Episode 04

In the episode Tess and Ravi talk about how they’re feeling, and their guests talk about Bob Marley, an unusual festival and British money. You can follow Carolina’s journey by train from London to Newcastle. Will she catch her train?

Listen to the podcast then do the first exercise to check your understanding. If you have more time choose some of the language practice exercises.


Section 1 – “How are you feeling?” – being sympathetic

Ravi: Hello again and welcome to LearnEnglish Elementary podcast number four. I’m Ravi – from Manchester

Tess: And I’m Tess – from London. Hi. Now, as usual we’ve got loads of great stuff for you to listen to but before we tell you about that - Ravi, I have to ask you, are you feeling better now?

Ravi: Oh, a lot better now thank you.

Tess: On Saturday morning Ravi called me and he sounded terrible. “Oh Tess, I feel really bad.”

Ravi: Yeah, OK. I did feel terrible. I had a really bad cold, a headache, ugh! I had a football match on Saturday afternoon too.

Tess: You didn’t play football, did you?

Ravi: No, I felt too bad. Do you know what I did?

Tess: What?

Ravi: A friend came over and we watched all of the Lord of the Rings films – all three of them. Ten hours of DVDs!

Tess: You’re joking. I can’t watch TV for that long. I get bored. Anyway, I didn’t really like Lord of the Rings. I liked the book. The film’s never as good as the book, I think.

Ravi: I haven’t read the book so I don’t know but, believe it or not, that’s exactly the question we asked people in ‘Your Turn’ this week – ‘Which do you prefer – the book or the film?’

Tess: Really? I bet everyone says that books are better.

Ravi: I’m not so sure. Anyway, that’s for later.

Section 2 – I’d like to meet

Ravi: Now it’s time for ‘I’d like to meet’. In this part of the podcast we ask people a simple question – which famous person, dead or alive would you like to meet? And we ask them to explain why. So let’s say hello to this week’s guest, Marcus, from London. Welcome to ‘I’d like to meet’ Marcus.

Marcus: Thank you Ravi.

Tess: Hello Marcus.

Marcus: Hi Tess.

Tess: And you’re from London Marcus. That’s where I’m from.

Marcus: That’s right. I was born here - and I’ve lived here all my life.

Tess: And what do you do?

Marcus: I work in a supermarket, but I want to be a professional musician – that’s my ambition for the future.

Tess: We all need ambitions Marcus – and that’s a good one. Now I’m going to ask the question. So Marcus, which famous person, dead or alive would you like to meet? I think I can guess – you’re going to talk about a musician aren’t you?

Marcus: You’re right Tess.

Ravi: Hmm. She’s always right!

Marcus: I’d like to meet Bob Marley.

Tess: Bob Marley! He’s one of my heroes. I’m sure all our listeners know Bob Marley, but could you explain who he is for us?

Marcus: Bob Marley was Jamaican – and he was the man who gave reggae music to the world – the world outside Jamaica of course. And the Rastafarian religion too – he was also famous for his religious beliefs. He was born in 1945 and died in 1981. So, he died very young – he was only in his thirties.

Tess: Hmm.

Ravi: How did he die?

Marcus: He had cancer.

Ravi: And why did you choose him to talk about today?

Marcus: Bob Marley never wrote a bad song. My father was a big Bob Marley fan so I grew up listening to his music at home when I was a kid – I used to listen to it when I was sad - it’s impossible to listen to Bob Marley and feel unhappy - that was his message to the world –“‘Don’t worry, be happy”. He wasn’t interested in negative things – his music was always positive. He’s a legend. He was the first ‘superstar’ from a poor country – and that’s why people from poor countries all over the world love him so much – his music speaks to them. Everywhere you go, everywhere in the world, people know and love Bob Marley – everywhere. He was poor, he grew up in an area called Trench Town - a very poor area in Jamaica, with gang problems and drug problems. He left school when he was fourteen and started work. His message is universal – it’s a protest really. It’s about how human beings are all the same, black or white, rich or poor, and his religion helped him to understand that. He once said “I don’t stand for the black man’s side, I don’t stand for the white man’s side – I stand for God’s side”. God was very important to him - he was a very spiritual man. I’m a musician and I want my music to have a message – I want to make people feel good. Like in the song “One love, one heart, let’s get together and feel all right” – that’s the message - it’s so simple.

