Australian Access Federation

You are here: Home Corpora Monash MESJ3F1_Sanitised (Text)

MESJ3F1_Sanitised (Text)

Item metadata
Born in Greece
Greek, English
Born in Greece
Audience :
Small Group
Communication Context :
Face to Face
Related Document : MESJ3F1_Sanitised (Text), Text
Interactivity :
Word Count :
Mode :
The informant was born in Australia, and her parents were born in Greece (sounds like they came to Australia when they married). Both parents were educated in Greece, but left school at grade five level. They don’t speak very good English, although they use it at work (milkbar). The parents speak Greek to the children, and the informant answers in Greek, although she needs some English words. She is the youngest in the family, some 11 years younger than her closest sibling. She only has one grandmother, who recently came from Greece, and she speaks Greek to her (the grandmother speaks no English). The informant speaks mainly English to her friends (with some Greek words). She is learning Greek at school and is proud of her ‘Greekness’, thinking of herself as Greek.
Speech Style :
[u'Symbols or abbreviations used:\nIN = Interviewer\nKK = Subject\n[] = overlapping speech\n, = short pause or end of clause\n.. = longer pause\n(?) = word or words too unclear to be guessed']
part of:
Discourse Type :
Interactive Discourse
Document metadata

MESJ3F1_Sanitised-plain.txt — 25 KB

File contents

Um..I know your name but can you just say it again for the
Yeah, that’s fine, yeah um, REDACTED
ah, when were you
Address, everything? O.K. um yeah REDACTED
Um, have you lived there a long time?
Yep, for twelve years.
And..where were you born?
Where was I born? I was born in Australia, in Melbourne yep
Um do you have um brothers and sisters?
Yeah, um, I have a brother called REDACTED and
         I had two sisters but one passed away so I’ve got one sister left
         and her name’s REDACTED.
And sorry how old are they?
Um, my sister’s twenty-seven and my brother’s twenty-two.
um they’re older than you
older yeahI’m the baby
You’re the baby(Laughter) Um, where are your parents from?
My parents are from Greece, they’re from, um, oh gosh, Kasalaniki
         (prob. incorrect)
Oh I know that.
Mmm, so
They were born there?
Yep, they were born there.
And when did they come to Australia?
Um they came to Australia I think about this is a rough estimate
         about twenty-five years ago. I’m not really sure ,cause I forgot it
         at the moment. (laughter)
Um so your sister was born there?
No, my sister was born here.
Oh, O.K.
No she wasn’t, oh, O.K. say twenty-seven years because y’know
         (laughter) sorry, I was thinking to myself yeah, O.K. yeah, my
         sister was born here, yeah.
Um, where did your parents go to school?
Um, my mum and my dad didn’t go to school, they went up to school
         till grade five and then they just stopped ‘cause they were
And what languages do your parents use?
At home.
Um, they mostly use Greek but because we work, ah have a milkbar and
         takeaway and stuff, um they speak English just a little bit cause
         they’re not very good at the language, so they mostly speak Greek.
Is that mainly in their work?
Um, to me and to my brother and my sister they speak Greek but in
         their work yep, English.
Um, and so you speak Greek very well.
O.K., I can’t say very well but I can understand them, speak to them
         and stuff
Do you speak Greek to them?
Um..It’s a bit mixed, I speak English and Greek but um I can’t just
         speak Greek straight out, I have to mix in a few English words as
         well, so, yeah. about grandparents, have you got grandparents living here?
Um I’ve only got a grandma and actually she’s come down from Greece
         and she’s been here for about six months and I have to speak Greek
         to her because she doesn’t know how to speak English.
And you said your parents have a milkbar and a
Takeaway, yeah
Takeaway, have they had that long?
Um, yep, for twelve years, that’s the Brighton shop.
And, um, (?) are you learning a language at school?
Um, I’m learn Greek (laughter) that’s about it.
No other language?
Do you speak Greek to anyone outside the classroom?
As in friends?
Yeah-um, sometimes like I’ll put a few other words in Greek and some
         in English but I don’t speak straight out Greek to them
So you speak mainly English with the other students
Yeah..yeah, yeah That’s right yeah (laughter)
Um, what would you like to do when you leave school?
Well..I’m not really sure ‘cause that’s a hard question but I would
         like to get into  computer field.
So you have an interest in computers?
Yeah, I have an interest in computers.
Um..but your not exactly sure what you want to
No I’m not, I can’t say ‘cause I might want to change, not really
But you  would, you do want to go to university.
Oh, yeah, I want to go to Monash (laughter) my brother used to go to
         Monash so I want to follow his footsteps.
