Aussie translator

When Michael dropped some Aussie lingo on Anderson Cooper, Tommy had to step up and act as CNN's unofficial Australian/American translator:

And how did it all come about?

Blog from the Back Row
Posted: 12:24 AM ET
I learned something new tonight in the control room. Two new things actually. I learned the meaning of the Australian words galah and drongo.

These are words that our Baghdad correspondent Michael Ware used on the air at the top of the program while discussing the story of Prince Harry fighting in Afghanistan.  We found the words and Michael’s delivery so interesting and amusing (even though we had no idea what they meant) that we decided to make that :09 soundbite our “Shot of the Day” at the end of the program. And it was my job to make that happen.

Isolating the soundbite and having the tape cut and turned around in 30 minutes was the easy part. Finding out what the words meant was a little trickier.

To do this I called our international assignment desk and had them transfer me to Michael’s field producer in Baghdad, Tommy Evans. No, I wasn’t calling for details on troop levels or the progress of the government on deciding how to divide oil revenue or how locals viewed the upcoming U.S. presidential election. I was calling for clarification on the definition and the correct usage of the words galah and drongo.

Tommy found this all very amusing but dutifully got a precise definition and an acceptable sentence usage from Michael.

  • galah : a type of bird, slang for idiot, as in “you guys are acting like a mob of galahs”
  • drongo: also a bird, also slang for idiot, as in “don’t be such a bloody drongo” 

It’s healthy to have a good laugh every now and again, even if you are working in a war zone. Thanks for being a good sport Tommy.

- Sean Yates, Sr. Producer, AC360