438. Hi Luke, I have a question!

Here’s another episode done in a similar style to the last one, with some news, some rambling and some questions and comments from the website. Topics in this episode will include: My live comedy show in Tokyo on 13 April, Differences between Comedy & Humour in France and the UK, Understanding TV shows and movies in English, Talking about Breaking Bad, Logan (the latest Wolverine movie), some grammar teaching and more…

Small Donate Button[DOWNLOAD]

Japan show – 13 April

19.00-22.00
Gamuso in Asagaya
2 Chome-12-5 Asagayakita, Suginami, Tokyo 166-0001, Japan
There will be a few other comedians first, doing comedy in English, then I will take the stage and do a set of stand-up comedy for you to enjoy.
FB Event page: www.facebook.com/events/396651460705556/

I’m not sure I’ll be filming or recording it because it’s stand-up and I have to be careful about what stand-up material I film and make public on YouTube.

Sorry to people in Osaka – I can’t be there this time!

London LEPster meetup

Host: MO (in LEP t-shirt)
Hi Luke
I am happy to say that I have finally managed to organise a time and a place. The time is Saturday the 8th of April at 1300hrs I chose this time because it is in the Easter holiday and I am assuming that most of the people are going to be on a break. The place is Costa Coffee and the address is 33-34 Rathbone Place, Fitzrovia, London W1T 1JN. It’s just off Oxford Street. The nearest station is Tottenham court road station. For any enquiries they can send me an email on bayle2003@hotmail.com

Russian LEPsters in St Petersburg

Hi Luke! How are things, man? We have already organised the first Get Together in Saint Petersburg! It will be on 9 April. Will you help us with publicity once we announce this event? :))
The Facebook Group
The Facebook Event on 9 April

Don’t forget to check the ARCHIVE for my recent interviews on ZEP and MFP

Other Comments & Questions

Mattia Andrao

I write this comment just hoping to be mentioned in the next episode…….

Carine (a reference to a message in the last episode from Adam, whose family hates my podcast because Adam forces them to listen)
Hello Luke,
To make you feel better about being hated by Adam’s family, which you do not deserve, I want to let you know that my two 9 year old daughters like your podcast very much and they love to listen to it when we are travelling by car! Listening to your podcast is a family thing we sometimes do the 3 of us together. They particularly enjoyed episodes 425 and 426, the Victorian Detectives. They are also Paul Taylor’s fans now!
Thank you for your funny podcast,
Take care,
Carine from La Rochelle, France.

Hello Carine from La Rochelle and her two 9 year old daughters!
I learned French in school from a book called Tricolore and it was set in La Rochelle.
All the characters, everything, happened in La Rochelle.

Danil Zelichenko
Hi Luke! Thank you for you podcast! I’ve been listening to it since September 2016. It really helps me. I still make a lot of mistakes, but I feel more confident.
I have a few questions
1. Have you ever listened to comedy in other languages with subtitles?
What can you say about the sense of humor in different countries?
French comedy without subtitles. I don’t really understand it! I also feel like their comedy is a bit different to ours. Some differences.
Our humour is self-deprecating, theirs isn’t. French humour is quite combative and involves quite a lot of put downs. We do that too but we also put ourselves down a lot.
Ours involves a lot of understatement, theirs doesn’t.
Comedy – theirs is situational.
Theirs is very visual.
Theirs is quite traditional – it is linked to theatre traditions that go back years.
In the UK we have alternative comedy which is counter-culture and subversive (even though it’s mainstream now) whereas in France it’s still tied into the theatre tradition.
2. Do you listen to other podcasts about learning English? Maybe you can compare your one with others?
Ingles Podcast (mainly focuses on Spanish learners of English, a little slower than mine, they focus more on teaching specific language points and language related questions – I do that less these days, preferring instead to focus on topics)
All Ears English (They’re very bright and energetic, they focus on communication strategies, natural sounding language and everything is focused on learning to communicate like an American native speaker – my episodes are longer and a bit looser than theirs.)
3. I like to listen to your old episodes every now and then, but I found that in iPhone first episodes had disappeared. It starts only from 33 now. Can you do something about it?
Daniel from Moscow (I’m not ninja) :) you can notice (mention) my name if you want.
P.S. I’ve just voted for your podcast!

