This episode's vocabulary
- Kilt (noun) - a skirt with many folds, made from tartan cloth and traditionally worn by Scottish men and boys.
- Tartan (noun) - a pattern of different coloured straight lines crossing each other at 90-degree angles, or a cloth with this pattern.
- Distinctive (adj.) - Something that is distinctive is easy to recognize because it is different from other things.
- Dirk (noun) - a type of dagger (= small pointed knife) used as a weapon in Scotland in the past.
- Impractical (adj.) - impractical clothes, devices, etc. cause problems when used in normal situations.
Questions and Answers
M: Rory is going to describe a traditional product in his country. He is going to say what the product is, when he tried this product for the first time, what it's made of, and he's gonna explain how he feels about it. Tell us, bring it on! Off you go!
R: Well, it's difficult to talk about Scottish products without mentioning kilts. Many people describe them as skirts when they talk to me about them. But truth be told, they're far more than that, actually. First of all, they mark you out to Scottish. And secondly, if you're wearing a particular tartan, that's the name for the pattern on them, then they show what family you belong to it. So there's a community aspect there. Most people focus on the strip of dense fabric that gets wrapped around your waist and then hangs down to your knee area since that's the most distinctive part. But actually, usually they're part of a sort of smart suit with a tailored jacket or a more casual, open-collared shirt. So there's some variety there. But the point is that there's a bigger, I don't know, uniform or outfit that it's connected to. So it's not just a skirt for men. I think I was about five or six when I had my first one, it was quite small and made for a child but still quite heavily based on, well, still quite heavily weighted, I should say. Based on what I can recall. Made of very dense wool, which gives them this weight. It also makes the proper ones quite difficult to make and therefore they're quite expensive. The shirts and suit parts are mostly cotton or polyester and they're more modern editions. But the socks are also made of the similar kind of dense wool. So it isn't really a summer outfit that you would wear all the time, definitely. Lastly, there are the accessories that go with it like dirk, which is a ceremonial blade. And we also have kilt pins with family emblems. And sporrans, which is like a small bag that makes up for the lack of pockets on the part that gets wrapped around the waist. You've got to have somewhere to put everything I suppose. In terms of my personal feelings about them, I think they're great, if a little bit impractical. And if you can pull off the look, I would definitely recommend investing in one. It's a good way to stand out from the crowd and it definitely makes for an interesting conversation piece if you know a little bit about them.
M: What about your friends? Do they have kilts?
R: Interestingly not many of them do.
M: Oh, are they Scottish, your friends?
R: I have friends from all over the world.
M: So, a traditional product, dear listener. So you should describe a traditional product from your country. So Rory, Scottish Rory talked about surely kilts. These skirts for men. And strangely, he said that they are not just skirts for men, but we all know that they are. Don't we, dear listener? Skirts for men. Hahahaha, right. So, you can talk about a traditional product, but what is a traditional product is kind of something a product produced according to kind of in a traditional way or according to traditional methods of production in your country or region. Yeah? So for example, so Rory, you talked about kilt and what else if not kilt? What else can can you talk about?
R: We could talk about whiskey.
M: Yay. Whiskey and kilts.
R: Even though I don't like whiskey that much, to be honest.
M: Yeah. Oh, for example, in Russia we have such products as vodka. Yeah? But like different like crafts, for example. We have matreshka doll. So this like Russian doll. And this is a pure Russian traditional, we can call it like product or a souvenir. A Russian doll. Also for example, products from amber. Amber is this stone. Like fossilized thingies, you know.
R: Fossilized tree sap.
M: Tree, yeah. So yeah, we can talk about that and think about your country. What can you talk about? And could you please choose something that is easier for you to describe? If you don't know how to describe it, could you please google this product and then be ready to describe it. As easy as that. Just google, dear listener. Rory's answer was specific to kilts. But generally, so first, Rory talked about what the product is. Well, I'm going to talk about kilts. Right? Or you can, Rory started like, it's difficult to talk about Scottish products without mentioning kilts. Yeah.
R: And then you just go on to describe what a kilt is. Although, to be honest, you could do this for just about any country like, I'm going to stereotype some countries to prove a point. So I know that these countries are more than the stereotypical products. But if you talk about Russia, then you say like, well, it's difficult to talk about Russia without mentioning vodka, or it's difficult to talk about, where it's another, oh, France. It's difficult to talk about France without mentioning wine, like this kind of thing. So it's a good way to start off, even though it's still, I don't know, what's the best way to describe it, actually. It's a good way to start off.
M: And then you say, what it's made of, for example. Like it's made of blah, and I don't mean like blah is a a word, but like, blah, blah, blah, something like it's made of wool, or it's made of metal, it's made of this stone.
R: Or in my case, it's made of wool. It's important to point out though, that traditional products are actually usually part of a country's culture as well. So for example, in my case, kilts are not just a thing that you wear, it also marks out your nationality, and it shows who you belong to, or where you belong. But if we talk about well, actually, and Russian vodka serves a very similar purpose, because of course, vodka is not just the one drink, there are different kinds of vodka. Maria, you'll know more about this than I do. So and the same thing in France as well. There are different kinds of wines, and probably they have lots of history behind them. So that's something important to point out as well, you can go into that as well.
