Premium Transcripts
Part 1

Nature

This episode's vocabulary


  • Grove (noun) - a group of trees planted close together.
  • In a pinch - if necessary.
  • Brutish (adj.) - rough, unpleasant, and often violent.
  • Predation (noun) - the fact that an animal hunts, kills, and eats other animals.
  • Congenial (adj.) - friendly and pleasant.
  • Avail (verb) - to make use of something.
  • Humdrum (adj.) - having no excitement, interest, or new and different events.
  • Terrain (noun) - an area of land, when considering its natural features.
  • Manicured (adj.) - if something, such as a garden, is manicured, it is well cared for and looks very tidy.
  • Urbanized (adj.) - having a lot of houses, offices, factories, etc., or having a lot of people who live and work in cities or towns.
  • Estuary (noun) - the wide part of a river at the place where it joins the sea.
  • Haven (noun) - a safe or peaceful place.
  • Epic (adj.) - extremely good.
  • Tremendous (adj.) - very great in amount or level, or extremely good.

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Questions and Answers


M: Rory, do you like nature?

R: If I don't overthink it, then yes. It's nice to be out in the forest or at a countryside or, to be honest, even a grove of trees will do in a pinch. We've talked about it before that nature has this kind of calming effect on people. Of course, there are more brutish elements to it, like predation, for example. But if you focus on the surface detail, then it's quite congenial.

M: How often do you spend time in nature?

R: Probably not as much as I should do, which is ironic because I live next to a massive public park and my school is located in the middle of a forest. Despite this, due to my workload, there's never much time to go out and sort of avail oneself of all that.

M: What do you do when you spend time in nature?

R: Well, what most people do, really. I just mosey around rather aimlessly, I should say. I suppose it's the point of it, though, isn't it? You're just supposed to enjoy this experience of being in the natural world as opposed to the humdrum existence of the city.

M: What kind of landscape do you have in your country?

R: Well, it's pretty mountainous in the north and we have some of the highest peaks in Britain. Actually, there's rather more elevated terrain when you compare it to the more manicured parts of England, for example. Much of the non-urbanized areas are quite heavily forested. So you can always go there and enjoy the local wildlife. And of course, if you don't like forests and prefer the coast, then there are numerous estuaries and they're like a haven for birds and sea creatures and they've got some epic views as well.

M: How has nature changed over the past 10 years?

R: Well, I can remember going crab hunting as a child. And we that in rock pools and used to find these tremendous crabs on the beach. It's more unusual now, although it's possible that I'm bigger, so everything else is smaller by comparison. And the seagulls seem more aggressive now, too. They're often in the papers for stealing people's food or attacking them. In terms of the terrain I don't think a lot has changed. Though, I suppose it could be cleaner now, that there are fewer people milling around.

M: What do you think, would nature be better or worse in the next 10 years?

R: In Scotland? Well, I would argue it should get better since there are of greater levels of environmental protection in place. And I think even more being discussed, actually. And, of course, there's the impact of sort of wider global trends to consider. But in my country, I'm quite confident about things heading in a positive direction.

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Discussion


M: Rory, thank you so much for your natural answers. You were so natural talking about nature.

R: It comes naturally to me.

M: Nature. Dear listener, what do we mean by nature? First of all, when we talk about nature, we talk about natural landscapes. And Rory has mentioned some topical vocabulary about natural landscapes. Like mountains, for example. And he said some parts of Scotland are pretty mountainous.

R: Yes, and that just means there's a lot of mountains. It's important to point out that when we say nature, like nature can mean two things. It can mean being out in the natural world with all of the trees and animals. But it could also mean like how people are. So the joke or the coincidence in the beginning was me talking about human nature and how people are. But actually what we mean to talk about here is how it's like to be outside and amongst nature. So don't get those two things confused. I don't think it's possible to, but people might think, what on earth are you talking about being outside for when you made a joke about people's nature?

M: Yeah, true, a nature is pretty much about deserts, mountains, coast, forests, jungles, tundra. Tundra. I like this word.

R: The tundra. Well, if you live in Russia, you can talk about the tundra. Tundra is just like, it's sort of frozen over constantly by permafrost for another technical piece of vocabulary.

M: Oh, perma what? Permafrost. Like in Moscow in April?

R: No, no, no. Permafrost is a geographical feature. So it's like large areas of ground are frozen. This is called permafrost. And that's quite useful because it holds in gases under the permafrost, for example. But when it melts, that gas is released and it causes problems for like, the atmosphere, for example.

M: That's the geekiest parts on this episode.

R: No, it's not. There's probably more to come.

