Scottish Accents, Favourite Movies, & More with Christian Saunders

In this Interview In Depth lesson, we’re going to study a portion of the AE 388 interview with Christian from Canguro English.

Read and listen to the full interview here.

How to complete this lesson:

  1. Listen & read
  2. Complete the quizzes

AE 388 – Interview: Scottish Accents, Favourite Movies, & More with Christian from Canguro English

Difficulty: Beginner

How would you… and that’s a good segue into, I guess, the differences between British English, American English, and Australian English. From our point of view, from our biased Australian point of view, what… how would you sum up… if someone sat you down, whether they were an ESL learner or they are an American or a British person, and they said to you, “Can you just tell me what the differences are? The biggest differences that I should expect when coming to Australia? Aside from potentially pronunciation, what are the differences in the language?”. ‘Cause I‘ve got a few in my head that I can mention, but.

Well, I am going to throw it right back at you, because, you know, I think you’re definitely more have much… ’cause, you know, ’cause you’re still living there, and you specialise in talking about these differences. I mean, what do you… (think the biggest differences are?).

Don’t put me on the spot, man. Don’t put me on the spot!

I think, I guess… we kind of break rules quite a lot, I think, grammatically, at least. Instead of saying, “My car”, people will say, “me car”, “me car”. And they use the wrong noun, wrong personal pronoun. They’ll say, “This is me wife. This is me car. This is me stuff“, you know. So, they’ll use those, and they’ll say, instead of “those”, they’ll say “them”. “Them ones“, “Them ones over there“, instead of “those”. They’ll do those sorts of things. I think too, we won’t say… what’s another example? “You guys”, I find that I say that quite a lot for plural “you”, instead of just saying “you” and it being… just leaving it as “you all”, like, I have to add something else to always make sure that people know that I’m talking about multiple people instead of just using “you”.

Yeah. I mean, it’s incredible that English lacks a pronoun to talk to a group of people. I mean it’s such necessary thing. It’s such a necessary thing, and we don’t have it. I mean, but yeah, like, you could say “yous“, “yous lot” maybe?

That would happen too. Yeah “yous” where we’ve pluralised it by putting an “S” on the end. You’ll hear bogans say that. “Yous. What are yous doing? Are yous coming? Are yous coming with us?”. I know, and you’ll be like,… I’ll be there, and I’ll be like, “Oh my gosh! I can’t handle this! I’m going to have an aneurysm!”.

But isn’t it… I mean it just… if you said to somebody, “Okay. We need to invent a pronoun, a new pronoun, for a group”, you would say, “Well, we’ll put an “S” on “you” it’s a solution. You know, “Yous.”.

I know, that’s it. I can’t think how else… I wonder… there must have been a plural pronoun that just somehow fell out of use in our history, you know, from Middle English or Old English, and I wonder if we could bring it back, you know, “thou” or “thine” or something crazy. I think also though, we probably use… the thing that blows my mind about British English, American English, and Australian English is that we quite often use the same language, but at different frequencies. So, like, I’ll say certain expressions or things like, “I reckon“. I’ll use words that the Americans and the British probably know, and they probably use from time to time, but I use them way more often, and maybe in different circumstances than they would, you know. And the same with, like… what’s an example? American saying, “It’s cold out.” You know, “it’s cold out.

It’s cold out.

And you’ll be like, “Out what?”


And they’re just like, “out”, and you’re like, “Oh, “outside”. Okay, gotcha!”.

Yeah, it is… Yeah, I think, that there’s… maybe there’s a little bit of business aspect to creating this idea there’s a big difference between British English and American English, but I really… I think that there’s not. I think it’s just marketing, really. And.

Well, there’s a question for you. What advice would you give people who want to learn English, but they don’t know where they want to go, if they want to leave their country and go to an English-speaking country, which English would they… should they learn, or should they… it doesn’t matter?

I don’t think it matters. I mean, I don’t think that it is… in the history of English teaching, nobody has ever gone to a country… like, no one’s arrived in America, and people would say, “Oh! Are you speaking British English?”.

I can’t imagine… I can’t imagine too, though, be like, “I’ve just spent seven years learning British English and I ended up in Canada. Shit…!”. Like, how am I going to communicate with the locals?!”

No, but I mean, it’s never happened. I mean, you know, maybe if you had studied British English for 30 years intensely, and, you know, you had… your words were perfect, an American would think that your turn of phrase, some of your vocabulary, was British, but it would never create a problem with understanding. I mean.


