Yeah and that’s the funny thing in jujitsu whenever you have those kinds of people who show up and say that or you get that kind of vibe from them when they’re on the mat, you can pretty much be sure they’re either going to change rapidly and lose that kind of attitude or they’re going to leave because they can’t handle being beaten by say a girl half their size, who’s been training for eight years, and could potentially kill them if they wanted to. So, it is funny how that kind of… those environments get rid of those kinds of people or change them for the better. But do you want to talk about what it’s like training for championships and where that’s taken you overseas?
So, training for championships is quite hard. It’s… I mean, I always did it when I was a bit younger, so it wasn’t too bad, but it’s always hard on your family.
What age did you start at?
I started competing when I was probably 13 and I competed up until I was about 21, and it’s just… it’s quite hard for everybody involved. So, especially… well, mainly for my parents and even my brother as well, is that sort of everybody becomes part of the competition. So, everybody is… you might be the one fighting and standing in the ring, but everyone sort of takes a toll. So, you know, my parents had to drive me to trainings on Saturdays and Sundays and Friday nights and Thursday nights, you know, or every night. So, they had to take time out of their day to do that. If I get injured, my mum has to take a day off work to look after me or take me to the hospital. If… you know, there’s a big tournament and my parents and I go and watch, my brother basically he, you know, loses time with my parents and with the family or, you know, he might not be able to go somewhere if he wasn’t old enough to drive or something like that. So, sort of everybody gets affected. For the really big ones it’s… it’s quite hard to switch off. You, generally, after the tournament, you kind of don’t know what to do with yourself because it just becomes your life where, you know, for me, for senior fights, you know, I have to be dieting, you know? Being under 60 kilos, you know, you can’t eat bread for four months, because the carbs in it, you know, it’s just too much. You can only eat pasta, you know, one meal per day, you know, for two months, and in the last month you can’t eat pasta at all. You have to be training every day. So, when you go to work, you need to make sure you don’t get hurt. You know, you don’t get the injuries. If you get cuts, you need to make sure you treat them well, you don’t get infected. You need to make sure that all your, you know, your iron, you’re eating the right food, vitamins are on point, you know, whether you have to take a multivitamin or eat more vegetables. Make sure you don’t get sick. There’s so many factors that you have to consider. And then, also, it’s about getting overseas and going over there. So, whether it be…we’re in Australia and I’m going to England or you got to think about jet-lag, so you need to make sure you sleep on the flight. Whether that being, you know, you make sure you don’t have any energy drinks or any, you know, caffeine or anything before your flight, so you sleep. Getting prepared with all, you know, your equipment and you need to make sure your equipment’s right, need to make sure you’ve packed everything. You know, there are so many… so many factors, and it’s just after that’s really hard to switch off. Generally, that’s why people go to tournaments and they will train for three years non-stop. So, you know, they might have a week off after a really big tournament just to sort of relax, but then you’re back straight into it, ’cause you don’t know what to do with yourself. It becomes your life. And it becomes, especially when you’re younger, and you’re under the age of 18, you can’t drive yourself to training and stuff like that, becomes everyone’s life where it’s kind of revolved around you.
So, would you go back and do it again exactly the same way if you could’ve?
I think that, yeah, I would. I’d probably, if anything, I would have started it earlier, because I started when I was 11 and a lot of my friends started and they were like five or six, and it kind of gave them a bit more experience in just the workings of tournaments and the lifestyle a bit. If I wanted to… and I think I would’ve done a lot better when I was older. So, when I was, you know, in my 20s and stuff like that I would have done a bit better, got better results and stuff like that from just the more experience in it.
I think I probably would have lived overseas. I would have done… ’cause I lived overseas after I stopped competing for a year, but I think I would have done it earlier, and I would have lived over there whilst I was competing, just because it’s more access to tournaments. In Australia, we’re very isolated with our competition, and I suppose it’s for any sort of martial arts is where you need to be getting in rounds with different people and fights that you noticed that our boxes our kickboxers our MMA fighters, you know, our jujitsu fighters and stuff, they’re up there, but there’s only a select few. You know, there wouldn’t be any more than 20 world ranked highly (successful) fighters, whether it be in any sort of martial arts, I believe, in the world, as opposed to if you go to, you know, the States or, you know, Europe, there’s just so many more fighters, or Asia, or, you know, anywhere like that, or you know South America, where there’s so much more, because there’s so many more opportunities to do fights. So, it’s… for a fighter’s perspective you really need to be living over where there’s this possibility you can fight for karate. There’s, you know, in Europe there’s tournaments every weekend. In Australia there’s probably seven really good tournaments to go to per year.
Enjoying this episode?
Get the bonus content for this episode with quizzes and vocab breakdown!
And you can go to seven within four weeks over Europe.
So, you would say it’s actually surprisingly expensive as a sport then, right? As a result of that.
The best… It’s exactly that, it’s a lot more for personal growth rather than financial growth. The most money I’ve ever won from a tournament was 2 thousand dollars and it cost me 8 thousand dollars to get there, just the flight. Not including any of the training leading up, none of the tournament leading up to that. Any of the, you know… you know, new gears that I might need to get or the karate equipment or mouth guards or you know, injuries, you know for days off work that I had to have. That’s just what it cost me to fly over there and my accommodation and I’ve got 2000 back from it.
So, that’s the most money I’ve ever won and, you know, it barely even covered… not even halfway there what it cost me to go there.
So, to be fair that having that experience has led to you getting this job now where you’re ending up in Dubai on a pretty sizable pay check for a few years. So, it has been worth it I take it.
