By request of a listener this podcast is about nothing at all.... that's right David Peachey and I shoot the shit about whatever pops into our minds.
Keiran: All right, what’s up everybody, today on the Podcast we have David Peachey back on here. How it’s going David?
David: I am back, yes good to be back here Keiran. How things going over there?
Keiran: Pretty good, I have started doing French lessons on Italki.
David: Really, so what is the kind of level of the French would be there?
Keiran: I would say probably an intermediate, may be a low intermediate level. I can hold the conversation but there is a lot of words that escape me. If I am listening to radio or a Podcast, I really have to struggle and listen and focus, re-listen and re-listen. Yeah, so I'd say intermediate. What about you, have you spend any time learning languages recently?
David: Uhhh, yes I have, I just been learning some Russian songs. From my time in Russia, I've kept one of my teachers and I am learning Russian songs with her, which is quite interesting. Its from an old Russian movies.
Keiran: Oh cool! That is very interesting. How long you have been doing Russian for, how long you have been learning that?
David: Good question. I guess I have been learning for about two years now, close to two years. I started off with the basic phrases, basic dialogues. I used a couple of very very helpful Russian teachers. They are wonderful. And One of them offered Russian through songs. So I thought, I will pick this up and we're working on classic songs from movies, a couple of children songs.
Keiran: Okay great. I love children's songs for learning, even children's television. I think a lot of people will overlook it and it is generally the language structure in children...Anything for children is very simple and there is a lot of repetition and it is an easy and fun way to learn.
David: Yeah, I find listening to children like native speakers, they are quite easy to follow.
Keiran: Yeah for sure, right. I am curious, so you have been doing Russian for two years. How it is going like, what do you think is your level right now?
David:Uh I think my level is probably still pre-intermediate. The reasoning behind doing the songs is, not so much for vocabulary or grammar but to focus on pronunciation. Which I have been tormenting me for a long time because I was trying to pronounce every syllable and Russian tends to neutralize vowels as well.
Keiran: Okay, so you are singing and recording yourself?
David: Yes, actually just tonight I've come back from a open mic nights. And they uh, the organizers requested one of the Russian songs which I have sung a couple of times before.
Keiran: That is awesome, how did it go?
David: Yeah, they love it. It um it's a poker style songs. Even though they don’t understand the words...I'll introduce it in Russia and I'll say Bolshoe Spasibo at the end. But the organizer just this evening said, "I love that song, it makes me want to pick up a bottle of Vodka."
Keiran: [laughing] That's funny. It is really interesting now, I was doing on Quebec for greater part of my life. Quebec is weird in that language, there is a lot of tension with language because English people have to learn French. And whenever something is forced on you, you obviously don’t enjoy it.
David: Yeah, you rebel a bit, yup.
Keiran: Right. And I always had issues with France. Like I'd always resented French class. I'm was like, "No, not French, I hate French." And was this thing that cause me pain. I was always poor in it. And then it's weird that, once I actively made this choice of start learning French, because I wanted to. I want perform in comedy in the upcoming summer in the French comedy scene.
David: Oh nice, great.
Keiran: But since I started doing it, like these interactions which used to be kind of painful for me. Like going to the store to buy something and the clerk is French. Is now the most pleasant experience and like I really feel in the moment. It is crazy how just embracing a language can. I don’t know, it seems to brighten up my day in ways that never happened before, you know.
David: Right and it's just like to you now is just a simple interaction, you breeze through it.
Keiran: Well its not simple.
Keiran: Like for example, l lost my wallet about two weeks ago, which is the biggest piss off, to lose your wallet you know.
David: Oh I can imagine, yeah.
Keiran: You get all your IDs in there and then you got ran around area and replace them all. But one think I had was a point's card for the alcohol store I go to.
Kerian: So after I lost the wallet, I went back to that store and I had to tell them about this so I can get a new points card. And I did it in French and it was really fun. But then I got to a point in the interaction where I didn’t know what the wallet was.
