“The Glib Brothers” reunite on the podcast to discuss more music, films, books, scary AI and UFO sightings. James is my older brother and he’s probably been on this podcast more than any other guest. Listen for another deep and humorous conversation with lots of cultural reference points.
Talking to my wife (and daughter) about the birth of our son, who came into the world just a few weeks ago. We describe what happened, and explain how it feels to become parents for the second time. This is a very personal, first-hand account of childbirth and the experience of bringing a child into the world. Watch out for the language of childbirth and children which has previously been explained in episodes 162, 491, 492 and 814.
Hang out with me for an unscripted and unedited ramble about things like engaging moments while English teaching, how it feels to be about to become a father again, a funny new recording of my daughter speaking English, some recent films I’ve seen, and a recording of me doing stand-up comedy in front of an audience recently.
Monopoly is one of the most famous board games of all time. It’s sold in more than 114 countries and has been printed in more than 47 languages. It’s famous for causing arguments and taking forever to finish! But it is a fantastic and fascinating game, so let’s talk about it. In this episode I talk to Anna Tyrie (from English Like a Native) about childhood memories, rules that people don’t follow, winning strategies, the real history of the game and more! I guarantee that with this episode you will learn new things about Monopoly.
Today on the podcast I am joined again by Anna Tyrie from English Like a Native and we are going to have a conversation all about Monopoly, yes Monopoly the board game that you probably played as a child with your family. The game that always takes ages and usually ends in a big family argument.
I actually think this game is fascinating. We’re going to talk all about it – Childhood memories, the rules of game, the strategies, the economics of it, the surprising history, and some fun facts that you might not know.
You know Monopoly, don’t you? It’s that game where you go around a board, buying and trading properties, constructing houses and hotels in order to take as much money as possible from your competitors who are probably other members of your family, who have to pay you rent every time they land on one of your properties.
The aim of the game is to completely dominate the market, so that all the other players go bankrupt and you take all the money, ultimately achieving the status of a monopoly – the one who has total market domination. When that happens, you win, and everyone else hates you.
Monopoly is sold in more than 114 countries and has been printed in more than 47 languages, so there’s a good chance that you know it, but still, I expect that some of you out there in podcastland have really played it and I suppose that some of you have never even heard of it! Well, you’re going find out all about it today, and even if you are an experienced Monopoly player, hopefully you will learn a thing or two from this episode.
Monopoly is a board game. In the English speaking world it is one of the most well-known and successful board games, along with other classics such as Trivial Persuit, Cluedo, Scrabble, Taboo, Pictionary, and of course Chess, Backgammon and Draughts to name but a few.
Listeners, Anna and I have recorded, or will be recording an episode all about board games in general, for Anna’s podcast. We talk about classic board games, our memories of playing board games, using board games to learn English. You’ll be able to find that on Anna’s podcast. But here for my show we are focusing exclusively on Monopoly.
There are loads of different versions of this game for different cities in different countries. In fact, there are over 300 different versions, like ‘Game of Thrones Monopoly’, ‘Star Wars Monopoly’ and ‘Pokemon Monopoly’ and more. There is actually a lot to talk about here. Sure, it can be a frustrating game, but it is certainly one of the most enduring board games in the world and it’s also fascinating. So, let’s have a good long conversation about Monopoly.
Talking to my parents about the coronation ceremony of King Charles III which happened in Westminster, London on Saturday 6 May. Includes descriptions of the ceremony and discussion of some of the issues related to it, plus a few dodgy jokes along the way 👑.
My dad has written a new book and he’s come on the podcast to tell us about it. The book follows the path of the river Avon as it flows through the middle of England, telling stories of key moments in British history, nature and the current condition of Britain’s rivers.
A conversation with Anna Tyrie from English Like a Native (YouTube, Podcast) about children, the way we talk to children, and vocabulary relating to children and childcare, and some special news from the Thompson family…!
Here is another episode with more English listening practice for you to get stuck into, and I have another guest on the show today.
This time it is Anna Tyrie from English Like a Native, the channel on YouTube. You might also know her from Instagram and TikTok.
Anna has recently set up a podcast too, which you can find wherever you get your podcasts. It’s called the English Like a Native Podcast.
In fact, on the same day we recorded the conversation for this episode of my show, Anna also interviewed me for her podcast and we had a good long conversation about all sorts of things. It was very nice to be interviewed by her. You should be able to find that episode on her show now. So if you enjoy this one, go ahead and listen to the one on Anna’s podcast too. You will find a link in the description 👆.
In this conversation: Get to know Anna a bit and talk a bit about her podcast and youtube channel and what the name really means.
The main subject – talking about children. We decided that we could talk about a particular topic for this episode and that topic ended up being children. I’ve had requests from listeners in the past for more on the subject of children and the English language, including the way we talk to children, the way we talk about children and the specific words for lots of things related to children.
