Daily English
Cultural English
Practical English

0173 Buying Souvenirs

访问量:
Complete Transcript
Welcome to English as a Second Language Podcast Number 173, “Buying Souvenirs.”

This is English as a Second Language Podcast Episode 173. I'm your host, Dr. Jeff McQuillan, coming to you from the Center for Educational Development in beautiful Los Angeles, California.

Today's podcast is going to be about buying souvenirs. Let's get started.



I was vacationing in Miami, Florida, and I went to a souvenir store to get some gifts for friends back home.

Lydia: Could you show me where the T-shirts are?

Clerk: Sure, they're on the left, along the wall. Can I help you find something?

Lydia: I'd like to get a T-shirt, but I'm not sure about the size. It's for a friend who's about your size.

Clerk: Well, in that case, you'll need a large. I only have these in medium or small, but I have these two in size large.

Lydia: Do you have anything in another color or another style?

Clerk: How about this one?

Lydia: That's great. Could you also recommend a gift for a young woman?

Clerk: We have a lot of locally-made items. I don't think you want a mug, a key chain, or a snow globe. But, how about some jewelry?

Lydia: Oh, this bracelet is nice! How much is it?

Clerk: It's on sale for $36.00.

Lydia: Okay, I'll take the T-shirt and the bracelet. Do you have a box for the bracelet?

Clerk: Sure, no problem. That will be $59.60 with tax.

Lydia: There you go.

Clerk: Here's your change. Thanks for coming in.



This podcast is called, “Buying Souvenirs.” And a “souvenir” is something that you buy when you go on vacation. You take a trip to somewhere else, and you want something to remember that place that you visited; something you can take back home with you. It may be a picture, lots of different things that have the name of the place you visited. All of these could be souvenirs.

Well, in this story, Lydia is vacationing in Florida. Notice that the word “vacation” is a noun. It means what they would call in Britain a “holiday.” And a vacation or a holiday is when you don't work and you go somewhere else to relax or see something. It can also be a verb: “to vacation.” So, “I am vacationing,” “I was vacationing,” is also a possible use of that word. Well, she's vacationing in Miami, Florida. Florida, as you may know, is located in the southern part of the United States, the southeastern part. It's famous for Disneyland, or, I’m sorry, Disneyworld in Orlando. Disneyland is here in southern California. But, Miami is very famous for being a very nice place to take a vacation.

So, she's vacationing in Miami and she goes into a souvenir store. Of course, a souvenir store would be a store that sells things that have the name or the picture of the place where you're visiting. And if you go to somewhere that has a lot of tourists - a lot of people who are visiting or vacationing - you will find a souvenir store. Well, she wants to get some souvenirs, some gifts, for friends back home. She asks the clerk in the store if he could show her where the T-shirts are.

A “T-shirt” is a piece of what we would call casual clothing. “Casual” is the opposite of formal. We don't normally say “informal” clothes; we would say casual clothes. And a T-shirt is a piece of casual clothing. You can wear a T-shirt underneath a formal shirt. And usually, when a man does that, it's a white T-shirt. A T-shirt is usually short-sleeved. That is, the “sleeve,” which is the part of the shirt that is on your arm, that sleeve is not long; it doesn't go to your hand, to your wrist, but it stops in the upper part of your arm. And we call that a “short-sleeved shirt.” Well, a T-shirt is a short-sleeved shirt, a casual shirt. It's very popular in many souvenir stores to find shirts that have the name of the town or the place where you're visiting. My brother, Mark, used to own a lot of T-shirts that had names of places where he had visited. And then he got married and his wife made him throw them all away. So, because they're very casual clothing and you wouldn't want to wear them to a formal event.

But anyway, the person here in our story, Lydia, has T-shirts that she wants to buy. The clerk shows her where they are and asks Lydia, “Can I help you find something?” – is a common question that a person in a store will ask you when you walk in. “Hi! Can I help you?” “Can I help you find something?” And if you want their help, of course, you can say, “Yes. I'm looking for a T-shirt.” “I'm looking for a camera.” “I'm looking for a girlfriend.” - whatever you're going to get. The clerk will, of course, try to help you and their job is to sell you something.

