Mini-conversations: texts and audio
Newest

Fall 2012

1. 9/10/2012    NEW!   Echo File:
A. I'm Jenny.
B. I'm Jason. Nice to meet you!
A. Nice to meet you too!

2. 9/12/2012    Echo File:
A. Hi, Jason. What department are you in?
B. Hi, Jenny. I'm in the chemistry department. How about you?
A. I'm a psychology major.

3. 9/17/2012     Echo File:
A. Hi, Debbie. How are you?
B. Not too bad, Jim. And yourself?
A. Pretty good, thanks. Did you have a good weekend?
B. Yeah, it was great. I caught up on some sleep and some work.
OR:
B. Yeah, it was great. I went out with some friends.

4. 9/19/2012     Echo File:
A. What day is it today?
B. Wednesday.
A. Almost over the hump!

Bonus sentence: No garbage pick-up today.     Echo File:

5. 9/24/2012    NEW!   Echo File:
A. How many credits do you have this semester?
B. 32.
A. 32!? Are you crazy?
B. A little, I guess. How about you?
A. 28.
B. Oh, that sounds so much more manageable.

6. 9/26/2012      NEW!   Echo File:
A. So what should we do for lunch today?
B. We don't have much time. Let's just go to the student center cafeteria.
A. OK. I like that one anyway – they have lots of veggies.
B. And it's on our way to the Gongtong Building.

7. 10/01/2012      NEW!   Echo File:
A. Happy Mid-Autumn Festival!
B. Happy Moon Festival!
A. But no moon cakes for me this time. Too fattening.
B. But the pomelos are delicious.

8. 10/03/2012       NEW!   Echo File:
A. I'm sorry I won't be able to make it to class next Monday.
    I have to attend my grandmother's funeral in Gaoxiong.
B. I'm so sorry to hear this news. Make sure you get the assignments from a classmate.
A. I will, thank you.

9. 10/08/2012      NEW!   Echo File:   

How beautiful it is to do nothing, and then rest afterward. Spanish proverb

A. So what are you doing on our day off?
B. I think I'll sleep, then I'll get up to eat, then I'll do nothing for a while,
    and then maybe I'll take a nap. How about you?
A. Nothing I could come up with could top that.

10. 10/15/2012      NEW!   Echo File:   
A. OK, now tell me all about all the sleeping and eating you did on our day off.
B. Some vacation! I was at the pc doing homework almost the whole time!
A. I'm not saying a thing about those 32 credits.
B. Smart decision.

11. 10/17/2012      NEW!   Echo File:   
B. So what did you do?
A. I took a bus out to Sanxia and shopped on the Old Street there.
B. What'd you get?
A. A pretty camphor wood carving for the wall.
B. We should go out there together sometime.
A. Yeah, that would be fun.

12. 10/22/2012      NEW!   Echo File:   
A. Do you have time for coffee?
B. Sure, but I'd better stick with juice or tea, or I'll be up all night.
A. Caffeine doesn't seem to affect me that much...
    A small latte, hot, please, for here.
B. One small mango smoothie, please, for here. Here's my NTU ID.
A. And here's mine.

13. 10/24/2012      NEW!   Echo File:   
A. Are you keeping up with everything OK?
B. I was pretty frazzled the first two weeks of the semester.
A. But now?
B. I'm almost caught up in all my classes.
    Being busy sure forces you to find ways to be more efficient.

14. 10/29/2012      NEW!   Echo File:
A. I'm tired of cafeteria food. Let's do something different tonight.
B. Have anything particular in mind?
A. There's a place on Dingzhou Road that has good steam-fried chive rolls.
B. But they don't have any place to sit.
A. We can bring them back to the Student Center to eat.
B. OK. Let's go.

15. 10/31/2012      NEW!   Echo File:
A. There's always a ridiculously long line for the red bean cakes.
B. I know – it's weird. I tried them once, and couldn't for the life of me
    figure out what was so special about them.
A. We're lucky they don't all like the chive rolls instead. No waiting!
B. Ten chive rolls, please.
C. Here you are. Be careful – they're hot! ... That'll be 130 NT dollars.
B. Thanks! ...
A. I'm stuffed! Those things are really filling!

16. 11/05/2012       NEW!   Echo File:
A. Just now I thought someone had brought their little kid with them here.
B. Why?
A. I heard this really high, tiny, sweet voice.
    Then I turned to have a look at her, and saw that she was about 19 years old.
B. I wonder if she talks like that on purpose, or if it's just her natural voice.

(Discussion by Westerners and others about Taiwanese girls with high voices here and here.)

17. 11/07/2012       NEW!   Echo File:
A. What's that song they're playing? I love it!
B. I have no idea. But it is nice. Wonder what it is and who the singer is.
A. I'll jot down a couple lines of the lyrics and Google it.
B. That usually works.

18. 11/12/2012      NEW!   Echo File:
A. We visited my uncle's family and my grandma in New Taipei City this weekend.
B. How was it?
A. It was nice. My uncle cooked for us and we all caught up on each other.
B. It's good to spend time with family. I wish my grandparents lived closer.

