Tuesday, January 23, 2007

The Joy of Speaking Englishes

I must record my English language acquisition in Australia.

After spending, what seems, 20 hours a day at work with my English and Irish co-workers, Thea and Paula, I've come away with some new words added to my vocabulary.

Before we begin the talk about the colorful English language, I have to add a bit of geographical knowledge here. It took awhile for an American college graduate to understand that England, Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales are different countries. However, they are also part of the United Kingdom. Maybe you, my dear readers, are smarter than me, which I have no shame of admitting that. But be careful on calling a Welsh or Scottish person an English. He or she may bite your head of as I've been warned by my work colleagues. Also you just don't want to straight up ask someone from Northern Ireland if they are British or Irish. That can be a sensitive subject. Again, you may lose a part of your body for asking such outrageous question!

So every day at work, I get to whinge with Thea and Paula about our extraordinary lives and excellent working conditions. They think that all good things in life are ace. Like we get to make our own latte everyday. That's definitely ace. It's so cheeky of Paula to accuse Thea for 800 years of Irish suffering. But Thea loves the attention, of course. Everyday, as a routine, we ask each other what we had for yesterday tea when we got home, and what we will have for dinner at 1 pm. Thea loves dipping her biscuits in her tea. We love eating toasties since the company provides them. They also introduce me to Curly Whirly and Chupa Chups and their fierce passion for tea. Paula likes to pear her pencil with a pearer, so much so, that Thea has to limit her use of it. Paula's "r" sounds like an "o" and it takes a few seconds for my brain to covert the "o" to an "r". Usually she tanks tea (thanks Thea) for making her tea, and also likes to tell us about her special tums (thumbs).

If you're confused, welcome to the club. Day in and day out for nearly three months, I had to strain my ears and pay careful attention just to communicate in English. We laughed a lot though. It was definitely ace to have met one another.


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