Oh, great. (laughter) What is your favourite subject?
My favourite subject
Probably computers, yep but um yeah, I can’t really say which one my
         favourite subject is ‘cause I like all of them but I like them all
         in a different way so I can’t say.
Oh right, are there any that are outstanding or
No (laughter) no, I think it’s also the teachers that make it better.
You have good teachers?
Yeah, they’re very friendly to me.
Um, did you ever have a teacher that you really liked a lot, that was
Um, that I really liked a, I think I’ve had lots of teachers
         that have helped me like even with my sister’s death they’ve
         always, the teachers have always been there to help me um, y’know
         get through the hard times and things.
Did that happen recently?
Um, it happened five years ago, but um it was, she was paralysed (?)
         well same thing and um we knew that it was bound to happen and we
         were just waiting for it y’know? So, yeah I mean I can’t just put a
         pinpoint one teacher..‘cause I’ve changed so many schools there’s
         been quite a few ‘cause I have to (?) with my parents and
         everything so ah I can’t just pinpoint one, there’s so many
I know what it’s like because I lost my brother too when I was
         sixteen and my father when I was twelve so yeah
It’s, I dunno (laughter)
Mmm you ever hve a teacher who picked on you?
(laughter) yeah I have had teachers who ave picked on me as in, d’you
         mean just jokingly or really really picked
I don’t know, I s’pose
Um, well I have a few teachers that joke around with me at school I’m
         used to it kind of thing
What sort of things do they do?
Mmm, oh, one teacher just basically, um, as a joke he says um y’know
         food’s my life type of thing in front of everyone just to make them
         laugh because I’m used to it and I don’t now, it’s just those
         things, little things that they do, you can’t, I don’t know, you
         really have to be in class to feel what I’m saying because you
         wouldn’t understand
Hmm mm
From outside type thing but no, they haven’t really
You haven’t had one that seriously picked on you?
No, no I don’t think I’m that hard to get along with anyway (comments
         to self unintelligible)
Um, what do you do after school?
After school? Um..I do quite a few things like go to work at the
         milkbar, or because my sister’s pregnant at the moment I have to
         look after my sister type thing um, and I just help around the
         house, I don’t do any .. activities.
Is it her first?
Yeah her first, so she’s due in a week
Oh wow exciting.
Yeah, pretty much.
Ah, do you play sport?
Not much I don’t really like sport.
How about at school?
At school yes we do um, we do once a week ..and I participate in that
         sport so, it’s good, I like it, but not out of school, I don’t have
         very much time.
Not when you have to look after your pregnant sister
..Is there a bunch of kids or a group of young people that you hang out
Yeah, I hang out with two girls that I really like ‘cause they’re my
         best friends but I also hang out with other girls, not really hang
         out but I talk to them and help each other type of thing.
Can you tell me what they’re like?
My friends, my best friends oh (laughter) they’re very kind, if you
         ever needed something they’d be there for you um like they always
         listen to my problems and tell me their problems and um they
         listen, I think that’s the main thing because you get some friends
         who just sit there goin’  yep I know mm mm what your where your
         coming from, but these girls actually listen to you I think that’s
         the best thing.
What sort of things do you do together?
Out of school or
Well at school we just sort of sit down and talk about lots of things
         um we usually sometimes out of school we just you know, we
         sometimes go out type of thing (laughter) and watch a few movies
         you know they come over to my house quite a few times and just I
         d’know most of the time we just talk about things..things that you
         can’t talk about with your parents you know.
Um, what would you do if you won tattslotto? The top prize
Oh the top prize um.. oh.. well, I guess I’d, um, can’t say,  I mean
         the first thing I would think of is oh go buy a car, go buy a new
         house or something but like if I was to think about it I would’ve,
         I would, I would want to help someone because like through my
         sister’s disease and things like that..I wouldn’t want people to go
         through the things that I had to go through so I would try to help
         people if I couldn’t help like alot of people I would help one and
         I think that would be the best thing for me..because like, just I
         don’t know if, dI guess if I hadn’t seen my sister getting sick..I
         wouldn’t’ve ever been like that, I would’ve been like oh get new
         pairs of runners, y’know things like that but you don’t really need
         it, when you die it’s not going to be there, the money’s just going
         to sit there anyway, you’re not going to take it with you, you
         might as well do something with it.
