Bonus Episode 6 - A Bunch of British Behaviours with Harry

May 14 / Charlie Baxter

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By Charlie Baxter

Bonus Episodes

What's this episode about?

In this episode, Charlie goes through a handful of behaviours with Harry that they suspect are typically British. These small but telling mannerisms are what cultural differences are all about. Spotting those ways of being that seem illogical to one group of people but perfectly ordinary to another is a large part of why Charlie enjoys doing this show so much. So, we hope you enjoy it yourself!
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Transcript of BEP Bonus Ep 6 Pt. 1 - British Behaviours with Harry.mp3

Speaker 1:
Hello. You alright?

Speaker 2:
What?

Speaker 1:
You alright?

Speaker 2:
Sorry.

Speaker 1:
I said, are you all right?

Speaker 2:
Uh, exactly.

Charlie:
Hmm hmm. Let's hope this episode gets less awkward than that intro, but I can't promise much as today we are going over a handful of mannerisms that British people do. We are joined with Harry to go over these behaviours that both of us picked up on. And we wonder if it's only the weird yet wonderfully British folk that do this or is it everybody? So we put it to you to tell us if indeed this is just us or if your culture does this too. You can get in touch with me on Instagram, but I highly recommend going to the website and signing up to the newsletter I send out as I give you my week's update with silly pictures, captions and native expressions that I teach along the way. And we can open up a dialogue in those emails or head to my Instagram, which is the British English podcast. Now, before we get going, I want to say that I am very aware that individualism will always trump stereotypes, meaning we are all unique. And although there are some general assumptions about a group of people, any individual can break away from those stereotypes. We all know that. But when I'm speaking with students in the weekly speaking classes in the academy that you can easily become part of by heading to the British English podcast.com, they tell me how different their culture is compared to British culture. So let's continue to investigate the differences, shall we? And also stop introducing things in and see for yourself shall we by jumping into this conversation with Harry. And by the way, this was recorded pre covid and I had just arrived in Sydney. If you hear some things that confuse you. But yeah. Enjoy.

Charlie:
Yeah, let's get into it, Harry. How are you doing today?

Harry:
Very well, thank you very, very well going well for me and I'm feeling feeling pretty, pretty. Pretty, pretty good, pretty good. Yeah, it's interesting talking about culture, because whenever it comes to British culture, we're always talking about how how weird we are, how indirect we are, and all these little behaviours that we do so that we don't offend other people. So it would be really interesting to understand if other cultures are like us as well, maybe we're not the only weird ones around. But I think it's really common in England to talk about how weird we are as well. Everyone seems to be aware of how strange the Brits are. So we do seem to be one of those nations.

Charlie:
Yeah, I think that's that's right. And we've got a lot of Russian contacts and friends and students that really highlight this don't we because it's it's an extreme a Russian and a Brit meeting, it's two extremes and we tend to feel like the odd ones, which is maybe because we're the the one of compared to many and they're telling us we're weird

Harry:
We're the minority in the classroom,

Charlie:
Exactly, yeah. But yeah, we are painfully polite. But yeah let's see let's see. So, have you got a scenario in mind to begin?

Charlie:
This episode comes with a free worksheet over on the website, the British English podcast, dot com. So grab that and you can listen along whilst using it.

Harry:
Yeah, OK, so I think this is a really, really good one to start off. So the list is called what it's like to be British, and the first one we have is being unable to stand and leave without first saying, right.

Harry:
Which is so true,

Charlie:
Oh wow, yeah

Harry:
If you're in a social interaction and you want to bring it to an end or like a meeting, a phone call, anything with more than one person, you'd say, right. You'd say it like that don't you. You go, Right. Right!

Charlie:
Yeah. It's like I'm getting up now or I'm I'm bored. Let's move on with this. Let's take this forward. Come on. Pick up the pace. Yeah, exactly. I went to I went to see some offices today in Sydney, some coworking offices. Far too expensive for me, but yeah, it was nice to look at it. And they told us about it a bit too long. And I just wanted to go on the tour. And at the end of his spiel is it spiel or spiel?

