Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Show 273 Wednesday 31 January

Watch today’s show at YouTube or BlipTV.

Hi, I’m Sarah. Welcome to The Daily English Show.

A common mistake I see in Japan is goodbye written as two words or with a hyphen. This is wrong. But it’s an understandable mistake because goodbye is made up of two words joined together.

There are many words made up of two words joined together. They are called compound nouns.
Compound nouns come in three different styles.

The closed form is when the words are joined together for example: keyboard or notebook.The hyphenated form, such as sky-scraper.
And the open form, such as post office or mineral water.
Why are there three forms? I don’t know.

This is from

“Just exactly how and why these three forms exist is not exactly clear, but it seems likely that the process will begin with two words, become hyphenated after a time, and then eventually end up (as) just one word. It is curious that even good dictionaries sometimes disagree (with) how compound nouns should be spelt!”

So it really isn’t surprising that students have trouble with these words. Native speakers, like me, also have trouble. I often have to stop to think – hmm hyphen, no hyphen, space?

There are no strict rules to remember – although Wikipedia does have some rules about compounds. For example about hyphenated compound adjectives:

"A compound adjective is hyphenated if the hyphen helps the reader differentiate a compound adjective from two adjacent adjectives that each independently modify the noun."

I think you should just make some lists. And start by memorizing the ones that you use most often.

For today start by remembering these:

Goodbye is one word.
No one is two words, no hyphen.
A lot is two words.

And please remember this.

A 4-year-old girl won the prize. Hyphens, no s.
The girl who won the prize is 4 years old. No hypens, s.


Kia ora, in Stick News today, Kevin Federline is now starring in a TV advertisement for insurance. Some people in the fast food industry say the ads are insulting.

Kevin Federline is described in Wikipedia as a dancer, model, actor, rapper and wrestler. He’s famous for marrying Britney Spears.
The marriage didn’t go so well. Neither did the start of his rap career. He’s now starring in an ad which pokes fun at himself. In the ad Kevin plays a fast food worker dreaming of becoming a rapper. But some people don’t think the ad is funny.
A spokesperson for the National Restaurant Association said the ad gave the impression that working in a fast food restaurant is “demeaning and unpleasant”.
She said it was “an insult to the 12.8 million restaurant workers in America”.

And that was Stick News for Wednesday the 31st of January.
Kia Ora.

the snow report

Today I saw three men on the post office roof. It looks like they were clearing snow. But they might have been looking for a dead body.

conversations with sarah
#165 Do you know what goodbye means?

Step 1: Repeat Dave’s lines.
Step 2: Read Dave’s lines and talk to Sarah.

Sarah Do you know what goodbye means?

Dave Ah, yeah, of course I do.

Sarah Ah yeah, no, I mean ... do you know what it originally meant?

Dave I have no idea.

Sarah It says here that it’s a contraction of “God be with you!”

Dave What does contraction mean?

Sarah Contract means to make smaller.

Dave Why does goodbye have two os? God has only one.

Sarah Mmm good question. I don’t know.

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Show 272 Tuesday 30 January

Watch today’s show at YouTube or BlipTV.

Hi, I’m Sarah. Welcome to The Daily English Show.

Today I’m going to talk about one of the suggestions that tokyocooney sent me.
You should check out his channel. He’s a comedian in Tokyo.

You’ve probably learnt a lot of and lots of.
A lot of and lots of are exactly the same except lots of is informal.
I have lots of pens. I have lots of books. I have lots of money.

Did you know that there are other ways of saying lots?

For example:

These are all informal.
By the way informal doesn’t mean rude. It just means that you might not want to use them in certain situations – such as writing a university essay or making a formal speech.

I think people use heaps a lot in New Zealand.
And to emphasize the quantity you can lengthen the e sound.
There were heeeeeaps of people at the party.

I think loads is more common in England. My sister lived in London for a couple of years and when I talked to her on the phone I noticed that she said loads a lot instead of heaps.

Another colourful word which I quite like is shitloads. This is very informal or vulgar slang according to the dictionary.
So be careful if you use this word you might not want to use it if you say work at a bank or something.

Good afternoon sir. Goodness me, you have shitloads of money in your account.


Kia ora, this is Stick News. On Saturday the health minister of Japan called Japanese women birth-giving machines. Three of the opposition parties are now calling for his resignation.

Japan has a declining birth rate. Some people are worried about the lack of tax money to look after the elderly and other beneficiaries.
71-year-old Yanagisawa Hakuo is the minister of health, labor and welfare. He’s in charge of dealing with the declining birth rate.
On Saturday he talked about the issue in a speech. He called women:
or birth-giving machines.
He said "The number of women aged between 15 and 50 is fixed. Because the number of birth-giving machines and devices is fixed, all we can ask for is for them to do their best per head."
Today three of Japan's four opposition parties agreed that they want him to resign over the remark.
But the Prime Minister disagrees. He says Yanagisawa “is a person with deep insight”.
And one internet commenter said: “If every politician got fired for saying something stupid, who would run the country?”

And that was Stick News for Tuesday the 30th of January.
Kia Ora.

the snow report

This is a bell that you can ring on the mountain.
It’s a memorial for a guy who really loved Niseko. Apparently he was still really fit even when he was 100 years old. If you ring this bell you’ll have a safe time on the mountain.

conversations with sarah
#164 Do you like horror movies?

Step 1: Repeat Dom’s lines.
Step 2: Read Dom’s lines and talk to Sarah.

Sarah Do you like horror movies?

Dom Not really. Do you?

Sarah I don’t really either. But I watched one last night.

Dom What was it?

Sarah Misery. Have you seen that?

Dom Yeah. Is that a horror?

Sarah Mmm, yeah. Maybe it’s more of a thriller.

Dom That got an Oscar, didn’t it?

Sarah Yeah, Kathy Bates got best actress.

Dom She was really good in it. Do you know what else she’s been in?

Sarah Yeah, she was in Titanic. She was the “new money” rich woman. The one that was nice to Jack.

Monday, January 29, 2007

Show 271 Monday 29 January

Watch today’s show at YouTube or BlipTV.

Hi, I’m Sarah. Welcome to The Daily English Show.
This week is grammar week.
Today: gradable and ungradable adjectives.

What’s an adjective? An adjective modifies a noun.

A red dog. Red is an adjective.
This dog is:

All adjectives.

Adverbs modify verbs and other things.
Rover dances beautifully.
Adverbs often end in -ly.
Adverbs modify verbs and they also modify other adverbs and adjectives.
Very useful.

Very is an adverb (it’s also an adjective – but I’m talking about the adverb)

Very can be used before adjectives, adverbs and determiners.
For example: Rover is very beautiful and Rover dances very beautifully.

The adverb very is useful and it’s used a lot before adjectives.
It’s very cold.
Mmm this is very tasty.
Mmm he’s very sexy.
I’m very happy.

But the adverb very can’t be used before all adjectives. You can’t say something is very awful or very impossible.

Try and think of adjectives in two groups – one is gradable and the other is ungradable.

For example – temperature.
Hot and cold are gradable. Gradable means there are different levels.
It’s hot.
It’s very hot.
It’s a bit cold.

It’s quite cold.
It’s very cold.

The ungradable adjectives are often the extremes.
The extremes of hot are for example:

They are all like the maximum hot. So they can’t be any more or any less. So you can’t use very with these words.

An example for cold is freezing. Freezing is ungradable. You can’t use very with freezing.

