Talk Like a Native
Episode 20 - Ring a Bell

Episode 20 - Ring a Bell

October 3, 2016

Talk Like a Native

Episode 20 - Ring a Bell

Christine: Hey Kevin, who were you talking to?

Kevin: I was talking to Beyonce.

Christine: Who’s that? His name kind of rings a bell. Is he a comedian?

Kevin: What? She is a famous singer.

Christine: Really? What song does she sing?

Kevin: The one that goes like, “All the single ladies, all the single ladies.”

Christine: Hmm...that doesn’t ring a bell.

Kevin: What is this bell you keep talking about?

Christine: Kevin, are you sure you’re an American? Why do you not know any English expressions? Rings a bell is an expression that’s used when something sounds familiar like you’ve heard it somewhere before. It’s like your brain alerting you to an old memory.

Kevin: Are you sure YOU’RE American? How do you not know Beyonce? She’s married to Jay-Z.

Christine: Umm...I’m just going to pretend I know what you’re talking about and give our listeners some examples of this expression:

  • I’m sorry but that description doesn’t ring any bells for me.

  • I’ve never met John before, but his name rings a bell.

  • This kind of rings a bell, but I’m not sure why it seems familiar to me.

Christine: Wait, so how do you know Beyonce?

Kevin: Oh, we go way back. She used to live down the street from my house.

Christine: Where did you live?

Kevin: You know I’m just pulling your leg right? I was just talking to my mom.

Christine: Oh hey, you do know some English expressions. Want to explain it to our listeners?

Kevin: When you pull someone’s leg, you’re jokingly telling someone something that’s not true.

Christine: Nice, two expressions in one episode. I hope we didn’t overwhelm anyone.

Kevin: It’s ok, it is our 20th episode. I thought we could give them a little extra this week.

Christine: That’s a great idea. We’d also like to take this time to say thanks for listening to us and hope that you will continue to tune into Talk Like a Native.

Episode 19 - (to) Find your feet

Episode 19 - (to) Find your feet

September 27, 2016

Talk Like a Native

Episode 19 - (to) Find your Feet

Kevin: What are you thinking about?

Christine: Oh, I was thinking about when I first left for college. Everything happened so quickly, I don’t even know how I found my feet.

Kevin: How does that even work? Have you lost them before?

Christine: Haha, not literally. To find your feet means to adjust to your new environment or experience. The feet doesn’t refer to someone’s physical feet, but a foundation for them to stand on when you’re in an unfamiliar situation. You can also refer to it as “finding your footing”, too.

Kevin: Ah, I see. Kind of like the way we had to find our feet when we first came to Korea?

Christine: Exactly. We didn’t really know the language or have any friends but through time, we managed to find our feet.

Kevin: I really like this expression because you can really visualize it. When you first get to a new place, it’s really hard to know where you stand. Everything is new and it almost feels like you’ve literally misplaced your feet.

Christine: I completely understand what you mean. Every time I start a new job, I feel so lost and out of place.

Kevin: We should give our listeners some examples of this phrase so that they can understand how to use this awesome expression too.

  • She’s learned where the supermarket is but is still finding her feet with everything else. I guess it’ll take time for her to get used to it all.

  • Establishing your footing after you move to a new country is a long confusing process of trial and errors. Don’t worry, you’ll find your feet soon!

  • I was lonely when I first left home and finding my place in college was very hard, but I think I have my feet now. It takes some time to get used to it all but I’m settling in and have found my footing.

Kevin: So why were you thinking about college anyway?

Christine: This student of mine is going to college soon. She was so excited about finally moving out and living on her own. It made me think about how I felt when I first left for school.

Kevin: Do you even remember when that was?

Christine: Hey, I’m not THAT old ok?

Kevin: I’m just saying. It just seems like a long time ago.

Christine: We’re no longer on speaking terms.

Kevin: Hahaha (nervous laughter), I was just kidding! …

Episode 18 - Keep your chin up

Episode 18 - Keep your chin up

September 18, 2016

Talk Like a Native

Episode 18 - Keep your chin up

Kevin: Hey Christine, long time no see.

Christine: Hey Kevin.

Kevin: What’s wrong? Why so glum?

Christine: Facebook Memories just reminded me of something I was trying to forget.

Kevin: And what was that?

Christine: Well, a few months ago I got into a fight with a friend of mine. Now, he doesn’t ever want to talk to me again.

Kevin: What happened?

Christine: I have no idea. It was completely out of the blue! He picked a fight and when I tried to explain myself he just blew me off.

