How do you speak with a stranger?

How do you respond to someone you don’t understand very well? Well…listen to this episode and find out!


Hey guys, you are listening to English Made Simple, this is episode 37, Numero 37. Wow!

Hey guys, my name is Milena and I will be your Yoda in your English learning journey, and you be my Padawans, just like Luke Skywalker (was to Yoda). He was the padawan to Yoda. That was the Star Wars reference, by the way for those of you who are like Whaaaat? What is Milena talking about this time? You may be wondering… Has she been drinking again? You may be thinking guys. But No! This is just normal me. Well guys, Yoda is a strange looking green creature. He was also a Jedi, he was a teacher and a mentor to Luke Skywalker…that was in the Star Wars the movie.

Anyway, that is just about enough science fiction we’ll have in this episode.

So welcome everyone, welcome this Short and Sweet episode, where I teach you something in 5 mins or less, I would like to continue talking about Being Polite, we learnt about asking questions in a polite manner. Let’s learn some more words, shall we?

BTW, how’s your homework going, btw? Should I bother asking? Have you practised being polite so far with strangers or even with your friends, your family members… I haven’t haha I haven’t done my homework yet.

Firstly, let’s start this show with a quote by a singer/songwriter Auliqu Ice from South Africa, this is one clever 21-year old. He says and I quote “Manners and politeness will never become old-fashioned.”
― Auliq Ice (Alikais)

Wow! What a profound quote, very deep. You know what, I wish I came up with this quote. And I also wish I was 21 again.

According to this guy the manners and politeness will always be in fashion! Mhmm, that’s a new term for you now – in fashion, that’s 2 words in fashion, equivalent to está de moda in Spanish.

If something is in fashion, it basically means it’s modern or trendy.

According to Aulique Ice, manners and politeness will never become old fashioned!

That’s my words of wisdom for today.
So in this episode, you know what I want to do? I want to help you sound more polite. Because there are some words that can make you sound really arrogant even though that wasn’t your intention. My family and I weren’t aware of these words when we immigrated to New Zealand. We had limited vocabulary, remember, as I mentioned previously. Boy it was hard, but we survived and now we have funny stories to share, and we make fun of each other and tease each other. It’s fun!
But now you guys have the opportunity to learn from our mistakes haha Consider yourselves lucky.
Oki doki.

Now let’s learn some new words!

Now, let’s imagine you are outside and need to stop a stranger on the street to ask for directions. What do you say?
Here are some things you can say to a stranger, to somebody on the street:

1. Excuse me sir. Or Excuse me m’am. M’am is short for madam.
I am looking for the supermarket. Could you please tell me where it is?
And this person, he says:
A: blbhalbhalha
And you say – you have 4 options here
2. Sorry, what was that? OR Pardon me? OR you can say I am sorry I couldn’t hear you properly, could you please repeat that?
OR you can say, the last option: Apologies, I didn’t catch that. Could you please repeat that?
And then he repeats again.
A: blahblahbaha

Guys, you shouldn’t reply to someone with a simple: What?
Saying what? It’s considered rude in English. It’s a bit rude.
Again, you couldn’t hear the person, you couldn’t understand them.

Instead say something like this:

4. I am very sorry, I didn’t understand you. Could you please say it again?
And he replies:
A: It’s over there! Behind you!
5. Oh, thank you, thank you very much. Have a great day.

And now, let us imagine your phone rings during the conversation, and the phone interrupts your conversation with this person, what do you do?
You say:
Sorry sir, one second. Or Sorry, m’am, one second.
It’s like one moment please, one minute. You just have a little break from this person.

Obviously my example was a bit of an exaggeration, but I hope you were able to follow me. I hope you learnt a couple of new words today.

Well, that’s it for now folks! This is the end of the Short and Sweet episode, numero 37! Treinta y siete! Oh my goodness!

Enjoy the rest of the week and Have a great one! Hablamos pronto! Hasta la proxima!

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