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Describe a city that you think is very interesting

Part 2

This episode's vocabulary

  • Landmark (noun) - a building or place that is easily recognized, especially one that you can use to judge where you are.
  • To encompass (verb) - to include different types of things.
  • Myriad (noun) - a very large number of something.
  • Ornate (adj.) - having a lot of complicated decoration.
  • Skyscraper (noun) - a very tall modern building, usually in a city.
  • Fast-paced (adj.) - happening very quickly.
  • Diverse (adj.) - including many different types of people or things.


Questions and Answers

M: Rory here is going to describe a city that he thinks is interesting. He's going to say where the city is, what it's famous for, why it's interesting, and Rory is going to explain how he feels about the city. Rory, are you excited?

R: I'm very excited to talk about my favorite city.

M: Yeah, bring it on, come on.

R: Well, how could I not speak about Moscow? Which is the capital city of Russia, more specifically, is located in the center of the European part of the country. Far from any coastal areas, though, it still gets plenty of water from the river of Moscow that runs through it, and it's where it gets its name from, or at least that's part of it anyway, I think it would be easier to talk about what it isn't famous for, rather than what it is. It's got just about everything. An interesting past, major landmarks, access to all kinds of shops, which sell everything from international brands to local goods and services. The architecture also encompasses a myriad of styles from the ornate Czarist era buildings to the Soviet period with influences of socialist realism. Right up to the modern skyscrapers of the Moscow City, which is the financial heart of the area. And I think it's also the financial heart of the country. Actually, I used to teach one of the chief architects for the buildings there, she made it sound incredibly impressive, I definitely couldn't do anything like that. I find it fascinating that all this can exist in one place. And it's really unusual for someone like me, who is like, I'm from such a small country, we only have about 6 million people. But in Moscow, there are 15 million, and you can almost feel it when you live there. Despite that, it's not all fast-paced, there are massive parks, which basically have their own ecosystems, and you can get lost in there and forget that you're surrounded by a major world capital. It's all very impressive. And all of this is supported by a very diverse and well developed infrastructure, from the, well, from the massive road network to the metro system, which is really well organized and runs underneath the city. So in a nutshell, I love Moscow, especially the people there. They're all wildly different and you could never get bored of it. I can't imagine living anywhere else like it. And I look forward to going back one day.

M: And what about your friends? Do they find this city interesting?

R: Yes, because they live there.

M: Hey, come back, Rory! Come to Moscow! When are you coming back already?



M: So a city that you think is interesting. Interesting means well, interesting. Rory has used some synonyms. For example, fascinating is another synonym. So dear listener, think about a city that kind of is interesting to you that kind of like it's fascinating. You, I don't know, it interests you. Yeah?

R: It catches your attention.

M: There we go.

R: It piques your interest, but we've already used piques your interest.

M: It piques your interest. So I'm going to tell you about Lisbon, which piques my interest. Yeah, so some city that you want to learn more about. So think about it now. And pretty much you can use the same adjectives Rory did. Fascinating. So I find it fascinating that in the city, blah, blah, blah, impressive. Right? Unusual. So it's unusual for someone like me, who is from the village. Can I say that you from the village, Rory?

R: In comparison to just about everywhere else in Russia, probably, yes.

M: Yes, Rory is from a village. So it's unusual for someone like me. So this big city. Also you can say that it's fast paced. So if a city is fast paced, what do we mean by that?

R: It just means that everything happens very quickly, because well, obviously not everything happens very quickly. But if something is fast paced, then it happens very fast, or goes very quickly. So for example, if you work in an office in Moscow, people want everything done now, immediately. I needed it done yesterday.

M: Yeah. So Moscow is all fast paced. Or you can say it's not all fast paced, because we have parks. We have massive parks. Well, pretty much all over the place. Yeah, which is nice. And Rory, you used to live next to a park.

R: I did. I lived next to Strogino. It's got a lake. It's huge.

R: A lake and a river and like a huge river. And a huge park. I got lost in the park.

R: In strogino?a

M: Yeah, yeah, yeah.

R: You did. Because I remember you were supposed to come to my party and then you took like 3000 years to get there.

M: Yeah, because I was like having a walk in the park and then I got lost. Okay. Why do you find Moscow interesting? It's first of all, because an interesting past. Moscow has an interesting past, major landmarks. What do you mean by this? Major?

R: Landmarks? Well, a major landmark is like something important that you can see. Like so for example, in Moscow... Oh, wow, there's so many.

M: The Kremlin.

R: The Kremlin. Red square. Oh, GUM and TSUM are landmarks.

M: School where we used to work with Rory. Mcdonald's, where we used to have our burgers. Our studio. Where we used to record our episodes. Landmark.

R: No, our studio is not a landmark. But what would it be? Hotel Ukraine? That's a huge landmark.

M: Yeah.

R: Yeah.

M: Yeah. So things like this. You can say major sites or landmarks. Can you say attractions? Major attractions or better not?

R: Well, a landmark is something interesting because you can see it. Whereas an attraction is something that you go to and do stuff with. So the State History Museum, which is in Red Square. It is an attraction. It could also be a landmark, because it's massive as well. But it fulfills these roles in different ways.

M: Also, Moscow has access to all kinds of shops selling everything from international brands to local goods and services. So Rory used to spend lots of money on different goods and services in Moscow.

R: Did I?

M: Once he even bought champagne for all the women he knew in that company.