Tess: And is there a special question that you’d like to ask him Marcus?

Marcus: Thousands! But no, not really, not one special question. I’d like to sit and talk to him for a long time – all night if I could - but no, not one special question.

Ravi: I enjoyed that Marcus. Thanks a lot.

Tess: Me too. Thank you.

Marcus: Thank you

Ravi: And remember listeners, that we’d like to hear from you. Which famous person, dead or alive, would you like to meet? And why? Email us at ‘learnenglishpodcast@britishcouncil.org - that’s learnenglishpodcast - all one word - AT- britishcouncil – all one word - DOT org, that’s o-r-g. Let us know which famous person you would like to meet.

Tess: Oh, I feel like listening to some Bob Marley now.

Section 3 – Quiz

Ravi: No time for that Tess, it’s time for our quiz. Every week we have a little quiz to make you think. This week we’re going to play Hot Seat again. Here to play are Hannah and Max. Hi Hannah.

Hannah: Hello

Ravi: Hi Max

Max: Hello.

Ravi: You’re both from Sheffield, is that right?

Max: Yeah

Ravi: And how old are you?

Max: I’m seventeen

Hannah: And I’m sixteen. We go to the same school. St Joseph’s.

Ravi: Are you in the same class?

Hannah: We are, yeah.

Ravi: OK. And who’s doing what? Who’s going to explain the words and who’s going to be in the Hot Seat?

Hannah: I’ll explain and Max’ll guess.

Ravi: OK. OK, Max?

Max: OK.

Ravi: Right. Remember how to play? These cards have all got words on. Hannah has to explain the words and Max has to guess them. But remember Hannah, you can’t use the words on the card. Max, you have to guess as many words as you can in one minute. OK?

Hannah and Max: OK

Ravi: Then let’s go. You’ve got one minute starting now!

Hannah: Erm .. big thing. On the sea. You sail in it.

Max: Boat? Ship.

Hannah: Ship! An animal. Small. Big ears.

Max: Elephant.

Hannah: No. It’s small. Carrots! It eats carrots.

Max: Rabbit.

Hannah: Yes, yes! Erm .. you do it at the disco.

Max: Dance.

Hannah: Yes! It’s a fruit I think. It’s very hard. It’s got milk inside. You can eat part of it but not the outside.


Hannah: Yes! Erm, you go there when you’re sick.

Max: Hospital. Doctor’s.

Hannah: Hospital. It’s white. Comes from a cow. You drink it.

Max: Milk.

Hannah: It goes across the river. You cross it.

Max: A bridge

Hannah: You stand under it in the morning and you wash yourself.

Max: Shower!

Hannah: It’s a day. Erm …you’ll be eighteen

Max: Birthday.

Ravi: We’ll give you ‘birthday’. Fantastic. How many was that? I make it nine. Is that right? Yes, nine. Brilliant. Well done Hannah and Max!

Tess: Well done! And if any of you listening have a good game we can play in quiz time, write to us and let us know. The address is learnenglishpodcast@britishcouncil.org. We’d love to hear your ideas for games we can play. Phew! It makes me tired just listening to Hot Seat so now we’ll have something a bit more relaxed.

Section 4 – Our person in

It’s time for ‘Our Person In’. This is the part of the podcast where we listen to people in interesting places all over the world telling us something about life in the country they’re in. This week Robert Watson is Our Man in Hong Kong.

Robert: In the centre of Hong Kong everything is new, modern and busy. It’s difficult to think what the city was like a hundred years ago. But only forty-five minutes away from the centre, on the small island of Cheung Chau we can see another side of Hong Kong – a side that is not very different from how it was centuries ago.

