130. A Cup of Tea with… Sebastian Marx

Conversation with a real American person from New York! Complete transcript available.

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This episode is now fully transcribed, and you can read that transcript below.

Sebastian Marx was born in New York and went to Boston University. He is a stand-up comedian in Paris and regularly performs in English and in French. You can visit his website here and find out about his comedy shows!

In this episode I invited Sebastian to my flat where we had some tea and some chocolate brownies. Listen to the episode as I ask questions which were suggested by listeners from the Luke’s English Podcast Facebook page www.facebook.com/pages/Lukes-English-Podcast/227129545507

We talk about topics such as:
-Growing up 30 minutes away from Manhattan
-Going to university in Boston
-His experiences of leaving America and moving to France
-How he learned a second language (French)
-Some advice on how to learn a second language
-Differences between America and Europe
-Accents from USA
-Time travel
-Spirituality and the meaning of life!
-Gun control
-American junk food and obesity
-The Boston bombings from last Monday
-America’s foreign military campaigns
-The amazing sport of ‘disc golf’!
I also help Sebastian learn to speak with my British accent.

I hope you enjoy the podcast. It’s another long one, but as I’ve said before – you can listen to it in stages, and if you’re using iTunes or other podcast players, your audio player should remember your position if you stop listening, although I can’t imagine why you would want to do that ;)

Please leave comments below and tell me your thoughts.

Thank you if you are kind enough, or are able to leave a small donation by clicking the button in the top-right corner of this page.

Best regards,

Luke

HERE ARE THE QUESTIONS FROM FACEBOOK!

Luke’s English Podcast · 2,532 like this.
22 hours ago ·
Hello listeners! Tomorrow I am going to interview my American friend Sebastian. Do you have questions for him? I will ask him the questions on the podcast. Please write your questions here. Thank you!
1Like · · Share

o Jairo Trujillo García: If you had the chance to go back in time, for 24 hours, where and when would you go?

o Christopher Soto Antilem: What accent does he prefer? british, american or other country?

o Hiroshi Maruyama: How does he think about ban the gun movement in America? I cant believe they are allowed to keep the gun. I strongly against it. Why they don’t ban the gun with a strong the strong decision like the decision they begin war.

o Atsushi Yoshida: I want him to talk about American regional accents ;D

o Camila Andrade: Would you rather go back in time and meet your ancestors or go way into the future and meet your great grandchildren ?

o Wassim Benny: Ask him about his spiritual beliefs. Does he believe in life after death? and if not, what does he think would happen after death…

o Hải Tuấn: As a American, which accent do you think is the most easy to understand? British, Australian, South American or Asian English?

o Stefano Pierini Hi Luke. Ask him about the bomb blast of Monday’s marathon in Boston and the fear of terrorist attack.
Also you could talk about the poor education of Americans when it comes to diet and food.
Cheers :)

o Kohei Okutani: Hiya,Luke!!
I’d like to know how popular JPN MANGA is in USA! :) I’ve got some American or French friends who really love that but i heard that it’s not true, actually.
They say that’s for limited maneas。。。 Please,ask him on the topic as far as he knows!!
HX!!

o Khazan Anna: First, i would like him to accept my deep condolence in connection with the terrorist action in Boston. Second, my question is: Has he ever been to Russia and what is his view of my country?

o Pedro Barreto Gamboa: Tell him that, here in Peru, we’re all sorry about the recent incident in Boston.
My questions would be:
How hard is it really to understand certain non-native accents? And what makes a foreign accent pleasant or unpleasant in his opinion?

o Cuneyt Tiryaki: Please let him tell us the differences between Europe & THE US. His first time experiences and odd feelings as an American in Europe.

o Luke’s English Podcast: Wow, lots of questions! Thanks a lot. The interview is in 6 hours so there is still more time if you have other questions. :D

o Cristina Ricciardo: Hello Luke, and thanks for giving this opportunity! I’d like to know something about American junk food and obesity problems.

o Hanaé Georgette Berton: Once again, « Are you sure you’re the man on the flyer ?».See Translation

o Jarek Jarsson: Luke ask him if he knows any foreign languages :) And one more question – what he thinks about USA military mission in Iraq and Afghanistan :) Thanks a lot !

o Hiroshi Maruyama: Ask him his favorite sport. I like disc golf, rollerbladingand salsa dancing. Doesn’t he do any of them? Is discgolf popular among us people? I think it’s a excellent sport.

o Flavio Gasperini: I would like to hear him try to pronounce a few words in British English…like “water”, “territory”, “thought”, “advertisement”, “I can’t eat eggs”. That would be quite funny, :S.

o Vanessa von Aspern: What are the most stupid clichés about america?

o Luke’s English Podcast: Hi, the interview is finished and we answered your questions, but Vanessa you were a bit too late I’m afraid. We do talk a bit about America, but not all the stupid cliches. Next time!

o Vanessa von Aspern: Well, thats all right! :)

o Luke’s English Podcast: Podcast is now uploading and should be available online soon. Kohei Okutani, I just realised that we didn’t answer your question about Japanese manga, but I can tell you that I am a big fan of Dr Slump and Doraemon, as well as others ;)

