“You talk, you talk, that’s all you can do!” [Tu causes, tu causes. c’est tout c’que tu sais faire]” ―Raymond Queneau, Zazie dans le Metro
I like to talk and share my latest words, and YOU… What do you like to do?
Anne-Marie Smith is a French-born Australian non-fiction, flash-fiction writer and editor.
She taught English as a Second Language in Zambia and lectured at the University of Papua New Guinea. In Western Australia she taught in Kalgoorlie for TAFE and was Education Officer at a prison. She worked with Indigenous communities and migrants in the West Pilbara where she was the inaugural Community Cultural worker in the Roebourne Shire and managed the Amnesty International Office in Perth.
What she wrote
Anne-Marie published several academic articles related to her doctorate at UPNG on the socio-linguistic use of English in Papua New Guinea. She spoke at international linguistic conferences in Papua New Guinea and in Australia.
The anthology entitled ‘Culture is‘ she edited with the Australian Multicultural Writers Association and Wakefield Press was shortlisted under Literature non-fiction by the Human Rights Commission.
Pardon My French Ginninderra Press 2018 [available there]
Culture is Wakefield Press 2008 [out of print]
Anne-Marie published her memoir, Pardon My French through Ginninderra Press.
She gave talks at arts festivals and presentations to women’s groups about ‘Five Women’ whose cultures from around the world strongly impacted on her when she lived and worked in Europe, Central Africa, Papua New Guinea, Western and South Australia.
Anne-Marie publishes some of her short fiction on Flash Fiction websites like Paragraph Planet. Her story on the dilemma of Australian Refugee offshore detention was selected by Hawkeye Books, and her account of the early pandemic days by Mana Press.
How she lives
She married a British educationist and training consultant, Peter Smith. They now live near Adelaide in South Australia. Anne-Marie is dedicated to yoga and volunteering for non-government organisations while Peter who now volunteers part-time goes to the gym and walks to the beach.
There they meet to relish the crêpe café culture. Their grandchildren love joining them from interstate and overseas and play ballgames, collect shells to paint – usually in the heat of the Australian summer.
flash fiction Anne-Marie likes to write
The Creatives Journal published in Monthly Mayhem
Parting with books
Mark, my son, questioned why we have planned to have a family meeting in Perth over the Christmas break. We had held a group meeting the previous year when poor Kelly, the dog, needed to be put down, because she was old and ailing.
‘There’s no need for family meetings if we all agree, and anyway if you want a new pet, just pick one.’
I rang him. This time we were moving. We had decided to downsize. We would live in an an apartment, and we were moving interstate.
‘There is no pet involved. This is a change that involves you too. We’ve got to deal with the books from your youth, you know, those you left with us when you moved away from here. I’m sorry, but they’ll have to go.’
We talked for a while and he offered to arrive two days before Christmas. I hated having to repeat my words, we were meant to be on holiday, so I rang his sister suggesting the same arrival date.
Soon after he arrived, Mark walked into the tiny room we called the ‘library’ and started the discussion, pointing to the books of his youth,
‘Tolkien is Lit. Not Sci Fi and you know it’s not young adult either!’
I thought I wouldn’t rise to the challenge of this long-worn argument about shelving Tolkien. Instead I occupied myself sorting out the children’s books. At that point Sophie, his sister, sneaked in and out of the room. She glanced over her shoulder at a book I was holding.
‘I don’t know why you kept buying the Ramona books, you must’ve liked her!’
I looked up sharply. Was that a tongue-in-cheek tone or not? I couldn’t tell any more. I could only think of the number of times she had talked of the Ramona books!
John, my husband, always knew how to avoid arguments,
‘I don’t think the children want to get too involved in sorting the books out. I’ll make lunch now. We’ll have time to meet on Boxing Day.’
I decided not to comment further about procrastination, as I had done this too often lately. Our Christmas meal was animated, with some pleasantry and little disagreement. We weren’t prepared for the widespread disaster that would affect most countries in Southern Asia the next day. A violent earthquake shook our neighbours resulting in a tsunami.
The impact of the devastation that the Boxing Day Tsunami created that summer had a repercussion in Australia where many South-East Asian groups were part of the communities. In our family it had the strange effect of sharpening a sense of practical maturity. On the request of Save the Children we set about piling up mountains of toys and animals of all sizes that had shaped the children’s childhood and placed them into baskets wrapped in bed sheets, blankets and towels. Sophie, a soft toy freak all her life, volunteered to take boxes to the Scarborough Road Red Cross Shop. Mark caught the shuttle train to Fremantle carrying Lego boxes. He chose to donate them to his friend who had just had a child. I thought it was an unusual gift for a newborn but didn’t say a word.
