Hear Me On the Radio

Tune in to 5-EBI at 103.1FM, digital EBI-World, or via live-stream at 1230h (12:30pm) to hear me:

Tuesday the 18th of October (as a guest co-host with Jim and Des)

Tuesday the 25th of October (as a guest interviewee with Margot)

Tuesday the 29th of November (as host and operator)

Remember, 12:30 on Tuesdays is Reidio Albannach (Scottish Radio Hour). Don’t worry, it’s (almost entirely) in English. Stay tuned afterwards to listen to Raidio Eireannach (Irish Radio Hour) from 1:30 until 2:30, or listen on Saturdays at 5pm for Celtic Hour. All times are Central Australian time.



5-EBI Now Streaming

5-EBI is now streaming online in up to 65 languages.

5-EBI (which stands for “Ethnic Broadcasters Incorporated”) is Adelaide’s multi-ethnic and multi-lingual radio station and has been broadcasting from 103.1FM since 1979, having been broadcasting five programmes a week since 1975.

1130-0600: music only: “World Trax”
0600-0630: English: Deutsche Welle “World in Progress”
0630-0730: Deutsch: “Hamburger Hafenkonzert”
0730-0800: English: Cook Island programme
0800-0900: Malti: Maltese programme
0900-1100: English: “A Foreign Affair” with David Sabine
1100-1200: English: “Today with You” with Ewart Shaw
1200-1300: English: “The Three Amigos”
1300-1400: English: “Football Plus” with Peter and Dieter
1400-1600: Deutsch: German programme “Deutschland Aktuell”
1600-1630: English: “Arts on Air” with Ewart Shaw
1630-1700: English: Ukrainian programme “Pioneer”
1700-1800: Polski: Polish programme
1800-1900: Malti: Maltese programme
1900-1930: English: Russian youth programme “Let’s get together”
1930-2030: music only: “EBI Music”
2030-2130: Kurdi: Kurdish programme
2130-2200: music only: “EBI Music”
2200-2300: Deutsch: “Hamburger Hafenkonzert”
2300-0000: English “Rhythm Nations” with Don Ellis

music only: “World Trax”
0600-0700: Ellhnika: Greek programme “Minima Agapis”
0700-0800: Italiano: Italian programme
0800-0900: Khmer: Cambodian programme
0900-1100: English: “A Foreign Affair” with David Sabine
1100-1200: English: “Today with You” with Ewart Shaw
1200-1230: English: Deutsche Welle “The Journal”
1230-1330: English, Gaidhlig: Scottish programme
1330-1430: English, Gaeilge: Irish programme
1430-1500: Portugues: Portuguese programme
1500-1600: Ellhnika: Greek programme “Hmerologion Zohs”
1600-1700: Deutsch: German programme
1700-1730: Russkiy: Russian programme
1730-1800: English: Deutsche Welle “Pulse”
1800-1900: English: “Planet Sound”
1900-2000: Dansk: Danish programme
2000-2100: Khmer: Cambodian programme
2100-2300: Vosa Vakaviti, English: Fijian programme
2300-0000: English: “FM Nightcap” with Malcolm MacKellar

music only: “World Trax”
0600-0700: Masri Arabic: Egyptian programme
0700-0900: music only: “EBI Music”
0900-1100: English: “A Foreign Affair” with David Sabine
1100-1200: English: “Today with You” with Ewart Shaw
1200-1230: English: Deutsche Welle “The Journal”
1230-1300: Myanma Bhasa: Burmese programme
1300-1400: Tieng Viet: Vietnamese programme
1400-1500: Deutsch: German programme
1500-1600: Ukrayinska: Ukrainian programme
1600-1700: English: Greek programme “History & Culture”
1700-1800: Bahasa: Indonesian programme “RISA”
1800-1900: Russkiy: Russian programme
1900-1930: Slovenscina: Slovenian programme
1930-2030: music only: “EBI Music”
2030-2130: Deutsch: Austrian programme “Musikalisches Kaleidoscop”
2130-2230: Bengali: Bangladesh programme
2230-0000: English: “Folk Till Midnight” with Eric Ford

