Wow I have had the busiest week ever!
So I started thinking about students here to learn English and all the different ways to talk about being busy, when we speak English in Australia.
First of all, I've been flat out all week, so that's a good one - flat out. This has a longer version too - Flat out like a lizard drinking, but nowadays we just tend to say 'flat out' - it's quicker! Another version of this seems to be 'flat chat' and they all mean the same thing - very busy!
Another way to say you've had a busy week is 'full on'. 'This week has been full on', or 'it's full on'. However 'full on' is slightly different from 'flat out', 'flat out' just means busy, fast-paced whereas 'full on' can also imply something serious or complicated.
Hectic - this is another good one to express yourself as busy - 'It's been hectic', or, 'that was hectic'. Again hectic can mean very busy but it also infers a sense of chaos or messiness.
So, to say we've had a busy week we can use
Then of course we like to tell people how tired we are because it's been so busy:
So let's combine a couple of these. "I've been flat out all week and I'm absolutely buggered"
If you're here to learn English online, don't forget to check out the links in this article - they further explain the English expressions that I've just talked about.
Noni Hazlehurst, actor and Aussie darling from our sweet memories of Playschool, has been inducted into the Logies Hall of Fame and has given an amazing speech at the awards night.
Junkee on Facebook has posted this video with the subtitles of her speech, which is great if you are here to learn English.
Listen to her Australian accent, follow along with the subtitles. It's just a short video and Noni is a lovely, clear speaker.
She talks about the state of society attitudes today, as it is, fuelled by bad news and the media. She talks about depression and society's attitude towards high achievers who don't fit society's celebrated norm (white males).
If you are her to learn English online, this short video is a great one to practice your listening skills.
Next - go to next blog post
We made some short videos (well, my husband made them) of CFS volunteers in South Australia.
CFS stands for Country Fire Service and is made up of volunteers from the area.
If you are able, you might like to consider volunteering for your local CFS. Volunteering is a great way to meet people and make friends in Australia - and give you lots of practice in speaking English.
If you are here to learn English online, I suggest you watch the video, then watch it again but this time just listen to it and follow the transcript below - to practice your listening skills, particularly to practice listening to an Australian accent.
Transcript to help you learn English:
"Fires are loud and hot. You know, a lot of people describe it as a jet engine, I haven't heard one quite that loud yet and so I'm kinda kind of glad about that.
Joined um up just after Black Saturday happened in Victoria, I wanted to protect my community and plus it also sounded pretty exciting.
So we all bring our different experiences, ah and all work together, and when I guess the going gets tough, we, we're even closer.
I'm a CFS volunteer."
Remember, it really is quite helpful, if you want to learn English and improve how you speak English or understand Australians, to listen and follow the transcript, pause, go back, listen again and say it yourself too.
Next - Go to the next blog post
Aussies are so upbeat aren't they? (Upbeat means positive, optimistic)
Well, sometimes they are! 'She'll be right' is a strange expression in some ways, especially if you're in Australia to learn English. It means everything will be alright or it'll be alright, but for some reason we use 'she'.
'She'll be right' is not always talking about a woman - that's the strange part! You could be talking about your car, for example.
"I don't think this old car will make it up the hill"
"She'll be right, let's go"
Or you could be talking about yourself - even if you're a man:
(2 men speaking English):
"Do you want a ride home?"
"Nah she'll be right, I wanna walk" (Here he means, 'I'll be alright' or 'It'll be alright' - meaning his walking will be alright)
It's a very common way, when we speak English in Australia, to put on a brave face about something, perhaps it's a way to avoid being too personal too.
If you're here to learn English online, click here to see more info about 'She'll be right'
Tasting Australia is on again in Adelaide!
This short video shows you how to cook with native Australian ingrediants and it's also a great way to help you learn English - especially English in Australia.
If you are here to learn English online, I want you to notice how the chef (Andrew Fielk) is telling the students what to do. Is he giving orders or is he giving advice?
Australians often don't like to be told directly what to do, so in our language we find ways to soften orders or instructions by turning them into suggestions - advice.
Instead of saying do this or do that, we instead talk about ourselves, in the conditional tense, as a way to give advice. For example, instead of saying 'Add some pepper' we might say 'I would add some pepper'. Remember, conditional tense is using 'if', so 'if you would like to, you could add some pepper', but it's even gentler by talking about myself - 'If it was my dish, I would add some pepper', that way the student can feel free to not take the advice, without being rude. (When we speak English, in the conditional tense, we often drop the 'if', but it is still implied).
We also give advice in the form of a question.
Listen to the video and see if you can notice where the chef gives advice.
He is giving advice on how to create your own bush blends.
"You could do some salt bush" (conditional)
"Well you know what goes really well with bush tomato? It's what I like, is smoked paprika" (Notice here he first asks them if they know, then he tells them what he likes)
"Why don't you use some of that salt bush leaves as well" ('Why don't you...' is a common way to give advice gently - it is not really asking a question)
"So I'd be using a little bit of macadamia and almond perhaps" (I + conditional + perhaps, perhaps makes it even gentler)
"So you might want to roast those, just quickly" ('You might want to...' = a very common way to give advice)
"I reckon you could put a little bit more....personally" (To say 'I think' or 'I reckon', is another way to give advice, it's a way to say it's my opinion, it's even softer to add 'personally')
"A tiny bit of that smoked paprika would be wicked in there I reckon" (conditional + I reckon)
"....a bit more native pepper, would help dominate there" (conditional - he could've said 'will help dominate there' but conditional keeps it as just a suggestion)
Towards the end the chef gets a bit braver and says 'C'mon I want to see you get in there....' but uses humour to keep it gentle
"To me, the bush tomato's not shining through yet..." (To me = my opinion)
Learn English with through food - great stuff!