BEP 78 – Socialiser: Discuter de politique

They say there’s one rule of conversation that you should always follow in businessdon’t talk about politics, sex or religion. Actually, cependant, it seems like 90% of casual conversations are about just those thingspolitics, sex and religion. So in this episode, we’ll be focusing on one of these topicspolitics. We’ll be learning some language that will help you cope with this difficult topic.

There’s a trick to talking about politics in business. In international business culture, it’s usually better not to express strong opinions. The focus is generally on the exchange of information rather than on debate, because the main goal is to maintain harmonious relations. Souvent, we state our opinions non-committally. That means we don’t commit ourselves to an opinion – autrement dit, we don’t voice a strong view one way or the other. Au lieu, we prefer to be vague, or ambiguous. This strategy helps avoid conflict.

So in this podcast, in addition to covering some general phrases and vocabulary for discussing politics, we’ll be studying how to soften your questions and be non-committal when necessary.

We’ll be listening to Ricardo and Lars, old colleagues who have met each other again at an international conference. They’re talking about the political situations in their home countries, Brazil and Denmark.

Questions d'écoute

1) Ricardo says he has heard that the Danish government is pretty far “droite”, C'est, conservative. But Lars seems to think that this has a good side. Qu'Est-ce que c'est?
2) Lars mentions that Brazil has won its bid to host the World Cup. Ricardo says that Brazil has a lot of work to do in which areas?
3) Lars talks about a certain kind of problem that hascropped up”, C'est, appeared or occurred during Brazilian President Lula’s presidency. Qu'Est-ce que c'est?

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BEP 77 – Anglais décontracté: Socialisation après le travail

In many countries, having a drink after work with colleagues is a popular way to relax: This kind of socializing helps us get to know each other and to build team spirit. To attract customers who are just getting off work, many bars and clubs have ahappy hour.This is a promotion in the early evening, usually lasting an hour or so, when pubs and bars offer a special prices on drinks, tel que “buy one get one free” ou “all drinks half price.So in this business English podcast, we will explore language that we can use to socialize with colleagues during happy hour or during other informal occasions.

Whether you drink alcohol or not, in many places around the world you will likely be invited to the bar or pub with colleagues. It’s important to know how to offer to buy drinks for others and how to make polite excuses when you’ve had enough or when it’s time to go. The same skills are also useful for other types of after-work social activities.

Dans la boîte de dialogue, we join Greg, a manager, and three people in his teamJoanna, Gary, and Benas they order.

Questions d'écoute:

1) Who is paying for the first round of drinks? How can you tell?
2) Who is the person who doesn’t drink?
3) When it’s time for her to go, what excuse does Joanna make?

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BEP 71 – Les fusions: Potins de bureau et discours rapporté

This is the second in a two-part Business English Podcast lesson that follows some of the internal discussions that take place in a company going through a merger.

Today’s episode focuses on casual office conversation and gossip. Office gossip is a type of informal conversation in which we tell secrets or rumors about other people or other departments. Gossip is often called water cooler chitchat, since the water cooler is where colleagues meet by chance and discuss things that are happening in the office. You might also want to review some of our previous shows on socializing for more language to use in these types of conversations.

For the listening today, we rejoin Jack at the guitar manufacturer headquarters, after his short but difficult chat with his boss Jim. Jack is in the cafeteria when a co-worker meets him there by chance.

Questions d'écoute

1) What did Frances hear from Joanna?
2) Who did Michelle take off with?
3) Where does Frances tell Jack she has to go?

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BEP 67 – Socialiser avec des collègues au travail

This is the fourth in a series of intermediate business ESL podcasts that focus on business travel. In this series we’re following a group of trainees who work for the telecommunications company Ambient as they visit their head office in Michigan in the U.S.

How do you make friendly chat with your colleagues? What kinds of topics can you talk about? We’ll be looking at some answers. En particulier, we’ll cover informal greetings and how to chat about movies. As almost everyone loves to go to the cinema, movies are usually a good topic for small talk.

As our listening begins, it’s Monday morning. Honesto, a trainee from the Philippines, says hello to his American colleague Brenda as she comes in to the office.

Questions d'écoute

1) What does Brenda mean when she says “veg out”?
2) What are critics and what did they think about Rush Hour 3?
3) How does Brenda like her coffee?

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BEP 45 – Socialiser: Poursuivre une conversation

This is the second in a two-part intermediate Business English Pod lesson on the basics of socializing and networking. Last time you learned ways to start and finish a conversation appropriately. Today you’ll be studying how to keep a conversation going by maintaining interest.

The listening continues on from dialogue 1 from last time: Comme vous vous en souviendrez, it takes place at the Asia-Pacific HR conference for Multi-Fresh, a global producer of health beverages. Penny””an HR officer from Kuala Lumpur””has struck up a conversation with George””the regional learning and development manager. Where we left off last time, Penny had just used a tag question”-Interesting speech, wasn’t it?" – to help get the conversation started.

Pendant que vous écoutez, essayez de répondre aux questions suivantes. The answers will be posted in a few days on the Listening Quiz page.

1) Near the beginning of the dialogue, Penny changes the subject. What was the old subject and what is the new subject?
2) Where has Penny seen George before?
3) What is George’s hobby?
4) What does George mean when he says “It’s not really such a big deal.”
5) Is Penny going to join George in next year’s event?

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