Every year, in May, Cheung Chau celebrates its Bun Festival. The buns are small, white, bread rolls and huge towers made of bamboo are covered in the sweet buns in the festival, which lasts for a week. No-one knows exactly why the festival started but there is a procession to honour

Pak Tai – the sea god. In this procession, children in fantastic costumes are carried through the village. The costumes hide the seats that the children are sitting on and it looks like they are flying. For three days before the festival no-one on the island eats meat. The butcher’s shop is closed and restaurants serve only vegetarian dishes. Even the small McDonald’s on the island sells only vegetarian food for these three days. Perhaps, for three days, this quiet corner of one of the busiest places on earth is the only place where you can’t buy a Big Mac at McDonald’s!

Tess: No Big Macs. Sounds great.

Ravi: Oh come on Tess, everybody eats a Big Mac now and then.

Tess: I don’t. Ugh!

Ravi: You never eat fast food?

Tess: I try not to. Horrible stuff!

Ravi: Actually, fast food might be a good idea for Your Turn – but not this week. Your Turn, listeners, is when we go into the street

Tess: Oh, you forgot to give the address.

Ravi: Oh right. Yes. Sorry. If you’d like to write in and tell us something interesting about your city or town, we’d love to hear from you. You can send it to us at learnenglishpodcast@britishcouncil.org.

Section 5 – Your turn

Ravi: OK. Now we can move on to Your Turn. We went out into the street to find out what people think about this question: “Which do you prefer – the book or the film?”

Tess: Book or film? For me, the book, but let’s hear what people said.

Voice 1: I definitely prefer the book. I love going to the cinema but if there’s a book and I’ve read it, then I never go to see the film. Reading books is all about imagination and the film spoils that. Like when you read a book and you can’t imagine the character because you keep thinking of, say, Brad Pitt’s face.

Voice 2: The film definitely. Look at Lord of the Rings. It’s a really long book. In fact it’s three long books – it takes months to read and with the film you get all the special effects and it looks fantastic – much more exciting than the books.

Voice 3: It depends. It depends on the book. If it’s a serious book by a good writer then the book is always better than the film but if it’s not a great book – a thriller or something like that – the film can be better than the book.

Voice 4: Uh, the book, for me. You have to work harder with a book – you have to make the pictures in your head but when it’s a good writer it’s like watching a film – you make the book into your own film, in your head, and everyone has a different film – that’s much better!

Voice 5: I think I prefer films. You get more from a film. In a book you only get the story and you have to imagine how things look. In a film you get the story and you get the actors and music and everything. For example, if a film is set in Japan you get to see Japan. I’ve never been to Japan – I can’t imagine it! A film shows you more.

Tess: Well, I disagree with him but there were some interesting opinions there.

Ravi: Remember that we’d love to know what you think. ‘Which do you prefer – the book or the film?’ Or do you have an idea for a question that we could ask on Your Turn? Send us an email at learnenglishpodcast@britishcouncil.org and we can ask your question in another podcast.

Section 6 – Carolina

Tess: Now it’s time to meet Carolina again. As you probably remember, Carolina is a Venezuelan student and she’s visiting Britain for the first time. She’s going to Newcastle, in the north east of England. She’s going to live and study there, and of course, have a lot of fun – we hope! In the last podcast we listened to Carolina’s conversation at the underground station. She was going to King’s Cross station to get the train to Newcastle.

Ravi: That’s right. And she was worried that she didn’t have time to get to the station to catch her train.

Tess: But everything was all right. Carolina caught her train – with only a few minutes to spare. So let’s listen now to what happened on the train to Newcastle.

Carolina: Excuse me, is anyone sitting here?

Jamie: No, it’s free. Sorry, I’ll move my bag.

Voice over PA system: …situated towards the front of the train. We would like to remind passengers that coach F, at the rear of the train, is the Quiet Coach. If you are sitting in coach F, please use all electronic equipment quietly and switch mobile phones to silent mode. Please be considerate to other passengers. Thank you.

Carolina: Coach F?

Jamie: Yeah, this is a Quiet Coach. There’s a sign - look. No mobile phone conversations. No noise. It’s cool. I hate listening to other people’s conversations.