Yeah it has and I think that that’s just from perseverance where I’ve… I never trained it for the money. I mean, like a lot of people will say, you know, we hear people saying that like “Oh, MMA, you know, I’ll never do it for the money”, or, you know, whoever it might be, “I’ll never do it for money”, but when you getting like four, five million dollars per fight… pretty sure you’re doing it for half of the money, you know what I mean? I mean, it’s not all just for personal growth. Where for us you don’t get any money at all, it is just for personal growth and I was aiming for… I had a goal that I was aiming for. I might not have gotten, but the journey between it had led me into different things, getting really good friends with people, you know, when I went to England one of the times I had free accommodation for a month, just from meeting somebody that I competed with and they would said, “No, if you’re coming over, you know, you’re more than happy to stay there”. So, you know, it’s not just personal growth for fighting, but also just for your life as well. And also, it’s landed me this job in Dubai to teach there. And, you know, who knows what other doors may open and just from going there from that? So, it’s not just the competing side, it obviously’s opened up many pathways for me to… you know, whether be coaching or whether it be opening my own club or whether it be coaching for specific teams or, you know, just for fighting or whoever knows what it might be. I mean, I’ve just finished doing some seminars on the weekends and stuff like that, you know, it’s a nice little pay check for the weekend for me, and it’s… I wouldn’t have had those opportunities if I didn’t do all the training I did. And, you know, people pay me to go to teach them stuff that I’ve had to pay to learn, and then eventually I’m sort of, you know, I’m roughly getting that money back. So, it sort of does level itself out.
I guess, bringing it back to the listeners, if they potentially are moving to Australia or have just gotten here and they either do karate or already or want to take it up or maybe their kids do karate already or the kids want to take it up, what kind of advice would you have for them on where to train and what style to try to take up?
Well if you’re… definitely, If you’re going to any one of the states, if you… basically, if you’re type into Google, especially if you’re in Australia, the AKF (Australian Karate Federation), and then whatever state you’re living whether it be Victoria, NSW, Queensland, W.A. or Northern Territory, Tasmania, Canberra… if you go through the AKF, they’ll have people you can talk to from each state, I’m pretty sure from each state, that you can call and you can ask them and they can recommend different dojo’s to go to. So, if you practice Shotokan, Goju, Shotojuku, I mean, there are so many styles. You can either aim to go to your style, and they’ll have, you know, a few different clubs that are registered through the AKF that you can go to, and then they can, you know, you can just work out whichever is closest to you or maybe you recognise someone’s name from somewhere or a style, you can go to that one. They’ll be able to put you in the best direction. So, that’s probably the best bet to go, especially more for karate. But apart from that, I would assume that most organisations whether, you know, Jujitsu, Kickboxing, Muay Thai, Judo… there’s going to be an Australian Federation for it that you can, you know, phone up, talk to somebody, and they’ll be able to point you in… and maybe not in the exact direction, but in the right direction to go to, to get somewhere to be able to train.
Ah, awesome, and the things that they need to look out for if they do end up at a club, like…just, I guess, obvious things that are good or bad?
I think… it’s… I think if you do practice it, you’re going to get to pick it straight away. I wouldn’t say there’s anything like very obvious to look for, but if you’re new and you want to start training somewhere, I would say, especially for karate, if you can find somewhere through the AKF, they’re generally quite good. I’m not saying that other karate dojos aren’t, it’s just that from my personal knowledge that I know that people who compete in the AKF and are registered through them. It’s actually really expensive and quite hard. You have to have a specific coaching accreditation. You have to be at least a third dan that is recognised by the AKF and the WKF (World Karate Federation). You know, they’re… you have to have all, you know, obviously all of your paperwork business that need to be registered, insurances, things like that, just to be registered through the AKF. So, you’re sort of ticking off not only the training boxes, but also sort of the leagues side of things as well. So, you don’t have to worry so much about, you know, someone stealing your money or something like that for fees and things like that, ’cause it’s… you know, if they’re within that AKF, they’re probably to be caught out before you even start training with them.
So, I think that if you’re doing… if you want to do any martial arts, just if anything, if you find somewhere, just Google them or call up a, you know, a federation and ask them do they know, have you heard these people? or this this club? And just sort of, yeah, just do you research a bit before you start signing up for anything straightaway.
Brilliant. And before we finish up, what’s the worst injury you’ve ever had, and how did that happen?
There’s been a few, probably I think the worst for a longevity was I broke or my fractured both my feet in one tournament, and I didn’t know at the time, because I did one twice. So, I went to kick someone in the body and they blocked it with putting their arm down and hit their elbow. So, it was my right foot first and I thought, “Oh, well I’m just not going to kick with my right foot anymore”. I thought it was just… it’s happened to me before where it’s just been swollen, but I didn’t realise at the time it was fractured. And so, I kicked my other foot in another division and I did the same thing with my left foot. So, I thought, you know, “Oh, my left foot is really bad now” so, I thought… I’m right footed. I thought it was more natural. I thought I’d probably be bale to get it in, and it happened a third time, and I ended up winning one of the division and coming second in the other one.
And then, afterwards, I thought everything was okay, just my feet were a little bit sore, and then I couldn’t walk. So, I had to have my friend carrying me to her car, drove home, got home, it was just getting progressively worse. So, I went to the hospital and they basically said that the X-rays look like my bones and my feet were more like spider webs. So, they had cracks all between my feet. So, they said that they… it wasn’t bad enough, there was no significant actual cracks between the bones, so they couldn’t cast it. So, they had to just, basically, bandage them up and I had to pretty much get a wheelchair back to the car, and then I couldn’t walk around for about a week. So, I had to sit in bed, and that was probably the worst time, because I couldn’t get a cast on it. They were always, you know, I mean, you never think about how often you bump your feet, but, you know, you drop an empty water bottle, and then if you’ve got fractures, you know, it’s like dropping a brick on your feet. So, that was probably the worst one just because you’re always… you know, you can’t walk anywhere, you can’t really do anything, so, especially sitting in… sitting in your bed for a week, and this was before Netflix.
That’s the worst! I guess, the last question karate or bricklaying? Are you going to pick one of them over the other or do you think they both have a spot in your life in the future?
I think, I’m probably leaning more towards karate, because bricklaying for me… I enjoy doing it and I’ll still, like, when I get my own place, if I need to fix things, I’ll still obviously do it then. You know, I’ve got friends, family friends, someone that need something small fixed or I just need something done on the cheap, I’m more than happy to do it then. I always keep a couple of tools lying around for doing it. But for me karate’s just I think it’s become more of my life. I’ve done a fair bit longer and I think it’s just more for me… I can, you know, I can do it for longer. You know, you can always see things on YouTube. There’s this 96-year-old Japanese dude who’s, you know, breaking bricks with his head or something like that, and you’re just like, how’s he still be able to do that at that age?
There’s no 96-year-old or no 93-year-old bricklayers doing the same sort of equivalent in bricklaying.
