Pronouncing The Days Of The Week In An Aussie Accent
Welcome to this episode of Aussie English.
Today we’re going to learn how to pronounce the different week days in an Australian accent.
And so, in Australian English too you’ll often hear people say “Saturday”, they’ll reduce it down to just “Satday”, “Satday”.
So, instead of having one day of the week that has three syllables, “Sat-ur-day”, every single day of the week has two syllables.
Mon-day, Tues-day, Wednes-day, Thurs-day, Fri-day, Sat-day, Sun-day.
So, you’ll often hear it said like that.
And also, in Australian English you might hear from time to time people say the word “Day” like “Dee”.
So, they might say, “Mondee, Tuesdee, Wensdee, Thursdee, Fridee, Satdee, Sundee”.
So, that’s just one extra thing to remember.
Anyway guys, I hope you enjoyed this episode.
And I’ll see you later.
All the best!
Check out the other recent Pronunciation episodes below:
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About the AuthorI learn languages, teach Australian English, and love all things science and nature!
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By pete — 3 years ago
In this episode I run you guys through a bunch of different Aussie animals that have names originating from aboriginal words and how to pronounce them!
Aboriginal Animal Names:
Click on any of the names to see a photo of each animal.
If you liked this pronunciation episode guys then jump over here and check out all the other Aussie English pronunciation episodes to help you improve the fluidity of your spoken English!
Also be sure to come over to the Aussie English Facebook page and chat to the many other Aussie English learners. Practice a few of these words or phrases, ask any questions you may have, and be a part of the conversation! All the best guys!
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By pete — 3 years ago
In today’s episode I talk to you about the recent events in Britain with the Brexit, a bit about the state of Australian politics at the moment, as well as my news and what I have planned for The Aussie English Podcast in the near future.
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Walking With Pete: Brexit, Aussie Politics & More
G’day guys. Welcome to this episode of Walking With Pete.
It’s been a little while and I thought it was probably about time that I recorded another episode. So, I jumped outside today. It’s only about lunchtime, only just got out of bed. Sunday, [I] had a cheeky sleep in so that was good. [I’m] Feeling a lot fresher. So, [I’m] walking through the park at the moment across the road in North Melbourne, and yeah, [I] thought I would do an episode for you guys. So, what to talk about today? Um… Recent news I guess you’ve probably all heard about the Brexit that’s been happening or that’s just occurred in Britain. So, “Brexit” is how they’ve referred to Britain exiting the EU, and they’ve joined the words “Britain” and “exit” to write, or to make the word, “Brexit”. And, I’m kind of irritated because… So, the vote just won. I think it was 52% voted to leave where 48% voted to remain in the UK, and even though I’m from Australia I have um… British heritage I guess you would say, and my mother was born in Britain on a holiday. So, she has Britain citizenship and as a result I have a British passport, but yeah… So, I was always happy that I had a British passport because it allowed me to go to Europe, and I could go and live in any of the countries in the EU. Any of the, I think it was 27 before Britain left, 27 countries in the EU without a visa, without having to worry about any of that sort of stuff, but as a result of Britain leaving the EU that passport is effectively going to become useless. At least, in the next two years or so when their exit is finalised. So, I won’t be able to go to any of these countries, and Britain was kind of the… one of those countries in Europe that was last on my list. I was much more interested in going to a lot of the other European countries like France or Spain, more so than Britain itself. So, that’s one of the things that’s been happening recently in the news that’s kind of been a bit of a shame but we’ll see what’s happened. It’s interesting because by the sounds of it the majority who voted to leave Britain are [is*] actually the older generation. So, they’re all, I think based on what I’ve seen on the news, I haven’t looked into it too heavily, but it looked like from what they were saying the majority of leave voters, the people who voted to leave, were 65 years and older. So, all the retired generation. Those who don’t work anymore, and the majority of those who voted to stay were I think under 30. I think 75% of the people who voted to stay were young Britain citizens. So, it’s a bit of a shame that we have these two demographics that are sort of opposing one another. So, you have all the younger people effectively wanting to stay in the EU and all the older people wanting to leave the EU. And it’s also sort of screwed up what’s happening with Scotland being part of Britain as well. I don’t think a single area in Scotland, not a single region voted to ah… leave the EU. And so, that’s going to be interesting in the future too because Scotland may have now a referendum to try and leave the UK, the United Kingdom. And this could also set off a similar kind of thing happening with Northern Ireland where they may want to try and reunify with Ireland again so that both Ireland and Scotland can be somewhat independent countries, and also remain within the EU while England can go and do whatever the hell it wants. And, if that happens I’m really hoping that I can change my.. my um… English passport somehow. At the moment, I have no idea how this would work but I would love to be able to make it Scottish or Irish or something instead. My UK, British passport, it would be so much nicer if I could be of Scottish citizenship and be able to stay in the EU.