Kevin: Why would he do that? Were you guys really close?

Christine: We’ve known each other for a really long time. I felt like he was someone I could really trust and confide in. I guess I was wrong.

Kevin: Maybe he was just having a bad day. You should try to get in touch with him again.

Christine: It’s been over 2 months already. I tried to say hi once, but got nothing but radio silence.

Kevin: It’s okay man, keep your chin up. I’m sure things will work themselves out. Just give him some time for now.

Christine: Keep what up?

Kevin: Keep your chin up! It’s something you say to your friends when you want to encourage them to stay strong. It’s to let them know that they’ll get through this.

Christine: That’s a nice thing to say. Thanks for that. I will try to keep my chin up. I mean I’ve been through so much worse. I should just let it go.

Kevin: Let it go, let it go!

Christine: Before this turns into a bad karaoke session. Let’s give our listeners some examples of this expression!

-Don’t worry, you have an amazing resume. Keep your chin up, you’ll find something soon.
-Keeping your chin up will be hard after all that has happened but keep at it and things will get better!
-Don’t tell me to keep my chin up! I’m so tired and I just want to be left alone.

Christine: This talk has made me feel much better.

Kevin: Well, I’m glad I could help. So let it go, let it go!

Christine: Oh my god, stop.

Episode 17 - Lost your touch

Episode 17 - Lost your touch

September 12, 2016

Talk Like a Native

Episode 17 - Lost your touch

Kevin: Hey Christine, what are you up to?

Christine: I’m trying to sketch something but I think I’ve lost my touch.

Kevin: What? Are you telling me that you can no longer feel anything? You lost your sense of touch?

Christine: No, I mean I don’t think I can draw anymore. To lose your touch means to lose expertise or finesse. You may have been really good at something before, but suddenly you can no longer do it as well.

Kevin: Ah, you mean you used to be able to draw well but you can’t anymore!

Christine: Exactly! Haven’t you ever lost your touch with anything?

Kevin: Hmm... I’ve lost my touch at basketball. I used to be able to shoot 3 pointers with my eyes closed. Now, I can barely do a layup.

Christine: Oh, you used to play basketball too? I miss playing basketball. We should play sometime.

Kevin: Let’s go play now!

Christine: How about we give our listeners some examples of today’s expression and then worry about that later?

Kevin: Oh right, sorry. Let’s hear some example’s of this week’s phrase:

- In his latest book, he seems to have lost his touch at creating intriguing storylines.
- Michael Phelps never lost his touch, he was still able to bring home 5 golds from Rio.

- She didn’t want to lose her touch, so she practiced the violin for 6 hours a day.

Kevin: That drawing looks like a foot.

Christine: I was trying to sketch the Eiffel Tower.

Kevin: Seriously? It looks like you really did lose your touch.

Christine: You know what? Let’s go play basketball right now. I will school you.


Episode 16 - With a grain of salt

Episode 16 - With a grain of salt

September 4, 2016

Talk Like a Native

Episode 16 - Take with a grain of salt

Kevin: Hey, guess what? I think I’m moving to Macau!

Christine: What? Really? Why all of a sudden?

Kevin: Robert just offered me a job position in Macau. He said that his company is about to hit the jackpot*, I think I can make a lot of money if I move there to work for him!

Christine: Robert said that? Kevin, you know Robert! You should always take what he says with a grain of salt.

Kevin: With a grain of salt? Are you trying to get back at me for telling you to put salt on your wound?

Christine: No, no. I’m telling you that he seems to exaggerate a lot and maybe you shouldn’t take everything he says so seriously.

Kevin: Oh, you mean I should give it some more thought before I decide to move to another country?

Christine: Right. I’m saying that what he says may be true, but there’s a bigger chance that it might not be. I’m just saying that you should be careful.

Kevin: Are you telling me that I should be skeptical of whatever Robert says?

Christine: Yeah kind of, but don’t tell him that I told you this!

Kevin: Hmm. Let’s hear some examples of this week’s phrase:

  • I would take everything that’s written in that article with a grain of salt. That website isn’t exactly the most reliable source of news.

  • We should take this engagement with a grain of salt. Last time she told me she was going to marry the guy and then started dating someone else the next week!

  • The reason why I take what he says with a grain of salt is because once he told me he was fluent in 5 languages and it turned out he only knew how to say hello in all of them.

Kevin: Well, thanks for the advice. I’ll give it a lot more thought before I give Robert an answer.

Christine: No problem. What are friends for?

