Ep002: Introductions part 2

G’day guys, and welcome to the second episode of Aussie English. I’m Pete Smissen. I’m a 28-year-old PhD student from Melbourne, Victoria, Australia. So, PhD that’s my doctorate that I’m currently studying. I’m from the city of Melbourne in the state of Victoria in the country of Australia.

I recently started this podcast in order to create some resources as well as share my passion for the English language, especially the Australia dialect, and it’s aimed at anyone who’s interested in speaking Australian English or passively being able to understand Australian English. So, whether you want to learn a lot of our mannerisms and expressions and slang terminology to use yourself in conversation with other Australians when you speak English, or whether you just want to understand what a lot of Australians are saying when they speak, and you don’t necessarily want to use that in your day to day English yourself, then this podcast is definitely for you. Because I’m going to cover, I’m going to go over a lot of expressions and terms and just speak to you guys about every day life things and give you exposure to the Australian accent. So, my accent isn’t too thick, but I’ll be able to hopefully interview other Australians. I want to make videos with interviews using the vocabulary that I include in podcasts, interviewing people in the street. I’m also keen to introduce in each episode, at least when I get the dialogues and everything put together and recorded when my recording gear arrives, I look forward to interviewing people with expressions that I introduce into each episode and ask “true blue”, “fair dinkum” Australians how they would use those expressions in day to day life.

So, for instance, you know, one expression that is very common in Australia is the one that I just said “fair dinkum”. It means “true” or “honest” or “legitimate”. So, to use that in a sentence I would say that “I’m a fair dinkum Australian”. So that means that I’m a real Australian person. I’m actually form Australia. If someone is not a fair dinkum Australian, that would mean that they are from another country, you know? If they were from American and they were pretending to be asutralian putting on the accent then you would say they’re not a fair dinkum Australian. You can also use it as a way of verifying with someone whether or not what they’ve said is true. So if someone has said to me, say, “the weather was the worst that I had seen in Melbourne in my entire life”, then I could say in return “hey, fair dinkum?”, “are you fair dinkum?”, “are you telling me the truth?”, “are you serious?”, like it’s a way of me sort of expressing that I’m surprised, and that I want to hear more but I’m also… yeah, it’s shocking to me. So it’s kind of like “fair dinkum! Are you serious?!”. So yeah, those are the two main ways that you would use that really popular stereotype expression of Australia, “fair dinkum”. To exclaim, to say that you’re really surprised as well as to describe something as fair dinkum meaning that it’s legitimate, it’s real, it’s the true thing. You can also say “true blue”, I’m a “true blue Aussie”. That’s another way, but I might save that expression for another day. Anyway, yeah.

So, [In] these podcasts I’m hoping to teach you a little bit about grammar, about expressions like “fair dinkum” that I just told you about, as well as hopefully go into a little bit about our pronunciation of certain words and especially of strings of words because we tend to shorten things quite a bit, we drop things out completely, we also change vowel sounds and change the endings of words. So, I mean, I really didn’t appreciate how hard Australian English can be for someone learning English as a foreign language until I started thinking about how I could teach [it], and where to start teaching, the different aspects of the dialect of Australian English. And as soon as I started actually writing things down and listening to native Australians and looking up slang terms and expressions, I really began to appreciate just how complex dialects of any language can be. So, I’m sure it’s not just the case that Australian English is like this, but yeah, different dialects. You may speak English but as soon as you move to a different country and learn, say, American English or Canadian English or Scottish English then there is so much more that comes with that dialect that you have to suddenly look into and learn and understand. And it’s the same for native speakers. If I were to move to Scotland tomorrow I would have to learn so much new vocabulary and expressions because I would just have no idea what a lot of what they use in everyday life to express certain ideas that they share and that they understand mutually I would have to learn all of that in order to understand a lot of what is said.

So don’t lose heart if you’re learning English as a second language. If you’re… whether you’re wanting to learn the dialect Australian English or any other dialects just persist. It’s difficult but it’s definitely rewarding and it can definitely be really really interesting to learn about different dialects because a lot of these slang terms and expressions aside form being interesting just on the surface of how are they different form other words and expressions that are used elsewhere, they tend to also come with a history of the reason why we started using that slang term whether it was, you know, a week ago, a hundred years ago, two hundred years ago. Some of these things, some of these words and expressions like “fair dinkum” have been around for at least many decades in Australia and they tend to have really interesting origins. So I hope to look into some of those and share them with you guys on this podcast as well.

So I might finish there for podcast number two, and catch you guys later! Have a good one!

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