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Andrea Giordano Explains Appalachian English and Living in Kentucky
Lindsay: This is an All Ears English Podcast, Episode 104: “Andrea Giordano Explains Appalachian English and Living in Kentucky.” [Instrumental]
Gabby: Welcome to the All Ears English Podcast, where you’ll finally get real, native English conversation with your hosts, Lindsay McMahon, the ‘English Adventurer’ and Gabby Wallace, the ‘Language Angel,’ from Boston, USA.
In today’s episode, you’ll learn why you might wanna (want to) consider living in Kentucky and you’ll learn three popular phrases from the region.
Lindsay: So hey Gabby. How are you doing today?
Gabby: Hey Lindsay. I’m doing great. How are you?
Lindsay: I’m feeling good today because today we have Andrea Giordano, the creator and founder of ESLBasics.com in to talk with us. Thanks for coming, Andrea.
Andrea: Yeah, hey guys. Thanks.
Gabby: Hey. Nice to meet you.
Lindsay: How are you today?
Andrea: I’m doing great. The weather is great, so I’m happy.
Lindsay: (Aw), that’s great. So you are in Kentucky, is that right?
Andrea: That’s right.
Lindsay: Awesome. So, can you tell us about the Appalachian region of the United States – what that area is like? Cause (because) I know a lot of students are familiar with New York, LA, San Francisco, but they may…
Lindsay: Yeah. They might not know anything about your region.
Andrea: Sure, yeah. Kentucky is really beautiful. It has green rolling hills and the reason I live here is because the people are incredible. They’re incredibly friendly and welcoming and warm and so that’s really the stand-out quality I like most about Kentucky.
Gabby: So if you’re walking down the street, say, Main Street, and you say, “Good morning,” someone will respond with a smile and “Good morning”?
Andrea: Yeah, it’s one of the things that our students who come here get so confused by at first, that you do say ‘hi’ to every single person that you pass.
Lindsay: Oh, wow.
Gabby: That’s a big difference.
Lindsay: That’s so different from Boston.
Andrea: Yes, it is.
Lindsay: Okay, that’s great. So, it, it sounds like a great place to visit. I’d like to check it out sometime.
Andrea: Yeah, it’s wonderful. So friendly and the, the people are so accepting of everybody, so it’s great.
Gabby: Well, our listeners might be curious about, (you know), why they might want to visit, live, work, or study English in a place like Kentucky. So (I mean), could you give us some of the, the pros and cons of considering, (uh), maybe a smaller city or, or a state, (um), that doesn’t have a big city in it like Kentucky?
Andrea: Sure, yeah. Well, (um), it’s not for everybody – living in a small town and studying in a small town – but it is for a lot of people. I think, (um), a lot of students want to just focus on their studies and in a small town like Campbellsville and at Campbellsville University, we can, (you know), there’s not a lot of distractions, there aren’t nightclubs or anything like that. And so it’s a chance for students to really focus on why they came, which is learning English.
Lindsay: Absolutely. I think that’s really important because in the end, (you know), I meet students here in Boston sometimes who end up, honestly, going out with people from their own country often in the evenings and end up speaking their native language, which is okay once in a while, but if you…
Lindsay: …come here to learn English, you really should be out there speaking with people in the community.
Andrea: It’s really true, (mm-hm).
Lindsay: Yeah, absolutely.
Gabby: Wow. And you spoke about how friendly people are and so that can make it a nice experience to, (you know), just feel like you can practice with anyone.
Andrea: That’s right. (I mean), (you know), students come from all over the world and they’re away from their families and so having this strong sense of family and community in Kentucky really makes people feel warm and welcome and we have a 90 – (like) 90% retention rate from ESL, (uh), matriculating into the university and the reason people stay is because they just love that family atmosphere.
Gabby: That’s wonderful.
Lindsay: Oh, that’s interesting. I could see that…
Lindsay: …I could see that.
Lindsay: It makes a lot of sense. Very cool.
Lindsay: So if someone’s going to come to your region of the country, to Kentucky, what are, what are two to three (sort of) survival phrases or idioms, expressions, to actually communicate with the local people?
Andrea: Okay. So I’m not from Kentucky originally. I’m from Illinois and so there are a few phrases that I had to learn as well when I came here and, (um), the number one that you have to know is that when you are talking to more than one person, the word you u-, use is “y’all” (you all).
Gabby: “Y’all” (you all).
Gabby: Okay, nice.
Lindsay: Love it.
Andrea: Y-apostrophe-all and it means “you all” but you say it as “y’all” (you all).