TRANSCRIPT FOR EPISODE 130. A CUP OF TEA WITH SEBASTIAN MARX

[BEGINS FROM 00:00:00]
Welcome good people of the world to episode 130 of Luke’s English Podcast. This one is called “A Cup of Tea With Sebastian Marx” and in this one I invited my American friend Sebastian into the apartment to share a cup of tea and some lovely chocolate brownies while we discuss various things.
Sebastian was born in New York and he went to Boston University. He’s a stand-up comedian in Paris and he regularly performs both in English and in French. You can visit his website by going to my website or just directly to his website which is www.sebmarx.com. You can visit my website in order to find that website. It’s just too confusing. It’s like “Inception” for websites. I don’t know.
In this episode as I said I invited Sebastian. We talk about lots of things and we answer various questions which were suggested by listeners to this podcast on the Facebook page.
We talk about, em, diverse things such as:
– His experiences of growing up in New York
– Going to university in Boston
– Leaving America
– How he learned a second language to a very high level, French in this case
– His answers to questions about accents from the USA
– The differences between America and Europe
– And also, more serious things like gun control, American military policy, and the amazing sport of disc golf which is something I’d never heard of before.
All of it is contained in this rather long episode of Luke’s English Podcast. So, I hope you enjoy listening to it and it’s about to start now now now.
Luke – So hello ladies and gentlemen. I’m very pleased to announce that for the first time on Luke’s English Podcast, I have an actual American man, an American person in front of me. I kidnapped him. I didn’t really, but I kidnapped him and I’ve held him hostage and I’m giving him cakes and tea. The cakes probably are okay, but is tea normal for you Sebastian?
Sebastian – Yes, yes, we are aware of that. We like drinking tea in the States.
Luke – You do, because, I mean, people say that tea is very, you know, very English thing, don’t they? But… and coffee is like associated with America. But…
Sebastian – Is it really?
Luke – Well, yeah!
Sebastian – I thought, coffee was associated with Italy and France and…
Luke – Oh, yeah? It is too. …you know, definitely, but certainly…
Sebastian – StarBucks I guess gives that reputation all over the world that Americans drink watered-down coffee.
Luke – Yeah, Americano…
Sebastian – Yeah. Exactly.
Luke – …is what they call it. Do you call it Americano? You don’t call it…
Sebastian – No, we call it Coffee.
Luke –  Okay.
Sebastian –  If you order a coffee in the States, you get a big mug of coffee.
Luke – Okay.
Sebastian – Yeah.
Luke – Is that maybe in a diner?
Sebastian – Yeah. it could be in a diner.
Luke – Served by a sort of… a slightly bored, overworked middle-aged waitress?
Sebastian – Yes, can be either jewish or Greek often,
Luke – Yeah?
Sebastian – Often. Yeah.
Luke – And you have to tip, don’t you?
Sebastian – You have to tip a lot.
Luke – Do you tip?
Sebastian – Tip? Do I tip when I’m in the States? I have to!
Luke – Yeah.
Sebastian – Because, if you don’t tip the manager comes running at you.
Luke – Really?
Sebastian – Well, if you don’t tip at all, the manager can come out and ask you – “Well, was there a problem with the service?” and you have to justify why you didn’t  give any tip, because the waiters or waitresses over there, they uh… make their living off of tips.
Luke – Alright, okay. So, it’s essential.
Sebastian – It’s essential.
Luke – Okay.
Sebastian – Which, at the end of the day really helps the managers, because they just get away with not having to pay or pay very little their wait staff and so… the salary of the wait staff falls on the customer.
Luke – Right, so if there are any listeners out there who are going to America or maybe living in America right now… and if you don’t tip, you should be ashamed of yourself, because these waitresses and waiters,
Sebastian – Waiters, there are waiters as well in the United States
Luke – They… they need your tips. So, just remember that! Is that rule number one if you go to America?
Sebastian – Yes, rule… I think, yeah – rule number one, yeah!
Luke – Obviously it’s rule… maybe “rule number one” is like, you know, like get your passport
Sebastian – Yeah. Well, get your passport. You get a visa! I think that the United States requires visas for pretty much every country.
Luke – it’s difficult to get in.
Sebastian – They’re a pain in the butt. They are real, uh… when it comes to entering into that country, I don’t know.
Luke – Okay.
Sebastian – It’s not easy.
Luke – Alright. But you actually managed… How are they about leaving the country because when it gets…
Sebastian – Oh, they love when people leave the country.
Luke – Really?
Sebastian – They’re thrilled about that so uh…. It’s only about getting in.
Luke – Okay. So, ladies and gentlemen. Here I am with Sebastian Marx who is, as I’ve… as you’ve  obviously already worked out, is American.
Sebastian – Yes, I am.
Luke – So it’s, you know… it’s great because you’re the first American person I’ve had on the podcast.
Sebastian – I feel honoured.
Luke – You are, you should be honoured. I think I might give you some sort of award for this.
Sebastian – Well, I’m already, I think brownies is a very good reward already… and tea.
Luke – Tea and…
Sebastian –  I’m more of a tea person by the way. I’m more of a tea person.
Luke – Okay, so, you know, if there’s a cliche about Americans
drinking coffee all the time, it’s not necessarily true
Sebastian – No, they do in detective movies.
Luke – Yeah.
Sebastian – It’s obligatory.
Luke – If you’re a cop or a cop (American pronunciation)
Sebastian – Yeah, a cop (American pronunciation)
Luke – Then, then you have to drink some.
Sebastian – donuts and coffee
Luke – donuts and coffee.
Sebastian – Yeah.
Luke – Does that help, do you think, does that help detectives to solve crimes?
Sebastian – to solve crimes? Yeah. It helps them to solve crimes and not to be able to run after the victim as he’s running away or the suspect.
Luke – That’s why they have guns though.
Sebastian – Yeah. that’s why, that’s exactly why they have guns.
Luke – They don’t need to run.
Sebastian – Yeah.
Luke – They can just shoot.
Sebastian – Yeah, they can just shoot.
Luke – They can eat as many doughnuts as they like.
Sebastian – Exactly.
Luke – Okay.
Sebastian – It’s a free country.
Luke – Yeah.
Sebastian – It’s to defend the freedom to eat donuts.
Luke – Okay, this is the beauty of… Well, we’ll come back to the gun question later on, I think, Sebastian.
So, as I have, I expect, already said in the introduction, what we’re gonna do is just to find out some stuff from Sebastian about America and differences between America and Europe and Britain, some things about accents as well, other questions which I have received via Facebook. So some of you, listening to this, you sent your questions to me on Facebook today. So, I’m gonna be asking Sebastian some of those questions later on, but first of all, let’s just get to know you a little bit then, Sebastian.
Luke – So, you’re American, we’ve established that.
Sebastian – Yes.
Luke – You’re definitely American
Sebastian – Definitely.
Luke – Where exactly in the United States do you come from?
Sebastian – I grew up in the suburbs of New York City, about half an hour North of Manhattan.
Luke – Half an hour North of Manhattan?
Sebastian – Yes, in a place, in the county, called Westchester.
Luke – Westchester?
Sebastian – Yes.
Luke – Okay. I’ve heard about Westchester.
Sebastian – Yeah. What did you hear about it?
Luke – Well, what I’ve heard about, all I know about it is that there’s a song called “Westchester Lady”, which you probably don’t know.
Sebastian – No.
Luke – and it’s by a Jazz pianist called Bob James.
Sebastian – I don’t know either.
Luke – Bob James did the music to the TV show “Taxi”
Sebastian – I know “Taxi”!
Luke – Yeah, and “Westchester Lady” is a sort of a piece of jazz-funk music.
Sebastian – It’s weird that I don’t know him, because I do listen to jazz and I do listen to jazz funk, but I don’t know uh… Bob James, you said?
Luke – Bob James.
Sebastian – I don’t know Bob James.
Luke – You gotta check him out. It’s quite, it’s a little bit cheesy, but it’s good, because especially the rhythm section…
Sebastian – made in the 70s?
Luke – Yeah.
Sebastian – Yeah.
Luke – It’s all proper New York, I guess, New York early 1970s all mid-1970s, genuine article jazz-funk. It’s classic.
Sebastian – kind of fusion.
Luke – Yeah.
Sebastian – Yeah.
Luke – I love that stuff.
Sebastian – Yeah. Me too. Unfortunately, my girlfriend doesn’t like it at all. So, there’s only, I’ve been very limited on how long, you know, like there are certain hours of the day when I’m allowed to play that music.
Luke – Headphones?
Sebastian – Headphones is the way to go.
Luke – Yeah. Me too. I’m was always rocking the headphones.
Sebastian – Yeah.
Luke – Okay. So, you’re from Westchester.
Sebastian – Yeah.
Luke – What is… that’s very close to Manhattan, half an hour away.
Sebastian – Yeah. Well, it’s uh… North of Manhattan you have the
Bronx
Luke – Mmm-hmm
Sebastian – Which is part of New York City, and then, you have Westchester, which is the suburbs. So, it’s, you know, it’s a pretty cliche American suburb with lots of nice houses and a garden and…
Luke – Yeah.
Sebastian – Cliche, white picket fence and stuff like that. So, it is pretty close to that cliche. So, it’s great uh… a place to grow up if you’re kid. When you become a teenager you wanna kill yourself.
Luke – Really?
Sebastian – Yeah! Oh, it’s boring, it’s very boring.
Luke – Yeah, but you’re so close to New York.
Sebastian – that’s the thing, yeah. I mean everything… why it’s borings is because everything is centered in New York.
Luke – Yeah.
Sebastian – You know, so… you kind of have to go into the city for most, well no! Not movies of course. Movies you’ve got everywhere, but… yeah I mean most cultural things… so, I mean, I’m not gonna complain. It was great. Yeah. because I would, you know, every weekend with my parents growing up we would go to wonderful museums in New York and so I feel very lucky.
Luke – Yeah.
Sebastian – Besides, wanting to kill myself for five year period. No, no, no, It was a very… I feel very lucky to have grown up in the
greater New York area.
Luke – Yeah. It would be amazing. I think, probably as you said “wanting to kill yourself” is a kind of a teenage thing perhaps.
Sebastian – I think anywhere, I think it’s a universal teenage thing even if you live in the heart of New York or the heart of many places.
[ENDS AT 00:10:00]
[BEGINS FROM 00:10:00]
Luke – Yeah.
Sebastian – or the head of many… the left foot of many places.
Luke – because, New York is not the capital, as you say it’s like the left foot, so Washington is the right foot?
Sebastian – No, no, no. New York is definitely the heart. New York is …no what I was saying was like… like someone who might wanna kill themselves if they were in  Nebraska which would be the equivalent to the left foot.
Luke – Okay.
Sebastian – But, no. New York is not the capital Of the United States,  Washington DC is the capital of the United States but New York feels like the capital of something. I don’t know what, but
Luke – It maybe the one of the cultural capitals perhaps.
Sebastian –  Yeah. Well. It’s definitely the cultural and economic capital.
Luke – Yeah.
Sebastian – …of the States.
Luke – …with Wall Street and so on
Sebastian – Exactly.
Luke – Yeah. Okay. So you grew up in… in New York, but I understand that you have lived in Boston.
Sebastian – Yes, I went to school in Boston. I went to college, what they college in the States, which is university.
Luke – You went to Harvard?
Sebastian – Oh ,no. Unfortunately, not. Unfortunately, not. I went to Boston University which is actually right across the river, of the Charles River.
Luke-  Yeah.
Sebastian –  from MIT and Harvard, which is actually Harvard and MIT are technically in the city of Cambridge,
Luke – Yeah?
Sebastian – …which is, there’s a Cambridge in Massachusetts as well.
Luke – That’s confusing…
Sebastian – Yeah.
Luke – because, okay. Because Cambridge – obviously, Cambridge in England isa  very famous place for its University there
Sebastian – Yeah.
Luke – but there’s also another Cambridge in America…
Sebastian – which is famous for its universities
Luke – Okay.
Sebastian – But, there isn’t… there isn’t a university called Cambridge University in the United States
Luke – Thank goodness for that. That’d be really confusing.
Sebastian – really confusing.
Luke – Alright.
Sebastian – So the city of Boston has pretty much, I mean, there are two kind of halves. One is Boston proper, the other is Cambridge which is right across the river, which is pretty much the same city. Technically it’s another city, but in Cambridge it’s a little bit more residential than Boston is. There is Harvard and there is MIT, is over there as well.
Luke – Okay. Sorry. I’m just eating a strawberry. Again, my girlfriend, because she’s really nice and lovely,  she provided us with not only home-made
Sebastian – Home-made ?
Luke – …kinda brownies – brownie cakes
Sebastian –  Delicious. What nut is in this?
Luke – There’s almonds.
Sebastian – Mmmmmmmm
Luke – So, these brownie cakes are obviously just like brownies but with almonds inside them. And also we have a plate of strawberries because it’s a nice warm day here. So, strawberries can be the perfect snack.
Sebastian – Wonderful snack.
Luke – nice fresh strawberries.
Sebastian – To counterbalance this brownie.
Luke – Yeah.  The unhealthiness of a brownie is balanced by the healthiness and sweetness and lightness of a strawberry, and we also of course, have cups of tea.
Sebastian – Green tea!
Luke – Yeah and as I’ve said before on the podcast, it’s obviously very rude to speak with your mouth full, but we like to break the rules here at Luke’s English Podcast.
Sebastian – Thankfully!
Luke – Thankfully! Yeah. So, that includes speaking with your
mouth full and it also includes slurping your tea. Do you slurp your tea?
Sebastian – I do, I do.
Luke – Okay.
Sebastian – I’m a fan of slurping, can I slurp?
Luke – yeah, go ahead.
Sebastian – Should we…?
Luke – Yeah, cheers
Sebastian – Cheers.
Luke – Mmmmmmm.
Sebastian – Mmmmmmm.
Luke – Obviously, it’s very rude to slurp your tea and we’re only doing it…
Sebastian –  …even in the United States!
Luke – Yeah?
Sebastian – Hahahaha.
Luke -Pierre yest(erday)… last time we started talking about slurping tea and he mentioned Iran for some reason. I don’t know why. He seemed to think that in Iran people didn’t…people did slurp their tea and it was polite.
Sebastian – It was polite, okay.
Luke – He’s wrong. I got an email. So, no. In Iran it’s very rude if you slurp your tea so… there we go. Anyway, we talked enough about slurping tea. So, grow up in New York. University in Boston, but not Harvard.