Was your sister,
Um, when she was .. oh, it’s a really long story, when she was young
         it um, she had laryngitis.. and, but they say it’s doctor’s
Oh right
They had um given my sister when she was, when she was born, two
         weeks right, my sister got an earache and motherly instincts my mum
         noticed that something was wrong
So she took her to the doctor and the doctor said ‘oh don’t be
         stupid, you know, it’s y’daughter, nothing wrong with her, she’s a
         baby she can’t talk you know’, my mum’s going ‘I think I’d know,
         she’s my daughter’, and he goes ‘yeah, yeah, yeah I’ll give ‘er
         some some pills or whatever’ Anyway at that time, someone else rang
         and my mum could hear the conversation and um the doctor on the
         other side the lady was saying ‘oh, my son’s eighteen he’s got a
         very high fever, he’s about to die I need something straight away
         so I can come and pick it up, to help him, bring the fever down’,
         and he was at that time was writing um the prescription for my
and he mixed up the bottles
and that, my, my mum gave it to the doctor ‘cause she couldn’t speak
         English, she couldn’t communicate with the doctor to tell him
         ‘Look, you know, you’re wrong, I know, your wrong’ and he was a bit
         stubborn type thing so he wouldn’t listen to her
Anyway, she went home and she thought maybe it’s, maybe I did a
         mistake, maybe he did write the right thing so she gave it to my,
         she gave it to my sister and my sister started vomiting
And the next day my mum woke up and my sister’s head had expanded it
         had filled up with water and my mum thought, oh y’know, let’s rush
         her to the hospital and my dad was working at a hospital like he
         was a cleaner there, and she had to call him and my dad came home
         and took her to Saint Vincent’s Hospital and the doctor said ‘what
         happened to your child, what did you do to her?’ and my mum was
         like ‘I didn’t do anything to her’
‘Then how did she become like this?’ and my mum goes ‘through
         medicine’ and ‘cause she was speaking English, she couldn’t speak
         English, he goes ‘go home and get the thing, the bottle of
         medicine’ anyhow my mum went home and she got it and when he saw it
         he said ‘oh’ he called my mum over he goes ‘sue the bastard, you,
         you can sue him’, my mum didn’t know what he meant and um they took
         her into a lab and they opened her head, um had an operation and
         they cut the wrong nerve
and it left her paralysed and she couldn’t talk and she couldn’t move
         and so
Was she younger than you?
No she was actually older than me she was the second child, she was
         after my sister.
Yeah and she died when she was nineteen, so
Oh, oh what a shame.
Oh,  I don’t see it as a shame because like the things that I’ve
         heard from my mum it’s not it’s not, it was supposed to happen,
         like I’ve learnt so much through my sister, like it’s changed my
So there was good
coming out of something
For sure
that you don’t expect
Yeah, like people want to say that to people they think oh poor (?)
         look at her but it, it’s given me so much more faith
Mmm yeah
It’s changed my life.
Sometimes things that would think are so negative
and they actually turn out to be quite positive
That’s true
Um, did we talk about rows in your family? Do you have,
Oh no, we were talking about tatslotto
We were talking about tatslotto
Yeah, yeah, tattslotto, yeah that’s it (laughter)
Got off track there
What kind of things do you have rows about in your family?
Oh my gosh, um, everything and anything..I mean, yesterday we were
         fighting over racism, on the table and everything
I don’t know ‘cause I mostly fight with my sister, not my brother
         ‘cause he’s more young, you know, closer to my age, whereas my
         sister’s twenty-seven and she’s got, she’s stubborn.. and there’s
         no way of, you know, if she’s right, she’s right, she’s gotta be
         right type of thing.
Does she live with you?
No um she’s actually, she moved out, when she got married,
Um, but she, I don’t know, she’s different y’know I, I get along with
         her about every day but when it comes to things that we talk about
         we always end up fighting anyway so we fight all the time, you know
So that’s just normal, like we fight, we have big arguments, other
         people would think, ‘oh god’, you know, ‘look at them’, but we just
         like ‘I’ll see y’later’, when she leaves, ‘see y’later, see
Do you think it’s the generation gap
She’s so much older?
Yeah she’s seen quite a few things as well
‘cause she was, she’s been married twice, this is her second
         marriage, but her first marriage was when she was nineteen and she
         went overseas and she left my parents here and she got married
         without my parent’s will
and um, when she went overseas, she was, she was very nice, she was
         very gullible and she would believe anything and her husband, well
         her ex-husband, um, he had said ‘look, I live in Romania, I have
         everything in Romania, you come back with me and I’ll, you’ll live
         like a queen’ basically, and my sister was going oh, you know, he
         was her first boyfriend and everything, so she went to Romania and
         she left my parents here and um when she got there, yeah, nothing
         and my sister was a hardworking girl, you know, she had three jobs
         at that stage and she had, all the money that she had in the bank
         he transferred it to Romania and he took everything, he used
         everything, like he went to the dentist’s school and he didn’t do
         anything with his life and um he just used everything, and when he
         had like ten cents left he goes ‘I want you to go back to Australia
         now because you’re worthless’.
