Placeholder Image

Subtitles section Play video

  • Neil: Welcome to 6 Minute English. In this

  • programme we bring you an expressive topic

  • and six items of vocabulary. I'm Neil.

  • Tim: And I'm Tim. So, we had an argument just before

  • we started the show.

  • Neil: We did, Tim. But no hard feelings?

  • Tim: None. No hard feelings is something you say

  • to somebody you have argued with to say you'd still like

  • to be friends. We often fall out

  • over silly things.

  • Neil: Like who's going to introduce the show.

  • Tim: Or who's going to choose the quiz question.

  • Neil: But we understand each other. That's the important

  • thing, isn't it? To fall out with somebody by the

  • way, is another way of saying to argue or disagree

  • with them. Did you know that you wave your arms

  • around a lot when you're arguing, Tim?

  • Tim: No, I didn't know I did that.

  • Neil: That isn't very British.

  • Tim: I know. Using gestures, or movements you make

  • with your hands or your head to express what you are

  • thinking of feeling is common in some

  • countries but not in others. Then there are

  • some movements, like shaking your head, which

  • mostly means 'no' but in some countries can mean the

  • opposite. Neil: That's right. In which country does

  • shaking your head mean 'yes', Tim? Is it?

  • a) Greece,

  • b) Japan or c) Bulgaria?

  • Tim: No idea. I'll guess Greece. I do know that

  • in India people shake their heads to mean

  • lots of different things.

  • Neil: There are plenty of gestures you need to be

  • careful with when you're meeting and greeting people

  • from a culture that's different to

  • your own, to avoid offending people or making an

  • awkward faux pas.

  • Tim: If you make a faux pas it means you say or

  • do something embarrassing in a social situation.

  • For example, our every day use of the thumbs-up

  • signal might offend people from the Middle East.

  • Neil: And to offend means to make somebody angry

  • or upset.

  • Tim: Let's hear now from Business Professor Erin

  • Meyer talking about how easy it is to misunderstand

  • why some people behave the way they do in everyday

  • situations when we don't belong to the same culture.

  • Professor Erin Meyer: A while ago I was in Dubai

  • and one of my Emirati

  • students was driving me home after a session and the

  • car stopped at a light and she rolled

  • down her window, and she started shouting at someone

  • outside of the window. This guy

  • was crossing the street with a big box of

  • cloth. And he started shouting back, and she

  • opened up the door, and they started gesticulating and

  • shouting at one another. And I thought,

  • wow, they're having a huge fight, I thought

  • maybe he was going to hit her. And she got

  • back in the car, and I said, well, what were you fighting

  • about? And she said, 'Oh no,

  • we weren't fighting, he was giving me directions to

  • your hotel. And I thought that was a great example of

  • how someone from another culture may misperceive or

  • misunderstand something as a fight when in fact they

  • were just being emotionally expressive. '

  • Neil: Gesticulating. What does that mean?

  • Tim: It means what I was doing earlier! Waving

  • your arms around to express what you're feeling.

  • Neil: Erin Meyer was worried because her student

  • and the man on the street were shouting and

  • gesticulating at each other. She thought they

  • were having a fight when in fact they were

  • just being emotionally expressive.

  • Tim: And expressive means showing what you think

  • or feel.

  • Neil: You were nodding in agreement, there, Tim.

  • Which reminds me of our quiz question. In which

  • country does shaking your head mean

  • 'yes'? Is it? a) Greece, b) Japan or c) Bulgaria?

  • Tim: I said Greece.

  • Neil: That's the wrong answer I'm afraid. The right

  • answer is Bulgaria. In some Southeastern European

  • areas such as Bulgaria and southern Albania,

  • shaking your head is used to indicate 'yes'.

  • In those regions, nodding in fact means 'no'

  • as well.

  • Tim: OK, I hope I remember that next time I meet

  • somebody from Southeastern Europe.

  • OK, shall we look back at the words we learned today?

  • Neil: No hard feelings is something you say to

  • somebody you have argued with or

  • beaten in a game or contest to say you'd still like

  • to be friends.

  • Tim: For example, I always get the quiz questions

  • right, unlike you Neil. But no hard feelings, OK?

  • Neil: That's not a very realistic example, Tim,

  • But I'll let it go. Number two... to fall out

  • with somebody means to argue or disagree

  • with them.

  • Tim: I fell out with my best friend at school.

  • We didn't talk to each other for a whole week!

  • Neil: That must've been a serious disagreement,

  • Tim! What were you arguing about?

  • Tim: I can't remember. It was a long time ago.

  • Number three, a 'gesture' is a movement you make with

  • your hands or head to express what

  • you are thinking of feeling.

  • Neil: She opened her arms wide in a gesture

  • of welcome.

  • Tim: Or the verb: 'I gestured to Neil that we only

  • had one minute left to finish the show!'

  • Neil: Is that true, Tim? You're nodding your head,

  • but we should also quickly mention 'gesticulate' which

  • means to make gestures with your hands

  • or arms!

  • Tim: A 'faux pas' is saying or doing something

  • embarrassing in a social situation. For example, I

  • committed a serious faux pas at a party

  • last night that I'm too embarrassed to tell

  • you about!

  • Neil: Oh dear, Tim. I hope you didn't offend too

  • many people - 'offend' is our next word and it means to

  • make somebody angry or upset

  • Tim: Well, you've given us a good example already,

  • Neil, so let's move on to the final word - 'expressive',

  • which means showing what you think or feel.

  • Neil: Tim has a very expressive face.

  • Tim: Thanks! Another quick example - 'I waved my

  • hand expressively to signal to Neil that it

  • was time to finish the show.

  • Neil: Taking my cue from Tim, that's all for

  • today. But please remember to check out our Instagram,

  • Twitter, Facebook and YouTube pages.

  • Both: Bye!

Neil: Welcome to 6 Minute English. In this

Subtitles and keywords

A2 BEG UK tim neil expressive bulgaria pas faux

BBC 6 Minute English - Learn about cultural differences in 6 minutes

  • 3879 134
    Vincent Hsu   posted on 2017/10/23
Video vocabulary

Go back to previous version