David: Oh okay.
Kerian: So I'm like [foreign words] And I asked her, "Like what is this?" And she like, [foreign words] Which is literally, holding paper.
David: Like portfolio in English or….?
Kerian: Right, exactly. So itt's just like...its weird how the whole world can become like a lesson if you have the right mentality. And I had the wrong mentality for 32 years, because I never wanted to learn French before. Now its just everything positive. It is weird.
David: Yeah, definitely making the active decision is a big step forward, right?
Keiran: Yeah. How about you, do you get opportunities, is there any area in Brisbane where you can go and meet Russian people and practice your Russian and try to spark up a conversation?
David: Uh funny you should ask. Yeah we do have a few communities here in Brisbane. A few weeks ago we had the Ukrainian festival.
Keiran: Okay, cool.
David: Uh, Ukrainians would of course speak Ukrainian but there is a fair amount of Russian speakers and out of that festival and it was a small affair. But they served Ukrainian beer and they served Ukrainian food. And they had Ukrainian pop singer who is now living in Brisbane. But I could have a few conversation in Russian which was quite pleasant and Ukrainians were really quite surprised. Pleasantly surprised to hear me mangle their language.
David: Or may be mangle Russia’s language. Maybe is that.
Keiran: But is amazing how people really appreciate when you attempt to use their language and I think...Unfortunately the only language which probably don’t do this is English because everyone...Like it's a universal language I think, but do you know what I mean by that?
David: Yeah, it is expected that if you don’t speak, someone doesn’t speak your first language or he must know a little bit of English.
Keiran: Right. Well I mean like when I was in Korea for example, this never really happened to me but I always remember other English teachers complaining about it. But when you are out in the city people would come up to you and try to talk to you because they want to practice their English.
David: Oh yes, that happens a few times as well.
Keiran: The English teachers will after while would get fed up about this. But if I go up to a person in Quebec and attempt to speak French with them. Like generally they are super happy about it. They're saying, "Oh! this person is making an effort to learn the language."
David: Um-hmm definitely, that is so important.
Keiran: Right but in English, people are just like, "No, no, I am not your teacher. Like you go watch TV or you get a book."
David: Yeah, go to YouTube or something. That's a bit unfortunate, isn’t it?
Keiran: Yeah, I think it is, but I mean I still recommend to my students. If you are walking around and your part of town and you see a English person. I am just like you just try. Worst they can say is like, "I am not interested or leave me alone."
David: Yeah, you don’t need to have an extended conversation about Shakespeare or anything. It can just be a little bit of banter, little bit of small talk, how is the weather, how is the day going. I mean that is really what we have as native speakers. Little bit of chats, that is it.
Keiran: Yeah, a just a little small talk, right?
Keiran: David, recently it was my birthday and I'm curious, what is...
David: Happy Birthday.
Keiran: Thank you. Thank you What are the birthday traditions that you guys do in your family or in Australia the common ones?
David: Birthday traditions. This is a good question. It's not so much focused on the day... We would well in my family we would at least arrange some kind of family lunch or family dinner. And it is just a chance to catch up for everyone. Because I and my brothers, the three of us are grown up, and we've all left home. So it's always nice to catch up with parents again.
Keiran: Okay. This is like, you guys do this for every birthday or like all your brothers birthdays, your mom’s birthday, your father’s birthday, you always have a family dinner.
David: Yeah, we would arrange it and probably not even on the day. Just around the weekend or even within two weeks of it happening. We wouldn’t even really bother with presents, I think.
Keiran: Oh, that's great. I wish my family did that, I hate presents.
David: Yeah, that is an obligation, isn’t there?
Keiran: Yeah, exactly. It is like oh, last week it was my birthday and actually I have succeeded. It is taking a me several years of arguing with my family. I got no presents this, I got two presents and I am just like, "Yes, now don’t have to buy them presents." [laughing]
David: So the obligation in return, they bought you a present and you have to buy them a present in return. Yeah I see, I see.
