Learn English and improve your vocabulary skills by listening to the elllo podcast, which features interviews with people from all over the world.
Episode 29: Dream House (Views 1371)
10:21In this episode, Spencer talks with Curtis about her dream house. Students can listen and see what she would do with her kitchen, bathroom, livingroom, outside of the house and yard. Go to elllo.org for the full episode with script. audio, media and quiz.
Episode 28: Hollywood Movies (Views 1351)
5:45Today on the elllo podcast, Win from Vietnam, Michael from Norway and Goron from Italy talk about Hollywood movies and films made in 3D. This is lesson 1351 on elllo.org. Go to the website for the complete lessons with downloadable audio and printable worksheets. Below is the transcript to the interview. Michael: Hello, my name is Michael. Next to me I have Goron from Italy and Win from Vietnam, and today we are going to discuss movies and specifically we are going to discuss about Hollywood movies. Do we like Hollywood movies? What is typical in our own countries, and so on. So, were going to start with you Goron, please? Goron: Oh, I would say that generally, I like Hollywood movies. If I want to be, without thinking anything, I just like to lie down on my couch and just eat something and drink and watch a movie, I would choose a Hollywood movie. They are pretty fun. They are well done. They have a huge budget for those kind of movies, like the last superhero movies about Ironman, Spiderman, Avengers. all those kind of movies. The plot is really weak, but you know, you have this like visual effects which the impact on your is strong, and you just think that, at least I think, "Well, how did they do that?" Michael: Yeah, I would give a good example there. You have Avatar. You know the story, it's a huge cliche. Goron: Yeah, we heard about this story before. Michael: I knew how the movie would end, but you know, just going there to see the good 3D effect that movie had, I think it had good 3D. It really immersed you in this whole world. You know, you saw those flying things in the forest. Goron: But if you think it was recorded by a 3d camera because the camera was a million dollars, but the other 3D movies are really crap, because everything was post-production, so you can tell, oh this is 3D, and it's dark and you have to wear glasses, and if you already have glasses, it's uncomfortable so it seems like a technology that is trying to steal your money. Michael: It was a huge hype. They were charging more for it, and everyone tried to get on the 3D bandwagon. All of the movies went into 3D and it became more normal for there to be 3D movies in the cinema than the normal movies, but I agree totally with you. They went to far. Avatar was made from ground up. The idea was to make in 3D and they really worked hard to provide a great experience, while the other movies. It's just not the same. Goron: The technology is not ready yet. Michael: And I also agree with you, you know, that there is movies that you watch for the story, which are really good, and you love them. You don't have to have then in 3D. They don't have to be. You just focus on the story, but then you have like, you know, even Transformers, with lots of explosions, lots of effects. It's entertaining in the other way. Win: I mean, it depends on how we look at entertainment. Some day, you could, I mean you want to watch something emotional, romantic, and some days you just want some really easy stuff. But I'm just saying Hollywood isn't all about blockbusters and effect-heavy movies. I think Hollywood has made some really good thinking, some really good food-for-thought and it's not that all bad.
Episode 27: Best Teacher
5:53This week on elllo.org, Abidemi and Jeremy talk about teachers that had a big impact on their lives. See the transcript below. Remember that you can go to the website to see the video, learn now words, download the audio and take a quiz. Transcript of conversation: Jeremy: Abidemi, so looking back at your life as a student, can you tell me a little bit about your experience with the best teacher that you had, and maybe a little bit about your worst teacher? Abidemi: Sure. I think I’ve had many, many great teachers. I’ve been really blessed in that way. Thinking back now, I remember my teacher when I was in primary 6 in Nigeria, actually. His name was Mr. Oleaer. And this teacher was a math and science teacher. And I think the best thing about him was he really took a personal interest in all of us. We could tell that he really cared. Although, he was very much a teacher, he took that authority role but at the same time, he was like our friend. Like during the break time, we would approach him, we would talk to him. And over the summer, he tutored a few of us for the entrance examination to high school because we have that system in Nigeria. So it was just fun. Every time we saw him, we just have a good time with him. And I remembered he talked to me. He mentored—he was like a mentor. He came to me, and he was wondering what I wanted to be in the future and he made some suggestions because of the scores I had in his class. And to this day, I still remember him. He sticks in my mind. And having