No, no, exactly. So, you know, as a brickie, you’re basically… once you get to like 60, you’re pretty much… you’ve have had it. So, you know, you hear people… about being able to train, and things as well it’s… you know, you don’t always have to do the technique and do the movements. You can teach a lot of time by explaining things and, you know, especially when you get quite good and you know basically all the techniques and all the drills and all the, you know, the katas and whatever it might be inside out. You can do a lot of the teaching by explaining it and it just conversing in knowledge, rather than actually demonstrating something. So, I think for me it’s for the longevity I’ll be able to do it for longer and still make reasonable money over it and yeah.
Brilliant, dude! Well, thank you so much for your time, I really appreciate it, man. And if people want to find out more about you, do you have an Instagram or anything they can follow?
Yeah, there’s nothing really about my karate that’s on there, but I will be starting a bit more of it when I’m in Dubai, because it’s going to be more for my teaching, not so much somebody else’s. So, I’ve always taught for somebody else. Whereas this one is going to be more for me. So, yeah, we just…it’s RhysEdward and with an L at the end. (@RhysEdwardL)
And, yeah, I’ll attach that at the bottom. But, cheers, dude! Thank you so much.
No worries, man. Thank you!
Alright, guys. So, that was it. Thank you, big thank you to my cousin Rhys Linnett for coming on the podcast once again to chat to us about fighting, about karate, about how he got into that sport, travelling the world, and everything else in there.
I hope you guys enjoyed it. And let me know what you think in a comment whether it’s on the podcast website, whether it’s on Facebook. Have you ever done karate? Or have you done any other martial arts? And what was your experience like? How did you do them? How did you get into them? How did you start them?
Aside from that guys remember, if you would like to study this interview in more depth, if you would like to learn quickly how to better understand Australians when they speak with their various different accents, some strong, some not so strong, make sure that you enroll in the Aussie English Classroom. It’s one dollar for the first month, guys. And don’t forget too guys, I have a Patreon page. So, if you would like to support the Aussie English Podcast, if you would like to support what I do teaching people English, then you can sign up there. You can pledge as little as one dollar per month to support me and the Aussie English Podcast.
And this podcast is 100 percent funded by you guys. There’s no ads on it. There’s just you guys either buying the materials that I sell or donating via websites like Patreon. Anyway, you mob, I hope you have an amazing week and I would chat to you soon. See ya!
Enjoying this episode?
Get the bonus content for this episode with quizzes and vocab breakdown!
Success! Now check your email to confirm your subscription.Post Views: 986
By pete — 6 months ago
AE 472 – Interview: Learning Languages, Slang, & Pronunciation with Pronunciation with Emma
G’day, you mob! Welcome to this episode of Aussie English today. I have a great episode with Emma, Emma Walker, from pronunciation with Emma. So, I sat down and had a bit of a chat to her over Skype recently about what it was like going through university and studying linguistics, and Emma as a pronunciation coach.
But, I think you’re really going to like this chat, guys. We talk all about pronunciation, about learning foreign languages like Portuguese and Spanish and our personal experiences, especially, with regards to learning the pronunciation of these languages.
She’s got an interesting accent because she comes from a certain area in Britain. So, it’ll be interesting to see if you guys notice where that accent is from. And it’s also obviously good practice for your ears just to get used to different accents.
And we also have a bit of a chat about different slang, especially slang in Britain, and a few… I think, a term she used that I had never heard in my life. So, that was interesting.
Anyway guys, let’s get into it. Emma Walker from Pronunciation with Emma.
G’day, guys. Welcome to this episode of Aussie English. Today I have Emma Walker and I don’t know what to… I know on yours Instagram is pronunciation with Emma, but is that your specific business name or how does it work? Because I know you’ve got a different web site, right? That’s Emma Walker instead of Pronunciation with Emma. So, can you just tell me about your whole business. How does it work and how did you get it?
So, my website is also Pronunciation with Emma, so I don’t know if there’s another teacher Emma Walker around.
Sorry! my bad, my bad alright, so it’s only Pronunciation with Emma, got you.
Yeah…Someone was trying to copy me. So yeah, I focused more on pronunciation but it kind of it hasn’t always been that way. I studied English language and linguistics at university and I absolutely loved my pronunciation and phonetics, some phonology modules. I was really interested in those…
And what did they cover exactly for those who aren’t linguistically inclined? What were those sorts of modules covering in the English language and pronunciation?
Yeah, I still remember like, the first kind of introductory modules they were based on just learning the IPA. So I still remember this PHD student who used to do the seminars with us and she used to sit at the front of the class, just basically trying to replicate, trying to replicate some of the sounds and we would copy her and we would be sitting with little mirrors, trying to mimic exactly what she was… what she was saying and it’s was just so funny.
Did you have to learn all of the different sounds in the IP. Like everything the human vocal tract is capable of or…?
Everything, everything. The first one was just knowing the British phonemic charts which was easy. At that time, I had a very strong Yorkshire accent because I’m originally from York which is in Yorkshire, which is in the north of England.
I was going to ask you, is like, is it, it’s not Scottish. I know that’s not Scottish. I can’t tell.
No, it’s… yeah it is quite a few hours from Scotland still, there’s, you know, still a few miles in between Yorkshire and Scotland, but…
So, if we were to break this down in Game of Thrones, if your accent was placed on the map where would you be in Game of Thrones? Because I know that the accent gets stronger the further north you get, right?
Yeah it would be the north. Yeah it is interesting, cause the northern characters actually have northern accent.
Yeah exactly. So, you’d be a wildling?
What? Yeah! What’s her name? Oh. Ygritte.
Yeah, with Jon Snow, got you.
Yeah, like that kind of accent, that’s my original accent. But it’s funny because that’s not the actress’s original accent.
Ah, so she had to learn it.
Yeah, the same with Jon Snow or Jon Snow.
Yeah, Snow, you know nothing.
You know nothing Jon Snow. It is just so funny. But I had to change my accent a little bit because no one was understanding me.
Where was the University? Was that further south or…?
No, so I studied in York as well. I studied it at one of the universities in York and it wasn’t until I went to Spain when I started noticing that people were not understanding me because of my accent. So, I worked as a language assistant and I basically only took the modules as a language assistant because I didn’t want to do an exam. That was the only reason. So it was literally like, okay Emma, this is the list of classes, choose what you want. And I thought, oh my god I don’t want to do any exams, like, what could I do? So, I saw that I could take a module being a language assistant in a secondary school. And I thought, okay easy. No.
