Monthly Archives: July 2017

157 - False Alarm - Vocabulary

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In January, my parents visited me in Reunion. I’d planned tons of great stuff. Going to the natural pools, eating delicious creole food, visiting the volcano and of course checking out the beaches. 

My parents weren't so keen on that last one. Unfortunately, when they’d looked up ‘La Réunion’ online, they were met with stories of shark attacks. After I explained that there are several measures to protect swimmers in the lagoon, they agreed. And once in the water with their snorkels on, they loved it. After an hour, they came out with huge smiles and finally it was my turn.

Fast forward twenty minutes and I was feeling completely serene, with only the sound of the water filling my ears. Suddenly, the serenity gave way to complete chaos when I lifted my head up out of the water for one moment. The next twenty seconds seemed like twenty minutes. The first thing I saw was my Dad standing on the sand waving at me with both arms and shouting. Then he pointed to where the waves were crashing behind me. There, where he was pointing, was a boat of people and next to it, dark red water. A bright red flare had been shot into the sky. Instant terror took hold of my body. In my mind, this was a shark attack, the red water was blood and the flare was a warning from the people on the boat. I swam as fast as I could towards the beach. I was so sure there was a shark on my tail that I swam through the shallow water full of sharp coral and cut myself all over my arms, legs and stomach. I figured it was too shallow for a shark to swim through. After what felt like an eternity of swimming, I reached the beach and, like in the movies, dragged my weary body up the sand.

After a few seconds of wondering why nobody had come to help me after my near death experience, I lifted my head up from the sand. Looking back at me was a beach full of confused people, and my father, doubled over with laughter.

It turns out there was no shark, or any danger at all. He had seen a group of marine biologists doing some drills in the water and fancied playing a prank on his daughter who was so sure that the lagoon was completely safe. So, good one Dad. You got me. And I've still got the scars to prove it!

Vocabulary

 

tons = beaucoup
to check out = aller voir
keen = enthousiaste
measure = dispositif
my turn = mon tour 

fast forward = passons directement
suddenly = soudain
dark = foncé
bright = vif
flare = fusée

shot = envoyé
to take hold of = envahir
warning = avertissement
on my tail = juste derrière moi
to figure = se dire

shallow = peu profond
weary = faible
to be doubled over = être plié en deux
drills = exercices
prank = farce

00:0000:00

157 - False Alarm - Slow

Visit www.anglais.re for more!

In January, my parents visited me in Reunion. I’d planned tons of great stuff. Going to the natural pools, eating delicious creole food, visiting the volcano and of course checking out the beaches. 

My parents weren't so keen on that last one. Unfortunately, when they’d looked up ‘La Réunion’ online, they were met with stories of shark attacks. After I explained that there are several measures to protect swimmers in the lagoon, they agreed. And once in the water with their snorkels on, they loved it. After an hour, they came out with huge smiles and finally it was my turn.

Fast forward twenty minutes and I was feeling completely serene, with only the sound of the water filling my ears. Suddenly, the serenity gave way to complete chaos when I lifted my head up out of the water for one moment. The next twenty seconds seemed like twenty minutes. The first thing I saw was my Dad standing on the sand waving at me with both arms and shouting. Then he pointed to where the waves were crashing behind me. There, where he was pointing, was a boat of people and next to it, dark red water. A bright red flare had been shot into the sky. Instant terror took hold of my body. In my mind, this was a shark attack, the red water was blood and the flare was a warning from the people on the boat. I swam as fast as I could towards the beach. I was so sure there was a shark on my tail that I swam through the shallow water full of sharp coral and cut myself all over my arms, legs and stomach. I figured it was too shallow for a shark to swim through. After what felt like an eternity of swimming, I reached the beach and, like in the movies, dragged my weary body up the sand.

After a few seconds of wondering why nobody had come to help me after my near death experience, I lifted my head up from the sand. Looking back at me was a beach full of confused people, and my father, doubled over with laughter.