It think it helps to look at a list ... like in this book.

With these gradable adjectives you can use these adverbs and with these ungradable adjectives you can use these adverbs.

I’m going to make some sentences using words from here.

So from the gradable adjective box: important.
With important I can use words from here.
So, I can say:

This is extremely important.
This is fairly important.
This is really important.
This is very important.

Now an ungradable adjective: useless.
This is absolutely useless.
This is completely useless.
This is totally useless.

There’s a video on YouTube called: Dictionary of Jack: Unique
It’s by JackDanyells
And he says that you can’t say something is very unique.
Which is actually wrong – but the video is comedy, it’s not a(n) English lesson, so it doesn’t really matter.

Actually you can say something very unique – but it depends what you mean by unique.
Unique – like many words – has more than one meaning.

1. being the only one of its kind
For example: Everyone’s fingerprints are unique.
For this meaning – unique is ungradable. So you can’t say very unique. This is the meaning that Jack is talking about in his video.

But the second meaning of unique is: very special or unusual
For example: A unique talent
For this meaning unique is gradable, so you can say very.

This dictionary has both the Oxford Dictionary and the Oxford Learners Dictionary – which is very useful. The Learner’s Dictionary explains things like this.

See it says: “You can use absolutely, totally or almost with unique in this meaning.”
“You can use more, very etc” with unique in this meaning.”

And my final tip. This is very useful – so ichi man en (10,000 yen) please.

There is one word which is in both of these boxes that is really. So if you’re confused, just use really for everything. No worries.


Kia ora, this is Stick News. A high school student in New Zealand received his national examination paper back last week with the words “you useless sack of poo” written on it. An investigation into who wrote the comment is now underway.

Last week high school students in New Zealand got their national exam papers back.
A 17-year-old Christchurch student opened the envelope to find “you useless sack of poo” written on one of his papers in blue felt pen.
One of his classmates had "Good one dick!!" written on his paper.
New Zealand post delivers the papers to the students. They suspect one of their temporary staff may be to blame.
An investigation is under way.

And that was Stick News for Monday the 29th of January.
Kia Ora.

the snow report

I noticed some mysterious things in the snow today. At first I thought it might have been aliens.

conversations with sarah
#163 Why did they stop teaching it?

Step 1: Repeat Takeshi’s lines.
Step 2: Read Takeshi’s lines and talk to Sarah.

Sarah I think there are a lot of people in New Zealand who don’t know what an adjective or adverb is?

Takeshi Really? Why?

Sarah My generation didn’t really study English grammar. My parents’ generation did though.

Takeshi Why did they stop teaching it?

Sarah I don’t know. I guess somebody decided that it wasn’t important to learn.

Takeshi When did you study English grammar?

Sarah I studied French at high school and we had to study English grammar before we could understand French grammar.

Takeshi Was it difficult?

Sarah Yeah. My teacher used to get really frustrated because we didn’t know anything about grammar. He made us buy this blue book called “English grammar for students of French”.

Takeshi Wow. You even remember the colour.

Sarah Yeah, the book was really interesting so I spent all summer studying it.

Sunday, January 28, 2007

#270 Popcorn

Watch today's show at YouTube or BlipTV.

Sunday Kitchen #34 Popcorn

The other day when I was at the vegetable shop I saw some popcorn.
It was the first time I’d seen popcorn that was still on the cob, so I had to buy it.

I pushed the corn off the cob and into a frying pan. Some of it ended up on the floor. I added some olive oil, turned on the gas and put on a lid.

When you cook popcorn, you should keep moving the pot or pan so it doesn’t burn.
And don’t take the lid off or else the popcorn will start flying everywhere.

When the popping has stopped put the popcorn into a bowl. You can eat it like it is or put something on it. I put salt and pepper on it.

It was the smallest popcorn I’d ever seen but it was very tasty.

#269 How To Tell If You're Addicted To YouTube

Watch today's show at YouTube or BlipTV.

How to tell if you’re addicted to YouTube.

1. You meet someone from Australia and say "Do you know Emmalina?"

2. You talk about YouTubers as if they're your friends.

3. You are genuinely surprised that some people have never heard of YouTube.

4. You look around for the keyboard to make a comment while watching a TV show at your friend’s house.

5. You can’t understand why your friend still owns a TV.

6. You think it's only a matter of time before we stop celebrating Jesus' birthday and start celebrating Chad and Steve's.

7. You wonder why anyone is still worried about drug addictions when you KNOW YouTube is more addictive.

8. You can’t remember the last time you read a book.

9. You stop caring if you ramble because you keep thinking “I can always edit this out later”.

10. Your daily vocabulary has been severely affected by reading comments under videos.

11. You have to actually consciously stop yourself from saying LOL when someone says something funny.

12. You no longer have time to email your parents but you can still find the time to watch hundreds of videos of random strangers.

13. Whether to delete, reply to or ignore a negative comment is a major decision requiring careful consideration.

14. You feel chronic anxiety whenever YouTube is down for maintenance.

15. Having all but lost your conversation skills you can’t remember how to change the topic when someone starts rambling. And you end up just staring vacantly thinking things like:
I just wasted 3 minutes of my life.
How did this get featured?
1 star.

16. When someone says something inappropriate you think: this should totally be flagged.

17. You know it’s not going to be a Britney Spears sex tap and you wouldn’t want to watch Britney having sex even if it was but you just can’t help clicking on it anyway.

18. You’d never even heard of a country called Darfur until some American guy with a webcam started rambling on about saving it.

19. You don’t care when you get fired from your job, your family disowns you and everyone in the street throws rotten tomatoes at you, –
but if someone unsubscribes it throws you into the pits of despair.

20. You’ve stopped fantasising about winning an Oscar and marrying Brad Pitt and instead fantasise about getting featured.

Friday, January 26, 2007

Show 268 Friday 26 January

Watch today’s show at YouTube or BlipTV.

Hi, I’m Sarah. Welcome to The Daily English Show.

Today’s language is Swahili.

The video I studied today is from Watch Me TV – which is one of the sites where you can watch The Daily English Show.

It’s someone teaching Swahili in Japanese ... so yeah, maybe not that useful for study English. But anyway.

The video is made by Hide – who is a Japanese reality TV star. He was on a show called Ainori.

I really like Ainori. But I haven’t seen it for ages because we don’t have a TV and YouTube deleted all the Ainori videos. Evil YouTube. No, I’m kidding, I guess it’s fair enough.

Anyway what I like about Ainori is I think it’s a good mix of entertainment and education and doing something positive for the world.

It’s a kind of dating show - but they travel around the world and visit interesting places ... and I think you can donate money to the show – and then they do things like build schools in places where they don’t have schools.

Hide traveled around Africa on the show and he really liked it. So when he finished the show he went back and did some more traveling and then he started a business importing goods from Africa. And he has a shop in Harajuku. I actually went there once but I didn’t go inside because there was a really big queue. I think it was during Golden Week. And I never got round to going back.

Hide now has some videos on Watch Me TV and in one of them he is teaching Swahili.

Wikipedia says:
Swahili is the most widely spoken African language. It is spoken by over 50 million people, of whom there are approximately five million first-language speakers and thirty to fifty million second-language speakers.

Hide teaches two words in his video:
Jambo which means hello.
And shikamoo which is how you greet an elder person.


Kia ora in Stick News today a character in an in-flight movie said “beep bless you” instead of “god bless you” after a censor bleeped out all references to god.