What did you have to do? What did it cover, like, when you were doing that class?
So, I was teaching teenagers and, which is really hard when you first start, because…
Even in your own language, right?
Yeah, yeah it was so hard, but luckily the kids they were so nice so like, strangely nice. So, it was like, what are you planning? So, they were so friendly and so curious, like, I still remember, like, my first few days working that, they would come up to me like touching me like your skin and it is so white, your eyes are so blue, you hair. So, people who can’t see me, I have blond hair, blue eyes and super white pale skin.
She is touched by fire. Right?
So, they were like, Oh my goodness, your legs, they are so white, because it was just the first few weeks that I had been in Spain. So, of course, my English body had never seen the sun and yeah, they were so shocked. And I remember, in a lesson, I mentioned the word pub. And I said, yeah okay, so it’s quite typical for people to go to a pub in the evenings. And there were like, teacher, like, what?? Pub. What is “pub”, teacher?
What is the typical think that you have to do to win when teaching English overseas? because you don’t want to end up teaching them a really specific accent, right? where they’re going to learn the Yorkshire pronunciation and then go anywhere in the world and people are going to be like, what??
Yeah. Yeah exactly, exactly. That’s what I didn’t want, I didn’t want a generation of learners to go around saying pub, we are off to the pub. And you know, honestly, I did it for them.
So how quickly did you have to adapt and change your accent and was it an easy process or…?
Yeah…so it took me maybe a few weeks and, luckily, I was living with a girl who had a very, very posh accent at the time, so I was able just to mimic her and this is the technique that I teach to my students, is to mimic and for those who don’t know what mimicking is, it’s basically when you’re copying someone. So, I would just listen to my flat mate I would, of course like, listen to BBC radio and I started to realise not only were the sounds different, but the intonation was different.
I think that’s the quickest way to clue in to get used to the intonation too, it’s kind of like, you have to fake it until you make it, You’ve got to keep pretending acting out, pretending like you’re in a movie or something and saying these lines with the same intonation even if it sounds strange, because that’s put up with me in Portuguese when I first started learning and I remember hearing them saying like I’d be like, trying to say the word as well or too, “também”, and they would always be like “também”, with this like inflexion going up and I’d be like that sounds so freakin’ weird, “também”, like and I just had to spend ages practicing that kind of intonation so that when I speak I say it more naturally like that, which sounds strange to me when I was learning but to them sounds more natural.
Exactly, exactly. So how did you improve your Portuguese pronunciation and intonation?
It’s just listen, repeat, as you say. I was initially using Duolingo and every line that they would say with a real native, you know, using strange sentences, the bear kiss the tree or something, I would just copy, copy, copy, as much as possible especially when starting a language it would just be pronunciation all the time. And even now with my fiancée, my fiancée is Portuguese or, Brazilian speaks Portuguese and I’m always like, just correct me if I pronounce something wrong and it’s pretty, it’s pretty amazing how quickly you get the hang of it though, especially with Portuguese we have different emphasis on different parts of the word. So, like you would you don’t say like in Spanish, I guess it would be like dictionario, you would say dicionario, you have to do this * DE de de *. and eventually you get used to and it feels natural and it’s sort of like, * ditititi *.
Yeah, you know what I’m finding now, though? Now, because I’ve been learning Portuguese for just over a week, it’s now day eight, that I’m on my Portuguese adventure. And now when I speak Spanish I’m starting to use that kind of intonation that they use in Portuguese. So yeah, my poor boyfriend, who’s Spanish…
And he is like, What? What are you doing? Like, why are you speaking this way?
That must be the hardest thing because I remember trying to learn Spanish after I started Portuguese and was just like, this is so one the words and the grammar and everything is so similar that I was sort of confusing myself. But then you’ve got Spanish that is very tick, tick, tick, tick, tick. Like it’s kind of consistent, with the sounds you don’t really change the emphasis a lot in sentences, right? And in Portuguese it’s the complete opposite, where you’ll be like * dit ra dit dit ra *, and it’s just… it was weird, at first I was like, oh I always love Spanish and I wanted to learn it and thought when I first heard Portuguese, it was like this language sense so fucking weird, with this like a whoop, whoop, but now you go, I listen to Spanish and I’m, like there’s no there’s no like immersion to it, it’s just like * trrrriii *.
I know, I know… It’s funny, because someone said to me the other day, like, why are you learning Portuguese?! It’s such a dull sounding language. I’m like, have you heard Portuguese? What language have you listened to? It’s the least dull language I’ve ever heard.
So, what made you decide to learn Portuguese after learning Spanish? Tell us about that story, because I only noticed that, a few minutes before we got on the call and then I was like, oh wow, okay. And you were like five days in, I think, on your Instagram. So, what made you start that and how are you learning it and what have you experienced so far?
Well, I already speak Spanish, so to learn Portuguese, it’s kind of like why not? You know, it’s like a shortcut almost, like, I think. So…
I just modify my accent fluent.
That is it! I basically feel fluent in Portuguese. But the problem is that, I keep mixing. And I was telling a friend this as well and she is Brazilian, she’s an English teacher and I said, like, I just confused little words like but, however…
Ah that is right, ‘cause you have the word “mas” in Portuguese for but, but than it is like “pero” or “pero” in Spanish, like, they are completely different. You’d be like, what?
Exactly. So, as I’m writing to friends or whatever in Portuguese, I mix and surprisingly they still understand me. But I’m kind of learning it just because it’s so close to Spanish and on top of that I have quite a lot of Brazilian followers on Instagram and I thought, it would be so cool if I could understand some of these guys and understand their comments and stuff, cause their comments…
There are pretty rabid with regards to being fans of people too. So I think, I think you tend to receive a much bigger warm welcome if you’re someone learning Portuguese that if you were learning Spanish, where I think they’re so used to it they’re just like nah, another gringo, another gringo learning Spanish, whatever. Whereas the Portuguese is to me, no offense to anyone who speaks Portuguese, but it’s almost like they’re the little brother of Spain or Spanish and they kind of ignored by most of the world as a language and so when you learn it they’re always like, yes! you know, finally, yes!