*hit the jackpot - to win a lot of money in gambling or in a lottery

Episode 15 - Cry over Spilled Milk

Episode 15 - Cry over Spilled Milk

August 29, 2016

Talk Like a Native

Episode 15 - (Don’t) cry over spilled milk

Kevin: Hey Christine, what’s up? Why so serious?

Christine: I’ve just been thinking about a job offer that I received last year.

Kevin: Really? What about it?

Christine: If I took that job last year, I could be making a lot more money than I am now.

Kevin: What kind of job was it?

Christine: It was a managerial position in London. I could have been making more money AND be living in London. I’ve always dreamed about living there since I was young.

Kevin: But I thought that you were pretty satisfied with your life here! You have a lot going for you here as well!

Christine: I know, but sometimes I just think about how different or how much better my life could be.

Kevin: It’s okay! I’m sure that there will be more opportunities in the future. It’s just one job offer! There’s no point in crying over spilled milk. Just apply again later!

Christine: What? You spilled milk? It better not have been in my car.

Kevin: No, no. No one actually spilled milk.  I said don’t cry over spilled milk. That means that what is done, is done. There is no use crying about it after. You cannot go and change something that already happened. The more you think about it, the worse it will feel.

Christine: Oh, I get it. Since you can’t unspill the milk no matter what you do, then you should just clean it up and move on.

Kevin: That’s right! Now, let’s give our listeners some more examples of this phrase:

- Please stop complaining about your bad haircut. There’s no use crying over spilled milk. Wear a hat until it grows out or go to another salon and get it fixed.

- There’s no point crying over spilled milk. If he doesn’t want to talk to you, it’s his loss not yours. Getting upset about it won’t change the fact that he still doesn’t want to talk to you.

- So you got into a small accident. At least you’re safe and didn’t get hurt! The insurance company will take care of the repairs, so stop worrying! It’s no use crying over spilled milk. It’ll just stress you out.

- You already did everything you could. Don’t cry over spilled milk. Stressing about it doesn’t actually solve any problems.

Christine: I guess you’re right. But sometimes I can’t help but think about what would have happened or how different my life would be.

Kevin: Everything happens for a reason. You may not see its importance now, but eventually everything will work itself out.

Episode 14 - Hands are Tied

Episode 14 - Hands are Tied

August 15, 2016

Talk Like a Native

Episode 14 - Hands are tied

Kevin: Hey Christine, do you think I could get a raise?

Christine: I can’t. My hands are tied.

Kevin: What? Your hands look fine to me. If you didn’t want to give me a raise, you could just tell me. You don’t have to make up an obvious lie.

Christine: It’s not that I don’t want to raise your salary, it’s that we don’t have enough money in the budget to do it. When I say my hands are tied, I mean that there is nothing I can do about it.

Kevin: Oh, I thought you were just trying to make up an excuse.

Christine: I’m really sorry. I promise that when we start to earn more money, I will give you a raise.

Kevin: It’s ok, I understand. Let’s hear some more examples of this phrase!

- Although the president promised to spend more on healthcare, he now claims his

hands are tied due to budgetary restrictions.

- I would really like to help you refund this product but my hands are tied. If you do not have your receipt, we cannot process the refund.

- With the new rules, their hands were tied and they could no longer help on the weekends.

Kevin: How about buying me lunch? Don’t tell me your hands are tied there too.

Christine: I actually already have plans today but I promise to buy you lunch next time.

Kevin: Everybody heard that right? She promised to buy me lunch next time. Let’s go have steak. Oh or sushi or lobster!

Christine: I’m going to buy you McDonald’s if you keep annoying me.

Kevin: Nooo!

Episode 13 - (to) Dodge a bullet

Episode 13 - (to) Dodge a bullet

August 7, 2016

Talk Like a Native

Episode 13: “Dodge a Bullet”

Kevin: Hey Christine, what are you looking for?

Christine: I lost the USB drive that my boss gave me. It has the project that we’ve been working on for the last month!

Kevin: I’ll help you look too. When was the last time you saw it?

Christine: I had it this morning when I was getting ready for work.

Kevin: Have you checked the bathroom?

Christine: Why would it be in the bathroom?

Kevin: I usually brush my teeth before I leave the house. Sometimes I leave my phone there and I have to go back for it.

Christine: Oh, that makes sense. I’ve done that before too. Let me go check the bathroom...
Oh, I found it! Thank you Kevin! Thanks to you I really dodged a bullet.

Kevin: Dodged a bullet? Do you work for the FBI or something?

Christine: No! I work for a media company. It was an important proposal for an upcoming business deal. If you hadn’t helped me find my USB, I could have lost my job! To dodge a bullet means to successfully avoid something bad from potentially happening.