music only: “World Trax”
0600-0700: English: “Good Morning Folk”
0700-0800: Italiano: Italian programme
0800-0900: Ellhnika: Greek programme “Xenimma Esiodoxias”
0900-1100: English: “A Foreign Affair” with David Sabine
1100-1200: English: “Today with You” with Ewart Shaw
1200-1230: English: Deutsche Welle “The Journal”
1230-1330: Tagalog: Filipino programme “Hal0-Halo Espesyal”
1330-1400: Italiano: Italian programme
1400-1500: Ellhnika: Greek programme
1500-1600: Deutsch: German programme “Buntes Allerlei”
1600-1700: Polszczyzna: Polish programme
1700-1900: Hrvatski: Croatian programme
1900-2000: Latviesu: Latvian programme “Latvju Balss”
2000-0000: Nederlands, English: Dutch programme “Dutch Family Programme”

: music only: “World Trax”
0600-0700: English: “Hear the World”
0700-0800: Italiano: Italian programme
0800-0900: Ellhnika, English: Greek Orthodox Community programme
0900-1100: English: “A Foreign Affair” with David Sabine
1100-1200: English: “Today with You” with Ewart Shaw
1200-1230: English: Deutsche Welle “The Journal”
1230-1300: English: “Science Fiction Review” with Malcolm MacKellar
1300-1330: music only: “EBI Music”
1330-1400: Italiano: Italian programme
1400-1430: English: Cook Islands programme
1430-1530: English: Greek programme “I Listen and Learn”
1530-1600: English: Tongan youth programme
1600-1700: Lea Fakatonga, English: Tongan programme
1700-1800: Nederlands: Dutch programme “De week die was, de week die komt”
1800-2000: Srpski, English: Serbian youth programme
2000-2100: Makedonskh: Macedonian programme
2100-2130: Tagalog: Filipino programme “Harana”
2130-2230: Af-Soomaali: Somali programme
2230-2330: English: Deutsche Welle “Inside Europe”
2330-0000: music only: “EBI Music”

music only: “World Trax”
0600-0700: Srpski: Serbian programme
0700-0800: English: Indian programme
0800-0900: Polszczyzna: Polish programme
0900-1000: Lietuviu Kalba: Lithuanian programme
1000-1100: Portugues: Portuguese programme
1100-1200: Espanol: Spanish programme
1200-1330: Castellano: Latin American programme
1330-1400: various: Eritrean programme
1400-1500: Masri Arabic: Egyptian programme
1500-1600: Srpski: Serbian programme
1600-1700: Ellhnika: Cypriot programme
1700-1800: English: Celtic programme
1800-1900: Schwyzertuutsch: Swiss programme “Schweizer Ecke”
1900-1930: Deutsch: Australian programme “Singendes Klingendes Oesterreich”
1930-2000: Deutsch: German programme
2000-2100: music only: “EBI Music”
2100-0100: English: “International Rendezvous”

: music only: “World Trax”
0600-0700: English: “In His Name” with Cristina Descalzi
0700-0730: Gagana Samoa: Samoan programme
0730-0830: Malti: Maltese programme
0830-0900: Tagalog: Filipino programme “Radyo Pilipino”
0900-1000: Slovensky jazyk: Slovak programme
1000-1030: German: German programme “Bundesliga Results”
1030-1130: German: Austrian programme “Gruess Gott – Guten Morgan”
1130-1200: Makedonski: Macedonian programme
1200-1300: Hrvatski: Croatian programme
1300-1400: Magyar: Hungarian programme
1400-1430: Slovenscina: Slovenian programme
1430-1530: Ukrayinska: Ukrainian programme
1530-1600: English: Indian programme
1600-1700: Bulgarsky: Bulgarian programme
1700-1800: Ellhnika: Greek programme
1800-1900: various: Sudanese programme
1900-1930: Makedonski: Macedonian programme
1930-2030: Vosa Vakaviti, English: Fijian programme
2030-2130: Russkiy: Russian programme
2130-1015: Guanhua/Mandarin: Chinese programme
2015-2100: Gwongjau-Wah/Cantonese: Chinese programme
2100-2130: music only: “EBI Chinese Trax”

All times given are Central Australian Time (GMT+9.30 or GMT+10.30).