Profanity is another name for a swear word.
Swear words are words that are considered by some people to be rude or offensive such as shit or fuck.
Profanity includes blasphemy. Blasphemous language is language that insults or shows a lack of respect for God or religion.
Saying “oh my god” is blasphemy – but saying “god bless you” isn’t.
A US company called Jaguar Distribution had the job of editing the movie The Queen to be shown on Delta Air Lines, Air New Zealand and other airlines.
A censor at was told to bleep out all profanity including blasphemy.
The censor was inexperienced and excitedly bleeped out every time a character said god – even when it wasn’t part of a profanity.

And that was Stick News for Friday the 26th of January.
Kia Ora.

the snow report

There wasn't much fresh snow today, so the snow was pretty hard.

conversations with sarah
#163 Have you seen The Lion King?

Step 1: Repeat Tracey’s lines.
Step 2: Read Tracey’s lines and talk to Sarah.

Sarah Did you know hakuna matata was Swahili?

Tracey Hakuna what?

Sarah Haven’t you heard that phrase?

Tracey No.

Sarah Have you seen The Lion King?

Tracey No, I haven’t.

Sarah Really?!

Tracey Yeah, I don’t really like Disney movies.

Sarah Oh OK. Well, they say it in The Lion King. I just Disney just made it up – but it’s actually Swahili.

Tracey What does it mean?

Sarah No worries.


Today's news.

Learn basic Swahili.

Great Swahili song! (Listening to this song put me in such a good mood).

Show 267 Thursday 25 January

Watch today’s show at YouTube or BlipTV.

Hi, I’m Sarah. Welcome to The Daily English Show.

Today’s language is Persian.
Persian is also called these two words. I’m not sure how to pronounce them.
Parsi and Farsi.

Persian is an Indo-European language spoken in Iran, Afghanistan, Tajikistan

And by minorities in these countries.

Southern Russia

And neighboring countries, and elsewhere.

Apparently Persian used to be even more widely used.

For five centuries prior to the British colonization of South Asia, Persian was widely used as a second or first language in the Indian subcontinent.
Only in 1843 did the British force the subcontinent to begin conducting business in English instead of the traditional Persian.

Persian is written in Perso-Arabic script which is a writing system based on the Arabic alphabet.
So it looks similar to Arabic.

And you can learn some Persian from messmanreturns on YouTube.

In this video he teaches some Persian letters and words.

Including these words:



Kia ora in Stick News today the 2006 word of the year in Australia has been announced. It’s muffin top.

In Australia some people enjoy wearing low cut tight fitting pants and skirts.
According to the Australian government’s website around 67% of Australian men and 52% of Australian women are overweight.
The excess fat the Aussies are carrying around can’t fit into the tight pants – so it spills out over the top.
This creates an effect which looks like the shape of a muffin. So it’s called a muffin top.
Muffin top has just been chosen as the Australian word of the year. Judges chose the word because of its vivid imagery and sense of playfulness.

That was Stick News for Thursday the 25th of January.
Kia Ora.

conversations with sarah
#162 Have you ever seen a muffin top?

Step 1: Repeat Hide’s lines.
Step 2: Read Hide’s lines and talk to Sarah.

Hide Have you ever seen a muffin top?

Sarah Yeah – it was one of the first things I noticed when I went to Australia.

Hide Why do people wear clothes like that?

Sarah I guess they think it looks good.

Hide They think a roll of fat looks good?

Sarah Well, some people think excess fat looks good.

Hide Really?

Sarah Yeah. Have a look on the internet. There are some people who want to gain more fat. And they say it’s attractive.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Show 266 Wednesday 24 January

Watch today’s show at YouTube

Hi, I’m Sarah. Welcome to The Daily English Show.

Today’s language is Spanish.
Spanish is the third language in the world in number of speakers
It’s spoken by about 400 million people in many countries.
Why so many countries?
Well it’s because of Spanish explorers, colonists and empire-builders.
Wikipedia says:
Spanish is one of six official working languages of the United Nations and one of the most used global languages, along with English. It is spoken most extensively in North and South America, Europe, and certain parts of Africa, Asia and Oceania.

There’s a YouTuber called language now who has made some videos teaching Spanish and Portuguese.

I learnt some words from the video: Basic Greetings in Spanish.

hola hello
buenos días good morning
buenas tardes good afternoon
buenas noches good evening


Kia ora in Stick News today a disease is spreading on YouTube. According to the Internet Heath Association stupidity has already affected 1 in 5 users of the site. However a product advertised as a cure for the disease has just been released.

YouTube is an internet website which has been described as the ultimate in narcissistic fantasy.
People who use YouTube are called YouTubers. YouTubers tube in various ways. Some write comments. Some make videos. Popular video content includes dancing, lip-syncing, rambling on about what you did that day or ranting about a thought that just popped into your head.
It was all fun and games until a disease began spreading. This disease has been identified as stupidity.
Doctors say YouTubers afflicted by stupidity read the positive comments under their videos. The stupidity virus erodes the common sense layer in the brain allowing the positive comments to actually rot the brain of the YouTuber.
This causes an onset of severe delusion causing the Tuber to think they are more than just a person with a webcam and an internet connection.
Thankfully there’s hope. A product has just been released on the market called Stupitrol.
Stupitol works by blocking the false praise and allows YouTubers to regain control of their lives and beat Stupidity.

And that was Stick News for Wednesday 24th of January.
Kia Ora.

the snow report

My injury has finally healed and I went snowboarding again today. This is the lift down at the bottom of Hanazono.

conversations with sarah
#161 Why do you want to learn Spanish?

Step 1: Repeat Mike’s lines.
Step 2: Read Mike’s lines and talk to Sarah.

Mike Are you going to study any more languages?

Sarah Yeah, definitely.

Mike Which one do you want to study next?

Sarah I can’t decide there’s so many. Spanish ...

Mike Why do you want to learn Spanish?

Sarah Then I could travel all around South America.

Mike Do they speak Spanish everywhere in South America?

Sarah Not everywhere. But most countries, I think.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Show 265 Tuesday 23 January

Watch today’s show at YouTube or BlipTV.

Hi, I’m Sarah. Welcome to The Daily English Show.

Today I’m going to talk about Chinese language. The number 1 language in the world, in native speakers - if it’s considered a single language (more about that later).

You probably know that like many languages - there are different kinds of Chinese.
The two that I had heard of are what we call in English: Mandarin and Cantonese.
But there are more than that.

Wikipedia says: There are between six and twelve main regional groups of Chinese (depending on the classification scheme).

Some of the different types of Chinese are very different.

In fact: many variants of spoken Chinese are different enough to be mutually incomprehensible.

Which means if two people are speaking to each other in a different dialect – they can’t understand each other.

And now time for some controversy ... oh, exciting.

The identification of the varieties of Chinese as "languages" or "dialects" is a controversial issue.

Some people call Chinese a language and its subdivisions dialects, while others call Chinese a language family and its subdivisions languages.

OK so I guess we’ll just leave the linguists to debate that issue and we’ll get on with studying it.

This YouTuber (thmk0828) – her name is Kelly – has made some videos teaching Chinese.
She’s from Taiwan ... so she’s teaching Mandarin.

She’s made 18 videos, I think, so far. Unfortunately some of them – especially the ones at the beginning - have some technical problems – like her voice is out of sync or the piece of paper she’s holding is out of the screen. But I think she’s a good teacher ... so hopefully she can sort out the technical problems and continue making more videos.