Anyway, so that’s one of the things that um… has been on the TV a lot here recently. Obviously, because Australia is an ex-colony of the UK, and just because it’s big news anyway. Aside from that Australia is about to have a federal election. So, I think it’s next week. I think July the 2nd I have to go and vote in this election. So, there’s [are*] three main parties. We have The Labour Party, which is sort of more worried about workers and unions and workers rights. And then you have the Liberals who are the conservative party in Australia. And then, a lot smaller but still sort of becoming a… a larger player these days in… in the ah… political realm in Australia is the Greens and they’re sort of the environmentally conscious party in Australia that’s, you know, a lot more LGBT rights, and um… you know, sustainable living, worrying about um… the environment a lot more than say the Liberals or Labour. And, I don’t know. For me personally I’m sort of over it. I can’t… it’s so painful watching TV these days and seeing just the same two leaders, Bill Shorten who is the leader of The Labour Party, and Malcolm Turbull who is now the leader of the Liberal party, just repeating the same rhetoric, the same arguments, the same points over and over again about how awful the other side of politics is, and how awesome they are, and you know, how much in trouble the country is, and how they’re going to save the country. It’s just… I get so over hearing them speak these days that I’ve kind of been somewhat disenchanted with the political process, especially in Australia. And the more you look into Australian politics the more I think you will probably laugh your head off. You’ll… especially if you’re from places like different countries in Europe. I think America’s kind of got a bit of a screwed up political system. And England’s pretty weird as well at the moment with their… sort of um… opposing sides constantly at each other’s throats. But it seems Australia as well, similar to America and England, the opposite sides never agree on anything. They’re just contrarians I would say. They always take the opposing view of the other side of politics even if they agree deep down. Even if they agree with the point, they always take the opposing view because um… they want to win all the voters who disagree with say Labour, you know, LIberal will just disagree with whatever Labour says in order to get all the voters who hate Labour, and and… just as bad Labour will do exactly the same with the Liberals and take the exact opposite stance in order to get um… all of the anti-Liberal votes. And so, Australian politics is a bit of a joke at the moment, I think on… on the 2nd of July I’m probably going to vote for an independent party. So that’s where you have just an independent person running to have a seat in… in um… in the government. And I think… I think in Australia a lot more people are starting to do that. They’re starting to vote for the smaller parties. They want the smaller parties to sort of gain in… in size and… and momentum and have a little bit more power over these larger two or three political parties that have just sort of really become quite detached from I think mainstream Australia to be honest. It just… it feels like they’re just after power and yeah it’s just it’s so irritating. I’m so over it. Anyway, that’s enough from me whinging today about Australian politics and about the Brexit.
