“Give us grace, please. We try, but it can be exhausting. And don’t judge our intellect on our English ability. Someone might be a neurosurgeon in their homeland, but just can’t speak English.”

Starting A Business When English Isn’t Your Heart Language – Riki Deale

So Crisp Podcast

Imagine having a medical degree. Imagine being a medical doctor, a lawyer, a professional, a teacher, an entrepreneur. Imagine having the smarts and determination to make it in the field of your choice. And then imagine people speaking to you as if you’re frustrating to communicate with. As if they don’t really trust you’ll understand what they’re saying. With a slight eye roll, a bit of a patronising tone.

It doesn’t really match up, right?

According to stories from women who immigrate to Australia and the US and many English first language speaking countries, those kinds of microaggressions and barriers are delivered – either subconsciously or inconsiderately – during many conversations – simply because English is their second language.

South Africa has 11 official languages, and English is the ‘home’ language of only 1 out of 10 people living there. And while it’s taught in many schools, it’s no surprise that a language not commonly spoken amongst a large percentage of the population would be tricky to immerse yourself in the moment you stepped ashore on this big red land. 

In this episode, I have the irrepressible, intelligent, driven force that is Riki Deale, who has bravely put her hand up to discuss one of the biggest barriers she’s faced in becoming an entrepreneur and starting a business in Australia – speaking English as a second language. 

The Crisp Takeaways

* Yum *

“It is scary to start a new business. Imagine doing it in a different language.”

Australia is so used to immigrants and expats that it is OK. Most people don’t care, just as long as they can understand the gist of what you are trying to say.”

(My biggest takeaway was) “Learning from Jay that ‘people scan or scroll online, so write at Year 7 level’ was music to my ears.”

“There will always be grammar police, they have nothing better to do. Smile and wave and move on.”

“Embrace it, embrace your accent, your grammar mistakes. I now point it out at the beginning of my workshops, ‘apologise’ in advance and then move on. Then, when I make a mistake, I just laugh.”


Connect with Riki

Riki is a proud Afrossie (South African Aussie), wife and mother of two. She worked as an Environmental Consultant in the oil-and-gas and mining industry until her life changed forever when they laid that baby girl on her chest.
Making a U-turn from a career woman to a mom was the most rewarding experience ever. She wanted to raise her girls to be strong, confident women, but also have integrity, character and compassion.
Lots of research on parenting followed, building on her fascination and knowledge of different temperaments, and how that fits into families, cultures and parenting styles.
Riki is a registered Temperament Profiler with DISC Profiler Australia, but it is the 12 years of parenting, research, experience and counselling that really makes her a wealth of knowledge on temperaments in families.
Riki is a dynamic and engaging speaker and trainer, focusing her workshops and talks on the different temperaments to help parents understand, enjoy and raise their children to become strong and confident members of society.
So, that degree in Zoology still comes in handy, as she can definitely help you tame your zoo too!



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If you’ve enjoyed this podcast it’s probably only partly due to the dulcet tones of my voice. Thanks to Sam Hudson for shownote wrangling and whipping the website into shape, and Jackson Crisp for his superb and patient podcast editing.


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