Transcript of my podcast episode (35)

Hi dears! This is ENGSPRESSO episode no. 35 and this time, less talking about the weather! In the previous episodes, I told you about the hot summer, next – about the periods of heavy rain in the south of Poland, and last time – about the coming autumn. As we all know, talking about the weather is often part of making small talk, which is quite a practical skill, but I think it’s been enough for now, hasn’t it? So today I can share something different with you but within the same context: small talk.

Many of my students tell me they would like to practise small talk in our lessons because they admit that they don’t know how to make it. And do you know what I usually suggest that they do? My advice is super simple: practise asking questions, especially if you’re an introvert.
Do you sometimes find it difficult to interact with strangers, new colleagues or your friends-to-be? Do you feel uncomfortable when talking about yourself? If so, start asking people questions about anything (decent questions, of course!). Let people tell you about themselves first, and then it’ll be easier for you to continue the conversation. In the beginning, the more questions you ask, the less you’ll have to talk. Clever, isn’t it? I also naturally use this technique in my lessons. Of course, I have to ask my students questions because I always want to increase their talking time and find out more about them as well.
So make sure you know how to ask even the simplest questions and just start doing it! Who knows, perhaps you’ll even become quite a chatty person. Give it a go and tell me how it feels.

And now I’d like to teach you another two expressions!

The first one is TO BREAK THE RECORD. This expression means 'to do something better than the best known speed, time, number, etc. previously achieved’.

For instance: She wants her team to break the record in terms of productivity this quarter. Now, repeat after me.
The translation is: Chce, żeby jej zespół pobił rekord produktywności w tym kwartale.

Another example: He broke the record in speed eating by devouring 70 hot-dogs in just 10 minutes!
Pobił rekord w jedzeniu na czas, pochłaniając 70 hotdogów zaledwie w 10 minut!

The second expression is BY ALL MEANS. We can use this adverb when we want to give someone permission to do something. It’s a synonym of the phrase 'yes, certainly’.

For instance: By all means, take a few days off – you’ve been working too hard!
Oczywiście, weź kilka dni wolnego – pracujesz zbyt ciężko!

Another example: If they have any questions, by all means, ask them to contact me via email.
Jeśli będą mieć jakieś pytania, to jak najbardziej, poproś ich, aby skontaktowali się ze mną mailowo.

And now it’s time for your ENGSPRESSO to go!

Our context for the phrases is:

If he’s determined enough, by all means, he should try to break the record for the long jump.
Jeśli jest wystarczająco zdeterminowany, to jak najbardziej powinien spróbować pobić rekord w skoku w dal.

Excellent! As usual, I hope you repeated all the phrases aloud after me. Remember that this part is crucial because you can’t really practise speaking without opening your mouth! And I know that many of you actually skip this part and just pretend that you repeat after me. So if that is what you often do, please change it right away! Let me also remind you that now you can revise all the vocabulary from my ENGSPRESSO episodes with a new course online to which the link you can find in the description of the episode.

The transcript of today’s episode is already on my webiste, of course, so have a look at it, and if you like it, share it with your family, friends, and colleagues. They may also fall in love with ENGSPRESSO one day.

Thank you for tuning in and talk to you another time!