London Interviews 3

More native speakers describing their home city of London. Transcript and definitions available below. Luke’s English Podcast is for learners of English as a second language. If there was an award for ‘Best Learning English Podcast by Someone Called Luke from West London” this would definitely win!

(This guy has lived in London his whole life. He has quite a typical London accent. You can hear/see it in the way he pronounces the /th/ sound in words like ‘think’. He says ‘fink’.)
Man: Hello
Luke: So, are you from London?
Man: Yep, I sure am
Luke: How long have you lived here?
Man: Twenty one years
Luke: Right, okay, so what’s the best thing about it?
Man: Best thing? There’s always something to do, places to go. There’s a lot of tourist attractions around here… erm, things… that the main thing, it’s the things to do… you can never be bored in London
Luke: Yeah
Man: …always places and things to see
Luke: Ok, what’s the worst thing?
Man: Worst thing? Where it’s such a big city, it’s easy to get lost, and the amount of people that came here, come here… err, it’s easy to get lost, and people can push you out of the way and you can get lost within the people around London. It’s always busy, always always busy so be prepared to wait (and) get lost, basically…
Luke: Alright, great
Man: Cool
Luke: Thank you very much
Man: Thank you
Luke: Cheers

London Eye
(The first woman sounds quite ‘middle class’ and has a well-spoken southern English accent)
Woman: Hello
Luke: How long have you been in London now?
Woman: All my life, or… all of today as well
Luke: So (laughs)… okay, so you’re a proper Londoner then?
Woman: Yes
Luke: What’s the best thing about living here?
Woman: The people, err, the theatre, the sights, just the general buzz. It’s fun.
Luke: Okay, what about the worst thing?
Woman: Err, the commuting, the transport, but other than that it’s pretty great all round
Luke: Ok, thank you very much
Woman: Ok, thank you, bye
Luke: Cheers, bye

South Bank
(The woman on the left is from somewhere very close to London and has a typical London accent, her friend on the right is originally from somewhere in the north of England, and has – I think – a Lancashire accent, but not very strong)
Friends: Hi, hello
Luke: So, where are you from?
Friend 1: I’m from just outside London
Friend 2: and originally I’m from the north of England and I moved to London about 8 years ago
Luke: Ok, right. But you’ve both been living in London for quite a few years
Friend 1: Twenty odd years, yeah
Luke: Right. So what’s the best thing about it?
Friend 2: I think the best thing about London is, we were talking about it earlier, erm…
Friend 1: Skyline
Friend 2: Yeah, when you step out somewhere, you feel like you’re on a film set. It must be like, I’ve never been to New York, but you feel like every building is recognisable, everything’s like a film set. It’s so busy and buzzy. It’s fantastic.
Friend 1: And there’s always lots to do
Luke: Right, what about the worst thing?
Friend 1: Tubes
Friend 2: Tubes are bad, yeah
Friend 1: Tubes in the summer, with no air conditioning
Friend 2: It’s a bit lonely as well, you don’t know, often you never see the same face again…
Friend 1: You see, I don’t agree with that
Friend 2: Occasionally it can be a bit lonely. And the crime’s not brilliant.
Luke: Right, thank you very much
Friend 2: Right, you’re welcome
Friend 1: Ok, thank you
Luke: Fantastic

City of London (This is the financial heart of London. The view you can see in the video is from Waterloo Bridge)
(This girl has a typical accent that most young people have in London these days)
Luke: What’s the best thing about London?
Girl: By f… (by far) the best thing in London is the nightlife… and… but it’s got loads of restaurants and pubs… but it’s got loads of everything really. You’re spoilt for choice here. Very spoilt for choice.
Luke: Ok, what about the worst thing?
Girl: The worst thing, it’s quite expensive… especially the, especilly the train, the tube is very expensive for example. And there’s always delays on the tube as well. Erm… That’s it really. I can’t think of anything else.
Luke: Ok, great. Thank you.
Girl: That’s it?
Luke: That’s it, thanks very much
Girl: Thank you very much

South Bank Skate Park (This is a small area on the South Bank of the Thames near Waterloo Bridge & The London Eye where there is a skate park for skateboarders and ‘BMXers’ and graffiti artists)

(This guy is a BMXer – someone who rides a BMX bike. He also has the kind of informal London accent that many young people in London speak with these days)
BMXer: Alright
Luke: How’s it going?
BMXer: Good
Luke: Alright, so, do you live in London?
BMXer: Yeah
Luke: How long have you lived here?
BMXer: All my life. 20 years.
Luke: Ok, so you’re a proper Londoner then
BMXer: Yeah
Luke: What’s the best thing about living here
BMXer: Well, actually I think the best thing is the skate parks. Just ‘cos (because) I’m a BMXer, and I like… it’s a good atmosphere everywhere when you get to a skate park, everyone’s all, like, having fun and everything
Luke: Yeah yeah yeah
BMXer: That’s the best part, man
Luke: There’s like, about 4 or 5 isn’t there, over London
BMXer: Yeah, more actually, I think there’s more than that but, I just… I know of a few, like…. I live in Stockwell and there’s one there, and this one here.
Luke: Ok, what’s the worst thing about London?
BMXer: Probably just some areas like Brixton, Peckham, stuff like that… You hear of crime and people getting mugged and… but… well it is late at night, but still… that’s, that’s probably the worst thing anyway, you’ve just got to be careful in places like that.
Luke: Yeah, yeah yeah yeah. Ok, thank you very much.
BMXer: Ok
Luke: Cheers

tourist attractions – things which attract tourists (like the famous buildings, etc)
the sights – tourist attractions, famous things to see (e.g. the famous buildings, the London Eye)
the general buzz – the exciting and lively atmosphere
the commuting – travelling from home to work every day (usually from outside the city into the city)
Twenty odd years – about/approximately twenty years
Skyline – the shape of the city against the sky. E.g. New York has a famous skyline.
a film set – a place where a film is being made
buzzy – lively, atmospheric
You’re spoilt for choice here – you have so many choices that it’s difficult to decide which one to choose
skate parks – places for skateboarders to go skateboarding
getting mugged – being robbed in a public place