taught for a little bit as well, I think for me too, he’s one of the people that I tried to model myself after. I model myself after him. Maybe not even consciously, but I liked the fact that he was a teacher and we knew it but at the same time, he was very friendly. So I really love that aspect of him. How about you, Jeremy? Anyone comes to mind? Jeremy: You know, it was more just sort of teacher qualities that I remember from a number of different teachers. And what I always really—when I look back and think about teachers that made a difference, it was teachers that recognized students’ weakness and tried to counsel them or to sort of—in my case, it was that I was a very, very shy person. And a teacher who would talk to me a little bit and give me encouragement if I did a presentation, which was just the worst thing I could possibly ever do because I was so nervous. But teachers that recognized I had a real serious shy problem, and that they would just give a little bit of encouragement. And those with little bits of encouragement, over time I started to gain a little bit more confidence. And by the time I was in university, I still had a problem with giving presentations but—even in university, I had teachers who would compliment me on a job attempted—and I wouldn’t really say well done, but I tried. And those were the things that really stood out, teachers that recognize when people have issues in their life and they really try to encourage them to overcome those issues. It wasn’t just one teacher. It was a number of teachers. But not all teachers did that. Some of them, it wasn’t part of their job description to be a counselor, I guess, and it was more work and they just didn’t attempted or didn’t care or maybe didn’t recognize it. But some people really thought, here’s a guy who maybe needs a little bit of extra boost, and they would try to help me out. Those are the probably the things that stick out in my mind. And like you, I try to model myself after those teachers to try to find students who need a little bit of extra encouragement and make them feel better about themselves. Abidemi: I think that’s great. I think as teachers, everyone, if you have an opportunity to be a teacher, one of the best things you can do is to try and find the potential in each and everyone of your student because everyone has something special in them. And for a teacher to recognize that, it’s so awesome. It’s amazing. Yeah. Jeremy: I think you’re right. End of Transcript
Episode 26: Cost of Living
5:56This lesson on elllo.org we hear from Dan from Tropical MBA Podcast as he shares basic living costs for working in Southeast Asia. You can see the full lesson here! Transcript of Conversation Todd: So I'm here with Dan, and he lives in Bali, Indonesia. And he’s talking about slow travel, which is the concept of living in a foreign country for a long time to experience the culture and the lifestyle. Dan, can you talk a little bit about the cost, like if somebody wants to really do this, how much money do they need for housing, transportation, food, things like that? Dan: Well, when I quit my job four years ago, I had a mantra in my head. And I always said, all I need to be happy in life is a thousand bucks and a backpack. And I thought, if I could really simplify my life and take away all the overhead cost of car payment or a mortgage on a house or student load debts, credit cards, things like that, all I would need is a thousand dollars of income a month in order to own my time and to spend my time going to anywhere I wanted. I think realistically in places in Southeast Asia, if you want to move around every two or three months or go visit friends at another city, you're going to want at least $1,500 to $2,000 a month. And that’s going to give you, I would say, a quite luxurious lifestyle. Obviously, you could come here to Bali and live for $700 a month and you could do the same in Nha Trang like we’re talking earlier, maybe even easier in Vietnam. But the real cost come in is when you want to explore and move around internationally. So if you’re living in Nha Trang and you’d like to visit a friend in Bangkok every three months or something like that, you’re going to want more like 1,500 to 2,000 a month. Todd: So could you like break down the cost? So what kind of cost are we talking here? Like how much would you pay for housing? How much would you pay, you know, for food every month? How much would you pay for health insurance? Things like that. Dan: Sure, I mean, if we can make like a vast generalization across Southeast Asia in general. I know it’s a huge place but in most places for a furnished apartment, for a solo traveler, you’re going to look at anywhere from $250 to $750 a month. So let’s just ballpark it and say $500. You know, in a place like Manila, you’re going to get a great apartment for $500. In a place like Bangkok, you’re going to get even better apartment for $500. And again, you have to commit to a month at least to get these kinds of rates. But if you’re willing to do that, stay for few months, you’re going to get really good advantage there. Let’s take Bangkok as an example. $500, you’re going to have a great apartment. For another $500, you are