AE 516: Few, A Few, Very Few, & Quite A Few – What’s the difference?
What’s going on, guys? Welcome to this advanced English lesson. Today I want to take you through, I want to show you, the differences between these common collocations with the word FEW, right? You’ll hear few, a few, very few, quite a few…There’s probably others but these are very common and they can mean completely different things. Ok? So let’s get into it.
Alright, so let’s go through FEW first, the word few. Few means a small number of something and it will be plural. A small number of things, it’s never one, it’s usually two, three, four. The idea being that it is not very many, but it is plural. It can have a negative meaning. So, it can mean not as much as expected or wished for. So, for example I have few friends as opposed to just saying I have three friends, I have four friends, which is just sort of a neutral statement.
If you say I have few friends, that’s the idea that you have a small number of friends and it’s less than expected or less than you wish for. Maybe you want more. I only have few friends. I have few friends. Another example: she has few talents. She has few talents. Again as opposed to saying she has two talents, three talents, four talents. The idea here is that she only has a small number of talents and it can be negative. It can be ahhh she only has a small number of talents, less than expected, less than wished for, ok? Few.
It’s not always negative, though. So, when you add this in with a time period in the future or in the past, it is just talking about a small number, right? So, for example I’ve lived in Australia for the last few years. That could be two years, three years, four years, but the basic idea being that I have lived in Australia for the last small more a number of years, ok?
Another example: it’ll rain for the next few days. So, it’ll rain for the next small number of days, it could be two days, three days four days. Probably won’t be many more than that. Ok? It’ll rain for the next few days.
Now let’s talk about A FEW. Ok? Now we’re using it as a noun, right? A few. A few. This just means some, a small number of some things, so it’s similar to few, but this time it doesn’t have that negative connotation. We need a few hours to do the job. We need a few hours to do the job. We need only a small number of hours to do this job, two hours, three hours, a very small number of hours. Another example: the car comes in a few different colours. That is that the car is available in only a small number of colours and it could be that you wish there were more colours. Ok?.
VERY FEW. Very few. A very small number. Now we’re sort of emphasizing how small that number is, right? That’s what varie is doing in front of few. Very few, not just a few, very few. So, he wants very few people present at his wedding. Meaning he only wants a very, very, very small number of people present at his wedding. The shop has very few products left for sale. The shop has only a very small number of products left for sale so, this is just a way of emphasizing how small that number of things is.
The last one here: QUITE A FEW, tends to be the complete opposite. And this is where it can be confusing. If I say quite a few, it is a surprisingly large number of whatever the thing is that you’re talking about, right? So it can have the complete opposite meaning of few or a few on its own, right? Where you will have a very small number. If you say quite a few, it’s a very large number and the same thing with that negativity, sorry, with that opposite meaning negative for few and a few as in less than expected, less than wished for. This is the complete opposite where it’ll be a positive meaning potentially, where it could be more than expected or more than wished for.
Ok? So, let’s see an example: the dog knows quite a few tricks. So, you could say the dog knows a few tricks and that would be he knows a couple, but if you say quite a few, that’s he knows a lot, right? The dog knows a surprisingly large number of tricks, more than you expected. Yeah, he knows quite a few tricks!
Another example: there are quite a few people eating at the restaurant. There is a surprisingly large number of people eating at the restaurant, more than you would expect.
So, now let’s go through and do some comparisons and we will do this over in the Aussie English classroom, guys. So, if you would like to join me there, make sure that you go to theaussieenglishclassroom.com, sign up to be a member, you can try it for just one dollar for your first month and you’ll get the rest of this video where we will compare all these different forms: a few, few, very few, quite a few, across a few different sentences and we will also talk about the difference between using little and few, right? A little, a few, little, few, very little, very few. So, join me over in the Aussie English Classroom, guys and I’ll see you there!
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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 months ago
AE 518: An Aussie Christmas with Kel and Pete
G’day, Kel! Welcome to this episode of Aussie English. So, today we’re going to be talking about a bit of Aussie culture. Aussie culture. We’re going to be talking about Christmas! Or Xmas, as we sometimes call it.
Well, I don’t know why I think it’s cross, right? Chris, on a cross, Xmas. it’s called Xmas for people who aren’t really Christian like very very religious they tend to refer to it as Xmas.
Never heard that.
I would usually just call it Christmas, but sometimes I’d write it, when I’m writing quickly I write Xmas, Xmas Xmas Xmas. So, thought we could talk a bit about, I don’t know, what Christmas was like for each of us growing up, obviously with a focus on me and Australia, but also to hear about your experiences with Christmas growing up because, you know, it’s one of those things I grew up doing a certain, you know, having a certain set of customs and rituals that we do each year and I think everyone else does them everywhere else in the world, just the same as I do.
Yeah, I thought the same.
What questions do you have for me the start us off?
I don’t know. Was the same, every year the same for you? Christmas, or it was something you would be looking forward to as a child and be all excited about, or it was like oh… my God, family gatherings…
Think that happened a little later, when I was a little kid I used to love Christmas because you always got presents, right? So, to sort of run you through how it’s, how it usually occurred for me growing up when I was a little kid, my earliest memories of Christmas were…we would have in Australia so, Christmas Eve, the night before Christmas Day, that’s the 24th of December. Then we have Christmas Day, which is the 25th and then we have Boxing Day, which is the 26th and so, Christmas Eve we would usually celebrate with some of my dad’s family, because we’re just the two families, my mom and my dad’s families, would never get together, it would always be you see one then you see the other.
So, on Christmas Eve I would see his family, we would exchange presents, we would usually have a more versatile dinner so, it could be anything, really, with them. Someone would bring you know chips and dips and little things to eat, but it would be at my auntie’s house and she would usually cook something, but it wouldn’t be the same thing every year. So, she just cooked some kind of meal like, you know, maybe a salad, maybe they’d be cold meats, like ham and salami to put in rolls or could be anything.
So, we would do that on Christmas Eve and then we would usually exchange presents with them because we weren’t going to see them on Christmas Day so, we would usually sit down after dinner and then each family would give everyone else in the other family a present or two each, and they were you know, just wrapped up, might have a ribbon on it, might have just wrapping paper with sticky tape on it with a card on it saying, you know, Merry Christmas, Dave. And then they open the present oh, I got Lego! Uhuh! you know, depending on who it was or it could be a voucher or clothes could be anything, but then on Christmas Eve we would usually be, me and my sister, would usually be incredibly excited because we would go home knowing that Santa was coming that night, right? So, we would be like I can’t wait to get home! Got to sleep!
Did you actually believe in Santa?
What are you talking about, Kel? What do you mean believe? Santa is real, Kel.
