Mach Makuei Show: Slang and Cultural Expressions

Approx. time Expression Explanation
1:14 Albion College Albion College is the alma mater of both Mach and Alan; his foster mom Catherine taught there.
1:45 displaced moved or forced from the original place
1:47 Duk
2:01 North: Moslem/Arab The capital city (of Khartoum) and the historical seat of power in Sudan lay in the north of the country.
2:05 South: African/Christian The newly formed country of South Sudan has Juba as its capital. For more background, go here
2:15 flee escape quickly, run away from something
2:31 United Nations (U.N.) About the U.N.’s work with refugees
2:56 make sense of come to understand, figure out
4:36 running water water that flows from pipes when you need it
5:08 dirt roads basic roads without pavement
6:02 a big deal important
6:57 glorified praised, spoken highly of
7:55 nuclear family core family members of parents and children (as opposed to extended family composed of aunts/uncles, cousins, grandparents, etc.)
8:17 cattle cows (an important part of Dinka culture and economy)
8:25 come in handy become useful
8:35 entrepreneurial instinct the sense of how to do business, how to make money
9:29 trench a linear groove dug in the ground to channel water (or pipes or wires) to a certain destination
9:32 funnel into a ditch direct into an excavated channel for moving water
9:45 irrigation system a way to direct a regular supply of water to crops
10:08 come up with create, develop, think of, design
10:29 middle of nowhere a location with no buildings or services nearby
10:52 Anaheim Mighty Ducks professional ice hockey team in southern California
11:52 dive in to enter directly, without hesitation
12:22 land of milk and honey place with abundant food and good life [from the Bible]
13:08 foster parent a parent who agrees to take care of children who are not their biological children
15:10 carry yourself behave, act
15:24 well-rounded ability to do and understand a wide variety of tasks and topics
16:03 open their hearts/homes emotionally accept and physically house (the children)
18:11 one of Mach’s two companies
18:31 flat fee pricing structure that allows one fixed cost for a service
18:56 the second of Mach’s two companies
Bonus More details on Mach’s story Go here for the blog accounts of Mach’s foster mother, Catherine, who shares her cross-cultural observations of fostering three refugee children

Alan Headbloom

Alan advises Americans how to be global citizens and expats how to fit in to Michigan culture without annoying their native coworkers and clients. He also tweets and blogs at the intersection of language and culture. Over decades, he's traveled, studied, or lived on six continents, putting strange foods into his mouth and emitting strange sounds from it. His use of English, German, Spanish, Portuguese, French, Swedish, Hausa, and Japanese all improve with alcohol use. He gives invited public presentations on culture and unsolicited private advice on English grammar and usage; the latter isn't always appreciated. Visit his website for information on consulting, coaching, or speaking engagements.