We talk about our own kids, and specifically about how we communicate with them, typical things we say to them (in English of course), how we should be careful about the things we say to our kids, the ways adults adapt their English when talking to little children, including examples of so-called “baby talk” or “parentese” and then there is a sort of quiz at the end with questions about specific English words for lots of the different objects, toys and bits of useful equipment that we use with babies and little kids.
As you know I have a daughter and she is 5 so a lot of that baby stuff almost seems like a distant memory now, but, well, it’s high time I remembered all of that vocab again now because – drum roll… yes, my wife is pregnant again and we going to have another baby!
Yes we are delighted.
Thank you – because at this moment of course you are now saying…
“Wow, that’s fantastic! Congratulations! I’m so happy for you!” and then all the typical questions will come to mind, including:
Can I ask when the baby is due?
Do you know if it’s a boy or a girl? Would you like to know?
Are you ready?
Do you have any ideas for names?
How’s your wife doing, is she ok?
How does your little daughter feel about it? Is she excited?
I’m sure I’ll talk about it again in another podcast, but I thought I would let you know now.
Of course the child hasn’t even been born yet, so there’s a long way to go.
But all being well, in July there will be a new Thompson arriving 😊
I don’t know how that will affect the podcast.
Of course it’s probably going to disrupt things to some extent as I will be busy at home, with my wife, looking after the baby, helping my wife with anything if she needs it, taking care of our daughter, trying to keep things ship shape and under control and generally just being at home focusing on the family.
So I won’t be able to do much podcasting around the time of the birth and in the weeks after. Who knows, maybe I’ll disappear completely for July and August, or maybe I’ll find a way to keep podcasting.
Maybe, if I’m organised and industrious enough, by the time the baby arrives I will have recorded lots of episodes beforehand, which I will be able to publish over the summer, or maybe I’ll dig into my archives for some unpublished or lesser-known material, which a lot of people haven’t heard – like app-only episodes from the LEP App (which is now defunct by the way).
In any case, there might be some kind of disruption to the show. Thank you for your understanding and your patience and your lovely messages of congratulations and support, which you are welcome to write to me.
Obviously, I’ve just said thank you for a thing you haven’t even done yet, which is kind of against the rules, but anyway. There it is. We’re very happy. We’re hoping everything goes well. I’ll probably talk about it a bit more in another episode later on.
So, now let’s get back down to earth here because this is a conversation with Anna from English Like a Native, getting to know Anna a bit and then talking about the English which we use with kids, about kids and for all the bits and pieces involved in looking after kids.
By the way, this conversation was recorded in January, which is why I say “It’s January” at the start. I probably didn’t need to say this, did I? You probably have the deductive skills to work out that when I say to Anna “it’s January” it’s because we recorded that in January. But just in case you were worried that I don’t know what month it is, don’t worry, I do know what month it is, what year it is and generally where I am and what’s going on. OK, fine.
I will speak to you a bit again at the end, but now let’s get started with the interview right now.
Ending Transcript / Notes
Thanks again to Anna.
You can find a vocabulary list and notes on the page for this episode on my website if you want to check specific words.
A reminder – after recording this, Anna interviewed me on her podcast and as I said earlier we had a good long conversation about lots of things, with little stories and jokes and stuff. A long conversation. I think it was even longer than the one you just listened to. I’m wondering how Anna is going to deal with that, but you can find out for yourself by listening to that episode on Anna’s podcast- English Like a Native, which is available wherever you get your podcasts.
Thanks for listening everyone.
Have a lovely day, morning, evening or night etc. Goodbye!
Baby-talk in English
Examples of baby talk in English
Wee / Wee-wee / pee / pee-pee
Poo / poo-poo
Dog / doggy
Cat / kitty
Icky – disgusting
Bedtime stories / Story time
Tummy / Belly
Mummy / Daddy
Grannie / Grandad
Yuk / yukky
Common words and phrases relating to babies/children/childcare
This list includes words and phrases which came up in the quiz.
Activity arch / baby arch / arch toy
Baby bouncer (like a small deck chair)
Baby carrier / sling
Baby fence / play-pen / baby-gate
Baby-grow (a one-piece outfit that babies wear)
Bib (to catch or protect against food that falls while they eat)
Blanket (a lot of children have a special blanket that they use as a comforter)
Bottle (for milk)
Breast pump (a device which allows the mother to pump her milk into a bottle)
Changing mat (where you change the baby’s nappy)
Cot (where the baby sleeps – a bed with high sides so the baby doesn’t crawl out of bed)
Drool bib (to absorb drool which comes out of the baby’s mouth when teething)
Dummy / pacifier (what the baby sucks while sleeping)
Flannel (an absorbant cloth)
High-chair (what the baby sits in while eating)
Mobile (the thing that hangs above the bed and gives the baby something to look at)
Nappy (US English: diaper)
Pram / pushchair (UK) buggy / stroller (US)
Rattle (a toy that the baby can shake to make a rattling noise)
Talcum powder / talc (powder which can be put on the baby’s bum to keep it dry)
Teddy bear / stuffed toy
Teether / Teething toy(for teething babies) (something the baby can chew while the teeth come through)
A conversation with my brother about a specific musical genre, “ambient”. We discuss Brian Eno’s inspiration and approach to his first ambient albums, talk about the genre’s origins in French 19th century classical music, jazz and the avant-garde and describe ambient trance music from the 80s and 90s including artists like Aphex Twin, The KLF, The Orb and The Irresistible Force. Enter the ambient zone on LEP.