Aside from watching the news and being a little disenchanted and disheartened by that I’ve been just trying to smash out the PhD recently. Trying to work on that and write up some papers and get that done. Um… hopefully I’m going to finish in December, but who knows, who knows. But the plan is to finish in December and then I guess I have about two years to travel on my British passport before it becomes useless. So, I’m debating doing that, and yeah… continuing the Aussie English podcast potentially overseas in Europe where I can keep doing what I’m doing, and I guess fill you guys in and tell you about all the kinds of things that I do and see while I’m traveling around. Although I haven’t really thought too much about it yet, but we’ll see. Um… I’ve gotten back to the gym recently. So, I took a bit of time off. I was a little depressed and having to deal with a lot of stress with um… university and doing my um… part time job as well as learning languages. I just sort of ran out of time and it all got a bit much so I sort of stressed out and stopped going to the gym and training, and it was kind of really funny because the less I trained the more I kind of got depressed because you end up at home, you know, sitting around, not being active, eating, um… not taking care of yourself, and it’s like this… what I would call a positive feedback loop where the more you do the nothing um… it leads to you feeling like crap, feeling depressed, feeling unhappy, which leads you to do even more um… nothing effectively. So, you sit around, so you feel bad, and you feel bad because you sit around. Anyway, so I dragged myself out of that recently and am feeling so much better. It’d been probably four or five months since I’d really trained properly at the gym, and trained um… I do jiu-jitsu, which is a form of martial art where you use submissions to defeat your opponent, and I got back into that and not only… you know I got to exercise again and feel… feel really good in that aspect of um… my fitness and daily life, but I also got to reconnect and hang out with a lot of my friends again that I hadn’t seen in quite a while. So, yeah it was kind of funny to see how as soon as I dragged myself to the gym, you know, the first day I went there. I didn’t really want to go. I knew I was going to be unfit, and that I wasn’t going to be able to necessarily fight very well in jiu-jitsu or um… do what I used to be able to do in terms of lifting weights, but despite that, you know, the first day was the hardest, dragged myself in and got back into it and felt amazing that night. So, it is so funny how it’s sort of all in your head sometimes, and you just… that first… that first day. That first time, when you force yourself to do something that you don’t’ feel like doing, quite often it can lead to you feeling so much better afterwards. So, I was really happy that I went through that and I’m trying to make it more regular, and I feel like physical activity definitely keeps me sane. It definitely gives me a clear head and helps me sleep. And I think the social side of it as well is just brilliant because I get to see a lot of people who I otherwise wouldn’t get to see. And, being on your own, being solitary, and loneliness kind of become addictive at times, whether or not you’re sort of predisposed or suffering from depression, it can become pretty addictive to just do what you want to do all the time on your own, but when you can sort of separate yourself from that and force yourself to be social and everything it, yeah… it leads to some… I don’t know, it’s interesting. And I’m happy I got back into it.
So, yeah, the episode’s probably gone long enough today. Um… I’m going to also try and do some more… I’m going to try and reformat Aussie English and… excuse me… and do… put together groups of episodes to…
You’re all good. (I’m very sorry). You’re all good. You’re all good. Getting attacked by a tiny little dog.
Ah… what was I talking about? I’m going to try and reformat Aussie English where I’ll get into a bit of a better rhythm and start releasing say, an expression episode, a pronunciation episode, and an embarrassing English Errors episode once a week. And I’m going to try and make them sort of tie into one another so that, for example, all the previous phrases I’ve explained, or pronunciation things that I’ve explained in previous episodes, I’m going to try and sort of write it out and have it on a list in front of me when I write these episodes, and I’ll try and use all the previous phrases that we have gone over as much as possible so that for you guys, you can just keep practicing these things again and again and again. So, I’m really hoping to sort of drive home um… Aussie English and reinforce your learning by doing that, and get a proper rhythm to it. At the moment it’s sort of just been any time I have a good idea or I am really driven to record a bunch of episodes I do it all at once and then I kind of just put them all up on the podcast, but that’s probably not the best thing for me to do long term. It’s a little harder to sort of continue at a steady rate. So, I might try this for a while and we’ll see how we go. But, yeah definitely get in contact with me on… on Facebook or on the website if you guys have any comments, any suggestions. If you’re liking what the podcast ah… is at the moment, let me know. If you don’t want it to change let me know. If you do want it to change and you like the new system or the new set up that I’m going to design um… let me know. Just, yeah… if you have time always give me some feedback. If there’s anything that uh… comes across your mind that you think could help improve Aussie English, and yeah… I might leave it at that for today guys. Thanks again for listening guys. I really appreciate it. I’m so happy to be able to help you with your English, with your Aussie English, and, I’ll chat to you soon. All the best!
By the sound(s) of it/things
- Used for saying that you’re basing your ideas or opinions on what you’ve heard or read.
E.g. By the sounds of it your mother doesn’t want to come to the party.
To look into something
- To try to discover the facts about something such as a problem or a crime.
E.g. The policemen went to the house to look into the complaint they received.
- To make a serious mistake, or to spoil something, particularly a situation.
E.g. When he was caught drink driving he knew he’d screwed up.
Whatever the hell
- A slightly stronger way of saying “whatever”.
E.g. You can do whatever you want à You can do whatever the hell you want.
- Former something.
