Secret #3: Phone a Friend

Secret #3: Phone a Friend

Enlist the help of an English speaking friend to help you with the finer points and odd words you may come across.

If you’ve got a problem with anything seeking help isn’t a sign of weakness but of strength.  It demonstrates real strength of character and a willingness to learn.

Most people like to feel like they are being useful.  So you’ll probably find that your English-speaking friend is delighted to have been asked. Even English speakers have trouble with some words so there’s no shame in asking.  Words I have trouble with:

  • Prosthesis: a false body part
  • Squirrel: a small tree dwelling rodent with a bushy tail
  • Lieutenant: a military rank

Local usage often varies. Words in common usage in one area may be unusual in another.  In Australia there are a lot of words ending in ‘o:’

  • Journo
  • Servo
  • Ambo

Australians are also a lot more relaxed about the use of swear words.  Words like ‘bloody’ and ‘bastard’ are far more acceptable here that they would be in the UK or the USA.  Locals are much the best when learning when using these words and expressions is OK.  Even if you don’t want to use these words yourself it’s important to know that people aren’t abusing you when they use them.


Other words are unique to Australia:

  • Furphy
  • Bludger
  • Rort

Then there are the range of local rules, laws and conventions that plague everyday life.  For example what do these terms mean?

  • Bulk billing
  • Negative Gearing
  • Rego


Who can you ask to be your English-speaking friend?

Of course you can easily find out what most of these words and phrases are by doing a search on the Internet.  However, you’ll gain far more by asking your English-speaking friend to help you:

  1. Journo
  2. Servo
  3. Ambo
  4. Furphy
  5. Bludger
  6. Rort
  7. Bulk billing
  8. Negative Gearing
  9. Rego

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