Yes, you are exactly right and it’s sort of surprising, because a lot of people who don’t really know me, they just see, Oh you’re learning Portuguese. They actually messaged me, quite a few people messaged me, like why are you learning Portuguese? Why don’t you learn Spanish? And it’s like a completed, mate, like…
Speak it, mate! and the Portuguese people who message you, would be like, I’m happy to teach you. Do you need time, like we can do Skype, cause I’ll help you… I’m… I’m happy to like, what can I do to make your life easy?
Yeah exactly. It is incredible.
And the funny thing is, I always find people don’t realise how many people speak Portuguese. You’ll be like, so you know how many people there are that speak it? You know, there’s more speakers of Portuguese in South America than there are Spanish-speakers, right? and there’s about 300 million of them worldwide. Like…
It’s crazy. I had a look at just the population of Brazil and it was something like 200 million or 207 million. It is a funny number. You know, but let’s round it off 200 million and then I feel like wow that’s a lot of people.
So, what are you doing to current learn it? How, how did you go about beginning a new language from scratch or from near scratch, considering you know Spanish?
Yeah, yeah, I cheated. Sorry guys, but…
All those years learning Spanish was cheating. wasn’t it?
Yeah, but with Spanish, I picked up Spanish very, very quickly, very quickly. And I think it’s because, with Spanish I was immersed, so you know, I took a course in Spanish. So, yeah, I went about learning Spanish very differently to how I am learning Portuguese. With Spanish. I took a course and then I went to Spain. I immersed myself and I have to speak, to eat. I had to speak to survive.
How long were you there for during that immersive period as well?
Ah, one year.
Oh wow, ok.
And I went from like a zero. I went from…
To here. Yeah.
That’s my level currently guys. And I went from that kind of level to about B1 in a year. Just from immersing myself. I did go to classes but I didn’t take them very seriously and at the same time I was also doing Catalan classes.
Oh wow. You animal, man. You just keep tackling all the languages, all the romance languages.
I know, it’s so funny because people, when they saw my Portuguese video, they are like why didn’t you learn Russian? Why didn’t you learn Farsi? What about Arabic? I’m like, wow, come down guys, like…
But that is… I’ve heard that a lot of times as well, like sorted, sort of changed the subject a little bit. I had that when I was, I was studying and I had, there was a secretary there when I was telling them I was learning, I think it was Portuguese, and she was like, she was Indian and she’s like you should learn Hindi. I was like, well but I don’t know anyone who speaks Hindi, do you? And she’s like, No, no I just speak English, but you know, she was like, Pete Hindi’s got more people and I’m like, but Chinese’s got more, like you can always play that argument about different languages having different benefits you just have to pick one that you’re interested in and have a passion for. Right?
Exactly. Yeah exactly. So that’s the key is to find the reason why you’re learning that language and to have that motivation and once you find that motivation you, you cannot be stopped, like I am studying Portuguese now. Ah, so I never moved on to how I’m learning Portuguese.
I got sidetracked as well. So yeah, I haven’t taken a single class in Portuguese,
it’s only have been a week, there’s still time.
I know, I know, but I’m doing it for a very good reason, because I want to kind of challenge myself. But nowadays not much of a challenge, because there are so many free resources online that it’s not even that much of a challenge. But I wanted to challenge myself to learn as much Portuguese as possible without paying loads of money, because, of course a lot of people that follow me and follow you, they’re not rich, they’re not from rich countries. They maybe don’t have access to a teacher. They don’t have the resources in their classrooms or whatever, you know, they don’t have that access.
That’s a really good experiment though to show what can be done without any assistance or at least, no monetary assistance, where you’ve had about to pay for lessons because you could, you could have effectively, if you wanted to pay someone to teach you or go to class every single day and that would you know give the results most people would expect, but it would be good to see what you can do without that.
Exactly. The only thing that’s happened is that, it was my birthday recently and so my boyfriend or my best friend got me some books, so I haven’t paid for those books I asked for them for my birthday, but I started with those books and they’re fantastic, they’re really, really good.
Which books did you get? If I can, if I can ask for selfish reasons…
But well, actually the, this company. Can we call them a company? They do English books as well so if people are interested they’ll have to let me know how the English version is. But I’m, sorry, I’m using this one.
I saw that today. Awesome, awesome.
Yeah. I’m using this one complete, the complete series of Teach Yourself Brazilian Portuguese.
Oh my God. And you are learning Brazilian Portuguese. The European Portuguese speakers are going to be pissed.
I know, I know…Sorry guys, but I am. I keep hitting that spoon. Why is there a spoon there? Looks like random stuff around my computer. Yeah, but I am. This is the thing as well I wanted to show my followers, is you can’t just stick to one variety. So, I’m listening to European Portuguese radio. I’m listening to materials in European Portuguese and I’m getting familiar with that accent. And I realized that Brazilian, Brazilian Portuguese and European Portuguese are very, very different in terms of pronunciation. You know I find that European Portuguese is very * shhhh *.
Yes, it sounds more like Russian to me when I hear it, I am like, wow there is a lot of * shhh shhh *. It’s just, it’s very different, very different that I’m not used to, because I’m surrounded by Portuguese speakers, from Brazil, from Brazil, sorry.
Yeah. And I find that Brazilian Portuguese, it reminds me a lot of South American Spanish. So, I just feel like I have to change my Spanish accent to sound a bit more South American and then just add a few more kind of * shh * sounds, you know and I basically got the pronunciation but, yeah, that’s it. And this other book that I’ve never heard of before, but my friend got me that one.
Is that the everything…
It’s Everything Learning Brazilian Portuguese book and I thought, everything.?! Well that’s got me covered.
That should cover most things.
And it says, I love this, it is speak, write, and then you’ll sound Portuguese in no time.
So, you don’t even have to open it.
Oh no, in no time. I’m fluent already. But yeah, it’s really good book for vocabulary, very, very good book. And the other book is good for…
What’s the time sort of that you’re setting yourself, how long do you want to… Like you could obviously let it go forever, but you want to do it within six months, a year, two days, like what’s the limit you’ve set yourself?
A month, holly molly, ok.
Yeah in a month I want to be able to have a basic conversation in Portuguese. So yes, I found some victims to, to take part in this little study and then we’ll see how that goes. Just speaking after a month, because I just want to show it to people, I don’t know if you’re the same, but I get so many people messaging me and saying, Emma how do I learn English as fast as possible and what’s the easiest way? And it’s like… there is no easy way, there is no faster way.