Sometimes, you don't want any help and in that case, you say, “I'm just looking.” So, a clerk says, “Can I help you find something?” You say, “No, thank you. I'm just looking.” We can also say, “I'm just browsing.” To “browse” means to look at things, but not looking for anything specific, necessarily; just sort of looking at different items in the store. Of course, the word “browser” is what you use on your Internet connection on your computer to look at the Worldwide Web. You are browsing the web; you are looking around at different things.

Well, the clerk here tells Lydia where the T-shirts are, and Lydia says, “I'd like to get a T-shirt, but I'm not sure about the size. It's for a friend who is about your size.” Well, “size” is how big or how small a piece of clothing is. And when someone says, “Oh, this is about your size,” means that it is the same size shirt or pants that you wear. So, someone says, “Oh, he's my size” means he’s basically the same height and weight as I am and wears a similar size clothing. Brad Pitt is my size, for example. He and I look alike and we have similar sizes in our clothing.

Well, the clerk says, “I wear a large.” A “large,” is of course, one of the sizes; it's the bigger size. We have large for bigger people, medium, and then small. We also have extra-large for people who are even bigger than normal. And you even can find extra, extra-large. On a piece of clothing, you would normally see these as letters, so a large would be an “L,” and a medium would be an “M,” and a small would be an “S,” an extra-large would be an “XL,” an extra, extra-large would be an “XXL,” and so forth. Lydia says that she wants to see if the clerk has anything in another color or another style. And a “style” is the look of the piece of clothing. It might, for example, be a pair of pants that has lots of pockets. That could be one style. And a different style could be a pair of pants that had no pockets. So, a style is the way that a piece of clothing looks, in this case.

The clerk suggests another T-shirt to Lydia and she says, “That's great,” meaning yes, that's the one I want. “Could you also recommend a gift for a young woman?” “Could you also recommend...” is a polite way of saying, “Can you give me your idea? Can you give me your opinion? Can you give me a recommendation for a gift?” The clerk says, “We have lots of locally-made items.” “Local” means in the area where you are. So, here in Los Angeles, locally, we have lots of movie stars and we have lots of singers and artists. That's what we have here in this area - locally. So, “locally” describes things in an area. If we say something is “locally-made,” we mean that it is made in that area. So, if you go to visit Tokyo and someone says, “Well, this is locally-made,” it means it's made in Tokyo. Or if you go to Nairobi and they say, “Yes, this is locally made,” they mean it's made in Nairobi, Kenya. That is a use of that expression.

So Lydia is asking for a recommendation and the clerk says, “I don't think you want a mug, a keychain, or a snow globe.” These are three very common items, very common things you will find in a souvenir store that have the name of the place on them. A “mug” is a cup, usually like a coffee cup. So, if you go on to eslpod.com, our website, and you look at the little picture we have for the English Café, you will see a mug of coffee, a cup of coffee. So, a mug is a big cup that you drink coffee or tea in. Right now, for example, I have a mug of hot tea. I like Chai tea, a spiced tea, in front of me. And I drink that so that I can keep my voice here, like that. Well, that's a mug of tea.

A “key chain,” two words, is what you have your keys on, what you keep your keys on. In many places, you can buy key chains that have the name of the place. So, it's a little ring that you put your keys on; that's a key chain.