Sebastian – not Harvard. It’s a university called Boston University,
Luke – Okay.
Sebastian –  which is actually very big. It’s a very big University.
Luke – what did you study?
Sebastian – I studied Film.
Luke – Oh, really?
Sebastian – Well, I went to the college of communications then I majored in film and then minored in history.
Luke – Film and a bit of history as well?
Sebastian – Yeah.
Luke – Okay. So did you do like a dissertation or…
Sebastian – I did a final film. Yeah.
Luke – Oh I’m sorry, you majored in making films or studying films?
Sebastian – Both,
Luke – Yeah.
Sebastian – …but making films as well and now my final dissertation, well project, let’s say, was a final film and so right after I left university I had lots of knowledge of how to be a waiter. It was…it helped a lot.
Luke – Because it doesn’t necessarily prepare you for…
Sebastian – …for much else, and even, even the world of film-making it’s… Well, because it’s a creative, it’s an artistic field so…there’s only so much you can learn.
Luke – Yeah. It sounds a lot like my degree,
Sebastian – which is?
Luke –  …except, that I didn’t learn actually how to do anything. I just learned how to read about things and crit…, you know, I did a critical-theoretical, cultural-theoretical degree. It sounds much more complicated than it actually is.
Sebastian – Yeah.
Luke – I did Media and Cultural studies
Sebastian – Aha.
Luke – in Liverpool
Sebastian – Yeah.
Luke – in the the north of England, famous of course for the Beatles and football and that’s it.
Sebastian – that’s it.
Luke – No, it’s a fantastic place, of course. But yeah, I did Media and Cultural studies. We studied lots of movies. I wrote long essays about Clint Eastwood.
Sebastian – Aha.
Luke – and Batman
Sebastian – Yeah
Luke – and…
Sebastian – The modern hero or what?
Luke – Yeah. The sort of postmodern detective
Sebastian – Ah… kinda Dirty Harry?
Luke – Dirty Harry. I’m a big fan of Clint Eastwood films
Sebastian – Yeah.
Luke – Anyway, anyway. So,  you studied film. I see. So, are you a film-maker now?
Sebastian – I am working on a web series right now, but I don’t consider myself so much a filmmaker, because I’m not really doing that right now I’m focusing much more on  stage stuff, performances and stuff like that.
Luke – Okay. In fact that brings us quite neatly to the fact that’s, well.. now, here in France, in Paris, Sebastian is a stand-up comedy performer and you in fact, you’re kind of one of the main comedy performers in English, here in Paris.
Sebastian – Yeah. I started a night, a night of English stand-up comedy. When there wasn’t anything, pretty much, going on in English stand-up comedy in France.
Luke – Was it difficult?
Sebastian – It was very difficult. For uh… both sides of the stage, if I can say… meaning – finding the audience and finding the comics.
Luke – Yeah.
Sebastian – So, the first couple of times when I did the show which was… the idea was to have what they call a “Showcase”, meaning – several different comedians,  because I didn’t have anybody that I knew who was able to be funny in English. I was pretty much doing my one-man show. I mean, that’s pretty much what happened.
Luke – Yeah.
Sebastian – …and then slowly, started to have… I started with the French comics who were interested in performing in English.
Luke – Yeah.
Sebastian – and then, slowly, but surely, I got some English, native english-speaking comics like you.
Luke – Yeah.
Sebastian – …performing more and more. So, it took a while because yeah, as I said it’s been oh almost three years now.
Luke – The scene is developing?
Sebastian – It’s developing and it’s been developing mostly within the last year.
Luke – Okay. It’s good. It’s very promising. So, briefly let’s just talk about the shows that you do.
Sebastian – Yeah.
Luke – Sebastian is responsible for three shows here, in Paris
Sebastian – mhm.
Luke – I think, you have your one-man show.
Sebastian – Yeah, called “A New Yorker in Paris”.
Luke – “A New Yorker in Paris” – it’s very funny and it’s full of interesting cultural points and… it’s fantastic. Also, you do that show in French.
Sebastian – Yeah. I actually did it up until last Tuesday. I decided to take a little break on my French show and to put it aside, to kind of… because I’ve had many projects, so I kind of said – “Okay, I need to take a break on some things to focus more creatively on other ones”.
Luke – Yeah.
Sebastian –  But, yeah. I was performing in French my full one-man show as well.
Luke – Wow! You must speak very good French?
Sebastian – Decent enough. I speak French well enough to be funny… in it.
Luke – Yeah.
Sebastian – But I’m not sure if it’s… they’re laughing where they’re
supposed to laugh or where the joke is or they’re laughing at my accent.
Luke – You’re not sure if they’re laughing with you or if they’re laughing at you.
Sebastian – At me, exactly. Well, most of time they’re laughing with me.
Luke- Yeah.
Sebastian – But it’s true that being funny in a foreign language is hard. It’s very hard.
Luke – Yeah, because I imagine that being funny is like… what you achieve at the very end.
Sebastian – Yeah.
Luke – like it’s the last thing you’re able to do.
Sebastian – Exactly.
Luke – First of all, you’re just able to, like, order a coffee and then it gets a bit more complicated you can do a presentation or get involved in a meeting and then, at the absolute peak, you are able to do a one-man show for an hour in front of an audience of French people in French.
Sebastian – Yeah.
Luke – In this case it’s French but it could equally be in English, if English is not your first language.
Sebastian – Yeah, but it’s the… one of last things because not only you need to speak the language very well and you need to be comfortable in the language that you can kinda improvise a little bit, also you need to have the cultural references – the slang words. You know, there’s a lot in humor.
Luke – Yeah
Sebastian – So if you don’t have all that it’s hard and so… it’s still hard, you know, even though I’ve had some success with it and, you know I’ve done my French bits on French television.
Luke – Yeah.
[00:20:00]
Sebastian – it’s still… I definitely feel, I’m not where I would like to be, because of the language barrier.
Luke – I think it’s very difficult to get to the sort of bilingual stage if you didn’t start when you were a kid.
Sebastian – Yeah. if you didn’t grow up with it, I think it’s very difficult.
Luke – but do you have any tips for learning a second language?
Sebastian – I think, immersing yourself,
Luke – Yeah.
Sebastian – …kind of in the language. I mean, of course, if you can live in the country where they speak the language, of course, that’s ideal!
Luke – Yeah.
Sebastian – That’s really, that’s the best way, because more or less unless you’re, kind of, in a relationship with someone who speaks your native tongue, you’re forced to speak the language.
Luke – That’s interesting.
Sebastian – If you’re working, if you’re working, for example, you know, you have to understand what the person is saying, you have to respond. So, immersing yourself is the best way.
Luke – Essentially, I think what this means is that we have to push ourselves, we have to throw ourselves into situations where we will struggle to survive, as it were, and then in that struggling that’s where the learning takes place. So, we need to be challenged, don’t we?
Sebastian – Forced almost, I mean, I don’t know if this is a personal thing because I know that like if I have the escape route where I know that the person speaks English and I’m frustrated, I’m gonna go back to speaking English, but if I know that the person in front of me doesn’t understand English which was the case, I was forced to express myself in French whether it’d be… even if it was awkward,
Luke – Yeah.
Sebastian – …but after a while, by the end of the day there was eight hours of the day where I was only communicating in this other language, so unfortunately, I had to force myself and, you know, kinda put myself in a corner where I could only survive by speaking that language
Luke – I think it’s… a lot of it is about comfort zone.
Sebastian – Yeah.
Luke – So, if you’re in your comfort zone, if you’re comfortable, you know… the learning isn’t really going to happen. You’ll be comfortable, it’ll be very nice but you’re not necessarily going to really learn. So, we need to try and push ourselves out of our comfort zones in order to give ourselves a chance to really let learning happen. So, when it comes to like… learning English people listening to this – just keep that in mind I suppose, like when you’re watching a DVD in English, comfort zone, have you got your subtitles on? Maybe turn them off!
Sebastian – Yeah.
Luke – Because…
Sebastian – …or watch with Amer… uh…English subtitles.
Luke – Yeah. Well, people say that. Yeah, I think that’s definitely a good idea – watching english-language film with English language subtitles, but then when you get so used to that, the next step is switch off the subtitles.
Sebastian – Yeah, and see how much…, but it’s amazing how much more your ears start to open once you don’t have that crutch…
Luke – Yeah, yeah.
Sebastian – …of the subtitles.
Luke – Yeah.
Sebastian – and I realized that in French when uh…when you put yourself in a situation whether it be, yeah, It could be a passive situation when you’re watching a film but you’re forced to follow the story. It’s amazing how much you’ll be surprised that you cou…you understand.
Luke – Yeah.
Sebastian – You’ll surprise yourself, I think.
Luke – Yeah. Okay.
Sebastian – …once your ears adapt.
Luke – Yeah. Well, I have to take on that advice as well, because now I’m learning a second language, you know, it’s difficult… early days.
Sebastian – but it’s a very difficult language.
Luke – French?
Sebastian – Yeah.
Luke – Yeah. Tell me about.
Sebastian – I mean, you know, it’s been nine years now that I’m here and…
Luke – nine years now?
Sebastian – Nine years and I still make mistakes all the time.
Luke – Yeah.
Sebastian – I still have a very strong… and it’s very frustrating because I can say two words and a French person knows already that I’m not French. “Bonjour!” and they’re like “Ah, hi!”, you know.
Luke – Yeah. I find that when I start speaking French to people they just start speaking English to me because they’re like – “clearly, he doesn’t speak our language! I’ll speak English to you.”, and maybe they want to practise their English with me. They’re like – “Ah, an English person? Let me speak English to him!”
Sebastian – but I can’t help but sometimes get offended. Well I didn’t at first, but now after nine years Im (like) “uh,  you know, I do speak French.”
Luke – Yeah. So you’re like – “Just, speak French to me, for god’s sake”
Sebastian – Especially, also because their English is not necessarily spectacular either you know but they want to speak English so…
Luke – Yeah, yeah. Maybe they would like a little mini English lesson. Okay, so… you’ve been living in Paris for nine years. So, you’re an American, you’re a New Yorker in Paris and that’s the name of your show.
Sebastian – Yeah.
Luke – So, what brought you here to Paris then? What brought you here?
Sebastian – Well, actually, I wasn’t in Paris, I didn’t live in Paris at first. I was in the south of France for a while.
Luke – Yeah.
Sebastian – And uh…now, it’s been four years that I’ve been to Paris and so when I came up to Paris I was in Toulouse for a while
Luke – It’s down south
Sebastian – Yeah, down south-west. The south-west of France. I came up to Paris to, kind of… Well, France is very centered in Paris.
Luke – Everything is based in…Paris
Sebastian – Yeah, lots of the jobs are here, lots of, kind of the entertainment industry is here. It’s very centered. So, being someone who majored in film, and all that stuff, I realised that Paris is kind of the future and I wanted to start performing again because I did perform uh comedy when I was in New York and Boston and I kind of missed the stage.
Luke – Yeah. So…but uh.. Why did you leave America? Why did you leave your home country?
Sebastian – My home country? Well, because I was with a French girl.
Luke – Ah, well, love
Sebastian – Well love, there you go. And so uh..  but you know, that was a part of it, but I also, you know, I had recently graduated from college and I wanted to see, I wanted to travel as well, so there were different reasons… love being one of them, also adventure,  wanting to… you know. I had no idea how long I would stay, you know, I didn’t know. And so… you know, here I am, nine years later, went by pretty quickly.
Luke – Yeah. Time flies when you’re having fun.
Sebastian –  Yeah.
Luke – Okay, so… so what’s it like being an American in France? How is it being an American in France, generally?
Sebastian – Generally, it’s fine. I mean, the French and Americans have a love-hate relationship.
Luke – What’s a… you love them and they hate you?
Sebastian – Both, mutually, we both love and hate.
Luke – Yes.
Sebastian – …both, each other, for different reasons. We get very pissed off about each other you know, and get annoyed by each other.
Luke – Yeah? Can you tell us some of those things, like what do the Americans get annoyed with the French about?
Sebastian – The fact, that they are… well it’s funny because both have the impression that the other is arrogant.
Luke – Right.
Sebastian – So, the Americans have the impression that the French are arrogant…. that the French are pretentious and rude. So, these are the big cliches. And that’s uh…that the French kind of try to counteract the Americans often, to criticise.
Luke – Yeah.
Sebastian – And uh…Which on the other hand, lots of Americans are here because of that, because also lots of American citizens are very critical of the American government as well. And so coming to France there’s this kind of haven of people who are not necessarily gung-ho for everything that America stands for and can put the American way of life and the government into question. You know, not necessarily being against but just, asking more questions.
Luke – So, I tend to find that Americans who have come here to France to live tend to be more open-minded perhaps or they have more perspective on America than…
Sebastian – Well, I think, I don’t know if it’s specifically to France. I think just leaving the United States automatically gives you more perspective, you know. It’s very easy, living in the United States, to feel that the United States is the world.
Luke – Yeah.
Sebastian – Because, it is a microcosm of the world. There are people from all over the world in the United States more than in any other country in the world. And it’s a very big country and you kind of have everything represented there.
Luke – You’ve got like two sides.
Sebastian – You’ve got two sides,
Luke – There’s ocean on both sides.
