Monthly Archives: May 2006

Show 59 Wednesday 31 May

Watch today’s show at grouper or YouTube.


Hi, I’m Sarah and this is The Daily English Show.
Harry Potter is in the news today. And the conversation is also from a Harry Potter book. This conversation is an excellent one to practice sarcasm.

Some people say sarcasm is the lowest form of wit. And it can be overused at times I guess. But I think there’s a definite place for sarcasm in this world. And I’m a fairly big user.

So Harry Potter has a nasty cousin called Dudley. Dudley is a greedy, stupid, mean bully and he often picks on Harry. And on Harry’s birthday Dudley decides to be mean to him. He says: “I know what day it is”.
He means Harry’s birthday and Harry knows this too – but Harry decides to be sarcastic because he knows that Dudley is going to say something nasty next.

So Harry says: “Well done. You’ve finally learned the days of the week.”

So this “Well done” is sarcastic. You can tell sarcasm from the tone or from the context.

Next time you’re watching an English movie, try and identify some sarcasm.

And you can try it out yourself. I recommend trying it out on some good friends or family. Perhaps … not recommended for strangers.


Kia Ora. In Stick News today, researches in England and the United States think they can make an invisibility cloak like Harry Potter’s.

Harry Potter is a fictional character created by J.K.Rowling. In the first Harry Potter book, Harry gets an invisibility cloak for Christmas.
There are Harry Potter fans worldwide. Including this group of scientists from England and the United States.
They loved Harry Potter so much they decided they wanted an invisibility cloak like Harry’s.
But since no such cloak exists – they decided to make one.

The scientists haven’t said how they are planning to use the cloak. It is understood all of the group are too old to be admitted to Hogwarts.
And the American military has supported the research. They think a few invisibility cloaks may be useful during their next overseas invasion.
And that was Stick News for Wednesday the 31st of May.
Kia Ora.

conversations with sarah
# 38 How come you haven’t got any cards?
This conversation is from Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by J.K.Rowling

Harry Potter’s nasty cousin Dudley starts hassling Harry Potter on his birthday. Harry pretends to do magic to scare Dudley.
Step 1: Repeat Harry’s lines.
Step 2: Read Harry’s lines on the screen and talk to Sarah.

Dudley I know what day it is.

Harry What?

Dudley I know what day it is.

Harry Well done. So you’ve finally learned the days of the week.

Dudley Today’s your birthday. How come you haven’t got any cards? Haven’t you even got any friends at that freak place?

Harry Better not let your mum hear you talking about my school.

Dudley Why’re you staring at that hedge?

Harry I’m trying to decide what would be the best spell to set it on fire.

Dudley You c-can’t – Dad told you you’re not to do m-magic – he said he’ll chuck you out of the house – and you haven’t got anywhere else to you – you haven’t got any friends to take you –

Harry Jiggery pokery! Hocus pocus … squiggly wiggly …

Dudley MUUUUUUM! MUUUUM! He’s doing you know what!


The conversation is on page 12 of my book.
I accidentally said “which” instead of “what”… In the book it is: “I’m trying to decide what …)

The music on today’s show is by Philharmonia Baroque from San Francisco, United States.
The track is from the album Beethoven Symphonies No 3 Eroica and No 8.

This music was used with permission from


Show 58 Tuesday 30 May

Watch today’s show at grouper or YouTube.


Hi I’m Sarah. Welcome to The Daily English Show.

The other day I found out how to make these window things.
Oh, there goes a banana. Oh. There goes another one.

Today’s news is about Joan Baez.
When I saw the name Joan Baez it immediately brought back memories of my childhood because my mother loved Joan Baez.

And I have two sisters so whenever we went on car trips anywhere there was always huge battles between my sisters and my parents and me over what music we were going to listen to.

My mother always wanted to listen to Joan Biaz. Whereas I wanted to listen to whatever music I was into at the time.

And I was much more into pop music than folk music.

The first cassette I ever owned was a dubbed Bob Dylan tape. I dubbed it from my father – cause he liked Bob Dylan.

