Stralian, mate!

Before coming to Australia, I thought I understood English; I have been studying the language since pretty much forever, goddammit! The past 2 months have taught me a lot about this beautiful language, however, and I think it is important that I spread what I’ve learned to others, too. Here are some Australianisms that might be more or less useful, or not.

Arvo – Afternoon. (Are you free this arvo to catch up?)
Barbie – The grill. (Chuck some shrimp on the barbie, willya!)
Bathers – Swimsuit.
Bloody oath – Bloody hell.
Bogan – Redneck, someone simple an uneducated individual who enjoys tons of beer and such.
Bush – The outback.
Bushdoof – Party in the outback.
Chook – Chicken. (One chook wrap to go, cheers!)
Cunt – Either a close friend or the opposite. (Hey you cunt, get us a round!)
Docket – bill, receipt.

Dry as a dead dingo’s donger – Dry.
Eskie – cooler for beer and other things important to be kept cold.
Heaps – a lot. (Thanks heaps, mate)
Hey – To ask something. (Hey? “Please repeat”)
Hey – To confirm and emphasize something. (Your mate is such a sheepshagger, hey)
Fair suck on the sav – Disbelief.
Footy – Football. Aussie rules football.
Good onya mate – Good for you, well done.
It’s gone walkabout – It’s lost, can’t be found.

mackas (‘mackers’) – mcDonalds.
mad as a cut snake – Very angry.
mate – anyone from your closest friends to strangers and acquaintances. (Oi mate! Kick the ball!)
No worries – no problem, it’s ok. (Thanks! No worries!)
Reckon – to think (Whadya reckon? I reckon it’s as dry as a nun’s nasty)
Ripper – Great.
Runners – Sneakers.
Shit for brains – not that smart.
Struth (‘str-ewth’) – Expression of surprise.
Sheepshagger – New Zealander.
Whinge – to complain. (Stop whinging you twat)

These and quite a few other expressions and words have bedazzled me, and I a sure I will encounter many more. Perhaps enough to write another post!

Land of the Lakes in the Land of the Rising Sun

What a poetic title to a post mostly dedicated to consuming.
There’s more Finnish things than just the Moomin cafes in Japan, although most of the Finnish items you can find are related to Moomin. During my travels outside Beppu, I have found Marimekko stores as well as shops selling Iittala dishes. In Tokyo, there are also several shops with Finnish names. The shops may have nothing to do with Finland, but apparently the words sound nice to the Japanese.

Cucumber restaurant
Thank you shop
Thank you shop

I’ve also seen “I, butterfly” and “Maybe Cute” as well as “Kitchen” shops.

Some want to take the Finnish back home!

Sweet and savory Finnish containers
Sweet and savory Finnish containers
Our national pride, Iittala, on sale
Our national pride, Iittala, on sale

The Japanese travel to Finland to see the Aurora (Northern lights), which I have’t seen since the 90’s. Maybe also the nature attracts them. Food – not so much.

This is what Finland looks like
This is what Finland looks like

To balance things out, Ikea is not the only Swedish thing in Japan.

I thought Lapland is in Finland
I thought Lapland is in Finland


The Japanese are known for their interesting English translations, also known as Engrish. Here follows some of the best encounters I have had so far.

Without fail should I gargle with the disinfectant as well?


Small thing and so on for this colorful storage item


That’s a good question.


Plate taken once, no return please


Kabosu pies, acidity and stron but mellow and of peculiar flavor. Very

Nihongo ga wakarimasen

Today was the last lecture of my Japanese class. The course started in January, and since that I’ve spent all Friday mornings in the classroom with our sensei Miyamoto-Maunu and my classmates. Time goes fast! I now know (somewhat) all hiragana, and I have promised myself that I will study all of the katakana before my exchange starts.  Learning Japanese has been really interesting, and some of the phrases and words are rather amusing. Some of my personal favorites are:

 ときどき (tokidoki) – sometimes
インフォーメーション (infomeeshon) – information
セブンイレブン (sebunirebun) – seven eleven
かっか (kakka) – emperor (kakka means poo in Finnish)
ディズニーランド (deizunirando) – Disneyland
マクドナルド (makudonarudo) – McDonalds
いちにち (ichinichi) – one day

This last Japanese lesson was a bit more informal than the previous ones. We have done origami before, but this time there was more Japanese culture-related things, too.


Sumo origami game
Japanese game, similar to the one where you have to tag donkey’s tail to its’ right place
Japanese games, children’s books etc.
Most of our snacks were already eaten at the point of taking pictures

I will miss studying Japanese, since it might be quite difficult independently. I have few iPhone apps that I have found useful when studying hiragana and katakana, but I haven’t really found many good websites for studying. Do you have any tips on self-studying?