The Holidays

Study the transcript of this episode as a lesson on LingQ, saving the words and phrases you don’t know to your database. Here it is!

Jill and Mark talk about what they did during the holidays. They also discuss the new Help and Getting Started features on LingQ.

Mark: Hello again, Mark Kaufmann here for EnglishLingQ joined by Jill Soles.

What’s new today?

Happy New Year, Jill.

Jill: Yeah, Happy New Year and Merry Christmas, belated.

Mark: That’s right.

Jill: All that jazz.

Mark: I know we’ve had a few podcasts over this Christmas-New Year’s period, but they were, of course, recorded ahead of time and so this is our first live podcast of the New Year.

Jill: And I guess we’re going to talk about our holidays and what we did, but you’re going to mention something else first, I believe.

Mark: Yeah, just before we get into it, I just wanted to talk about the new Help Teachers and Translation Teachers that we’ve built into the site.

For those of you that are active LingQ members, you’ve probably already seen at least the new Getting Started screens, which appear on almost every section of the site.

Those are meant for new users.

Anyone who’s already figured out how to use the site doesn’t really need them.

And, of course, for those of you who don’t need them there’s a little link at the bottom of each of those Getting Started windows that says “click here to not show me this again” or something.

I can’t remember exactly what it says, but if you click on those links it will close those windows and you won’t ever see them again.

For those of you who haven’t been to the site, if you do go, I think those Getting Started windows will be very helpful and you’ll see that the main activity on each page will be identified.

As well, you’ll be able to easily click and see a video demo of each section, which should also explain very well what to do on the site, so do check those out.

Jill: And, of course, I just want to mention that they’re all in English for the moment but, hopefully, within a week or so we will have them translated.

We will have all the URLs going to the correct places.

We will have all the formatting, you know, the same, so we’re still working on that section.

Mark: That’s right.

That’s the Help section.

Jill: Sorry, that’s the Help section, right.

Mark: For those of you before who have tried our Help section, up until now we just had all the Help on our LingQ Central Blog and so clicking on the Help button just took you to the LingQ Central Blog.

Now we’ve created Help pages for each section and we’re gradually adding more and more FAQs to those pages.

As well, you can access the video demo of each section from Help.

Jill: Except for I think the links might not be correct on those pages yet.

I think I still have to change those.

Mark: They will be.

Jill: By tomorrow.

Mark: That’s right.

It’s a bit of a work in progress, but before long the Help files should all be there.

You’ll be able to see the video demo on the Help page so that even if you did close the Getting Started screen and wanted to see the demo again you can always access it in the Help area.

I think, yeah, we’ve covered the Help and Getting Started stuff.

We think it will help people get started.

We are going to translate all that stuff too and on the subject of translation we’ve now built a Translation tool to enable us to translate all of the text on LingQ, which has been an issue.

Up until now it’s only been in English and what we’d like is for our members to help us by translating the site using this tool, so we have asked in an email for volunteer translators and we’re going to ask again here.

Any of you out there who would like to help translate LingQ into your language, the user interface and the menu items and all the text on the site, please send us an email to and let us know and then we can give you access to our Translation tool and you can get to it.

We hope, before long, to have the site translated in how ever many languages we offer.

By all means, if you don’t see your language up there and you’d like to translate it into your language, also let us know and we may start to add other native language options for people.

With that, how was your Christmas break holiday in Prince George or where ever it is?

Jill: Nukko Lake outside of Prince George, yeah.

Yeah, it was great.

It was wonderful, relaxing; we had great weather, lots of sunny, clear days.

Mark: Oh nice.

Jill: A couple of days where it snowed, which is nice.

I like to see the snow.

We don’t get much of it in Vancouver.

Mark: Not below the highway anyway.

Jill: No.

Mark: Kate, here in our office, drove in today and was quite miffed, I guess, by the fact that down here, lower down the hill, there’s no snow, whereas she was shoveling her driveway this morning.

Jill: Yeah, apparently some areas of the lower mainland, which include many suburbs, many cities outside of Vancouver, the higher elevations and some of the suburbs that are further away from the ocean, will get snow even when the City of Vancouver won’t get it.

Mark: Right.

Jill: So, I had none at my house, there’s none at the office, but I guess there was quite a bit at Kate’s place, which is only 15 minutes from the office, but it’s much higher elevation right at the mountains, yeah.

Mark: I mean you can look up the hill here or the mountain and when I say above the highway, the highway is about halfway up the hill.

Jill: Right.

Mark: And above the highway, I mean, it’s just white.

Jill: Yeah.

Mark: I mean it looks really nice.

Jill: Beautiful and, actually — sorry to cut you off – the day turned out to be quite nice.

It was kind of sort of a semi-sunny day today, so I think it was actually a lovely day.

Mark: It was a nice day.

Jill: A little chilly.

It was only I think maybe 3 degrees or something like that, but it was quite nice.

Yeah, so up there we got some snow.

We had sun.

It was mild for… I mean that’s quite a northern part of Canada, so for there it was quite mild.