going to eat like King Midas. And then let’s say your internet is $30 a month and your health insurance in $120 a month. We’re at about $1,200 a month now. And I’d say, on top of that, it's all about the most dangerous habit for your wallet on the planet, and it is travel. So if you decide that you want to go home for Christmas and you want to go home for Thanksgiving as well for Americans, you know, that’s going to kill your piggy bank. But if you don’t travel so much, you could easily stay in a place like Bangkok for $1,000 to $1,500 a month. Todd: So, what about like a, you know, going out having beers and thinks like that? Like are there certain habits that you have to kind of curtail or keep down so that you save money? Dan: Well, it really depends where you live. So, in the Philippines you could go out and party every night and it won’t make a dent in your wallet. Whereas in places like here in Bali, you had to be really careful because beers can be $7 for one cocktail. So if you go out to the club and you order 4 cocktails, and you meet a cute girl and you buy her 2 cocktails, that could easily turn into a $50 evening, and that’s going to kill your traveler’s budget. So generally in Southeast Asia going out for social drinks isn’t a big impact on your wallet because booze here is relatively cheap. But definitely that can have a big impact. Todd: Alright, thanks for the advice. End of Transcript
Episode 25: Working in Bali
5:35This week on elllo.org we hear from Dan, an Americna businessman working abroad, and he talks about why he likes to live in Bali and why it is a good place to set roots. The full episode online comes with a video, quiz, audio vocabulary and a speaking/listening challenge. You can get it here or at the link below: http://elllo.org/english/1301/T1323-Dan-SEA.htm Transcript of the Conversation Todd: So now Dan you live in Bali, Indonesia, which is a very beautiful place and you do a lot of business in Southeast Asia. Why do you think Southeast Asia is a good place to do business? Dan: Well, one of the primary reasons is the lifestyle. If you are generating a reasonable income on western standards, you can—what we do is, you know, perform some global arbitrage. You can take that western level salary and move it to a developing area of the world like here in Southeast Asia, and your purchasing power is much greater. So if you’re selling products in a higher valued economy like Germany and you’re living in Vietnam, you’re going to be able to experience a much higher lifestyle. And we call that concept arbitrage. You know, currency markets and stock traders have used that kind of concept all the time because they’re dealing with very liquid assets. In our case, you know, our locations weren't always so liquid. It wasn’t always so easy to change your location. Now with internet style business, it’s getting easier. So primarily, the lifestyle, I found that that’s a great tool for recruiting because staff, they want to have a great lifestyle too. So if you can set up an office in a place like Bali, Indonesia, it’s like paradise on earth. It’s so beautiful here, people want to join you, and so it’s great for recruiting as well. Todd: Do you find it’s harder to get work done in a beautiful place. I mean, Bali is basically paradise. Can you still follow the nine-to-five work grind and get things done? Dan: I find that I get more work done in Bali because the cost of living here is lower on all fronts. Not only is food cheaper, rent cheaper, but it’s easier to get people to help you out to do things. For example, in United States, I can't afford to pay somebody to do my laundry. It’s too expensive. But here in Bali, I have somebody do my laundry and that saves me two hours a week. Simple things like that start to add up. It’s a very relaxed and healthy place that helps me focus on work. I have a lot of friends that live in New York city for example and they spend so much time traveling on the train, making money to afford living there, and I see that as a much more stressful, difficult environment to really be productive and creative. Here in Bali, I have no problems focusing on my work. Todd: So what kind of work schedule do you follow, like do you work every day? Do you work like eight hours straight? Do you work at night? Because you’re dealing with different time zones with people all around the world. You said your market is mainly in the States. Could you talk a little bit about your work routine? Dan: Sure. It’s actually defined by what I feel like my biorhythms are. To use a really colloquial phrase, car guys in United States use a term called torque band. And that’s when your engine is the strongest—at what time your engine the strongest? And for me that’s 7:00 to 11:00 in the morning, and 7:00 to 11:00 in the evening, and right now it’s sort of 2:33 PM. This is generally a time that I would relax. I would close my computer. I would get in the pool. I’d meet with some friends, maybe take a walk, listen to some podcasts, and relax until dinner time. After dinner time have a coffee and continue working. So, it’s primarily for me, that just seems to be when I’m most creative and I have no idea why. Todd: It sounds like a nice life.