It turns out there was no shark, or any danger at all. He had seen a group of marine biologists doing some drills in the water and fancied playing a prank on his daughter who was so sure that the lagoon was completely safe. So, good one Dad. You got me. And I've still got the scars to prove it!

Vocabulary

 

tons = beaucoup
to check out = aller voir
keen = enthousiaste
measure = dispositif
my turn = mon tour 

fast forward = passons directement
suddenly = soudain
dark = foncé
bright = vif
flare = fusée

shot = envoyé
to take hold of = envahir
warning = avertissement
on my tail = juste derrière moi
to figure = se dire

shallow = peu profond
weary = faible
to be doubled over = être plié en deux
drills = exercices
prank = farce

00:0000:00

157 - False Alarm

Visit www.anglais.re for more!

In January, my parents visited me in Reunion. I’d planned tons of great stuff. Going to the natural pools, eating delicious creole food, visiting the volcano and of course checking out the beaches. 

My parents weren't so keen on that last one. Unfortunately, when they’d looked up ‘La Réunion’ online, they were met with stories of shark attacks. After I explained that there are several measures to protect swimmers in the lagoon, they agreed. And once in the water with their snorkels on, they loved it. After an hour, they came out with huge smiles and finally it was my turn.

Fast forward twenty minutes and I was feeling completely serene, with only the sound of the water filling my ears. Suddenly, the serenity gave way to complete chaos when I lifted my head up out of the water for one moment. The next twenty seconds seemed like twenty minutes. The first thing I saw was my Dad standing on the sand waving at me with both arms and shouting. Then he pointed to where the waves were crashing behind me. There, where he was pointing, was a boat of people and next to it, dark red water. A bright red flare had been shot into the sky. Instant terror took hold of my body. In my mind, this was a shark attack, the red water was blood and the flare was a warning from the people on the boat. I swam as fast as I could towards the beach. I was so sure there was a shark on my tail that I swam through the shallow water full of sharp coral and cut myself all over my arms, legs and stomach. I figured it was too shallow for a shark to swim through. After what felt like an eternity of swimming, I reached the beach and, like in the movies, dragged my weary body up the sand.

After a few seconds of wondering why nobody had come to help me after my near death experience, I lifted my head up from the sand. Looking back at me was a beach full of confused people, and my father, doubled over with laughter.

It turns out there was no shark, or any danger at all. He had seen a group of marine biologists doing some drills in the water and fancied playing a prank on his daughter who was so sure that the lagoon was completely safe. So, good one Dad. You got me. And I've still got the scars to prove it!

Vocabulary

 

tons = beaucoup
to check out = aller voir
keen = enthousiaste
measure = dispositif
my turn = mon tour 

fast forward = passons directement
suddenly = soudain
dark = foncé
bright = vif
flare = fusée

shot = envoyé
to take hold of = envahir
warning = avertissement
on my tail = juste derrière moi
to figure = se dire

shallow = peu profond
weary = faible
to be doubled over = être plié en deux
drills = exercices
prank = farce

00:0000:00

156 - Driving Licence - Vocabulary

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Mine is a fairly strange case.  I was born in England so I have a European passport.  But I grew up in Australia. So all of my papers are Australian.  This seems to cause a whole lot of confusion. Take, for example, the case of my driving licence.  I found some seriously conflicting information about how you convert an Aussie licence to a French one and realised that a trip to the prefecture was on the cards.

Once there, I hand my papers through the slot, thinking that this all seems a bit easy! Well, it wasn't long before the bubble burst! I was politely informed that my papers couldn't possibly be taken - I had filled in the form in blue pen, not black!  And I wasn't even in the right place...  All things concerning driver’s licences are dealt with in St Paul.   I took another application, reminding myself to fill this one out with a black pen, and headed back to St Paul... only to be told that all things concerning driver’s licences are dealt with at the prefecture in St Denis!!  AAAhhhhh!