Sebastian – Yeah. And… and you’ve got all different landscapes and as I said, all different countries are represented there, and so… you know… And there’s the television that’s very, you know uh… American television is very identifiable and so it’s very easy to forget that there’s a world outside.
Luke – Yeah.
Sebastian – And so, you know, whether you come to France or any other country, I think right away you get another perspective and it helps you give a perspective on the United States. So I think naturally, someone who lives abroad has that perspective that someone living in the United States who never traveled will probably not have.
Luke – That’s one of the big criticisms that people have of America is that they don’t know anything about the rest the world.
Sebastian – Yeah.
Luke – but I guess when you leave, you know, you get a lot more perspective on things.
Sebastian – The thing about the States is – it’s everything! It’s a country of extremes. You have the most ignorant people as you can have the most culturdl people, you know, and New York is totally different from Kansas, you know it’s…it’s… you’ve got everything.
Luke – Yeah. Before you came to Europe what did you expect Europe as a whole to be like? Sorry, have you visited many other countries in Europe?
[00:30:00]
S: I had been, before coming to France, I’d been to Spain, England and Portugal
L: Ok and since, have you travelled around?
S: Yeah, since now I’ve been nine years I’ve been in France, now I’ve been to Italy, Germany, aahh, papapa  well, Belgium, The Netherlands, still mostly western Europe
L: Been to the UK?
S: Not since I’ve been  to France
L: You haven’t been to the UK?!
S: Not since I, I went to London, oh, no, no, so that’s not true, I have been to the UK, I went actually two summers ago, we actually drove across the UK to go to Ireland
L: Oh right, so you were just passing through
S: Just passing through, I saw Stonehenge, for ten minutes
L: It’s not very…
S: Disapointed
L: You mean you stopped and you looked at it …
S: I looked at it
L: … on foot
S: Yeah, there is a gate, there’s like kinda fence around, so I didn’t go cause I think I had to pay
L: Yeah, yeah, you have to pay to get in
S: I didn’t pay I saw it from the outside and that was fine
L: To be honest, Stonehenge is, is a bit disappointing but it’s not because of the, the, the site, it’s not because of the monument itself, it’s not a monument, it’s not because of the …
S: the structure?
L: the thing itself, I mean we don’t really know what it is, in fact. It’s not the stones that are disappointing, it’s just the way that the location is presented, in fact, because it’s a deeply significant sight in terms of ancient history of the area and what you have now is a motorway
S: the road, the road
L: it runs right past it, so that doesn’t help. Back in the …
S: I didn’t expect it there, just been to a gas station but no, it was Stonehenge
L: yeah, yeah. It should … I think originally Stonehenge was at the end of a long path and it was kind of at the top of a small hill and so to get to Stonehenge would you have to walk quite a long way across a lot of open land with the rising kind of gradient so you would be walking uphill and you would see Stonehenge in the distance and then when you get to Stonehenge, this is five thousands years ago, when you got to Stonehenge it was much much more impressive because of the surrounding area and the context. Now it is not the same because there’s this big motorway that goes right past it, so unfortunately it spoils
S: It’s true that if I had to get to Stonehenge by walking a little bit it would definitely would have had a different effect
L: I don’t know that’s because you would be relieved
S: You finally got there
L: Oh god, I’m finally here, not that it’s that impressive but because you don’t have to walk anymore
S: walk anymore, yeah
L: Ok, I would love to hear what you think about other countries, I mean, cause we can’t just talk about France, I have listeners from all over the world and, in fact, on Facebook, some of them have sent me questions. So the first question I have it’s from Jairo, I’m not sure where Jairo is from actually, but what he said is: “If you have the chance to go back in time for twenty four hours, so just for one day, where and when would you go?” So you’ve got a time machine, you can use it for twenty four hours, where’re you going to go, when are you going to go to?
S: I think I … ancient Grece
L: Yes?
S: Yeah
L: Why is that?
S: Because I think they really had another way of thinking, I think it would be really interested to know what humans were like before the dawn of our modern religions I think that would be … they must have thought very differently and I think it would be very interesting to spend twenty four hours, and would I think really open up my mind to see how humans were, because I think we chose a different path instead and I think it would be interesting to see really how they thought and ..
L: Yeah, when I imagine ancient Greece I imagine sort of guys sort of lounging around with tablets
S: Yes
L: But it’s not like tablet computers like we have now
S: No
L: They had the original tablets
S: The original, yeah
L: The stone tablets. Can you imagine that any time you wanted to write something down you had to engrave it
S: Chisel, yeah and especially later with the numbers, well, yeah ancient Greece or ancient Rome, but yeah what the numbers, the roman numerals, if you wanted to represent 1943 you had to have, like, many characters
L: Ok, you have to learn a new alphabet
S: Yeah, pretty much a new alphabet, yeah
L: Ok, ancient Greece, awesome, brilliant. So ok, the next question is from Christopher and Christopher says: “What accent do you prefer Sebastian?, do you prefer the British accent, an American accent or an accent from another country? So what’s your favourite accent?
S: oh, ahm, I don’t have a ‘favourite’ accent, I mean there’re accents I find funny that for comedic potential as a comedian work very well, a German speaking English for some reason is very funny. I don’t know if it’s thanks to Mel Brooks films or what but there’s something funny I think about german speaking English
L: Really? Cause I have a lot of germans who are listening to this
S: Oh-oh!
L: and they are thinking l like “Oh is my English funny?” They might be
S: Offended
[ENDS AT 00:35:00]
[BEGINS FROM 00:35:00]
Sebastian – Offended? I just offended them all.
Luke – You’ve just offended the whole nation of Germany
Sebastian – …of Germany. No, I like the Indian accent. When Indians speak English, I find it I don’t know, there’s a ring to it that I appreciate
Luke – Going going back to the German thing again
Sebastian – Yeah. I have to  make up for it now.
Luke – Yeah. You do. But I think, there is, I think, the thing about German accent that makes it funny is as you said like some movies
Sebastian – Yeah.
Luke – …and stuff and some comedy movies have presented some germans as comedy characters with the voice and so on, but Okay. You find Indian accent to be pleasant.
Sebastian –  Yeah.
Luke – Charming?
Sebastian – I mean, I love the British accent as well.
Luke – Of course!
Sebastian –  Irish accent. I feel the Irish can see anything and it’s adorable. They can curse, they can see terrible news, but it’s charming.
Luke – Hiroshi from Japan is a regular contributor to the Facebook page. Hiroshi says, he has rather a serious question for you, Sebastian. He said:
– “How do you, what do you think about the ban and the gun movement in America” (Hiroshi)
and he adds:
– “I can’t believe they’re allowed to keep the gun. I’m strongly against it” (Hiroshi).
Luke – That’s what he says:
– ” Why don’t they ban guns with the strong decision like the decision to begin the war” (Hiroshi)
Luke – Wow, it’s a controversial question from Hiroshi.
Sebastian – Yes. Well, I mean, I agree with him, generally speaking that there should definitely, definitely be more gun control in the United States. Why I don’t know. This is a very complicated question. I don’t know if we really know why Americans love guns, but, you know, we do love guns! I mean, we, speaking very generally of the American people, I think, it will…, Well, it’s written in the constitution that it’s a right. It’s one of the first bills of the constitution, I don’t know which number.
Luke – I don’t know either. [It’s the 2nd amendment to the constitution! – Luke]
Sebastian –  I should know this, but I didn’t memorise the whole constitution. So I think, because it’s like top 5 they think that it’s necessary to hold onto, which of course, is a big mistake in the sense that guns when the Constitution was written were, was a very different beast, you know, a gun and you shoot one bullet and it took you 5 minutes to clean out your…
Luke – They didn’t have AK-47s or  M-16s, back in those days.
Sebastian – So, definitely a different kind of thing that we’re dealing with 230 years ago. Why? I think, it’s fear. I really think, it’s fear. I think that…, there’s a big fear that’s…, it’s a vicious circle in the sense…, it’s a vicious circle of a fear in a sense that you know that someone on the street might have a gun, so in order to defend yourself the only way is to have a gun. So, you have a gun and then that person of course is afraid that you might have a gun and so everyone winds up having a gun. Lots of people have guns in the house because they’re worried that someone will rob their house at gunpoint.
Luke – It’s terrible. That means the guns just multiply
Sebastian – Exactly.
Luke – Because all it take is for like a certain number of people to have guns for everyone else to feel that they should have guns.
Sebastian –  Yeah.
Luke – But it seems to me that it goes a little deeper than that as well, and when you start talking about gun-control, people feel it’s like anti-American to to ban the gun. So maybe that is the constitution but…,
Sebastian – That’s linked with the constitution because we have this association that…, because the constitution defines America, this is kind of the idea,  so that  if you kinda get rid of one of the fundamental aspects of the American constitution it is unamerican.
Luke – Yeah.
Sebastian – But in my opinion it is also very much American and necessarily American to put these things in question.
Luke – Yeah.
[00:40:00]
Sebastian – the American way of life, in my opinion, the positive aspect is to put constantly be putting yourself in question which i think the American people and government don’t do enough.
Luke – Yeah. Well, I hope that there is more gun control, just as a final point, I think as you said about it being American, it seems that its central, somehow it is connected to some core American values.
Sebastian – Yeah.
Luke – One of those being freedom or liberty.
Sebastian – Definitely.
Luke – I think that to an extent some people in the States value the right or…, yeah, the right to have a gun as somehow connected to the ability to be free.
Sebastian – Yeah.
Luke – and, having the right to bear  arms  is more valuable than the fact that some people will die from from shootings.
Sebastian – We’re very much afraid of the government in the United States.
Luke – You don’t like the idea that the government control over you…
Sebastian – Yeah, control and telling somebody an individual what to do. So this is a general, you know, I’m talking very general. As I said the United States is a very big place for 300 million people. It, you know, it’s very hard to categorise a whole country, but I’m talking about the people who as you said hold on to their rights, and yes, it’s that they consider it a right and if the government would say no you can’t carry a gun they would take it as an infringement on their freedom and, because there was established a long time ago and, the United States was, it’s a big country that had pioneers coming in and they needed to explore the land and they needed their gun and so they needed to hold on to it. It’s changed a lot as I said so…
Luke – I think, maybe…, to be honest, maybe the British, I think, it’s our fault. Sorry. I think, it’s our fault, because obviously in America there was a war of independence and they had to fight against the colonials, the Brits, they had a war against the British. So, maybe, adding into the constitution that all Americans were are allowed to have guns and that they should be allowed to have guns was a protection against the British. Because we had guns and we were fighting against you. So, you said: – “Right, American people, you can have guns. In fact, you should, because you need to protect ourselves against the British. So it is our fault.
Sebastian – Yeah. it’s become…, It’s always the British’s fault. Let’s get that clear. It’s always the British’s  fault.
Luke – We’re responsible.
Sebastian – but now, it’s been replaced with, you know, but it’s  the same ideas, it’s the same concept. Now, it’s been replaced by criminals, you know, the people, the criminals out there who’re gonna attack me and I need to defend… and it also comes back to this idea of fear that I need to defend myself and that no one will do for me.
Luke – Yeah.
Sebastian – So, there’s this mistrust that the government or police won’t do it and it’s also another thing, the citizens say: “- Well, if the cops have guns that’s not fair, I should have a gun as well” and so the cops have guns because the criminals have guns and so, everyone winds up having a gun.
Luke – Yeah. Well, Hiroshi, I hope that answers your question. I think it is clear, you know, that’s not…, it’s a very complex issue. We know that much and you can see how it’s all related to national identity. That actually is very important, you know, in how people define their lives. It’s very complicated, but yeah:
“- Why don’t they ban guns with the so strong decision?” (Hiroshi)
Luke – He says:
– “That’s Americans took a very strong decision to go to war” (Hiroshi)
Luke – So that’s a very, sort of, decisive thing that America sometimes decides to go to war, for example, in Iraq or in Afghanistan that leads us onto another question here. sorry to put this to you sebastian. Today, you have to justify everything that your country has done.
Sebastian – for the last 50 years.
Luke – Yeah, as an American you have to explain why America does these things.
Sebastian – Well, I want to say one thing that, unfortunately with all these gun massacres recently in schools and all of that, I feel and, I’m, you know, hopefully that there’s a tendency that the United States will wake up and really start to put a restriction on guns when you see how rampant the guns are all over the place.
Luke – This is very dangerous. Again,  very complicated thing. We could talk about that for ages
Sebastian – Sorry… that’s war
Luke – but the next one is like war, isn’t it. We’ve done guns. Let’s move on to war. So  – “What do you think about the American military missions in Iraq and Afghanistan”. That’s a question from Yarek.  He asks:
