This episode's vocabulary
- Cosmopolitan (adj.) - containing or having experience of people and things from many different parts of the world.
- Prestigious (adj.) - very much respected and admired, usually because of being important.
- To pique (verb) - to excite or cause interest.
- Extraordinarily (adj.) - very; more than usual.
- Well traveled - (of a person) having been to many different places, especially to many different countries.
- Numerous (adj.) - many.
- To draw (verb) - to attract attention or interest.
- Engaging (adj.) - pleasant, attractive, and charming.
Questions and Answers
M: Rory, are you already ready?
M: All right.
R: I was struggling to think about who to talk about there. But then I remembered that I watched one of his lectures the other day. And it reminded me. The person that I'm thinking about is called Vladimir Posner. He's a famous independent Russian journalist. Although, to be honest, that doesn't exactly paint the full picture since he has both French and American roots as well. And I think pretty much all of these countries and cultures lay claim to him. So it's all very cosmopolitan, actually. We bumped into each other at this event run by the British Council at a university in Moscow. Actually, I forget which one, but it was definitely not the High School of Economics. Regardless, it was quite a prestigious establishment, given the nature of the event and the surroundings as well were actually quite fancy. My job was to do a sort of vocabulary input for the dictation that he was doing. And at the time, I didn't actually realize who I was speaking to. But after I was done with my presentation, which was broadcast on live television, something else I wasn't prepared for, I got a call from one of my managers asking what it was like to meet someone who's so well known. Obviously, that was quite ironic, because I'd never, well, I'd never have known who he was, if she hadn't told me. I got a few other calls like that too later that day and further on, and it sort of piqued my interest in finding out more about him. And I discovered after a quick search online, that he is extraordinarily well known and equally well traveled. He's interviewed people like Hillary Clinton and other politicians and celebrities. He speaks at least three languages very well, and has delivered numerous presentations on a range of topics, most recently about the present situation in Russia and its relationship with the West. Many of his ideas are quite similar to mine. So that alone would be enough to draw me in. However, he also has a great presentation style, which is quite engaging, and I plan to watch even more of his work in the coming months. I'm really interested to learn about what he has, well, what he thinks and what he has to say, and maybe steal or become inspired by some of his ideas for my own presentations.
M: Have some of your friends met this person?
R: No, no one else I know has. Have you?
M: No, only on TV. We met on TV. When he was on TV, I was at home.
M: Wow. So Rory met Vladimir Posner. Wow, amazing. So if you have no idea who he is, could you just Google, just google him?
R: Or youtube, you'll see there's like 1000s of lectures. Probably not 1000s, but there's loads. He's great.
M: Yeah. Oh, wow. So you just like, you talk to him?
M: What did you ask about?
R: He asked me for advice about pronunciation. And he speaks English to the same, if not a higher level than I can. I thought it was amazing.
M: Oh boy.
R: He is cool.
M: Rory tought Vladimir Posner some certain things about pronunciation.
R: Well, maybe taught might be a little bit much. He asked me a question about how to say a word. And I said the way he said it was fine. In fact, it was better than fine.
M: Vladimir Posner's pronunciation advisor Rory.
R: It's actually slightly ironic, because he said, oh, like, you're obviously here to do the vocabulary bit. And I was like, yeah, yeah, and I didn't know who he was, and I was like, so what do you do? And he was like, oh, I'm a journalist. And I was like, oh, that's really cool. You must meet lots of interesting people. And then I found out later on, he's like, interviewed Hillary Clinton and Vladimir Putin. And I was like, oh God.
M: Wow. No, no, he didn't interview Vladimir Putin.
R: Oh, really? I thought he had.
M: No, no, no, no, I don't think so.
R: Well, okay, but the point is...
M: He interviewed pretty much everybody except Vladimir Putin.
R: Yeah, that's the idea. And I was just like, okay, this is a little bit embarrassing.
M: Wow. So you were talking to him without having the slightest idea who he was.