But the first tape I ever bought was a Kylie Minogue tape. Um, yeah, I loved it. And the second one I think was Poison. It was called “Open up and say ahh”. I still like singing some Poison songs in karaoke, like “Every Rose has its Thorn”. It sounds pretty bad when I sing it… but it’s fun.


Kia Ora. This is Stick News.
Last week, Joan Baez sat in a tree and sang a song. She was protesting against the planned demolition of a garden in Los Angeles.

Joan Baez is an American folk singer.
In the 1960s she protested against war and for civil rights.
In the early 1970s she helped establish a U.S. branch of Amnesty International.
She also had a relationship with a woman. And supported gay and lesbian rights.
Last week, she decided to sit in a tree.
Another woman sat in the tree too. Her name is Julia Butterfly.
It’s not the first time Julia Butterfly has sat in a tree – she sat in a tree called Luna for two years.
This time Julia and Joan sat in a tree in LA and sang songs.

In late 1962, Joan Baez became romantically involved with Bob Dylan. The pair remained together until early 1965.
However, Bob likes me better.
And that was Stick News for Tuesday the 30th of May. Kia Ora.

conversations with sarah
# 37 What kind of music do they play?

Sarah’s friend John asks her about what music she listened to when she was young.
Step 1: Repeat John’s lines.
Step 2: Read John’s lines on the screen and talk to Sarah.

John What kind of music did you listen to when you were young?

Sarah When I was about 12 or 13 I loved the New Kids on the Block. Have you heard of them?

John New Kids on the Block? No. What kind of music do they play?

Sarah Well, they aren’t around any more but they were a boy band, so I don’t think they actually played any instruments. They just sang and danced.

John How many people were there in the band?

Sarah Um, five – Jordon, Joey, Jonathon, Danny and Donnie.

John Wow, you can remember all their names.

Sarah Yeah, I spent a lot of time daydreaming about them. I even read a book about them and I had posters of them on my wall.

John Did you see them in concert?

Sarah Yeah, yeah, they came to New Zealand once, so I went to their concert.

John Was it good?

Sarah Yeah, it was great. I screamed a lot.


And that was The Daily English Show.
While I was reading about Joan Baez and Julia Butterfly for today’s news I found a good site for English study.
So it’s called Big Picture TV and it is: “an online media channel that streams free video clips of global leaders in sustainability.”
So you can watch clips of people talking about interesting things – and the good thing is that a lot of them have transcripts. So that’s really good for students – and good for teachers too, you can use them in your classes.
So, I’ll put a link to that on the blog.
See you tomorrow.


Read about today’s news here.
Read about Joan Baez.

Watch video clips at Big Picture TV.
Some of them have transcripts – great for studying.
This one has a transcript:
Prince Charles talking about the future of food.

The music on today’s show is by Rob Costlow from the United States.
The track is from the album Sophomore Jinx.

You can listen to the album and download it for free here.
This is Rob Costlow’s website.

Show 57 Monday 29 May

Watch today’s show at grouper or YouTube.


Hi, I’m Sarah. Welcome to The Daily English Show, number 57.

The conversation we’re practicing today is from a video which you can watch on the net.

Two guys are having an argument while they’re taking a picture for a present for their mother on mother’s day.

It’s really funny and I think it’s a great video to watch for your English study. So, I’ll put a link to that on The Daily English Show blog – so please check it out.

It has some useful language in it to study – especially useful if you’re having an argument, and I particularly like their use of “fine”.

One of the things that I noticed when I first came to Japan was that when I asked people how they were they usually answered: “Fine thanks and you?”. And the reason why they do this is because that’s what they usually learn, that’s what’s in school textbooks – but I found it a bit odd because in New Zealand – as far as I can remember – um, people usually don’t say “fine thanks, and you”. They usually reply “good” or “not too bad” or “can’t complain”, “alright”.

And when I hear the word “fine” it’s usually in a different context. As in the angry fine. Like when you’re angry but you’re denying it. So… “Oh, what’s wrong?”. “Nothing. I’m fine”.

In this video, when one of the brothers says “fine” he means: OK, I’ll do it, but I’m not happy about it.
So, let’s watch the start of it.

So, that’s the conversation we’re practicing today. Please follow the link to watch the whole thing.
Stick News today is about Arakawa Shizuka.
And the question for questionanswer is: “What did he say?”