Back in St Denis and I'm determined to get this sorted out! I hand over my papers and, upon seeing my Australian licence, the lady asks me for my visa. This is where it gets interesting! I explain I don't have a visa as I am English by birth and have a European passport. "Where is your British driver’s licence?" she asks.  I explain that I left the UK when I was 11, so I don't have a British licence... "But, why not?" she asks... Uuummm, 11 year olds in the UK don't get driver’s licences!!  She seems to think this is quite strange, but finally accepts it!

20 minutes later and she suddenly "realises" that this is all pointless and says that I don't need to change my licence at all!! It's fine for me to use my Australian one.  Unbelievable!! So all seems well.

That is until I was pulled over by the cops for a random check. The prefecture was right... I can use my Aussie licence... But only for 6 months!! So now I have to head back to St Denis to start the whole process from scratch!!

 

Vocabulary

 

to grow up = grandir

to seem = sembler

conflicting = contradictoire

Aussie = Australien

a trip = un trajet

 

on the cards = inévitable

slot = la fente

to burst = éclater

politely = poliment

to fill in = remplir

 

to deal with = traiter

to sort out = résoudre

to hand over = donner

birth = naissance

strange = bizarre

 

pointless = inutile

to be pulled over = se faire arrêter

cops = les flics

to head back = retourner

from scratch = de zéro

00:0000:00

156 - Driving Licence - Slow

Visit www.anglais.re for more!

Mine is a fairly strange case.  I was born in England so I have a European passport.  But I grew up in Australia. So all of my papers are Australian.  This seems to cause a whole lot of confusion. Take, for example, the case of my driving licence.  I found some seriously conflicting information about how you convert an Aussie licence to a French one and realised that a trip to the prefecture was on the cards.

Once there, I hand my papers through the slot, thinking that this all seems a bit easy! Well, it wasn't long before the bubble burst! I was politely informed that my papers couldn't possibly be taken - I had filled in the form in blue pen, not black!  And I wasn't even in the right place...  All things concerning driver’s licences are dealt with in St Paul.   I took another application, reminding myself to fill this one out with a black pen, and headed back to St Paul... only to be told that all things concerning driver’s licences are dealt with at the prefecture in St Denis!!  AAAhhhhh!

Back in St Denis and I'm determined to get this sorted out! I hand over my papers and, upon seeing my Australian licence, the lady asks me for my visa. This is where it gets interesting! I explain I don't have a visa as I am English by birth and have a European passport. "Where is your British driver’s licence?" she asks.  I explain that I left the UK when I was 11, so I don't have a British licence... "But, why not?" she asks... Uuummm, 11 year olds in the UK don't get driver’s licences!!  She seems to think this is quite strange, but finally accepts it!

20 minutes later and she suddenly "realises" that this is all pointless and says that I don't need to change my licence at all!! It's fine for me to use my Australian one.  Unbelievable!! So all seems well.

That is until I was pulled over by the cops for a random check. The prefecture was right... I can use my Aussie licence... But only for 6 months!! So now I have to head back to St Denis to start the whole process from scratch!!

 

Vocabulary

 

to grow up = grandir

to seem = sembler

conflicting = contradictoire

Aussie = Australien

a trip = un trajet

 

on the cards = inévitable

slot = la fente

to burst = éclater

politely = poliment

to fill in = remplir

 

to deal with = traiter

to sort out = résoudre

to hand over = donner

birth = naissance

strange = bizarre

 

pointless = inutile

to be pulled over = se faire arrêter

cops = les flics

to head back = retourner

from scratch = de zéro

00:0000:00

156 - Driving Licence

Visit www.anglais.re for more!

Mine is a fairly strange case.  I was born in England so I have a European passport.  But I grew up in Australia. So all of my papers are Australian.  This seems to cause a whole lot of confusion. Take, for example, the case of my driving licence.  I found some seriously conflicting information about how you convert an Aussie licence to a French one and realised that a trip to the prefecture was on the cards.