– “What do you think about US military missions in Afghanistan and Iraq” (YAREK)
Sebastian – Well, I’m not very well-informed, enough, I think, to talk about this. I mean, you know, I’m very much against war in general. I’m not for Americans getting involved in such places. Especially, where’s so much irony, in the fact, that the countries that the Americans are invading into the same countries that they supplied guns thirty years ago.
Luke – Well, Bill Hicks who is, you know, a great stand-up comedian, he is unfortunately not with us anymore. He made loads of very funny jokes about it like, one of them was, like, When American politicians appear on the news and they say: – “The Iraqi army”, this is from the original gulf war, 1991 part 1.
Sebastian –  Yeah.
Luke – (telling a joke)
– “The Iraqi army, they got terrible weapons”
– “How do you know that?”
– “well, we’ve checked the receipts”
So, you know, so these weapons that America actually, originally sold to the Iraqi army…,
Sebastian – Yeah, exactly.
Luke – …and then they fight against the Iraqi army, with even better weapons than them. So, they know exactly what they’ve got because they sold it to them.
Sebastian – Sold it, yeah.
Luke – Yeah.
Sebastian – So, you know, afterwards as far as specific interactions with Iraq and and Afghanistan, I don’t know enough details. I think that it’s very hard to know what’s going on, really. I mistrust the American news and so, in what aspect am I against it,  it’s really hard to know, but I mean, I have to say also that there’s this tendency that I agree in some regards that there needs to be a democratic system that’s put in place in some way. I don’t necessarily agree with the methods that the American government is doing, but, you know, there is, it’s true that there should be some democracy in these countries.
Luke – Yeah.It’s very complicated. Thank you for your questions about this. We’re not necessarily  the people (the most informed) to finally answer these very complicated ones, but still it’s interesting to see the opinion of an American person. Yarek also asks:
– “Do you know any foreign languages?”
Luke – I suppose, this is because we assume that Americans don’t know foreign languages,  but you’re slightly different because you’ve been in France for a while.
Sebastian – Yeah. I am a weird case even though I am a real American because I was born and raised there. My parents are from Argentina. So I speak a bit of Spanish. I grew up with Spanish in the household and now of course I speak French, because it’s been a while that I’m here and well, yeah. It’s  atypical. It’s not necessarily, not many Americans speak foreign languages, but more and more I would say. Especially, because there are such a heavy immigration and a very very big Latino population now in most major cities in the United States. More and more Spanish is being heard on the street everywhere, especially in major cities. So more and more people are, you know, opening up to foreign languages.
Luke – Can I ask you quickly about Argentina?
Sebastian – Yep.
Luke – Do  both your parents come from Argentina?
Sebastian – Yes.
Luke – Did they move …
Sebastian – …
Luke – Go on
Sebastian – They were born and raised there both of them. They met there, they married there. My brother was born there and then, they moved to the united states and I was born in the United States. Did I answer your question?
Luke – Yeah. You did. Yeah. I see. Have you been to Argentina yourself?
Sebastian – Yes, several times. Yeah. Well, I know my parents are from Buenos Aires. I know Buenos Aires quite well. I don’t really know that much else of the country unfortunately. I’ve been around a bit. I’ve been to Iguazu (en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iguazu_Falls) which is the waterfalls in between Argentina and Brazil – gorgeous! Gorgeous place, but I haven’t been to, many places I still need to visit in Argentina. It is a very big country.
Luke – Yeah.  Can you just tell us one thing that you remember about your time in Argentina? Did you eat a lot of steak?
Sebastian – Lots of steak. Very good steak. Very good beef.
Luke – Apparently, it’s the best beef steak you can get, in the world?
Sebastian – Yeaaaaaaah, it’s great I don’t know ‘best’, I mean  France is very good the States as well. I mean, it’s hard to say, because it also depends a lot how it’s prepared. Yeah. The quality of the beef is true, it’s very good. It’s very much a part of their diet, everywhere. It’s like  normal. Every day you can eat beef and don’t think twice about it. It’s also very nice city. Buenos Aires is actually, very nice city. it’s very European influenced city.
Luke – Yeah?
[ENDS AT 00:50:00]
[BEGINS FROM 00:50:00]
Sebastian – lots of French architecture that you can find, like aspects that kinda remind you of Paris or…, but an older Paris.
Luke – Really nice people as well. The people I’ve met from Argentina have always been like really friendly, interesting and warm
Sebastian – …warm.
Luke – Yeah. I’d love to go one day. Maybe, when I finally do my round-the-world adventure – “Luke’s round-the-world adventure” and I’ll make a podcast.
Sebastian – …and do a podcast from each country.
Luke – It would be brilliant. I’d love to do that. Okay. Let’s see – Atsushi Yoshida who is from Japan would like to know… He says:
– “I want him to talk about American regional accents” [Atsushi Yoshida]
Sebastian – Okay.
Luke – I talk about British regional accents quite a lot. I love accidents. I’m really into it. Sometimes, I talk about American accents, but I don’t know which part of the country my American accent comes from.
Sebastian – Okay.
Luke – If I can, you know, sort of like, start speaking with generic American voice. I don’t know where it comes from. I mean, okay, so…
Sebastian – Yeah.
Luke – The first question: How many different regional accents are there in the USA.
Sebastian – You can’t number them like that. I mean, it gets very very specific. You know, even in New York there several accents. So there’s Italian-American New York accent.
Luke – “Hey, how are you doing? Come on! What is the matter with you?”
Sebastian – Exactly.
Luke -Do you get some cannoli?
Sebastian – Exactly, very good. So, which would be different from a typical New York accent, which is kind of like the Woody Allen?, would “New York”. They kinda put an emphasis on the “K”, like – “New York”.
Luke – Yeah.
Sebastian – “Water”. Some people say that I have slight New York Jew-accent. I am Jewish, so… I don’t hear it, but sometimes people do say that
there is like, it’s kind of, you might hear it with the “T”. We kind of replace “T” with “D”, like a clear example with “Water”.
Luke – “Water”.
Sebastian – “Water”.
Luke – That’s interesting, because whenever I do, I always use “Water” as an example, I’d say: – “water”.
Sebastian – Yeah.
Luke – Now, you say “Water”
Sebastian – Water, water, water.
Luke – Water, water, water, because I emphasise the “R” sound a bit too much.
Sebastian – When you’re doing in American accent?
Luke – Yeah. Can you say
Sebastian – But that’s a New York accent.  That’s also my accent, meaning yours, I think, is more of a Middle America accent .
Luke – Yeah. So, Can you say: “can I get a glass of water please?”
Sebastian – Can I get a glass a water please?
Luke – “Can I get a glass of water please?”. So, I think mines is more exaggerated or something.
Sebastian – Yeah, but not that much. Yours is pretty straight on, I mean, there are definitely Americans who speak like that. So…
Luke – Does it have any particular regional…
Sebastian – Nah, I mean, you have to speak more for me to try to place it.
Luke – I guess – “I’m sitting here with the Sebastian Marx and he’s a comic. He’s very funny. We’ve just been drinking some…”, now, that’s kind of “We’ve just been drinking”… it’s kind of really middle American.
Sebastian – Yeah. It’s hard to place. I mean, I’d say, it’s a middle America, but it could be someone from New York as well or any. I think, also I think, it’s starting to blend more and more. I mean, I think, with mass communications all Americans are watching the same television shows, being influenced by the same news broadcasters which, you know, apparently, this is what I’ve heard, I don’t know if it’s true, no matter in which country or language, apparently the newscasters are supposed to have the most neutral accent, which I think is not the case in the BBC, because they speak weird as your sketch so clearly says, but it seems like an American newscaster kinda has to have a relatively neutral accent.
Luke – Okay. Yeah, listeners to the podcast know that part of my comedy routine involves speaking like a newsreader who for some reason speaks like this. That’s a bit exaggerated.
Sebastian – but, is it true?
Luke – Yeah. It is. It is. I was  watching the Margaret Thatcher’s funeral today and they were doing it – “The coffin there being lifted by members of the SAS the Royal Marines and the Gurkah rifle infantry”. You know, it’s just like- “Why are they speaking like that?”. Anyway, that’s a different question about the way newsreader speak. Okay.
Sebastian – other American regions you want?
Luke – Yeah.
Sebastian – Okay. There’s a southern accent which is
Luke – “Hey y’ain’t from round here are ya? We don’t take too kindly to strangers round here”
Sebastian – Yeah, it can be very, you know, what we call redneck-y kinda like that the cliche you did, but it could also be very sweet. Can be…, I have to say that there’s something very seductive of a southern girl. When a southern girl has a southern accent it can be very charming as well: – “what has a girl gotta do to get a nice cold drink around here? ” and it can be also very nice.
Luke – “I gots to get myself back home now. Well it sure is getting late”
Sebastian – Exactly.
Luke – I don’t know, I don’t know what this accent is.
Sebastian – No, it was great. It was like a scene from a 1950s movie with James Dean or something.
Luke – Yeah? Brilliant! A lot of people talk about the Texan accent.
Sebastian – Yeah.
Luke – So, what is that, because I have this kind of cowboy voice that I like to play around with which is like, sort of…
Sebastian – John Wayne-y
Luke –  No it is more kind of gritty sort of 1970s character from like “The Outlaw Josey Wales” It’s like – “Well I’m prouder than a game rooster to have rid (ridden) with you”, you know, that’s kind of thing, like – “I’m hungry and tired as a Missouri heelhound”, you know, like what is that?
Sebastian – I can’t take responsibility for this, because I don’t know what it is. I mean, I don’t know, sometimes for me as a New Yorker, it’s hard to tell the difference in the southern accent the Texan accent.
Luke – Yeah.
Sebastian – You know that they’re both from the south, but like as, you know, I’m sure that there’s a difference between someone from Georgia and someone from Texas.
Luke – Yeah.
Sebastian – but I wouldn’t be able to necessarily…, yeah, perhaps if I heard I’d be oh that’s this accent but I wouldn’t be able to reproduce it. But you sounded like you’re doing pretty good.
Luke – Yeah. I think, I’m doing a character rather than an accent.
Sebastian – Well, it’s definitely a character of the cliche of that accent.
Luke – He’s a is a gold prospector basically.
Sebastian – Okay. Well, that can be more West, like that can be even more, you know, Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado, kind of, it’s also a question of what century we’re talking about.
Luke – Yeah. It is. Yeah.
Sebastian – Another accent which, I don’t know if you want to continue with accents, but that’s pretty clear as a Boston accent, being someone who lived in Boston, which is the accent that you can really hear with John F Kennedy.
Luke – Yeah. – “People….”, I can’t do it.
Sebastian – They don’t pronounce, the main thing is the “R”. They don’t pronounce the “R”. The cliche, the key phrase that we always say to make fun of the Boston accent is – “Park the car in Harvard Yard”.
Luke – “Park the car in Harvard Yard”
Sebastian – “Park the car in Harvard Yard”
Luke – That’s P-A-R-K  T-H-E  C A-R  I-N   H-A-R-V-A-R-D  Y-A-R-D
Sebastian – Yeah.
Luke – “Park the car in Harvard Yard”
Sebastian – Yeah. – “A wicked kisser” So, that’s the cliche, that’s a typical Boston accent. so: – “Ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country” and that’s kinda like rhythm to it.
Luke – Yeah.
Sebastian – That’s very typical.
Luke – If you wanna, listeners if you wanna hear what the Boston accent really sounds like, then you could probably watch “The Departed” or – “The Departed”.
Sebastian – …which I haven’t seen, but yeah.
Luke – It’s great! It’s really good film. It’s set in Boston,
Sebastian – Yeah.
Luke – …all the characters like gritty Boston, you know, locals and they speak with a strong Boston accent. It’s sort of Irish influence.
Sebastian – Yeah. very very heavy …have a huge huge Irish immigration to Boston. Also if you wanna hear a typical Boston accent which is kinda making fun which is a character based on the Kennedy is in “The Simpsons” – Mayor Quimby.
Luke – Yeah.
Sebastian – If you hear the American version of “The Simpsons”, Mayor Quimby has a typical Boston accent.
Luke – Mayor Quimby?
Sebastian – Mayor Quimby, he’s of course a corrupt mayor, you knows, all the cliches of a politician.
Luke – Yeah.
Sebastian – …and he has the cliche of a Boston accent.
Luke – because, he is basically John F Kennedy isn’t he?
Sebastian – Yeah, pretty much or Ted Kennedy, you know, or who was a governor of Massachusetts. There’s a huge Kennedy family in…
Luke – Yeah. It’s interesting the way you say the word “mayor”, because I say “mayor” which is “A-A-A-A-A”, “MA-A-A-A”, that’s it. You say?
Sebastian – mayor.
Luke – mayor
Sebastian – Yeah.
Luke – kind of. Okay. “MA-A-A-A”.
Sebastian – You say, like almost French do “MA -AH”
Luke – MA AH.
Sebastian – Yeah.
Luke – Except without the  “H-H-H-H” in the end
Sebastian – Yeah. Yeah.
Luke – I think the way that the British or the way I say it, it sounds a bit ridiculous. I sound like a sheep.
Sebastian – MA-A-A-A-A  AH
Luke – MA-A-A-A-A,
[SPK1] – “The MA-A-A-A-YOR of London.”,
[SPK2] -” What? Did you just  become a sheep at the beginning of the sentence?”.
[SPK1]- “The MA-A-A-A-YOR of London”.
[SPK2]- “What?”
Luke – You know, “MO-O-O-O-O” is that a word as well? I don’t think so. Next question, Camila Andrade, and I know that she comes from Brazil.
[ 00:60:00]
Sebastian – u-huh
Luke – It’s another question about time. on the subject of time we’ve been going for about an hour.
Sebastian – u-huh
Sebastian – What the hell? It’s a podcast !
Sebastian –  They can listen how ever much they want.
Luke – They can pause and come back later.
Sebastian – Can I have another brownie?
Luke – Please have another brownie. You need the energy, because it’s a long podcast.
Sebastian – I’m not gonna pass out