James Harris is a writer, comedian, English teacher and language learner (French, German, Chinese) from England. In this funny chat, we talk about learning Chinese, being married to a Chinese woman and his semi-autobiographical book, “Midlands” which tells several funny and touching stories about two ex-pats living in Germany; Stuart, who is a stand-up comedian trying to understand the Germans, and Doug who gets involved in a love affair. James reads several passages from the book during the episode.
Stuart describes his early days in Germany, learning German.
Then a chance meeting in a pub had earned him an invitation to Berlin. Laura, Danish and short, was staying there for the summer, rummaging around in the archives for information about a particular Jewish family who had gone on to achieve cultural success in post-war Denmark;
Laura, a snub-nosed Danish girl with glasses who loved Israel and wheat beer. Stuart didn’t care much about her interests but did enjoy spending the days reading on her balcony and socializing with university friends at night;
by the end of the summer his hair had lengthened and his German increased fifty-fold, meaning he now knew about a hundred words. ‘Hallo!’ he would say, then ‘Weltschmerz’ and following a further pause ‘Auf Wiedersehen,’ saying a final farewell to people he would see again the next day.
He also hadn’t yet learnt to ask whether something was sugar or salt, leading to an evening eating some very sweet chips. But even speechless he wasn’t, at last, uneasy in Berlin – it seemed to him a gentle city, where the trains slid in and out and the open spaces pacified tourists drunker and rowdier elsewhere.
It was like the Germans had become one of the peaceful races in Star Trek, the ones introduced by an insert screen of their orderly, verdant planet, Bajorans, say, or some other species permanently threatened by obliteration; and what a change after the tiny cubicles and traffic-jam living of the English, who could only ever be the Borg.
Surrounded by pacifists, Stuart revelled in the license of Englishness, his ability to voice the odd mildly aggressive opinion or wildly over-celebrate during that summer’s football tournament, until England lost. He swam in lakes, and bought a bicycle, and gradually stopped thinking of England and the ashes it had fed him.
In Oxford, where he had been President of the University sketch revue, people had printed gossip about him in the student newspapers, asked him to leave parties, dealt with him as the man who had committed that deepest and most unforgivable of Oxford crimes: failure.
He had failed, as a comedian and a young man, and now publicly; his country had rejected him. He had been humiliated in front of an audience of his contemporaries and sent into an internal exile.
Afterwards, many of these young dilettantes, at the time apparently picturing future lives as bereft of unforeseen distress as possible, lives composed of simply an endless procession of success, successes occurring within a network of contacts which they had built up at University and which would continue to provide them with unstinting support throughout their adult lives, never violating the simple and essential principle that all was permissible as long as it did well – did not want his name on their social CV.
From Chapter 14
Stuart is on-stage doing stand up in Germany.
‘Don’t you sometimes get the feeling,’ said Stuart, years before on the stage in Heidelberg, ‘that if Barack Obama had been German it wouldn’t have been “Yes We Can” but ”Nein das geht nicht”? No you can’t.
‘Everyone would have been chanting it – No you can’t! No you can’t! Of course in this version Obama would not have been black.’
Stuart was closing in on the kill. ‘And this very lack of optimism,’ he said, treading across the stage, limbering, into the really good stuff now, ‘is actually built into the German language itself.
Like for example, when you’re really happy in English, you say “I’m on Cloud Nine.” But in Germany you say, “I’m on Cloud Seven.”
Does this mean that even in their happiest moments the Germans are two clouds less happy than English-speaking people?’
And after developing that bit, which meant moving into a depiction of an exemplary German, Hannes, in his German heaven, with an allotment, board games, juice and an Autobahn heading directly to Mallorca, he noting, somewhat wistfully, the celebratory Anglophones on Cloud Nine who were dancing to ‘Video Killed the Radio Star’, which was an excuse to sing it, following which they – the Anglophones – called down to Cloud Eight “Hey Hannes man! Come and join us here on Cloud Nine” and Hannes replying “No thank you. Everything on Cloud Seven is perfectly satisfactory” then moving on to speculation as to the occupants of the other clouds, the French on Cloud Eight living it up, their motor scooters floating off the cloud and down to Cloud Zero where the Greeks were and below them the Cypriots who’d had to sell the cloud, and were just falling – after all these and other jokes, Stuart had them where he wanted them.
‘Isn’t it funny that, since the Second World War, the Germans have been like’, change voice, German accent, ‘”We Germans. We have done so many things wrong and there is no way we can ever put them right.”
And now Greece is like,’ pause, turn of the head, “Well, actually…”’
They laughed, and laughed, and laughed. They got it.
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