After a couple of productive days, I started fretting again. The dread of having to go to the dentist’s is nothing compared with the threatening feeling of having to part with books. To be realistic, we might have to extract them by the box. Multiple phone calls to bookshops failed to convince them to take linguistics texts and journals off me. I could not understand why, given the lack of valid linguistics texts in town, no one wanted them. I had hoped to find a good home for all of them.
Because of my background as a French Australian whose early education had not been in English I tended to keep miscellaneous classics and biographical stories. French books that appealed to me were Piaf’s story by her sister and Henri Charrière’s Papillon which I still enjoyed reading in French. I loved tales like Saint Exupery’s Le Petit Prince. I had also followed Russian literature particularly Dostoyevsky’s The Brothers Karamazov and Crime and Punishment which helped me deal with my philosophical and unsettled adolescence.
Writers that I treasured because they contributed to my better understanding of the English-speaking world are Charles Dickens with Oliver Twist and Great Expectations, and Thomas Hardy’s novel Far from the Madding Crowd. For the United States I had found Faulkner’s As I Lay Dying was a turning point because of its innovative style. The characters of his story became first-person narrators, one chapter after another, giving us readers a closer rapport to them. Until then, Mark Twain had been the only American author I had studied. I had loved reading The adventures of Tom Sawyer in school.
Over various stages of migration I had gradually taken a liking to worldviews that writers from various continents have portrayed in English. The types of books that I would always keep were the work of Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o in A Grain of Wheat from Kenya, Chinese American Amy Tan with The Joy Luck club, Frank McCourt in Angela’s ashes about life in and Ireland and Bill Bryson who came away from the United States to offer his impressions of Britain in Notes from a small island. After I first arrived in Western Australia I closely followed the impact of My Place by Sally Morgan and of Follow the rabbit-proof fence by Doris Pilkington Garimara. Because I was a Southern European migrant, I was duly fascinated by the way Helen Garner went about to recount Joe Cinque’s consolation. Drama books are rare and I kept famed editions of Hamlet and Chekhov’s Three Sisters. The later plays I’d loved most were Beckett’s Waiting for Godot, Ionesco’s The Bald Prima Donna, Pinter’s The caretaker and Jack Davis’ No Sugar. These had helped me understand societal life better than Facebook or Twitter ever could. My taste in poetry was eclectic. I started with the French Middle Ages poetry of Villon, then Baudelaire; I liked Oscar Wilde, and the work of e. e. cummings. My favourite from Australia still is Oodgeroo Noonuccal’s My people.
After a few feverish days of action, and before the New Year activities began, the family at last gathered over what to do with our book collections, so we went into the overcrowded ‘library’ room. Against the walls of this tiny rectangular spare bedroom stood four wooden ill-matched adjustable bookshelves we had picked up at a market and which were no longer in the best condition. Varied sets of early Golden, Puffin and Penguin books accompanied by masses of assorted paperbacks were squeezed out by series of fiction, and science fiction volumes that always took too much space. School annuals, magazines and journals accumulated over the years sat gaping and slipping sideways alongside sturdy old textbooks.
On the lower shelves there were Mark’s well-loved Mad Magazines I had forced into box files that were bursting open at the base. On the very bottom shelves heavy duty dictionaries and a twelve volume encyclopaedia, which had come in handy in terms of value for money for the children’s primary school homework, sat askance staring up at me, as if asking for relief.
The shelves by then heavy in the middle started to sag while the back panel, a rickety piece of hardboard, gaped, whining it seemed, under stress against the wall. This room could be a hazard to venture into. Not that I worried about occupational health and safety. My main concern was that if I took anything out, there was no way to put it back and certainly not in the right place. I always used to organise our books by topics on my shelves at home, and classified them in categories akin to library collections.
I would miss the familiar bright odd-shaped books, with thick covers that had large printed words and children illustrations. Many of those were badly suffused with old yellowing sticky tape reinforcing their spines.
