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Let the games begin

Episode description

In this bonus episode, Andrew shares some stories from the monster of a week he had last week. Plus in the vocabulary lesson, he teaches you a useful English expression: on point.


Support Culips and take your English to the next level by becoming a Culips Member. To sign up, visit Culips.com.

Note: The transcript has been edited for clarity.

Andrew:  Hey everyone, how are you? How’s it going, I hope you’re doing great and that you had a fantastic weekend. I’m Andrew and you’re listening to a bonus episode of the Culips English Podcast. Thank you for clicking play and joining me here for another English study session.

If this is your first time listening to Culips, welcome, it’s great to have you here. We make fun and fascinating audio lessons for intermediate and advanced learners that are designed to improve your English fluency and communication skills, and also your knowledge of the culture of English-speaking people who live in English-speaking countries. And we kick off each week with a bonus episode, and that’s what you’re listening to right now. And in the bonus episode, I just chat about what’s going on in my life and give you some updates also about what’s happening behind the scenes here at Culips. And at the end of each bonus episode, I like to teach you a useful English expression. So, make sure you listen to the end of this episode for that.  Now, the transcripts for our bonus episodes are completely free, and you can get the transcript just by clicking the link in the description, or by visiting our website which is Culips.com, C-U-L-I-P-S.com.

We also offer membership options for those of you who want to get serious about your English studies and go deeper with your learning. We have monthly and yearly options, and by becoming a Culips member, you can get full and unlimited access to the transcripts and study guides for all of our episodes, and we have hundreds of them. Plus, you’ll also get an invitation to our monthly member live streams and access to the Fluency Files, which is our members only series. And guys, in addition to all of these great benefits, your membership helps support the work that we do at Culips and allows us to keep making fresh, brand-new, and interesting lessons for you each and every week. So, if you’re interested in becoming a Culips Member, you can just visit our website Culips.com to learn all of the details and to sign up.

And by the way, guys, I just mentioned the Culips Member monthly live stream. Well, it’s going to be happening very soon, actually this week, on Tuesday, August the 30th at 7:30pm Korean Standard Time. So, if you’re a Culips Member, you can join the stream just by logging into your Culips account on our website and following the link from the Dashboard. Kassy is going to be joining me, and we’ll also be opening the stream to any members who would like to call in and speak with Kassy and me. So, I’m expecting it to be a lot of fun and a great opportunity for all of you to get some English practice in. And I hope I can see many members from the Culips community there.

Well, everyone, let’s talk about last week. I had a monster of a week last week. A monster of a week. Have you heard that expression before? A monster of something, a monster of something. It means that something is really big or fantastic or great. So, a monster of a week then means that I had a really big week, I had a really busy week and did many things. If you said that someone lives in a monster of a house, then this means that person lives in a really big house. Or if you went to a concert, and the band playing the concert, they were just absolutely amazing. The concert was incredible and mind blowing, then you could say that that band put on a monster of a performance. We can use the expression like this.

So anyway, I had a monster of a week last week and I got up to so many things. And as you know if you’re a regular Culips listener the last few weeks, my wife and I have been battling with the Coronavirus, but I’m really happy to say that I finally feel back to my regular self now. And I think when I was sick, I felt the way that many people feel when they get sick. So maybe you can understand my perspective here a little bit. But when I was sick, I felt like wow, I really was taking my health for granted. And I think that whenever we do get sick, we realize just how incredible it is to feel healthy and well, but when we are healthy and well, we don’t really realize it. And then if you do get sick, it’s totally the opposite, right? It just sucks and you feel terrible, and you realize that being healthy is such an incredible gift. So, when I was sick, I made a promise to myself that as soon as I felt better, I was going to really try to not take my health for granted in the future. So, I’ve been trying to keep that promise this week. And thankfully, we also have been having some wonderful late summer weather here in Seoul. So last week, I got out a lot. I went for a hike on a local mountain called Bukhansan, which was terrific and beautiful. I also went for a bike ride around the Han River, which runs through the middle of Seoul. And it also went for a couple of runs in my neighborhood also, so it was just a really active week.

I also went on a date night with my wife. Yeah! And we went to this lovely little curry restaurant and ate some delicious and really, really unique tasting curry. I think I’ve never tried curry that tasted quite like the curry that we ate. Now the restaurant that we went to was really super tiny and cute. It’s what we call a hole in the wall, just like a really small local restaurant. There was only one table in the restaurant, and then there’s a little bar that sits maybe another four or five people or so. Now, we’ve tried to go to this restaurant before, but it’s really popular and they don’t accept reservations, so they always have a long line. But luckily for us, when we visited last week, we were able to go in right away, the restaurant was actually empty when we arrived, we were the only customers there which was pretty strange. But after about two minutes, then the place filled up again with customers. And guys, I really love curry, so I was very excited to try this restaurant. It’s hard to put my finger on what kind of curry it is exactly, I guess it was closest to a Japanese-style curry. It didn’t really taste like a Thai-style or an Indian curry. But anyways, it was delicious. I had a spinach curry, and my wife had a tomato curry.