The Gaelics in Australia

(Yes, the plural is intentional)

A few weeks ago, I attended the Sgoil-Ghàidhlig Nàiseanta, or National Gaelic School, a weekend of Gaelic-learning and socialisation in Melbourne – or, as they say in Gaelic, “anns a’ Mheall Bùirn”.

Aside from the expected classes on grammar, pronunciation, and conversational skills, a major topic of discussion was the influence Gaelic has had on Australia and Australian English. Obviously, it’s sometimes difficult to tell which words came to (Australian) English through Gaelic and which through Irish, since the languages are so similar, but it’s fascinating to hear some suggestions of word relations I hadn’t considered before.

Due to my Research Project last year, I’m familiar with the shear reach and prevalence of Goidelic language in Australia during the early days. Whether Irish convicts or Gaelic-speaking highlanders fleeing the Clearances, Irish and Gaelic together were once the most spoken language in Australia after English. The presence of so many Gaels in Australia affected the culture in many ways, from the “traditional” Australian Bush music and dances to a near-certain connection between Gaelic Football and AFL, but I will be focussing on the language and words.

While there are dozens, if not hundreds or more, of Gaelic-origin words in English, many of these are found in all or most dialects of English. Such words include “smidgen”, “brat”, “brogue”, “gob”, “galore”, “to keen”, “slogan”, “whiskey”, and so forth.

Some may think that “ta” is simply a lazy way of saying “thank-you”, but where does it come from? It may look vaguely similar, but has none of the same sounds, with “t” rather than “th” and a long “aa” rather than the short one in “thank”. However, the Gaelic for “thank-you” is “tapadh leibh/leat”, pronounced “TA-pa leiv/let”.

But there are others which are only used in Australia. I used to think “rack off” was a fairy standard (if rude) phrase, but have recently learnt it’s only found in Australia – the Gaelic for go (imperative, plural), is “rachaibh”, pronounced “rack-uv”. Recently, sitting in class, we were working on prepositions in context, particularly “ri”, meaning “with”. My attention drifting, I just kept hearing “root”, “root”, “root”. A lightbulb moment! In Australia “root” is a slang term for sex. In Gaelic, “riut” (“with you”), is pronounced exactly the same. It’s a tenuous connection, but the best I can think of!

A sheoak is an Australian tree completely unrelated to the oak. Some have suggested that the name comes from the Irish “sí óg”, meaning “young fairy”, but an explanation I think more likely is the Gaelic “sítheag”, which means “female fairy”, and makes much more sense when you consider that some early spellings for the plant included “shiac” and “shiac”. It also makes sense to used a feminine term for sheoak when you consider that we also have heoaks.

 Two Irish words in Australian English include “didgeridoo” and “waddy”. Don’t believe me? You think they’re Aboriginal words? Just let me explain.

 “Dúdaire” or “dideaire” is an Irish word which can mean “pipe” or “trumpet” (“dùdach” is the Gaelic cognate), and it is pronounced “doodarra” or “didjarra”. Combine this with “dubh”, which means “black”, and you have “black trumpeter”, pronounced “didjarra doo”.

 As for “waddy”, which is an Aboriginal hunting stick, this comes from the Gaelic/Irish word “màide”, meaning “stick”. It’s pronounced “matcha” in Gaelic, and it’s where we get the word “match” from. However, it’s pronounced “mahdee” in Irish. It still mightn’t look very similar, but let me explain a small facet of Goidelic grammar to you. Celtic words have a habit of leniting – changing the initial sound – at every opportunity. One of these is after some possessive pronouns, such as “mo” (“my”), “do” (“yours”), and “a” (“his”). “M” becomes “MH”, which is consistently pronounced “V” in Gaelic, but is only “V” in Irish before a slender vowel. It’s “W” before a broad vowel.

Imagine that a group of Irish-speakers encounter an Aboriginal tribe – a scenario not so unlikely when you consider that a significant percentage of early settlers and convicts were Irish-speaking – and notice that they’re carrying clubs. In an attempt to communicate, one of them points to the club and says, “Do mháide?” (Your stick?, pronounced “do wahdee?”). The Aboriginal man nods, thinking that the whitefella is given the word for a nulla nulla in his own language. “Waddy,” he agrees. Later, having learnt a bit of Irish and assuming it’s the language used by all white people, he encounters the English overlords, and explains to them that the stick he’s carrying is his “waddy”.