M: So we're getting all nerdy. Yeah. So you mentioned the highest peaks. Then you said elevated terrain. Terrain, meaning landscape.

R: Yeah. What?

M: Like when you said terrain, you meant landscape and you said like, there's more elevated terrain.

R: Yes, I did. Elevated terrain. I'm paraphrasing. Elevated terrain is just terrain or land that's higher than other places. So it's another way of saying like hills and mountains basically.

M: Yeah. Hills. Mountains, yeah. Cliffs also you can say. OK. And then some areas are more manicured. Very nice.

R: So usually your hands get manicured, but your land can also be manicured, which just means it's sort of...

M: Not mountains.

R: Not mountains, well, mountains can be manicured in a manner of speaking if you change it to suit your preferences or how you want it to look. But for example, a lawn can be manicured of it's cut well and nicely decorated. Landscape can be manicured if it's been adjusted to like have flower beds in certain places, I think so.

M: So, well-maintained.

R: Well not necessarily well-maintained. But like beautified by human beings. I think is probably the best way of talking about it. Like manicuring is a human... It's a human process in terms of changing the environment.

M: Mm hmm. Cool. We can talk about non-urbanized areas, we have like urbanized areas, like cities. And non-urbanized areas.

R: Which is another way of saying the countryside basically, or the suburbs, I guess.

M: Yeah, and then some parts are heavily forested. Beautiful. We know the words woods, forests, but then you can use it as a verb. Some areas are quite heavily forested.

R: Is that not an adjective?

M: Oh God, it is an adjective. I said a verb, right? Oh, my God, Rory, I am becoming you.

R: Excuse me, I just don't know about conditionals, everything else I'm fine.

M: OK, I know my conditionals, OK?

R: Because you said they are. So like something is something.

M: Yeah, yeah, yeah, an adjective.

R: Or it could be, but you could argue back. Maria, you have a get out. You could say I was saying it's passive voice. They are forested. We don't know or we don't care about who put the forest there or it's obvious where the forest comes from. So you could just say it's passive voice. So you are still turning into me because you didn't have an explanation, but you're not necessarily wrong.

M: So some parts are heavily forested. Then we talk about the local wildlife. Wildlife - plants, animals. So the local wildlife. And a good word and a word which is really hard to spell is estuaries.

R: Estuaries. An estuary sounds complicated, but it's really not, it's just like a place where there is water that's partially cut off from the sea. Maybe there's like a narrow channel that connects it to the larger body of water. And it's usually quite still and calm in comparison to other kinds of water. And that means because it's so stable that animals can live there long term.

R: Estuaries. An estuary sounds complicated, but it's really not, it's just like a place where there is water that's partially cut off from the sea. Maybe there's like a narrow channel that connects it to the larger body of water. And it's usually quite still and calm in comparison to other kinds of water. And that means because it's so stable that animals can live there long term.

M: We usually say river estuaries, right?

R: You can. Yeah. But you can say an example of this. The Montrose Basin in Scotland is an estuary. I'm pretty sure. Let me just double check that. And it is pretty cool. Montrose Basin. I think it's like manmade as well.

M: If you're not sure what we're talking about, could you now Google it up and gets a direct translation?

R: I should say it's not... OK. So I'm slightly incorrect about the Montrose Basin is part of a river estuary, so it's still not part of the sea. It's still partially cut off.

M: OK. Dear listener, all this information is super important in your life to maintain a conversation about Scotland. And you should know all the Scottish estuaries.

R: I seriously doubt your examiner is going to know or care what an estuary is. But like if you can use the word to mean something reasonably specific, then you can. Go to Montrose, though. It's awesome, especially in the summer. it's really nice.

M: Yeah, let's all flock to Scotland. So, more words about natural landscapes and nature like hills, caves, waterfalls, lakes, rivers, volcanoes. Say volcanoes.

R: Who lives near a volcano? Maybe if you are from Iceland.

M: Some Italians, perhaps.

R: Do they? Are there volcanoes in Italy?

M: Hello, Rory! How are you? Yes, sure. Sicily, for example. Have you heard of Etna?

R: Oh, wow, yeah, that's a volcano.

M: It erupted a couple of months ago.

R: Did it?

M: With lava and smoke.

R: What a ridiculous place to live.

M: Some people took some nice shots. So mountain ranges, wild, the landscapes, natural parks, the highest peaks like Rory also mentioned. Valleys, cliffs, beaches and the coast. Yes, so coasts are type of natural landscapes. And, Rory, you said epic views. Epic.