Kia ora, this is Stick News. YouTube drama hit records lows this week with thousands of harsh words appearing in videos and comments on the site. It all started with one broken computer.

The story starts with an American girl called Kimberleigh.
Kimberleigh is a self-confessed "dork that makes videos".
She posts her videos on YouTube. But recently, her computer broke. Some people missed her videos – so they decided to help her buy a new one. They invited people to donate $3 and called the campaign “bobs4kim”. For $3 people could talk to so-called “YouTube celebs” on Stickham.
A YouTuber called Lazydork thought this was a ridiculous idea – and made a video saying so.
Many people agreed with lazydork. They said bobs4kim was:

about cliques and elitism
the apex of arrogance,
an exercise in egomania
Pretty lame
pure garbage
stupid as hell
complete INSANITY
Supporters of bobs4kim hit back. Including Australian YouTuber Blunty3000 who showered Lazydork with colourful insults including:
worthless uncharitable wannabe
a cynical and pathetic little cry baby
Blunty also made a video which included no less than 15 variations of the f word.
One YouTube commenter concluded that the site had recently become a real dorkfest.
Tdejmcd said: i can't decide which is more douchey...renetto caring about youtube people using a different website or youtube people caring what other youtube people do to raise money so some youtube dork without a computer can get one.
JovianSunset also had trouble making a decision after watching lazydork’s video.
He said: Holy hell! I don't know what was more entertaining, this video or the cavalcade of youtube "celebrities" that turned out to comment on it. Truly amazing.

And that was Stick News for Tuesday the 23rd of January.
Kia Ora.

the snow report

The other day when I went out in Hirafu, I saw a strange man standing in the snow waving.

conversations with sarah
#160 Have you ever been to China?

Step 1: Repeat Joe’s lines.
Step 2: Read Joe’s lines and talk to Sarah.

Joe Have you ever been to China?

Sarah Kind of ...

Joe What do mean “kind of”?

Sarah Well I’ve been to Taiwan and Hong Kong.

Joe How long did you stay in Taiwan?

Sarah Only one night. It was just a stop over.

Joe What did you do?

Sarah I found my hotel ... that’s all. It was really late at night and it was pouring with rain – so I took a taxi and the taxi driver couldn’t speak English and I couldn’t speak Chinese ... so, it was quite exciting.

Joe How did you communicate?

Sarah Well, I had the address written down – but I don’t think he could read it or he didn’t know where it was ... but luckily I also had the phone number written down so he called them.

Monday, January 22, 2007

Show 264 Monday 22 January

Watch today's show at YouTube or BlipTV.

Hi, I’m Sarah. Welcome to The Daily English Show.
Back in October – for a week ... from show number 166 – I talked about watching videos which teach other languages in English.
I introduced some videos in which people were teaching: Italian, Indonesian, German and Japanese.

Well, I’m going to do the same this week.
Today: Portugese.

This is what Wikipedia says:
Portuguese is a Romance language that originated in what is today Galicia (Spain) and northern Portugal.
It is the official language of these places:
Cape Verde
São Tomé and Príncipe
And co-official language of these places: Macau and Tetum in East Timor.

This is a map from Wikipedia of the places where Portuguese is spoken in the world.

Portuguese is ranked fifth among the world's languages in number of native speakers.
There’s over 200 million (I made a mistake and said 2 million).
So if you learn Portuguese you can make a lot of friends. Cool.

By the way Romance languages are the ones that came from Latin.
English isn’t a Romance language. It’s Germanic.
Here’s a diagram from Wikipedia of the Romance languages.

A YouTuber from Brazil called kopkitty made a video called lesson and she teaches some Portugese.

I’m going to try and say two of the phrases she teaches in that video.

Firstly: hi, how are you?
Oi, tudo bem?

Next: I’m doing fine, thank you.
Eu estou bem, obrigada.

If you want to learn any more – go and watch that video.
She also teaches:
Please, thank you, how much is it?, it’s delicious, goodbye.

One funny thing is that she is Brazilian so her native language is Portuguese – but her English is really good so from reading the comments you can see that a lot of people actually think that she’s a native English speaker learning Portuguese.

So... hi, kopkitty. And thanks for the lesson!


Kia ora, this is Stick News. The TV program responsible for the latest short-lived natto boom in Japan may soon be axed after it was found that the “facts” they broadcast about the natto diet were in fact lies.

「あるある大事典2」 Aru Aru Daijiten II is on TV in Japan every Sunday night at 9pm.
According to the show’s website: It’s an entertaining variety show that examines various tips on "body", "mind", and "daily life". The show provides us with useful and easy-to-understand information based on scientific data, making us enjoy our lives more comfortably.
Well the information may be easy-to-understand and the person presenting the “data” may be wearing a white coat ... but this doesn’t necessarily mean it’s true.
On the 7th of January the show said that eating natto makes you lose weight.
Thousands of people immediately rushed out and bought natto, causing a nation-wide natto boom.
But it turns out the show lied. They made up the data, the comments from a US professor and they used photographs of people who weren’t actually on a natto diet.

Mountains of uneaten natto is now sitting in supermarkets and natto factories all over the country.
The show’s only sponsor has cancelled its sponsorship and the show itself may be cancelled.
That was Stick News for Monday the 22nd of January.
Kia Ora.

the snow report

Check out these icicles on the local supermarket. Very cool.

conversations with sarah
#159 Have you ever been to Brazil?

Step 1: Repeat Jane’s lines.
Step 2: Read Jane’s lines and talk to Sarah.

Sarah Have you ever been to Brazil?

Jane No. Have you?

Sarah No, I haven’t. But I met lots of Brazilians when I was in Aichi.

Jane Really? Why? Do a lot of Brazilians live there?

Sarah Yeah. And when I first came to Japan I took some lessons at a church for a while and all the other students were Brazilian.

Jane Was the lesson in Portuguese?

Sarah A mixture of Portuguese and Japanese… so I pretty much couldn’t understand anything. It was pretty funny.

Jane Why did you study at a church?

Sarah Because it was close to my house and it was cheap. And I was broke.


Today's news here or here.

Sunday, January 21, 2007

#263 Sandwiches

Watch today's show at YouTube or BlipTV.

Sunday Kitchen #33 Sandwich

To make a sandwich all you need is some bread and something to put between the bread.
You can put anything you like inside a sandwich.
Today I made sandwiches with tomato, spinach, negi, avocado and pepper.

Sandwiches are very convenient. You can take them on picnics.

Picnics are fun. You shouldn’t let a bit of cold weather stop you from having a picnic.

Saturday, January 20, 2007

#262 FM Niseko

Watch today's show at YouTube or BlipTV.

My first impression of FM Niseko wasn’t too hot.
I picked up some flyers when I arrived in Kutchan in November and I noticed there was a radio station going to start called FM Niseko. I wanted to listen to it, so we bought a radio. I checked out the website and saw they were going to have an opening event. We decided to go... but when we got there they turned us away at the door and said it was for invited people only. That was pretty sad. It brought back memories of being back in New Zealand and being turned away from clubs because the bouncers didn’t like my clothes, or hairstyle.
But I guess whoever maintains their website just didn’t realize how illogical it is to advertise an invite-only event.
Anyway, later that night as we were drowning our rejection sorrows at a bar in Kutchan we met two of the announcers. They were really nice and one of them invited me to come on her show as a guest.
Mimi’s show is called innocent coffee. It’s on weekday afternoons from 2:30 to 4:30. She has a guest every day.
I went along on Monday from 3 to 4. It was fun. We talked about The Daily English Show and studying English. And I also learnt a word of Hokkaido dialect. Nanmo nanmo means no worries or you’re welcome.
So I’d to thank FM Niseko for having me. All of the people I met there were really friendly and I enjoyed the experience. If you ever come to Niseko and you have a radio check out FM Niseko. It’s on 83.5.