And then after we ate curry, we were on our way back from the restaurant and it was just a lovely evening, there was a beautiful sunset in the sky, and the weather was just perfect. Not too hot, not too cold, just right. We passed a little pub as we were walking and there was a patio set up outside with tables and chairs, and there were lots of customers and the vibe was just really great. So, we decided to stop there for round two of our date night. And we ordered classic Korean pub fare.  Pub fare. Pub fare is what we can call the food that is served at pubs. Now classic Korean pub fare is chimaek. In the Korean language, they call it chimaek, and this is fried chicken and beer. So, the chi stands for chicken, and the maek stands for maekju which is beer in the Korean language. So anyways, we had a pint of beer and we snacked away on some fried chicken while enjoying the sunset and the cool evening vibe. And slowly the sun went down, and it turned to night, and it got dark. And that’s when the mosquitoes came out in force and started to attack me. Unfortunately, as it turned to night, the mosquitoes got crazy active and did attack me. So, that was our sign that it was time to head home. But all in all, it was a great little date night and we both had a wonderful time.

And then on Thursday, last week, I attended a going away party for one of my friends. After living in Korea for nearly 15 years, I think it’s 15 years that he’s been here. He’s decided to leave the country and go back to his native country, the UK, to pursue a PhD degree. Now, as you can imagine, after living here for 15 years, my friend has accumulated lots of stuff. So, he’s been busy giving away and selling his things before he leaves, and this friend is a pretty avid gamer. A pretty avid gamer. Do you know this word avid? A-V-I-D. We use it to describe people who really love doing something. So, for example, my friend loves playing video games, so we could call him an avid gamer. Or another example is my cohost here at Culips, Kassy, she loves reading she’s a bookworm. So, we could say that she’s an avid reader. We can use the expression like this.

So, because my friend is such an avid gamer, one of the things that he was getting rid of was his PlayStation 4.  Most people call it a PS4, easier to say, quicker to say PS4. If you’re an avid listener of Culips, see what I did there? Avid listener of Culips, then you’ll probably know that I used to love playing video games when I was younger. But I pretty much stopped completely once I started university. From time to time, I would play some games with my friends or play online chess, of course, but otherwise, I totally gave up on gaming. Well, my friend, you know, he had to get rid of this PS4 and he told me that I could have it, plus a whole bunch of games and accessories, for a very, very cheap price. He gave me what we call a friend discount. It’s kind of a cute slang expression, right? A friend discount, you can probably guess the meaning. A friend discount is when we sell something to one of our friends at a much cheaper price than we would sell it to a stranger. So, guys, I ended up buying my friend’s PS4 and all of his games and accessories at a very low price, the friend discount. And now I’m a gamer again? I’m not sure. But I’ve been playing the PS4 here for the last few days, and I have to say I’m blown away by how cool it is. I’ve been playing this game called The Last of Us and it’s incredible. It’s an action-adventure game, and the story is about how society has been destroyed by a virus that turns humans into these aggressive zombie-like creatures called the infected. And you play the game as a character named Joel, who’s a smuggler, and you have to smuggle or escort this teenage girl who’s named Ellie, across the country, across the USA. And I’m actually not too deep into the game yet, I’ve only been playing it for a few hours in total, but it’s amazing and I’m really impressed with the graphics and the story. Plus, the voice acting is on point too. It really feels like you’re in a movie, not just watching a movie, but participating in a movie, it’s amazing.

And guys, while I was playing Last of Us, I realized that a game like this could be so incredible for learning English. And I think once I finish this game, the next game that I’ll play, I’ll make sure to do it in the Korean language because I love killing two birds with one stone. I love being efficient like that. I love doing something that’s fun, and enjoyable, but also do it in the language that I’m learning, so I can improve my Korean at the same time as I have fun playing a game. And I think if you did this with English as well, it could be really a great way to improve your overall English skills.

As you know, one of our core beliefs at Culips is that the key, the most important thing that you can do to improve your English fluency is spending time with the language. And creating an immersion environment for yourself is so important for making learning and acquisition successful. So, you know, I’m just a new gamer. I can’t speak for all games, but I think playing a game like Last of Us in English could be just an awesome and fun way to learn English and relax and spend some leisure time, and I’d highly encourage any of you that like playing games to try it out. Could be just another great tool to add to your toolkit of ways to improve your English. Anyway, I think I’m probably late to the party here, and you guys who are gamers already know this. And you’re saying yeah, Andrew, of course we know this, we’ve been doing this for years. But it’s something that I’ve just been thinking about the last few days.

