Sunday, February 26, 2006

Starting Conversations

Hope these example conversations aren’t too clichéd!

At a tourist spot:
1: How’re ya doing?
2: Pretty good, thanks! Y’self?
1: I’m fabulous! Gorgeous day, isn’t it!
2: Sure is!
1: What d’ya think of this place?
2: Amazing, isn’t it! Been here before?

In a busy coffee shop:
C: Hi there! How ya doing?
J: I’m good, thanks!
C: Bit crowded in here, isn’t it! ’S like a cattle market!
J: Ya c’n say that again!
C: C’n I ask what ya’re having?
J: I’m thinking a latte would be nice. How about y’self?
C: Maybe the same. Mind if I join ya f’r a while?
J: Not at all! I’m Jake, by the way.

At a bar:
A: Hey, how’s it going? My name’s Adam.
E: Nice t’ meet ya. I’m Eve.
A: Good atmosphere in here, don’t ya think?
E: Yeh, I like it. It’s chilled.
A: C’n I ask where ya’re from?
E: Oh, d’you know South Korea? I’m fr’m the second city – Busan.
A: Oh, yes? I haven’t heard of it. What’s it like?
E: Well, there aren’t many sights, but Busanites c’n be quite friendly.

On the subway:
H: Hello there. My name’s Hyo-ri. D’ya mind if I ask where ya’re from?
B: Of course not! England, I’m from England. People call me Becks.
H: C’n I ask where ya’re going, Becks?
B: I’m on my way t’ PNU. D’ya know it?
H: Yes, of course! In fact, I’m going there myself. Mind if I join ya?
B: That could be nice!

NB. A number of the spellings have been changed to better reflect how the words are actually spoken in fluent English. Sometimes the odd spelling of English gets in the way of correct pronunciation; it can also impair your listening skills if you think a word is pronounced in one way when in fact it sounds quite different in fluent English.

Language Foci

~isn’t it! (falling intonation, to ask for agreement)

Heard of (it)? D’you know (it)?

What d’you think of…?
(Also good: What’d you say to…?)

I’m thinking…
That could be good/ fun/ nice/ interesting.

Can I (ask)…? Mind if I…?
(Also: Mind if I sit here?
-> Not at all/ Go ahead/ I’d rather you didn’t)

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