Starting with the children’s books I unearthed a tiny Disney cartoon book you could thumb through so fast you could see the animated Donald Duck character in action. Books that shaped my own childhood were myths and legends, the tales of Andersen and the cloak and dagger novels of Alexandre Dumas. My hero was D’Artagnan who like me, as I argued, was a garrulous person from Gascony in Southern France. With our own children, the longest lasting popular books at bedtime were Dr Seuss’ Green Eggs and Ham with the rhythmic refrain ‘I do not like them, Sam-I-am’ and Maurice Sendak’s Where the Wild Things Are.
Other characters like Babar the elephant and Barbapapa still reminded me of the good times we had reading these to the children. I remembered from Astérix chez les Bretons the famous quote ‘Ils sont fous ces Anglais’. [The English, they are mad]. That was a great in-joke in a home where half of the family was born in England. We would read any Astérix we could get hold of -and sometimes had to do so in the language of the country we happened to visit.
During that strange heady daydreaming I spotted a book entitled Where is the green parrot? only to discover that the book was actually written in English. We had re-named it ‘Mais, où est le perroquet vert?’ Probably because I had started to read it to the children in French, it had become a French story book for them and for us all. The sight of this book made me speak up.
‘Surely we cannot part with this one!’
‘Of course not,’ Mark said, ‘but most of the others have to go!’
Well, I had been so wrong thinking I was on my own in this book-culling saga. In the end, as people do in a crisis, we rallied together. John had already found cardboard boxes. I chose to pack up a box of the bilingual books to keep as a reminder of the days when we all had such fun sharing bedtime stories together.
Mark and Sophie rang around and found a couple of bookshops that might take in a few boxes of the more famous authors. After one of the booksellers asked him if we had any copies of Mad Magazines, Mark seemed to want to draw a line,
‘Anyone else asks for Mad Magazines, be sure to say we don’t have any,’ he yelled, after slamming the phone down.
I remember how Sophie and I sidled into one of the second-hand book marts with more boxes than agreed. As we left the owner must have been troubled to accept such a large quantity of books, because he called out as I left:
‘I guess I could put some on eBay.’
This is how I came to walk out of a shop feeling lighter and happy at the idea that our still-loved books were wanted and valued in cyber space.
About a year after we had moved to Adelaide, came the countershock of these madly hyperactive days. The realistic consequences of those events had caught up with me. With a peaceful, I thought, click of the mouse and a stare at a computer screen, I wandered into an online book mart. There, a vibrant picture caught my eye. I was on eBay and there was a familiar title. It was a children’s compendium of folk tales. On closer inspection that book was available from a bookseller in Western Australia. There was an entry about its good condition, and a reference to a handwritten inscription. I immediately logged out. I could not look at ‘More details…’ about that book or any other on eBay. I could not bear to witness my children’s personalised birthday inscriptions floating in limbo on the net. I have not dared go back on eBay for books since.
Ginninderra Press http://www.ginninderrapress.com.au published my 100 word poem:
‘Hell is us’ in a new Anthology entitled Milestones (2021)
Hell is us! rebutting Sartre’s #Hellisothers (L’enfer c’est les autres) This winter of discontent, this pandemic season of hell, gives way to a mantle of dazzling light. Gone are the wretched lockdowns. Gone are sagging grey skies. Time for action! Dining, drinking with friends, a show or two. Music! drumming and dancing drive us all. People abound, not one soul’s left out. We witness the clatter of new vigour. The traffic’s disgorging fuel, the hazy planes above spewing our fumes back to us. We have wasted water, we've disavowed the truth of climate change we’ve caused wild bushfires. Threatening winds and fires are closing in. Hell is us, not others!
‘Of letters and dots, words, language and life’
The introduction I wrote for Adeeb Kamal Ad-Deen’s second book of poems in English after ‘Something Wrong’.
Both books were translated from the Arabic by Adeeb Kamal Ad-Deen himself. A great philosophically-minded Iraqi-Australian poet who is based in Adelaide and who has been translated into several languages. His poetry is the subject of multiple academic higher degrees in a wide range of Arabic-speaking countries .
Further information available via http://www.adeebk.com
Remote communities, Australia
Delly and Boyd Stokes have dedicated their lives to working with remote communities and helping disadvantaged youth understand their role in upholding Indigenous culture in the modern day.
[Delson] soon formed Yabu Band. Yabu means a stone or rock and is the strength of Delly’s music. I have tried to learn some Wongatha language from his music.