Carolina: Oh, OK. I didn’t know. It’s a good idea.

Jamie: Yeah. Where are you going?

Carolina: Newcastle.

Jamie: Me too. Do you live there?

Carolina: No, I’m going to study there – at the university. What about you? Do you live there?

Jamie: Yeah. I’m at the university too. It’s a great city. You aren’t English are you.

Carolina: No, I’m Venezuelan.

Jamie: Cool. You speak really good English.

Carolina: Thank you. My mother’s English, but I’ve never been to Britain before. It’s all a bit strange.

Man on train: Hello? Dan? Yes, hi, how’s it going? Yes, I’m on the train. Yeah? Yeah it finished at six o’clock more or less….

Woman on train: Excuse me! This is a quiet coach. Could you have your conversation in the corridor?

Man on train: What? Uh? Yeah, OK, sorry. Yeah, Dan, sorry, what did you say? I didn’t hear you, I’m in the quiet coach - some woman was complaining about …

Jamie: I’m going to get a coffee or something. D’you want anything?

Carolina: Erm, I don’t know, what have they got?

Jamie: Come with me then, you can have a look. They’ve got sandwiches and stuff too.

Carolina: OK.

Jamie: There you go – there’s the list on the wall. What d’you fancy?

Carolina: Fancy? What do you mean?

Jamie: Sorry. What would you like. What do you fancy means what would you like.

Carolina: Do you think I can pay with my visa card? I still haven’t got any English money – I lost my bag, and then I nearly missed the train …

Jamie: Don’t worry about it. This one’s on me. I’ll pay. Have a toasted sandwich – they’re good. Cheese and tomato?

Carolina: Cheese with tomato? In a toasted sandwich?

Jamie: Delicious!

Carolina: Oh no!

Jamie: What about cheese and ham then?

Carolina: Yes, cheese and ham please

Jamie: And to drink? Coke? Orange juice? A beer?

Carolina: Erm, orange juice please.

Assistant: Can I help you?

Jamie: Yes, erm two toasted sandwiches please - one cheese and tomato, one cheese and ham - an orange juice and a coke. How much is that?

Assistant: Two toasted sandwiches, three forty-five each, coke ninety p, orange juice one pound forty, that’s nine pounds twenty please.

Jamie: Here you are.

Assistant: And that’s eighty p change. Thank you.

Carolina:That’s very kind of you. It’s a lot of money. That’s nearly ten pounds.

Jamie: Don’t worry about it. I’m a real gentleman. Tell you what, you can take me out for lunch one day in Newcastle. You can pay for me. I’ll give you my phone number. Is that a deal?

Carolina: OK. It’s a deal.

Jamie: Good. Now let’s sit down and eat these.

Carolina: OK

Tess: Hmm. Jamie sounds nice.

Ravi: Uh, honestly, you women!

Tess: What?!

Ravi: Never mind.

Section 7 – The Joke

Ravi: Right, that’s almost the end but we can’t go before we hear from Gordon, our producer. Hey, Gordon, I’ve got a joke for you this week.

Gordon: Oh yes? Erm, come on then, let’s hear it.

Ravi: OK. What’s red and invisible?

Gordon: Erm, I don’t know. What’s red and invisible?

Ravi: No tomatoes!

Gordon: Ho, ho, ho! That’s worse than mine. Leave the jokes to me Ravi.

Ravi: Come on then, let’s hear it for this week.

Gordon: Right. I’ve got the perfect joke for this week’s podcast. Ready?

Ravi: OK.

Gordon: OK then. A man goes into a cinema to watch a film. He sits down and in front of him there’s a man and a dog.

Ravi: You can’t take dogs into a cinema, can you?

Gordon: You can in this cinema. Anyway, the film’s a romantic comedy. After a little while there’s a funny part in the film, and – amazing – the dog starts laughing at the film.

Ravi: Uh-huh.

