Premium Transcripts
Part 2

Describe a time when you had to communicate in a foreign language (not your first language)

This episode's vocabulary

  • Coincidence (noun) - an occasion when two or more similar things happen at the same time, especially in a way that is unlikely and surprising.
  • Depict (verb) - to represent or show something in a picture or story.
  • Stick out (phrasal verb) - to be very easy to notice.
  • Execute (verb) - to do or perform something, especially in a planned way.
  • Receptive (adj.) - willing to listen to and accept new ideas and suggestions.
  • Scavenger (noun) - a bird or an animal that feeds on dead animals that it has not killed itself.


Questions and Answers

R: Welcome to part two. In this episode, I'm going to talk about a time where I had to communicate in a foreign language that's not my own. I have to say when I used this language, who I communicated with, what I talked or wrote about, and explain how I felt while using this foreign language. Rory, are you ready? Yes, I'm ready.

M: Rory, are you ready to rock and roll?

R: I am.

M: Yes, Rory, give us some good and juicy vocabulary.

R: Well, it's quite the coincidence, actually, because I just gave a presentation in Russian on my Instagram, which showed parents how to play flashcard games with their children to help them learn English. So to explain, like flashcard games are where you use pieces of paper with pictures or words on them. And it helps you remember, well, whatever it is depicting when you see them. Now, I said, I just but this was actually a few weeks ago, um, but it sticks out in my mind. Because it took me a lot of effort to, well, first of all, to plan the thing and prepare the material for it and then to execute it. I was communicating with a mass audience via Instagram. So there wasn't too much interaction involved with the people who were there, other than there's like a counter for who was and who wasn't watching. But it seems to have been viewed by a couple of 100 people last time I checked. During the presentation, I spoke about various games that parents could play with their children to develop their receptive and productive skills. The ideas ranged from simple ones, such as asking what a flashcard was, or what it represented, to more complex ones like scavenger hunts using numbered flashcards, for example. I still, despite the planning and preparation, I was quite nervous about the whole thing. And I spoke quite quickly or faster than I usually would in some places. As time went on, though, I started to enjoy the experience, and I managed to finish with a smile. So all in all, I'm quite glad that I did it. And I hope it helps a lot of people. However, even if it doesn't help people, it was still a really fun experiment and a test of my language skills. Most of the feedback so far has been positive. But maybe if people check out in the future, then I'll keep their feedback in mind.

M: Do you often have to communicate in a foreign language?

R: I don't have to communicate in it, but I do have to understand it when other people are speaking.

M: Thank you, Rory, for your answer.



M: Oh, wow, you spoke Russian. Is your Russian so good?

R: Well, you've seen the video. What did you think?

M: It's good. It's very cute. I like your accent. You're Scottish Russian accent, beautiful.

R: Yes. But was it effective is the real question.

M: I think so. Yeah. Yeah, it was practical. And like you spoke well, to be honest. It's like nice for parents to hear you speaking Russian. And like, I think they like you even more. So it's a trick.

R: Should we talk about the structure of the...

M: Yeah, so the situation is describe a time when you had to communicate in a foreign language, not your first language. Your first language is your mother tongue. Okay. And we say like, my mother tongue. Tongue. My mother tongue is Russian, Rory's mother tongue is Scottish English.

R: And when I started off, I said, I didn't say a time when I had to communicate in a foreign language that was not my own. You got to paraphrase a little bit, or at least open with something a little bit more engaging. So I said, it's quite a coincidence, which I'm used to seeing on the podcast now after one and a half years of saying that.

M: Yeah, dear listener, I think in your head like, the word coincidence. Maria Rory!

R: A coincidence is, actually, when something happens at the same time as the other, and they help each other out somehow. So in this case, it actually is a coincidence, because I did give a presentation in Russian recently.

M: How else can I start off this topic? This story? Like I remember once I had to communicate...

R: Yeah, one time at school. Like lots of schools, for example, ask you to communicate in a foreign language for exam. So you could say it was a long time ago, but at school, or recently, I had to communicate for a test in English and my English class.

M: Yeah, you can speak about exams, you can speak about some English exams or tests.

R: You could speak about practicing for your IELTS speaking.

M: Yeah, or somebody maybe asked you something in the street and he was a foreigner. Or you made a call and talked to your clients or colleagues in another language. Right. Okay. And then you go like, I was communicating with somebody. I was communicating. So past continuous.

R: Yes. So even though I didn't paraphrase everything, I still change the grammar to help me out here. And again, it sets up this part of the answer where I talked about who I communicated with, which is what was expected of me. Yeah. And in the same way, I had to say what I talked ow wrote about. So I said, I spoke about.

