This episode's vocabulary
- To have a drive - to have energy and determination.
- Superior (adj.) - better than average or better than other people or things of the same type.
- Detriment (noun) - harm or damage.
- Dry up (phrasal verb) - to no longer exist or be available.
- To display (verb) - to show something.
- Aptitude (noun) - a natural ability or skill.
- To pigeonhole (verb) - to put someone or something into a group or type, often unfairly.
- To label (verb) - to label something or someone is also to name that thing’s or person’s character.
- To flourish (verb) - to grow or develop successfully.
- Novelty (noun) - the quality of being new and unusual.
- Vicariously (adverb) - in a vicarious way (= experienced through the activities of other people, rather than by doing something yourself).
- To relate (verb) - to find or show the connection between two or more things.
- Relatable (adj.) - related, or able to be related to something else.
- Productive (adj.) - resulting in or providing a large amount or supply of something.
- Inclination (noun) - a preference or tendency, or a feeling that makes a person want to do something.
- To expose (verb) - to create conditions that allow someone the opportunity to do, learn, or experience something.
Questions and Answers
M: Rory, how might a person who is considered to be a genius feel?
R: Well, that's a good question because I don't know many people who would be considered to be that way. However, I imagine they would probably feel a great deal of pressure to succeed, maybe from other people or from themselves, they might have a great drive to succeed. Um, and they might feel superior to other people if they're doing really well, but other people aren't doing as well.
M: Do you think artists with talents should focus on their talents only?
R: If you mean focus on their talents to like the detriment of everything else, then no, it's probably not such a good idea. If you're only good at one narrow thing and don't develop skills in other areas, then it's going to be rather dull life, isn't it? Um, moreover, what if your talent or work opportunities in your area of expertise dry up? It's better to have a key skill, and then some backups on hand just in case.
M: And how can they develop their key skills?
R: Well, by practicing, that's how you develop anything.
M: Is it possible for us to know whether young children will become musicians or painters when they grow up?
R: Well, they might display some sort of natural aptitude for art before they even hit adulthood. Um, or they could even just express an interest in those areas. But it's probably not a good idea to pigeonhole children and label them before they're ready.
M: Do you think that the government should support these children who are like genius children?
R: Well, it will depend on the individual country and if they have the resources available, but let's assume that they do, then yes, and probably their education system, if it's functioning correctly, should do that it should be flexible enough to allow them to flourish, while other people are doing the baseline.
M: Why do people like to watch talent shows?
R: Well, why do people like to watch anything? It's the novelty of the experience, I suppose. You can see people doing things that you've never seen before, or the very least you've never tried yourself, and you can sort of live vicariously through them.
M: Do you think talent shows are popular in general?
R: Well, if viewing figures are anything to go by, then yes, and the newspaper coverage seems to indicate that it's quite popular.
M: Do you think that different talent shows will be popular in the future? Or it will be even more popular in the future?
R: I don't know how they would be different, because they're always different talents. Maybe the format might change, maybe audience participation? Anyway, I don't know if different ones will be popular. But certainly, the concept of talent shows will be popular.
M: Do you think it's more interesting to watch famous people or ordinary people's shows?
R: I think it depends on what you want to focus on. It shows about famous people tend to focus on big events and drama and major issues, while ordinary people have their own quieter personal dramas, which are more relatable to draw people's focus.
M: And why do you think some people dislike watching ordinary people's lives on TV?
R: Why they like it or why they dislike it?
M: Dislike them.
R: Well, I imagine because it seems more productive use of time to develop your own talents, rather than looking at other people. Well, rather than looking at other people developing theirs. Um, so yes, in this perspective, it seems better for them to work on themselves.
M: Some people say that you're born with certain talents, would you agree?
R: Well, you're maybe born with a natural inclination in that direction, but talents will come about through practice. And if they don't use it, then it will just remain an inclination to do something. There are very few people who just do something well without practice. In fact, I don't think there are any.
M: But do you think talents could be developed, even if people are not born with it?
R: Yes. Because, well, you're probably not born with like a specific talent. You're maybe just born with a strong interest in that particular direction. And then that leads you to practice more and more and more earlier and earlier. I mean, it's like the difference between native speaking and non-native speaking teachers, for example, or people. Native-speaking people have been doing it since they were born. And so of course, it seems like they're naturally talented with the language but you know, it's not naturally talented. It's just they've been exposed to it for longer whereas non-native speaking people have not. So yes, you can develop this. In fact, it's the only way.
M: Thank you, Rory, for your talented answers, as always!
M: So talents, talented, what's going on? Let's talk about some topic-related vocabulary. So first of all, we can call talented people geniuses. And some people are considered geniuses, which means other people think that they are geniuses. And Rory told us that genius people might have pressure to succeed, or they might feel superior to others.
R: Yes. So, if you feel superior to someone, you just think you're better than they are.