Episode 24: Sun vs Snow
5:33This week Paul from England and Aimee from Scotland discuss where they would like to live. Go to elllo.org for the full lessons with audio, video, vocabulary, and more. See transcript of interview below: Paul: So, we were talking about climates, Amy. Uhm, you know are there any sort of climates that you’d like to live in? Aimee: I would like to live in Iceland or Scandinavia. Paul: Interesting. Why would you like to live in that sort of climate? Aimee: Uhm, The snow is just so beautiful and my image of those countries is that their infrastructure is sufficient enough to keep you warm when you’re inside. You know? But I’d say it's just so beautiful. The snow is amazing, It quietens everything. I think it’s glorious. I just really like it. I used to ski when I was younger. So I always ... I like skiing and I like the hills, and yeah, and the snow on hills is just beautiful for me. How about you? Paul: Well I, I love snow too, but I don’t like it when it gets so slushy and sloppy you know, and your feet are freezing. You know I think like, the ideal of snow is really appealing. I’m not sure about, you know, living in it. I prefer, I don’t know maybe the climate of like Southern Italy, kind of Mediterranean, climate I think that would be really quite pleasant. You know? Not too hot, by the sea, although yeah, in the summer, it does gets hot. But I don’t think it’s the humidity. Aimee: Right, I was just thinking about that. What kind of heat is it? Is it a dry heat? Paul: I think it is a drier heat. Yeah, yeah, whereas the heat we obviously we get here is unbearable at times, right? Aimee: Yeah, it’s really bad. Yeah. Paul: So, uhm…. Aimee: What’s the highest temperature? What’s the range of temperature in Southern Italy , what kind of climate, do you know? Paul: Not sure, I guess maybe at this time of year it starts getting up towards 20 degrees C. Aimee: That’s nice. Paul: And then I think it does you know places like Sicily, I think it does get pretty hot, probably like high 30s? Yeah, yeah, so and I think the winters are probably quite mild, unless you’re from the North of Italy of course, near the mountains. Aimee: Yeah. Paul: Down in the south it remains kind of pretty mild, you know? Aimee: Aha, if it’s in the Med ... It's my images of that. I’ve never been to Italy so I don’t know. I’ve been to the South of France and it got really hot. That was a nice temperature. It was dry, and yeah the nighttime wasn’t too hot either, it was really nice during the day. That was a nice climate, I think. Thanks for listening.
Episode 23 - Money and Retirement
4:37This week Sorie and Mark talk about the future and money and saving for retirement. Go to elllo.org for the full lesson online on the web or mobile phone. http://elllo.org/english/1301/T1307-sorie-retirement.htm Transcript Mark: Hi, Sorie. Talking about money, do you worry about money? Sorie: Yes, I do. I especially worry about the future, about my retirement plan. And I’m not saving any money at the moment. And I have friends around me that are already saving up for their retirement. I’m 27 years old right now and I’m not sure if I should be concerned or not. Are you concerned? Mark: Well, what kind of options are there? How would you want to save up? Sorie: Well, first of all, right now, I don’t have the option to save for retirement. Mark: Because you don’t have any money? Sorie: Yeah, the present is plenty to think of. I haven’t got my head around the future yet. Do you have any recommendations at how I could do it? Mark: Well, national pension plan or kind of put a little bit aside every week or forget about it. You’re only 27. Sorie: Yeah. It’s very interesting, you know, because I know some people that instead of having a retirement plan, they decided to have a lot of kids and have their kids pay for them when they grow up and they get older. So that may be an option for me. Mark: Yeah. And from where from also, that’s kind of the norm perhaps. Sorie: Yeah, that’s right. How about you? Mark: Yeah, I’m a bit older than you and I don’t have a pension plan either. But I’m not quite so worried about it right now. Sorie: The time will come though. Mark: The time will come and the more I think about, the more we talk about it, it’s definitely something to be considering. But it’s interesting in national pension plan, isn’t it because what if we leave? What if we won’t live in this country anymore, we had to move to another country and then we work there a little bit. And then we move to another country. Sorie: So as an international person, it’s difficult to commit to a national pension because you don’t know where you’re going to end up, right? Mark: Exactly. Sorie: That’s what you’re saying, I see. Mark: So if that was the case, it would seem that putting a little bit away every month or every week personally in an account would be a good idea. Sorie: And are you committed, like, can you do that every month? Can you? Mark: Yeah, I think I can do that. Yeah, but it’s interesting that I haven’t considered such things. And now when we consider it and realize how important it is, it’s probably a good thing to be considering.
Episode #18 - Evaluating the Euro
5:36This interview is great for Business students. It is advanced but if you spend a little time working with the transcript and repeating phrases and words you don't know, you'll really improve your English and sound smart! Go online to elllo.org and look for #1284 to read the transcript and take the quiz.
Episode #17 - Local Accents
5:13Spencer talks about how her accent has changes over the years and Joel gives students some advice: be proud of your accent! For a full transcript, interactive quizzes, and vocabulary go to elllo.org and look for #1282.
Episode #16: Croatian Cuisine
4:36Carlo and Vesna talk about the food and wine in Croatia. Go online at elllo.org and look up 1279 to read the entire transcript, watch the slide show, and take the interactive quiz.