M: True. Yeah. And then the second point is, when you try this product for the first time, and Rory said that, I think I was about five or six when I had my first one. Or like I was about this, or I got it a couple of years ago. And then you describe it. So you add more details. It was quite small. It was big. It made me happy. Right? Or it was quite heavy. It's made off, again, dense wool. So you can mention the size, then the fabric, maybe it had patterns on something. Or the taste, if you talk about a product, then you can mention the price. So it was quite expensive, or kind of cheap. Then Rory talked about materials. So the parts are mostly cotton and polyester. Yeah? This is how you pronounce this material? Polyester?
R: I think so. Yeah. It's like the, how best to describe it? It's like a man made fabric, isn't it?
M: And when you talked about your feelings, Rory introduced these bullet points. He said, like in terms of my personal feelings about them. So them like kilts, right? I think they're great. If a little impractical. So you don't think a kilt is practical?
R: Well, no, I mean, you couldn't wear a kilt for every single occasion. Although they are fun.
M: Yeah. And if kind of it's warm outside, it's pretty hot in a kilt. Yeah? Rory, are you're gonna tell us about the underwear?
R: What about the underwear? When you wear a kilt, traditionally, you don't wear any underwear underneath.
M: Oh, traditionally? What about now, these days?
R: I'm not wearing a kilt right now.
M: Yeah, but what about like these days?
R: Oh, you mean do people still do it?
R: Oh, you'd have to ask another Scottish person.
M: Scottish people, do you still do this? Okay? Funny.
R: And then we rolled into well, here it was asking us what it's made of. We talked about the materials. But actually, in the case of a kilt, which is an outfit, there are different parts to the outfit as well. So you could talk about the parts that make up the outfit. So I talked about the accessories, for example. And then it asked me to explain how I felt about it. So I didn't say I feel happy. I said in terms of my personal feelings. So I paraphrased the line, because I couldn't think of any other way of introducing this. That was a better pair of phrases. Is there anything else that we could have used there, Maria?
M: I think it's a good one in terms of my feelings or as for how I feel about it, just like this, yeah. As for how I feel about it, oh, I feel great. I think they're great. Or you can say I feel excited, or I feel happy when I have it. Yeah.
R: And then we talk about any kind of product, we can talk about it being an interesting conversation piece. So that just means that they're fun to talk about.
M: Kilts, surely. There are a lot of traditions, underwear traditions around them.
R: I should say, actually, it doesn't mean that. It means like, it's something that you have in order to create conversation.
M: And then we use present tenses for the description. We can also use the passive voice like it is made of something. It was bought, it was made. Right? So things like this. And if for example, you have it, you can say I've had it for a long time. Or if you don't have it, you can say I wish I could have it, or I wish I could have it more often. Again, it depends on the product that you're going to choose to describe in this one. And what helps us to organize our answer?
R: Well, there were just a couple of phrases. I like the introductory phrase, it's difficult to talk about x without mentioning and then what you're talking about. And then delving into the material. And then saying I think I was about. You don't have to say the exact age you were. I don't think most people would remember it in great detail. And then lastly, which is a bit commonplace, but it still does the job. And then in terms of my personal feelings to introduce that, and then wrapping up with it. It's a good way to do this. And it's interesting to talk about.
M: Excellent. Yeah.
R: Any good grammar?
M: Oh, grammar, I think, no, nothing. Well, it was all correct. So Rory used past forms accurately and present forms and some passive voice structures, complex sentences, pretty much everywhere. So relative clauses, blah, blah, blah, which is like a small bag. Yeah? So to add details, no, you did use a conditional. If you can pull off the look. So I think they're great, if you can pull off the look. So yeah, there we go. The first conditional! Hey! Okey Dokey. So, dear listener, could you please make sure that you can choose a traditional product in your country that you can talk about, read about this product, write out perhaps like three or four collocations or phrases or words that you want to use about this product, and Bob's your uncle, you have your answer. Please make sure not to choose some difficult products and something that you can't talk about, even if you like this product, but it's very difficult to describe. And you don't know many words about it. Please don't talk about it. I think it's easy to talk about food. If you want to talk about food traditional in Scotland, which? Whiskey! Because whiskey is food. Yum, yum, yum.
M: Oh, haggis. Oh, yeah. Haggis. Scottish Haggis.
R: Oh, and Angus beef comes from my local area, actually.
M: No. Are you joking? From Scotland?
R: Well, I mean, I'm sorry, that's inaccurate. The breed of cow comes from this area. I imagine they're raised all over the world.
M: Okay. Yeah, you see, so, dear listener, it could be pretty easy to talk about a food product, but it should be something traditional from your country. Lovely. Thank you very much for listening! And we'll come back with our speaking part three, where we're going to be talking about traditional products in general.
R: Even more traditional products.
M: And more whiskey and more kilts. Scotland. So this is your Scottish song. Very Scottish. Bye!
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