M: Then, when you're not sure, you can say I imagine they'd feel.
M: I imagine they'd feel superior to others.
R: Because that was a very unexpected question. And I don't have any experience in this area. I don't think anybody does. So you can just say, I imagine. Or if I were to guess, and I am. If I take a guess, if I guess at it.
M: Yeah, then I asked you if artists should focus only on their talents. And you said, well, if you mean focus on the talents to the detriment of everything else. Wow.
R: So that just means like, if you focus on something so much, like everything else doesn't work properly anymore.
M: Nice. So that's a nice structure. So to focus on one thing, to the detriment of everything else. Can you make another sentence with that?
R: Um, yeah, you can focus on speaking to the detriment of your other skills. Which is why you should listen to our writing course or writing podcast.
M: Yes. Yeah. Yeah. So then you talk about developing skills, like gaining more skills, developing skills, improving skills, and your area of expertise. Expertise, right?
M: You might want to say expertise, but it's expertise. Your area of expertise could dry up.
R: So if it just dries up, it means you can't exploit it anymore.
M: Yep. Can skills dry up?
R: Probably if you don't practice them.
M: So your's area of expertise could dry up. That's why you should have like, a repertoire of different skills. Repertoire, which is a French word. When we talk about talents, we also talk about natural aptitude for different things, right?
R: And if you just it's like saying you're naturally talented at something,
M: So I have a natural aptitude for languages, for example. Yeah?
M: You have a natural aptitude for drinking Scottish whiskey.
R: No, I do not.
M: Do you have a natural aptitude for making whiskey, Rory? Were you born with a natural talent for making whiskey?
R: I don't think anybody is. Like that's way too specific. You're probably born with a general talent at something. Like in your cases - languages. That's like a broad area but like you can't be born talented in whiskey making. Like how on earth would you drain even anticipate that kind of thing.
M: Hello, I'm from Scotland. I have a natural talent at making whiskey. I was born with it. Oh, gosh. I don't need to learn it. No. Yeah, interesting. Yeah. So, children might display some natural aptitude for art. So, display some natural aptitude for sports, for art, for, I don't know, languages. Yeah? And it's a good idea... It's not a good idea to pigeonhole children.
R: Yes. So you pigeonhole people it just means you label them and then they can't escape that label.
M: Yeah, kind of you look at the kid and you say yes, that's a Moses. That's our Picasso. This one is Che Guevara. So we should keep an eye on him. So this is like pigeonholing. So you pigeonhole children, you label them. Yeah, nowadays, like people do label each other, don't they? They say, oh, this one is in depression. This is a neurotic. Another one is an addict. a narcissist.
M: So we kind of tend to give ourselves different labels. Yeah.
R: But you should not.
M: No, no, no. Labeling people is not a good thing. You can start with yourself. So, talent shows could be quite popular. And Rory told us it's because of the novelty of the experience. Novelty.
R: So the novelty of the experience is just like the newness of it. If you can say such word, like how new something is. If something is new, it has novelty. And that's why it's interesting.
M: Yeah, on talent shows you see people displaying different talents. Somebody can juggle well, others can just do aerobics like crazy. And then, Rory, you said: "live vicariously".
R: We've talked about this before, haven't we? If you live vicariously through someone, it just means you take the experience of another person. And it's like it's your own. So maybe someone who doesn't like to drink at parties could live vicariously through others who do drink at parties, for example.
M: When we talk about other people and ordinary people's shows, you can say the personal dramas are more relatable to draw people's focus. Relatable, like people can relate to them. Yep?
M: Yep. Rory, any more synonyms that our listener can use to paraphrase talents and talented people? What else can we say?
R: Well, if we talk about talents, like to be talented, to be adapt, to have an aptitude for something, to be skilled in a particular area, highly skilled.
M: I'm skilled at... I'm skilled at, right?
R: Yeah. You're skilled at something, gifted.
M: Gifted. Yeah, gifted people, gifted children, genius children. Yep. Excellent. Rory, what's your talent? Give us one talent.
R: Well, I like to think I have a talent for writing. But who knows?
M: Can charisma be a talent?
R: That's a good question. I'm not sure. Yes.
M: Or charisma is a quality? Oh, let charisma be a talent. Because otherwise, I don't have any other talents.
R: What? You're like an award-winning teacher trainer.
M: An award-winning. Nice.
M: I have an Oscar for teacher training. I have awarded this Oscar to myself, myself. Anyway, dear listener, make sure that you do know your talents, what you're gifted at, what talents you have for, and also what talents you want to improve. Just for the IELTS. You need this for the IELTS, not just for general life, but IELTS wants to make sure that you do know your talents well. Thank you very much for listening! Waterfalls of joy, "Scottishness" and "Russianness" into you. Stay talented, you are talented. We all are talented. So...
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