EDIT (September 2007) : FM Niseko went bankrupt and is now off air.
Their old site was here - there is nothing there anymore.

Friday, January 19, 2007

Show 261 Friday 19 January

Watch today's show at YouTube or BlipTV.

Hi, I’m Sarah. Welcome to The Daily English Show.

Today’s key word are: undies and togs.
Undies is short for underwear.

The different names of underwear is quite interesting I think. For example, in New Zealand what we call a G string is called a thong in some other English speaking countries and in Japan it’s called a T back.
Tバックcomes from T-back because it looks like a t. It’s kind of funny because the pronunciation is almost the same as the one for tea bag.

I think in America the word panties is common for female underwear. But in NZ the word panties isn’t common.

As for the word pants – well in England that means undies and in America it means trousers, in NZ trousers, and in Japan – the same as England: undies.

Mmm confusing.

Togs are things you wear when you’re swimming. Also called in other countries: swimsuit, swimmers, bathing suit, bathers, aqua jammies, swimming costume, cozzie.

I thought togs was used only in NZ – but according to Wikipedia it’s also used in some parts of Australia.

Today’s show is the final in the introducing kiwi ads series.
Today’s ad asks the question: How far away from the beach do togs become undies?

And their answer is: If you can’t see the water, you’re in underpants.
Local supermarkets, pedestrian crossings, office buildings, public transport.
Anywhere more than 300 meters from the water’s edge – all underpant transformation areas.

There’s one word in this ad that I’d never heard of before. It’s budgie smugglers. This is another word for Speedos. Speedos are a style of togs for men that are like undies – they’re not that popular in NZ.
I just read the Wikipedia article on Speedos and it says that as well. It says they’re not popular in NZ and North America – but they’re popular in Asia, South America, Europe and Australia.

So please check that ad out. It’s a great way to remember today’s two key words: undies and togs.


Kia ora, this is Stick News. Last week a woman in California died after entered a competition to win a Nintendo Wii. Her family is now suing the radio station who held the competition.

A Nintendo Wii is a machine to play video games.
The company said they chose the name because “Wii sounds like 'we', (which emphasizes that the console is for everyone).”
Wii does indeed sound like we – it also sounds like wee – which is a noun meaning urine and a verb meaning to urinate.
A Californian radio station decided to hold a competition called “ Hold your wee for a Wii.”
The winner was the person who could keep drinking water without going to the toilet. After the competition one contestant died. It is thought she died from water intoxication.
Her family is now going to sue the radio station.

And that was Stick News for Friday the 19th of January.
Kia Ora.

the snow report

This is all the snow piled up along the side of the house.

conversations with sarah
#158 Do many people die like that?

Step 1: Repeat Jim’s lines.
Step 2: Read Jim’s lines and talk to Sarah.

Jim Did you know that you can die of water intoxication?

Sarah Yeah, I did. When you take drugs like e – you have to be careful not to drink too much water.

Jim Do many people die like that?

Sarah I don’t think so – but there’ve been a few famous cases.

Jim How much water did they drink?

Sarah This English girl drank 7 litres of water in 90 minutes.

Jim 7 litres? Wow.


How far away from the beach do togs become undies?
Skin tight swimming togs: an item of clothing you’d happily wear in public, but not in public.
So how far is too far? Let’s begin.
Togs, togs, togs, togs, togs, togs, togs, togs, togs, togs, undies.
Undies, undies, undies, undies.

If you can’t see the water, you’re in underpants.
Local supermarkets, pedestrian crossings, office buildings, public transport.
Anywhere more than 300 meters from the water’s edge – all underpant transformation areas.
If we treat the budgie smuggler with respect – undies, undies, undies, togs -
everyone wins.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Show 260 Thursday 18 January

Watch today's show at YouTube or BlipTV.

Hi, I’m Sarah. Welcome to The Daily English Show.

We had a party on Saturday night to celebrate the 250th show. Most people who came didn’t actually know it was the 250th show celebration. They were like: “What’s The Daily English Show”.

I’ve decided to have another party to celebrate the 300th show. It’s going to be on Saturday the 24th of February.
And this time I think it would be a good idea if we had some free drinks.

So I’m going to ask some companies if they would like to provide some drinks for the party. I’m going to ask Heineken first because I like Heineken and I was just reading an article about them on the net.
I’m going to ask them for 300 cans of beer – because it’s the 300th snow celebration.
I think it’s a great opportunity ... their product will feature on the classiest show on the internet. Like this.

I’m going to email them and see what they say. If they say no I’m just going to try another company and keep asking people until somebody says yes ... or until I get sick of it and give up.

Speaking of advertising... I have another NZ ad to introduce today. Mmm this has turned into NZ ad week.
This one isn’t for beer – it’s for a kind of soft drink that I’ve never heard of.
I think it’s a great ad. This is the story...
So, there are three guys and a girl in a flat and the girl walks into the shower. Then one of the guys thinks of a cunning plan – they pretend to leave. But they don’t actually leave, they stay there. And they get the phone to ring. They ring the flat’s phone with a cell phone. The girl in the shower hears the phone ringing and comes out to answer the phone and she opens the door and they’re all sitting there waiting.
It’s really funny.

Interesting language points in this video:

The use of eh and ow.
Eh is really common in NZ. I don’t how to spell it ... eh or aye?
It usually works as a question tag, like: isn’t it? haven’t you? doesn’t he?
For example:
You’re a student aye?
He’s got a car aye?
They’re coming tonight aye?

The example in this video is: We’ll see you there, aye, Jess.
So in this sentence it’s basically the same as the question tag shall we?
You could replace it with: We’ll see you there shall we Jess.

Ow I talked about before when I introduced Bro Town.
There’s a really popular phrase from Bro Town: Not even ow which means: that’s not true.
Ow is just an extra word to ad emphasis or to be friendly.

When he’s pretending to leave, one guy says: See you, ow.
Which basically means the same as: see you mate or see you buddy.


Kia ora, this is Stick News. Late last year the big news involving Google was that it bought YouTube. The company has just announced its next exciting project: it’s going to build a telescope.

A telescope is an instrument that makes distant objects appear nearer.
Recently the staff at google got bored of surfing the net and watching YouTube videos ... so they decided to build a telescope.
The telescope is going to cost $350 million to build.
To make money off the project, Google is planning to put ads along half of the telescope screen.

And that was Stick News for Thursday the 18th of January.
Kia Ora.

the snow report

It snowed quite heavily today.

conversations with sarah
#157 Who’s Lindsay Lohan?

Step 1: Repeat Jun’s lines.
Step 2: Read Jun’s lines and talk to Sarah.

Jun What are you reading?

Sarah Hollywood gossip.

Jun What’s new?

Sarah Mmm. Lindsay Lohan has entered rehab.

Jun Who’s Lindsay Lohan?

Sarah I think she’s an actress. But I’ve never actually seen any of her movies. I don’t if she’s actually a serious actress ... or if she’s just a celebrity who happens to be in movies.