Keiran: I mean there's that aspect of, you get a present but you have to buy presents for like 12 other birthdays during the year. Then there is other aspect of, I just don’t really need anything physical anymore you know. I have…Maybe I am not a materialistic person but I have I think, what I need and I don’t want people to be like, "Here now you have this."
David: Something extra and you think, "Well, thank you but what do I do with it?"
Keiran: Yeah, exactly right. Its kind of like a burden that you get on your birthday.
David: Have you ever re-gifted something?
Keiran: Re-gifted. Have I re-gifted someone, that's a good question.
David: Given the present to somebody else and say,"Hey, look at what I have got for you?"
Keiran: I don’t think I have re-gifted anything to be honest. Have you re-gifted anything?
David: I am just trying to think about it. Um what was it? There was something I gave as a gift recently and...tt escapes my mind but I recall it being a present from a year or two years ago I just never used it. So I think I wrapped up again and...because it was in perfect condition. Never used it. I gave it to someone else as a gift. I think it was friend and it wasn’t someone in my family.
Keiran: No, I don’t think I have re-gifted some thing. But you know what we do...This weird thing we do in my families, that we always keep the gift bags.
David: Oh yeah.
Keiran: From my Christmas and birthdays, and whatever. Then every once in a while like, a year later. It's this comical thing where you give someone a gift but it's in the same bag they used to give you the gift. Then sometimes you still have like the little name tag on it.
Keiran: Yeah it's like oops. I guess that's...It's recycling, it's good. It just looks bad if you give it to someone who is outside of your family. [laughing]
David: It is good to save the wrapping paper and the gift bags because it makes look like, you have tried to make an effort even though you have just saved paper and recycled it .
Keiran: Right. You know I just realized about birthdays is that...You said you guys have a family dinner.
Keiran: We have the family dinner too but I've hated the family dinner because in my family, the family dinner, it's like a tradition that we did it every night, growing up. Every night we have a family dinner, the whole family sits together. And then when we all moved out, it was kind of nice because you haven’t seen each other for a while, right? But now I'm living in Montreal again, they're common...The family dinner to me is not only about family, as it is about my mom getting to be with her kids and bombard with questions.
David: Oh yeah.
Keiran: And I am like ah! Even on my birthday she is like, "When are we going to have your birthday?" And I'm like, "Well it is my birthday, so I don’t really want to do that." Then my dad gets mad. He's like, "Keiran, make your mother happy." I am like,"No." [laughing] "It is my birthday. I know what this is." This is just her going to be like, "Do you like your presents, do you like your dinner?” I am just like, "Ah! No I don’t like this, leave me. Let me get out of this terrible family dinner."
David: Whose birthday say it again, yeah?
Keiran: Have you ever had like a painful family dinner? Did you ever have the ones? Like they felt forced or was it more enjoyable?
David: I am guessing probably when I was much younger and we'ed all just left home. And this is where we really wanted to have independence and we wanted to indulge in it. Yeah, I guess the family dinners back then felt to be more forced. I definitely recall we were very slack about being ready or coming to the right place at the right house, or coming to the right restaurant from time. We would typically turn up late. Which is a habit I've since stopped.
David: At the moment, time has passed and I think we are bit more comfortable and we can take these families dinners in our strides. So we are little more relaxed about them.
Keiran: That is great, it's great that your family has adapted with times, unlike my family, or at least my mom. Well David, thanks for coming on here. This is been a very a loose Podcast we did for you guys, we didn’t really chose the topic or not here.
David: No thanks.
Keiran: We just planned to have some small talk. Thanks again for helping us out with the Podcast David.
David: Okay, thanks again for having me Keiran. I am looking forward to the next time.
Keiran: All right, Great. We will catch you guys on the next Podcast of Unnnnnnncensored English.