A “snow globe” – two words, “snow,” like snow that falls during the winter time where it's cold, and a “globe,” a globe is usually a representation of the world, of the entire earth; and it's something that you can look at where different countries are. But here, a globe just means a round-like piece of glass that inside has a little picture or representation of the place you are visiting. So, for example, if you go to Sydney, Australia and you bought a snow globe, inside of the globe, which is only a couple of inches tall, you would see a little model, a little representation of the Sydney Opera House. And that would be inside this snow globe. Inside the snow globe there's water. And there's also little white pieces of...it's almost like white pieces of sand, so that if you take the snow globe and you shake it, you move it up and down. The sand will start falling from the top like it is snow, as if it were snow. And that's a snow globe. You may have seen one of these; they’re very popular, at least in American tourist stores. So, it's sort of a joke gift now because people don't normally buy them anymore. But, many places still sell them. And it is a very popular item in a souvenir store. Well, that's a snow globe.

The clerk says, instead, “How about some jewelry?” That expression “How about...” means “why don't you buy” or “why don't you consider this idea.” “How about some jewelry?” means “why don't you think about buying some jewelry?” “Jewelry” is things like rings and pendants and earrings - things that you wear on your body. Women often wear jewelry, for example. Well, the clerk says, “How about some jewelry?” And Lydia says, “Oh, this bracelet is nice.“ A “bracelet” is something that goes around your wrist, at the end of your arm, between your arm and your hand - we call that your “wrist.” And that is a place where women and men sometimes put a bracelet. So it goes around it.

Lydia says, “How much is it?,” meaning “how much does it cost?” And the clerk says it's 36 dollars. And Lydia says, “36 dollars! That's outrageous. That's too much.” No, she doesn't say that. She actually says, “Okay, I'll take the T-shirt and the bracelet.” When you say in a store, “I'll take it,” that means, “I will buy it.” “I would like to buy it.” “I am going to buy it.” She asks the clerk if he has a box. A box here would be something that you would use to put it in and put paper around it, we would say to “wrap” it, if you are going to give it to someone as a gift. So, she asks for a box. Many stores that sell gifts will also give you a little box, if you ask them. You have to ask them, however.

The clerk says, “Sure, no problem. That will be $59.60 with tax.” Lydia says, “There you go.” What she's doing at that point is she's giving the clerk money or her credit card. And that expression is something we use when we're handing something or giving something to someone else. “Well, here you go” or “there you go” - either way, it's when you're giving the money to the clerk, the person who works at the store. The clerk says, “Here's your change.” “Change” is the money you get back from the money you give to the clerk. So, if it's $59.60, and you give the clerk 60 dollars, your change is 40 cents. So, “change” is the money you get back from what you are buying. The clerk finally says, “Thanks for coming in.” “To come in” here means to visit, to go to. So, “Thanks for coming in.”

Now let's listen to the dialogue, this time at a native rate of speech.



I was vacationing in Miami, Florida, and I went to a souvenir store to get some gifts for friends back home.

Lydia: Could you show me where the T-shirts are?

Clerk: Sure, they're on the left, along the wall. Can I help you find something?

Lydia: I'd like to get a T-shirt, but I'm not sure about the size. It's for a friend who's about your size.

Clerk: Well, in that case, you'll need a large. I only have these in medium or small, but I have these two in size large.

Lydia: Do you have anything in another color or another style?

Clerk: How about this one?

Lydia: That's great. Could you also recommend a gift for a young woman?

Clerk: We have a lot of locally-made items. I don't think you want a mug, a key chain, or a snow globe. But, how about some jewelry?

Lydia: Oh, this bracelet is nice! How much is it?

Clerk: It's on sale for $36.00.

Lydia: Okay, I'll take the T-shirt and the bracelet. Do you have a box for the bracelet?

Clerk: Sure, no problem. That will be $59.60 with tax.

Lydia: There you go.

Clerk: Here's your change. Thanks for coming in.



Today's script was written by our wonderful writer, Dr. Lucy Tse, and producer of this podcast. That's all we have time for. From Los Angeles, California, I am Jeff McQuillan. Thanks for listening. We'll see you next time on ESL Podcast.

English as a Second Language Podcast is written and produced by Dr. Lucy Tse, hosted by Dr. Jeff McQuillan. This podcast is copyright 2006.