E.g. Ex-boyfriend (former boyfriend); ex-president (former president); ex-boss (former boss).
To laugh one’s head off
- To laugh uncontrollably.
E.g. John told a joke that was so funny I nearly laughed my head off.
To be at each other’s throats
- To quarrel or fight consistently.
E.g. He and his little brother are always at each other’s throats fighting over their toys.
- At the bottom; basically.
E.g. Deep down he knew smoking cigarettes was bad.
- Against; not to like something.
E.g. He is anti-smoking à He is against smoking.
To be a joke
- Someone or something not worth taking seriously.
E.g. Your old car is a joke. It looks like it’s about to fall apart.
To be after something
- To be in pursuit of in order to reach or get.
E.g. The police were after the suspects who committed the crime.
- To whine; to complain.
E.g. Mate, stop whinging and harden up!
To fill someone in (on something)
- To inform someone about.
E.g. Can you fill me in on the story?
To drag oneself to
- To force yourself to go somewhere.
E.g. I’ll drag myself to the gym later, but I really can’t be stuffed going.
A clear head
- To be able to think clearly.
E.g. He always makes important decisions with a clear head.
To tie into one another
- To connect to one another.
E.g. All the Harry Potter books really tie into one another well.
To drive home
- To make clearly understand.
E.g. He really wanted to drive home the point he was making.
To come across one’s mind
- To think of; to realise.
E.g. Suddenly, it came across his mind that he was meant to be in a meeting.
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By pete — 4 weeks ago
AE 517 – Expression: Go Out On A Limb
This is the signal for ‘Big Bill’ Neidjie to begin on of the most important duties in the maintenance of his tribal lands. Only he and the other elders are traditionally entrusted with the task of burning the grasslands. They must clean the country, they say, but strictly according to aboriginal law.
Bill’s son, Johnathon Yarramana, has come to learn just how and when the fires may be lit.
The time is right when the birds begin to migrate. The young animals born in the grasslands have grown to maturity by this time and so can escape fire.
It’s also a comparatively cooler time of year and beneath the dry stalks there is still dampness. Fires will not rage out of control and so the country will be cleansed, but not devastated. If the laws about burning are broken and fires are started later in the season of heat and dryness, there will be great loss of life.
G’day you mob! How’s it going? Welcome to this episode of Aussie English, the number one podcast for anyone and everyone wanting to learn Australian English, but not just for them, for anyone who is trying to get to an advanced level in English and beyond as well. So, remember guys the Aussie English Podcast is brought to you by the Aussie English Classroom. This is my online classroom with my courses and all the content that I create to help listeners just like you improve your English. So, if you’re working on pronunciation, you’re trying to improve expression comprehension and use you, you want to expand your vocab and you want to do so with the bonus content for these episodes and much more, go to theaussieenglishclassroom.com and sign up and remember you can try that for just one dollar for your first month, ok?
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Anyway, guys, the movie scene at the start there, I hope you like that, that was a snippet from a David Attenborough doco, I’m not sure exactly which one, but I found that on YouTube and thought that I would chop a little part out of it and show you it because it has something to do with what we will talk about at the end of this episode and that is bushfires, ok? And Indigenous Australians use and have used for many thousands of years bushfires to control the land for hunting for many different purposes. Anyway, we’ll chat about that in the Aussie English Fact at the end of today’s episode.
Alright, so, as usual, let’s start with an Aussie joke. So, I decided to try and find a tree joke, a joke about trees, because today’s expression references the limb of a tree, as in a large branch on a tree, ok? So, here’s the tree joke, here is the joke about trees. How did trees get online? How did trees get online? They just log in. They just log in. Do you get it? There’s a pun there with the word log, right? A log is a thick part of a branch of a tree that has been chopped up, right? If you chop a tree down and you chop the trunk up or a large branch up, you get logs. Those small chunks of wood, that’s a log so, how to get online, they just log in, because log in to is to get online. I don’t know. I don’t know. Bad joke.
Alright so, today’s expression, guys, is ‘to go out on a limb’, ‘to go out on a limb’, ‘to go out on a limb for someone’, you’ll usually hear it in that kind of pattern, so this came from Kel, my wife, in the Aussie English Classroom, seemed like a lot of you guys in the Facebook group were a bit busy this week so, we only had two expressions to choose from, Fatima, you almost got there, but next week, we’ll try next week. So, let’s go through and define the words in the expression ‘to go out on a limb’, ‘to go out on a limb for someone’.