The woman who won the only gold medal for Japan at this year’s winter Olympics is making her acting debut this week. Arakawa Shizuka will make a guest appearance as a lawyer in TV Asahi’s drama “七人の女弁護士” (Seven Women Lawyers).

Shizuka Arakawa went skating in Italy a few months ago, and came back to Japan with a gold medal. Now, she is famous.
She told some TV producers that she’d always wanted to visit the set of a TV drama and would love to have a part as an extra.
Arakawa was surprised when they gave her a bigger part than they expected.
“I just wanted to show off to my friends,” she said.
The episode will screen this Thursday. Arakawa’s character will play a prosecutor in a murder trial.

Producers have said that Arakawa will also have some scenes in which she skates. It is not clear whether Arakawa will actually be skating inside the courtroom.
And that was Stick News for Monday the 29th of May. Kia Ora.

conversations with sarah
# 36 What picture?

Tucker wants to take a picture with his brother for a mother’s day present for his mum.
Step 1: Repeat Brad’s lines.
Step 2: Read Brad’s lines on the screen and talk to Sarah.

Tucker Brad we’re taking the picture, now.

Brad  What picture?

Tucker Now. The one for mum. Hello? Now.

Brad  I’m right here Tucker, stop your screaming.

Tucker Hey. Alright. So, I set it up, and …

Brad  It’s a T-shirt.

Tucker Put on a tie, it’s for mum.

Brad  This is fine.

Tucker It’s for mother’s day.

Brad  Whatever!

Tucker Put on a tie!

Brad  Fine!


Read today’s news here.

The mother’s day video is made by Barats and Bereta productions.
You can watch the video here.
This is their website.

“Mum” is the spelling used in New Zealand. I use New Zealand English spelling – because I am from New Zealand. (New Zealand English spelling is usually the same as British English.)

In American English this word is spelt “mom”.
The pronunciation is different too – you can probably notice the difference in the way I say “mum” and the way the guys say it in the video.

The music on today’s show is by Kiff’On from France.
The track is from the album Nes Funky.

You can listen to the album and download it for free here.
This is Kiff’On’s website.

Show 56 Sunday 28 May

Watch today’s show at grouper or YouTube.

sunday kitchen
#7 Beer snacks part 2

Crackers with tomato, avocado and sprouts.
Rice crackers.
Eda mame.

You need:
a tomato
an avocado
rice crackers

Open the packet of crackers and put the crackers on the plate.
Cut the tomato.
Cut the avocado.
On each cracker put one piece of tomato, one piece of avocado and one sprout.
Add salt and pepper.
Open the rice crackers and put them in a bowl.
Take out the frozen eda-mame from the freezer.
Put them in a bowl.
Put water in the bowl.
Leave the water running for two minutes.
Shake the beans.
Add salt.
Put the beans in a nice bowl.
Open a can of beer and pour it into a glass.
Open another can.

The music on today’s show is by David Schombert from France.
The track is from the album Quiet Life Vol.1

You can listen to the album and download it for free here.
This is David Schombert’s blog.

Show 55 Saturday 27 May

Watch today’s show at grouper or YouTube.

#3 How to drink beer in Japan

1. Find an izakaya.
2. Wipe your hands with the oshibori.
3. Look at the menu.
4. Order some beer.
5. Say “kanpai”.
6. Take a sip.
7. Repeat until glass is empty.
8. Order some food.
9. Go to another bar.
10. Go home.

The music on today’s show is by Ben Othman from Germany.
The track is from the album Lounge Cafè Tunis “Sahria”.

You can listen to the album and download it for free here.
This is Ben Othman’s blog.

Show 54 Friday 26 May

Watch today’s show at YouTube or grouper.


Hi, I’m Sarah. Welcome to The Daily English Show. I’ve been getting a lot of nice emails from people. Thank you. And also a lot of scams, surprise, surprise.
If you’ve never had the pleasure of receiving a scam email in English, let me share this one with you.