Gabby: “Y’all” (you all).
Lindsay: Awesome. So that’s true also in the Southern, further south in the US, right?
Gabby: I think of Texas or…
Andrea: Yes, basically anywhere south of Ohio, you’re gonna (going to) say that.
Lindsay: Oh, very cool. Very cool. So have you started saying that?
Andrea: (Uh), yes, I have. I’ve been here for 15 years so I definitely say “y’all” (you all). But I do say “you guys” still because I am an Illinoisan, so…
Lindsay: Yeah. That’s great. And what’s the next one?
Andrea: (Um), the next one is a verb. It’s “fixin’ (fixing) to”.
Lindsay: …cool. So cool.
Andrea: Yeah. So it means “about to do something” or “going to.” (Um), so I might say, “I’m fixin’ (fixing) to go to the bank and deposit my check.” And, (um), yeah, so it’s, it’s slang. It’s something you would use with your friends.
Gabby: I love it…
Gabby: …because I think we’ve heard that but we’re not sure if people actually use that on a day-to-day…
Gabby: …basis because we’re not there in Kentucky.
Andrea: Oh, they do. Yes, they do.
Andrea: I have not yet adopted that one but I definitely, (you know), all my friends use it.
Gabby: Yeah, that’s fun.
Lindsay: I think I’ve definitely heard that in, in, in movies.
Gabby: Oh, yeah.
Andrea: Right. Right. It’s, it’s real. They use it.
Gabby: And it’s still current?
Andrea: (Mm-hm). Still current, yeah.
Lindsay: Wow. So cool.
Gabby: Why is…?
Lindsay: I’m learning a lot. I feel like an outsider here. And what’s your third expression?
Andrea: Okay, (uh), this would be “reckon”…
Andrea: …r-e-c-k-o-n, and this means “to think” or “to be pretty sure about something.” So I might say, “I reckon he might come over later.”
Gabby: I’ve definitely heard that before.
Lindsay: But not here in Boston.
Gabby: But not in Boston, yeah.
Gabby: So you could put them all together, (like), “I reckon…”
Andrea: (Uh), yeah.
Gabby: “…I’m fixin’ (fixing) to go to the bank, y’all (you all).”
Lindsay: “I reckon y’all (you all) are fixin’ (fixing) to go to the bank.” Very cool, very cool. Wow.
Andrea: Yeah. “Hey y’all (you all), I, I reckon I’m fixin’ (fixing) to go into the…” I don’t even know. I can’t even do it. “I’m fixin’ (fixing) to go to the bank.” That would work.
Gabby: Well, these are really fun expressions and I think the main idea is that we want our listeners to recognize them.
Gabby: (You know), if somebody says, “I reckon,” what are they gonna (going to) do? What’s, what’s happening?
Lindsay: It’s more about the awareness so they’re prepared when they, when they travel to that part of the country.
Andrea: Yeah, definitely.
Gabby: It’s fun. It’s just, (you know)…
Gabby: …it’s (like) a cultural insiders’ knowledge here.
Lindsay: And do you see English learners, (um), actually using these phrases themselves or is it just listening and understanding them?
Andrea: (Um), some do. The ones who really wanna (want to) jump into the culture and be a part of what’s going on, I think those students do take some of these on, especially maybe “y’all” (you all). (Uh), the other ones…
Andrea: …would take longer, I think, is, the longer they live here, but yeah, I think so.
Lindsay: Wow, that’s fantastic.
Gabby: It’s really fun.
Lindsay: I love it.
Gabby: Great. So, “y’all” (you all), “I’m fixin’ (fixing)”, and “I…” Both: “…reckon.”
Lindsay: Got it.
Lindsay: Well, thank you so much, Andrea. We really – this has been fantastic. (I mean), it’s just so…
Andrea: Oh, thanks so much for having me.
Lindsay: Oh, thank you.
Lindsay: Can you…
Gabby: Whe- (where) – yeah.
Lindsay: …tell our listeners where they could find you online if they wanna (want to) learn more from you?
Andrea: Sure, yeah. (Um), I’m at ESLBasics.com and the best way to connect with me is to sign up for our e-mail, sub-, (uh), subscription there. So it’s totally free and I’ll send you free e-mail or ESL lessons. So go to ESLBasics.com/email.
Lindsay: All right.
Lindsay: Perfect. We’ll be sure to put that in the blog post as well so that people can get that and thank you so much. This has been so fun.
Gabby: Thanks, Andrea.
Andrea: All right, thanks, ladies.
Lindsay: Thanks, Andrea.
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