M: Right. Yeah, I spoked about or I talked about, I discussed. I discussed things? No, we discussed.

R: Well, usually you have a discussion with other people, but individual people speak about things, if they're doing it by themselves.

M: Yeah. To speak about or talk about something. And then the last paragraph was interesting. Despite the planning and the preparation, I was still quite nervous. So how did you feel about it? Right. So despite the planning, despite the fact that I was prepared, I was still quite nervous, nervous, or how else can you feel when you talk in a foreign language?

R: Nerve.

M: Nerve? Yeah.

R: Worried, concerned.

M: I was a bit worried. I was concerned about mistakes.

R: I had butterflies in my stomach.

M: Really? So you kind of in a negative way, yeah? Cause usually when you fall in love, I have butterflies in my stomach. But here, yeah, when, if you were feeling quite nervous, you can say, oh, I was having butterflies in my stomach. They were flying around inside me, butterflies. Yep. And then, as time went on, though, I started to enjoy the experience, a very nice phrase. As time went on I started enjoying the experience. Or didn't enjoy the experience at all.

R: I continued to be nervous, and I hated every minute of it.

M: Yeah, you say I was frightened. I was really scared that I could make some mistakes. And usually when we speak in a foreign language, we're afraid of mistakes, right? We're afraid of the fact that we could forget a word.

R: You could have been caught off guard.

M: That's a nice one.

R: Yeah, like that happens when someone talks to you on the street. And they like ask questions. I hate it when people do that at the gym, like I'm tired at the gym. And people come up to me and talk to me, and I'm caught off guard. So I don't have time to organize the words in my head. And so I just say like, listen, I'm tired. I don't want to speak Russian. I don't want to talk to anybody.

M: Yeah, so you're just walking on the street. And then you're oh, you're caught off guard by some foreign tourist with asking you how to get to some McDonald's in English. Yep. So you can say it was still a fun experiment. Or it was a fun experience. Oh, I had fun. I tested my language skills. I developed my language skills, or it was it was a nightmare. If it wasn't, you know, very positive, you can say it was a nightmare...

R: Because it wasn't the best experience.

M: Yeah, you know what I mean, it wasn't the best experience. Or I guess I wouldn't do it again, for example.

R: If I, if I could. If I can choose, I don't want to do this again.

M: So if I finished a bit earlier than two minutes, what's the strategy? So I speak like for one minute and a half, and then the examiner looks at me, like, come on, say something else. What do I do?

R: Well, you stick within the confines of the task. So you can go back to elaborate on things that you spoke about previously. You could say, well, let's say you already talked about who you use this language to communicate with. You could like for example, I said, I was communicating with a mass audience. So I could say like, I noticed that there were particular individuals listening to what I said. Most of them were my friends, and then talk about that in more detail. Or you could say, when we talk about when you'd say like, Oh, it was a few weeks ago, I should say it was in the morning. And that made me more nervous as well. So you just had more details about the different parts that you already talked about.

M: Yeah. And then the exam, you have the card in front of you. So you have the card you look at the examiner, you have your notes that you made in one minute before you spoke. So yeah, you can look at the card and add additional details, but it's okay to speak from one to two minutes. So if you spoke for one and a half minutes, it's fine. The examiner will ask you a couple of more questions. So the last bit of grammar that I like to focus on is this seems to have been viewed by hundreds of people. Nice. It seems to have been viewed. What do you call this structure, Rory?

R: I don't know Maria why don't you tell me.

M: Present perfect passive. Whoo. Because the like Rory.

R: Rory boy, the Rory child.

M: So Rory made this video on Instagram, right? He spoke Russian. So this video seems to have been viewed by hundreds of people. To have been viewed is a passive voice. Perfect passive because it was in the past. So like, it was viewed by people. It was seen by people, present perfect - it has been viewed by people. It has been seen by people. Rory adds this seems to. It seems to have been viewed by people. Oh my God.

R: So even if you don't know the exact number them can just say oh, it seems to be this way.

M: Yes, it's like a very, a very gentle way. Right. So it seems to, it appears to. Like really soft nice words politicians usually use to be soft and more gentle.

R: Apparently is good for that.

M: Apparently?

R: Apparently it's been viewed by hundreds of people. Who knows, but maybe.

M: Yeah, very nice. Thank you very much for listening!

R: We hope you enjoyed this episode. But in the next episode for IELTS speaking part three we'll be focusing more on discuss... This is why Maria does it and I don't. Maria help me.

M: Yeah, we're gonna discuss speaking part three questions. And we're going to talk about using the foreign language and learning languages in general. Thank you!

R: Bye!

M: Bye!


Make sure to subscribe to our social media to see some of the “behind the scenes” stuff:

Our Instagram:
Our Telegram: