Monday, November 10, 2008

#882 Christopher From Seattle, USA, New Zealand General Election

Show 882 Monday 10 November
Watch today’s show at YouTube or BlipTV.

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

Today a friend came to visit and I asked him if he’d like to do an interview and be a guest on The Daily English Show. And since he was already sitting on the yellow couch, he couldn’t really escape.

Christopher is from Seattle in the United States and he’s the first real-life American I’ve seen since the election so I asked him what he thought about Obama’s victory.

I’m really happy that Obama won. I think McCain would’ve been a fine president. Either candidate would, would’ve been a marked improvement over the last eight years. Um, but I was really happy to see Obama elected, his politics are closer to mine than McCain’s. Um, yeah, and I think it, ah, yeah, I think it marks a new direction for, ah, you know, for the American government. And also, it’ll make it a lot easier as an American to live overseas because, um, you know, for better or worse the, the president represents all of us, as Americans. And, ah, when I was being represented by Bush, I wasn’t the … I was not the most popular person at the party.


Kia Ora in Stick News today New Zealand has a new government and a new prime minister.

Aotearoa is a small country in the South Pacific. Every three years the country has a general election. The latest election was held on Saturday and now there’s a new government. According to a column in a newspaper called the Herald Sun, National managed to defeat Labour in the election without offering any major policy differences. The article said New Zealanders voted for change with all the reasoning power of a doped slug. The new prime minister is John Key. The article described Key as a smug squillionaire, who beamed with self-importance during his victory speech. And told a story about how he had been a poor little boy who became very, very rich all on his own as an individual. John Key made his millions working as an investment banker for Merrill Lynch where co-workers called him “the smiling assassin”.

And that was Stick News for Friday the 7th of November.
Kia Ora.

conversations with sarah
#548 What are your favourite websites?

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

Sarah When did you come to Japan?

Chris I first came to Japan in 2000, ah, just to visit, but, ah, I came here, I came back to live in 2002 and I’ve been here more or less ever since.

Sarah You taught at a language school when you first moved here. Did you enjoy that?

Chris Yeah, it was nice, it was actually, ah, it was a good introduction, I think, to Japan. Just because right, right away, ah, you get to meet a lot of different people from a lot of different walks of life. And they all have, you know, they all have some English ability and my, I didn’t have much Japanese ability at the time, so …

Sarah So when you first came to Japan, you didn’t speak any Japanese?

Chris Well, actually it’s, it’s funny, I studied Japanese at university. But, um, so I could read and write pretty well, I mean not, you know, not perfectly, but I knew a lot of kanji and stuff, but I couldn’t order an ice cream cone in Japanese, you know, I just … conversation was not my strong point, so …

Sarah What did you do to improve your Japanese once you came here?

Chris Um, well, I made, ah, I made a lot of Japanese friends, ah, which is, you know, real easy to do, um, great people here. And, ah, I spent a lot of time studying - my first year or two, I haven’t studied recently. But, ah, the first year or two, I spent a lot of time studying. Ah, and yeah, it … and also, yeah, the studies I did in collage definitely helped me to improve faster, probably, than average. So, um, yeah.

Sarah What do you do now?

Chris Basically I do, ah, systems development. Ah, web applications, ah, internet media. Ah, mostly internet-related technology development, things like that. Um, yeah, I, ah, I run a website for, ah, for people who live in and around Kutchan called The Kutchannel. Um, yeah, I’m happy that, you know, a few people are using that. Um, I, ah, a couple of ah, local companies have hired me to help them implement web applications, ah, reservation systems, ah, just standard websites, advertising, ah, you know their properties or their services.

Sarah What are your favourite websites?

Chris I guess, I think I spend most of my time on, ah, Slate, ah, dot com, which is, ah, sort of like news commentary coming out of the states.
Um, I also like the Onion, ah, it’s really dry humour. Um, it’s kind of an interesting concept. Ah, they, they take a headline and then they write the story. So they just distribute headlines to their staff. And the staff take some crazy headline and then just make an entire story out of it. And, yeah, pretty dry but always amusing.

Sarah Do you have any advice for people who are learning English?

Chris I think it’s just important not to be nervous. I think it’s important to, you know, just get out there and use it. And of course study, especially initially, um, because you, you need those, um, those, you know, building blocks in order to, you know, really fully comprehend a new language. And also the ties that culture has with language as well. I think it’s hard to learn a language if you don’t immerse yourself in the culture a little bit. Ah, I know that for me in Japanese there was a lot of concepts, a lot of words, um, and a lot of grammar and a lot of sayings that I would not have understood if I didn’t have a more in-depth understanding of the culture.

Sarah Why did you decide to study Japanese at university?

Chris Yeah, people, people ask me that question a lot. Um, I studied French. I studied French in, in high school and, ah, I didn’t remember much of it. And I don’t know, I had a lot of, um, a lot of Japanese-American friends, there’s a lot of Japanese-Americans in Seattle. In fact there’s a lot of Japanese, both immigrants and tourists that come to Seattle. Ah, there’s, ah, so there’s a lot of connections between where I grew up and Japan. And so it just kind of seemed like natural, you know, natural to want to learn Japanese. When I chose to study it I had no idea that I’d end up living here for, you know, six, six years or more. Or settling here, which might be the case. So, but ah, yeah, much respect, I don’ t know, maybe it was just fate.


show start
artist: Boom Tschak
album: Indietronic CCBit.
track: More Chocolate, Please
from: Former Yugoslavia

cws start
artist: Wolfgang S.
album: Indietronic CCBit.
track: Dynamite
from: Belgrade, Serbia, Former Yugoslavia
artist site

qa start
artist: ioeo
album: triptracks
track: triptrack2
from: Saint Raphael, France
album at Jamendo
artist at Jamendo
artist site

qa bgm
artist: Zeropage
album: Ambient Pills Update
track: Hyper Threading
from: Switzerland
album at Jamendo
artist at Jamendo
artist site

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