What about “chook”, that ubiquitous word for chicken used by anyone not living in a metropolitan area and quite a few within? You might think it the word of farmers, but at my uncle’s birthday recently, I found “chook” listed as a title the menu above dishes such as “schnitzel parma” and “warm chicken salad”. The best guess for this is the Irish/Gaelic for “come”, often listed as “tiuc” in Australian documents but actually written “teacht” in modern Irish. Both are pronounced more-or-less like “chuck” or “chook”, and probably explains why I call out, “Here, chooky-chooky-chooky” when I go down to the chook house.

Have you ever wondered why you say something twigged to you? What has suddenly understanding something got to do with small bits of tree? Well, the Gaelic word for “understand” is “tuig”, pronounced “twick”. Although I’m familiar with the phrase “tha mi a’ tuigsinn” (“I am understanding”), the use of the preposition in the English is consisted with the way things are phrased in Gaelic. You don’t like something, it’s “toil leat” (“nice with you”). You shouldn’t do something, it’s “coir dhuit” (“fitting to you”). In the same way, maybe you don’t understand something, it’s “tuig dhuit” (“understanding to you”)?

In fact, in some ways the Gaelic/Irish way of phrasing things has stuck around in our speech longer than the words themselves. Why do Australians say “good on you”, rather than “good for you” like everyone else? Well, putting things “on” or “with” people is very common in Gaelic/Irish – for example, “tapadh leibh” (thank-you, Gaelic, literally “thanks with/on you”), beannachd leibh (bless you, or rather, “blessings with/on you”), Dia dhuit (“hello” in Irish is literally “God to/on you”), and so on.

Well, I think that’s about enough for now. I might get around to telling you about the Sgoil Nàiseanta one day. I might not. Christmas is coming up, so, Nollaig Chridheal!, and, we’ll see.

Edit: Here are just a few more words I can’t believe I forgot.

First, a mainstream English word: buddy. This comes from the Gaelic “bodoch”, which no means “old man”. But it’s also (or was, at one point) a friendly term between mates: a male might call his good friend “bodoch”, according to the etymological story I’ve been told. Over time, this changes from “boddock” to “buddy”.

And now an Australian word. The Irish for “hard” or “difficult” is “deacair”, pronounced “jucker”. During my brief time at the Irish club, we were taught this word with the mnemonic “hard yacker”. “Yacker” or “yakka” is a Strine word meaning “work”; you might say “mucking out a chook house is hard yacker”.

The South Australian Accent

I’m not going to be talking about the Australian accent, because I’m sure you’ve heard it all before, but I’m going to point out a couple of features of the South Australian accent.

I’m also not going to be talking about my own accent, because it’s a hopeless mish-mash which includes eastern states, English, Scottish, and Kiwi traits, as well as most of the SA traits. I don’t really want to use myself as evidence for any of these things, but rather my sister, (occasionally) my mother, and pretty much everyone else around me.

Yes, there is one, and yes, it is different from other Australian accents. I’ve mentioned before that I partially disagree with the commonly-used classification system of Australian accents (Broad, General, Cultivated), but even proponents of this system will agree that South Australians sound different.

Of course, many of the features I’m going to talk about occur in other Australian accents, too, so I’m only going to point out the ones that don’t occur, and tell you what happens instead in eastern states accents.

The first feature about which I’m going to talk is non-rhoticity. Now, this is a pretty obvious thing to say, given that almost all British dialects, Australians, Kiwis, and even a couple of obscure American dialects (in Louisiana, I think) are non-rhotic.
A Simpson sums up my opinion of the new logo. It's meant to represent a door, but seriously? You need a new logo for SA, so you do it by getting a map of Australia and cutting the state out of it?

A Simpson sums up my opinion of the new logo. It’s meant to represent a door, but seriously? You need a new logo for SA, so you do it by getting a map of Australia and cutting the state out of it?

Basically, what “non-rhotic” means, is that we don’t pronounce the “r” on the ends of words that end with “er” (or “re”), such as water, metre, feature, swimmer, theatre, and so on. Instead, it is pronounced as something like “a” or “uh”: worta, meeta, feecha, swimma, theata, etc.