Well, of course! Yeah. What else are you going to believe, right? You get told this by your parents and why would you not? You go to sleep, you wake up the next day and there’s all these gifts under the tree.
Yeah, definitely, the evidence.
That weren’t there the day before… So, yeah. I would go to sleep with my sister in the same room or in separate rooms as we got older and we would always be like…”can’t sleep, I can’t sleep! What if Santa comes while we are wake? Oh my Gosh!” . You know, we’d be like “try and listen and hear if we hear his reindeer and his sled land on the roof” and I remember too thinking ”Mum Dad we don’t have a chimney, how does he get in the house?”
Oh that’s so cute!
And mum’s like… we leave the door open, don’t worry, him can get in. And so we would go to sleep thinking that he was coming and he would put the presents under the Christmas tree so, we would have a Christmas tree set up, usually a plastic one. Some people would buy small pine trees that you can like real trees and you’d hang decorations on them like Christmas balls and bells and angels and, you know, gingerbread man, candy canes, holy reindeer, snowmen, everything to do with Christmas on these trees and the presents would usually go under the tree that people had bought one another and then Santa would usually leave our presence in a special sack. So, Mum and Dad had like pillow cases with our names on them and they would be under the tree empty on the night.
For Santa to put the gifts inside.
On the 24, yeah and then the next day we would wake up and we would like, you know, before anything we’d run out and have a look at the tree and look underneath and be like Oh my Gosh! The sacks are full of presents!!!!
This is so cute!
And we were patient, we’d have to go in and wake mum and dad up and be like…
So you couldn’t open the presents before….
No, they had to be there. They had to be there. Yeah. We’d have to go… and it would be so annoying cause sometimes you wake up and it would be like 5am and you’d be like It’s time! It’s time! you know, the sun is not up, but it’s time! And Mum and Dad go back to bed. Yeah because it was so early, they’d be like going to sleep for another hour or two and then we’ll wake up and do it and I’ll be like noooo we have to wait so long to see the presents!
So, what would you usually get? Like, what was like…cars?
Oh yes, so toy cars. I remember Lego used to be something I always wanted! So, we would wake up my parents, they’d come out and they would usually sit on the sofa and we would sit on the ground, Annika and I, my sister and I, in front of the tree and each have our sacks and be pulling the presents out and comparing sizes and being like ”she got more than me! Santa!” or ”she got a bigger one than me or I got a smaller” oh ‘what is this? It’s the shape of a CD or a DVD”.
You know, so you’d be trying to guess what it was. I remember always shaking it hoping that you would hear that jingle of Lego pieces. So, you shake the box and you’ll be like…is it going to be a lot of little pieces? and then you like yeaaah cause you can normally tell the difference between a puzzle or Lego or a DVD or something. And you know the box sort of shape of Lego as well, right? So, yeah I used to get Lego, you’d get all sorts of toys like, water guns, robots, stuffed toys, could be anything.
So, you would get more than one present?.
Yeah, they’d usually…not necessarily spoil us. I remember the presents were never ridiculously expensive. My parents were never really well-off. They were in a similar position that you and I are today when I was very young, maybe a little bit better off, but I think also they never wanted to spoil us, so they would never be like, you know, hundreds and hundreds of dollars worth of toys. And I think too because they knew that you’re not going to be playing with that toy for that long, right? You’ll play for it for a few weeks,max, maximum and then you cast it aside and be asking for the next toy and so, they were like well…
What’s the point?
And Lego, far out, that get expensive. You look at some of those huge things and it’s like hundreds of dollars.
So, that used to be it, we would get out in the morning, wake the parents up, go through the presents and then, you know, be like oh man, Santa! What a bad ass! So awesome! Thank you, Santa! Oh, he didn’t give us coal! you know?So there’s the stereotype in or the story, I guess, in Western culture that Santa, he knows who’s been good and who’s bad and you as a child have to be good in order to get presents, if you’re bad, you get coal, right? Like burned wood. He’ll leave you some coal.
Yeah. So there’s always that song, right? “He knows if you’ve been naughty he knows if you’ve been good”, whatever it is, but would, you would your parents put like coal l inside the bag just like oh… that’s because I did this thing…
No, I think that would be like child abuse.
No, I mean, you would get presents but just one piece of coal, just like oh yeah I remember.
I think they probably would have done that if we had had a an open fire at the house where they could have readily access, had access to coal. Maybe, but that never happened though.
I didn’t know this thing.
But we would also leave out, before we went to sleep on the 24th, we used to leave out food and milk for Santa. So, that would, that would be something we would do too, where our snacks were or the Christmas stockings are. Some people buy stockings, like these huge kind of like sock, kind of things for you to put presents in, you quite often in Western culture in America, in Britain, in Australia probably other parts of Europe as well, kids will put food and drink for Santa, because he’s obviously tired, right? After going to what three billion kids homes. So, we would leave milk in a glass and often biscuits that we’d made or something for Santa to eat.
So, in the morning the food would be gone?
It would always be half eaten, my parents would always come and just like take a sip of the milk and probably a few bites of biscuits or the carrot or whatever that was there.
It’s just so cute!
And be like “look! Santa’s eaten some of the stuff! Obviously he liked it and kept going on his way” and we’d always, you know, joke around like oh that’s why Santa’s so fat! He was always getting treats! Poor Santa with his diabetes from all the biscuits and milk.
Just leave him a beer, man. Next time, there you go, Santa.
So, that would be Christmas Eve and Christmas morning and then for Christmas Day we would usually go to my grandmother and grandfather’s house on my mother’s side so, my mother’s family and her parents and that was always much bigger than what I did with my dad’s family because part of his family lives overseas so, it would be a small thing with with his family, with my mum’s family on the other hand we’ve got bigger and bigger as we got older because of her siblings all having children. So, it used to be used, it used to be wild, like we would go to their place in Melbourne so, we’d have to drive for like an hour and a half and then they would have morning tea. So, like shortbread, tea, coffee whatever drinks you want and you sort of wait for everyone to arrive to the party. And then there was a sort of very regimented and strict lunch, it was pretty much the same every single year so, my grandmother would organise a very traditional roast, which was usually turkey and lamb. They would have a turkey and lamb roast beef and they would have their vegetables, the sort of traditional roast and veggies so, you would have things like pumpkin, potato, green beans and I think it would usually be those three and then maybe some salad and she would have other people in the family bring other food too, so someone would bring things like chips, like lollies and.
Chocolates. Yeah, someone will have to bring the rum butter, a special kind of like sweet butter with rum in it.
Yeah, I think I’ve tried it, with cake or something.
