Transcript of my podcast episode (36)

Hello again! You’re listening to ENGSPRESSO episode no. 36, and today I would like to remind you of something essential, something that perhaps nobody has ever told you about. In fact, it’s something that every English learner should realise.

My advice for you is: don’t put the English language on a pedestal – it’s just a communication tool, just a language! Generally people don’t care about your mistakes, and they never analyse them as much as you do in your head. They’re interested in you: your personality, traits, skills, experience, and the way you make them feel when you’re around. Please, never forget about that! So many of you tell me about your problems, negative traits, and the never-ending story about „your English that’s never good enough”. Please stop it! I know and understand how and why you feel like that, but from now on, shut the inner critic up and be louder than this negative voice. You’re much more important than your current level of English. Of course, if you want/need it, do your best to improve your English skills, but always remember that English is not a god – nor is any other language or thing in this world! You should be the most important one for yourself. Don’t take life so seriously, and care more about your own happiness first. Who will if you don’t?

Did you need to hear that? I hope I encouraged you to reasses your values and priorities. Remember that your current perspectives can change if you change your thoughts about certain topics. Everything starts in our heads, if you will, so instead of working harder and harder, and pushing yourself to the limits, take a step back and consider your own needs first. Forget about general expectations, requirements, or standards. You do you! Why am I saying all that? Because in my experience, what we think we should do is not always what we really need to do in the end. And that applies to learning English too!

All right, now I’ll let you digest and interpret what I said in your own way, and as always, I’m also going to teach you another two expressions!

The first one is TO MAKE AN EXCEPTION. This expression means 'to not treat someone or something according to the usual rules’.

For instance: Normally, we can’t submit assignments after the deadline, but the teacher made an exception for me. Now, repeat after me.
The translation is: Zazwyczaj nie możemy składać prac po terminie, ale nauczyciel zrobił dla mnie wyjątek.

Another example: If you’re under 18, you can’t enter the club unless they make an exception for you for some reason.
Jeśli masz mniej niż 18 lat, nie możesz wejść do klubu, chyba że z jakiegoś powodu zrobią dla ciebie wyjątek.

The second expression is TO BE OVER THE TOP (OTT) / TO GO OVER THE TOP WITH STH. If something is over the top, it’s exaggerated, and when we go over the top with something, we exaggerate so that what we do is often extreme and sometimes also unsuitable.

For instance: The decorations at the party were rather over the top – those little butterflies were literally everywhere!
Dekoracje na przyjęciu były dość przesadzone – te małe motylki były dosłownie wszędzie!

Another example: Did your job interview really last for two hours? They must have gone over the top with their questions!
Czy twoja rozmowa o pracę naprawdę trwała dwie godziny? Musieli przesadzić z pytaniami!

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

Our context for the phrases is:

The chef’s creativity was a bit over the top, but the restaurant’s owner made an exception and hired him due to his unusual talent.
Kreatywność szefa kuchni była nieco przesadzona, ale właścicielka restauracji zrobiła wyjątek i zatrudniła go ze względu na jego niezwykły talent.

Well done! Remember that now you can revise all the vocabulary from my ENGSPRESSO episodes with a new flashcard course online to which the link you’ll find in the description of this episode. Once you buy it, you’ll get unlimited access to it, and you’ll always have our English expressions to hand – on both your phone and computer.
Visit my website to have a look at the transcript of today’s episode and share my podcast with your friends if you find it useful.

Thanks for sticking around and speak to you soon!