R: You can have a nice view, but you could also have an epic view. And if a view is epic it just means that it's super awesome, which just means that it's amazing.

M: Our epic podcast, epic wild landscapes. You can also say breathtaking views.

R: Breathtaking might be better because epic is actually a word for like a really long piece of writing. So it's like the word awesome. We don't we I think it's also means extremely big, but people use it to mean really cool instead.

M: Unforgettable views, attractive nature, picturesque goes with nature. Picturesque nature, like it's beautiful. Also, you can use the word scenic. Like scenery, like scenic hiking trails, for example, scenic views. Beautiful. And Rory, usually moses around aimlessly in nature.

R: Yes. So just to mosey around is just to walk randomly, basically without purpose. But mosey is the really informed way of saying it. You could also say perambulate. Perambulate.

M: What?

R: Which is just like another way of saying go for a walk. We can perambulate.

M: It sounds really formal though. So it's OK to use his word?

R: Oh yeah. For sure. But it is like, it's like super super formal and very unusual. Use it formally in IELTS but not for any like conversations you have with normal people.

M: And then you go like I just perambulate aimlessly and then examiner just like raises an eyebrow, looks at you like what? What I've just said?

R: And that's the moment you realize that your grasp of English is better than the examiner's.

M: Yeah, but what if the examiner doesn't understand this word and they've never heard this word before?

R: That's their problem.

M: That's their problem. Right. But they can't score you down for this, right?

R: No, but what you can do is if they give you a weird look, you just be like, you know, to go for a walk. Do you not know what that word means?

M: Teach the examiner.

R: Do you not speak very well? Is English not your first language? Don't say that to your examiner, please. Just like explain further, perambulate - to walk.

M: And then you go to the center and complain like, hmm, the examiner gave me this weird look when I used the word perambulate.

R: Perambulate.

M: Perambulate. Ok, give us another example.

R: No.

M: Do it.

R: Like the locals perambulate up and down the pavement or up and down the boulevard, just means like go leisurely, to walk leisurely.

M: Ok, so the question is what do you do when you spend time in nature? Well, what most people do really, I just perambulate aimlessly. Beautiful. Oh, band ten score. Another one is the humdrum existence. Humdrum.

R: Humdrum is just like boring, regular.

M: Yeah, so to avoid the humdrum existence of the city, we flock to the countryside, which has calming effects on us. You've used the word brutish elements.

R: Yeah, brutish elements just mean like violent or brutal.

M: No, like brute, right? Or like brutish elements in nature. OK.

R: And they are brutish elements in nature.

M: And all the predation.

R: Predation is just the process of predators preying on their prey. Now, that sounds really complicated, but predation is just like when other animals eat each other. Or hunt each other.

M: Yum-yum. Yeah, you see what we are doing, like, brute - brutish elements, kind of brute. Then predator -predation. Yeah. And now we know that Rory used to go crab hunting. Crab, you know, crabs, these little creatures. So Rory would go crab hunting on the beach. And then you can talk about seagulls, seagulls are really aggressive in the UK. if you're sitting there by the lake eating your fish and chips and then you see seagulls or swans or, my God, beware.

R: Why?

M: Because they would just attack you and snatch away your fish together with your chips and half of your hand.

R: Well, as they tried to do that to me, that would be the last thing they did.

M: Well, swans in Great Britain are really aggressive because they know that they belong to the queen and you can't harm the swans in this country. So they're, you know, like all cheeky, like, these are my fish and chips. OK, give me that. In Russia, it's a different story. So they are very modest because they know that they can be beaten up. But not in the UK.

R: Exactly.

M: Milling around. People can mill around.

R: If, mill around is the same as perambulate, you just walk around randomly.

M: So, Rory, I have a quiz for you. OK, so activities in nature. Let's imagine that you have to go out in nature and you have to choose one of these activities. OK, so activity number one, play in the mud. Number two examine spiderwebs. Number three go star gazing. Or go bug hunting, like observe different bugs. What would you choose? To recharge your spiritual batteries. Hmm?

R: Probably like examine bugs, I guess, even though, like, I'm not a big fan of bugs now. But it's the least messy of the options.

M: Hmm, so you wouldn't examine spiderwebs, you would examine bugs. OK. Yes, so you can spend some quality time in nature and we say in nature, not in the nature, but in nature. And nature is beautiful or picturesque. And you can say that, oh, I really enjoy joys of nature, I recharge my spiritual batteries in nature. OK, we're cool.

R: Yep, we're cool. Bye!

M: We are cool, bye now!

R: But now I think we should go and recharge our spiritual batteries in nature. So until next time. Bye!

M: Bye.

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