Yeah, exactly. And so, we would eat, we’d go through all these courses, you have the first course, which is a little entree with salad, the main course with all the meats, the meatballs, the veggies like potato, pumpkin and she would have peaches, that was a very strange thing I remember always, they always had these like canned fruit peaches that you can have with your dinner. And then dessert would usually be mouse, ice cream, and then the Christmas pudding, the special Christmas pudding, which was a… I think a plum pudding? So very, very it’s like a fruit cake that’s been boiled, a plum pudding that’s been boiled and she would usually pour brandy on it, liqueur, and then light it on fire as they brought it out, right? So, this cake would usually enter the room on fire.
And there was just normal from me, like, everyone does that, right?
I’ve never seen it. I mean we went…I think two weeks ago we went to see your grandparents?
The year before for some reason they failed and they couldn’t light it. I remember. Then last time they just skipped it. The lighting it on fire. And my grandmother does a very strange thing where she puts old Australian currency into the cake, right? So, she takes coins from before 1966, that was in circulation then, but like I think like a threepence and a penny and that kind of old money and she puts that into the cake and if you find certain currency, certain valued coins in there, in your piece of cake, she’ll exchange it for a dollar or two dollars or ten cents or something.
I think I got two dollars or something last time?
Yeah, you got two bucks this year. Yeah. So, that was always, that was my Christmas, and again gift with them we would usually exchange gifts amongst everyone in all the different family members before lunch so, everyone would sit down in the living room in sort of like a big circle with like 20 25 of us and then each family would take turns in handing out gifts to all the people in the different families and it would be anything from like wine or food or jam, like food that people had made or it could be usually toys and small gifts and Barbie dolls that sort of stuff for children.
More interesting things for them to play with, Nerf guns, water pistols. Yeah. So, that was, that was really Christmas for me and then Boxing Day was usually just, the 26th, was usually just a day to rest and chill out. That’s when the Boxing Day sales begin in stores in Western countries so, that’s usually the all of those big commercial stores like Myers, JB HIFI, all of those places that you buy gifts from before Christmas, usually have massive sales when they sell things for like 50 per cent off on Boxing Day and so, there tends to be a whole bunch of crazy capitalism going on as well.
I have experienced that in Townsville, it was great, everything just like half price stuff, yeah, great.
One more thing to add. The interesting thing about Australian Christmas is that it’s during summer and the weird thing for me growing up was… and I never even really thought about this until I got older… that all of the trinkets and decorations and things related to Christmas that you buy, are all winter related.
Yeah, snow and..
You know, like the stocking, snow, snowmen angels, all of these like the decorations on them pine trees, the pine trees, which are from the North, right? You know, pine needles, all of this stuff was always winter related because it comes from Europe and western, western Europe and like the US so, that was always funny for me because we would have Christmas where it’s probably could be anywhere between 30 to 40 degrees and it hasn’t snowed for four months anywhere in Australia and you will go down to the beach and like, you know, play cricket on the beach, go for a swim here and that would usually be our sort of Christmas afternoon so, enjoying the sun so, it’s a bit strange.
It’s the same for me, always hot so, I never really had this like stereotypical Christmas when you have snow and you go outside to play with the snow and things. It doesn’t make sense to me.
Yeah well, I always thought, why are we playing with snowmen? And it’s like… we don’t…
We don’t have it!
We don’t have snow, exactly! Why is Santa dressed in such warm gear? And so, that would be the stereotype those jokes on TV and stuff we’re Santa is wearing shorts and a singlet or something at the beach.
Same in Brazil.
So, what was it like for you growing up then Kel, in Brazil, compared to the sort of Western Australian, British and American Christmas, what was it like for you in Brazil?
It’s a bit different, I would say, it was…was something I would be looking forward to during the year as a child just like Yeah, Christmas! Not so much because of the presents I would get, but because of the food.
Oh really? So, you’re sort of the opposite of me, I’d always be like presents first and then like ah, do we have to eat?
I think it depends on your financial situation in Brazil, it depends a lot on it. So, if you… if your parents have more money or your family has more money you may have a bigger party, but my family is quite big and we didn’t have a lot so, it was this one time of the year there we would do something really big and it was amazing. So, yeah I would be all excited about it, but the thing is we celebrate it differently like we…our party happens on the 24th.
Yeah. I remember you telling me this and being like, what do you mean it happens on Christmas Eve? You celebrate Christmas Eve more than Christmas Day?
We spend the whole day, Christmas Eve, cooking, preparing the house, cleaning and then we get ready, like usually you have new clothes, and you stay awake until midnight, that’s when you have dinner with your family and you open presents.
Yeah. So, I would be so excited because I didn’t really have rules in my house like children go to bed at 8p.m, but it’s hard for a child to be awake, you know, until really late, so I would…that would be one of the very rare occasions when my sister and I would be awake until midnight or 1a.m.
See, for us that would be New Year’s Eve that we were like oh we get to stay up late. Christmas Eve would never be one where we could stay up to midnight. And I think mainly because our parents wouldn’t stay up that long, right? Because they’re in bed by whatever time so, we would be in bed before then. Specially as little kids, whereas for New Year’s, New Year’s Eve, they would be up all night. So, of course we were more able to stay up late on those sorts of days.
So, for us yeah we would stay awake until like midnight, 1:00a.m. and then at midnight to have fireworks and, you know, you say Merry Christmas and you hug and you exchange presents and you have food.
Did you have that thing with Santa, though, too? Are you waiting for Santa to come? Some people do, but honestly, I’ve never had this thing in my house. Mum would never, like my family just would never be like Santa Claus is coming… we didn’t, I don’t ever remember thinking about it. Like, oh yeah he’s coming. No. I knew my mum would get the presents and it was like… listening to you explaining how exciting it was, I kind of feel like I wish I had had it, you know, so magical and like I can’t imagine be so excited about something. I was excited, but you know, just thinking ”oh is he going to give me a lot of presents?”. I already knew it was my mum or my grandmother.
I think is one of those things you snap out of it pretty, pretty quickly and you realise that I think for me I discovered when I walked into my parents room one day and they had the receipt for all the gifts on the wall.
I was like, mum how come the receipt here is like literally all the gifts that I got for Christmas?
What did she say?
”We bought them for Santa. So, that he could give them to you” and I’m pretty much walked out like ”Annika, Santa is not real!”.
No way. That’s so funny. I never had this moment. Like, I always knew it was mum or dad or someone so, I didn’t have….I was excited about what I would get, but not because of Santa like it was just like I know Grandma it’s probably going to give me something, so…
Looking back on it, though, I think… how did we not think Mum, Dad why haven’t you given us any presents? Santa gave us all this stuff, you gave us nothing!
Can Santa be my dad?
Yeah so, then we would have dinner with the family and there was a really, you know, massive sort of dinner, we would have like…my family doesn’t like turkey, is very popular in Brazil, but we never really liked it so, we’d have this big chicken, full of chemicals or whatever, but yeah really a massive chicken.
Been given steroids, had it?
It’s like first of December, something happens all the chickens are massive! I’m like ok… So, a lot of rice with raisins. All the other things are in Portuguese so, I know I’m not quite sure.
How to translate them.
How to translate them, but yeah.
So very traditional food then?
Very traditional food, lasagne…
Well yeah…brigadeiro, things like that we would have for Christmas.
This chocolate desserts.
Yeah there was it. And then we would eat and go to bed.
So, was it a very religious event for your? Or celebration too, we should talk about that.
Some people, not for me personally, my family… we would watch the, what do you call it, mass?
I was thinking Mars, the planet.
With the Pope?
With the Pope and everything.
Because obviously you guys are catholic.
Yea but I remember grandma going to church, but I wouldn’t, it was just like ah, whatever, you know?
It was the same for me.
But some people really follow like the traditional, they go to church and the mass finishes before midnight so, you have time to go home, you know, have dinner.
Wow, goes that late, though? Holly Molly.
It’s quite late, but IT has to finish before like 11:00, I would say.
So that the family can celebrate.
So, in Australia, I guess, is a Christian holiday, right? It’s about the birth of Jesus and, you know, celebrating new life, everything like that, but I think the average person in Australia isn’t very religious. They will probably… the average person’s probably atheist, right? At least not actively practicing a religion. So, if anything they’re sort of Christian through their family, but they don’t go to church and they don’t actively pray and that sort of stuff. So, for us it’s still the holidays kind of now detached from Christianity and going to church and practising it like that. We never did that growing up, but my mum and her family were Christian when she was young or at least her family still is, she’s not anymore, but they would go to church and they still do. So, they still go to church on Christmas Day and I think it’s the morning service on Christmas Day that they go to so, we always have to arrive after they’ve gone to church and that’s usually I think, that usually starts at like 9:00 or 10:00 in the morning and finishes after an hour or two.
Yeah. So, it is a Christian holiday, but it’s not just for Christians to celebrate. That’s, that’s the point I’m trying to get at. In America, in Australia, in many parts of Europe, Christian countries have this celebration, but everyone takes part, whether you’re Christian or not so.
Same in Brazil.
So yeah. So it’s not weird to meet people who are Indian or people who are from the Middle East or from Africa living in Australia and still celebrating Christmas with the rest of us, because you don’t have to be a Christian to still, you know, want to get a Christmas tree, put decorations on it, buy presents for people say thank you to everyone and kind of just celebrate being a big community and what you’ve got.
Well, it is it is a family sort of thing in Brazil and it’s very, you know, related to religion, although my family is not extremely religious, but yeah my grandma would go to church, if I’m not mistaken, but then yeah, some people do, some people don’t. So yeah. So that was my 24th and then on the next day, the 25th, we would just eat the leftovers, for lunch and for dinner, and if there was anything else where we would eat the next day.
How much did you cook?
Oh man. You have no idea. We literally cook for like four or five days because everyone is so tired after that.
It makes sense.
My poor mum, she would cook the whole thing by herself. And, you know, that’s when my sister and I would get involved. We would help her with things like cakes and stuff just being so curious around the kitchen and that was really exciting. And she would give as like oh you make the brigadeiros or you make this cake and things. So, the very few things I know how to cook, are because you know my mum doing Christmas cooking around the house and me watching and helping her. So, yeah and I think that’s when it differs from your celebration in Australia because we don’t have like…some people do have Christmas lunch on the 25th, but the main thing is the midnight thing on the 24th.
That’s the main party when everyone gets together, we open presents and everything. The next day is like some people get together. Some people don’t and we don’t have Boxing Day. So, all the sales and things would be before Christmas, before the 24th because you need to buy presents for people to open on the 24th. So, if you want to buy cheap stuff it has to be before Christmas, we don’t have Boxing Day, I’m quite sure it’s a holiday. And then that’s it and then we start a for a New Year’s Eve and yeah…pretty much. You were mentioning the presents you would get. I’d get one present. One, like, it would be a toy or it would be new clothes or new shoes or, you know…
Something useful too that you kinda needed.
Definitely. My mum and my grandmother would just like put a little bit of money into something a bit better, like I’m gonna get you a new dress.
So, it was a much more practical sort of present.
Yeah. I would get toys from my dad because he wasn’t living with me so, he was like oh I’ll visit you, he would come over, drop a few, like one present for me, one present for my sister and that was it, but my, the family I was living with, my mum my grandma, my aunts, they would give me useful sort of things like shoes, clothes or whatever.
I remember too, when we used to go through this stage on Christmas Day all the kids in the neighbourhood used to leave the house after they’d gotten the gifts, right? In the morning and you would see all these children playing in the street with new toys. So there’d be kids with like electric race cars, new skateboard, maybe a kite, always playing and especially if you knew the kids quite often you would be like taking turns
What did you get?
Yeah. What did you get for Christmas? Wow, that’s awesome. Can I have a go? Can I try your new skateboard? And so, that was always really fun. Oh and we used to have, on the 24th, Santa would come around on the fire engine and so, we were showing you this recently. So, the fire brigade , he CFA, I forgot what that stands for, the CFA in Australia is the fire brigade, the people who sent out when there’s a fire and often they would pay…they would fund themselves, they’d buy little bags of candy or lollies, as we call them in Australia, lolly bags and Santa, someone dressed up as Santa, would usually be on the top of one of these red and white fire engines and that would drive around the streets playing Christmas music, Christmas Carols and hand out the lolly bags to children. And so that used to happen as well, you would hear the music in the background on the 24th and be like ‘Santa is nearby, where is he?’ and, you know, you walk out in the street and he’s waving on the back of a truck and you’d be like ”yeah, lollies!!” and he’d walk out and just give you some lollies and be like HO HO HO.
I’m sure we have that, I remember that in my city, but Santa doesn’t drive around, you know, he is somewhere sitting down in his chair and you go to him, you take photos and then he might give you a lollipop or something.
Well, we have those at the moment set up in like malls. So, we saw it today. If you go to malls anywhere nearby, you’ll often see this big chair with Santa on it and you can get photos, that’s usually for children to get photos with Santa. So, that’s something else, but I guess sort of finishing up if you guys want to celebrate Christmas in Australia, the good thing is there is no one way of doing it. You can make it as big or as small as you want, but probably the biggest things, I would say, is just get a Christmas tree. However you sort of want to get it like a real tree, a plastic tree, it could be a gumtree that you bought, a small one, you can have whatever you want, but the spirit, the idea there is just to have some kind of tree and then to put decorations on it and again you can sort of make whatever you want. I remember my parents and my grandparents when we were growing up used to get us to sort of do creative art and make things out of native plants, like gumtrees, we’d use the gum nuts and like other things and glue them on to like horse shoes or something and put them on the tree so you can make your own gifts and do that with the kids and be involved and I guess the biggest thing is just share presence with those people that are important to you on Christmas day, whether it’s food, something you’ve cooked, something you’ve made.