Gordon: Yeah. A little while after that there’s a very sad scene. The dog starts crying its eyes out. This goes on for the whole film – the dog laughs at the funny parts and cries at the sad parts. Well, at the end of the film, the man waits outside the cinema until the man with the dog comes out. “Excuse me” he says, “I watched your dog crying and laughing all through the film. It’s absolutely amazing”. “I know” says the man with the dog. “It is amazing. He hated the book”. 

Tess: Are all your jokes about funny animals Gordon?

Gordon: Ah well, most of them, yes.

Ravi: OK. We have to go now but don’t go away. After this little break you’re going to hear Tom, our English teacher. After every show, Tom talks about the language you heard and gives you ideas to help you learn. So, don’t go away, but we’ll say goodbye now. See you next time.


Bye! Don’t forget to send us your emails! Here’s that address one more time. It’s learnenglishpodcast@britishcouncil.org.

Tom the teacher

Tom: Hi, my name’s Tom – you’ll hear from me at the end of every podcast. I’m going to talk about some of the language that you heard, and talk about ways to help you learn English. The first thing I want to talk about today is British money. British money is ‘pounds’ and ‘pence’. One pound is one hundred pence - there are a hundred pence in a pound. Listen to Carolina and Jamie buying food on the train. Listen to how much everything costs.

Assistant: Can I help you?

Jamie: Yes, erm two toasted sandwiches please - one cheese and tomato, one cheese and ham - an orange juice and a coke. How much is that?

Assistant: Two toasted sandwiches, three forty-five each, coke ninety p, orange juice one pound forty, that’s nine pounds twenty please.

Tom: Did you notice that she didn’t say ‘three pounds and forty-five pence’? She said ‘three forty-five’. British people often say prices like this. Sometimes they say ‘pounds’ and sometimes they don’t. The woman said ‘nine pounds twenty’ for the total. You will hear people say prices in both ways. But – it’s important to remember that if the price is only pounds – when there are no pence in the price, then we always say ‘pounds’. For example, we can say ‘three pounds forty-five’, or ‘three forty-five’ – but we must always say ‘three pounds’. Now let’s think about the pence. Listen again to the prices.

Assistant: Two toasted sandwiches, three forty-five each, coke ninety p, orange juice one pound forty, that’s nine pounds twenty please.

Tom: Did you notice that she didn’t say ‘pence’? British people don’t usually say ‘pence’. If the price has pounds first, then we understand that the second number is pence. We don’t need to say anything, just the number. But Jamie’s coke was ‘ninety p’. If the price is only pence, then we say p. It’s a short way of saying pence. ‘p’ means pence.

I’d like to say something else about Carolina and Jamie’s conversation. Jamie uses a lot of phrases that are probably new for you. They are phrases that you don’t often read in coursebooks or learn in classes. But they’re phrases that British people use a lot. Here’s an example.

Jamie: There you go – there’s the list on the wall. What d’you fancy?

Carolina: Fancy? What do you mean?

Jamie: Sorry. What would you like. What do you fancy means what would you like.

Tom: ‘What do you fancy?’ is very informal. Carolina doesn’t understand so she asks Jamie. She says “What do you mean?”. Then Jamie explains that ‘What do you fancy’ means ‘What would you like?’

Here’s another example, from Jamie again. Listen for a phrase that’s new for you.

Carolina: Do you think I can pay with my visa card? I still haven’t got any English money – I lost my bag, and then I nearly missed the train …

Jamie: Don’t worry about it. This one’s on me. I’ll pay. Have a toasted sandwich – they’re good. Cheese and tomato?

Carolina: Cheese with tomato? In a toasted sandwich?

Tom: Jamie says ‘This one’s on me’, which is an informal way of saying ‘It’s OK, I’m going to pay for this’. Try to remember phrases like this when you notice them. And do what Carolina did – ask ‘What do you mean?’ if you don’t understand.

Now, I’ve got an interesting word to talk about next. The word is ‘stuff’. Listen to Tess speaking and see if you can understand what ‘stuff’ means.

Tess: And I’m Tess – from London. Hi. Now, as usual we’ve got loads of great stuff for you to listen to but before we tell you about that; Ravi, I have to ask you, are you feeling better now? 