Kevin: Oh you mean like how I dodged a bullet when I didn’t eat that chicken at the BBQ last week?

Christine: Hey! I warned them that the meat might have been a little undercooked. It’s not my fault they got food poisoning! Anyways, let’s give our listeners some examples.

- I really dodged a bullet when that meeting where I had to present got cancelled.
- Talk about dodging a bullet! I almost married that jerk who cheated on me.

- We really dodged a bullet leaving before the storm hit! I heard the streets flooded, and everybody was stuck on the mountain until the next morning.

Kevin: I heard that Steve was so sick that he couldn’t even go to work the next day.

Christine: Well, I guess I dodged that bullet too. I was so busy cooking that I didn’t have time to eat the food.

Kevin: Maybe next time you should make sure you focus on cooking the food instead of looking at your phone.

Christine: I thought I saw a Pikachu! Gotta catch’em all!

Episode 12 - Beat around the bush

Episode 12 - Beat around the bush

July 24, 2016

Talk Like a Native

Episode 12: Beat around the bush

Kevin: Christine, I wanted to talk to you about something.

Christine: Sure, what’s up?

Kevin: Well, I’ve been thinking...

Christine: Yeah…?

Kevin: A lot of things have been on my mind lately.

Christine: Okay… please keep going.

Kevin: I’m not sure how to say this but…

Christine: Oh my god Kevin. Just spit it out* already. Stop beating around the bush.

Kevin: I think our podcast is awesome. I’ve been wondering who has been listening to us.

Christine: Seriously? That’s all you wanted to say?

Kevin:  Well yeah, what did you think I was going to say?

Christine: I don’t know. I was worried that you were going to tell me you had some sort of terminal illness or something.

Kevin: Yeah, I’m sorry for beating around the bush. I just didn’t know how to put all of my feelings into words.

Christine: Next time, please just tell me what’s wrong.

Kevin: Oh I just realized we haven’t explained what the expression means yet.

Christine: Beating around the bush means avoiding the main topic or not speaking directly about the issue.

Kevin: Beating around the bush is one of those expressions that you can really visually understand. Imagine someone beating everything around the bush except the bush itself. Let’s hear some more examples:

     - I was trying to beat around the bush because I didn’t know how to tell my boyfriend I wanted to break up.
     - My boss kept beating around the bush before he could bring himself to tell me that I was being laid off.
     - Quit beating around the bush and tell me what you’re thinking about.

     - I can always tell when my brother is about to ask me for a favor when he starts beating around the bush.

Christine: Well, I’m glad to hear that you think this podcast is awesome. Hopefully our listeners think so too!

Kevin: Thanks for listening!

Episode 11 - (Cost) an arm and a leg

Episode 11 - (Cost) an arm and a leg

July 17, 2016

Talk Like a Native

Episode 11: (Cost) an arm and a leg

Kevin: What are you doing?

Christine: I’m debating whether I should buy tickets to the rock festival. I really want to see Weezer*.

Kevin: So, what’s stopping you?

Christine: The tickets cost an arm and a leg and I fear that I may be too old for rock festivals.

Kevin: What? An arm and a leg? Like literally?

Christine: No! Of course not! If we say something costs an arm and a leg, it just means that it is very expensive.

Kevin: Oh! So how much are the tickets?

Christine: Tickets are $180 per person.

Kevin: Ouch...that is pretty pricey.

Christine: Plus, it’s summertime and it’s hot. I fear that it might actually cost me an arm and a leg in the pit* with all of those youngins*.

Kevin: But maybe it’s worth it. I know how much you like Weezer.

Christine: Let me think about it while we give our listeners some examples.

  • Everything at the restaurant tastes amazing but it costs an arm and a leg

  • I really wanted to go to Europe but plane tickets cost an arm and a leg during peak season.

  • We love this place because everything is high quality and doesn’t cost an arm and a leg!

Christine: I wish they could have a concert just for me! That way I don’t have to deal with the sweltering summer heat.

Kevin: That would probably really cost you an arm and a leg.

Christine: I know...but one can always dream.

Kevin: So you’ve decided not to go then?

Christine: Yeah, I don’t think I can handle the heat and the crowd in the pit.

Kevin: Good choice. We can’t have you suffering from heat stroke. You still have to do more episodes with me!

Christine: For the greater good.

*Weezer: An American rock band

*Pit: Mosh Pit (Area at the front of a typical rock concert where attendants push and jump)

*Youngin: Slang / colloquial term for young person