Friday, September 29, 2006

Show 149 Friday 29 September

Watch today's show at YouTube or BlipTV.


Hi, I’m Sarah. Welcome to The Daily English Show. One way to study English is by reading comic strips.
But, a word of warning: If you read a comic strip and you don’t think it’s funny, don’t automatically assume that it’s because your English isn’t good enough to understand it. It might well be that the comic strip just isn’t funny.

For example, this is a page of comic strips from a newspaper in Hawaii – one of my students gave it to me … she goes to Hawaii a lot like a lot of people in Japan.
Incidentally, it’s an unusual shape for a newspaper – it’s really long and thin.

Anyway – I read all of the cartoons on this page and I didn’t find any of them funny.
Maybe it’s just me, but it can be hard to find a good one.
But one that I really like is Dilbet. Dilbert is an American comic strip by Scott Adams. It satirizes IT workplace and company issues.

A good idea could be to take a comic strip to class and ask the teacher to explain it to you. Or if you have any English speaking friends – or other friends studying English – ask them to explain it to you.

I cut this out of Student Times I think – that’s a newspaper for English students in Japan – and it’s really helpful because it has Japanese translations underneath.


Kia Ora. In Stick News today, the Overlander has been saved. The long-distance passenger train which runs from Auckland to Wellington will continue to operate next week on a reduced time table.

New Zealand isn’t famous for its great train services. In most of the country there are no trains at all.
But for the past 98 years one place you could go by train, was from Auckland to Wellington.
This daily service is called the Overlander. It’s not very fast and not very popular. People prefer to travel by car, plane or bus.
In the last two years annual patronage has dropped from 90,000 to 50,000 passengers. And the company running the service Toll NZ , had been losing 2 million dollars a year.
So they decided to stop the service. But many people weren’t happy about this and campaigned to save the train.
Yesterday the Toll NZ announced it would continue the service – but it would only run three days a week.

The only bad news coming from the saved train seems to be that a local politician is going to honor his promise to dash through Ohakune wearing only carrot-coloured undies. Scary.
And that was Stick News for Friday the 29th of September.
Kia Ora.

conversations with sarah
# 99 What are the trains like in New Zealand?

Sachie asks Sarah about the trains in New Zealand.
Step 1: Repeat Sachie’s lines.
Step 2: Read Sachie’s lines on the screen and talk to Sarah.

Sachie What are the trains like in New Zealand?

Sarah Well, compared to Japan ... they’re kind of a joke.

Sachie A joke?

Sarah Yeah, they’re slow for a start. And ... there are a few train lines in Auckland and Wellington – but most people in New Zealand get to work or school by car or bus.

Sachie So most people can drive?

Sarah Yeah, I grew up in the country so I think I got my licence the day I turned 15.

Sachie Did you have a car when you were 15?

Sarah No, I just used my parent’s car, when they let me.

Sachie How about when you went to university?

Sarah When I lived in Wellington I just walked everywhere. And when I went home in the holidays I, I usually took the long-distance train from Wellington to Auckland or Hamilton.


And that was the 149th episode of The Daily English Show. Tomorrow is the 150th episode. So to celebrate, I’m going to be making my internet lip-syncing debut.
I’m going to be lip-syncing to a Japanese English aerobics program called Zuikin English – you might have seen some clips on the net.
So I’ve finished editing the video and it’s all completely out of time – which hopefully adds to the charm.

But isn’t as funny as funny as the original and no-where near as good as the internet lip-syncing classics like the original numa numa or the Chinese backstreet boys. But I thought I’d give it a g0, an important attitude for all language learners – give it a go – yeah.


Music on the show used with permission from and
Today's questionanswer music:
Artist: Galdson
From: Ortigueira, Spain
Album: Roots
Track: Roots
music at jamendo

Today's news.
Trains in New Zealand