Jun Does she have a drug problem?

Sarah Um, it doesn’t say – but, yeah, I guess so.


Today's news.

Watch today's ad here.


Hurry up!
Shut up!
Ha ha ha shut up.
You shut up.
Turn it off.
We’ll see you there eh Jess.
See you, ow.
Bye, Jess.
It’s for you!

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Show 259 Wednesday 17 January

Watch today’s show at YouTube or BlipTV.

Hi, I’m Sarah. Welcome to The Daily English Show.

Today we have a special guest on the show again. I’d like to introduce the producer and star of the world’s first and only daily internet English language program – The Daily English Show.

Hi Sarah, thanks for coming on the show.
Hey. So ... what’s it like ... having Paparazzi chase you wherever you go?
Oh, It’s a pain in the arse.

Mmm, I can imagine.
So, what you do when they start crowding around you?

Mmm. I kick them.

OK.... Um, so, why do you think the show has been so successful ?

Well the presenter is just fantastic and the producer is too ... oh, look I don’t have time for any more questions. I’ve got to go to another interview.

Ooookaaaay. Wow. She was a bit full of herself. Hmm I hope the next guest we have is a bit better than that.

Anyway... I have another NZ beer ad to introduce today.
I think advertisements are really good for studying English. Because they’re usually short and entertaining and they usually contain some interesting and useful language.

This one is a new one I think. Well it’s new to me anyway ... I came across it on YouTube.

It’s set in a pub in heaven and three beer saints have to decide who deserves a DB. DB is a kind of NZ beer.

There are several interesting language points in this ad.

Firstly, the use of mate.
For example: Where you been mate? (You’ll notice that have has been left out – you can do that in informal speech, in NZ anyway).
Other examples:
Ah, nowhere special, mate.
Here you go, mate.

Mate is common in NZ and Australia and maybe England too ... I’m not sure.
In NZ it’s mostly used by men – but some women use it too.
If you’d like to try using it, you can just put it at the end of any sentence. You can put at the end of every sentence if you like.

Hey mate.
How’s it going mate?
Not bad mate.
Nice weather aye mate.
Yeah mate.
Want a beer mate?
Oh, cheers, mate.
No worries, mate.

To drop something off usually means deliver something or someone.
For example: drop the kids off to school.
But in this video he uses it literally ... to understate what he did – because he’s being modest.

Another interesting point is the notion that desk jobs or office jobs are somehow soft or less cool than non-office jobs like truck driving or sports like rugby.

I think this is common in NZ advertising.

And I think this is interesting if you compare it to the message which comes through with Japanese advertising which is that a desk job is ideal.


Kia ora in Stick News today the latest craze to hit Japan has caused a nation-wide Natto shortage.

Natto is a popular food in Japan, well known for its delicious taste and great health benefits.
But last week a celebrity announced on TV that natto was good for your skin. According to the pop singer and variety show presenter – washing your face with natto every morning will make you look 5 years younger and is 10 times more effective than Botox at eliminating wrinkles.
Japan is now gripped with natto fever. Millions of people have thrown away their usual beauty products and are now washing their face with natto.

And that was Stick News for Wednesday the 17th of January.
Kia Ora.

the snow report

There was no fresh snow today.

conversations with sarah
#156 What kind of facial cleanser do you use?

Step 1: Repeat Junko’s lines.
Step 2: Read Junko’s lines and talk to Sarah.

Junko What kind of facial cleanser do you use?

Sarah Ah, none. I just use water.

Junko Really?

Sarah Yeah. I don’t wear make-up so I don’t really need to use a cleanser.

Junko Why don’t you wear make-up?

Sarah No special reason really. I just personally don’t think make-up looks that nice. And I’d rather do other things with my time than put on make-up.

Junko Do women in New Zealand usually wear make-up?

Sarah Um, that’s an good question. I’m not sure what percentage of people do or don’t.


Well, let’s see what we’ve got today.
Hey Macca. Where you been mate?
Ah, nowhere special, mate. Just had to drop something off.
Well done. Well that man deserves a DB.
That man deserves a DB.
Here you go, mate.
Busy day? Oh, flat out.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Show 258 Tuesday 16 January

Watch today's show at YouTube or BlipTV.

Hi, I’m Sarah. Welcome to The Daily English Show.
Today I’m going to introduce another NZ beer ad.

When I was a kid I was really into ballet – I studied that for 5 years. And then the next thing that I got really obsessed with was rugby league. Not playing, just watching. This was one of the ads that was always on during the league.

Cause we are ...
Red-blooded, blood brothers
Red blooded and we’ve all got different mothers.
Red blooded, blood brothers
And there’s only one beer we drink round here mate. And it’s not blue, black labeled, double colour, brown or green.
It’s red mate, like a fire engine and it comes in a bottle or can. And it’s got a little lion on it.
Aye? Ha ha ha.

So have a look at that – check the blog for the link and the words to that song.

There’s no deep meaning to that ad really – just we love drinking this beer, kind of thing.

Here’s a look at some of the vocab:

He says: And all those 15 bucks a throw champagne cocktails that can make my sister extremely, violently, horribly sick.

Bucks means dollars.
A throw means each.
So 15 bucks a throw means 15 dollars each.

Extremely, violently, horribly all mean very basically.

So what he means is: those expensive cocktails that can make my sister very, very, very sick.

A power lunch is: a lunch at which businesspeople or others of influence discuss work or issues in an informal setting

Red-blooded is an adj. which means: full of strength and energy, often sexual energy.

A blood brother is: a man who has promised to treat another man as his brother, usually in a ceremony in which their blood is mixed together.

But I don’t know if that’s what they mean by blood brothers in this ad. I don’t really know what they mean. Anyway...

The image of this beer is for sports people and for people who are proud of not being posh.
So that’s why he says he doesn’t want magaritas, or champaign cocktails because those things are supposed to be posh or perhaps feminine – and not suitable for a real man or a red-blooded man.

I think this ad is just a bit of fun ... but if you actually seriously had that attitude then ... that’s quite ridiculous.

I have come across those attitudes though – I’m a real man so I can only drink beer. Drinking another kind of drink would compromise my masculinity. And it makes me think ... perhaps they’ve been taking the marketing campaigns a little bit too seriously.


Kia ora in Stick News today the Kutchan Mayoral elections are this Sunday and the town is now suffering from chronic noise pollution.

In Japan a popular way of appealing for votes in an election is to drive around deafening the local residents with loud speakers.
Aspiring politicians also hire women to work during the campaign. Their job involves waving, smiling, bowing, shouting and shaking hands.
They also hire a woman to shout over the loud speaker. Her title is uguisu jyo. An uguisu (鶯) is a kind of bird which makes an annoying sound.
In the run up to the elections sleeping in is impossible and the ministry of health advices people to wear ear plugs at all times to avoid serious ear damage.

And that was Stick News for Tuesday the 16th of January.
Kia Ora.

the snow report

Snow has been building up on top of the car recently. Today it finally fell off when we braked for some lights on the way to the vege shop. It was like an avalanche.

conversations with sarah
#155 What’s that noise?

Step 1: Repeat Carl’s lines.
Step 2: Read Carl’s lines and talk to Sarah.

Carl What’s that noise?

Sarah It’s a local politician campaigning. The elections are coming up.

Carl It’s so loud!

Sarah Yeah, it’s crazy.

