Monday, April 16, 2007

Show 348 Monday 16 April

Watch today’s show at YouTube or BlipTV.

Hi, I’m Sarah. Welcome to The Daily English Show.
Today’s guest is Mike.
Mike is a snowboard instructor from Scotland.
Apart from snowboarding he also likes skateboarding and surfing.
He came to Japan in November 2005 to work as a snowboard instructor. Then after working on the mountain, during summer he drove around Japan and slept in his car and went surfing every day.

In the conversation today you’ll get a chance to ask him about his Japanese study.

I also asked him about the quality of snow in the different places he has been and also about whether he enjoys teaching snowboarding.

How would you describe the snow in the places you’ve been?
Scottish snow is ah, a good mixture of ice and rocks. Ah, more rocks (?) actually.
And when it does actually snow. It does go across the way rather than down the way. Which is quite nice.
Ah, Canadian snow ... their season when I was there wasn’t so good. Um, but when it did snow, it snowed nicely. Good, good powder snow.
Ah, Niseko snow on the other hand, is awesome. Best snow I’ve found. And I think it’s, I think people would agree with me. It’s pretty much the best snow on the planet.

Do you enjoy teaching snowboarding?
I love it. Yeah. Um, I’m quite fortunate that I do get a variety of students when I teach. And I teach, you know, from absolute beginners all the way up to advanced riders. Ah, each lesson’s different. Each lesson I do is ah, tailored for the individual. Um cause everyone’s got their own rate of learning. And I get something different out of type, each lesson.
Um, for an example, beginner lesson. You see people progressing, they’re actually enjoying themselves and learning something new. And I get a kick out of that. I get a buzz. Um, for an intermediate or advanced rider, you can ... it’s fun just to go riding. And ... usually the, the student will enjoy that too. Cause they’re ah, going places they never would have gone before. Ah, being challenged and ah, hopefully having a lot of fun. Because that’s, that’s what snowboarding’s all about. And that’s what I try to promote.

Mike also taught me a bit of Scottish English.

In Scottish, if you want to say yes you say aye. In Japanese, if you want to say yes you go hai. So, you know, there’s not much of a change for me there. Quite good.

Um, (?) literally is going to not do that so stop what you’re doing please.


Kia ora, in Stick News today some religious men in Pakistan are angry after a politician was caught hugging.

Pakistan’s Tourism Minister went parachuting in France.
The jump was at a charity event to raise money for earthquake victims.
After the jump the minister hugged her instructor.
Some religious men back home weren’t happy when they saw photos of the hug.
They said it was obscene and objectionable.
But the minister herself wasn’t too worried.
She said: “I do not feel ashamed at all for what I did and I am not afraid of anyone except God."

And that was Stick News for Monday the 16th of April.
Kia Ora.

conversations with sarah
#215 Could you speak Japanese before you came here?
Step 1: Repeat Sarah’s lines.
Step 2: Read Sarah’s lines and talk to Mike.

Sarah Could you speak Japanese before you came here?

Mike Absolutely not. I was terrible. I tried. I got tapes and things. But it didn’t really work. Because I’m not very good with tapes.

Sarah So you started studying when you got here?

Mike I did actually yeah. And I had a lot of help from ah, some Japanese friends I met when I first arrived. Um, especially a girl ah, called Chie. And she had very, very little English. And I had very, very little Japanese. But we became good friends and ah, helped each other quite a bit.
Sarah How did you study?

Mike I studied Japanese mostly using a small notebook. I kept it in my pocket everywhere I went. I’ve still got it. Still fill it, fill it out. And ah, anytime I heard an interesting word, or a word that I knew I’d forget – cause ah, most words go in there and out there. Um, I’d write them down. And ah, so I’ve got this book full of ... It’s almost like a diary actually. And I can see, I can remember exactly what that conversation was about and when it was written. Um, but I used that to study. And then, ah, when I went back to Scotland last year for a few months I got a few lessons to help my grammar. Ah, my Japanese is now terrible. Ah, but it’s better than it was. Which is good.

Sarah What are your goals with Japanese?

Mike I’d say my, my goals with Japanese are mainly to become proficient. At the moment I can communicate ... ah and most of my Japanese is very practical Japanese. In fact, you know, when I speak I can change between casual and ah, casual and polite. And ah, Kansai-ben and Hokkaido-ben all the one sentence. Not deliberately of course.

Sarah How did you learn Kansai-ben?

Mike I know a few words in Kansai-ben mostly because ah, I have a good friend in Osaka, ah, that I stayed with for about a month.
And this season, ah, some of the people I met and became good friends with are from Osaka, as well. So hanging out with them, I’ve been getting all the Kansai words, rather than the Tokyo words.

Sarah How did you cope with the language when you were traveling by yourself around Japan?

Mike Barely. Um, language proved to be quite ah, quite difficult and quite challenging. Um, but I learned as I went and if there was something I needed to say to someone ah, I could always plan it in advance. Um, many things became second nature to me. Such as, ah, getting petrol, gasoline. Um, going into combenis and asking for various bits and bobs. Um, but, ah, the language was challenging. And I think I did very well, considering.


Today's news.


artist: Klotzsch & Sudermann
album: Holzlaub
track: Thuja Plicata
From: Cologne, Germany

You can download this album here.