Monthly Archives: November 2013

Hello, Annyeong, Salam and Selam: WAYF talks Languages

Daria and Khalid, English students at International House in Brisbane

Daria and Khalid, English students at International House in Brisbane

Tucked in a doorway in Adelaide St on Brisbane is International House, where people from all around the world go to learn English.

Khalid and Daria – with the help of International House English teacher Ruth – sat down with us after class to tell us about what it’s like to learn English in Australia.

Click here to download the podcast.

Do you know your kamsahamnidas from your gomawos? Your unnis from your ommas and your oppas from your appas?

I’m currently learning Korean so I can talk to my family. Unfortunately, it’s not easy. It’s got a different alphabet, different grammar structure and different eqituette to English.

I talked to my Korean language tutor Ara Kim about teaching Korean to Aussies to see if they find it as difficult as I do.

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Khalid and Ara mentioned that some Australian expressions and words like “how’s it going?” seem strange to them.

We put the call out to you on social media to ask: what are some Australian expressions that are nonsensical to people learning English?

Josh L on Facebook says his Japanese friend was confused by using the word “pretty” when you mean “very”. Like saying “yes, that’s pretty good!” When you say pretty in that way, it doesn’t mean someone’s looks.

Danny W’s international student housemate thought it was funny when Danny said he was “living large” when he received his pay check.

Lara S says her Croatian dad was invited to a party when he first came to Australia and was told to bring a plate. This usually means bring food to share, but Lara’s Dad brought an actual plate.

Mekita V says her Dad’s first boss in Australia said he’d “fix him up on Friday”. Mekita’s dad asked, why he needed fixing up and the boss explained it means to pay him.

Doivid C is Aussie himself but noticed the strange expression “We’ll be laughing”. Like saying, “I’ll quickly go to the toilet, then we’ll be laughing”. I’m not sure what that one is supposed to mean myself.


Got any more? We’ll post them up online!


Introducing Natal Ayume

Natal Ayume

Natal Ayume


Natal Ayume just graduated from studying journalism and comes to Where are you From? as our new reporter. He tells us about visiting his family in South Sudan and his aspirations to work in journalism.



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Collaborating to support Sri Lankan creatives



Creative social enterprise Ferment Collaborate are based in  Brisbane but are supporting artists, creative workers and entrepreneurs in Sri Lanka through the Venesa Matram project. Venesa means change in Sinhalese, and Matram means change  in Tamil.

Ferment Collaborate founder Steph Vadja talks to us about what it’s like to work in arts in Sri Lanka and how he hopes the Venesa Matram Symposium in December can support them.


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No Pain, No Gain when it comes to making music


Mantist and Bolo’s ‘Storytelling Time’

Performing Aussie hip hop on the streets of Brisbane may seem like an exciting job, but it’s been a very painful journey and hard yakka for two African-Australians who left their country many years ago due to warfare.

No Pain No Gain crew members Mantist and Bolo speak to us about their aspiration to break into the music industry – and perform a song!

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Mantist and Bolo’s website

Words of Struggle fundraiser on Friday 29

Sarah’s keeping Samoan radio and the NEMBC fresh

4EB's Fresh Crew with NEMBC QLD rep Sarah, aka Koolio

4EB’s Fresh Crew with NEMBC QLD rep Sarah, aka Koolio

As well as being the Queensland representative for the National Ethnic and Multicultural Broadcaster’s Council, Sarah Lio-Willie also hosts Samoan Youth program – Fresh Crew – right here on radio 4EB.

In the lead up to the NEMBC conference later this month, Sarah talks about how the Fresh Crew is reaching out to Polynesian audiences in Australia and overseas – and how asking “where are you from?” between Samoans can yield surprising answers.

Click here to download the podcast

LINK: Fresh Crew on Facebook

Register for the NEMBC Conference in Brisbane here

Chris Topp’s Inclusion Zone


The Two Chairs project encourages writers to contribute articles on their thoughts on racism. A recent article on the site caught my eye. Chris Topp, a Sydney-based journalist, wrote about his encounters on racism that started when kids pointed out that his New Zealand Moriori grandfather was black, and his thoughts as a gay man in an interracial relationship.

Chris’s grandfather

Chris talks to us about his family, and the racial issues that come up in the dating world.

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Chris’s article: The Inclusion Zone
Follow Chris on Twitter at @ChrisToppSydney

Nancy serves up a cup of PNG Classic Coffee

Owner of PNG Classic Coffee Nancy (with Dora the Explorer)

Owner of PNG Classic Coffee Nancy (with Dora the Explorer)

Coffee connoisseurs out there – have you tried coffee from Papua New Guinea?

Nancy owns PNG Classic Coffee, a small marquee set up in Deception Bay in Brisbane’s north.

She tells us about how fellow Papua New Guineans and Aussies are enjoying this unique blend of coffee from her hometown.

Click here to download the podcast

You can grab a cuppa from the corner of Philip and Deception Bay Rd in Deception Bay Wednesday-Friday from 6:30am-1:30pm.

And make sure to befriend PNG Classic Coffee on Facebook