This episode's vocabulary
- Wind up (phrasal verb) - to find yourself in an unexpected and usually unpleasant situation, especially as a result of what you do.
- Sense of direction (noun) - the ability to find places or to know which direction to go.
- To navigate (verb) - to successfully find a way from one place to another.
- By sight - by appearance; by recognizing but not through being acquainted.
- Reference point (noun) - (of location) a point used to find or describe the location of something.
- Orienteering (noun) - an activity in which you have to find your way to somewhere on foot as quickly as possible by using a map and a compass.
- Wander off (phrasal verb) - to leave from someone or something.
- Headed (adj.) - going in a particular direction.
Questions and Answers
M: Have you ever got lost?
R: Isn't there a joke about men never getting lost, they just use their own directions. Seriously, though, I've lost my way once or twice, but it was nothing terribly serious.
M: When was the last time you got lost?
R: I actually despite the coincidence at the beginning, I actually did have trouble finding the studio we were working at once. I just misread the directions and wound up one street over or something like that. It was hardly a big deal. But that was the last time I was lost.
M: How can you find your way when you are lost?
R: Oh, GPS has saved me so many times. I usually have a reasonable sense of direction too. I'm just not very good with specific place names. But I'm very good at like navigating by sight. And of course, tall buildings make good reference points in my case.
M: Are you good at reading a map when you get lost?
R: Reasonably well. I wasn't great at orienteering when we were in the scouts. I'm much better at finding my way around by what I can see around me, like I said, rather than what's on a map.
M: Have you ever helped someone who got lost?
R: I've tried. People in Moscow always used to ask me for directions. And I always thought I gave pretty good answers to their questions. But sometimes, they would go and wander off and talk to another person probably just to double-check what I'd said.
M: Do you ever use any applications with maps?
R: Um, I do. Yes. I use Google Maps often. And when I was, when I lived in Moscow, I used the Yandex taxi app and it's got a map on it, and it helped me find my way to places or at least understand the direction I was headed in.
M: Thank you very, so much for your answers! Dear listener, we hope that you were not lost in his answers!
R: They were good answers.
M: They were, and you know what they say? They say, it's nice to be lost in the right direction.
R: You could be lost in the moment.
M: Oh, yes. Let's be lost in the moment. Let's lose ourselves in the moment.
M: Oh, by the way, so to get lost, it has two meanings.
R: It does, yeah, I was thinking about that.
M: So what are these two meanings?
R: Well, to get lost is like to lose your way which just means you don't know what direction you're traveling and to lose your way is a great paraphrase for getting lost by the way.
R: But get lost is also a phrasal verb but for, well, it's not a phrasal verb, is it? It's like an idiom for basically go away and leave me alone. It's so rude. It's like, it's not as rude as the "f" word and off, but like it's pretty good.
M: Yeah, so if we're recording with Rory and then Vanya interrupts us, we go like Vanya get lost. No, we don't usually say that to Vanya. We are very polite and nice to him.
R: So in this sense, actually, it's like an instruction isn't it? To get lost? Go and lose yourself. Get away from me.
M: Go away. Yep. But in the IELTS speaking getting lost is about losing your way, right? And synonyms to getting lost... So for example, Rory used I've lost my way, to lose your way.
R: Yes. Um, and, well, I lost my way once or twice. This is a good way of talking about situations in general. Like, it's like from time to time once or twice. It doesn't mean it's literally happened one or two times. It's just another way of saying sometimes.
R: Or occasionally.
M: Can I say I lose my bearings?
R: Oh, well, yeah, I lost my bearings. Yeah, I didn't think about that. But lose your way is more common, but lost my bearings is also quite good one.
M: Yeah, you can also say I took a wrong turn. So turn like when the road turns. So I took a wrong turn, and I got lost. Or I became disoriented, for example.
R: Or I misread the directions, which means you didn't understand the instructions for moving the direction you should be going in.
R: And the direction is like just where you should go basically.
M: Yeah, I misread the directions.
R: Yeah, I misread the directions.
M: But also, dear listener, you can say I stayed on track, so you can use an antonym. So I got lost. When you don't get lost you stay on track, right? This is the expression.
R: Yes. Keep on track.
M: Cool. And then you said like, I just misread the directions and wound up one street over or something.
R: I think that's my favorite phrasal verb, people always say that I say that. Wound up doing something.
M: So I ended up or I wound up getting lost, or I wound up in a strange neighborhood late at night. Right, Rory? Is this what usually happens to you in Dundee these days?
R: I think like all neighborhoods in Dundee are strange aren't they? You need to come and visit, seriously. Like, it's fun.
M: I know. Yeah. Shall we just get all our listeners from all over the world? They're gonna like yeah, let's go to Dundee.
R: Maybe not everybody. But like you and Vanya, absolutely. On the subject of my hometown, because people might be wondering more about it and the culture and the people there. So if you are interested, there is a wonderful podcast called Dundee cast. And you can find it at Dundee Cast. That's dundeecast.sounder.fm. They're not paying us to advertise for them. I just happen to know the person who does this podcast and I thought if you're interested in where I'm from, and finding out more about it, then you might want to try that out.