Camila from Brazil, who’s a previous winner of my competition. I launched a competition over a year ago.
Sebastian – Aha.
Luke – She won the competition
Sebastian – What did she have to do?
Luke – She had to record erm a couple of minutes of dialogue, a couple of minutes of talking
Sebastian – u-huh
Luke –  In response to one of the episodes of Luke’s English Podcast and she won. People had voted for her and she won the prize which was a dictionary.
Sebastian –  Oh, wow! What was the subject of conversation?
Luke – Oh, goodness me. It’s a long time ago now. I’d heard so many…,
Sebastian – Yeah.
Luke – …that I can’t remember what they were about about. All I remember that she, you know, she just was very impressive, and charming, and so well done Camila. Alright?
Sebastian – u-huh.
Luke – So, anyway. She said to me:
– “Would you rather go back in time and meet your ancestors or go way into the future
and meet your great grandchildren”? (Camila Andrade)
Sebastian – ooh.
Luke – What would you rather do? Who’d you rather meet, your ancestors from the past or your grandchildren from the future?
Sebastian – Very interesting question.
Luke – time travel related.
Sebastian – Yeah. Yeah. there’s a theme here. I don’t know. I think, they’re both interesting.
Luke – Yeah?
Sebastian – I would say the future.
Luke – Yeah?
Sebastian –  I’m very skeptical about the future. I’m very skeptical and very worried about the future. so….
Luke – You think it’s all going to be zombies…
Sebastian – Yeah. Zombies at best. The zombies at best.
Luke – Really?
Sebastian – If the world is still even exists. If the planet still exists.
Luke – Yeah.
Sebastian – Yeah. In the future, I think it’ll be very interesting to see
if anything I do has any influence on anything in the future.
Luke – Really?
Sebastian – But I’m also very curious, I would also be very curious, where I’m coming from, what…, because, you know, I was pretty close to all my grandparents and it’s fascinating, and to really see the lineage and, what, how much I inherit. So this hard, It’s really hard question, but I think, I would say the future.
Luke – Yeah?
Sebastian – Yeah. How about you?
Luke –  I see… It’s a very good question too. If I went back into the past..,
Sebastian – Yeah.
Luke – I’d be worried that if I did something it would affect the future.
Sebastian – Yeah.
Luke –  For example, If I, sort of, you know like, do you know the movie “Back to the Future” ?
Sebastian – I know it very well.
Luke – If I went to the past and I met my ancestors, if I sort of said something wrong or, your know if I, you know, dropped a glass in the kitchen or If I sort of caused something to happen which somehow divided the family,
Sebastian – Yeah
Luke – …you know if I like tried to make a joke and no one understood and they all got offended and then there was a big argument and then my parents for some reason…
Sebastian – Split up.
Luke – …never met each other and I would just disappear, I wouldn’t exist anymore.
Sebastian –  Yeah.
Luke – So, I be worried about sort of breaking the space time continuum
Sebastian – Yeah.
Luke – You know…
Sebastian –  but I think, even if you just said –  “Hi I’m your great-great-grandchild” I think that there was already kind of influence, that would screw-up everything.
Luke – I think, that would it, wouldn’t it? I think, there’s a number of theories about what can happen if you go into the past.
Sebastian – Yeah.
Luke – One is that you affect of the future which then affects who you are in that situation. If I, for example, I’ve made a mistake or said a bad joke of my parents never got together, then I would just disappear.
Sebastian – Yeah.
Luke – But the other option, the other theory is that another version, another plane of existence would be created.
Sebastian – Yeah.
Luke – …and so, it would be alright.
Sebastian – Yeah, because it’s just another plane.
Luke – Yeah, exactly! So I don’t think I would go into the past, because I’m scared of what I would do.
Sebastian – Yeah.
Luke – So I would like to go to the future.
Sebastian – Yeah, but that would screw things up as well.
Luke – Would it?
Sebastian – Wouldn’t it?
Luke – Would it?
Sebastian – Imagine now, if our grand-grandparents decided to come visit us, to see how we are doing, that would…
Luke – for example, if they came back and they look really ill and really poor.
Sebastian – Yeah.
Luke – and they would like, look, you know, it’s really hard in the future, you know, we haven’t got any food, we haven’t good any money
Sebastian – Yeah.
Luke – …you know, we’re homeless  what are you doing then I’d feel really guilty and I’d just…
Sebastian – Yeah, or you would be like, how did you travel? It would open up your mind to a whole ‘nother realm.
Luke – Yeah. I’d just say, I would accept that in the future at some point we will be able to travel in time and obviously, we can’t do it now, but they could. So, I don’t know.
Sebastian – But if in the future we can travel in time we would know that now,wouldn’t we?
Luke –  Yeah. We would. I think if we’d got the ability to travel through time then all the time would just become meaningless, and you know, the space time continuum would break down, it would just become chaos.
Sebastian – Yeah.
Luke – But, you know, I’m not a physicist
Sebastian – Me neither.
Luke –  I’m not a quantum physicist, I think we need ask people like, what is he name? Michio Kaku I think, he is a Japanese-American physicist. He’s a sort of guy who can answer these questions or  Doc Brown  Doc Emmett Brown
Sebastian – Yeah, of course. He’d be the most obvious.
Luke – But if you did he would probably just go “Marty” “Get to the Delorian”  or something like that. that’s what I think. I’ll go to the future just so I could get, like, the next iPhone.
Sebastian – Yeah.
Luke – and bring it back.
Sebastian –  iPhone 25.
Luke – Yeah, and I would show people – “Look at this I’ve got the iPhone 25”, but I don’t know how it will be, what the iPhone 25 will be like.
Sebastian – I think, It won’t be a phone.
Luke – No?
Sebastian – I think, it’ll just be like a thing that you attach like helmet or I don’t know an ear piece
Luke – I don’t think, it will be as big as a helmet. I think I’ll be just…
Sebastian – Yeah.
Luke – it’ll probably just be like a little tablet that you swallow.
Sebastian – Yeah.
Luke – and you just swallow it once and then…
Sebastian – a beam comes out your nose and you can touch the screen which could be like a projection coming out of nose.
Luke – Yeah, exactly. You can send laser beams out of your face which allow you like visit websites.
Sebastian – Yeah, like to have your agenda in front of you.
Luke – Yeah. You could just like things
Sebastian – Yeah, you could like things.
Luke – You’d be able to just like things more conveniently. Okay. So again, I hope that’s the answer your question Camila. Let’s move on, Wassim. Wassim – I know, he’s a clairvoyant. He lives in New Zealand. He is originally from Iran. Interesting gu,y and Wassim is interested in your spiritual beliefs.
Sebastian – Ohoommm
Luke – Do you have a spiritual belief? Do you believe in life after death? What is your spirituality Sebastian?
Sebastian – I don’t, I do not adhere to any religion. That’s true, but I do consider myself a spiritual person, but I’m not sure what exactly I believe and I think, I’m discovering that more and more every day. I do believe that there is a sort of intelligence, but I don’t necessarily think that intelligence is not us. In the sense that I think, we are utilising a very small percentage of our capacity and I do think that we are deities in our own way.
Luke – We are gods.
Sebastian – We are, and I think, we don’t realise it, as if we kinda spiritual, we have a creative power that were not aware of and we don’t utilise or that were afraid of. So I believe in human potential. I don’t know if that’s spiritual or not. I believe it is spiritual, and I do believe that we are linked as living beings on this earth.
Luke – Yeah. Facebook, you know.
Sebastian – Facebook that’s the clearest example of my spirituality.
Luke – I’m joking, I’m joking of course. I’m being facetious as usual. Yeah. I agree. I think that we do have hell of a lot of untapped  potential. We’re probably learning more and more as time goes on. I don’t know, if I would, speaking for myself, I don’t know if I would call it spirituality, you see, like…, I think that our subconscious or the way how our minds work is kind of a mystery to us.
Sebastian – It’s a very big mystery. I mean, I believe in dreams. If I can say. I mean there’s nothing to believe in, we are there, but we have no idea what it is. We have so little information about it. That’s what I’m trying to say that we’re barely scratching the surface on what we are, and I think the miracle is – look at us, we’re incredibly complex beings. We’re inventing complicated computer just to mimic.
Luke – But also there are some things which people, there are things which people, let’s see understand or yeah people understand as a spiritual phenomena. Let’s say or supernatural things which may be explained by other things, you know, like the fact that, maybe sometimes, certain, close friends or brothers or sisters, when they’re separate from each other they feel a connection and one of them decides to call the other one on the telephone, and at that moment the other one picks up his telephone, and then that the call arrives,
Sebastian – …synchronicity kinda…
Luke – …synchronicity, and then they conclude that they have some spiritual link,
Sebastian –  Yeah.
Luke – …but it could just be explained by something else that we don’t really have the language or the we can’t really explain that right now, but it might not be that it’s sort of some supernatural force like some kind of extra sensory force. It could just be, you know, at since they are apart, naturally they are going to think about each other, sometimes when when they both think about each other at the same time, one of them calls the other one
Sebastian – Yeah.
[ENDS AT 00:70:00]
[STARTS AT 00:70:00]
Luke – It’s not that unbelievable, it’s quite reasonable actually that would happen.
Sebastian – I think, I think, that’s, that’s always, always seems like it’s the fine line between miracle and something very banal, you know, these kinds of phenomenon. I think, that’s, that’s, you know, I think, it depends a lot on how you want to take it.
Luke – Yeah.
Sebastian – You can see life as, as series of miracles and, and, and a strange phenomenon and you wouldn’t wrong and you can see them as just the sequence of events, and you wouldn’t be wrong either. I think, lots has to do, lots has to do with your perspective and I think, that’s what I’m saying – we create are world, I think, that’s, you can see the magic in a moment, the magic in the moments or not.
Luke – Yeah. It depends on how you understand things that happen. … for example you might see that the birth of the child and you might say – “Oh, my God! It’s a miracle!” and another person would see the birth of a child and he’d say: -“Well it’s not really a miracle, it’s science”
Sebastian – It’s science.
Luke –  Yeah. That’s what the body does we know how it does it. Yes.
Sebastian – …but there isn’t a miracle. I mean, science sometimes it’s just an explanation of the miracle.
Luke – Yeah. They don’t really explain why these things happen.
Sebastian – They explain how a child is born, but they can’t explain really how… the driving force behind it either.
Luke – Yeah.
Sebastian –  It’s, we can go on for hours…
Luke – keep talking about. Life after death? We don’t really know do we?
Sebastian –  No, we don’t. Do I believe? I’ve, I actually have no idea. Of course I don’t have any idea.
Luke – Yeah.
Sebastian – Do I think, do I feel? I think there’s something but I don’t know much more really.
Luke – Yeah. Okay. Alright. So, Wassim, I hope you like that rather vague answer
Sebastian –  very very vague
Luke – Okay, next question is from … I don’t know how to pronounce your name Hải Tuấn, Hải Tuấn I think and  Hải Tuấn says as an American Hải Tuấn:
– “As a American, which accent do you think is the most easy to understand?(Hải Tuấn)
Luke – This is a difficult question>
Sebastian – within the United States or?
Luke – the question continues British, Australian, South American or Asian English? Do you find that there’s one accent  that is easier to understand than others?
Sebastian –  Well, it’s hard to say, because I’m not objective. An American accent is the easiest for me to understand, because I’m an American. Out of those that were listed…
Luke – Surely it’s just the accents you’re the most familiar with.
Sebastian – Yeah, Yeah. I think, but I would say between an Australian and British, but also like British there are several, you know, like a cockney accent, I wouldn’t understand.
Luke – Yeah, if you meet someone British, if you meet someone from Scotland, Glasgow, like a working-class guy from Glasgow, it might be very difficult to understand because they’re using a dialect.
Sebastian – I will need subtitles.
Luke – Yeah.
Sebastian – Scottish films I often need subtitles.
Luke – “Trainspotting”, for example
Sebastian – for example
Luke – Yeah. I personally, if I can answer this question I would say, it really depends on the kind of accent your most familiar with.
Sebastian – Yeah. Of course.
Luke – So if you’ve never ever heard an accident from Edinburgh then it might seem very strange and difficult to understand, but if you grew up in Edinburgh and that’s the accent the you’ve listened to since you’re a baby then that’s going to be the easiest one. So for learners of English maybe they, I would say, there is no one accent which is easier or less easy to understand it all depends on how familiar you are with those accents. So for learners of English what you need to do is to try and expose yourself to as many different accents in English as possible so that they are less foreign to you.
Sebastian – Yeah.
Luke –  I would say. Let’s move on. Stefano says: – “Hi Luke…” he would like to find out from you about the bomb blast which happened in Boston.
Sebastian – Yeah.
Luke – …on Monday. So, in fact, there’s another question about that from Khazan Anna who is from Russia and she said
– “First I would like him to accept my deep condolence in connection with the terrorist action in Boston, if it’s a terrorist action.” Khazan Anna
Sebastian – Yeah. Do we know anything more. Cuz I saw it, when, you know, I was watching the news that night, but I haven’t….
Luke – I don’t think we do know anymore except that some, I think, some politicians in America have described it as a terrorist action. CNN described it as a terror attack.
Sebastian – Okay.
Luke – We don’t really know who
Sebastian – How many dead finally?
Luke – I think, it’s three.
Sebastian – Okay.
Luke – But we don’t really know more about who did it, but what do you think about this Sebastian?