Tom: ‘Stuff’ just means ‘things’. British people use it a lot when they’re speaking. Here’s another example.

Jamie: I’m going to get a coffee or something. D’you want anything?

Carolina: Erm, I don’t know, what have they got?

Jamie: Come with me then, you can have a look. They’ve got sandwiches and stuff too.

Carolina: OK.

Tom: Jamie doesn’t want to tell Carolina all of the things that she can buy, so he just says ‘sandwiches and stuff’ – all the other things that they can buy to eat on the train. The next time you listen to a film or a TV programme in English, listen for people saying ‘stuff’. I’m sure you’ll notice it a lot now.

It’s nearly time for me to go, but first, I want to give you a phrase for you to try and use this week. Do you remember the question in today’s ‘Your Turn’? It was ‘Which do you prefer – the book or the film?’ Listen to one of the answers.

Voice 3: It depends. It depends on the book. If it’s a serious book by a good writer then the book is always better than the film but if it’s not a great book – a thriller or something like that – the film can be better than the book

Tom: He says ‘It depends’. We talked about ‘it depends’ in the first podcast. This time ‘it depends’ means ‘I’m not sure because sometimes I have one opinion and sometimes I have a different opinion.’ Let’s look at how to use it in a sentence. The man says ‘it depends on the book’.

Notice the preposition. We say ‘it depends on something’. So if someone asks you a question, like ‘Do you like dogs?’ you can say ‘Well, it depends on the dog – I like small dogs, but I don’t like big ones’. Try to use it this week.

OK. That’s all from me today. I’ll talk to you all again on the next podcast. Remember you can send your questions to me at learnenglishpodcast@britishcouncil.org. I’ll be happy to answer your questions! In a moment you’ll hear the address for the website where you can read everything you’ve heard in this podcast. So bye for now! See you next time.

Check your understanding


Tess and Ravi

Practise the language you heard in Tess and Ravi’s introduction [00:20].

Task 1



Practise the language you heard in the soap opera about Carolina [13:03].

Task 1


Task 2


Tom the teacher

Practise the language you heard in Tom the teacher’s summary [20:10].

Task 1


Task 2


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Submitted by Kirk on Sat, 27/01/2018 - 16:09

In reply to by chunya


Hello chunya,

It's definitely most common in the context of paying for something, especially a drink or meal. It might be appropriate in other circumstances as well, though I can't think of one off the top of my head.

All the best,
The LearnEnglish Team

Submitted by Last biker on Wed, 10/01/2018 - 17:49

Hi my friends, There is a nice rock festival ( I know that is strange to put togheter both words * nice * and *rock* - but it's true ) in my town Suceava in Romania. The festival's name is Bucovina Rock Castle and the stage is in the castle's retrenchment. Lots of rock bands around Europe are invited to play there and people feels great. They're all wearing black T-shirts with band's names on them and blue jeans , drink beer ( the strong drinks are not allowed ) and eat traditional food ( that means a lot of meat ) and the atmosphere is great. People talking in pauses because they know each other and if they don't know he talk to you as they know you. Come to see and listen to great romanian rock bands as Trooper. and more. Thanks for read me.

Submitted by jedd on Sat, 23/12/2017 - 16:47

Hi I'm interrested about the question : "do you prefer books or films ?" Personaly, I do both. Very often, at the evening, first, I look at a film, then I read a novel. I 'm not disturbed if the two stories are different. During a small moment, before sleeping, I read a book because this activity makes easier the falling asleep. More generally, I think books and films are additional. They request some different feelings. Books are more built. They are more adaptated for reflecting. Films bring a more complete expérience, with pictures, sounds, music, dialogue...

Submitted by reza146 on Fri, 24/11/2017 - 10:14

HI I think this part of transcript of S01E04 is incorrect : "Tess: And I’m Tess – from London. Hi. Now, as usual we’ve got loads of great stuff for you to" and the correct part is "Tess: And I’m Tess – from London. Hi. Now, as usual we’ve got lots of great stuff for you to"

Submitted by Peter M. on Sat, 25/11/2017 - 07:39

In reply to by reza146


Hello reza146,

I've listened to the recording and the transcript is correct. Both 'lots of' and 'loads of' are possible and have the same meaning, with 'loads of' being more informal, but the phrase used by Tess here is 'loads of'.