The tones of Yabu Band are mild and ‘scratchy’ – and also very pretty, due to the clear changes of tonality from singer songwriter Delson, fully enhanced by the extra Australian desert rock rhythm from his brother, guitarist Boyd Stokes. They are very well complemented by performers from differing backgrounds. We must not however forget the energy and vitality emanating from the elders that Delson and Boyd summon to protect and guide them.
With lyrics like I hear a cry in the wind/A spirit in the tree/A signal from the heart, anyone of us who have listened to traditional Aboriginal stories know the significance of being beckoned, summoned or ‘sung’ by a call or a feeling. It is part of how the ancestors through the Dreaming can manifest themselves to the younger generation. They signal their presence and help their descendants make sense of the spiritual emotion that drives them. This in turn will provide a connection with their aspirations in life.
The perseverance to stay proud, to speak the ancient tongue and to be free although They changed the real me are achievements generated by the talented Yabu Band and the Stokes family who have kept up with their grandmother‘s advice to stand beside others in their community as peacemakers. ‘Rise up – reach out’, Delson sings ‘Let our voices be heard’
Palya ‘Lets walk together in harmony’ Peacemakers!
Check it out on you tube: https://youtu.be/AUVxQLZaI5g
Nov 2020 :
A story that fits in with the 2020 Naidoc theme
‘Always was and always will be’
That’s what we do and what we’ve done:
day after day, for entire months
over many number of years
decades and centuries
at least two of them
we are here and we
were not invited
in this isle.
try one first
you can stay a while
you can sit down and talk
you could try talking, wangka,
you can share some food together
even go here and there step by step
watch people work within the seasons
listen to mothers singing to children, their tjitji-
then you could ask ‘do you want anything of me?’
Oct 2020 :
Stereo stories –
I wrote a piece featuring a very sad Australian song for the year of BLM, of significance for the Aboriginal people of the stolen generation, from 1986 when I arrived in Australia, by Bob Randall and also sung by Paul Kelly.
A new piece of Flash Fiction
http://www.bytestories.com The Antimilitarist (in 1500 byte size)
During the Pandemic I contributed ‘A sense of direction’ to the Mana Press Anthology ‘Life in the time of Coronavirus’
- https://manapress.com.au/pages/life-in-the-time-of-corona : – you can read it here
Life in the Time of Corona, Mana Press, Anthology:
A SENSE OF DIRECTION by Anne-Marie Smith, August 2020
The coronavirus lockdown forced me to find a sense of direction. From home I timetabled a daily routine, highlighted it in a range of bright colours and started to project an image of myself as a person who could follow several parallel patterns in life. Clearing massive piles of redundant items in the house; initiating a database of my home library (a long term project with my husband); some website updates and creative writing; progressing my word puzzles on my mobile (I am now .27 percent ahead of users on seven letter words); relishing casual reading of free archives offered by literary journal Meanjin, as well as my bedside books. I also started listening to classical music interludes or podcasts before I went to sleep. I was able to gather my energies around all of this. I am still wondering how long these remarkable habits will last.
Earlier in life I had tried to progress but didn’t get anywhere. Someone always put me off. ‘Why are you doing this? Not worth the bother.’ Frustration made my spirit flag. I had forgotten how much my dreams meant to me. When the coronavirus confined us at home, I stepped up, as if confident in myself, and signed for an online course. There I re-discovered my skills and found how much I could achieve. Three weeks later I sent my followers a brand-new invitation! My reading group would have their first meeting online the following month.
Other things happened which could have conflicted with my new state of mind. I had booked a face massage for the middle of March. As the country went into lockdown, warnings came to all of us including ‘Don’t touch your face’. I wondered what the masseuse could do for me. Then an announcement came. ‘Beauty parlours are closed. Hairdressers to stay open.’ At that point I decided to use my electric clipper for a hair cut. There would be more face-massages as a celebration treat at the end of isolation. The hairdressers stayed open but I just held firm cutting my own hair as short as I could on a number two setting!
All was going quite well until the end of the second month when outrageous remarks started to dominate social media. I resented many of the anti-Asian racist comments that people added to some of the generic posts about the origin of the coronavirus in China. Vile words were splattered with buffoon cartoons and hurtful venom. Chain letters of inane content circulated among many users. I was upset but also concerned, even worried that in the end these comments could hold sway. I decided that I would argue my point. I had gathered enough energy to place some repartees of my own.
I now know it is hard to avoid trolls online as in life. Once we are given the go ahead to move about town I will rejoin my own personal network. I think I will follow the new fulfilling direction in my life where I stand up for my views. I will try and make it work. I hope it lasts, at least for a while.