Ivan
I’d like to listen to you Luke, speaking more about Breaking Bad.

Can’t remember who wrote this!
I have a basic question to you, teacher Luke! Well… maybe most lepsters will laugh at this doubt, but I really can’t notice sometimes the difference between for example: “I did walk” versus “I walked”. I mean… when I should use did or the suffix “ed”. Maybe it’s a basic grammar issue but I hate studying grammar. Thanks!

Christopher
Hi Luke,
How do you do? As a start I want to say thank you for the great work you do. Besides your podcast, I also hear a lot of BBC Stuff. Most of them are political talks or documentaries. I find it very interesting to hear different opinions about a topic. But there is one thing I find really curious and I was hoping that you might be able to help me out of my confusion.
In every talk show the guest addresses the host with his forename. For example:
“Today we are talking with the new director of Strawberry Media, Jackie Smith. Welcome! Thanks Steve… nice to be here…”
In Germany we would find this very informal and it never would happen on a political talk show.
Why do you do that in GB?
Best wishes to France,

Dmitry from Russia
Luke, I really adore your podcasts. But I’ve got a question: When I listen to your podcasts I understand absolutely everything you say, no matter how quick you speak. But when I try to watch something that is made for natives and by natives (movies, also songs) it’s extremely difficult (or sometimes completely impossible) to get what they say. Could you, please, explain this in one of your episodes, why this happens, and also come up with some ideas how to cope with this problem. Thank you in advance. Your podcasts are amazing!!!

Reasons

  • Familiarity with my voice.
  • My clear way of speaking. I try not to speak too slowly but I do make an effort to be clear. I am talking to an audience, I am doing a show. In episodes with guests you hear a slightly more natural speech pattern as I’m in a real conversation, but when I’m talking to you I am making an effort to communicate to you – just like you’d expect from someone doing a presentation. In movies they’re not talking directly to you like that.
  • Films feature people talking to each other – not talking to you. THere’s a difference. It’s easier to understand it when the person is engaging you directly, rather than you listening to other people’s conversations.
  • It’s just me, so no distracting stuff, no interruptions, no sounds etc.
  • Films contain loads of sound effects, music and background noise.
  • It’s recorded to be listened to and for every word to be understood. Movies are not always supposed to be understood completely.
  • Films are realistic. The dialogue is not always audible – many films feature “naturalistic dialogue” – i.e. incomplete sentences mumbled under the breath. This is a totally intentional stylistic choice. It’s supposed to be natural and realistic.
  • Films are confusing. They often don’t make sense. My episodes have a pretty linear structure.
  • My podcast is recorded to be heard – i.e. I use microphones for clear voices. I reduce background noises. Movies aren’t like that. They add noise, they record voices to be blended with the rest of the soundscape.
  • Movies are a visual medium – so much of the message is in the visuals. The audio is an accompaniment to that, so it has secondary importance. Also, you get distracted by the visuals and you end up not concentrating on the audio. You could try just listening to some movies. This sounds a bit strange but try getting the audio from a movie and simply listen to it. Then watch the movie – you might find you understand more of the dialogue that way, because you’re allowing yourself to focus only on the speech.
  • Most films are in US English. I speak British English, although there aren’t that many differences really.
  • Movies also feature lots of different accents and characters who might speak in ways you’re not familiar with.
  • Songs don’t always make sense. There’s a lot of artistic licence. I often can’t catch the lyrics of songs (check out my misheard lyrics episodes). The English isn’t normal English.
  • Sometimes they’re just a stream of consciousness with no proper discourse like in spoken English.

Solutions

  • Watch more movies! Familiarity is important. Getting used to it.
  • It’s just a question of continuing to improve your English.
  • Subtitles sometimes, then no subtitles, then subtitles again.
  • Don’t worry about it too much. Sometimes I can’t catch the things they’re saying in movies either. Realise that there are times when you won’t understand. Realise that movies are hard to understand, and so don’t be shocked when you don’t understand them. Often they’re mysterious or simply don’t make sense. I often struggle. Don’t worry about it too much.
  • Try using headphones so you can hear more clearly.
  • Specific techniques: Practice shadowing specific scenes first without subtitles, then with, then without again. Do this with favourite scenes from films. I do it a lot too and it can be really fun. It will help train yourself to hear and understand movie dialogues more easily.