Sebastian – What do I think about…? I don’t think we know enough. I don’t know, I wasn’t there. I don’t know…, I think, if it was an act of “terrorism”, quote unquote, I don’t understand, I don’t think it was very effective honestly.
Luke – They didn’t do a good job?
[ENDS AT 00:75:00]
[STARTS AT 00:75:00]
Sebastian – I mean in a sense…, that’s, I think if you wanted to kill the maximum amount of people like they didn’t really do their job. I don’t know.
Luke – Thank goodness
Sebastian – Thank goodness. So, well, I mean, I’ve spent five years in Boston. I love the city, and I think, it’s of course like any, you know, if it was an intentional act, I think, it’s, you know, of course a terrible act, I don’t, you know, I don’t understand the meaning or why someone would do that.
Luke – Yeah.
Sebastian – Besides that I don’t know what else to say about it.
Luke – Yeah.
Sebastian – I’m sorry. It happened and definitely condolences to the people who were injured or lost their lives in…
Luke – Yeah. very  sad.
Sebastian – Yeah.
Luke – We, you know, we can’t say much more about it, because really we don’t know exactly who was responsible…,
Sebastian – Yeah.
Luke – or how it came about. All we can say is that’s very tragic of course.
Sebastian –  …and very an unfortunate event.
Luke – Yeah. Absolutely. Just like any other attack in any situation…
Sebastian – …on civilians
Luke – Yeah. Exactly. It’s all very tragic. We’ll find out more as we know from the news. Let’s see. I’ve got more questions, Sebastian, is that right?
Sebastian – Yes, I’ve to go on about 10 minutes, but…
Luke – Oh, really?
Sebastian – Yeah.
Luke – Okay. Cunyt T, I think that’s how I say his name. He said, he asked about differences between Europe and the US. I think, we’ve talked a little bit about that. Cristina Ricciardo would like to know about American junk food and obesity problems.
Sebastian – Yes. Woooooooooooa! Yes.
Luke – What do you think about that? People say that the Americans are really fat, because they eat hamburgers all the time.
Sebastian – Yes. That’s not only the hamburgers, that’s everything. It’s, okay! Let’s put it this way. First of all the United States once again is a very big place. You’ve got people really, who have really very different eating habits, whether you know, you find someone in a big city which big city, which states and even within one city of people who eat, you know, very differently. Once again, especially in major cities in the United States, you can really get anything you want. So you have the choice to eat healthy or not. We are constantly bombarded by food, in a sense, advertisement for food or the capacity to get it in the United States.
Luke – …very convenient.
Sebastian – …very convenient, and so there’s a big tendency to overeat. So it’s a mix of things. The American diet is not necessary that healthy, because, first of all there’s lots, first of all, the quantities are very big. If you go to a restaurant usually the platters are more than what is healthy to eat. That’s why there’s a whole culture of doggie bags which is the little package that you can ask for to bring home half of your meal.
Luke – Yeah.
Sebastian – …which is regularly practiced over there, because the portions are so big. So I think it’s also a question of quantity. I think, it’s also the quality of lots of the food is very processed.
Luke – Yeah.
Sebastian – …lots of heavily processed foods.
Luke – So is it, you know, a welcome change to be in France?
Sebastian – Yeah. Food wise, I mean, there are few countries, I think, where you eat as good as you do in France. I mean as far as freshness of food and variety, it’s a very, pretty varied cuisine.
Luke – Except for Britain. Obviously English food, I think, no one can argue that English food is not the best. What I’m saying is of course British food is number one. Then French food, then, you know, other countries. We all know, I mean, everyone denies it, but we all know that English food is clearly the best food in the world. I think no one can argue against that.
Sebastian –  There was an interview with John Cleese from Monty Python, and he had a great come back
Luke – John Cleese
Sebastian – John Cleese, you know, and he was on The Daily Show, it was like ten years ago, and the guy asked – “Why does British food suck?”, and he responded – “Well, because we had an empire to run”.
Luke – Yeah. We were too busy taking the world.
Sebastian – Too busy taking over the world than focus on cuisine.
Luke – …and then we just took everyone else’s food.
Sebastian – Yeah, well, one thing to say about American food is that American food is also very varied as well, in a sense that what is becoming more and more the definition of American food is international.
Luke – Yeah.
Sebastian – You go to a city like New York where a typical newyorker will eat Thai for lunch and then Mexican for dinner and, you know, really go all over the world within a week, culinarily speaking. So of course there are American typical dishes, but…
[ENDS AT 00:80:00]
[STARTS AT 00:80:00]
Luke – It’s not simple,  it’s not simple ladies and gentleman
Sebastian – No.
Luke – You can’t just say American food any more.
Sebastian – No, it’s complicated.
Luke – It’s complicated. I think, maybe
Sebastian – It’s complex, complex.
Luke – I’m gonna call this episode a cup of tea with Sebastian Marx, but it could easily be called it’s complicated
Sebastian – It’s complicated.
Luke – Right, I’m sorry, I’m just gonna ask you a couple of other questions.
Sebastian – Ohoom
Luke – Hanaé Georgette Berton
Sebastian – Yeah.
Luke – …asks:
– “once again, are you sure you’re the man on the flyer?” (Hanaé Georgette Berton)
Luke – Does this make sense to you?
Sebastian – Yes. Yes. This is person has seen my show or..,
Luke – I think, this person has seen your show.
Sebastian – Yes. I am the person on the flyer. I usually wear glasses and  on my flyer I do not have glasses, and on the flyer, it was, the person took the photo of me when I was in the middle of laughing. I was a pretty good hearty laugh…,
Luke – Yeah? “hahahahaha”, that’s a hearty laugh.
Sebastian – Yeah, and I was really cracking up and so you might not see that face often in real life …
Luke – So people ask you you: – “Is that you on the flyer?”
Sebastian – Yes, often.
Luke – Okay.
Sebastian – Yeah
Luke – Hanaé there you go. I hope that’s the answer to your question. She is nice Hanaé, I’ve met her, she came to “French Fried Comedy Night”.
Sebastian – WOooooa. Okay.
Luke – She was shy. It was very sweet.
Sebastian – I don’t think, I don’t think she introduced herself to me, does she?
Luke – I don’t know.
Sebastian – I don’t know
Luke – She introduced herself to me, Sebastian. I’m Luke, from Luke’s English Podcast.
Sebastian – I see. So she’s shy, but up to a certain point.
Luke – Exactly, you know, she managed to overcome her shyness to ask.
Sebastian – Luke’s English Podcast.
Luke – Exactly.
Sebastian – …The host of  Luke’s English Podcast a question
Luke – Hiroshi… I’ve just got two more things, if everyone has got the time, including the listeners. I might divide this podcast into two episodes.
Sebastian – You do, whatever you want.
Luke – We’ll see and Hiroshi Maruyama comes back with the second question, and he says:
–  “Ask him his favorite sport. I like disc golf, rollerblading and salsa dancing.” I don’t think dancing is a sport, but it’s fine “Doesn’t he do any of them? Is disc golf popular among US people? I think it’s a excellent sport.” (Hiroshi Maruyama)
Luke – I know what you’re thinking, Sebastian. You’re thinking: – “What these disc golf?”
Sebastian – Yes.
Luke – I don’t know what disc golf is either.
Sebastian – Disc golf
Luke – Disc golf. Can you imagine? Have you ever heard of disc golf?
Sebastian – No. I imaginegolfing like with plates, but…,
Luke – Right, it’s here on the internet, on Wikipedia. Wikipedia says:
Sebastian – Are there some images?
Luke – Yeah. There you go. It looks like it is an American sport.
Sebastian – Aha.
Luke – It must be an American sport. It says..
Sebastian – Ok it’s been like throwing a frisbee into a basket.
Luke – It’s like basketball but with a frisbee
Sebastian – But, but it seems more like golf, in the sense that it’s not like… it’s not like basketball in the sense that there are teams, it seems like there are holes, you know, baskets that you have to throw the frisbee into I guess.
Luke – It’s like playing golf…,
Sebastian – Yeah.
Luke – but with a frisbee…,
Sebastian – Yeah.
Luke –  …and you throw the frisbee into a basket
Sebastian – Instead of putting a ball in a hole, you put the frisbee in a basket. I guess.
Luke –  …and I expect you can’t walk with the frisbee
Sebastian – Yeah, I guess. That would kind of defeat the purpose.
Luke – It sounds good.
Sebastian – Yeah. I’d like to play it. I have never seen a disc golf course, but…
Luke – Yeah?
Sebastian – So disc golf, I do enjoy dancing salsa, it’s not a sport. I don’t think that we can consider dancing a sport, unless it’s a competition, so you can do that but… Yeah, I do enjoy dancing I took classes, salsa classes, and lots of fun, lots of fun.
Luke – Mmmmm, okay.
Sebastian – I don’t play much sport right now. I played baseball when I was young.
Luke – Yeah.
Sebastian – Baseball, American football,
Luke – little league?
Sebastian – little league and all.  I wasn’t too short for basketball
Luke – Okay. Good, good. Final point, Sebastian.
Sebastian – Yeah.
Luke – This is the last question from Flavio who says:
– “I would like to hear him try to pronounce a few words in British English…” (Flavio Gasperini)
Sebastian – Oh, dear…
Luke – and he’s listed some words, alright?
Sebastian – Yes.
Luke – So the first word is “water”. So how would you say it normally, first of all?
Sebastian – Water. Well, like sorry because now, I’ve got the pressure and I know
I’m suppose to … “water”.
Luke – Let’s do like this. Say it in your normal accent and then say like a British person.
Sebastian – Water.
Luke – Yeah.
Sebastian – Water.
Luke – Alright. Water.
Sebastian – Water.
Luke – Pretty good.
Sebastian – Water.
Luke – Pretty good. Yeah. Can I…
Sebastian – Can I have a glass of water?
Luke – Yeah. Alright, not bad, the “T” sound. There’s another one, the next word is “territory”
Sebastian – Territory.
Luke – …or actually I would say “territory”
Sebastian – Hmmm. Territory.
Luke – Yeah.
Sebastian – Territory.
Luke – T-e-r-r-i-tory.
Sebastian – Te-rr-i-tory. what am I missing.
Luke – What are doing there?
Sebastian – Territory.
Luke – So, not – “territory”,  it’s not a question, but “territory”
Sebastian – Territory.
Luke – Yeah, okay.
Sebastian – Territory.
Luke – This is British territory.
Sebastian – This is British territory.
Luke – Alright.
Sebastian – Not bad?
Luke – Not bad, Sebastian. “Thought”.
Sebastian – Thought.
Luke – Yeah. “Thought”.
Sebastian – Thought. There I’d think just like Darth Vader
Luke – Really? That’s “the force” isn’t it?
Sebastian – the force!
Luke -Darth Vader would be like: – “I was thinking about your birthday”. Now, what’s the joke?
Sebastian – “I have a thought”
Luke – Yeah, and – “I have a thought”.
Sebastian – Thought.
Luke – “I know what you get for your birthday, Sebastian. I’ve felt your presents” So, okay – “thought”.  “advertisement”
Sebastian – Advertisement.
Luke – Alright. now…,
Sebastian – Advertisement.
Luke – …in America you’d say what?
Sebastian – Advertisement.
Luke – Advertisement, but…
Sebastian – …or commercial.
Luke – Advertisement.
Sebastian – Advertisement.
Luke – Alright. Okay.
Sebastian – Advertisement.
Luke – Adver”T”isement.
Sebastian – Adver”T”isement. Adver”T”isement.
Luke – Pretty good. Now – “Look at that advertisment!”
Sebastian – Look at…
Luke – Look at that advertisement.
Sebastian – Look at that advertisement. I can’t do without going into cliche.
Luke – It’s fine, and finally – “I can’t eat eggs”.
Sebastian – I can’t
Luke – I can’t eat eggs.
Sebastian – I can’t eat eggs. I can’t eat eggs.
Luke – I can’t
Sebastian – I can’t
Luke – Yeah, that’s good.
Sebastian – I can’t
Luke – I just can’t
Sebastian – I just can’t eat eggs.
Luke – I hate eggs.
Sebastian – I hate eggs
Luke – Very good, and in American accent?
Sebastian – I hate eggs.
Luke – Yeah. Do you really?
Sebastian – I hat…. no, I love them.
Luke – Me too. I love eggs as well. Well, Sebastian, it’s been an absolute pleasure to have you with me.
Sebastian – Pleasure is all mine, delicious, I ate two brownies.
Luke – Fine, it’s great.
Sebastian – I’m eating like an American now.
Luke – Go ahead. Do you want…
Sebastian – It’s been nine years trying to break the habits, and now here at Luke’s English Podcast, I fall back in
Luke – I to treat my guests well by providing them with snacks and beverages.
Sebastian – Yeah.
Luke – I’m glad that you enjoyed the brownies. You can have another one if you like.
Sebastian – Oh, no. I’ve already had two, and…
Luke – Okay.
Sebastian –  I have a line I have to now dance 45 minutes of salsa.
Luke – Yeah.
Sebastian – …in order to make up for…
Luke – …to burn off the calories.
Sebastian – Yeah. Minimum.
Luke – Okay. Well, thank you, Sebastian. Ladies and gentlemen if you’re interested in finding out about Sebastian’s shows which, if you’re in the area you should be interested in, you can check out his website which will be printed on my website.  sebastianmarx.com
Sebastian – sebmarx.com – “s”-“e”-“b”-“m”-“a”-“r”-“x” “DOT” “COM”
Luke – DOT COM
Sebastian – DOT COM
Luke – Alright.
Sebastian – Yes.
Luke – I hope to have you back at some point Sebastian
Sebastian – with pleasure.
Luke – Great. Sebastian also has a podcast in French
Sebastian – Yeah.
Luke – If you’re interested.
Sebastian – It’s called  “Donc Voila Quoi”
Luke – “Donc Voila Quoi” which is like saying, “So, there you go”
Sebastian – Yeah. Pretty, pretty much means nothing.
Luke – Really?
Sebastian – Yeah.
Luke – It’s like -“So there you go”
Sebastian – So, there you go.
Luke – ”Donc Voila Quoi”
Sebastian – Yeah.
Luke – Okay. How is my French?
Sebastian – Wonderful.
Luke – Is it really?
Sebastian – Yeah.
Luke – Non, c’est ne pas vrai
Sebastian – Well because I think you are accent conscious
Luke – Yeah.
Sebastian – I think within a year you’ll have a better French accent than I do.
Luke – Yeah?
Sebastian – Yeah, because I don’t pay any attention to and so that’s why.
Luke – C’est tres important pour moi
Sebastian – Yeah.
Luke – This is not Luke’s French Podcast, I just wanted to
Sebastian – not yet, not yet.
Luke – Not yet, maybe there will be another one, but I think, I’m gonna stick to the English one for the moment.
Thanks very much for listening to the podcast ladies and gentlemen. What I normally do at the end is that I go like “bye bye bye bye” like, sort of, echo?
Sebastian – Yeah, okay.
Luke – Do you want to join me with a “Bye bye bye bye”
Sebastian – Yeah.
Thank you very much again for listening to the podcast
Bye bye bye bye
[THE END OF THE EPISODE]