That is one of those things that it would be good to talk about for a bit, because it’s kind of like losing weight. It’s kind of like you’ve come in with the wrong attitude if you see it is how do I do this overnight thing. Personally, I think it’s more, you need to reassess how you’re viewing this activity and it’s almost like it’s a lifestyle activity, you have to change the way that your life fits around this language now and think, okay this is not a week, this is not a month it’s not even a year task, it’s something that’s ongoing potentially forever, that you just chip away at slowly and that’s kind of daunting but at the same time I feel like that’s really sort of, it releases you a bit of stress, because you know you’ve got so much time, you know and you just keep trying to get one step ahead every single day and it’s kind of like ok, I don’t have to make massive strike. I don’t need to lose 10 kilos this week as long as I lose a little bit, I’m sort of on the right path, right? Do you have any advice, with regards to English learners, who ask you those questions, what do you normally say to them?
Yes, so I normally say to them, set a goal and this is what I’ve been doing. So, my first week, my goal was to be able to introduce myself in Portuguese and say something about why I’m learning Portuguese. That was my goal and I did it. And I put that video on the internet for everyone to see and yeah, I got some amazing feedback and that encouraged me more. Of course, you get one or two negative messages and you’re like, pfft, whatever man, I’ve got like four hundred positive ones, so I don’t care. And so, I was kind of showing people look, if you’re not confident it doesn’t matter. I’ve done this. I put my video and my face out on the Internet speaking Portuguese after week, if I can do this then you can do it as well. You know, I don’t mean putting your video on the internet but I mean just speaking …
I think that emphasis too on not worrying so much about making mistakes, making a fool of yourself. If you can let go of that and makes such a difference and I noticed that recently I told my fiancée, no English until the end of the year. Just only Portuguese from now on and we’ve moved into a house where there are three other guys who are from Brazil and like they talk to me a little bit in English but I try and always turn it back. But I noticed that initially I would, she would say things and my eyes would kind of give her that you know that vague look where she’s like you don’t know what I’m saying and I’ll be like, Yeah, yeah, I do and then she’s like “what do they say?” and I’ll be like, “Yeah you got me”. But yeah it only took a day or two and then I started feeling okay, like I don’t mind making mistakes anymore I’m comfortable saying “what did you say?”, “Can you repeat that?” And it was surprising how quickly once I let go, conquering those issues was no longer a big problem and now I don’t feel embarrassed at all. Now when I don’t understand and because it’s almost like it’s so common now for me to say “What does that mean? and “What was this word?” “how do I say this?” or “what is this?” that it’s just not even an issue. So, I think, for people listening if you’re having fears about that just do it more. It’s literally like diving in the deep end of the pool, you do it once and you’re kind of like okay it’s not that bad.
Yeah. No, exactly and the kind of mistakes I made in Spanish, you know I, I just have no shame anymore.
I feel like I experienced all the horrors in Spanish and all the kind of mistakes that I could have made in a second language, like I made some really, really bad mistakes where I got myself in trouble or I said some very rude things, very sexual things, numerous times and I didn’t mean to.
That is when you say things like “excitado”? I made mistakes so many times. I am trying to say I’m excited and they’re like no that’s not what it means. It’s not a sexual orientation, you like ahhh.
Yeah, I still remember when I was in Teneriffe and I said to… I was living with a family and I said to the dad of the family ” Estoy caliente” as I was saying “God, I’m so hot, like as in the temperature, is very hot in this country and my temperature is rising so I want to say “Estoy caliente” and his eyes were like “What?”. And I realized, oh my God no I said it wrong “tenho Calor, tenho calor”. And I had to quickly change like, explain myself, no I am not horny, not in this temperature my friend. It was embarrassing but I said much worse and…
So what, would you I wanted to ask you when you were learning immersively what, as an English teacher, what sort of experience did you have? Do you have any advice for people who are in that same position now and how to get the most out of it?
Yeah. So, the thing is I don’t know how hard it is for people going to Australia. But I find that when people come to England the same thing always happens and they say “English people don’t want to talk to me”. “English people don’t want to be my friend”. “They’re so close and they just want to be friends with each other”. “They don’t want to talk to me” and I think that’s kind of true to a certain extent, because it’s kind of like, well why should they be your friend just because you’re a foreigner.
You need to remember too I go outside most Australians aren’t my friends, they don’t want to talk to me. They would ignore me, I walk up to them be like “Hey you want to chat” and they’ll tell me to f off.
Oh yes this is exactly the same for me. I have very few English friends, because I just haven’t found the right people who have things in common with and I find as well, I’m 26 now and I find that most 26-year-olds are not making YouTube videos, that they have their own companies, they are running their own business and teaching, they have travelled, They speak x number of languages, so I find it quite hard to find people my own age who have similar experiences to me. So that’s quite tricky.
What advice would you give them if they say to you, how do I best engage with or become a part of the community in England or I’m sure the same advice would apply here in Australia. What advice would you normally give them?
I encourage my students, like I have students, like I have to really force them to go out to like meetings, to join clubs, like join your local sports club, even if you don’t play sports just go. Play tennis and see who is around or join a football club or something, or if you enjoy painting, go to a painting class, start talking to people and I think people put too much pressure on other people to start talking to them but they also need to think that they need to start communicating with other people as well. They need to initiate that conversation, because you know, when I was in Spain I found people are quite accommodating and they would be asking me like “Are you okay here?”, “If you need anything I’ll help you” and you know they were so understanding because they travelled. But here we, many people maybe haven’t traveled or they just haven’t learnt another language, we don’t understand. It’s not every one, but yeah, I wouldn’t expect to make friends on day one just because you’re from another country.
It’s hard work, you’ve got to go out. I’ve been in Canberra now for ages, like six months, ages for me I’ve just moved to this city and I’ve just been inside the whole time we’ve made like, Quel and I’ve made like two friends, I mean, and goes to show we haven’t been working our arses off to try and meet people or anything like that, but we’ve, you know, so he goes to show that even native speakers, for me at least, in this country find it difficult, if you don’t put in that effort, so you have to find some kind of social thing that you can go to and just be the person that goes up to people and introduces yourself and starts those conversations and eventually, it’s almost like dating, right? You just have to keep doing it until you find someone you get along with and then you kind of like ok, I’ve found my person and I could ignore the ones that I didn’t get along with, right? Because you can’t be friend with everyone.