There were days when it was just, you know, not much below zero, minus 2, even overnight, some days where it was minus 10, but it’s very, very, dry it’s not like Vancouver.

It’s very dry and they get very little wind, generally.

There were a couple days where it was quite windy but, generally, they get very little wind, so even at minus 10 it really doesn’t feel colder than plus 3 or 4 or 5 degrees here in Vancouver where it’s so damp.

Mark: Well, you know, that is true because we were up in the interior as well skiing and last night we came back and it was whatever, 2 degrees and raining, and it was minus 8 up there, but it felt cold last night just because it’s damp.

Yeah, it’s not warm either, but the dampness makes a big difference.

Jill: It makes a big difference, a huge difference.

I don’t know, maybe when we go to these colder areas too maybe we’re just better prepared so we stay warmer.

Mark: Maybe.

Jill: But, I mean I went snowshoeing.

We were up there for nine days and I went snowshoeing six days, six of the nine days, and the one day where the wind was howling my face, which was always sort of exposed, did stay cold, but the rest of me got warm.

Mark: Right.

Jill: But the other days when there was no breeze I had my gloves off, I had my jacket undone with just a thin shirt underneath and I was sweating.

Mark: Oh yeah.

Jill: And I was not running.

I mean I’m pregnant and I was with Chris’ mom some of the time, so we weren’t going very fast.

Mark: Right.

Jill: We were simply walking and it’s on a lake, so it’s flat and I was still sweating, so to me that was quite warm.

Mark: You can warm up, I mean, snowshoeing you get warm in a hurry.

Jill: You do, yeah.

Mark: Yeah, okay, you’re not sinking through the snow, but you’re still sinking in.

Like it’s not quite like walking.

Jill: You’re still working, yeah.

Mark: You’re working and taking long steps or whatever you want to call it.

Jill: Yeah, and then I went snowshoeing actually on New Year’s Day here.

I was back in town and went up to one of the local ski hills here and went snowshoeing.

There I actually prefer that you’re in the forest and it’s hilly, so you’ve got up, down, everything in between, so I enjoy that.

I like to jog a little bit on the flat stretches and the downward stretches.

At this point, my lung capacity is not so great so on the uphill I walk, but I’m still getting a good workout.

Mark: Oh yeah.

Jill: Some of those hills are very steep, actually, so I think a few people looked at me like I was a bit crazy because I’m obviously pregnant now.

But I really don’t find snowshoeing difficult.

Mark: It’s not difficult at all.

Jill: I mean, I don’t really feel like I lose my footing.

A couple of times when it very steep and I was going down, I was extra careful to dig in the spikes and to maybe search out deeper snow if I needed it rather than the path or whatever but, in general, I mean I’m not going to fall snowshoeing.

Mark: No, exactly.

I mean you’re walking in the woods on snowshoes.

I mean I guess the hills give it a little extra.

Jill: Yeah, exactly, and maybe if you’ve never done it before.

It’s not something you would maybe take up while you’re pregnant.

Mark: Right.

Jill: But, some of the looks I got, I think people thought I was a little bit irresponsible or something.

Mark: Oh really?

Jill: Yeah, I don’t know.

Mark: I mean it’s fun; going down with snowshoes is fun.

You can, obviously, slide down on your bum but, yeah, you can ski down on the backs of them.

Jill: Yeah, it’s fun.

Mark: You know, especially in deeper snow you can… It takes, whatever, twice as long going up than it does to come down.

Jill: Oh, it sure does, but it’s fun, so.

Yeah, so Christmas was great, relaxing, ate too much, like usual and sat around too much and, you know, just relaxed, really.

Mark: You were up there for Christmas.

Jill: For Christmas, yeah.

Mark: For Christmas.

Jill: We were there, yeah, a few days before Christmas until the 30th or 31st I think, so.

Mark: Yeah, well that’s good.

Jill: It was very quiet and relaxing… and you were here for Christmas.

Mark: Yeah, we were here for Christmas.

I mean I guess we did have a bit of snow on Christmas.

Jill: I heard.

I was so disappointed because I think we’ve had snow on Christmas maybe once in the last 10 or 12 years and the year I’m not here we get snow.

Mark: There wasn’t much, but we did get some, so we could say that we had some snow for Christmas.

Jill: It’s a lot nicer than the rain.

Mark: Much nicer than the rain, for sure, and it was good.

We went up to the local mountains a couple times snowshoeing like you.

Gordie my dog obviously loves it.

Jill: Oh yeah.

Mark: I mean he’s just in heaven.

It’s a lot of work for him though, he doesn’t have snowshoes.

Jill: No.

Mark: He gets off the trail into the deep snow.

Jill: He must come home and just sleep.

Mark: He does, he’s pretty done by the end of it, which is good.

Jill: That is good, yeah.

Mark: He needs that.

Jill: You guys need that.

Mark: That’s right, so that was lots of fun.

And then we went up on New Year’s Eve to Big White, which is in the B.C.

interior here.