Carl What are they actually saying?

Sarah Not much. My name is ... Thank you. If you vote for me I’ll work very hard. That kind of thing.

Carl You’d think they’d actually get less votes by driving around annoying everyone with a loud speaker.

Sarah Yeah, but everyone does it ... so I guess people are just used to it.

Lion Red ad
Watch here.


C’mon Mick.
No.. All right! Hahaha.

You can keep your magaritas and your executive Irish stouts.
And your ??? Mexican beers with some fruit down the spout.

Your ??? and power lunches and and cheeries on a stick.
And all those 15 bucks a throw champagne cocktails that can make my sister extremely, violently, horribly sick.

Cause we are ...

Red-blooded, blood brothers
Red blooded and we’ve all got different mothers.
Red blooded, blood brothers

And there’s only one beer we drink round here mate. And it’s not blue, black labeled, double colour, brown or green.
It’s red mate, like a fire engine and it comes in a bottle or can. And it’s got a little lion on it.

Aye? Ha ha ha.

Red blooded, blood brothers.
Red blooded, and we’ve all got different mothers.
Well some of us have.

Wo ho ho Here’s the guitar. Ha ha ha.

Red blooded, blood brothers.
Red blooded, and we’ve all got different mothers.

Same song, wins every year.

Show 257 Monday 15 January

Watch today's show at YouTube or BlipTV.

Hi, I’m Sarah. Welcome to The Daily English Show.
There is a radio station in Kutchan called FM Niseko.
And I went there today as a guest on the one of the shows, which was really fun. I haven’t talked on radio for a long time... so it really bought back memories.
So I’m planning to do a show about that on Saturday.

Today I want to talk to you about a great discovery I made. I found an ad on YouTube which I’ve been looking for ages. It is one of my all time favourite ads.

It’s for a NZ beer called Speights. Speights is a Dunedin beer – Dunedin’s at the bottom of the South Island.
And in its marketing they say it’s for real southern men.

What’s a Southern man?
This is from wikipedia: In New Zealand, the southern man is a stereotypical southern rugged male, well used to the loneliness and conditions of open mountain or hill country, and completely out of his depth in the city.

In this ad there are two southern men on a farm and the older one says to the younger one:
I hear you’ve been seeing a city girl.

And he doesn’t sound impressed – because southern men aren’t supposed to like the city.
To see means to date – in NZ people don’t really use the verb date.

Then the younger guy says: Yip. She wants me to go up to Auckland with her.

Yip is the same as yeah or yes. It’s really common in NZ. Like when I was at school and the teacher called the roll almost everybody said yip or yi’.

Then the older guy says: Oh yeah. What’s the attraction up there?

This means – why do you want to go there? Southern men don’t like cities – especially not Auckland. And Auckland is the biggest city in NZ so it’s popular to hate it.

And he replies: A place on the harbour, 500 SL Mercedes, 80 foot yacht and her old man’s got a box at Eden Park.

A place
means a house. And a place on the harbour means a place near the water – which must be expensive.

Old man means father.
A box at Eden Park ... Eden Park is a sports stadium for rugby I think. And the boxes are the rooms at the top of the stadium where you can watch the game from.

Then the old guy says: Oh yeah.

And the young guy says: She doesn’t drink Speights, but.
This is interesting non-standard grammar - using but at the end of a sentence. I don’t know if this is a New Zealand thing but I used to use it quite a lot. For example, instead of saying “but it’s good”, I said, “it’s good, but”. I don’t know if people still talk like that or not.

Then the old guy says:
She’s a hard road finding the perfect woman, boy.
This means: It’s hard to find the perfect woman.

And the young guy replies:
Reckon. Still, no hurry aye.
Reckon means: I reckon ... which means I think so too. It’s really common in New Zealand to use reckon instead of think.

And then the final line is:
Good on you, mate.

So to sum it up: this guy found the perfect woman – except for the fact that she doesn’t drink the right kind of beer, so he’s not going to be with her.
I love it because it’s so ridiculous. And the acting’s great.


Kia ora in Stick News today the time on the Doomsday Clock may change on Wednesday, for the first time in 5 years.

Some people think the earth will be destroyed one day. This day is called doomsday.
In 1947, a magazine called the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists made a clock called the Doomsday Clock. When this clock hits midnight it will be the end of the world.
Its initial time was 7 minutes to midnight and it has been moved 17 times since then.
In 1953, when America and Russia both tested nuclear weapons the time was 2 minutes to midnight. And in 1991 when everyone seemed to be getting along, it was 17 minutes to
The current time is seven to twelve.
It’s expected to move closer to midnight on Wednesday thanks to the handful of countries who either have lots of nuclear weapons or who want to have them.

And that was Stick News for Monday 15th of January.
Kia Ora.

the snow report

On Saturday night we were talking away and all of a sudden we heard this big noise – it was the landlord clearing the snow for us using a digger.
Cool! Forget what I said on Saturday - this is how you clear snow.

conversations with sarah
#154 What’s the attraction up there?

Step 1: Repeat Old Man’s lines.
Step 2: Read Old Man’s lines and talk to Sarah.

Old Man I hear you’ve been seeing a city girl.

Young Man Yip. She wants me to go up to Auckland with her.

Old Man Oh yeah. What’s the attraction up there?

Young Man A place on the harbour, 500 SL Mercedes, 80 foot yacht and her old man’s got a box at Eden Park.

Old Man Oh yeah.

Young Man She doesn’t drink Speights, but.

Old Man She’s a hard road finding the perfect woman, boy.

Young Man Reckon. Still, no hurry aye.

Old Man Good on you, mate.

Monday, January 15, 2007

#256 Peperoncino

Watch today's show at YouTube or BlipTV.

Sunday Kitchen #32 Peperoncino

Saturday, January 13, 2007

#255 How To Clear Snow

Watch today's show at YouTube or BlipTV.

How to clear snow.

Step 1. Check the time. You can only clear now during odd numbered hours. For example, from 7 to 8 or 9 to 10.
During these times water is flowing in this special snow clearing drain. Water flows in from a nearby river and flows out again back into the river. This drain is for snow only.

Step 2. Put on some boots.

Step 3. Put on some gloves.

Step 4. Clear the snow from the top of the grate.

Step 5. Open the grate.

Step 6. Clear the snow. If it’s soft, you can use the purple tool.

Step 7. Clean around the grate. Make sure there’s no snow here or else it will get frozen shut.

Step 8. Close the grate and repeat this process almost every day throughout winter. Oh joy.

Friday, January 12, 2007

Show 254 Friday 12 January

Watch today's show at YouTube or BlipTV.

Hi, I’m Sarah. Welcome to The Daily English Show.

Etymology is a noun which means:
The study of the origin and history of words and their meanings.
And The origin and history of a particular word.

I think etymology is fascinating. Because I’m a language geek I guess.
But I love thinking of a word and then looking up where it came from.
For example: umbrella.
Umbrella came into the English language in the 17th century from Italian.
It comes from the Italian word ombrella dimin. of ombra which means shade.
So it came from Italian.

