Spoken English Conversation: Staycation
Summary: Spoken English Conversation
In today’s lesson we practice spoken English conversation and explain the portmanteau word “Staycation”. Although this is a short lesson (Thursday lessons are shorter, Monday’s lessons are longer) it’s still 1000+ English words, all spoken by a native English speaker at just the right pace to help you practice listening to spoken English.
So if you listen to this several times you will hear literally thousands of common English words. You will program your brain to recognise these words. More common English words like; the, you, and, a, to you will hear hundreds of times if you listen to the podcast 2-3 times.
This is one of the key rules to the Adeptenglish learning system, you learn through listening. Regular, and repeat listening will encourage your brain to store the words in your longer term memory, making automatic recall of English words much easier. Your spoken English fluency will improve dramatically with a lot less ‘slow’ in your head translation needed.
By making each lesson an interesting story you remain engaged with the lesson. You will find each lesson narrated by a familiar native British speaker. The voice you listen to is close to perfect received pronunciation (RP), and the British accent is neutral so it’s about the best quality and easiest to listen and learn with.
With hundreds of free spoken English lessons available to download right now you have no excuses not to try us out.
Audio Transcript: Spoken English Conversation: Staycation
Hi and welcome to this latest short podcast from Adept English. Welcome to you if you’ve just started listening to Adept English and welcome also if you are one of our regular listeners. If you want to improve your understanding of authentic, spoken English, you’re in the right place. And by listening to our podcasts and using our courses, you will find that your ability to speak English will magically improve as you listen. Some of the words and phrases that I use will stick in your head, so that they’ll be there, all ready to use when you come to speak English.
Just a word about our podcasts. If you enjoy the podcasts, but find them difficult to understand, then we have courses which will help you improve your English understanding and your speaking of English. Our Most Common 500 Words Course is great for consolidating your base of vocabulary, of English words and your understanding of the most common words. And if you learn them well enough, you’ll remember them, when you come to speak. And if you’re looking to improve still further, then our Course One: Activate Your Listening builds on the first course and will help you with English conversation too.
What’s a ‘Staycation’?
So what shall we talk about in this short podcast? What about a portmanteau word which we’ve not covered before and one which is used quite a lot at this time of year? Let’s be topical. So the English word for this podcast is ‘staycation’, that’s S-T-A-Y-C-A-T-I-O-N. So as I said, this is a pormanteau word. I did a podcast a couple of weeks ago on portmanteau words and explained what that means and gave you lots of examples. So a ‘staycation’ is a combined word, a portmanteau word - from the verb ‘to stay’ S-T-A-Y, meaning to remain in one place, to not move – and vacation which is another word for holiday. In the UK, we tend to prefer the word ‘holiday’, and ‘vacation’ is more usual in the US. But we understand and use both words. Now a holiday can just mean time off from work, when you don’t go anywhere, you just stay at home. Or a holiday can mean that you travel away from home for pleasure. So words to do with travel and their specific meanings – that’s another the recent podcast on words for travel.
So a ‘staycation’ is a combined word - ‘stay’ and ‘vacation’ mixed together. And a staycation is when you take holiday, but you either remain at home and do day trips, trips out to do nice things, local to where you live. Or more commonly, a staycation means that you go on holiday, but you take your holiday in your own country. So if we talk about a ‘staycation’, it means going on holiday to somewhere in the UK, rather than going abroad.
The Advantages of a Staycation?
So the advantages of a staycation? Well, it’s generally not as expensive as going abroad. You can use the same currency, the same money. And at the moment, while the pound is so low, that’s a big advantage! And we don’t have to do driving on the right side of the road, which of course is normal for most other countries. But we’re not that good at that – it’s quite stressful! So you can take your own car on a staycation and continue driving on the left – much easier!
There are plenty of really nice places to stay on holiday in the UK. We have a lot of coastline and hundreds of really lovely beaches. There are whole areas of the country which are great for holidays. You can surf in North Devon, you can climb mountains in Snowdonia in North Wales or in Cumbria in the north of England or in Scotland. You can stay in London and see a west end show – and visit the museums and art galleries and famous places like Buckingham Palace or the Tower of London. You can also visit cities like Cardiff or Edinburgh or Belfast and visit their castles and attractions. You can watch a game of rugby or football or you can just go shopping. We have nature reserves, wildlife parks, canoeing, pony riding, cycling and cycle tracks all across the country. You can actually cycle from one end of the country to the other – lots of routes. You can have fish and chips in Scarborough or a cream tea in Devon or a lovely pub lunch, anywhere in the country. So lots of things to see and do on a staycation in the UK.
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And the Disadvantage of a Staycation?
The one disadvantage of a staycation in Britain? Well, you’ve guessed it. You’re not guaranteed to get the nice weather. I’m writing this podcast in August, but the rain is here and it’s windy at the moment. However, most days in the British summer are OK and not raining and quite nice! So if you know our reputation for rainy summer days, you’ll probably be pleasantly surprised if you come in the summer. ‘Pleasantly surprised’ means that it will surprise you in a good way, it’ll be better than expected. So our summer days are often in the mid 20s centigrade, it’s warm, but not too hot, and you can get on with doing things. It does depend where you go.
The further north and west you go, the more likely you’ll get rain – so although Cumbria or the Lake District as it’s known, is very beautiful, it’s also the most rainy place. Whereas the further south and east you go, the better the weather is likely to be. So London and the south coast enjoy pretty good weather, dry and sunny on most days in the summer. So don’t let that put you off coming on holiday to the UK, but perhaps be realistic about what to expect. You’re not going to have 30C in the north of Scotland very often!
Anyway, there we are – that’s what British people mean by the portmanteau word ‘staycation’. Hope you enjoyed that. Hope that’s useful to you!
Enough for now. Have a lovely day. Speak to you again soon. Goodbye.
PS: I Loath Airports
I know flying makes a lot of holiday travel much more realistic than say sailing or driving, you cannot argue that spending 2-3 hours in a plane gets you a long way from home but…
The ‘but’ is big here…
Airports are traps, once you’re inside the airport you’re trapped in one of the most expensive, rip-off shopping experiences of your life. Everything costs far more than it should, it’s criminal how much more they charge you for just about anything.
Turn up 2 hours before check-in, why? Because they know security will take ages and they want you to get bored and hungry so you will buy things even though they cost a fortune!
Airport security has become ridiculous, Richard Reid the shoe bomber, in 2001 tried to blow a plane up, and some 18 years later we have been; striped, searched and restricted to the point of craziness. Take your shoes off, take your belt off, take your laptop and phone and put them separately, no liquids over 100ml but you can have 10x100ml so you can carry 1litre of liquid!? onto a plane. It doesn’t make you feel safe; it doesn’t help because nearly all attempts to attack planes have been via ground staff who don’t get checked like this.
The cost of flying are bad in the UK, you have the cost of parking £80 a week, taxes, travel insurance. Buy all your toiletries again but this time in 100ml containers. Pay extra to carry over one item of luggage or reserve a seat. If you want food on a short haul flight, pay for food in the plane.
When I was younger flying was fun and exciting, now it’s so bad staycations look much more attractive.