R: No, I bought champagne glasses for them because they said, I bought a bottle of Dom Perignon, because I was paid a great deal of money for what I did. And and I wanted to celebrate, so yes, but then I was saying, how are we going to drink this? And they said, well, we have plastic cups, and I was like, we're not drinking Dom Perignon from plastic cups. So I bought champagne flutes for the office, and people still have them. They're there. That's my lasting contribution to that office. There's champagne flutes.

M: He bought champagne and the glasses, you see.

R: Oh, such a great light.

M: Yeah. And then Rory talked about the architecture. So if the architecture of a city is interesting, you can say that the architecture encompasses different styles.

R: A myriad of styles.

M: So the architecture encompasses a myriad of styles, like different styles. You know, Rory, some people say that a myriad of styles, meaning a lot of styles is a bit posh, it's kind of too much, you're kind of showing of. I know this word. Is it okay to use this in this context, or you think it's like over the top, it's too much?

R: It encompasses different styles then.

R: We did talk about a myriad of styles or a variety of styles or different styles if you want to be a Philistine and not sound posh, and not have band nine vocabulary, whatever. So different styles of architecture in Moscow, Czarist-era, Soviet period, socialist realism, modern skyscrapers.

M: Skyscrapers. Yeah, if the city has tall buildings, skyscrapers.

R: Although, to be honest, pretty much every single Eastern European country could probably say roughly the same thing. Maybe not for czarist, but like, Imperial era, and then Soviet or communist era. And now every country has modern skyscrapers.

M: And then we can have the financial heart of the area, some skyscrapers, business centers. Yeah, you can comment on architects. So architects did a good job with architecture obviously. So architects, people, they're not... No, architects. And Rory, surprise, surprise, after meeting this very famous journalist, he also had classes with the architects of Moscow city. How beautiful is that.

R: Yeah, well one of the architects. It's not...

M: One of the architects. So, Rory, you did meet some, you know, powerful people in Moscow.

R: Well, allegedly, they're very down to earth though. They weren't like making light of that. No, they were making light of that fact, indeed. But that's possible in Moscow. It's so cool. You can meet everyone there.

M: Yay. I find it fascinating that all this can exist in one place. Again, fascinating. So it's interesting. So it's nice to make, to kind of refer to the fact that this place is interesting for you. Yeah, it's unusual. Yeah, we can comment on how many people live in this city. Yeah, it must be a city. Okay? So a city, not a town. So you can't talk about Dundee, for example.

R: Yes, you can.

M: No, but is it a city?

R: It is a city. Thank you very much! It's the fourth largest city in my country.

M: Oh, really?

R: I understand that having something like 100,000 people is a village in Russia, but in our country, it's quite a sizable number. Thank you very much!

M: Oh, I'm sorry, I'm sorry. Yeah, dear listener, you see so you might talk about Dundee, but just mention that it's quite small.

R: I wouldn't talk about Dundee. No one finds it very interesting. No, it is interesting.

M: It is interesting, because you are there, Rory. You are there.

R: I'm here in body not necessarily in mind. If you are interested in finding out more about Dundee, there's a podcast called Dundee culture. And that will give you more information about my hometown. Because I know nothing about this place.

M: And then kind of to wrap it up, we say in a nutshell, I love Moscow. I find it really interesting. I find it fascinating. Especially the people, the people are wildly different. So wild, like wild animals, wildly different. Yeah. So all different people. And I can't imagine living anywhere else. That's why I'm living in Dundee right now.

R: No, well, I said I can't imagine living anywhere else like it.

M: Moscow calls you. Rory, come back. It's Moscow. It's Moscow. Moscow actually is speaking. Come back, Rory, come back.

R: There's an expression in Russia, isn't there? It's like you're always needed at home. And that's the translation.

M: Oh, okay.

R: And so, in this case, it's like you're always needed in Moscow.

M: Oh, cute. Come back, Rory, come back. Do you hear it? It's just Moscow talking to you. Come back, come back. What do you call a person who lives in Dundee? So Moscow - muscovite. What?

R: Dundonion.

M: Dundonion.

R: Yeah

M: Oh, I'm a Muscovite. Rory is a Dundonion.

R: If your from Aberdeen, you're Aberdonian. There must be a rule for that. Probably if you have this <i> sound, then the ending will be -ion. And then if it ends with a vowel sound like <>, then it would be -egian. That works. Cause you have Norway. Oh, yes, it does. Look, ha, Glasgow ends in a vowel sound and Norway ends in a vowel sound and you have Glaswegian, Norwegian. So there must be a rule there.

M: Oh, okay. He worked out a rule.

R: But work out what the people are caled

M: Oh, that's cool. Dundonion. So for example, dear listener, if your card in IELTS speaking part 2 is about a person you admire, you're gonna say, oh, I'm gonna tell you about Rory. You know, he's an Dundonion. And I really like his style.

R: Yeah. But I'm not, I'm not really a Dundonion, though. I'm from Broughty Ferry.

M: Oh, right, okay. Yeah, it's close to Dundee, right?

R: It's adjacent to Dundee. It's Dundee-adjacent.

M: Right. So you can say like, um, yeah, I admire this Rory guy. He's not really a Dundonion, but now he lives in Dundee for some reason. He's always wanted to live in Moscow, but then he moved for some strange reasons. Anyway, thank you very much for listening!

R: Take me back to Moscow. Bye!

M: Bye!

R: Join us again in part three, where we'll discuss "Living in a city"!


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