Jane
Hi Luke!

I really like those episodes you talked about superheroes.
Could you do an episode about the movie, “Logan”, please?
I would love to hear your thoughts!
Thank you soooo much!
Best regards,
Jane

 

  • Ezio Xie

    Hi Luke. Greating from Shanghai, China.
    I recently had my ielts test. I had not prepared anything for it except for listening to your podcast. The ielts episode was helpful. And also, to my surprise the Gordon Ramsay one also helped. I watched a hell lot of Ramsay’s show afterwards and learned bits of vocabularies and expressions, not those swearings unfortunately.
    And it all came out in the colloquial test!
    I was asked to say what I wanted to do in my life not related to work or life.
    Immediately I came up with the idea of saying that I d love to learn to cook! And all the technical words like chiffonade, saute, or really native words like shepherd pie came to my aid.
    When I mentioned Ramsay as one of my motivation to do so. The examiner could not help but laughing. I went really fluent all the way down the test. The score hasn’t come out but I m sure it will be satisfiying sonce it’s the the best performance I ve ever done.
    Thank you, Luke!

    Also I ve been in a dilemma where I have to make the choice between politecnico di turin and politecnico di Milan to complete my last year of college. As i ve never been to italy and I am currently in Shanghai. I ve no idea how to choose. When you chose to live in japan. Had you had the problema of making choice of where to go? Can you share your esperienza of how you came to finally decide where to continue the next phase of your life? Japan or Paris both are good of course.

  • Ezio Xie

    Hi Luke. Greating from Shanghai, China.
    I recently had my ielts test. I had not prepared anything for it except for listening to your podcast. The ielts episode was helpful. And also, to my surprise the Gordon Ramsay one also helped. I watched a hell lot of Ramsay’s show afterwards and learned bits of vocabularies and expressions, not those swearings unfortunately.
    And it all came out in the colloquial test!
    I was asked to say what I wanted to do in my life not related to work or life.
    Immediately I came up with the idea of saying that I d love to learn to cook! And all the technical words like chiffonade, saute, or really native words like shepherd pie came to my aid.
    When I mentioned Ramsay as one of my motivation to do so. The examiner could not help but laughing. I went really fluent all the way down the test. The score hasn’t come out but I m sure it will be satisfiying sonce it’s the the best performance I ve ever done.
    Thank you, Luke!

    Also I ve been in a dilemma where I have to make the choice between politecnico di turin and politecnico di Milan to complete my last year of college. As i ve never been to italy and I am currently in Shanghai. I ve no idea how to choose. When you chose to live in japan. Had you had the problema of making choice of where to go? Can you share your esperienza of how you came to finally decide where to continue the next phase of your life? Japan or Paris both are good of course.

    Hi Luke. Greating from Shanghai, China.
    I recently had my ielts test. I had not prepared anything for it except for listening to your podcast. The ielts episode was helpful. And also, to my surprise the Gordon Ramsay one also helped. I watched a hell lot of Ramsay’s show afterwards and learned bits of vocabularies and expressions, not those swearings unfortunately.
    And it all came out in the colloquial test!
    I was asked to say what I wanted to do in my life not related to work or life.
    Immediately I came up with the idea of saying that I d love to learn to cook! And all the technical words like chiffonade, saute, or really native words like shepherd pie came to my aid.
    When I mentioned Ramsay as one of my motivation to do so. The examiner could not help but laughing. I went really fluent all the way down the test. The score hasn’t come out but I m sure it will be satisfiying sonce it’s the the best performance I ve ever done.
    Thank you, Luke!

    Also I ve been in a dilemma where I have to make the choice between politecnico di turin and politecnico di Milan to complete my last year of college. As i ve never been to italy and I am currently in Shanghai. I ve no idea how to choose. When you chose to live in japan. Had you had the problema of making choice of where to go? Can you share your esperienza of how you came to finally decide where to continue the next phase of your life? Japan or Paris both are good of course.