It’s time for this week’s vocabulary lesson. So, before we wrap up, I want to teach you guys a really common English expression that will help improve your English comprehension and production. Oh, some big words comprehension and production, high-level vocabulary. Let’s break it down. Comprehension means listening and reading. It is like when you hear or see English and you have to input it into your brain. So, you hear something, or you read something, and then you understand it, you comprehend it. Production is when you produce language, you output, OK? So, you’re speaking English, or you’re writing English. So, this expression can help improve your comprehension and production. So, the expression is: on point. On point. I used this expression earlier when talking about the voice acting in the video game, The Last of Us. Did you hear it when I used it? If not, it’s OK, no worries. With the magic of modern technology, we can just go back and listen to that part a few more times. So, let’s do it now.

I’m really impressed with the graphics and the story. Plus, the voice acting is on point too. It really feels like you’re in a movie, not just watching a movie, but participating in a movie, it’s amazing.

OK, so I said that the voice acting was on point. Can you guess what this means? Well, it’s an easy one. It just means totally perfect. So, on point means perfect. I think people use this expression to talk about many, many things. But in particular, I’ve heard it used frequently when talking about fashion or people’s hairstyles or outfits. So now that we know what it means, why don’t we listen to some example sentences that I’ve prepared that will help us learn how to use it in a natural-sounding sentence. So, let’s take a listen right now.

Example sentence number one.
If you haven’t visited the coffee lab yet, make sure to check it out. The baristas are friendly and the espresso’s on point. Let’s break that example sentence down. In that sentence, the speaker was talking about a cafe called the coffee lab and he was recommending it to his friend, and he said make sure to check it out. Definitely go there. Why? Because the baristas are friendly and the espresso that they serve is on point. He said, “the espresso’s on point.” OK? Espresso is on point, when we say it quickly, it comes out sounding like the espresso’s on point, which means it’s really perfect espresso. It’s very delicious.

Example sentence number two.
Did you see the latest Black Pink music video? The dancing and choreography were totally on point.

Let’s break this example sentence down. In this example sentence, the speaker was talking about the world-famous K-pop band, Black Pink, who just released a brand-new music video. Guys, if you haven’t checked it out, you can do so on YouTube. And the speaker was saying that the dancing and choreography in the music video were on point, totally on point which means the dancing and choreography were amazing and perfect.

Example sentence number three.

The new winter coats at the department store are so on point. I just wish they were a little less expensive so I could afford one.In this sentence, the speaker said that the new winter coats at the department store are on point. They are perfect, they are so fashionable, they are amazing, they are great. However, that speaker was sad because like most beautiful items of clothing, they are also very expensive, and he couldn’t afford one.

Well, everyone that brings us to the end of this episode. Congratulations on finishing an English study session with me. And I hope you’ll keep up this good work throughout the week. Let’s have a great week everyone and I hope to see many Culips members join me and Kassy for the live stream on Tuesday, once again at 7:30pm Korean Standard Time. All the info is on Culips.com, on the dashboard. So, it’s the end guys, take care and I’ll talk to you next time. Bye!

Hosts: Andrew Bates
Music and sound effects: Pixabay.com
Episode preparation/research: Andrew Bates
Business manager: Tsuyoshi Kaneshima

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1 month ago

Hi Andrew!
Glad to hear that you are feeling all better now!
I briefly watched the live stream last night. You and Kassy were talking about tickled pink. Ever since listening to this episode on Monday, I have been craving good curry. I’m finally making chicken curry for dinner tonight!! 😀 Listening to your Monday bonus episodes always helps me start my week off right. So, thank you, Andrew!!

Last edited 1 month ago by Hailie24
Reply to  Hailie24
1 month ago

Thanks for checking out the live stream! Curry is the best, isn’t it? How did yours turn out?

1 month ago

Hi Andrew
I’m avid listener of culips. 😊
You look sooo good in the photo.
I’m so glad you and your wife have been fully recovered. As you said being healthy is incredible gift! I hope we all stay safe and sound. 🤗have a good one 👍

Reply to  lovelybabyg
1 month ago

An avid listener, awesome! I can tell you paid close attention to the episode. Thanks for the comment and take care 🙂

1 month ago

Hello Andrew, does ON POINT use in the same way as SPOT ON?

Reply to  magabrielama
1 month ago

Yes, they are pretty much the same! However, “on point” sounds more modern and North American, while “spot on” sounds more like an expression used in the UK. Hope that helps!

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