Glossary
souvenir store – a store that sells objects to help you remember where you have traveled

* There is a good souvenir store across the street from the hotel.


T-shirt – a shirt with short sleeves and no collar

* If I wear a t-shirt with no jacket, I’ll be cold all night.


Can I help you find something? – something that a clerk in a store asks when you first enter meaning, do you know what you are looking for?

* Hi, welcome to Lucy’s Shoe Store. Can I help you find something?


about (someone’s) size – to have the same height or body shape as someone else; to wear the same size clothing as someone else

* I thought his son was about my size, but he’s actually a lot taller.


small, medium, large – three standard sizes of clothing; from smallest to largest

* I tried on a small and it didn’t fit. I think I need a medium or a large.

style – a pattern or design

* What style do you think would look good on me?


Could you recommend… – Can you give me a suggestion about…?

* Could you recommend a good restaurant near the airport?


locally-made – made in the same city or area you are visiting

* We have a lot of items to choose from, including these locally-made music boxes.


mug – a tall, round cup with a flat bottom and a handle; often used for drinking coffee

* Do you want your tea in a glass or in a mug?


key chain – a ring that can hold keys; usually attached to another object

* My house key fell off my key chain and I can’t find it anywhere!


snow globe – a round glass container filled with water and glitter, with a small building or statue inside; when you shake it, it looks like snow is falling on the building or statue
* It’s strange to see snow globes of Los Angeles since it never snows here.


jewelry – ornaments such as rings, necklaces, or bracelets

* What kind of jewelry do you think I should wear with this dress?


bracelet – jewelry that can be worn around the wrist

* The bracelet is made of gold and is very heavy.


How much is it? – What is the cost? How much do I have to pay for this?

* I really like that new car. How much is it?


I’ll take… – I will have; I would like to have

* I’ll take some bread, chocolate cake, and cookies.


There you go. – Here is what you need; usually used when giving something to someone else

* There you go. These are the clothes for the poor we collected in our neighborhood.


change – the difference between what you owe and what you pay

* I gave the waitress $20 but she only gave me change for a $10 bill.

Comprehension Questions
1. When Lydia asks the clerk for a recommendation, the clerk suggests:
a) a key chain or a snow globe.
b) a framed picture of Dr. Jeff McQuillan.
c) some locally-made jewelry.

2. Lydia decides to buy:
a) a bracelet.
b) a bracelet and a t-shirt.
c) a bracelet, a t-shirt, and a mug.

Answers at bottom.

What Else Does It Mean?
mug

The noun “mug,” in this podcast, means a large cup with a handle, usually used for hot drinks: “Drinking a big mug of tea helps me stay warm on a cold night.” “Mug” can also be used as a verb to mean to attack and rob someone: “I was walking in the park when I was mugged.” A person who does the attacking and robbing is called a “mugger”: “The mugger told me to give him my money or he would use his knife on me.”

change

In this podcast, the word “change” means the extra money returned to you when you pay for something: “Did you give me the correct change?” “Change” can also be used as a verb to mean to put on a clean diaper—a piece of material around a baby’s bottom for the baby to go to the bathroom: “The more that baby eats, the more often I have to change her.” “Change” can also be used to mean to put on different clothes: “After work, I plan to go home to change before going to the party.”

Culture Note
People often collect souvenirs to remember a good time they had when they traveled, or to prove that they have been somewhere. A souvenir usually has the name or the picture of the place you are visiting. Some souvenirs can be useful, like clothing, pens, or books. Other souvenirs are objects used for decoration like toy animals, snow globes, or very small spoons or forks.

Some people collect souvenirs for themselves because they like to have them. Often souvenirs are given as gifts, as a way to share the travel experience with others. It is a tradition to bring gifts for close family and friends after taking a long trip or vacation. The good thing about souvenirs is that when someone else sees a souvenir, they can ask about it and you can talk about your experience traveling. It is a nice way to get to know someone with similar interests.

Comprehension Answers
1 - c

2 - b