スクールブログ SCHOOL BLOG

2021.09.18

【James先生ブログ】"Different Words"

G'day! It's James,
your favourite Australian Teacher!

Has Summer ended yet?
Is it Autumn?

I'm not sure! In Japan,
the dates of the seasons are flexible,
they don't start and stop on exactly the same dates every year.

Whereas in Australia,
the four seasons always start and finish
on the same dates every year...

it's a much more rigid system:

Summer:1st of December
Autumn:1st of March
Winter:1st of June
Spring:1st of September

So it's very easy to know what season it is in Australia;
although the season doesn't always match the weather!

Continuing my blog series on Australian English,
today we are revisiting how words are different in Australia,
and how to avoid confusion across countries and cultures.

Notice above that Australians use
the word "Autumn" instead of "Fall".

Actually, we get confused when Americans say "Fall",
since it sounds like the verb "to fall".

When a word has a double-meaning,
like "fall", it's called "ambiguous".

Words that have only one distinct meaning,
like "autumn", are called "unambiguous".

If you're writing in English or doing a speech,
sometimes it's important to avoid ambiguous terminology.

Choosing distinct words makes your message easier to translate,

and is more accessible to both non-native English speakers
and native English speakers from different countries.

For example, choosing "autumn" instead of "fall".

As for my hometown, Melbourne,
we have unusual weather patterns.

In one day, it can be freezing-cold, blazing-hot,
have pouring rain and then be perfectly sunny and comfortable.

Melbourne is famously talked about having
"four seasons in one day".

Actually,
sometimes I feel like Tokyo has four seasons in a day as well.

I like it, since it's something my hometown shares with my new town.

See you next time!

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