Monday, December 15, 2008

Taking stock and planning for 2009

I know it's the end of the year and all you want to think about is holidays or Christmas lunch if that is what you are celebrating. I know I am looking forward to my first summer swim in the rolling surf at Burleigh Heads on the Gold Coast.

However, it is a good time to take stock and think about next year. I have a new client starting this week - an academic from a Sydney university who has a lot of time before class starts again in 2009 so has wisely booked in for classes over the summer break.

Get in early and plan ahead and you will have your pick of the best timeslots. Pronunciation Matters is very flexible with hours and many people want their classes after work or on the weekend.

2008 has seen a steady increase in the need for customised pronunciation training.
Pronunciation Matters clients came from such diverse areas as electricity distribution, environmental engineering, finance, the insurance industry, pharmaceuticals, the IT industry, academia and the food industry.

2009 is shaping up to be even more exciting. I wish you all the best for the holiday season and those in the northern hemisphere I hope you can one day enjoy the charm of a hot Christmas day.

/mεrɪ ĸrіsmǝs/ from Pronunciation Matters

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Humour at work

You may be a conscientious pronunciation student and do your drills before each lesson and you have finally mastered your voiced and unvoiced th's. However, the moment you sit down to lunch with your colleagues or have a drink with them at the pub and they revert back to Aussie talk or telling jokes you always feel that you are 5 minutes behind the conversation.

This is partly due to the very fast connected speech and partly due to the idiomatic speech used in conversation and also partly due to the shared cultural understanding when laughing and responding to humour. It will take a longer time to fully understand humour but you can work on it.

Pronunciation Matters courses are customised to your needs and if you need to be able to 'hold your own' at the pub after work we can work on this.

Today one of my clients said that at a meeting with a group of journalists he understood about a third of the jokes (as opposed to understanding none of them!) This was definitely a sign of progress.

How can you improve in this area? There are a number of great texts on listening to Australian conversation. Contact PM and I can direct you to those books. Listening to talk back radio such as Thank God it Friday on 702BL ( A Sydney ABC radio station)will also help.