Once there, I hand my papers through the slot, thinking that this all seems a bit easy! Well, it wasn't long before the bubble burst! I was politely informed that my papers couldn't possibly be taken - I had filled in the form in blue pen, not black!  And I wasn't even in the right place...  All things concerning driver’s licences are dealt with in St Paul.   I took another application, reminding myself to fill this one out with a black pen, and headed back to St Paul... only to be told that all things concerning driver’s licences are dealt with at the prefecture in St Denis!!  AAAhhhhh!

Back in St Denis and I'm determined to get this sorted out! I hand over my papers and, upon seeing my Australian licence, the lady asks me for my visa. This is where it gets interesting! I explain I don't have a visa as I am English by birth and have a European passport. "Where is your British driver’s licence?" she asks.  I explain that I left the UK when I was 11, so I don't have a British licence... "But, why not?" she asks... Uuummm, 11 year olds in the UK don't get driver’s licences!!  She seems to think this is quite strange, but finally accepts it!

20 minutes later and she suddenly "realises" that this is all pointless and says that I don't need to change my licence at all!! It's fine for me to use my Australian one.  Unbelievable!! So all seems well.

That is until I was pulled over by the cops for a random check. The prefecture was right... I can use my Aussie licence... But only for 6 months!! So now I have to head back to St Denis to start the whole process from scratch!!

 

Vocabulary

 

to grow up = grandir

to seem = sembler

conflicting = contradictoire

Aussie = Australien

a trip = un trajet

 

on the cards = inévitable

slot = la fente

to burst = éclater

politely = poliment

to fill in = remplir

 

to deal with = traiter

to sort out = résoudre

to hand over = donner

birth = naissance

strange = bizarre

 

pointless = inutile

to be pulled over = se faire arrêter

cops = les flics

to head back = retourner

from scratch = de zéro

00:0000:00

155 - Life in the Circus - Vocabulary

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Like so many of us today, I sometimes find that working can be stressful. Whether you're an employee, executive, or freelancer like myself, you often feel like a circus performer: you could be a lion-tamer managing your boss, a high-wire artist trying not to fall, or an acrobat juggling a hundred different hoops at the same time.  

Personally, the circus act I feel closest to is the plate-spinner. You know, they have a whole load of plates spinning on wooden sticks, and they have to keep rushing from one to another and back again to stop the plates from falling and smashing on the ground. 

Of course, it depends on the time of the year. But just one glimpse at my timetable and to-do list for this week is a daunting challenge. I've three main activities: coaching, interpreting and translating so, in reverse order, this week's plates have included translating the following documents: Air Austral's in-flight magazine, a European regional funding report, a short film in Mafate and the finishing touches to the Musée de Villèle website and application. 

As far as interpreting goes, I need to brush up on my technical vocab for next week's Iomma, the three day Indian Ocean music market before Sakifo kicks off. 

And as for the coaching, every week involves a lot of driving. As I work between St Louis and Ste Suzanne, I usually do an average of 2000 km per month. The companies where I teach business English at the moment work in fields such as sugar cane, automobiles, IT, tourism, construction and regional cooperation.

Ok, this might sound like a lot, but it's not finished yet! I do my own admin, so there are all the quotations and invoices to send, money to chase up and, of course, taxes to pay! And not forgetting working on anglais.re's podcasts and e-learning program with my fantastic friend and colleague Richard, and having the privilege of working with all my fellow English trainers, translators and interpreters. You know who you are! 

Like them, I enjoy keeping myself busy. But I must admit it would be nice to work just a little bit less! However, once a plate has started spinning, you can't let it stop and crash to the ground! Which reminds me, I have to go now, as my circus act is calling me, and there are a few plates which need my attention! That's life in the circus folks! 

