Tag Archives: Foreign languages

Do you speak Aussie?

If you are a Games of Thrones fan, you must be familiar with the following sentence “you know nothing Jon Snow”… well this is the way I feel sometimes about my English. I thought that my universtity English degree, my previous lives in Montreal and London had afforded me to gain a wide knowledge of this beautiful language but it seems it is a never ending journey! But today let’s focus on the positive side only: learning a foreign language is like following the yellow brick road in The Wizard of Oz where each day is an adventure, an opportunity to discover and to learn more!

Actually when I moved to Adelaide I realized that there were many words and expressions (slang) I did not know! Furthermore, it seems that my French accent is SO strong that there is no way I could be mistaken for an Aussie girl… no matter how hard I try, when I open my mouth they instantly know I am French! Sometimes I wonder… why do French people sound so French?! Since I can’t really do anything about it, let’s focus on the former topic: Aussie slang!

Shortly after I moved to Adelaide, I made friend with my neighbour and enjoyed our daily conversations about the city, Australia, wildlife etc… even if sometimes he talked too fast and I could not catch the meaning of everything. One day he told me how popular the Aussie barbies were and that I should try. I thought he was talking about the Barbie plastic dolls (creepy…. why would he tell me that, I am not a kid anymore and what do Aussie Barbie dolls have that French ones don’t haha)… or maybe he was referring to bimbos, blondies (still creepy…why saying I should try?). So I got curious and asked him for more details (afterall maybe I was just lost in translation), I wanted to know what he liked about it… then I heard the word “shrimp” and the conversation went on and I learnt this day that a barbie is a barbecue, not a doll neither a bimbo nore a blondie!

Do you know what is a breakie? First time, I heard this word… I thought it was related to “break something”…  do I want a breakie? Is somebody going to break my leg? Is it an Australian custom? Well don’t worry, if you see this expression on a cafe menu… nobody is going to break you anything, it just means: breakfast! In my opinion it is a good word to know here and speaking of it I know the perfect place where  to enjoy a delicious Aussie breakie!

One day in English class, one of our teachers William asked us if we have been bothered by the mozzies during the warm and humid weekend. Because of the lesson topic, we knew he was talking about an animal but what kind of beast was that? The word sounded to me like a “mouse” but with a “S” so something like “mouses” but then I thought it can’t be, because the plural is “mice” (congrats these English classes are paying off)! A girl from Japan said that this animal did not exist in her country and William smiled  and said he doubted it! Actually mozzies mean mosquitos!

After 6 months living in Australia, I can’t declare I am fluent in Aussie slang yet but I am working on it because I like it here and I really want to fit in! So to prove my love to Australia, I am going to write something that only Australians can understand:

G’day, I started my morning with a lovely breakie and wrote some emails to my relies. Then I was invited by my aussies mates to a seafood barbie. I hope there will not be too many mozzies tonight at the party! No worries! Ta ❤

Connecting with awesome people

Imagine you move to a new  country, imagine you know nobody, imagine they speak differently, imagine… How would you feel? Scared? Excited? Probably a mix of everything… It is a natural feeling!

It is not easy to start a new life where you are away from your family, friends and comfort zone. A new place where you feel different, you have no reassuring routine, no control over things. But if you think about it, it is also a chance to discover, to learn and to grow! We are at our best when we have no other choices than ‘fighting’ … don’t you think? and what is best than trying to fit in a new culture?! I recently posted an article about how great and important it is to make new friends when living abroad. People you would have never met if you have stayed in your home country. People that are going to make a (huge) difference in your life. People that are going to blow your mind… All that said the question is: where to meet these fantastic people?

Adelaide Zoo - 092I would be lying if I say that you are going to bump into them at each corners of the streets, while visiting a museum, attending to an exhibition, sitting at a cafe, staying at home…honestly very rare, chances 2%. But in the other hand I am not lying when I am saying it is not that hard to meet awesome people. I am going to save you all the blabla about: having a good attitude, be open minded, be friendly… I think we already all know that!