19. 11/14/2012      NEW!   Echo File:
B. How's your grandma doing?
A. She forgets things very quickly. She asks us the same questions over and over.
B. Do you find that frustrating, or tiring?
A. No. We just have the same conversation again
    as though it were the first time.
    We don't know how much longer she'll be with us,
    so I try to make the best of every minute with her.

20. 11/19/2012      NEW!   Echo File:
B. I can't find my bike.
A. Think back – where did you last park it?
B. Right here. But it's not here.
A. What does that message written in chalk on the asphalt say?
B. "Illegally parked bicycles towed to Shuiyuan campus 11/19."

21. 11/21/2012      NEW!   Echo File:
B. Really, there was no other place to park. Every slot in the rack was already taken.
A. Is this the first time your bike's been impounded?
B. Uh, second. But I don't think they start charging till the third offense.
A. But going to reclaim your bike is such a hassle.
B. Hey, what the heck – let's have some Mexican food while we're in the area.
A. And then maybe go on a riverside walk.

22. 11/26/2012      NEW!   Echo File:
A. I'll sing soprano, you sing alto, Eugene will sing tenor, and Jason, bass.
B. When do we rehearse, and where?
A. How about near the pond by the law building, if the weather's nice,
    at 6:30 tomorrow evening, right after supper?
B. OK, but if the weather's not nice?
A. We'll figure something out.

23. 11/28/2012      NEW!   Echo File:
A. We all need to start learning our parts and memorizing the lyrics, today!
B. What if we're not sure about some of the pronunciations?
A. What else? Use the audio and YouTube files! And Merriam-Webster!

24. 12/03/2012      NEW!   Echo File:
B. Very impressive – you got the only 100% in the whole class!
A. Well, I did study pretty hard for this calc test.
B. You know, I have tickets to the Elton John concert next week, and...
A. You have tickets to the Elton John concert?!

25. 12/05/2012      NEW!   Echo File:
B. Yes, two. I really didn't want to go alone...
A. And...?
B. Well, would you like to go to the concert with me?
A. ... (catches her breath) Wow, yes! ... Thanks for asking me!
B. Maybe we can get a bite to eat before it starts. I'll email you the details.
A. Great! ... Well, I have class now. Talk to you later!
B. See ya.

26. 12/10/2012       NEW!   Echo File:
A. I can't find anything to wear!
    Everything in my closet and drawers is short-sleeved and it's freezing out!
C. Maybe it's time to get your winter clothes out.
A. Mm, yeah...I guess it is... If only I had the time...

27. 12/12/2012        NEW!   Echo File:
C. Looks like you'd better make time, don't you think?
A. Guess I don't have much choice. I can't go out in a tank top in this weather.
C. I'll help you get the boxes out of storage.
A. Thanks. That'll be a good start.

28. 12/17/2012        NEW!   Echo File:
B. (On phone, after seeing a recent Facebook post by A)
    What are you doing up at this time of night?
A. (Ahem) How about if you answer the same question first?
B. Uh, well, I really tried to finish my lab report early this time.
    But somehow I kept remembering other urgent things that needed to get done.
A. So now you're going to pull an all-nighter?
B. (sighs) Looks like it.
A. Join the club.

29. 12/19/2012        NEW!   Echo File:
B. I can't concentrate any more. I need a break. And fuel!
    Would you like to meet somewhere for a quick snack?
A. I'd love to, but my work has finally started to flow,
    and I don't want to break the momentum.
B. (with self-pity) Guess I'll have to go alone then.
A. I have some cheese rolls, and some dried squid that a family friend gave us.
    Oh, and some cut Asian pear.
    Would you like to stop by and pick them up?
    No chatting though – work has to come first this time!
B. OK, thanks, I'll be right over, and I promise not to stay too long!


Spring 2013

30. 2/25/2013  
A. The switch on this LED lamp I bought online is broken – I can't turn it off.
B. Is there a number you can call?
A. I'll have a look...Oh, here's a number, and a one-year warranty.
    But it's in simplified characters!
B. Well, call the number and see what they say...
    Well? What'd they say?
A. They said to mail it to them.
    At first they said I'd have to pay NT$250 for repairs.
    But I've only had it for five months!

31. 2/27/2013  
B. So did you mention the one-year warranty?
A. Yes, but they said that warranty is only for the PRC,
    and that the warranty in Taiwan is only for three months.
B. Did you argue with them?
A. Yes. I said that was the only warranty included with the lamp.
    And I asked them if they give better service to their PRC customers
    than their Taiwan ones.
B. What'd he say then?
A. He very begrudgingly said, "OK, we'll fix it. Send it over."
    So I did. But what lousy service!

32. 3/4/13  
A. (Watching TV with B)
    Hey look, that's Angela!
B. Who's Angela?
A. A student in our department from about four years ago.
    She's on TV! She looks great! She's singing one of my favorite songs of hers!
B. So you knew her personally?
A. Yes, a little – we had some friends in common.
    She was a top student, but sort of quiet.
    She was in France for a year as an exchange student.
B. Then when she returned to Taiwan
    she suddenly burst onto the scene as a singer?