Vocabulary

 

whether = si (oui ou non)

executive = cadre

lion-tamer = dompteur de lion

high-wire artist = funambule

circus act = numéro de cirque

 

plate-spinning = assiette tournante

to smash = éclater en morceaux

glimpse = aperçu

timetable = planning

daunting = décourageant

 

to brush up on = réviser

to involve = impliquer

average = moyenne

fields = domaines

my own = ma propre

 

quotations = devis

invoices = factures

to chase up = relancer

fellow = confrère

however = par contre

00:0000:00

155 - Life in the Circus - Slow

Visit www.anglais.re for more!

Like so many of us today, I sometimes find that working can be stressful. Whether you're an employee, executive, or freelancer like myself, you often feel like a circus performer: you could be a lion-tamer managing your boss, a high-wire artist trying not to fall, or an acrobat juggling a hundred different hoops at the same time.  

Personally, the circus act I feel closest to is the plate-spinner. You know, they have a whole load of plates spinning on wooden sticks, and they have to keep rushing from one to another and back again to stop the plates from falling and smashing on the ground. 

Of course, it depends on the time of the year. But just one glimpse at my timetable and to-do list for this week is a daunting challenge. I've three main activities: coaching, interpreting and translating so, in reverse order, this week's plates have included translating the following documents: Air Austral's in-flight magazine, a European regional funding report, a short film in Mafate and the finishing touches to the Musée de Villèle website and application. 

As far as interpreting goes, I need to brush up on my technical vocab for next week's Iomma, the three day Indian Ocean music market before Sakifo kicks off. 

And as for the coaching, every week involves a lot of driving. As I work between St Louis and Ste Suzanne, I usually do an average of 2000 km per month. The companies where I teach business English at the moment work in fields such as sugar cane, automobiles, IT, tourism, construction and regional cooperation.

Ok, this might sound like a lot, but it's not finished yet! I do my own admin, so there are all the quotations and invoices to send, money to chase up and, of course, taxes to pay! And not forgetting working on anglais.re's podcasts and e-learning program with my fantastic friend and colleague Richard, and having the privilege of working with all my fellow English trainers, translators and interpreters. You know who you are! 

Like them, I enjoy keeping myself busy. But I must admit it would be nice to work just a little bit less! However, once a plate has started spinning, you can't let it stop and crash to the ground! Which reminds me, I have to go now, as my circus act is calling me, and there are a few plates which need my attention! That's life in the circus folks! 

Vocabulary

 

whether = si (oui ou non)

executive = cadre

lion-tamer = dompteur de lion

high-wire artist = funambule

circus act = numéro de cirque

 

plate-spinning = assiette tournante

to smash = éclater en morceaux

glimpse = aperçu

timetable = planning

daunting = décourageant

 

to brush up on = réviser

to involve = impliquer

average = moyenne

fields = domaines

my own = ma propre

 

quotations = devis

invoices = factures

to chase up = relancer

fellow = confrère

however = par contre

00:0000:00

155 - Life in the Circus

Visit www.anglais.re for more!

Like so many of us today, I sometimes find that working can be stressful. Whether you're an employee, executive, or freelancer like myself, you often feel like a circus performer: you could be a lion-tamer managing your boss, a high-wire artist trying not to fall, or an acrobat juggling a hundred different hoops at the same time.  

Personally, the circus act I feel closest to is the plate-spinner. You know, they have a whole load of plates spinning on wooden sticks, and they have to keep rushing from one to another and back again to stop the plates from falling and smashing on the ground. 

Of course, it depends on the time of the year. But just one glimpse at my timetable and to-do list for this week is a daunting challenge. I've three main activities: coaching, interpreting and translating so, in reverse order, this week's plates have included translating the following documents: Air Austral's in-flight magazine, a European regional funding report, a short film in Mafate and the finishing touches to the Musée de Villèle website and application. 

As far as interpreting goes, I need to brush up on my technical vocab for next week's Iomma, the three day Indian Ocean music market before Sakifo kicks off. 