Vocab Breakdown:

, like, used in the same way as ‘um’, ‘uh’, ‘well’ in order to pause briefly and think in the middle of a sentence to figure out what else you want to say.

  • I reckon that we should, like,… go out for the evening.

, you know,

  • used to emphasise or draw attention to what the speaker is saying;
    • It’s going to be a really hot day today, you know.
  • used to suggest the listener is going to understand the point the speaker’s making;
    • I saw that movie the other day, you know, the one with Heath Ledger!
  • used to check that the listener understands the point
    • I guess, it’s just that you’ve got to do what you’ve got to do, you know?

‘cause – informal spoken version of ‘because’

  • I’ve gotta (got to) go, ‘cause I’m gonna (going to) be late.

A bogan – a usually uncouth, unpleasant, uneducated Australian of low social status

  • I reckon the guy who served us at the pub was a bit of a bogan.

A little bit of a business aspect to ST – a little bit of a part or feature of ST

  • There’s a little bit of a dodgy aspect to that guy.

A turn of phrase – a person’s particular or characteristic manner of expression (i.e. the types of expressions and words they use when speaking)

  • What the U.S. bloke said was an interesting turn of phrase.

An English-speaking countrya compound adjective ‘noun’-‘adjective’a more advanced way of saying ‘a country that speaks English’

  • Her backyard was full of dogs. It was a dog-filled back yard.

Bring ST back (into use) – begin using ST that has gone out of fashion

  • We’re going to bring back wearing fluoro-coloured shirts.

Don’t put me on the spot – (Don’t) put SO in a situation in which they must make a difficult decision or answer a difficult question

  • She asked the student a question and put him on the spot.

End up in SW – to finally be in a particular place or situation

  • How did you end up lying in the garden shirtless?

Exactly!used to show that the speaker complete agrees with a point SO’s made

  • I think Essendon’s a better footy team than Richmond!
  • Yeah, exactly!

Fall out of use – no longer be fashionable; stop being used

  • There’s a lot of words in English that have fallen out of use.

From one’s point of view – From one’s perspective

  • How does this situation seem from your point of view?

Gotcha!used to show you that you have understood the point the speaker made

  • Once I’d fully explained the problem he was like, “Gotcha!”.

I can’t handle ST – I can’t cope with ST

  • I can’t handle taking care of 3 children at once.

I find… – it’s my experience (that)…

  • I find that it’s harder to get a job these days.

I guess…used to show that you are slightly uncertain or reluctant about what you are saying

  • I guess, it’s just something I’ve never really enjoyed doing.

I mean…used to introduce a statement, especially one that justifies ST that you have just said

  • He’s going to go broke! I mean, he’s just spending too much money at the moment.

I reckon… – it’s my opinion (that)…

  • I reckon he’s a bit of a bogan.

I think… – it’s my opinion (that)…

  • I think he just wants attention.

I’m going to have an aneurysm used as an exaggeration to suggest that ST is going to really damage my brain

  • Whenever I see Kim Kardashian on TV I feel like I’m going to have an aneurysm.

I’ve got a few in my head – I can think of a few (examples)

  • I’ve got a few examples in my head.

It’s cold out (American English) – It’s cold outside

  • Today, It’s pretty cold out.

Man,…used as a way of expression shock or surprise, it’s a synonym for “Gee!”, “Wow!”, “Oh!”.

  • Man… it’s a long way down!

Me (instead of my) incorrect grammar used by less-educated Australians instead of “my”.

  • I can’t find me keys!

Oh my gosh used to expression shock or surprise, it’s a synonym for “Oh my God!”

  • Oh my gosh! I just found out my uncle died.

Potentially – maybe; possibly

  • The take-away is going to potentially be 1 hour until it’s delivered.

Segue into ST – smoothly transition into ST

  • Our discussion segued nicely into the current topic.

The locals – the people who live locally in this area

  • Have you met many of the locals here?

Them (instead of those)incorrect grammar used by less-educated Australians instead of “those”.

  • Are them keys yours?

Throw ST right back at SO – a question

  • I’m going to throw that question right back at you!

You’ll be like,…used to in describing what you or someone else said or thought, or what a certain situation was “like”.

  • If I asked you to do that, you’d be like, “No way!”.

Yous (instead of you (pl))incorrect grammar used by less-educated Australians instead of “you”, “you guys”, “you lot”, etc.

Are yous coming with us?