The next feature is the trap-bath split. Basically that means that the two words are pronounced different, “trap” with a short “a” as in “cat”, and “bath” with a long “a” as in “father”. Of course, all varieties of Australia have this split, but it is the extent to which it exists in South Australia which is notable. A lot of words are pronounced with a long “aa” in SA which are pronounced with a short “a” in the eastern states, mostly where the “a” is immediately followed by an “n” or an “m” – for example; dance, advance, plant, and branch, for example, but also other words, such as grass and graph. A word of advice: never get a South Australian and any other Australian to since the national anthem together.

The next feature is the y-glide. Like non-rhoticity, this is a feature of British English (and not American English), so it’s not too surprising that it exists in Australian English, too. However, like the trap-bath split, it is not as fully realised as in Queen’s (RP) English.

Basically, what a y-glide is, is that “u” or “oo” sounds are very often pronounced with a “y” in front. Such words are new, due, Tuesday, tune, and so forth. (Which is why American children sometimes mix up “do” and “due”, but Australian children never would, because for us, the two words sound different). But there are a lot of words where there is no y-glide, but where there would be in RP English (and some Australians might pronounce it, but it’s rare), such as suitable, blue, and diluted.

However, Australians can sometimes be lazy in actually pronouncing this y-glide, usually after a “t” or a “d”. Thus, due and dew are “joo”, Tuesday is “choozday”, tune is “choon”, and dune is “joon”. This also means that common word combinations which feature a “d” or a “t” followed by a “y” are also pronounced this way; for example, “last year” and “next year” are pronounced “lars jeer” and “necks jeer”.

The old logo, which I vastly preferred.

The old logo, which I vastly preferred.

The next feature is l-vocalisation, which, as far as Australian accents are concerned, is a uniquely South Australian thing. Which this means is that an “l” which falls on the end of a word or immediately before another consonant sounds more like a “w” or a “y”. It looks a bit silly when you write it, so I’m not going to really try. I’ll give you an example, though; a boy named Will has his name pronounced with the same sound at the end as at the beginning. His full name has “yam” tacked on the end: Wiwyam rather than William. “Miwk” rather than “milk”.

I’ve read that l-vocalisation also occurs in Cockney, but I’m pretty sure that South Australians would get it from all the Scottish settlers. Although I have not read anywhere that this is a feature of any Scottish accent, I’ve noticed that in Scots, words such as “football” are written “fitba” or “fitbaw”, which to me implies that something like l-vocalisation is happening to the final consonant.

The next feature is full diphthongs, which is another thing which, if not unique to South Australia, is less likely to occur in other states. This means that some words which are pronounced with one syllable in other states, such as near, beard, hear, here, tour, grown, known, and so forth, are in South Australia pronounced as “nee-ya” (near), “bee-yud” (beard), “hee-ya” (hear and here), “too-wa” (tour), gro-wun (grown), no-wun (known), etc.

The final feature I’m going to mention doesn’t have a name – at least, not as far as I’m aware. It’s something akin to t-glottalisation, except that the “t” in question isn’t actually pronounced as a glottal. As far as I can work out, from listening carefully and trying out words in my own mouth, we move our tongue and mouth into the correct position for the “t”, but stop vocalising before we can pronounce it. Thus, words such as “fruit”, “ute”, and “plant”, are often missing their final “t”, and words like “Atlantic” are often missing the initial “t” (or, the “t” at the end of a syllable). So, for example, in a word like FruChocs, which, despite missing the “t” on the end of initial syllable, a South Australian will hear as “fruit”, whether consciously or subconsciously, which (for me, anyway) immediately conjures up an image of exactly what a FruChoc is – fruit and chocolate.

I don’t know whether this happens in other states, but it’s pretty widespread in SA – to the point where the conductor at the Festival of Music (another SA thing) gesticulates wildly and makes a giant “T” with his arms every time the letter comes up. Not that we ever sang “Silent Night” mid-year, but we end up singing something like this: “Si-ilent nigh-TUH, ho-oly nigh-TUH, all is calm, all is brigh-TUH, round yon virgin mother and chil-DUH, holy infant so tender and mil-DUH!”

Finally, I will finish by giving a couple of words which differ in South Australia from other states:

Stobie Pole. (Other states have telegraph poles. We don’t have trees.)
Fritz. (Other states have Devon). And Smiley Fritz.