Hi, I’m Sarah. Welcome to The Daily English Show.
Today’s mistake is: mixing up before and ago.
For example if I offer you a piece of cake and you say: Oh, no thanks, I’m still full. I ate lunch one hour before.
That should be: I ate lunch one hour ago.
Ago is used if you’re counting from now, or the time of speaking, to some time in the past.
She moved here 5 years ago.
He died 6 months ago.
And you use before if you’re counting from some point in the past to another point further back in the past.
The example in this book is:
Napoleon died in 1821, he had lost the battle of Waterloo six years before.
This is an example I found online:
This was way back in the summer of 2002, two years before Google went public.
But if I was speaking in 2006, I could say: Google went public two years ago.
And now I could say: Google went public four years ago.
Today’s site is http://www.manythings.org/
This is one of my favourite sites. I actually talked about it before, but that was quite a while ago, , so I thought it was worth mentioning again.
One of the cool pages is this one which has minimal pair practice.
For example, Japanese speakers often have trouble telling the difference between (the sounds) l and r. So, there’s an exercise which helps you with that.
But of course, everyone is different and people from other countries have no problems with l and r, but have problems with other sounds.
You probably know a lot more about this than I do if you’ve travelled a lot or if you’re a student who has studied in a class with people from many different countries or if you’ve taught people from many different countries.
There’s a great guide in this book on page 141 – by the way this is an excellent book if you’re looking for a book on pronunciation – anyway this guide tells you which speakers have trouble with which sounds.
I also did a really quick search and found a passage about this in a book called: Teaching Science to Language Minority Students
The sounds of spoken English differ from those in some other languages. For example, the 'th' sounds (as in thunder or then) do not exist in Farsi, Japanese, or many of the Indian languages.
Native speakers of those languages may have difficulty pronouncing 'th', thereby substituting a 't', ‘s’, ‘z’, or ‘d’ sound, saying tunder for thunder or den or perhaps zen for then.
* I said therefore by accident – it should be thereby.
So, if you have trouble with the th sound, you might find lesson 18 useful, which is the difference between they and day.
Sweden’s parliament has passed a bill which will allow officials to eavesdrop on all cross-border email and telephone traffic. The new law is due to be implemented in January.
Kia Ora, in Stick News today, there’s been a public outcry against an eavesdropping law in Sweden. The associated press reported more than 1 million emails have been sent to politicians.
What’s your favourite event?
Are you looking forward to the Olympics?
Mmm, yeah, kind of. When are they on?
The thing about the Olympics though is that there are so many events, that it’s really hard to decide what to watch.
Hmm, I guess so.
What’s your favourite event?
Probably the sprinting.
Yeah, the sprinting is cool. I like watching their bodies – they’re like works of art.
スプリントいいね?。 アスリートの体を見るのが好き。 芸術作品みたい。
Which athletes do you think have the best bodies?
Mmm. Definitely not marathon runners, they look a bit sick because they’re so thin, and weightlifters look a bit scary, gymnasts look a bit scary too because the can bend so much. Probably swimmers, because they have nice muscles, and they also have a layer of fat which gives a kind of soft effect.
マラソンじゃないのは確かだね。 細くて病気みたいだから。 重量挙げもちょっと怖いからパス。 体操もクネクネ曲がりすぎてちょっと怖いからパス。 水泳がいいんじゃないかな。 イイ筋肉が付いているし表面に適度に着いた脂肪が柔らかに見せてくれるから。
Minimal pair practice:
Does anyone know of any other good pages with minimal pair practice like this? If so, please send me the link, thanks.
Show 781 Wednesday 2 July
The Daily English Show