That something I really like about Australia. I don’t think we have the same sort of tradition, not so strong in Brazil. Like you cook something for someone, you make something, like it can be just a card or something. I love that. We are much more like you buy something new. It doesn’t have to be expensive, but you usually buy something.
I think my parents and my family and my extended family have sort of gotten to a point now where you realise it’s just capitalism, right? You’re just spending money on things people aren’t necessarily needing. They don’t necessarily want, that they’re not going to use for very long and so a lot more, at least in recent years, my family, my immediate family like my sister and my parents as well as my extended family, now make things like their own wine or they’ll put together some kind of like Protein Balls or a bag of nuts or some lollies or they’ll make food, they’ll cook gingerbread, gingerbread man like my sister is going to do tomorrow. And then they give that to the family so, you can do that with your culture, right ?Like whatever it is. If you guys are from say India and you can cook some really good food there that you could give to other people, people really appreciate getting interesting new things and I would be like…like Kel’s planning on cooking food that’s Brazilian and handing that out to the family.
That will be really nice.
Yeah, exactly. Anyway, so, hopefully you’ve enjoyed this episode and it has given you some understanding of Australian culture and what Christmas is like here in Australia and how it compares to Christmas in Brazil, but I would definitely love to know from you, guys, how you guys celebrate Christmas or what you celebrate instead of Christmas during this period of the year, and I guess until next time, guys.
Merry Christmas. See you soon!
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By pete — 11 months ago
Learn Australian English in this interview episode of the Aussie English Podcast where I chat to my mate Cara Leopold from Leo-Listening about French vs Australian culture, moving to France, and learning French.
AE 441 – Interview:
French vs Australian Culture with Cara Leopold
What’s going on, guys? Today I have a really cool little interview for you and it is with Cara Leopold from Leo-Listening.com. So, this is a really cool interview. This is part 1 where we’re going to be talking about how she ended up moving to France, how she learnt French, and how she adapted to the French culture.
So, it’s a really cool interview, guys. She also has an interesting accent. So, see if you can pick where she’s from.
I hope you enjoy this one. And make sure you stay tuned for the second interview, which will be out shortly about how to stop using subtitles when you watch movies.
Stay tuned. It’s a ripper!
G’day guys! Welcome to this episode of Aussie English. I have a special guest for you today, on today’s interview episode, and you might notice that she has a slightly different accent from me. Cara from Leo-Listening.com. Thanks for coming on the podcast and chatting to us about getting subtitle free.
Hiya Pete, yeah, thanks for introducing me, and yes, we do have a slightly… a slightly different accent.
Can you tell me where yours is from? Can you tell me about…
Well, mine is a bit… Mine is a bit of a mess… because I… I as a kid I used to live in Scotland. So I lived in Scotland until I was 11 or 12, and you know, All my family are Scottish, you know. And then so when I was 11, almost 12, we moved to England. We moved to a city called Nottingham, in England. So, like, my accent started to change really rapidly because I was kind of dropped straight into secondary school, and everyone was like, you know, “You sound so Scottish!, I can’t understand you!”, I didn’t have like a really… You know… I didn’t have like a really broad Glaswegian accent like…
I hadn’t even lived… I was born in Glasgow, but I actually lived somewhere else in Scotland. So… Like, I actually… like me and my brother had different accents to my parents, because my mum is from Glasgow, my dad’s from another place, so like, we all had different accents. So even the people talking about the Scottish accent, it’s so… Like… It’s quite fine tuning in the UK. Like, you kinda go 20 miles and it changes, which sounds crazy!
I always wanted to know how does that… how does that… I guess, continue into modern day life when the world is so connected, and you would think in England, that being such a small island or group islands in the Britain, that you guys would mix around a whole heap! But is it just that everyone is spending their developmental years, as kids, in a very small region, getting their accent kind of cemented, and then when they leave they still hold on to it?
Yeah, it’s a good point, because obviously, like… We’re massively influenced by, like… I mean I’ve always liked watching TV. Like, as a kid I would get up really early on the weekend and, like… Watch programs, and you know… A lot of them are obviously American or even Australian. So you’d think our accents would be influenced as well by like, media. But I don’t know, I think ultimately we’re more influenced by kind of the day to day, like… Context. So when you’re growing up it’s other kids: You don’t want to sound, like… Too different
Yeah, you don’t want to be the outsider, right?
Exactly! Yeah, and I mean obviously that was the case when I moved to England, and I think I quickly adjusted my accent because I didn’t want to, like, stand out… Too much, and I wanted people to understand me but I think they were exaggerating a little bit!
You get sick of repeating yourself, right? When people are like, “What!? What!? what did you say!?”, and you’re just like “ughhhh”, and that pushes you to kind of blend in.
Exactly, yeah. So my… My accent changed quite a bit. Like, some people… Some people still know that I’m… They know that I’m Scottish after speaking to me, even just for, like, a couple of minutes, like, they know. And I mean, I’ve had another Scottish person say to me, you know… Act like I basically know which village you’re from! Because he was from… He was from the same area! He was, like, from the next village. I mean, that sounds insane, but that’s how… Kind of, yeah, specific . Each… Each accent is. I mean, yeah… That sounds… That sounds crazy, because… In Australia, does it vary very much?
Not the same way. Ours is kind of… There are three… I just did a video on this… There are three sort of accents, or dialects. And it’s the cultivated which is more your upper class, received pronunciation, like the British, you know? you would speak with a very… Very clearly. You would pronounce all the words correctly. Or, at least properly, like according to the dictionary, and you would… You would be very well educated. Have… Tend to be from a rich family. Then there’s the general, which is kind of just everywhere. And then the broad. And the broad tends to be associated with people of… Either from, like, rural areas, where they’re away from the city, or it kind of blends in with the lower class a little bit. So especially with guys. Guys who hang out together a lot. Only Aussie guys. Together they tend to develop a bit of a broader… broader accent than uhm… And especially the further away you get from the cities. But that’s what England fascinates me: Because you guys don’t seem to have the same pattern. And we came from England, right? So we originally came from… At least the majority of us, when we colonized Australia, we’re all from small parts, I think, of England. Some of us kept the Cockney accent. I think that’s part of why we ended up with Rhyming slang. Yeah. But it’ s always funny! I just… It blows my mind how much difference there is in England, and how you guys still have trouble with each other. Because you would imagine, if you… You know, the average Australian hearing cultivated, broad or general will pretty much understand everyone. But then you hear people like, such as yourself, who say kids had trouble understanding you in school. And you’re kind of like, “Don’t you guys watch TV and see Scottish people on TV?”