  • Ezio Xie

    Hi Luke. Greating from Shanghai, China.
    I recently had my ielts test. I had not prepared anything for it except for listening to your podcast. The ielts episode was helpful. And also, to my surprise the Gordon Ramsay one also helped. I watched a hell lot of Ramsay’s show afterwards and learned bits of vocabularies and expressions, not those swearings unfortunately.
    And it all came out in the colloquial test!
    I was asked to say what I wanted to do in my life not related to work or life.
    Immediately I came up with the idea of saying that I d love to learn to cook! And all the technical words like chiffonade, saute, or really native words like shepherd pie came to my aid.
    When I mentioned Ramsay as one of my motivation to do so. The examiner could not help but laughing. I went really fluent all the way down the test. The score hasn’t come out but I m sure it will be satisfiying sonce it’s the the best performance I ve ever done.
    Thank you, Luke!

  • Елена Конюхова

    Hi luke,

    I’ve been one of your podcast addicted LEPsters for about two years and don’t want to cure of it. I made several comments sometime ago. I didn’t believe that I would receive any response, but you read them and replied to them. I even participated in the anecdote competition and was lucky to be in the top 10. Now I know you really value your listeners and appreciate their thoughts.

    You’re going to Japan, and I can’t wait to listen to new episodes about your journey there. I love this country. My coastal town in the Far East of Russia has three Japanese sister towns, so our contacts with Japan are very close. Also, I used to work in the Japanese Consulate. I’ve been to Japan several times and have so many warm memories of those journeys.

    Russians started to visit Japan in early 90-s when large vessels with tourists departed from Vladivostok and Nakhodka for Japan weekly or even more often. People from our country sailed to the Land of the Rising Run to enjoy tourist attractions and do shopping. Used cars and household appliances were the most needed. Tokyo, Kyoto, Nara, Osaka have been the best popular among tourists.

    But several years ago I was very lucky to visit the smallest prefectures of Japan: Tottori and Shimone. And it was fantastic because I could see the genuine Japanese lifestyle there.

    Let me just say about some places. We visited the Tottori Sand Dunes that are the longest in the world and really brilliant, the Sand Museum where an international group of sculptures and architects makes something incredible, their shrines and museums. Adachi Museum of Art represents beautiful Japanese garden in four seasons.
    Also, there are a lot of famous all over Japan hot springs with the hotels next to the onsens. The Japanese love to spend their holidays there. People say their water prevents from cancer.
    And what really makes you feel admiration are people living in small towns. They are so hospitable that difficult to express.

    Luke, if you only have a chance, visit these fantastic places.

    • Cat

      Dear Elena, thank you for your message to Luke (and to the LEPsters)! :))
      I remember very well your story how you have lost your friend (or relative)? and almost went mad because you were so worried! You told the story so lively and so passionate — I almost could feel your fear. I think so did Luke. And he liked your story very much and told about it on the podcast.

      The Russian Far East is beautiful! So diverse nature, so diverse cultures and peoples. I’ve only been to Khabarovsk and Birobidzhan, though. I wish I could visit Vladivostok one day and see the Japanese Sea. It’s so unbelievably far away from the Russian mainland, is it not? I think 10 hours time difference, is it correct? Just unbelievable!

      Keep up listening and leave comments from time to time! :)
      Cat (a former “young pioneer” who is always ready to comment other peoples comments :))

      • Елена Конюхова

        Dear Cat,
        thank you so much for your lovely comment and that you remember my story when I was really worried sick about my friend’s daughter.
        I noticed you did many comments here and that’s great.
        Yes, our part of Russia is very far from Moscow. My son lives there and it takes me nine hours of flight to see him. Time difference is 7 hours, but there are 10 times zones in Russia (from Petropavlovsk-Kamchtskiy to Kaliningrad).
        If you are a former young pioneer, so you used to live in the Soviet Union, right? Also, I’m curious to know about your visit to Khabarovsk and Birobidzhan. I’ve never been to the last one.
        Thanks again and take care.

  • Kristina Fadeeva

    Hi Luke! Thank you for your words of support for St. Petersburg. And for advertising the meet-up. I hope people will show up :-)

  • Hello guys, Hi Luke! How are you?
    Thanks for the podcast, it’s really helpful for my english skills. You mentioned LEP clubs in the Moscow too, can anyone get the FB link on it?