R: Not until afterwards. He's a very nice man. Like, and you know, lots of celebrities let things like this go to their heads. And maybe he might have been offended if he was a more sensitive person. But no, he was very forgiving of my total ignorance of who he was.
M: Yeah. So dear listener, just like if you have no idea who this person is, so just worry bumped into a really famous person from Russia. Like everybody knows him. All right? So it's kind of like some, I don't know, Messi, or it's like talking to, I don't know, Brad Pitt. Okay? Without having no idea who he was, like, imagine, you're just like, you met Brad Pitt and Brad Pitt comes to you and says, oh, how do you say this in English? And then you go, oh, yeah, like, hi, how are you? What do you do in your life?
R: Oh, God. At least I wasn't like rude or anything, I just didn't know. So it's okay not to know someone.
M: Sweet. Yeah, so the topic. The topic is describe a person you only met once, and you want to know more about, right? So Rory met this person, right, at this event, and Rory talked to this person, and now he wants to know more about this person. If, for example, I bump into a person, I just kind of accidentally like, oh, wow. And I kind of I don't meet them, but I just like see them. Does this count?
R: It's not part of the plan. I think, well, hold on, what was the original task?
M: But can I talk about this person? If I, for example, like I saw a famous person on the street, or I saw a famous person in a shop and I want to know more about them. Can I talk about this person?
R: I think no, you actually have to have met them and talk to them. Like a meeting is not just looking, a meeting is a discussion. However short it is.
M: Yeah, you see dear listener, it's very important. So you actually, you should meet this person. Or should of. Not should of. Ideally, you just you met this person, you talked to them. And then like now you want to know more about it. If you don't have this person, could you just you know, make it up.
R: Steal what I said.
M: Exactly. Vladimir Posner.
R: We've all met Vladimir. He's around. Vova.
M: And maybe you met this person at a party, or maybe you met this person in a club or somewhere? Like you had a brief conversation with the person and then you never saw him or her again. So now you want to learn more about this person? Yeah. Okay. So you said that he's a famous independent Russian journalist.
R: So there's lots of adjectives there. Although I really shouldn't have said famous, I should have said like renowned.
R: Which is just like a combination of like, famous and famous for something really cool.
M: So he's a renowned Russian journalist. And then Rory said like, we bumped into each other, right? So we bumped into each other. Like, oh, wow, like, oh, hi, Vladimir Posner. Hi.
R: Hi, who are you?
M: Oh, Rory, I remember you. You're from IELTS Speaking for Success podcast.
R: No, I wasn't. I wasn't on the podcast, then. This was like 5 years ago.
M: Oh, bother, you could have just sold our podcast to Vladimir Posner. Can you imagine him talking about our podcast on Russian television?
R: Well, yeah. Although that's happened before.
M: Why didn't ask him for his phone number?
R: Well, we were rather busy at the time because he was panicking about, well, allegedly panicking. I'm sure he was just trying to be friendly and make conversation. And I was panicking because I hadn't been told that I was first of all going to meet this really famous person. And I didn't know that was going to be on live television. And I didn't know there were a 1000 people there. So I was just having a small meltdown while in front of the famous person, which is not a good look. But there you go. I like to think that I'm much calmer now.
M: Oh, boy. Yeah. So we bumped into each other or we saw each other, we met each other at this event, right? Or at a club, at a party. And again, when you bump into a person you just like oh, wow, oh, hello. Hello, you. Like imagine like you're walking down the street and then you see Rory, like, like the real Rory. And you go oh, Rory, hi, hey, what are you doing here?
R: That's happened before. Someone sent me a message. This is two years ago, I think. And I was just on the metro, probably listening to music. And then I stepped off and someone sent me a message on Instagram saying, oh my god, I just saw you on the metro. I wanted to say hi, but I was too embarrassed. And I was like, oh, well, you should have said hello.