  • Christian

    As we all know, everybody listens to Luke’s English podcast. Hence, it is no wonder that, only a few minutes ago, after listening to this episode of LEP, Angela Merkel announced that it is the duty of every German citizen to punch Sebastian Marx’s teeth down his throat. Seems you’re gonna get “merkeled”, rudeboy! No, just kidding!!!;-) Although I am from Germany, I absolutely agree with Sebastian: German-English (or Denglish as we call it in Germany) is one of the funniest accents out there. Don’t believe me? Then PLEASE check out the following youtube videos…hilarious!!!
    www.youtube.com/watch?v=7cNDcmeVQfI
    www.youtube.com/watch?v=-RrEQ8Ovw-Q
    www.youtube.com/watch?v=uKHPcwMHGVw

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  • I am listening again to your interview and how you discuss spirituality. Thanks for talking about it, I liked it. I honestly was an atheist or probably just a non-religious and a non-spiritualist until the age of 30. So, really I understand exactly how you look at spirituality as a totally mystical thing that has got no proof. I would have talked in a similar way, if I had had that discussion before I turned 30. But a most impressive thing happened in my life at the age of 30 and I knew there is something beyond this sky taking care of us and interacting with us. That’s all what I know about spirituality, and I don’t consider spirituality to be about paranormal stuff. I also understand now (from what I have experienced) that we all exist after death. I don’t agree with all spiritual rituals, religions, or beliefs. I have just experienced many things that made me understand things in a different way than that we are just here for no reason and once we die it is the end. Yes, many of my dreams had realised in the real world after some time. I don’t think that spirituality is paranormal. Science will explain a lot of spiritual stuff sooner or later. Miracles for me are just what we are not able to explain. No miracles really are there.

    Anyway, I just wanted to give my view.

    • Thanks for sharing your opinion Wassim, it’s good to read your interesting responses.

  • I have just heard my name being mentioned in this podcast. What an amazing experience! Suddenly I became very excited about every single world being said. It is very interesting to hear your opinions about the “after life” and spiritual beliefs.

    In fact, I haven’t heard this episode before because I wasn’t expecting my name to be mentioned and my question to be answered. Wow! I am famous now. At least 10,000 person have heard my name. Great. Thanks

    This motivates me to ask more questions in the future episodes. That’s fun!

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