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I learnt a new word

This weekend, I learnt a new word and it was wonderful.

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Words and I go way back.

As a kid, I was always collecting new words and the longer they were the more I latched onto them.

My older brother was a numbers guy. In fact, he’s a maths genius blessed with an insane gift to compute numbers and solve equations at a young age without instruction.

And there I was, always trailing miles behind him with maths, but as mum would say encouragingly,

“Sarah, don’t worry, you’re so good with words!”

I used to collect words and enjoy the sound of them in my voice. I’d read shampoo and conditioner bottles aloud in the bath like a news reader, delighting in reading the most inane packaging.

Breakfast was at the dinner table and I’d either try to eat my Weetbix (absolutely hated it as a kid) with a book in hand or if I’d finished them all, it would be with the cereal box in front of me.

I seldom learn new words when I go out in Australia. English is so dominant everywhere I go that it’s hard to stumble on something you don’t know as a native English speaker. Unless if it’s in my Spanish class or when translating an opera score.

But yesterday, I learned a new word and it practically took my breath away that I’d never heard it before. And gosh, do I like the sound of it!

Capulus

How about that!

What a visually enjoyable word.

While waiting for my coffee, curiosity got the better of me and I asked the barista,

“Why Capulus & Co?”

And I discovered that Capulus is the word for coffee in Latin.

I was delighted for a moment in my ignorance.

I can sing a whole requiem mass in Latin and know what I’m singing and how to pronounce it and yet I never once learnt the word for coffee.

I’ve got my Agnus Dei and Kyries and Et incarnatus es in my mind but only now do I know the word for coffee in Latin. Where was I?  Under a rock?

 

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Discovery comes from not knowing something

In speaking and learning other languages, there’s inspiration and discovery in the things we don’t know. How boring life would be if we knew everything and how dissatisfying we’d be to talk to if we seemed to know everything?

 

You may be learning English and struggling to get on top of vocabulary for your profession…

 

Perhaps you’re prepping for your PTE Speaking exam and feeling ridiculously silly getting low scores (please don’t, this test doesn’t prove your English ability)…

 

Or maybe someone made a mean remark about your accent and you feel like you need strategies to feel more comfortable.

 

Whatever it is, don’t panic when you don’t know. This is where life’s discoveries begin.

Hold your head high, keep speaking, enjoy learning and take delight in the fact that maybe, just maybe tomorrow you’ll learn something that you never knew before.

That’s the best thing you can do for yourself, especially when it comes to communication growth in our second language.

 

 

 

Today I wanted to share a fun vlog with you with a few quick tips to push your speaking forward. I’m aiming for light & engaging content so I hope you love it.

Tune in to my Cultivated Australian Accent

This video will be published at 8pm AEST on the 13th of December, 2020, so if you get to this page earlier than then, don’t forget to turn on the YouTube Premiere reminder button.

What next?

Don’t forget, no accent is better than another & there’s no such thing as a strong accent.

Clarity and confidence matter more than your sound. 

Thank you so much for watching. I hope this vlog has given you some new insights things to think about if you need to advocate for your speaking and identity in Melbourne. Let me know if you have any questions in the comments below. 

 

Ciao for now,

XO

Important Disclaimer

Important Disclaimer!!!

The Aussie Accent is not the only way to speak English.

In fact, in Australia, we have numerous different forms of English pronunciation, and I’d argue that all of them are as legitimate and official as each other.

 

Your speaking is not inferior if you live in Australia but don’t have an Aussie accent.

 

Currently, there are more non-native speakers of English than native, so no one can tell you that using a mainstream Aussie accent is the only correct way to speak if you live in Australia. 

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