M: That's cute. Yeah, so and then you say that you can describe the event. It was quite a prestigious event, prestigious. And then Rory said, I didn't realize who I was speaking to.
R: And that's important for a number of reasons. There's a relative clause in there. And obviously, past simple, didn't realize.
M: And then Rory said that it piqued my interest in finding out more about him.
M: So if something piques your interest.
R: That means that it's like the initial or the beginning of the inspiration to find out more. So this is useful for introducing why you want to know more about someone, because it piques my interest. Why else?
M: Can I say that he piqued my interest?
M: But I was describing the situation about getting calls about him, because people were saying like, oh, my God, you were there, you met this person. And I was like, why is everyone going on about this person, and then I typed in the name on the internet and died of embarrassment.
M: Wow. Wow. Rory, that's a true story, right? You didn't make it up?
R: It is absolutely.
M: Wow. You've never told me that you met Vladimir Posner.
R: It was on live TV. You were in the same office as me. And you were criticizing me for my dress sense at the time, I believe.
M: No, that wasn't the same day. Come on.
R: Although to be honest, like, every story I have about meeting famous people often involves me behaving in an embarrassing way. So...
M: And then you can say that I discovered after a quick search online that he's extraordinarily, well known. He's equally well traveled and and you just like, talk about this person, preferably using adjectives. Okay? So he's like, well known. Or if again, he isn't a well known, just like a person you met at a party. So he's charismatic or she's charismatic. Like, educated, I don't know, funny.
M: Yeah. Attractive, talkative, sexy, realistic. All right....
R: Talk about the person that you are stalking.
M: Yeah. And even if you have no idea who this person is, or what they do, you can say just okay, I don't know much about this person. But like, they seemed, like he seemed or she seemed really pleasant, interesting. And then you can say like, many of his ideas are quite similar to mine. Right? So we had similar ideas, Many of his ideas are similar to mine, mine. So my ideas. And this drew me in, or that would be enough to draw me in. So to draw me in kind of to get me interested in this person.
R: Sort of like having your interest piqued. So the interest piquing is like, the start of the interest and then being drawn in is like the development of this process.
M: And then you can say, I'm very interested to learn more about what he thinks, or what he has to say. And you just said, like, maybe steal, or become inspired by some of his ideas.
R: Yes, I have to say that's not, that's not one of my phrases. I used to work with somebody and you worked with her as well, Maria, because, who used to say, we don't say plagiarism, we say become inspired by. Do you know what I'm talking about? Anchor, anchor would say, I didn't steal it, I became inspired by it.
M: Oh, nice. Yeah. I always say like stealing in teaching is a good thing. So...
R: If it works, yeah.
M: All right. Yeah, dear listener, so here you go. Some examples, some synonyms for you to use. Talking about, I want to know more about this person. And, yeah, make sure that you know who you're going to be talking about, some person you once met. Okay? Who is interesting. You can talk about Rory, even though you didn't meet Rory. But you can imagine that you kind of like met Rory.
R: You could say like I feel that we met.
M: Yeah, I feel like we met because I listen to this person every day. Yeah.
R: Remember, at the very beginning, when I said like I was struggling to think about who to talk about. So I was struggling, past continuous, who to talk about, to think about who to talk about. And then I remembered I watched one of his lectures. So still past simple, but the other day, which is a sort of fixed expression for talking about an inexact period of time. So that is a good way to start off, because it's a way of showcasing all of this wonderful grammar and vocabulary, and then you launch into your main subject, instead of saying, a person I am going to talk about is called... And that's not very interesting. It's not very engaging. So it's like a setup, steal it. I wasn't sure what I was going to talk about, or I wasn't sure who I was going to talk about, but then I remembered I watched a lecture about it the other day, and it reminded me. And then you go on. There's your cheat.
M: Oh, wow. That's cool. Anyway, thank you very much, dear listener.
R: Hopefully, if you're listening, Mr. Posner, hopefully you're not too offended still, that I didn't know who you were.
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