M: So, dear listener, if you want to get some insights into Rory's soul, listen to Dundee Cast. Okay, Rory, you also mentioned the expression, navigate by site?
R: Yes. So you could talk about because people often will say like, directions, directions, directions. But in terms of finding your way around, you navigate, you go around, you determine the direction. It's navigation, navigate.
M: So navigate by sight is like what you see around.
R: You use your eyes to go in the right direction. But it sounds so much better when you say it the way like navigate by site. You can navigate by stars. I don't think many people do that nowadays. But...
M: Yeah, and then you can mention some devices like a GPS tracking device or a GPS app application on your cell phone. I know a personal locator beacon, a satellite phone.
R: Oh my days, just say GPS, the Global Positioning System. Do you know that the global positioning system was developed by the US military and they made it available after the Soviet Union shot down a Korean Airlines flight because their GPS was rubbish. They couldn't find their way. So they made it available. So that would stop happening.
M: Wow. I didn't know that.
R: Yeah. Ronald Reagan. Very helpful, man. Thank you, Ronald.
M: Now we know. Rory, thank you. So you can be good at reading a map. I'm good at reading maps, or I'm not good at reading maps. And I usually get lost, you can see.
R: But if you're not good at that, you could use your GPS and follow the directions. It's like follow the instructions. So read and use the instructions.
M: Yeah, when people tell you to go left to go straight, you follow their directions.
R: Or you don't and make a mess of it like me. I'm terrible at following directions.
M: Hmm. So you do your own thing, Rory, you just don't listen to people telling you where to go.
R: Yeah, I'm not very good at it.
M: Oh, should I go left? Okay, so I go right. This is what you're doing?
R: Well, that seems to be like just the logical consequence of living in Moscow sometimes or having lived in Moscow, because... I remember every time I used to ask Russian people for directions in Moscow, they would always send me in the opposite direction. Every time for a whole year.
M: You can also say I'm great at orienteering.
R: orienteering is like a, well, at least when I did it when I was in the Boy Scouts, it was you follow up a map, and like work out where what direction you're going in based on the map.
M: You can also look at the stars, and you have a compass, a compass. I think a compass is a thing of the past, right? Because everybody is using their phones, apps, Google Maps, whatever they're using. Have you ever seen a person with a compass? Compass is this device here that shows you like Southwest.
R: I haven't seen a compass, like not a mathematical one, but a direction-finding one, in about...
M: Have you ever?
R: Oh, I have. I've seen compasses before. But we use them in the Boy Scouts, but like I've not seen one in 20 years. That's how long it's been.
M: Yeah, dear listener. Have you ever seen a compass? I wonder. Yeah. So when you go into the wild, when you go trekking or hiking, and usually, not usually, like sometimes hikers do lose their way, right? So they get lost. That's why they say like, you should have a map and a compass because your phone can die. Your phone needs charging. So yeah, and you can't use navigation apps all the time, or you can't use any navigation apps when your phone is dead. Oh, they also say that you should print out a map of the area and have it in your pocket. Rory, when was the last time you had a paper map in your pocket? Or in your bag?
R: When I moved to Moscow. Because my Russian teacher gave me a map of Moscow. But we are again, like we're talking six years ago. Oh, I'm so old. It's been such a long time.
M: Oh, yeah. So dear listener, you can say that I usually read a map on my phone or I use the navigation apps, right?
M: And then people, people can ask you for directions.
M: So I always help those who ask me for directions.
R: Yes. I can't think of anything else to say about that. You just ask someone for directions. It's always ask for directions.
M: Yep. And then a good expression is, I'm good at finding my way around. So to find my way around...
R: Is just to...
M: To stay on track?
R: Well, it's like to understand where you are and where you're going.
R: I'm very good at that. Like I understand what I see. I just can't translate that into where it is on a map. That's why no one asks me for advice in terms of finding your way. But hopefully, our answers have helped you find your way around this troublesome subject of getting lost.
Yes, and hopefully we got you "unlost". We've got you "unlost", get yourself "unlost" with our podcast. Get yourself "unlost" in this IELTS speaking world.
R: What's the opposite of get lost? Get found?
M: Stay on track. Get "unlost".
R: "Unlost" isn't a word.
M: I found myself.
R: Get in trouble for your word-formation.
M: Yeah, be very careful because I'm being creative with the language so "unlost" doesn't actually exist. So you should say like, okay, I found myself or I stayed on track. I didn't get lost. So yeah, you should be very careful. Avoid creating your words in your speaking exam, you know.
R: Yeah. Do it in your free time.
M: Because the examiner could look at you like what? Is this a word? Yeah.
R: What word is this mate?
M: Yeah, it's a speaking exam, you know? And you go all Shakespeare on me. So don't go all Shakespeare on your IETLS speaking examiner. Okay, dear listener? Thank you so much for listening!
R: And we'll see you next time. Bye.
M: Bye Bye Bye!
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