So, ‘to go out’. ‘To go out’. This is to move in an outwards direction, right? You can go out of a house, which is to exit the house, to leave the house, to move out of the house. You can go out of the city if you’re in the city and you go out of the city, you’re moving outwards from the city, you’re leaving the city. But if you go out on something, now by saying ‘on’ something we’re talking about moving out, moving outwards, moving in an outwards direction, but now we are on something, right? Like you’re standing on something. So, maybe you go out on a balcony. If you have a balcony in your house you walk out on the balcony, you go out on the balcony, maybe or a tightrope walker and you’re about to walk out on the tightrope you are going out on the tightrope, ok? So, to go out on something is to move outwards on something.
And the last word here ‘a limb’. ‘A limb’ can be an arm or a leg of a person or an animal or maybe the wing of a bird, right? ‘A limb’, but in this sense, it is a large branch of a tree which resembles a limb, I guess, of an animal. You know it’s a long thin part of an organism in that case, a large branch of a tree. So, what does the expression to go out on a limb or to go out on a limb for someone mean? So, if you go out on a limb, it can be that you are isolated, but generally it means that you put yourself in an isolated position in which you’re supporting someone, but you yourself don’t have the support from other people so, you can go out on a limb to support someone, to protect someone, to help someone and the idea there being is that you’re doing it alone, you’re not doing it with a lot of other people’s support behind you. So, maybe as well it could be that you’re in a position where you’re not joined or supported by other people when you’re supporting someone and another definition here was to do something that is strongly believed in, usually in support of other people when it’s risky or extreme and I guess that ties in, it’s risky or extreme because other people aren’t doing it with you, ok?
And the phrase is referring to climbing a tree and going out on the limb of the tree as if, I guess, you were chasing an animal or maybe you’re leaning out and trying to get an apple or some fruit, but you’re taking a risky course of action. You’re doing something that’s dangerous in order to get something. So, you’re putting yourself in a sort of uncomfortable position, to go out on a limb, to go out on a limb for someone.
So, the origin of this expression was that it was first used in a figurative usage back in the late 19th century in 1895, when it was used in the Steudenville Daily Herald, a US newspaper. However, here, it’s not actually referring to climbing trees, but instead it was referring to being having someone isolated, having them isolated so, that they were vulnerable, in a vulnerable position and the quote was:
”We can carry the legislature like hanging out a washing. The heft [the main part] of the fight will be in Hamilton country. If we get the 14 votes of Hamilton, we’ve got them on a limb or all we have to do is shake it or saw it off”.
Ok, so the idea here being I don’t know what the context is for trying to get votes, but if they get enough votes they will have, I take it, the opposition in a vulnerable position and he’s talking figuratively when he says he’ll have them on a limb and all they have to do is shake the limb or to saw the limb off, right? To get rid of them, I guess.
So, let’s go through three examples of how I would use this expression in day to day life, ok?
So, example number one. Imagine you’re working in a factory. So, you’re a factory worker. You are a labourer. You work with big machinery with tractors, robots, conveyor belts, all of that sort of stuff. One day you make a catastrophic error and you accidentally leave a tool in a part or a section of the machinery. So, maybe it’s a spanner or a screwdriver or bolts, nuts, whatever it is and they get sucked into the machine and they do irreparable damage to that machine. They destroy that machine so, you notice that you see that, you freak out, you’re really worried, you think you might lose your job because you stuffed up and you’ve cost the company a heap of money because they need to replace that equipment, but your boss goes out on a limb and he saves you from losing your job. So, maybe he reports to the people above him at the company and he tells them how skilled you are, how important you are, how integral you are, how crucial you are for the company and maybe he explains it wasn’t really your fault or it was a simple accident. So, you don’t get fired because your boss went out on a limb for you. He puts himself in a vulnerable position in order to support you and maybe without anyone supporting him when he does that, but he’s saved your job.
