Simplified Speech #016 – American Thanksgiving

Have you ever wondered what Thanksgiving is all about, and why Canada and the United States celebrate it on different days? Come join Andrew and Suzanne as they explain this unique North American holiday.

Fun factthanksgiving

Canada began celebrating Thanksgiving before the United States. According to history, the first Thanksgiving celebration in Canada can be attributed to Martin Frobisher. Frobisher held a ceremony of thanks when he arrived in Newfoundland (Canada) in 1578, before the pilgrims on the Mayflower landed in Cape Cod (United States) in 1620.

Expressions included in the learning materials

  • A fail
  • A bad rap
  • A shortcut
  • A mishmash
  • To err on the side of caution

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Sample transcript

Andrew: Hey Suzanne. What’s new with you?

Suzanne: I’m heading back home to see my family in Texas. And it was reminding me that the holidays are coming up in the US.

Andrew: Yes, just around the bend is Thanksgiving, right?

Suzanne: Yeah. And it’s definitely a time when you go home and you visit your family.

Andrew: Yes, it’s always nice to be with your family on the holidays. And now, in Canada, we already celebrated Thanksgiving.

Suzanne: That’s right.

Andrew: We celebrated Canadian Thanksgiving around a month ago, but American Thanksgiving, your Thanksgiving, is coming up very soon.

Suzanne: Yeah. Do you know why that is? Why they’re so far apart?

Andrew: That’s a great question. I don’t know. Do you?

Suzanne: I do know. Well, in Canada, the Thanksgiving holiday is in October because the temperatures drop a little bit earlier in the fall, in the months of September and October, whereas the temperatures drop in November across the US. So because of that, the harvest—because Thanksgiving is a harvest holiday—the harvest is done earlier in the fall in Canada than in the US. And so you celebrate Thanksgiving, or the harvest of all of the crops over the spring and summer. You celebrate it in October, which is when you’re kind of taking in all of the fruits and vegetables, and all of the food in the markets, and making a big feast. And in the US, it’s done in November.

Andrew: Wow! Now that you mention that, it makes perfect sense. I’m surprised that I never thought of that before, but yeah, that’s very clear, right? In Canada …

Suzanne: It gets colder earlier. You’re north!

Andrew: Yeah, we live north of you. It gets cold earlier in the year. But yeah, down south, it’s warmer longer. Well, I learned something new today. This is great.

Suzanne: I’m so glad I could help out.

Andrew: Today, we’re going to do a Simplified Speech episode all about—you guessed it—Thanksgiving! And a Simplified Speech episode is where we have a natural conversation. We use everyday language, but we speak slower than we usually do. OK, let’s get started. Let’s talk more about Thanksgiving. And during Canadian Thanksgiving, my family and I, we like to eat foods like turkey, mashed potatoes, Brussel sprouts, and pumpkin pie.

Suzanne: Yeah, Brussels. I love Brussel sprouts. I think Brussel sprouts get a bad rap.

Andrew: They do have a bad reputation, don’t they?

Suzanne: But they’re delicious. I think it’s all in how you cook them.

Andrew: Definitely. Oh, also stuffing!

Suzanne: Yeah, stuffing.

Andrew: Stuffing is a type of bread that you actually put inside the turkey, right? You stuff it inside the turkey while it cooks.


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english PodcastAudio/Learning Materials: Culips