And as for the coaching, every week involves a lot of driving. As I work between St Louis and Ste Suzanne, I usually do an average of 2000 km per month. The companies where I teach business English at the moment work in fields such as sugar cane, automobiles, IT, tourism, construction and regional cooperation.

Ok, this might sound like a lot, but it's not finished yet! I do my own admin, so there are all the quotations and invoices to send, money to chase up and, of course, taxes to pay! And not forgetting working on anglais.re's podcasts and e-learning program with my fantastic friend and colleague Richard, and having the privilege of working with all my fellow English trainers, translators and interpreters. You know who you are! 

Like them, I enjoy keeping myself busy. But I must admit it would be nice to work just a little bit less! However, once a plate has started spinning, you can't let it stop and crash to the ground! Which reminds me, I have to go now, as my circus act is calling me, and there are a few plates which need my attention! That's life in the circus folks! 

Vocabulary

 

whether = si (oui ou non)

executive = cadre

lion-tamer = dompteur de lion

high-wire artist = funambule

circus act = numéro de cirque

 

plate-spinning = assiette tournante

to smash = éclater en morceaux

glimpse = aperçu

timetable = planning

daunting = décourageant

 

to brush up on = réviser

to involve = impliquer

average = moyenne

fields = domaines

my own = ma propre

 

quotations = devis

invoices = factures

to chase up = relancer

fellow = confrère

however = par contre

00:0000:00

154 - Heat in the Kitchen - Vocabulary

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I thought that there wouldn’t be too many people at the grocery store on a Thursday morning, at the end of the month. Boy, was I wrong. Fortunately, I got to talking with a nice lady in the line and it helped pass the time. 

She noticed a box of couscous in my cart and wanted to know all about how I prepared it, telling me about the one and only time she attempted to make it and miserably failed. After explaining how to cook it, she asked, “What do you eat it with?” and I replied “All sorts of saucy dishes, even rougail saucisses! When she heard that, you would’ve thought, by the look on her face, that she had swallowed a fly, no wait, maybe more like a hedgehog.  I was ready to catch her had she fainted, but she managed to squeak out “You eat rougail saucisse with couscous?” I sheepishly said yes, and even that it was a delicious option to change things up a bit. She nodded and smiled but I could tell she thought I was crazy.

I feel like this example of utter bafflement pretty much sums up my relationship with Creole cuisine. I love to cook, take pride in constantly trying new things and pushing my culinary limits. I love the food here, so naturally I have tried to recreate it at home. Even though I am well aware that I do not have one Creole bone in my body, the numerous cookbooks I have invested in don’t make it easy either.

One of the books has the recipe, a picture with all the ingredients, and step-by-step pictures of how to make it. But what do you do when the recipe says 3 eggs and there are only 2 in the picture? Or what about when a recipe calls for shallot but then talks about an onion instead? I mean, I’m used to, and now enjoy improvising after years trying to find certain American ingredients for some of my beloved recipes. But when you’re using a local cookbook, written by a local person, using local ingredients, why can’t the final outcome taste like the melt-in-your-mouth vanilla duck at the hole-in-the-wall down the street?

Maybe that’s just it. I have often been disappointed with the Creole food I make, but rarely when I buy it from a shack or eat at a restaurant. After only a year of living here, is it already time to throw in the towel, retire my mortar and pestle and get out of the kitchen? I think I’ll invite my supermarket friend to come over for lunch; she’ll make the rougail saucisses and I’ll make the couscous.

Vocabulary

 

grocery store = supermarché                               

line = fil d’attente                                                   

cart = caddie                                    

to swallow = avaler                                                 

fly = mouche

                                                                       

hedgehog = hérisson                                                         

to faint = s’évanouir                                               

sheepishly = timidement

to nod = hocher la tête

utter = total

 

bafflement = confusion

recipe = recette

beloved = cher

outcome = résultat

hole-in-the-wall = boui-boui

 

disappointed = déçu

rarely = rarement

to throw in the towel = jeter l’éponge

mortar = mortier

pestle = pilon

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