Posts Tagged ‘linguistics’


410. Feeling a bit Australian

July 9, 2010

Coloured pencil on paper, October 2009.

There’s a popular Australian kids’ song about a kookaburra sitting in an old gum tree. I don’t know why I thought of it, except that the tree here is gum tree-esque and there’s a bird in it. Not a kookaburra, though.

I wanted to capture a sense of the Australian summer. It’s usually hot, but in recent summers it’s been awfully hot. Living in south-eastern Australia means that the weather isn’t usually too bad, but it can swing to some crazy extremes in summer (December-February) and winter (June-August). So, while we’ve had temperatures in the high 40s (degrees Celsius) in summer, we also have had temperatures as low as 2 degrees Celsius in the last week. We have a saying in Melbourne: if you don’t like the weather outside, just look out a different window. More often than not, it’s true. Grey storm clouds out the kitchen window and sunshine out the bedroom window is a common enough occurrence that I started taking that saying literally!

On the topic of Melbourne, I wish I could demonstrate how it’s pronounced here. Maybe one of these days I’ll have to make a video of me talking about Aussie-isms (with my rural Victorian accent I sound more ocker than my “cultivated” husband’s city private school accent that other people mistake for being British)… and yes, I can do a fair impression of Strine. For the benefit of my multicultural friends, though, I often have to speak in the cultivated accent… though some of them find my ocker accent pretty entertaining. Ah, funny. I love being Aussie.

Oh, on pronouncing Melbourne, don’t think mel-born. Think mel-b’n. I hope that helps. On pronouncing Australia, think oss-stray-lee-aaah, not oz-strah-lee-ah. Hmm. This is why phonics doesn’t work so well, right? 😉


Question #4 – Polyglots

January 30, 2009

Reading this on Facebook Notes? Hit “View Original Post.”

What languages can you speak?

Here’s the reader question of the day / week / month (whatever it happens to be)…

Feel free to leave an answer in the comments section. All views will be tolerated and it’s not meant to be a debate forum – just share what you think!


Ooooh It’s a Poll…

October 27, 2008

Ukrainian Language Learning

May 12, 2008

Чи тут хтось говорить англійською?

While I certainly don’t claim to be able to speak the Ukrainian language, apart from knowing some basic greetings, my interest in it has developed recently. Partly because I found out that my husband is 1/4 Ukrainian, and hence I now have a Ukrainian surname. Coming from an Anglo ancestry, and being several generations (roughly 7 to 9) Australian (in some lines of my family), I thought marrying someone descended  from Eastern Europe sounded marvellously exotic. But then again, me being Australian probably sounds exotic to other people.

So, from time to time I figured I might post some information on the language and culture, as I’m learning it, to share with others who are interested.

The link will be:

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