Example number two. Imagine you’re an up and coming footy star. You know you love footy, you play footy, football, Australian Rules Football in Australia, you’re a kid, you’re a young kid who’s been playing all his life, training hard and your dream is to get selected and play on an AFL team so, you go to tryouts and you are showing a whole bunch of scouters, people who are selecting young up-and-comers to go on to these footy teams, and you have to show your stuff, you have to show them what you’re made of, right? So, ultimately, it’s their decision as to whether or not you get on the team. And if one of the scouts sees you, although you haven’t been performing incredibly well, you haven’t done as well as you would normally, but he sees you and he thinks this kid’s got a bit of talent. I think he’s going to go far. He might go out on a limb and support you when he talks to the other scouters and convinces them to put you through into the team, to select you, right? So, he goes out on a limb for you in order to get you through, right? He wants to support you and he’s doing it alone. He’s not doing it with other people’s help. He is isolated, he’s vulnerable.
Example number three. Maybe you are a fisherman on a fishing boat and you’re out at sea when there’s a huge storm with thunder, with lightning and it rolls in before you can do anything, before you can get back to port safely. So, the swell is really huge, you know, the waves are up and down, three, four, five metres you’re really worried that the boat is going to capsize in this swell, that your crew might get thrown off the boat, get thrown overboard and likely drown and, obviously, that you will lose the catch, the fishing catch that you’ve got this trip. So, the coastguard might come out to try and save your lives. So, these are the sailors whose job it is to help sailors or fishermen in distress at sea. So, they come out in their vessel into the storm and they find you, they get you guys on board, they hook your boat up to their boat so that they can tow it all the way back to the port and have your vessel get all the way back to safety without, you know, hopefully too much damage, despite the fact though that they’re putting their lives in danger, right? There’s a lot of peril. The storm could endanger them as well. So, despite the dangers, the coastguard went out on a limb to rescue you and your crew. They were isolated, they put themselves in a vulnerable position, in danger, in order to rescue you. They really went out on a limb to save your lives.
So, I guess, too I might add here because I just realised I haven’t touched on this, you can also use to go out on a limb when you’re talking about something you don’t know much about, right? Or when you put something forth and you’re not really sure. So, Kel came in before and I was talking to me about this suggestion and she had thought about it during IELTS, where if you get asked a question you don’t know much about, you know, maybe they say to you what’s your thoughts on the political situation in Bosnia? You might say okay… you’ve kind of caught me off guard. I’m not prepared, but I might go out on a limb and say that the political situation is not too good, right? So, you’re going out on a limb. It’s like here, it’s like saying you’re going to take a risk, you are going to put yourself in a vulnerable position, right? I’ll go out on a limb and say that this.
So, hopefully, you guys understand the expression ‘to go out on a limb’. Generally, it’s used when you’re putting yourself in an isolated position, but you’re supporting someone or you’re trying to help someone, right? Without the support of other people or it’s to do something you strongly believe in without the support of others when it’s very risky or extreme and it can be also when you want to comment on something that you don’t know much about, right? As in, you’re going to take a risk and give your opinion, you’re going to go out on a limb and say, blah blah blah.
So, as usual, let’s go through a little listen and repeat exercise, guys, where you can practice your pronunciation, and remember if you want to work on your specific accent, if you’re not working on an Australian accent, you’re working on a British, a New Zealand, a US accent, whatever it is, just copy the words that I’m saying, but don’t necessarily copy my accent exactly, but if you are working on an Australian accent then really try and mimic how I say these things, if you want a general Australian accent. Ok? Let’s go!
To go out
To go out on
To go out on a
To go out on a limb x 5
I went out on a limb for him.
You went out on a limb for him.
He went out on a limb for him.
She went out on a limb for him.
We went out on a limb for him.
They went out on a limb for him.
It went out on a limb for him.
Good job, guys! Good job! Now remember, if you want to get the full breakdown of all of these phrases all of these sentences step by step, join the Aussie English Classroom and not only will you get the video for the pronunciation, the connected speech, everything that’s in this section. Not only will you get that, but you’ll get all of the other videos for today’s expression episode including the vocab breakdown and the expression break down for the other interesting parts vocab expressions used in this episode. So, go to theaussieenglishclassroom.com, sign up and check out those videos for this episode as well as 50 other episodes that are up in there as well.
Alright, so I mentioned at the start today that I was going to talk about bushfires. So, that’s today’s Aussie English fact.