Yeah… Yeah I don’t… I don’t think it’s 100 percent… I think everyone’s exaggerating a little bit. Like, it doesn’t take that much effort to tune in to someone else’s accent. Especially because, in general, like… It’s only… Like, not everything changes. Not every sound changes, you know? In Scottish… In Scottish-English, like, we pronounce our R’s at the end of the words, which you don’t do in other accents of English. Some of the vowels are different, like… But it’s not massively different. And especially when your accent is quite… isn’t very strong. But yeah it is weird… It is weird you know… And now, obviously, it’s more acceptable, like on TV and in the media, to hear all the different regional accents and some of them are considered quite cool. So yeah. In theory we should be a bit better at understanding each other, but…
It’s funny too. I find that, as an Australian, because we’ve watched so much media that’s not just Australian, as well as movies and TV series, we get so used to these accents. And so we tend to be able to pick where you’re from too in these different countries. Like, I’m not the best at it, but I can tell north versus south and, you know… Like, even in watching Game of Thrones, right? Where they separate them out based on the Scottish accents of the north. And, like, everyone else is down… It’s just crazy… But it’s funny when… Do you guys have trouble with Australians if we go to the UK? Or… Because you guys have watched a lot of Home and Away and Neighbours, you guys know the Aussie accent pretty well?
Yeah! I would be inclined to say that most people, like, even if they don’t watch those soap operas now, like Home and Away and all that… They watched them… Or at uni, instead of going to class they watched Neighbours or Home and Away. So yeah, I think it… I would imagine that it’s less… It’s less difficult. And also, like… Yeah it’s funny… Like, I live in France now and that’s probably also an important part of the accent-piece. And so last night on French TV, on one of the channels Crocodile Dundee was on.
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Yeah! Oh you wouldn’t believe some of the stuff they put on French TV.
Was that dubbed though, or was that subtitles?
A good question! I… They probably offered… Because now, with like… Digital TV sometimes with the film we can put it into the original version.
I can’t imagine watching Crocodile Dundee with dubs! Oh my god, that would be atrocious!
It’s really common to dub films. And sometimes, on some channels… because the audience, you know… For that particular channel or film isn’t going to be English speaking, they just leave it in French. You can’t even put it in English if you wanted to!
So, like, last night we came across Kung Fu Panda. It was on some kid’s channel, and it was only in French! You couldn’t switch it into English.
Oh, wow… But that’s the part that I loved though, as well as I hated, when I was learning French really thoroughly a few years ago. I just love the fact that you could download Game of Thrones with dubs, with subtitles… All in French, and so… You know, you already had watched it in English, you knew the story, but now you could watch it with French voices. Even though was a bit strange, it was a lot more helpful for listening comprehension – not just having subtitles.
Yeah, Subtitles, yeah… that’s it, that’s…. It’s the advantage of France, because they are… They do do a lot of dubbing. You’re going to be able to find material. and sometimes it’s really well dubbed! Like… Like they really get it right, in terms of the tone and the register. So like… So the example I always go to is South Park! It’s a very rude cartoon! the French dubbing of that is amazing… it’s on point. It’s so funny… The kids are, obviously… They are really rude. They swear a lot. They insult each other. And, like… All of that is kept in there, but with… Like, appropriate French expressions for…
The equivalent, because that’s the hardest thing to convey, right? With TV shows like that, where there’s so much more depth to it, pop-culture wise, than just literally translating what they’re saying, you know? That… I am always mind blown when I have friends that have come over from Brazil or France or Spain or wherever it is in the world. They’ve learnt English, and then they get TV shows like South Park or Rick and Morty or even the Simpsons, because so much of it is like… Western pop-culture and references to these… You know, famous people and situations…
Exactly! But yeah, know some… that says what’s good in French and there’s lots of dubbed films that are that are really, you know, well done. So you don’t miss out. But you obviously do miss out on hearing it in English, but at least the dubbing is kind of… It’s, like, loyal to the spirit of the film. I didn’t stick around watching Crocodile Dundee long enough to actually see if it was an English or the dubbed version because it would be… I don’t know what they do to do Crocodile Dundee. Like, how did they make him speak? What accent did they give him? Like…
What’s a broad French accent? The Racaille or…?
Yeah! Sometimes what they do… Yeah they could make him speak like… Yeah, no, I don’t think that would work…What they… What they could do is make him speak like someone really rural I guess. Or sort of country folk. I don’t know where I was going with my was my train of thought… Oh yeah! It’s like sometimes… Like you know in South Park there’s a character who’s British: Pip.
Yeah, of course.
So what they do in the French version is that he is dubbed with a strong English accent in French.
Because, yeah, it’s like how do you convey that message too, of like, Pip has an English accent on an American TV show with American kids, which makes him sound incredibly pretentious and posh. How do you translate that into other languages and cultures? Because you can’t really just give him an English accent because people won’t get it. The French still leave him as English, but speaking French with a strong English accent.
Exactly! Yeah. Oh I’m so annoyed now! I should have watched a few minutes of Crocodile Dundee, just to figure out… Because they couldn’t do it like basically a French voice with a strong kind of Australian sounding, or at least anglophone sounding accent.
Je suis Crocodile Dundee, Comment allez-vous?! Yeah, that’d be amazing!
Ça, c’est un couteau!
Yeah! I was about to say that. “C’est pas un couteau!”. That’s not a knife!
Ça, c’est un couteau! Yeah, I don’t… I don’t… Yeah, I’m going to… I’m going have to YouTube that in a second and find the dubbed version just to double check how they… How they do it.
So how did you end up in France, though? What’s the story there? And how’ve you found the language learning experience over in France?
Yeah! So, like, I studied French at university.
Yeah, so I studied linguistics and I studied French, and… Yeah I just… I wanted to, and I had spent some time in France, like, during the summers, between years at uni, and I just was like “Yeah! I wanna… I want to go and live in France, after.” So, like, a lot of people do the year abroad where they go and study in a French university or something like this. I didn’t actually do that, for various reasons. And then my university had like a link with the university in the city where I live now, which is called Besançon. So, there was an opportunity for me to come over after my studies and teach English. So I was like “Yeah! I want to do that because I’m interested in teaching English as a foreign language. I want to live in France and… You know, there’s the possibility of us…
Ticking all the boxes, huh?