  • MayumiM

    Boo-hoo…:'( I cannot go to Tokyo and meet you… and it seems I cannot run across you in Kyoto, either.
    I’ve been waiting for this moment like other LEPsters in Japan but unfortunately I’ll miss opportunity to listen to your StarWars and Taken story. What a shame!
    Anyway, thanks for sharing your thoughts about Logan. I’ve listened to Kermode and Mayo’s Film Review podcast and I was wondering if you already watched. Sadly, it’ll be released on 1st June here in Japan. This episode just made me feel so sure that I’m going to like it and thanks for avoiding major spoilers!

  • Carine

    Hello Luke, how are you ? Ready for your trip to Japan ?
    You might like to know that in the real La Rochelle, the tourist office is not at all opposite the bank near the swimming pool but « en face de l’aquarium et très loin de la piscine »! I am sending you a picture of it so you can spot on the background the sealife center!
    Kindest regards, Carine from LR-Fr uploads.disquscdn.com/images/b0b8eb285aae3000070bbc5d9a0f46a4e2a81a8d1c6c7cff845fbeec95b6d633.jpg

  • Женя Селеверстова

    Hi, Luke! I wanted to thank you for all your previous episodes, especially with Paul. I owe it to you that I know now WTF France? It’s so hilarious and completely out-of-routine! And I have really got addicted to it! Lol) It’s such a goog chance to find more and more ways in improving our languages) And could you help me? I am very greatfull if you will! Could you suggest any listening stuff for German learners with the level A2 or B1! Thank you in advance!

    • Cat

      Hi, Zhenya, if you are a German lerner, you might want to check out the DW “Deutsch Lernen” pages: www.dw.com/de/deutsch-lernen/s-2055
      Viel Erfolg! :-))

      • Женя Селеверстова

        Thank you a lot! I’ve found it really useful)

  • Hiro

    I cannot go to see the 13th live in Tokyo, because I’m busy in Osaka. I’m losing the once in a lifetime opportunity….. so sad.

    • Cat

      Sad! :(
      But, Hiro, you know what: If Luke cannot come to Hiro, then Hiro has to come to Luke (meaning to Paris)! I think it’s manageable for you any time soon, is it not?
      Besides, I’m sure, there will be many happy returns of the King in Tokio in the future! ;)

      • Hiro

        Yes, it’s theoretically possible, Cat. But I can’t go to Paris for some reason ….Anyway, I continue listening to LEP everyday.

      • Cat

        Hiro, how many holidays days in year have you got in Japan? And what you usually do at this time period? I’m just curious.
        (I’ve got 30 days holidays in the year).

      • Hiro

        Cat, do you mean consecutive holidays, without interruption?

      • Hiro

        Cat, although I cannot get long vacation now, I won’t give up. Yeah, I’d love to Paris in the near future!
        Thanks for your concern.

      • Cat

        Hi Hiro, we can take our 30 days in the public sector when we want (in one single piece, or in many little pieces — it’s what one agrees with the boss and the team). Usually there are common holiday periods — like the summer hole in August — where almost everyone is on vacation. Or between Christmas and New Year’s Eve. Or during Easter — now is school break, so many are off for holidays this weekend (at least in Baden-Württemberg, where we live). In other parts of Germany, the school holidays are slightly different — it’s policy measure not to jam the traffic on highways or in trains. :))

      • Hiro

        Hi Cat, I’m sorry for the late reply. In Japan, that depends on jobs or companies we belong to. I’m self-employed, and basically don’t have long vacation. 7days at maximum. Most Japanese people have holidays during the New Year’s Day season, and Obon period( originally a three-day Buddhist holiday, usually Aug.13,14,&15)

      • Cat

        Oh Hiro, you Japanese are really, really, REALLY hard working people!!! :)
        Especially when you are self-employed.
        So, I guess, LEP is a nice and welcome distraction from all the serious work you are doing each single day. :))
        Wishing you all the best,
        Cat

      • Hiro

        Oh Cat, thank you for the reply.

        I answered Japanese people’s vacation varies from person to person.

        I may not be a typical Japanese.

        Why, then, do you mention the way “you Japanese people ” in a collective way? I’m afraid you are overgeneralizing the matter.

        Fortunately enough, I have lots of ways of enjoyment other than LEP:)

        So thank you indeed for your concern, Cat. I’m just doing well:)

    • Eri Taguchi

      So do I…
      I have to work 13th and 14th.