Comment:
[it's both]

Harry:
Yeah, people do say spiel, but I don't know. Oh no it's spiel. I think people do that for comic effect.

Charlie:
Ok, spiel means like his long talk and I wanted to get onto the tour, so I said, right, shall we go on the tour. Should we see should we have a look around to have a look around, to look in the area. So yeah, I definitely used it there

Harry:
Oh right okay so you went, "Right, so where, where is the actual workspace then?"

Charlie:
Yeah.

Harry:
Oh that's good. Good on you. Yeah, well sometimes you need to say that. Yeah. To, to hurry, to hurry someone along you could say. To hurry someone along. So to make someone realise that you haven't got all day. To hurry someone along, that's another way that we say that is now "I haven't got all day." But that's a rude way to say it.

Charlie:
That's quite rude, isn't it. Right. Is is acceptable in many scenarios. But we also know you're frustrated. You're wanting to further the situation.

Harry:
Yes, that's it.

Charlie:
Yeah, but it's acceptable

Harry:
Depending on the tone and how you say it,

Charlie:
Of course.

Harry:
Because that kind of right. Like. Right. How would you think you said it today? So he was like "oh right, so this is the general kind of space. We we come here and people work here actually, quite a lot. Lovely space been opened since 2009 and yea.."

Charlie:
"Right, shall we go on a tour?"

Harry:
Ok, so it's like that. Right, shall we go on the tour now?

Charlie:
Yeah.

Harry:
OK, so it was a bit...

Charlie:
So it was kind of like I understand what you're saying. Right. Right, yeah. And next.

Harry:
Ok, OK, cool.

Charlie:
There's a classic example where dads are wanting to go back to the car and the family are saying goodbye.

Harry:
Oh OK. Yeah ok.

Charlie:
Ok, yeah. So all the mums are saying, oh it'll be so good to see you next Christmas. And the dads are just like, come on, get in the car. And they're like, right shall we?

Harry:
And that's, wait that's not the dad saying goodbye to the family and see you next Christmas. It's saying we're leaving your uncle's house now and we're going back to our house. Right. We better we better get going.

Charlie:
Yeah, "Right Sue, shall we hit the road? It's getting late!"

Harry:
Very good. And nice language there as well to hit the road. Meeting start your journey to get in the car and start driving home. Let's hit the road. Let's hit the road, really nice language there. Yeah, I actually have that exact situation, it's always, it's nearly always the man who instigates that, isn't it?

Charlie:
Yeah, yeah. I think the woman feels too polite or like it's too rude. It's almost. Dare I say, it's almost a man's job?

Harry:
Yeah. Yeah. I mean normally in a couple normally not always. Normally the man is the driver. And therefore, he's the one thinking we need to get home before it's dark, now is a sensible time to start driving, "So, right. Shall we hit the road?"

Charlie:
Yeah, yeah, that's true, it would be funny if it was the other way round, wouldn't it? So yeah, I guess in England it's normally the guy drives. Yeah, yeah. I guess that's probably everywhere in the world still. The majority of countries still have this that the guy in the couple drives because they want to feel in control of the the relationship or secure. I certainly notice that I, I want to drive Stacey around to just feel a little bit more masculine. It is one of the very few things I can control and being in the passenger seat makes me feel like a useless male.

Harry:
That's hilarious. Okay. Have you had that experience before sitting in the in the passenger seat with Stacey?

Charlie:
Definitely, yeah. And often Stacey likes to sing along to the radio or do some stupid dancing and stuff. And I feel like suddenly I've got to do this. I've got to be the sort of showgirl doing some weird entertainment. Instead I just start talking about Elon Musk and she just falls asleep and crashes the girl.

Harry:
Oh, dear. Yeah, you can't. Yeah, she mustn't fall asleep at the wheel. So you going you drive is basically a way of preventing somebody falling asleep at the wheel.