One of the things I love about my dictionary is that it has the origins of words. Not all dictionaries do. See, check it out.
By the way, most English students in Japan have these kind(s) of dictionaries. But I’ve met a lot of people who don’t know how to use them properly.
Actually I don’t know a lot of the functions either. But there’s one button which is my favorite button: the jump button.
You can have fun for hours with the dictionary, with the jump button. Because there might be a word in the definition that you’re not quite sure about. So you jump to that word and then you find another word. And you’re like hmm what does this mean ... and then before you know it, hours have passed.
Like before I saw dimin. And I thought “oh, I wonder what that means” and then ...
And it means “Diminutive”
adj. extremely or unusually small
n. a shortened form of a name, typically used informally
And there’s an etymology dictionary on the internet which I recommend checking out.
So, have a look here.


Kia ora in Stick News today David Beckham is moving to America. He’s going to play soccer for five years for a team called Los Angeles Galaxy.

David Beckham is a 31-year-old soccer player from England. He used to play for the English team Manchester United. Since 2003 he’s been playing for Real Madrid in Spain.
Now he’s moving to America.
He’s going to be paid 1 million dollars a week.
His wife Victoria likes pretty clothes, so her nickname is Posh. Media are now speculating that she’ll have fun hanging out in LA with her movie star friends.

And that was Stick News for Friday the 12th of January.
Kia Ora.

the snow report

This is what the snow looks like in front of the studio windows today.
It doesn’t look much different that yesterday really.
My injury’s still not better, so I can’t go snowboarding.
This is sad.

conversations with sarah
#153 What’s middle English?

Step 1: Repeat Kaoru’s lines.
Step 2: Read Kaoru’s lines and talk to Sarah.

Sarah Tell me a word you want to know the etymology of.

Kaoru OK. Pen.

Sarah Pen? Ok then. Pen is from Middle English which is from Old French penne from Latin penna which means feather.

Kaoru Oh. What’s Middle English?

Sarah It’s one of the kinds of English that came before Modern English which is what we speak now. Have you heard of Chaucer?

Kaoru Yeah. Canterbury Tales right?

Sarah Yeah. Have you read it?

Kaoru Only in Japanese.

Sarah Oh, OK. Well that’s Middle English.

Kaoru Can you understand it?

Sarah No, not really. I took a paper at university of Middle English, but it was kind of hard.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Show 253 Thursday 11 January

Watch today’s show at YouTube or BlipTV

HI, I’m Sarah. Welcome to The Daily English Show.

Someone called me a moron yesterday on YouTube or it might have been this morning. I can’t remember. Anyway ... it wasn’t on one of my videos it was on another video because obviously they didn’t like the comment that I wrote. I thought that was a bit harsh. If you don’t like someone’s comment I think it’s better to explain why. But anyway, each to their own.

It thought it was kind of funny at first, so I told my boyfriend. But he was like “what’s a moron”. So he didn’t know that word. Because it’s not the kind of word that you usually learn when you’re studying English. It’s not very useful for a start.

But I thought I would teach you it – because does help to understand if you want to read comments on YouTube.

moron noun (informal) an offensive way of referring to sb that you think is very stupid.
Examples: They’re a bunch of morons. You moron! Now look what you’ve done.

And the adjective is moronic. So, for example: a moronic stare, a moronic TV programme.
So this is one of those words where the stress changes depending on if it’s a noun or adjective.

So, yeah, it’s an offensive word so I don’t recommend using it.

Another word that you often come across when you read YouTube comments is retard.
That word is used so often ... I swear it must be one of the most common words after a and the. And before I started using You Tube I hadn’t heard it for a long time ... not since primary school I think. Because it’s another offensive word and it’s not a word that most adults wouldn’t use.

retard noun (slang) an offensive way of describing somebody who is not intelligent or who has not developed normally.

And the adjective is pronounced retarded. So, again, the stress changes.

The word is also a verb which has a different pronunciation and a different meaning too.
It’s a formal verb which means delay or hold back in terms of development or progress.

For example: The progression of the disease can be retarded by early surgery.

So the noun and the adjective are offensive and the verb is formal. So you’ll probably never use any of them. Wow, today’s lesson was useful.

But I guarantee you’ll come across those informal, offensive words when you’re reading YouTube comments.

So your homework today is - go and find a popular video – say off the featured page or most viewed or most discussed and count how many times you see the words moron, moronic, retard and retarded.


Kia ora in Stick News today a man who killed four people while driving drunk last year has been sentenced to 6 years in prison.

Last year in Kasugai, Aichi Prefecture, a 27-year-old man, Ken Kuwayama, drove after drinking. He drove through a red light and crashed into a taxi.
The taxi driver and three passengers died.
The Nagoya District Court sentenced him to six years in prison.

That was Stick News for Thursday the 11th of January.
Kia Ora.

the snow report

There’s a big mountain of snow outside my window. Wow.

conversations with sarah
#152 What happened to the truck driver?

Step 1: Repeat Toby’s lines.
Step 2: Read Toby’s lines and talk to Sarah.

Toby Do you know someone that was killed by a drunk driver?

Sarah Not any of my close friends or family… but some people in the town where I’m from.

Toby From your school?

Sarah Yeah, three sisters died together. I remember a guy was driving a truck when he was drunk and he crashed into a car with a whole family inside.

Toby And they all died?

Sarah All of them except the father.

Toby Really? So his wife and all his kids died?

Sarah Yeah.

Toby What happened to the truck driver?

Sarah He survived. I remember he got money from the government because he was sick or he couldn’t work or something and some people weren’t very happy about that.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Show 252 Wednesday 10 January

Watch today’s show at YouTube or BlipTV

Hi, I’m Sarah. Welcome to The Daily English Show.

After watching the How Not To Use Chopsticks video, some people commented that they’d broken some of the rules – especially the one where you rest the chopsticks on your bowl when you’re not using them.

But I wouldn’t worry about it too much. That’s not one of the very important rules – like say, standing your chopsticks up in the rice. That’s bad because that’s what they do at funerals. The same with passing stuff from chopsticks to chopsticks.
They do that with bones at funerals.

I got those rules from a really long list from Japanese Wikipedia and other sites. And a lot of the things on that list, most people in Japan don’t know.

It’s like western-style eating, there are some basic rules that most people know like “don’t eat with your mouth open” or “don’t play with your food” and there are some other rules that most people don’t care about.

Like in Pretty Woman where she’s trying to learn which fork to use when.
I think most people don’t know about those kind of rules.


Kia ora in Stick News today a private girls’ high school in Japan has decided to test applicants on their ability to use chopsticks.

A private girls’ high school in Nagasaki wants to make sure it accepts the right kind of girls. So they’re administering a chopstick test.
The 10-minute test will be on 31st January and applicants will be asked to transfer six types of small objects from one plate to another using specially designed chopsticks with a hexagonal surface.
The objects are marbles, dice, beads and three types of beans.

That was Stick News for Wednesday the 10th of January.
Kia Ora.

the snow report

Yuki kaki or clearing snow was wildly exciting about the first 5 times I did it. But now it’s just a pain in the arse. So I decided that I don’t really need to clear all the snow. Just enough to get out the door.

conversations with sarah
#151 Did you have to do a test to get into high school?

Step 1: Repeat Megumi’s lines.
Step 2: Read Megumi’s lines and talk to Sarah.

Megumi Did you have to do a test to get into high school?

Sarah No. No way!

Megumi What do you mean no way?

Sarah Well, there was only one high school near where I lived – so everyone had to go to that one.

Megumi Are there usually tests to get into high schools in NZ?

Sarah I don’t think so.

Megumi How about private schools?

Sarah Yeah, maybe there is but I’ve never heard of anyone doing a test to get into a high school. I think you just have to pay a lot of money.