So my sister had to come back..and he just, through that, I think
         she’s scared that things are gonna happen to me, like ‘cause she
         was gullible, so she tries to make me like more open, more you know
         eyed to the world type thing, and she, I don’t know if it helps me
         I mean I’ve got my own life, I mean she can’t tell me everything
Sorry I’m goin’ a bit off the question type thing
That’s alright
I just like talking away
That’s fine, that’s very interesting,
Um, we’ve talked about, oh, have you ever been in hospital yourself?
As in like, can you just
Have you ever had an accident or
or have you been in hospital or you thought you were going to
overnight type thing well I haven’t actually been in hospital
         overnight but I mean I visit it quite a few times because I’ve got
         a cyst on my ovary?
Oh right
yep, so I usually, I go to the doctor type thing and I have to stay
         overnight for a colpoco-scopy or whatever it is, I can’t remember
         what it’s called but um I don’t really want to take it out because,
         they’re not very (?) they say if it gets worse you can have one,
         type thing, but it’s always going to come back, so I don’t see what
         the point is and they told me the details of the operation they
         said they fill my pum, stomach with gas and you could have an
         hallergic reaction to it?
‘Cause I’m, I get very allergic to things, anything like just, I just
         start scratching
oh, yeah
And he said I might have an allergic reaction to it and I thought,
         y’know, what’s that gonna do, and he said ‘oh not too much just you
         know, you can get sick for a while’ and, I though well, no, it’s
         all right, y’know
Mmm (?)
Mmm so I though I might as well leave it there
Um,  do you think the older generation understand younger people
See my parents, (laughter) see my parents um, ..well in some things
         my parents are really understanding but in some things they’re not
         which, I don’t know, I think if I was to be a parent, I’d do the
         same things like with boys and everything, my parents are funny
         with boys, my dad’s O.K. he understands where I’m coming from but
         my mum’s just, ‘cause I’m so young, I’m the baby type thing, she’s
         like, ‘oh no, you mustn’t take the bus with boys, keep away from
         them, only be friends with them and, ‘cause I talk to lots o boys
         she just scared type of thing that something’s gonna happen like my
         sister, and stuff..but no, they’re pretty understanding, I always
         get my way with them so I can’t complain.
Yeah, you can live with (?) so
yeah exactly
O.K. , if you had to describe yourself to an Australian visitor to
         Melbourne, what would you say?
Um, oh gosh,,.. so um talking to a visitor from overseas?
No, to an Australian visitor.
Oh to an Aus,
To Melbourne, like from another city or town.
Um (laughter) um, ugh, I don’t know, that’s hard, I don’t know how I
         would describe myself, I mean I can’t answer that I mean..I guess
         if I was to..describe myself, I don’t know how I’d describe myself,
         um...oh (laughter) I don’t know, I guess if I was just to say, just
         by my attitude I think they would straight away know, I wouldn’t
         think about describing myself because, that’s hard, I just can’t
         describe myself, I don’t know.
Maybe, what sort of personality would you say you had or
I don’t like talking about myself so I can’t do that, um..well, I’m
         pretty loud, obvious ‘cause,
So you’d be the loudest person
Oh, yeah I’m always the loudest..trying to think, um, just, I like
         talking to people, seeing nephews type of thing, I’m not, I can’t
         say I’m shy ‘cause, I talk to anyone type thing, but,..outgoing I
         guess but, hmm, yeah it depends, it depends to(o?) like the person
If the person’s up themselves, I don’t even get close to them ‘cause
         I know they’re, y’know, there’s no point, but if, I don’t know
         cause tell their face, you can tell alot by the face, I don’t know,
         I can’t, I can’t answer that,
Sorry, I can’t.
How do you think your best friend would describe you?
Oh gee, loud, that’s the first thing ‘cause I’m always yeah.
Like a girl best friend.
Girl best friend, O.K., oh I know, ‘cause we’re s’posed to be writing
         poems about ourselves in class so apparently, um, I’m kind, from my
         two best friends and um, ..I’ve always got um, a point of view and
         helpful so maybe it’s ‘cause I was (?)looked after both my sisters
         um..just basically I’m there for them I guess I mean, if they ever
         needed something because I’m very close to them and they mean alot
         to me um, I would help them straight away..if  I could, if I
         couldn’t I would try my best, I guess but (laughter)that’s about
         it, I don’t know.