Best wishes,


The LearnEnglish Team

Submitted by arielpereirabr on Sun, 19/11/2017 - 20:25

Task 5 - I prefer books because it's better if you want perspective on something. The books are better to get you to empathize with characters and understand how they feel, and films aren't always precise in how a situation is supposed to make you feel, or what it's supposed to make you think.

Submitted by arielpereirabr on Sun, 19/11/2017 - 20:24

Task 2 - I'd like to meet Luca Turilli. He's an Italian guitarist and composer for the Symphonic Power Metal band Luca Turilli's Rhapsody. I admire him because of his neoclassical way of composing, his level of precision when playing his songs and his creativity. He got famous playing electric guitar in the band Rhapsody, which is one of the greatest Symphonic Power Metal bands of all time, which inspired me to start composing songs with increased difficulty as well. I would like to talk to him about Classical composers, and I would like to ask him about what made him want to be a musician.

Submitted by dimitre on Wed, 01/11/2017 - 20:52

You can see this festival in Trentino Alto Adige, an Italian region, where there is an important Italian mountain chain, Dolomiti. The festival is called “I Suoni delle Dolomiti”, it lasts two months and it happens in July and August every year. It’s a musical festival and a lot of people come to listen to concerts of different kind of music (classical, jazz, world music and others). The people and also the musicians wear casual or sport clothes because the concerts take place in mountain shelters so they all have to trek a lot for coming. It has been for 20 years and I hope it still go on for many years because it’s a fantastic experience.

Submitted by dimitre on Wed, 01/11/2017 - 20:04

I’d like to meet Claudio Arrau. He comes from Chile and he was one of the most important classical pianist of 19th century. He was born in 1903 and he died in 1991. He was an enfant prodige so, when he was only fourteen, he moved to study in Germany with a scholarship. He was so fond of his teacher that when he died, Arrau decided to not study with someone else. I like him because he was modest and I really admire the sound he was able to create with the piano. I’d like to talk to him about the interpretation and about his life. I’m a pianist too and I’d like to ask him what’s the secret for playing in a such way and also how I can be not afraid during the public performances.

Submitted by Alina_banana on Mon, 23/10/2017 - 23:03

Hi everyone! I would want to tell you about Belarusian Oktouberfest at the Lahoisk (small city in the Minsk district) The history of this festival start from germans, the marriage of Ludwig I and Tereza Saksonskaya. It was the start of the new tradition to celebrate beer festival, the german king. This festival was orginised for the first time, and the date was 21st of september. Festival celebrate brewing a beer at all. People drink a lot of craft beer, eat snacks, like Pork knuckles, hot dogs, breecels, , participate in a competitions, At that belarusian festival participants did not wear special clothes. But organisators use their fantasy, example of germans, and their attutude was really perfect and traditional (german tradition).

Submitted by alissonperucci on Tue, 19/09/2017 - 23:15

I prefer books to movies. When you read you use your imagination. In the movies everything is ready. This diminishes your intellectual power.But, This it not say that I don't like movies. I like too, but I just prefer the books.

Submitted by Aleksander1991 on Tue, 16/05/2017 - 17:03

I prefer books because when I'm reading I can relax. And if I don't understand something in a book, I can find out it in Internet, for example. But if I watch films I don't want to do stop and search some information. I think when I read I'm not only reader, also I'm part of the story of the book :)

Submitted by armagandc on Tue, 25/04/2017 - 11:27

Hello To Everyone, My question is : Some words was ITALIC. but when you want to download to transcript PDF you can see. For example : Elementary Podcast Series 01 Episode 04 – Transcript Section 1 – “How are you feeling?” – being sympathetic Tess : terrible Terrbile is importent Word, expression or grammar focus etc ? Thank you for replaying :-)

Hello armagandc,

The words like 'terrible' are in italics because they are emphasised by the speaker. It's a way of representing the way that they are said - if you listen to the audio then you'll hear how the speaker emphasises the words.