No, exactly and I think that’s what people make the mistake of doing, they try to make friends with everyone and then they realise that they’re not spending enough time. Like, one thing I found with a lot of my Spanish and Italian friends is that they would say to me, “I don’t have time this week” “Oh sorry I’m working so much”, but then I would see them on Facebook with other friends and it’s like “Oh so you have time to go out with your Italian friends or a Spanish friend but not time to go out with me and you know I just, you have to keep, I don’t know, you have… It’s like a relationship as you say, you know. You have to keep in touch with those people and find people that you’re interested in you have the same interests and that’s why clubs are really good idea. When I was in living in Spain I joined a language exchange and I met some people there and then we found out that we had common interests, we liked, I don’t know, just going out, doing stuff you know, so we would go out hiking or go out into the mountains or whatever. You know, I you being at the mountains in my life, so.
Exactly, one of the good things too is just after, if you do go to some kind of, event like, you know or some club or you’re doing a sport or something, ask people out afterwards, that’s when you get to sort of chat and just take it easy and find out, you know, who are the people that are worth hanging out with and they’ll put their hand up for it right if they’re up for going and getting dinner after a match or whatever it is that you’ve gone to at the club, then you’ll be like okay this person came to socialize as well. I want to ask you though, accents in the UK, like insanely diverse, compared to places like Australia. What advice do you give students who come to England? Whether it is about which accent to learn and how to learn it or how to just get the listening comprehension down for all the different accents in England? Because this could obviously apply to learning any accent or at least becoming accustomed to it. What do you suggest they do?
Yeah. So, I suggest listening to, like, local radio stations for one, you know, you could literally just go on Google and type Yorkshire radio stations and just choose one.
Thanks for the Internet.
Yeah, yeah. What is really good as well is, we also have regional news. So, you know, you can just look for like BBC Yorkshire or BBC Northumbria or whatever, so we have different ones there and I just suggest people listen to that. The BBC also has a really good website where they give like, what is it? like a glossary of all the dialect terms.
Oh wow really?
Yes, I do not recommend that people do that, unless they are moving to that area. So, you know, if you’re moving to for example, Bristol, it may be good to learn some of the dialect in Bristol, just so you know what people are saying to you.
When you say that, do you mean it’s like slang or something, it’s not just standard English with a different accent. It’s specific terms to that area and not anywhere else?
Exactly. Yeah like in Bristol, I heard for the first time in my life, I heard “gert lush” and I was like…
I have no idea of what that is…
Exactly, what it is “gert lush”? That’s well gert lush! I was like, I don’t know what are you saying?
What does it mean?
I just asked. It means, lke it’s really nice, it’s really good like, oh this cider is “gert lush” and they use that rrrr here, so I’m trying to, trying to mimic and pick that up. But yeah, they would say stuff like that. And actually, there is a pub close in the center, that’s called “gert lush”. So now I know what it means.
That sort of stuff is crazy. I guess it is important to sort of focus on that more when you get settled in a place, than try and learn everything, because if you do that 90 percent of it probably won’t be useful, you know if you learn Australian slang and move to Bristol or you go to somewhere in the US it’s going to be effectively useless. So, focus on slangs as a secondary thing, but what about learning English, Standard British English, which accent do you get them to focus on? And do you still encourage them to try and listen to other accents?
So, the one that I teach is almost like a mixture between Yorkshire and standard. But I tend to teach students what we call RP which stands for received pronunciation and that’s the one that you will find in the dictionary. That’s the one that you will find the news presenters use, who are based in London, not the regional news stations etc. But I still keep some of my Northern sounds you could say. So, for example I don’t say path, glass, grass, I say path, glass grass, which I find is just easier for students to do. You know.
It’s actually funny. That’s a point that’s different between you and I, because I would say path, grass and glass instead of path, path, yeah that would sound more American or as you say British to me. And we have that, but we have that sometimes, there are certain things, I think like baths and baths and Castle and castle. Some people will say either one of those in Australia. So sometimes there are those words which are strange.
Yeah. So, when you teach though, do you find those students are mimicking you and they do say like glass?
It depends, it depends on the student, because quite often they’re not specifically after an Australian accent, they might just want to understand it and learn just basic English with me, like grammar and that sort of stuff which applies everywhere and yes, to some of them it’s difficult because they’ve got multiple teachers as well. They’d be learning from an American and a Canadian and I’ll be like I just don’t want to correct your pronunciation because you’ll get to the next class and then be told something different. Yeah, I would just tell them how I said, that’s pretty much my caveat every time, I’m like I’m just going to tell you how I pronounce things, because there’s always going to be someone saying “That’s not how you say it”. “This is how you say it” and you will just be like ah, whatever.
Yeah, I’ve had the same.
What would you have, finishing up, what tips would you have for students, whether they’re learning Australian English, British English or American English to improve their pronunciation? would you, What advice would you give them?
Yeah. So, I would start off with learning individual sounds first, then trying to perfect those little sounds, get those, get those, get those right. You know, you can do that by… You don’t even have to like, study the IPA like, hard core. You just have to be familiar with the sounds and the symbols, you know, just get familiar with those and learn to really kind of tune into sound. Stop listening for for words and grammar and understanding and start listening for sound and then start to mimic and a really good trick to also kind of test your pronunciation is to record yourself. So find a very short, like this podcast, for example, people could take a very short section, literally like three seconds, listen to that, repeat, record, compare your recording to the original and see how your pronunciation is. Do they sound the same or are you having problems with a certain sound? For example, a lot of students have problems with the, “the” as in that and they say like “that” or “tsat”, you know, so if you find those kind of things are affecting people understanding you then do something about it practice it. Watch, there videos online like, I’m learning Portuguese for free but I know people can do it for English too.
Are you aware are you aware of the sounds you find difficult? Because that’s what I tend to say to people like you should, you probably know which sounds you’re finding the most difficult and that you need to focus on, you know. I don’t think it’ll be a complete shock when some people realize, oh man I can’t say a * th *. So I just avoid it and it’s like, no, you need to sit down in your own time and just keep practicing it. You know, you don’t need to do it in front of other people, but just don’t, don’t avoid the things you’re finding difficult, but which sounds did you find it hard in Portuguese so far? The nasal vowels?