As you may or may not know, bushfires in Australia are relatively prevalent. They happen every single year. They’re always on the news during the dry and hot seasons are. So, let’s go through a little bit about bushfires. Bushfires are a frequent and important part of Australian climate and its environment so, prevalent in Australia due to the mostly hot and dry climate that we have here in Australia and fires occur on an annual basis, every single year, primarily during summer or during the dry season up in the North of Australia, and the impact is extensive. It happens all over the place to bushland, to forests and even to suburbia where people have decided to build houses around forested areas around or in forested areas.
So, although on one hand they have the potential to cause extensive property damage and even loss of human life, on the other hand bushfires are an important part of Australian ecosystems and the biology and life cycles of many native flora and fauna, for example, positive effects of bushfires include:
- Heating up the soil, cracking seed coats and triggering the germination of many plant seeds,
- Triggering woody seed pods held in the canopy to open up and release their seeds onto a fresh and fertile ash bed below, and this happens with Banksia plants,
- Clearing thick understorey in forested areas to reduce competition for plant seedlings. So, those seeds when they land in that ash bed are more able to grow quickly because of the ash as nutrients, but they also have less competitors because they have been burnt away from bushfires.
- Also, encourage new growth that provides food for many animals.
- And they also create hollows in logs and trees that can be used by animals for nesting and for shelter.
- And aboriginals in Australia often light bushfires, which is a practice called ‘traditional burning’, and they do this in order to: make access easier through thick and prickly vegetation, to maintain a pattern of vegetation, to encourage new growth and also attract game for hunting. So, they want to attract animals in to eat the new vegetation so that they can hunt these animals. And they also do it to encourage the development of useful food plants for cooking, warmth, signaling, and even spiritual reasons.
So, this practice was done for so long more than 40,000 years that many ecosystems in Australia have adapted to this and they rely on regular fires lit by humans in order to thrive.
That said, there are many negative effects of fires, which include:
- The damage done to vegetation in communities such as rainforests, where it can often take hundreds of years for rain forests to recover from a fire.
- They can kill and injure plants and animals.
- They can cause erosion and the subsequent sedimentation of creeks and wetlands, which is where the erosion goes into the water and it decimates the local flora and fauna. It makes it hard for them to survive them.
- It can also open up areas to the impacts of weeds and feral animal invasion. So, where trees and plants and everything had been burnt away, weeds can come in and live there, animals that have been feral and are introduced into Australia like rabbits, foxes, they can more easily get in too, and also, humans suddenly now have access to these places and they can vandalise these places as well.
How bushfires in Australia are managed? If you come to Australia, you may sometimes see practices such as back burning and prescribed burning taking place in places like national parks and other forested areas around the country near suburbs and this is usually outside the bushfire season. It’s usually done then when they set fires to the understorey, to grasslands, etc. in order to burn away excess wood, excess grass, etc., to make it safer and easier to control during summer and also communities as well as individual households in these areas usually have plans, they’ll be encouraged to have bushfire action plans so that if a bushfire should occur, they know exactly what they need to do in order to get out safely to evacuate the area.
So, let’s chat about the worst bushfire in Australian history. This bushfire was called ‘Black Saturday’, and it was actually hundreds of bushfires all on this one day, and it was the worst Australia bushfire in terms of lives lost. These fires were a series of bushfires that were ignited or were burning across the state of Victoria on Saturday the 7th of February in 2009, it was nine years ago, with the final fire going out or being put out more than a month later on the 14th of March.
The fires occurred during extreme bushfire weather conditions and resulted in Australia’s highest ever loss of life from a bushfire with a total of 180 fatalities and a further 414 people were injured as a result of the fires. There were as many as 400 individual fires recorded that day with the total amount of burnt area, including more than a million acres so about half a million hectares of land.
What caused these fires? There were various confirmed causes of these fires including:
- power lines,
- and even arson
So, people had actually lit these fires on purpose and more than 3,500 buildings including two thousand homes were burnt to the ground and completely destroyed. So, it was a very tragic event and if you ask any Australian about Black Saturday they will know what you’re talking about and they will know about the tragic loss of life.
Anyway, guys, I hope you’ve enjoyed this episode today, I hope you’ve learned a little bit more about English, some expressions, a little bit more about Australian history as well, although, recent Australian history and I hope you guys have an amazing weekend and I’ll see you soon. Peace out!
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