ECP coach John has two daughters and in this week’s Weekly English Practice they chat about older sister Julene’s life in Glasgow, Scotland. To find out more, read and listen to this week’s WEP!
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An interview with Gasteiztarra Julene Hird (Juli) about her life in Scotland. Interview by Karla Hird (her younger sister).
Before you read the complete article, look at this vocabulary and find it in the text:
can’t stand it: to not be able to tolerate something
hang about with: to meet and spend time with people
to run someone over: to knock someone over with your vehicle
cannae: ‘Cannot’ in the Scottish dialect e.g. “I cannae hear you”
dunno: ‘I don’t know’ in coloquial English e.g. “What’s the time?” “Dunno”
THIS ARTICLE IS A LITERAL TRANSCRIPT OF THE INTERVIEW (LISTEN TO THE AUDIO) AND INCLUDES CONVERSATIONAL VOCABULARY SUCH AS ‘LIKE’ , ’JUST’ AND ‘TOTALLY’. DO YOU UNDERSTAND HOW THESE WORDS ARE USED AND WHAT THEY MEAN? TIP: IF THEY CONFUSE YOU, YOU CAN SIMPLY IGNORE THEM (AND ASK YOUR ECP COACH FOR HELP LATER).
Listen to the audio (refresh the page if it’s not visible)
KARLA: Hello, okay, so today we’re with Juli and we going to do an interview with some questions. Ok, question number one: Where are you from?
JULI: Hello Karla. I’m from Vitoria-Gasteiz.
K: Okay, 2nd question. Why and when did you go to live in Scotland?
J: I went to Scotland in 2015 to study in the Scottish university of the University of West of Scotland.
K: Is the life in Scotland different to the one in the Basque Country?
J: It definitely is. It’s totally two different cultures and maybe they have some things in common but it’s totally different.
K: 4th question. How is the food?
J: I’m just gonna be really funny here, it’s disgusting! That’s what it is. It’s all fried stuff. Most of the people you can just see them on their breaks in Uni just going up to the canteen and eating fried fish or fried chips all the time. There’s nothing fresh, like I can never see anything fresh in the canteen and that’s why I always bring my own lunch (laughs).
K: Ok, 5th question. Do people really eat fried Mars bars?
J: As I said before, everything is fried in Scotland and yes I’ve seen people actually eating Mars bars. Like when we go out, maybe when we go back home you’ll see them eating a Mars bar that is totally fried and the smell is so strong that you actually just can’t even stand it. You can’t even be in the same room as that person.
K: Ok, what are the best things about Glasgow?
J: Definitely the people. They’re really, really funny. Also, the, like mix of cultures that you can see. Also, there’s always something to do. Like there’s always some event happening, like there’s always a concert, there’s always maybe like a talk you can go to. The shops are always open, so it’s always really good because it’s a really like sociable city that everyone likes to hang about with.
k: Ok, 7th question. What do you miss about Vitoria?
J: I miss the ‘anillo verde’ that’s what I miss the most. I miss like seeing all the nature about and like how everything is really, really green in here and I miss like going on my bike everywhere because in Scotland it’s really difficult, I just feel like the cars actually want to like run you over, because they don’t have any respect towards the cyclists.
John: But you don’t miss your family, eh?
J: But I miss my family. No, I was talking about in general like Vitoria. But the thing I miss the most is my family.
K: Have you got a job? What is it?
J: Yes I do. I work in a coffee shop as a barista and actually I really, really enjoy it because you get to like practice your English a lot because you’re talking to customers all day long.
K: Ok, 9th question. Have you got any funny stories about your customers?
J: A lot, I could actually write a book about funny stories. I could tell you one about annoying people asking for really weird drinks like ‘could I get a skinny, wet, quarter of a short coffee, extra hot latte.’ Or when you get a bus of like of Italians and they all ask for fifteen single espressos and you have to make them really quick and they’re all like shouting and they think this is like Rome again, and it’s really funny.
K: 10th question. Are Scottish people easy to understand?
J: Definitely yes and definitely no. Like, see it’s …. I’ll explain it to you now, don’t worry.
K: How did you manage to get used to the accent?
J: Well, as I was saying, it is easy to understand them but you need to get used to the accent, like you need to like listen to it quite often. But it is a really tough work. It is.
K: 11th question. Can you give us your best Scottish impression?
J: I could try. I could say, “I’m from Glasgow,” that’s one for example. Another one, “I cannae deal with that.”
K: Do you think in a few years’ time you will have a complete Scottish accent?
J: I dunno, my dad says already that I’ve got quite a bit of a Scottish accent, so maybe in five years’ time, I’ll come back to like Vitoria and I won’t sound like I was born here, I’ll sound really, really Scottish, like my dad does, but he’s Geordie actually.
K: It’s wonderful how you answered the questions and so thank you a lot for the answers and have a good day.
J: Thank you to you Karla.
The Hirds: BYE!
Let’s chat about that!
Write your opinions in an email & send them to your ECP coach!
- Have you been to Scotland?
- If you have, did you understand Scottish people?
- What do you know about Scottish culture?
- What is the easiest English accent you can understand?
- Have you ever lived in an English-speaking country and would you like to?
EXTRA QUESTIONS: LIKE, JUST & TOTALLY
- How many times does Julene say ‘like’ when she is answering the questions?
- And does it always mean the same or are there different meanings?
- What about ‘just’ and ‘totally’?