Leçons Anglais


Nationalities, Part II

In Part II, we are going to continue to talk about the names of some major countries, the main languages they speak, and the adjectives used to describe somebody from that country. Usually, the noun for the language spoken is the same as the adjective for somebody who resides there. For instance, in France, the French speak French. But there are also exceptions: In the United States, most Americans speak English. Note too that in English, unlike many other languages, even the adjectives are usually written with a capital letter.


Let's start off with two countries whose nationalities end with -ian or -ean:


Off the coast of Queensland, Australia, it is one of the richest ecosystems on the planet.

Caption 3, Greenpeace Australia Pacific: Eyes On The Reef

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One third of mammal species lost in the world are Australian.

Captions 56-57, BBC Planet Wild: Alien Animals

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And what about North Korea?

Caption 41, Jimmy Kimmel: Kids Answer "What is the Best Country in the World?"

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I know a little Korean. Let's try it.

Caption 10, Hemispheres: The Amazing Cell Phone

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And next some countries whose nationalities end with -ese:


You do know that in China it's not going to be a problem.

Caption 23, ABC Science Online: An interview with Douglas Adams

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There's a large Chinese population in London.

Caption 8, London: Multicultural Britain

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You came with a friend from Portugal to the United States?

Caption 13, Groucho Marx: You Bet Your Life

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While speakers of Spanish and Portuguese can often understand each other.

Caption 55, TED-Ed: How languages evolve

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The Netherlands presents a special case: 


He has been told he has a long lost cousin in the Netherlands.

Caption 7, Naish Kiteboarding TV The Real Stig

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The Dutch came sharing coleslaw and cookies.

Caption 8, The History of English: American English

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So while the Netherlands (usually with the definite article "the") is the proper name of the country, it is still often called Holland—although strictly speaking, Holland is only a region of the Netherlands. There is also the term "Netherlandish," but this does not usually refer to the language. It's an art history term used to refer to the northern part of the Low Countries in the 16th and 17th centuries.


Further Learning
Go to Yabla English and find more videos that use some of the following country names, dominant languages, and nationalities. You can also see a more complete list of countries, their people, and their languages here.


Country               Language          Nationality
Australia               English               Australian
Brazil                    Portuguese        Brazilian
Chile                     Spanish             Chilean
China                    Chinese             Chinese
Egypt                     Arabic                Egyptian
Hungary                Hungarian           Hungarian
Italy                       Italian                  Italian
Japan                   Japanese             Japanese
Korea                    Korean                 Korean
(the) Netherlands  Dutch                   Dutch
Portugal                 Portuguese         Portuguese
Russia                   Russian               Russian
United States        English                 American


Thanks to you all for reading this, keep up the good work! If you have any good ideas for lesson topics, please email them to us at newsletter@yabla.com, and you can tweet us @yabla.

Using for and since

There are two essential prepositions for talking about how long something has been happening with the present perfect (or present perfect continuous) tense. For and since are often confused or used incorrectly, however, so let’s do a quick clarification!


The preposition since can only be used to reference a point in time, NOT a duration. So you can say since 2001since Septembersince last summer, or since Tuesday, but NOT since five days.


Tom and I have been working together on Rachel's English since two thousand twelve.

Caption 4, Exercises - Tongue Flexibility and the N [n] Sound

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In fact, since nineteen sixty-nine, fifteen other rare and endangered species have also been rescued from the brink.

Captions 50-51, BBC Planet Wild - Alien Animals - Part 5

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For, on the other hand, refers to a duration. It doesn’t matter if something has been happening for 20 minutes or for 20 years


We've been doing freestyle for a couple of weeks.

Caption 25, Kiteboarding - Sam Light Interview

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I have been working at the company Phonez and More for several months now.

Caption 1, Business English - Difficulties with coworkers and contracts - Part 1

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I've been on this boat for twenty-two years.

Caption 3, Aqua Quest - Boo Boo

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While for can also be used with the simple past tense or future tense, since is always a clear indicator of the present perfect or present perfect continuous (See this newsletter for more information!). 


Further Learning
On Yabla Englishfor and since can be found in most videos! There is even one video in which a famous actor actually misuses the word since, which is indicated in the captions with sic (sic erat scriptum, Latin for "thus was it written"). Can you find it?

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