Storming to Pacific Safety
Refugees came to Australia but were detained on Manus Island (Papua New Guinea) for over six years and many are still there. I highlighted the various dilemmas this practise led to.
This piece was selected for ‘Allsorts’ a diversity-based Anthology by Hawkeye Books., 2019
In 2019 This Papua New Guinea-related website featured a chapter from my memoir ‘Pardon My French’ titled: Mi-no-save-gut-long-dispela-go-pinis.
The ABC Life Matters Program on Radio National played a segment of a turning point adapted from my Life Story where you can hear my voice and my French accent:
During 2019 Five Women across Cultures
- In 2019 I gave a talk to different groups (Business and VIEW, Arts Festival and Library in South Australia), on Five Women who have impacted on me from 5 different parts of the world
- Because of Covid-19 I wasn’t able to take this presentation to some community groups in Western Australia.
At Skive magazine you will find one on my online short stories
- https://skivemag.wordpress.com/2019-may/ – you can read it below
Living in the Moment
a short story by ANNE-MARIE SMITH
https://skivemag.wordpress.com/2018-october/ If you get to the end you will come across my sometimes impressions of Adelaide Writers Week. Comments welcome!
Dominique and I are standing behind the gates of the police station. We are wearing hoop skirts with a plain knit top, the latest fashion of the time.
‘Here they come! Let’s do it!’
‘Why did you choose to meet here?’ Dominique is asking. She is always the calm and logical one.
‘Because, well, it’s near my home and the cinema is just around the corner.’
A small group of us – two boys, Dominique and me with another two girls – are standing outside the gendarmerie where I live with my parents. Marching out into the street with a group of friends is not something I have done before. On too many occasions I have heard my gendarme father’s warning, ‘Three is a crowd, and you could get arrested.’ But this time I am ready to confront the world and because I live among them, I’m not scared of the police. What’s more, being arrested is tempting. I’m holding on to my home-made placard.
We are in France. It’s the late 1960s. Dominique on my right, the six of us start marching to the local cinema. This is not a big town, and everyone knows each other, but we are on a mission.
‘Why do we call this Le Happening, again?’ Dominique asks.
‘It’s when something just takes place spontaneously.’ Alain speaks up, his long hair waving in the wind. He tells us he knows about the English vocabulary of revolt. Sylvie rolls her eyes. She is critical of his ready-made answers every time a girl asks a question. She puts him right.
‘Well, it’s American actually!’
We are staging what we call in French Le Happening. We have decided that, together with the cine-club members, we will keep this a simple event: we’ll walk out of the cinema and stage a short but loud protest. But a controversial Cuban film is being screened. It’s called ‘Death of a Bureaucrat’ and is an avant-garde revolutionary film that we cannot afford to miss, so we plan for our group to watch that first, then we shall rally everyone out.
As the film finishes, we stand up with resolve and call everyone out of the cinema while chanting
and in answer to: What do we want?
We don’t intend to disturb the traffic or occupy the cinema, we just lead the audience chanting onto the street all the way to the supermarket and back. It is a five hundred metre walk and we know that, in this small town, we will be noticed.
We’ve had enough. Centralisation is stifling the talents of all French youth. It is the issue we care most about as none of us can emerge from country towns to make it as actors or writers. We all feel deprived that we don’t even have a decent theatre for staging the latest play by Harold Pinter or Ionesco! We have had to fight no end of battles with bureaucracies all our lives but now we want to be heard.
I run ahead with my placard to start the chanting.
• • •
In decentralised Australia, Adelaide is not short of theatres and venues, and yet I rejoice in attending outdoors alternative events like the Writers’ Festival, in this great cultural centre of Australia. I sit mesmerised to be in proximity to some of my favourite authors.
Choosing to wear the sort of clothes that would fit in with the 40-degree heat in the free and open-air gardens of Adelaide, I am wearing loose cotton pants, an Amnesty International T-shirt and a cap. In my back pack are a couple of frozen bottles of water. I feel quite relaxed till I notice that many of the women are wearing straw hats with flowery blouses and skirts. I realise then that my looks, not just my accent, will emphasise how different I am!