You know what’s the hardest? It’s actually the “hhh” sound, which we have in English. But, I just, I just cannot like, you know, the word England. I can not say that because it has the double R which is a a ha. Yeah. And then you have the r at the end which is also a “rra” …
And is that Spanish that is screwing it up because you would see that and think Inglaterra, wouldn’t you?
Exactly. I think it might be that. So, I would naturally read it as “Inglaterra” with an English way it would be “Inglaterra”. So to read Double R as rr, I can’t seem to close my vocal chords in time to do it, I have to say…
That would come with time though and you will be able to do it at the start of the words. It’s just that you’re not used to especially in English, I think we do that H deletion if it’s in between words, right? Or any time… so we would just remove that H. So, you almost have to turn that back on and say “Inglaterra” and get used to it’s like. But I love that sort of stuff and it’s for me I focus in on that. Like when I first started Portuguese I was finding the nasal vowels freakin’ hard, that * aun, ain, oun * and it took months for me to perfect, especially, especially when reading or wanting to speak quickly I would have to think and be like okay there’s an n after this vowel. So that means that it’s an * oun * sound instead of r sound… it is just like. But I think eventually it comes right and it’s like you just need to keep for me at least with those languages I just focus on just doing it passively. I’m not going to try and remember the sounds when I’m talking, it’s more I just sit down, Practice, say it, say it, say it, so I hope the muscle memory in my mouth will eventually get there.
Exactly, a really good trick as well and I don’t recommend this for everyone, because it does involve alcohol. Is, is to have like, next time when you’re out with your friends you know, and you and you drink alcohol. I’m not saying that you should get super drunk, okay? Do not go around and say “Oh but Pronunciation with Emma so I could get drunk”.
That is it! You practice when you are waisted.
Yeah, it is the best time. No, but if you drink just a little bit of alcohol, what happens is your muscles become more relaxed and you yourself become more relaxed and you don’t care so much about making mistakes and what other people think. And if you can just have a little bit of alcohol, okay but, very little bit, just to kind of relax your muscles, it really helps and this is how I learned the * Rrr * in Spanish because I kept saying like a “jamon”, you know with a * Ha *, an English one, and it wasn’t until I started, you know, like having beers with friends and as I was drinking the beers I realized, “Oh, I can do the * Rrr * now.” I mean it’s so much easier, ’cause I became less, what’s the word, not paranoid. Conscious.
Yeah. Yeah, exactly. Exactly. You just don’t care as much. Right? And that happened, I had a funny story that I wanted to mention, you made me remember that, one of my students Carlos, was telling me he took the IELTS exam five times, failed it four times, and the final time his teacher said, have a glass of wine before the speaking test, ’cause that was the thing, the thing he was failing and so he just skulled like a glass of red wine right before the test and smashed it, ’cause he was… it was all in his head and he wasn’t relaxing.
Yeah, yeah, it… honestly it works, so if you can drink alcohol and you know, don’t get drunk, but just have enough to become less self-conscious. Honestly, it helps. It helps me and I think that’s the next step for me with a Brazilian Portuguese is I need to sit with a glass of wine and one of my books and just practice by myself and hopefully I’ll see a difference.
Exactly! I’m sitting there constantly talking out loud to myself and that’s another thing that I think really helped pronunciation wise, because I was just constantly working it. It’s one thing and I have quick story with regards to my French. I used to I used to speak French pretty fluently and now I haven’t studied it in a year and a half, two years and I haven’t really spoken. I can notice when I’m listening I hear everything fine, but the muscle memory isn’t there because I haven’t been talking out loud. So, if I read something if I watch something that’s fine, but I can’t spontaneously respond whereas with Portuguese it’s overtaking my French, which is very weird for me. So it is one of those things where it is amazing how much how important it is even if you’re not in a country that speaks a language you don’t know anyone just talk out loud as much as possible. It’s like doing pushups in your room. Just keep doing it. Exercise, exercise, exercise.
Exactly. And when I was in Spain as well, I just used to walk around the house talking to myself and I used to say things like “Un mobel” “Un libro” “ordenador” “las caixas”. Yeah you know I would just…
You name things, right?
Exactly I would just do that, and as I was doing actions I was thinking to myself you know like, I’m putting the sugar in and that would help me practice grammar and yeah, I just developed fluency that way and I started to think in Spanish and occasionally I do think in Spanish. It’s strange because it, it tends to be when I’m really stressed or really excited about something, I don’t know. It’s like English for me is the serious language. And then as soon as I get like really excited about something or very emotional, or angry, I start thinking in Spanish and it’s so weird. I don’t know why.
I think that the brain and languages, is an amazing thing. But we better wrap it up Emma. Where can people find out more about you and if they’re after British pronunciation where can they learn this from, from you?
Yeah for me. So, you can find me on Instagram, YouTube and Facebook. I’m more active on Instagram and of course YouTube I post every single week. You can find me, if you just type in pronunciation with Anna.
Into all of those different social media platforms?
Yep and my website is also the same it’s not Emma Walker. I don’t know who it is. I must have been smoking something. I think I must have just gotten it wrong, because I remember finding you. I think maybe I’m confusing Facebook, because your name was that on Facebook and then I looked on Instagram and was like, okay. But yeah, pronunciation with Emma guys and I will put all the links into the transcript. So, thanks so much Emma.
No problem, thank you for inviting me. It was good.
So, that was the interview, guys. I hope you enjoyed it. Big thanks to Emma for coming on the Aussie English Podcast.
Remember, guys, you can find out more about Emma via her PronunciationwithEmma.com . If you would like pronunciation tutoring for the British accent, you can get lessons with her. You’ll also find her on Instagram, Facebook, and YouTube. Just search pronunciation with Emma. The links will all be in the transcript as well if you guys are interested in learning more about Emma.
Anyway guys, I hope you enjoy the episode and I hope you have an amazing week, and I will talk to you soon. See ya!
Watch Aussie English Interviews Here!
Enjoying this episode?
Learn English even faster in the Aussie English Classroom!
Success! Now check your email to confirm your subscription.Post Views: 2,900