It’s ticking all the boxes! And it was a really cool job because it’s, like, they pay you the minimum wage but you have like 12 hours of teaching a week.
So you’re getting paid as if you’re doing 35… Wait! Obviously…
The lower end… The lower end of 35 hours a week right, though? Like, pay-wise?
But yeah… But, like, it’s fine if you’re a young single person on the minimum wage in France. It’s like… The cost of living is okay. So… Yeah it was really cool. I did. I had a job for a couple of years teaching in a university, which is quite… It’s quite a steep learning curve when you go to work in a university in France because it’s very different to the way a university works in the U.K., and the way I imagine it works in Australia.
So how does it differ?
It’s quite chaotic! Because, like, as long as you’ve got the baccalauréat, you can go to university. This is changing at the moment and this is why some French universities are on strike, because they want to introduce selection before you get into uni. Essentially what happens in France is loads of people turn up… The first year is really the year of selection. So, like, a lot of people just drop out because they don’t really know why they were there in the first place. Especially , you know, I was working in the sort of humanities, languages and faculté. A lot of people just kind of turn up there because they’ve finished school, they don’t know what to do, they’ve heard that if you study a language or sociology the workload is a bit lighter: You don’t have as many classes, so they are like “Okay I’m just going to enroll here!” because it’s very cheap to enroll, or even free, and some people get bursaries. So it is really good in that sense, it’s really open. But that means that, like, it’s quite chaotic because… you know they have classes that are supposed to be kind of seminar style, but, like, one time in one of these classes I had like 47 students. Like, obviously they didn’t all turn up… It didn’t all turn up, like, fortunately. But I think for the test, though, they were probably… They were probably all there. Yeah that was probably the time I had counted 47. So that’s supposed to be like an English class where they’re supposed to be doing oral expression. And even if the maximum is supposed to be more like 30, that’s still, like, way too many people.
Well you just don’t have enough time, right? To get them all to talk and to be involved more deeply.
Yeah, there’s a lot of crowd control because French people, they really like talking. Like, it’s not uncommon for people to talk all the way through even a lecture! Like… And I had colleagues from other countries who were so shocked! Like, I had a Brazilian colleague…
That ‘d be a big no-no in Australia. You would get thrown out.
Oh yeah! Like, it’s so rude. And yeah, so the Brazilian colleague was like, you know, “I was doing a lecture and people are just, you know, they don’t shut up, like… ,” So yeah it’s definitely different. You’re sort of less well looked after if you’re a student in France. You’re kind of left to your own devices to kind of muddle… Muddle through, you know, and then figure it out. So yeah, not everybody ends up finishing university. Like, a lot of people leave or do something else.
So was there a lot of culture shock though too, when you went over there? Like, the different food, the different, I guess, etiquette with people, right? There’s a bit of a difference there, too and…
Yeah, like, there were some there’s some stuff I knew from spending a bit of time, like… Like, I’d been to a summer school at a French university and I’d done some homestays with French families a little bit. So I kind of knew what to expect. So that helped a bit. But, yeah, I hadn’t actually spent that much time in France, like, in… When I was younger. Like, it wasn’t really a holiday destination for us, like, you know a lot of British people like to go to Spain.
I probably went there on holiday, or even just on holiday in Scotland, or whatever, so… But yeah, so like me the most important things I knew, but some things were still really, like, hard for me, when I arrived, like… Like, you know, it’s really important to… When you going to shop in France you have to say “Bonjour,” whereas in the English speaking world you can kind of… You can kind of just sneak in.
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So you don’t always have to say, unless it’s a really small kind of independent shop, then you might say something to the person who is working there. But, yeah, in France it is really important to announce your arrival by saying bonjour, or they’re suppossed to say bonjour to you.
So, like, directly to them, or just like as in “Bonjour!”? Like, is it you walk in and you’re like “I’m here!”
Sometimes I’ll go into the bakery. If there’s a bit of a queue, I might be like “Bonjour”. It’s just like a general bonjour to everyone. Some people are a bit like… Like a sort of… Yeah, some people will come in and be like, “Bonjour mesieurdames!”, you know, they’re kind of addressing everybody in the shop, you know. I don’t I’d walk in there like I just kinda mumble a “Hello”.
It’s so funny, the differences I notice too, because like I’m learning Brazilian Portuguese at the moment, and they are so relaxed, and they have these same sort of expressions. Like, they’ll say things like “Oi gente”, which is like “Hi people,” or “Oi galera!”. “Oi galera”, which is like when you’re addressing a lot of people at once. On Facebook they’ll always write, “Oi galera!” in the groups, and it means like “Hi, gallery,” you know, like a gallery of people.
I love how that changes but that is it, “Mesieursdames”? like… It’s like “Mr., Mrs., hello,”
“Monsieurdame! Bonsoir, monsieurdame! Monsieurdame”. Yeah… That’s something you have to just be careful with. And then, yeah, because, like, some things are a bit more formal in day to day life, so the whole thing of going into the shop and saying “Bonjour!” And the thing that always cracks me up, right, I noticed… I caught onto the fact that if you don’t know someone, even if they’re more or less your age…
You’ve got to do the “vous” thing, right?
Yeah, well… Not that, but it’s, like, the first time you meet someone you would say “Bonjour.” So even if it’s a younger person around your same age, because I was like “Oh, surely I can just say ‘salut’,” which is like “Hi!”. But no! If you’ve never met you say “Bonjour.”
I never knew that.
I’ve noticed that, and I’m like, “This is stupid because otherwise, if you’re young and you meet another young person for the first time you can’t just “Tu”. You know, if you’re both 25 you just say “Tu”. I mean I’m 32 now, so I’m probably leaving that kind of zone of being able to just say “Tu” to whoever I want. Yeah, and if people perceive you as younger… Like, I had to go and see a sort of specialist doctor yesterday, and it got a bit weird because, you know, he’s calling me “Vous” initially, and then he was sort of using “Tu”, because it’s like “Oh, well she’s young.” I don’t know what… I was just like “You know, you’ve got to decide mate because…”
I guess, for the context of listeners, the French have “vous,” which is like polite, plural “you”, and “tu,” which is like singular… I guess not impolite, but is kind of informal, right? It’s what you would use with friends.
It’s how you get closer to someone, you know. So that concept is difficult for French people learning English. It’s like “Well how do I show I’m the same level as someone?”, and it’s like “Well you can’t do it with a pronoun. You do it with other things.”