How would you describe Melbourne to a visitor, oh sorry, actually I
         wanted to ask you how would a best friend, would a male best friend
         describe you?
O.K. well, I take it my brother’s my best friend ‘cause he is close
         to me, well, um I guess since he’s my best friend we get along
         basically, so they’d think I was friendly and I have a (laughter) I
         just, yeah, basically helpful, not tryin’ t’be brave and stuff but
         yeah helpful, cause I always help my brother and if he’s in trouble
         from both my parents (?) I’m always helping and give my point of
         view mm, so yeah, helpful.
Mmm, so how would you describe Melbourne to a possible, possible
O.K., well, I’d say the words not very good, type thing, but the
         people in it are pretty nice,
Pretty good
My mum used to live in the country, Glenrowan, and they were very,
         very racist, very very racist type thing, but Melbourne’s I think,
         depends on what suburb you go to, like if you go to the city, the
         people are nice ‘cause everyone’s happy happy, but if you were to
         go to my area Brighton oh, there’s too many old people around  and
         they’re pretty racist, it just depends like where, I’d say to them,
         like where they wanted to go what they wanted to see and I’d just
         expand on that like if I was to go to Chapel Street they’d see
         different things y’know to, to something like going down St Kilda
         Street, St. Kilda Road whatever, y’know it just depends whether
         y’know what they seem to like, so I would expand on the suburbs..oh
         I used to live in Northcote and that’s a dump, it’s yuck, it’s not
         very clean ‘cause I lived on, we lived on St Kilda’s Road and that
         is the worst part, like it’s got alot of traffic so very, it’s got
         alot of pollution and Brighton where I live now is beautiful, it’s
         next to the ocean beautiful place to be in, but the people that
         live there aren’t very nice.
What was the people like in Northcote?
Um, there was a lot of Greeks when I used to live there so my next
         door neighbour would be my (?) even if I didn’t know her, everyone
         would be like oh, y’know big family,
Not that I can remember much but I always, ‘cause my other auntie, my
         real auntie lives there, and I always go visit her and alot of
         people like remember me as the little IDENTIFYING MATERIAL
         REMOVED so then it’s like ‘oh look there’s little IDENTIFYING
         MATERIAL REMOVED, there, she’s such a baby.’
Um, when did you live there?
Um, I lived, I lived, I moved houses when I was three so
Oh right it was a long time ago
Yeah, it was a long time ago.
Um, do you think Melbourne’s different from other cities in
Yeah, for sure.
um, we, get along more, y’know get together more
Yeah wh,
It’s like a big family I think, like going to Queensland’s like
         lovely if you can, I dunno, but they’re not very nice in
         Queensland, they’re very wierd, they’re just, as I say they don’t
         get along with you very much, like if you was to open a
         conversation they’d probably try to get away from you, ‘cause
         you’re like a tourist, and I think the thing is, they’re not very
         nice people really, they’re not, I don’t know maybe ‘cause I’ve
         lived here I’m so biased I think but I think Melbourne’s one of the
         best places, cities, same thing, yeah the best cities, because, oh,
         we just get along so well, there’s so many cultures here that just
         y’know like a big family we’re all combined, like you can’t say
         that there’s much racism because there’s so many different
         cultures, like to a Jewish family we’re normal because we’re
         different too, but to an Australian family we’re different ‘cause
         we’re like, I don’t know it just depends where I guess you live,
         ‘cause like Caulfield’s nice too, I think, I’ve been to Caulfield,
         I’ve got quite a few relatives living in Caulfield and it’s just
         alot of mixed cultures in Caulfield, so you know, there’s just
         understanding (?) where you live I guess
So you like multiculturalism in Melbourne, you feel more comfortable
         with that?
Yeah, yeah, ‘cause I’m the same like I sometimes, I used to go to
         Star of the Sea which is a girls’ school and a lot of Australians
         go there and um cause I was there was only about three Greeks
         amongst a thousand girls and there were only about twenty Italians
         but the Italians were actually embarrassed to say that they were
         Italian, and I thought to myself well, why is that, this is your
         culture, you should be proud of your culture, but, like I had a
         friend who was Italian and she said ‘well you no Australian’ it
         sounded like I was (?), you can’t pass by, type thing but no I
         don’t understand why they’re embarrassed cause I’m oh I’m certainly
         not embarrassed of my culture like if someone asks me oh, you know
         what are you? I’m Greek. Were you born here? Yeah That means you’re
         Australian. No I’m Greek, type thing.
What was the question? sorry I’ve gone right off the question.
That’s O.K. Well thank you very much
That’s O.K.
That’s it, I’ve finished.
Oh, that was fun.