Charlie:
Exactly. Very nice language there to fall asleep at the wheel. Nobody wants this. My father once did it and he wrote off a car to write off a car means to crash a car so badly that it's it's too much cost to repair it, to write off a car.

Harry:
God,

Charlie:
Yeah. He he did this on the way to the airport. And the airport is only 30 minutes away from our house. So he fell asleep within about 20 minutes of driving. Thankfully, he was fine, he was fine, but he certainly made his sister wait at the airport for a long time.

Harry:
Oh my God, he must have started dropping off like having just left the house. He's already half asleep. Oh my god.

Charlie:
Started dropping off. That's great. Really nice. So so you said my father must have started dropping off as soon as he left the house. What did you mean?

Harry:
Yeah. So to drop off means to fall asleep. So he starts dropping off. You you begin to fall asleep. Yeah, that's it. So wait did he didn't have a crash then, so he just he fell asleep and he just told you about it. Oh he wrote off the car. So he actually what happened?

Charlie:
He he went yeah. He fell asleep and drove straight into a road sign so that the the road beared...

Comment:
[Technically the past of bear is bore]

Charlie:
...round to the left, which is again probably rare vocabulary to bear around the corner, to go around the corner, not like a sharp turn. It's not a junction. It's just the road is bending one way. So you could say bear left or bear right. So it was bearing left and he just went straight into the hedge on the other side of the road.

Harry:
Straight into the hedge, oh dear, well he was lucky, he was lucky.

Charlie:
Yeah, yeah, he was lucky, wasn't he?

Harry:
Bloody hell Nigel. I'm going to have to have a serious chat with him when I next see him. So I'll read out another one for us.

Charlie:
Remember, if you want transcripts of this podcast, then head over to the website, the British English podcast, dot com, or if you wanted to join the academy to continue listening to part two and three of this episode and get a huge amount of video lessons, pronunciation practise, quizzes, assignments, bonus content and much, much more that will ensure you get comfortable using the advanced language in these episodes. Then head over to the British English podcast dot com.

Charlie:
So it's the concept of not being able to hear someone or the problem after asking "What?" When somebody says something and you don't understand them, you say what or pardon to be more polite, you say, pardon? What was that you said? And they they answer and you still don't understand. And it gets to the third time of not understanding that every Brit will say, oh, yeah, as a as a hope to avoid any awkward interaction because asking what four times is apparently unimaginable.

Harry:
It is embarrassing. I remember we talked about this one before actually in a live lesson, and I told the story about when I was in an Indian restaurant and they asked if I wanted butter in my curry. And he, I asked three times for him to repeat because he has a very thick accent. He said, butter, do you want butter. And I didn't understand I was like what. He said "butter", "butter". And I was like, oh, "butter" I'm sorry, but and then everyone in the place went "BUTTER". And then I got it

Charlie:
What the whole staff, they all shouted in unison, "BUTTER!"

Harry:
But they're only there only to two people who work there, but also a customer. I say it wasn't like a whole restaurant full of people. It's actually a small cafe. And there were three people who said it all together basically and butter, and that's what it was. Butter.

Charlie:
Nice. So you can say all together or in unison, they're kind of synonymous.

Harry:
Yeah. Nice. Yeah. In unison sounds sounds better doesn't it. It's kind of quite elegant but we said it in unison. And what about you Charlie. What do you what do you do. Do you pretend you've heard it or you just keep on asking.

Charlie:
Uh, I've, I've done both actually. I've pushed the boundaries. I've gone to the fourth realm. The fourth dimension of of "what". But. I've also, you know, done the standard "ahh yeah". I've actually done that sometimes on the first one. You know, when you're not into the conversation, you don't really care. And they say something you don't understand. You say. "Yeah, exactly."

Harry:
Yes. And that's a good thing. So if you don't understand something that someone said and you want to pretend you do, that's a good word to say. Exactly. Exactly. You know, you can kind of get away with using that whenever people will never say what "what d'you mean exactly?"