So this one is from Africa and I’ve got a lot of this same kind of theme. So they are from some bank in Africa, they say. And the English is terrible. Full of mistakes.
“In my department we found an abandoned sum of 15 million USA dollars. And it belongs to a foreign customer who died in a plane crash along with his entire family.”
So, they say they’ve been expecting the next of kin to come and claim the money. But, unfortunately, all of his next of kin and relations died along side him in the plane crash. So there is nobody to claim the money.
So what they want me to do is say that I’m the next of kin, and go to the bank and get the money.
But first all they need me to do … is give them my bank name, bank account number, my private telephone and fax number.
And if I did this then presumably they would ring me and start contacting me and harassing me. And then ask me to give them some money for administration or something, before they gave me millions of dollars.

In a way it is kind of laughable that people fall for these kinds of tricks. But it’s also kind of sad because some people actually do.
So, hey scumbags, don’t try and trick people out of their money.

And speaking of scumbags … In the news today, in Stick News. A police officer in Nara has just been fired for taking photographs up women’s skirts.


Kia Ora, in Stick News today, a police officer in Nara, Japan has been fired after he was caught taking photos up the skirts of women.

This 31-year-old woman was riding in an ambulance with her son following an accident.
A 49- year-old police officer was also in the ambulance.
The woman said he took a photo up her skirt.
Police have also received complaints from another woman. She said the same officer took photos up her skirt.

Police investigated the incident and found more than 200 photographs of women on the officer’s digital camera.
And that was Stick News for Friday the 26th of May.
Kia Ora.

conversations with sarah
# 35 What’s in it?

Sarah is at an izakaya with her friend Hiro.
Step 1: Repeat Hiro’s lines.
Step 2: Read Hiro’s lines on the screen and talk to Sarah.

Sarah What’s this?

Hiro  Shichimi.

Sarah What?

Hiro  Shichimi.

Sarah Shichimi?

Hiro  Yeah.

Sarah What’s in it?

Hiro  7 spices.

Sarah What spices?

Hiro  Chili and I don’t know what else… do you have a dictionary?

Sarah Yeah, here you go.

Hiro  Oh, OK, here it is.

Sarah Sesame seed, hemp seed, poppy seed, rape seed, Japanese pepper, chinpi – what’s that in English?

Hiro  I don’t know.


Read today’s news here.

Show 53 Thursday 25 May

Watch today’s show at grouper or YouTube.


In Stick News today, a study has found smoking marijuana does not increase a person’s risk of developing lung cancer.

This is a cigarette. Inside there is tobacco. This is a joint. Inside there is marijuana or cannabis. So, which is better, a cigarette or a joint?
The cannabis plant has been consumed by humans for thousands of years. People smoke or ingest cannabis for recreational, medicinal or religious reasons.
Tobacco also has a history of being used in medicine and religion. It is now mainly used recreationally.
Cannabis has been illegal in many countries in the world since the 20th century. Tobacco is legal in most countries.
In many countries cannabis laws have been relaxed in recent years while laws involving tobacco use have become more restrictive.
Both tobacco and cannabis have been associated with health problems.
But in terms of cancer, cannabis seems to be the clear winner according to the latest research.

The study found that smoking cannabis didn’t increase a person’s risk of developing lung cancer. But people who smoked two or more packets of cigarettes a day were 20 times more likely to develop the disease.
And that was Stick News for Thursday the 25th of May.
Kia Ora.

conversations with sarah
# 34 What do you call eda mame in English?

Sarah is at an izakaya with her friend John.
Step 1: Repeat John’s lines.
Step 2: Read John’s lines on the screen and talk to Sarah.

Sarah Mmm. I love eda mame.

John Yeah, these are good. What do you call eda mame in English?

Sarah Um, well, people don’t really eat these in New Zealand. But, but these are soybeans.

John Soybeans?

Sarah Yeah. But I think if you ordered them in a Japanese restaurant it’s just “eda mame”.

John So you use the Japanese name?

Sarah Yeah, yeah. Usually food that comes from another country usually keeps its original name. Like sushi or tempura or tofu.

John But the pronunciation is different isn’t it?

Sarah Yeah.

John How do you pronounce tofu in New Zealand.

Sarah Um, “toe-foo” I think.

John Oh “toe-foo”.


Read about cannabis.