My parents and my family we went up skiing and that was great.

I mean it’s always nice to get out and be in our little chalet there on the ski hill.

What’s great about skiing is that everybody can do it together and the kids are getting better so that we can all pretty much ski together now, which is great.

Even my mom was keeping up to the kids, which is good.

Jill: Really? Oh good.

Mark: They’re pushing her to go a little faster.

It’s touch because my mom never skied her whole life, right.

Jill: Wow! Well to learn as an adult is much harder.

Mark: So she learned as an adult.

I mean she skied with us as kids, but she grew up not skiing, not seeing snow ever in Makow, so to learn to ski as an adult is very difficult.

Jill: Well and I just think you’re so much more fearful as an adult.

Mark: Well that’s the biggest thing, right?

As a kid someone tells you to go down the hill on these two boards.

Okay, I guess so.

You’re telling me to do that, I guess I will.

Whereas as an adult I think you know what, are you out of your mind?

I’m not going down that hill.

Jill: And kids bend, so even if they fall they don’t necessarily hurt themselves, but adults can hurt themselves pretty easily.

Mark: For sure.

The biggest thing with skiing is not being afraid to just go for it and then, obviously, you’ve got to learn how to do it, but if you don’t want to really do it then you’ll never learn how, so.

Jill: No.

Mark: But, like I said, she’s having to keep up to the kids now, so.

Jill: Oh no, they’ll surpass her pretty soon though.

Mark: They already have, yeah, yeah, but that’s alright because she did well.

Jill: Good for her.

Mark: She did well.

They were all doing well.

It was fun.

As well, there’s an outdoor rink there so we played hockey at nights on the outdoor rink, which was nice.

A couple of nights were really snowing heavily, which makes it kind of tough.

Actually, did you see the hockey game in Buffalo?

Jill: I didn’t see it, but I heard all about it.

Mark: Yeah, the NHL, which is the National Hockey League, major professional hockey league in North America, had an outdoor game in a football stadium.

Normally, NHL rinks hold may 17 to 20,000 people and they’re, obviously, all covered and so they had a game in a football stadium that held, I don’t know, 70-75,000 people and they built this rink in the middle of this outdoor stadium in Buffalo and Buffalo and Pittsburg played.

Jill: And it was just freezing, wasn’t it?

Mark: You know, I don’t think it was that cold.

On the day of the game it was around freezing, but it was snowing like crazy.

It’s just very hard to play when there’s an inch of snow on the ice.

Jill: Well, yeah.

Mark: And so they had to bring the Zamboni out like mid period a couple times to pick up the snow, but it was a big success.

Like the stadium was full and got a lot of play in the media because it was kind of a unique event.

Jill: Yeah, that’s great.

I wish they could do that here, but it’s just not cold enough to have an outdoor rink.

Mark: No, and really we don’t even have an outdoor, uncovered, outdoor stadium.

Plus, most likely, that it would be rained on.

Jill: Exactly.

Mark: It’s one thing if it’s snowing, but if it’s raining you couldn’t… I don’t think you can play in the rain.

Jill: No, no.

Mark: The ice would just get wrecked.

Jill: Yeah.

Mark: Maybe not, I don’t know, but it would be not good.

The only other time they did that was in Edmonton years ago.

Jill: Wasn’t it last year, I think?

Mark: It wasn’t last year, but it might have been the year before and there it was really cold.

It was minus 20 or 30 and the guys looked cold out there.

Jill: Yeah, I don’t know how the people sat out there.

Mark: And all the people watching, they sat there for six hours.

It was like minus 30.

Jill: Yeah, I don’t know.

Mark: Anyway, it’s sort of a novelty, so it was fun.

I didn’t watch much of the game, but I saw the highlights and I thought that was kind of neat.

It reminded us of being on the big white pond there shoveling the puck through the snow drifts.

Jill: Playing outdoors, yeah, which is how a lot of young Canadian hockey players learned to play hockey.

Mark: Oh, for sure.

Jill: They grew up playing on outdoor rinks in Ontario and wherever.

Mark: Well that’s what makes it so fun for everybody is so many people have done that.

Jill: Have memories.

Mark: Have memories of doing that and, of course, they didn’t have a Zamboni to come out, but you’d have the board that you’d drag across the ice to clear the snow and then back to the game, so.

Yeah, that was neat to see.

Yeah, all in all it was good; good trip.

Jill: It’s always nice to be on vacation no matter where you are.

Mark: Absolutely, absolutely and just relax.

Jill: Yeah.

Mark: Not that it was that relaxing because we were either skiing or playing hockey.

Jill: Or cooking meals for the kids, but it’s a break from the regular routine.

Mark: Exactly. You’ve got to come back to work to relax.

Jill: Yeah.

Mark: With that, we should probably get going.

We’re reaching the end of the time when people are…

Jill: …losing interest?

Mark: Yeah, I think so, the time of the usual commute to work say and so with that, we’ll finish off and we’ll talk to you again next time.

Jill: Alright, bye, bye.

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