So in my experience what works best for me is to go to English classes! Going to school and learn/improve your language skills is a necessity to communicate, to fit in your new country and build a social life. The main reason being because you will be surrounded with people from all other the world, happy to be here, sharing the same passion for English, willing to fit in their new city and looking for friends… so it is a good start since you will be on the same page. I have always met my best friends in English classes and I can assure you they are the BEST! Last time I felt this way about school friendship I was 15… I don’t know if it is the fact that living abroad that makes you feel very emotional or what… but it is true I am strongly attached to my new friends ❤ because we understand each other, we feel the same way, we are supporting each other because we are on the same boat!

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Now that I am starting to have experience in living overseas (Australia being my third foreign destination on the list) I also recommend to make friends with locals/natives. Afterall this is the point of your experience here too, you want to feel, breathe, love, act, eat like natives! But I admit it is not the easiest part since locals have already their routine, a busy social life and they speak very fast 😉 Again in my experience what works best for me is to:

  • Bond with the neighbors! Easy since they live next door to you and you are going to be in contact with them nearly everyday (I had absolutely lovely  neighbors when I was living on Murrays Lane in Adelaide CBD, my friend Nasim has also great neighbors). If you are lucky they can become real good friends and teach you a lot of things about the area.
  • Make friends at work! If you don’t have a paid job, you can also look for a volunteer job. Sometimes it is a good opportunity to practise your English but also to be in contact with many people (think about your network!).
  • Enroll to different kind of activities you like! Afterall who said that when abroad you can only  attend to English classes! OK you are here to learn the language but you can also have fun too! Find something you really enjoy and don’t worry about your English.. you will practise it anyway! Actually it will be even more rewarding to discover that you can use your new language skills in a real life situation  with natives! It can be sport, art.. anything you like! Besides English classes, when I was in Canada I took pilates classes, in London I practised yoga and in Australia: Chinese, Spanish and Creative writing! I can assure you that after a few classes, you will be amazed to see that you are already bonding with your classmates and your teachers! Furthermore you will have lot of fun doing and learning something you enjoy!

I hope these few tips will help you to connect in no time with amazing people who will make your experience here inspiring and memorable! Learn the language of your new country and you will have friends for life ❤ Building an enriching social life is the key to your integration and happiness!

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Don’t hesitate to share your experiences on this topic, as I think it as interesting as useful!

It is all about the people!

What makes your journey so unique and unforgettable? What captures your mind and your heart? What catches your eyes? What makes you see the world differently? What gives you a new outlook on life?

When you really think about it, it is not the places you visit, the beautiful landscapes you gaze at, the wildlife you connect with… but it is the people… it is always about the people!

I have lived in a few countries, seen amazing places, tasted wonderful food… but my best memories and stories are about great people I have met. Simple but meaningful moments: interesting and lively conversations, funny things to laugh about, interesting knowledge to share with, wise advises to give and to receive, precious help when needed, a good ear to listen, some words to think about, a happy smile…moments!

Meeting new people open new doors in your heart and in your mind. Deep inside you, you have dreams, hopes, wishes… things you have always wanted to do but never gave it a real chance… and sometimes all it takes is just to meet the right person at the right moment to encourage you to open these doors.

“There will always be a reason why you meet people. Either you need them to change your life or you are the one that will change theirs.”

I feel grateful I have the opportunity to meet so many fabulous friends and to be inspired by brilliant teachers along the way. They represent an important part of my journey and they are contributing for sure to my happiness in this whole experience. I feel different, thanks to them – happier, eager to learn and discover! They changed my world and now I just can’t get enough… I want more and more!

Don’t get me wrong, I have also wonderful people in my life in my home country France: starting with my family ❤ but living in foreign countries and speaking foreign languages push your boundaries and increase significantly your chances to bond with different personalities, cultures, tastes, ideas… and sometimes it is a real life change! And next thing you know, you are starting a blog in English, going to Yoga classes everyday, taking part to Spanish classes, learning Chinese, enrolling to a creative writing course…

So for those who are ready to move abroad, be prepared to reconnect with your passions, to discover new shades of your personality, to start to dream BIGGER because your journey will be full of people who will push you in the right direction: YOURS!

“I want to keep meeting new people, enlarging my circle of friends, I have good friends now… really good people. But I’am always ready for what comes next.” – Paula Danziger

You would be surprised how quick and easy it is to meet such wonderful people, especially when you are new to a country and you know absolutely nobody! But this is another story… coming next 😉