I don’t have my own group to sit with although there are quite a few people I know. I will talk to them. I have no hesitation in starting conversations and every year there I meet new people. From near the book tent I see many of the most famous authors in our town, some of whom will get on stage. I am dying to speak to JM Coetzee, but I will be lucky to manage to speak to Sean, Jude or Peter Goldsworthy on their way to the green room or to get a coffee. I however show spontaneity when I spot David Malouf and ask him to make a reference to the empty chair that our PEN group has positioned on his stage. I am chuffed by his pleasant response to me and because he does mention the chair!
Over time I have built up a string of great memories. One of them is when sitting on the green lawn under our piercing blue sky, we are all entranced by Ian McEwan reading the first chapter of his new novel, Solar. He paints for us visions of the people in British brick houses while his aircraft is attempting to land over London in slow motion and in several consecutive circles.
The following day brought another amazing scene. Many in the audience holding their cold bottles of water over their napes are sitting in the shade of palm trees on a slope expecting a verbal stoush. Germaine Greer, instead of sparking off an activist’s Mexican wave, triggers a gentle ironic ripple of laughter from the crowd when we realise that she herself doesn’t have the energy to harangue the youth who has just made a stand declaring that she isn’t a feminist. Greer simply calls out ‘Come and see me in a few years!’
This year I feel is a very sedate gathering, although some major crime and historical novelists are having an impact on the crowd. I would not mind having a good debate with any of the authors. I’d love to knock the mono-cultural and post-colonial tone of some presentations. When I get to the microphone the question I meant to be prodding may sound simply like a scatty after-thought rather than a rebellious, anti-bourgeois statement. Still, I offer it as a comment.
I think I might be more popular if I suddenly got up and chanted:
and then with great panache
WE WANT-MORE – NAT’RAL-SHADE!
I reckon that would work quite well and I could even start a conga line on the theme.
But I won’t. This outdoor venue provides me with great enjoyment. I like hearing all the authors, taking notes, talking to the writers whose book I buy each year. Where else can you also, while queuing for coffee, select which author session to attend, simply by eavesdropping on the tone of their voice in their opening comments?
Later in the day, I even enjoy moving my chair from one group to the next even though we, at Adelaide Writers’ Week, know that’s not really done. The marquees are clearly separated and labelled to indicate which one of the groups you’re attending. However, the afternoon sun can lead to soporific discussions and some discreet restlessness.
Not to worry, I have not lost my taste for taking risks! Over a few decades I’ve learnt to negotiate to avoid getting arrested. I contemplate starting a chair revolution next year. I will demand more tables, or better, insist on discussions. The latter thought appeals greatly and I visualise myself walking between the rows of chairs waving my cap shouting:
I will get insistent.
© Anne-Marie Smith, 2018
Since 2010 this UK micro fiction website published several of my 75 words paragraphs,about one a year since 2011 :
At Writers SA in Adelaide you’ll find a summary of who I am and what I have published creatively over the last ten years:
At Ginninderra Press or on any online website ( like Amazon) you can find my book called Pardon My French, just published in March 2018:
Switch to my parole-blog on this website for my micro fiction 100 word vignettes short stories and some bilingual writing (Engl/Fr)
Under Contact, please make sure to leave me
a message to say:
Hi ! Bonjour! Palya! Cheers! and Ciao…
International Day of Home Languages
25/02/19 During International Day of Home Languages last week I tried to widen my vocabulary to list the words for Bon and Bien in French to their closest equivalent in the languages of Nations I have visited or lived in. Comments, corrections and feedback welcome!
Bon Bien French
- Good Okay English
- Palya Palya Pitjantjatjara
- Marni Ku Kaurna
- Waba Waba Ngarluma
- Gutpela Orait Tok Pisin
- Namo Namo Hiri Motu
- Zabwino Bwino Nyanja
- Kuhle Kuhle Zulu
- Nzuri Vizuri Swahili
- Boa Bem Portuguese
- Buono Bene Italian
- Bueno Bien Spanish
- Bon Ben Occitan
- Bo Bé Catalan
- Ona Ondo Basque
- Gut Gut German
- Goed Goed Dutch
- Dobrý Dobře Czech
- Jó Jól Hungary
- Go maith Maith Irish
- Hyvä Hyvin Finnish
- Hea Hästi Estonian
- Bra Bra Swedish
- Mabuti Mabuti Filipino
- Tốt Tốt Vietnamese
- Yoi [良い] Yoku [良] Japanese
- Hǎo [好] Liánghǎo [良好] Chinese
- Dī [ดี] Dī [ดี] Thai
- Maikai Pono Hawaii