Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Show 476 Wednesday 22 August

Watch today’s show at YouTube or BlipTV.

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

In Japan, when you go out for dinner or drinks - and you’re an English speaker - someone will often ask you a question like: Are you strong with alcohol?

This question doesn’t make sense in English.
What it means is:
Do you have a high tolerance for alcohol?
Or: Do you get drunk easily?
Or: Can you drink a lot of alcohol?

But even these questions ... seem kind of weird for most English speakers, I think.

Talking about how much alcohol you can drink is maybe normal if it’s teenagers having the conversation.

Last night I had a dozen and I was sweet as.
He’s so soft, he only had a six pack and he was off his face.

Well, New Zealand teenagers anyway ... maybe other countries are a bit more civilized.

Anyway, I would consider it pretty weird if, say, here in Canada, I sat down with a group of adults and we were drinking some wine with dinner and then someone suddenly turned to me and said: Sarah, can you drink a lot of alcohol?

But in Japan this question is perfectly normal and very common.

(osake tsuyoi desu ka?)

And this is the reason why. It’s actually to do with race – one of the few things that actually does depend on race. Ah, Asians - well I don’t know about all Asians, but Japanese, Koreans and Chinese anyway - a lot of them have a kind of gene which means they have a lower tolerance for alcohol.
I didn’t know this before I went to Japan and the first time I saw someone like that who had a low tolerance I was so shocked, because they go bright red like a tomato and not just their face, but their whole body. And the first time I saw it I thought they were going to die or something and I thought, “Shouldn’t we call an ambulance?” But everyone around them was acting perfectly normal.

So some people in Japan have that reaction and they just drink anyway. And some people drink like this much alcohol and they get really drunk, so they just don’t drink. And other people can drink a lot.

But for Caucasian people like me, that reaction is not so common. In fact, I don’t know anyone like that actually. So the issue isn’t can you drink a lot – it’s more do you or do you want to. For example, in New Zealand, some people don’t drink alcohol for religious reasons, or just because they don’t like it for some reason. And some people are alcoholics so they can’t drink it.


Kia Ora, in Stick News today, China Airlines have painted over their name on their burnt-out plane in Japan.

On Monday, a China Airlines plane landed in Okinawa, Japan. Eight minutes after it landed it burst into flames.
All of the 165 passengers and crew escaped.
The plane’s mangled body is still lying at Naha airport while investigators check the remains.
Last night China Airlines painted over the company’s name and the flower symbol with white paint.
Wikipedia says China Airlines is notorious for its poor safety record, described as "one of the worst safety records of any airline in the world.

And that was Stick News for Wednesday the 22nd of August.
Kia Ora.

conversations with sarah
#293 Didn’t you fly China Airlines?

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

Jim Didn’t you fly China Airlines?

Sarah Yip.

Jim Weren’t you worried about safety?

Sarah No. I vaguely remember something about planes crashing a lot in China, but I didn’t really think much about it.

Jim Why did you choose China Airlines?

Sarah The price. It was the cheapest.

Jim It’s better to be poor than dead though, don’t you think?

Sarah Mmm, yeah, I guess so. But even though they crash a lot it doesn’t mean the plane that I’m on is going to crash.

Jim It’s not like you know which flight is going to crash.

Sarah Yeah. I’d like a ticket for the flight that isn’t going to crash please.


today's news
today's STICK NEWS pictures


show start, cws start, qa start
artist: Matthew Tyas
album: Music for the movies vol1
tracks: Superheros, Intellectuel, Three ways to run away
from: Oloron Sainte-Marie, France
album at Jamendo
artist at Jamendo
artist site

cws bgm
artist: San Sebastian
track: mellow
artist site

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