Charlie:
Well, if if they've said something really different, then they might actually they might actually pull you up on it to pull you up on it means what what does that mean?

Harry:
To bring something to your attention? Yeah. To let you know that you've you said something a bit strange.

Charlie:
Yeah. Yeah. They, they, they pull you up on it and they would say, you didn't hear me did you. You didn't understand what I just said.

Harry:
Yeah, like if I'm telling Charlie, and that's why I think it's probably probably time to get a divorce.

Charlie:
"Yeah, exactly"

Harry:
What!?

Charlie:
What?

Harry:
What do you mean?

Charlie:
I just. Yeah, what you were saying, yeah, I agree.

Harry:
What was I saying? What was I saying?

Charlie:
Just just about your wife. Yeah.

Harry:
Yes, soon to be ex-wife. Yeah, exactly, so I pulled Charlie up on that, I pulled Charlie up on that.

Charlie:
Yeah. And then I, I just said. "Yeah. What you were saying." "Yeah, what you were saying," meaning like, oh, I'm agreeing with what you were talking about.

Harry:
Yeah. If someone asks you what do you think of something of an issue and you don't know what the issue is, you can pretend and say, yeah, I... "What he was saying". Charlie, what do you what do you feel about the matter? How do you feel?

Charlie:
What he was saying? Yeah. Sounds good to me.

Harry:
And you could get away with that. I think sometimes that would work.

Charlie:
Definitely many school kids do. Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah.

Harry:
I bet did. You used to do that in school do you think when you weren't listening. Yeah. What, what John was saying he sounded spot on.

Charlie:
Yeah, I remember my French teacher, she had it in for me, she hated me, she had it in for me, she didn't like me, and she would always throw the ball to me and make me say my name and where I'm from in French. And I'd always I'd never know the answer. But you can't really say Yeah, what he was saying. Unless I should have learnt that in French that would have been.

Harry:
Yeah, that would have been good. You can't do that with your name if she only wants you to say your name and where you're from. Unless, unless there is another person in the class called Charlie from from Horsely, then you could say yeah what Charlie from Horsely was saying. Yeah, but I like that she had to inform me she had it in for me so that yes she. How did you explain that. I like the way you defined that

Charlie:
She hated me. She wanted to cause me problems. She knew I was no good.

Harry:
Good, good expression that. Charlie, I'm going to read out the next the next weird behaviour that us Brits suffer from, OK?

Speaker1:
And this conversation continues to go on in part two and three, part two continues with the mannerisms that we see as particularly British, and the next one is very accurate. And after living in a handful of different countries, I reckon this might be a particularly British one. I'd love to hear your thoughts, though. And then in part three, Harry and I play an Expressions review game. So you get a really nice recap of all the useful language. And this is all accessible for academy and premium members, along with the transcripts, extended glossaries and flashcards of this episode. So I will see you in part two to get into the next fantastically British mannerism over on the British English podcast Dotcom. But hey, if not, I'll say thank you very much for listening to me and Harry. My name is Charlie. Charlie Baxter. And I'll see you next week on the British English podcast.

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Podcast host: Charlie:
This will be quite a bit harder for you to understand, as there are a number of accents in the conversation, some poorly delivered at times, as you will notice.

Podcast host: Charlie:
But the aim is to give you a variety of dialects in one conversation and some dialogue to give you native expressions in context. So enter, if you will, to Charlie's pub and his imaginary world.

Character: Mike:
Alright geezer, how's it going?

Character: Chris:
Yes, I'm well thanks. How about you? Have you had a good day?

Character: Mike:
Can't say good mate. No my old man he's been giving me a right old earful for what happened on site last week.

Character: Chris:
Oh that's a pity. Are you back on your dad's building project again?

Character: Mike:
Sad to say mate, but yeah, I am. Couldn't resist this one though. Cash in hand, you know.

Character: Chris:
Oh fair play, hard to resist those I imagine. Oh, here she is.

Character: Emily:
Oh, hi.

Character: Chris:
I was wondering if you're ever going to join us tonight.

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