And the funny thing is that I’m always telling my students that in Australia you will… It’s like we automatically call everyone “tu” because it shows that we’re all friends, and that we’re all mates. So if I met the Prime Minister of Australia tomorrow, you know, like that dude at the top of Australia, he would probably say to me “G’day mate,” you know, which he would treat me like I was his best friend and that’s just like a weird Australian thing, where I think it’s partly where the anti-British establishment from when we were a colony, you know, the last few hundred years, and as a result of rebelling against the classes we treat everyone like they’re our mates, and so it’s just so weird. Like, I don’t know how I would act in front of the queen, you know. Like, I mean I probably wouldn’t say “G’day mate,” but it would feel like…
“How’s it going?”.
“You alright, how’s Philip?”.
Yeah exactly! That’s it, I know. But that’s the funny thing: That in Australia the good thing is that you can get away with calling people “mate”, or even saying “dude”.
I noticed recently, going around to different stores I was filming some stuff for videos, and I was referring to people as just “Dude”… “Hey dude, how you going?” Like, you know and people… They just don’t even flinch, it’s just “Yeah, whatever.”
That’s interesting because French life is definitely more formal, like… Also the thing… For a couple of years I worked in a French company, and I was in… It was industrial, so there was a factory and then there were office bits. And it just… It’s comical to me, again, like just spending all day bumping into people in the corridor going “Bonjour,” or you like… You run into the HR manger, “Bonjour,” shake hands. You run into the boss of the factory, “Bonjour!”, shake hands, “Bonjour!”, shake hands. And it’s just like “Is this like a Monty Python sketch?” Like, you know sometimes it just feels really silly to me, some of this sort of, you know, formal rules. But yeah the craziest one for me is “Okay, you don’t know this person, but you’re about the same age, you know, but you can’t ‘salut’ the first time , you must say ‘bonjour,’ but after that you can say ‘salut’ to this person whenever you want.”
That’s an unspoken rule, is it too? Where you don’t even… It’s not even like “Oh yeah! Make sure you do this,” It’s just something everyone seems to do, is it?
I’m going to have to double check it with some French people and some Anglophones, but for me… I’ve definitely noticed that . Like, you know, I’ve said “Salut!” to someone I’m being introduced to and then they’ve said “Bonjour” back! And I’m like “well… that was awkward.” Like…
You could just be like “Quoi de neuf mon pot!?”, you know, “What’s up, matey?”.
I think I’ll try that! Then at the same time you have to kiss them on the cheek. So it’s like… Alright, so, I can’t just say hi to you but I kiss next to your face? How… This doesn’t make any sense! Like, I should be able to say “salut” when we’re getting, you know, very close physically but…
Do you get leeway though, too? because you’re obviously not French. Do people at least go “Okay. Alright, you know, she’s not trying to be rude or anything, she just doesn’t get that we do these things without… that are unspoken rules, you know?”
Yeah I think I probably get away with… Yeah, to a certain extent. And also it depends on the environment. So in the university environment people do tend to use “tu” with each other. Very easily between colleagues. Obviously it it’s the dean of the university you’d have to use “vous”. But that’s quite… Whereas some workplaces… I think it just depends on the workplace culture, like how formal it is or not.
It’s so interesting though, that even obviously we have these same problems, between two cultures… Two cultures that you would imagine would be incredibly close to one another, France and England, and yet you guys have relatively big differences that you kind of have to stumble your way through when you’re learning how to… how to navigate that culture.
Definitely, definitely. Yeah. You can’t really understand it fully, I think, until you’ve seen it, kind of, on the ground and you’ve tried things out and you have seen the reactions, when you’ve observed people. I think you have to a lot of, kind of, observation of what other people do and then you kind of go in and… You know, you can try it yourself but… Yeah, you have to be a little bit careful, but yeah, you always you can always play that kind of foreigner card.
Would you have any… Any advice for French people learning English and coming to England or even Australia, or even foreigners in general? And, sort of, dos and don’ts, or how to get past this sort of situation? Learn how to how to navigate these situations.
Yeah! I think, like… You know… Yeah, definitely look at what other people are doing and what’s kind of, yeah, acceptable or not. Because ye, some things that are weird from… if you’re coming from any culture where people kiss each other like in France. So when we say “Kiss”, actually what you do is you just touch the other person’s cheek with your cheek and then you make a kissing noise. You know, when you… When you meet someone that you know and you do the *kissing noises* on each cheek, right?
But don’t kiss them on the mouth! That might freak them out!
…Like people… In a lot of Anglican cultures people will hug and I know that’s a bit weird for French people, so…
Yeah, that’s something I’ve encountered quite a bit. Where people I’ll meet for the first time and I’ll just be like “Yea, give us a hug,” you know, “what’s up?” And they’ll be like “…What?” And you’re just like “but that’s just what we do! we’re just friendly,” you know. Like, we don’t shake hands, it’s a bit formal and the kissing, we don’t do, but we hug.
Yeah, yeah! That’s it. Because it’s kind of awkward for my… Like, my partners French, so he doesn’t really… He doesn’t even like doing the kissing, even though it’s, like, in his culture. Although there are some men that he kisses! Like . .. He’s quite into the concert scene here where we live, and he knows people who run record labels and organise concerts, so when he sees them they’re thing is to do the kisses on the cheeks, not the shaking of hands. It’s just… It’s just that in that context… That’s what they kind of do.
See, that’s a big point though, right? No matter what, you know, part of the world you’re going to you kind of have to not just learn in a book what the context is for what you should be doing, but get in there. And then you learn because it might be different for different groups, and friends, and family, and could be anything.
This is… Yeah, this is why it’s really . .. Even like the tu/vous thing, when you start learning about it in books it looks quite straightforward. You’re like “okay.” Do I know the person, or do I not know the person? And then when you’re actually in France they add on like a million extra rules! It’s really, really complicated! But anyway… But yeah, the hugging thing… Yeah, it’s maybe trial and error, or, I don’t know, if it makes you feel weird e d out you’re allowed to say it, you know, you’re saying that it’s…
You need to embrace the fact that you will get a free pass, you know, if you’re a foreigner. People aren’t going to… Their automatic assumption will never be “this guy’s being a jerk, he’s being rude intentionally.” Yeah. So as opposed to if I did. If I did it to another Australian, they would understand instantly that… Well they would have these assumptions about what I know, and what I shouldn’t do or should do. Whereas for you, people will give you a lot of leeway often, because they think you’re getting used to how everything works.
Alright, guys. So, that was it for today. I really hope you enjoyed that interview. Massive thanks to Cara from Leo-Listening.com.
Remember that we will be back, although, this guy won’t be back, but we will be back for the second part of this interview shortly so stay tuned and wait for that where you guys will learn how you can stop using subtitles, how you can get passed having to use subtitles when you watch TV shows or movies.
See you in the next one, guys. Bye!
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