Best wishes,


The LearnEnglish Team

Submitted by Gustavo da Cos… on Mon, 17/04/2017 - 12:24

I think books are more interesting than films, because reading them exercises our imagination. Also I think that the better way to learn new things is by reading. But if this isn't your habit, you will probably find difficulty to finish a book. Films are not the same. There's no imagination and most of them don't bring an educative view.

Submitted by Gustavo da Cos… on Sat, 15/04/2017 - 13:13

I live in Brazil since I was born and the most popular festival here, although it was originated in France, is the Carnival. During a week people go to the streets to dance samba and martial carnival music. The centre of the cities stay very crowded. People usually wear fancies like Superman, Bathman, politicians personalities and so on. The beer, of course, can not be lacking. It transforms and rejoices the people. This great festival take place every year in February or March, depends on the calendar.

Submitted by Gustavo da Cos… on Thu, 13/04/2017 - 21:26

I'd like to meet Wynton Marsalis, one of the best trumpeters in the world. He was born in New Orleans in 1961 and when he was eight-year-old performed traditional New Orleans music in the Fairview Baptist Church band. Wynton is known by his experience as in popular music (jazz, blues, etc) as in classical music (Haydn, Bach, Mozart, etc). I'd like to ask him how much he studied to allow his present level.

Submitted by Mydinh boy on Mon, 03/04/2017 - 05:35

Hanoi, the capital city of VN is where I live now. It is one of the two biggest city of VN with the population of about 7,6 million. Actually I have been living here for just 2years. When I first move here, I didn't like the living here at all because of its noise, busy, crowded streets. But now I am familiar with all these and I love the lifestyle here. People are active, there are many things to do, to discover in HN. HN is not only famous for gorgeous landscapes but also for delicious foods.

Submitted by Mydinh boy on Fri, 31/03/2017 - 11:25

For me I prefer film. It takes much time to read a book and sometimes I feel bored with words in it. Mean while watching a film we feel excited because there are many things included such as nice views, music, and favorite actor or actress.

Submitted by lemeshekaterina on Fri, 24/03/2017 - 07:20

I'd like to tell you aboute the Day of the Tiger in Vladivostok, Russia. This day is celebrated at 4th sunday of september. The first time it was in 2000 year. Tiger is the emblem of the town. At this day many people wear costumes and pictured a tiger's snoot on their faces. Children specially like to imaginete theiselves a tigers.At this time on the streets of the city many little tiger cubs. It's funy and very nicely.

Submitted by ScullyDana on Sun, 19/02/2017 - 03:06

When I wrote new words from this podcast into my vocabulary, I've come across a word "honour". Generally when I find new words, I also look for appropriate pictures to remember better the words. And the first thing I've thought about was "The Three Musketeers". When I was a kid, and then a teenager, I've reread that novel for about four times! I was excited by that adventure story, that spread on a background of the historical events and the historical persons. (Should I use "persons" in this context, or "people" is better?) And there is also a film "D'Artagnan and Three Musketeers", that was produced in the Soviet Union in 1978. It's a classic. I may rewatch it million times and I never get tired of it. There are gorgeous clothes and actor's acting, that doesn't let go my attention. And a separate place is taken by the legendary songs. So I can't say what is better: a book or a film. How said the man in the show: "It depends". In my opinion, we shouldn't compare them, because they are different directions of art. And both of them may leave an indelible mark in everyone's heart.

Submitted by Sergei Shv on Wed, 18/01/2017 - 10:50

Hello! What do I prefer, book or film? Actually I like both ones. I like the most watching a film after reading a book. When I read some book I image all actions as well as surroundings. Plus author can relate his whole story and tiny details in a book that impossible to express in a film. But film is an opportunity to see things you aren’t able to image. I mean if you hadn’t been in China you wouldn’t have understood what was described in a book. Moreover in a film there are interesting music and actor’s play.