33. 3/6/13  
A. No, not suddenly. For a while she was translating movie subtitles.
B. Kind of a dead-end job?
A. Yes, she got really tired of it. She couldn't see any future in it.
    It didn't pay all that well either,
    and the "we need it yesterday" deadlines were killing her.
B. So then?
A. She started writing her own songs, and performing them in pubs,
    accompanying herself on the guitar.
    Later she added some more instrumentalists.
B. She has a nice voice. And the lyrics are really thoughtful.
A. She's just put out her second CD. I can get you one if you want.
B. That would be great!
    I'll show it off to everybody and tell them
    I know somebody who knows somebody famous!

34. 3/11/13  
A. (at a campus computer with B)
    Make sure you log out before leaving. This is a public computer.
B. Doesn't it always log out by itself after a while?
A. Some programs do, but others don't.
    Yesterday I opened gmail on this same computer,
    and a friend's inbox was right there in front of my eyes, open on the page.
B. So what did you do? Did you peek at a few of their emails?

35. 3/13/13  
A. I sure was tempted. I only saw the list of senders.
B. And then?
A. Well, actually, I did have a quick look at one email...
B. Haha! Snoop!...What did you see?
A. Nothing very exciting at all. But I felt pretty lousy about it.
B. So...
A. So then I logged out for the friend and checked my own mail.
B. And you made sure to log out before you left?
A. I most certainly did.

36. 3/18/13  
A. (on phone) Are you OK? You don't sound too good.
B. I don't FEEL good. I haven't been sick for ages,
    but now I have a full-blown cold.
    I'm coughing and sneezing all over the place,
    and my ears are plugged up.
A. Are you taking anything for it?
B. No, just lots and lots of rest, and warm water.

37. 3/20/13  
A. Is there anything I can do for you?
B. Yes, as a matter of fact. Could you please finish all my work for me?
A. I...uh...
B. Oh, that's OK, I'll just hand everything in late.

38. 3/25/13  
A. Traffic is moving so slowly in this lane.
B. Look over there – that's why.
A. Yikes! A motorcyclist is lying on the side of the road next to his bike!
B. And a big van has pulled over on the other side of the road.
A. I hope someone has called for help...

39. 3/27/13  
B. I'm guessing the van driver has – he's probably OK.
A. An ambulance should be coming up soon then.
B. No ambulance yet...
     but look at that big, yellow, flower-covered hearse going by!
A. That can't have anything to do with the accident!
     But what a creepy coincidence! Whooh! Gives me the shivers!

40. 4/1/13  
A. (in an MRT station)
    Where's the 7-Eleven?
    There used to be one here, but it's gone now.
B. Let's look around. We could go above ground...
A. I don't want to go that far out of our way.
B. What is it you want?
A. An iBon machine so I can get a High Speed Rail ticket for tomorrow.
B. You know, we could just go over to the HSR vending machines,
    and you'd save the NT$30 handling fee besides.
    We ARE in Taipei Main Station you know...
A. Oh...yeah, we are, aren't we...

41. 4/3/13  
A. (at the HSR vending machines)
    Taipei to Taichung is NT$1400 round trip.
    I've got two one-thousand-NT-dollar bills here...
B. Wait a minute – let's read the instructions first.
    It says "Change given only in coins."
A. So that means I'll end up with NT$600 in heavy coins if I get the tickets here?
B. Uh, how about if we ask at the information desk for change?
A. OK... (to C) Excuse me, could you change a NT$1000 bill?
    I need some hundreds for the machine.
C. We don't give change, but there's a bill changer right over there you can use.
A. (to C) Thank you!
    (to B) And thank you, Jason – first for saving me NT$30,
    then for lightening my stash of 50-NT coins by NT$600!

42. 4/8/13  
B. (in B's kitchen)
    Gifts of food are great,
    but what are you going to do with all those very ripe bananas?
A. Make some banana cake – what else? Wanna help?
B. Sure. What should I do?
A. Get the whole wheat flour, salt, an egg, and milk from the fridge.
B. OK ... here you go.
A. We have some fresh blueberries –
     let's add those in, and some chopped pecans, and coconut.
B. Yum! I'll peel and mash the bananas. ...
     Ugh! Fruit flies!

43. 4/10/13  
A. I'll take care of the wet ingredients –
    I'll beat the egg, and stir in the oil, milk, honey, vanilla, and mashed banana.
B. Then I guess I'll measure and mix the dry ingredients –
     the flour, salt, baking powder and cinnamon.
A. OK, time to put them together. The nuts and blueberries go in last.
     Be careful not to crush the blueberries!
B. I've oiled the pan. How long should it bake?
A. About 40 minutes, I guess. ... (time passes)
     (sniffs the air deeply) Smells good! It should be done by now...
B. A bit more than done, I'd say, as in, "just a tiny bit scorched."
     But that's OK – we can just trim off the edges and bottom...

44. 4/15/2013  
A. My hair is getting too long.
    But I'm not that satisfied with my current hairdresser.
B. So, let's find you a new one. How about that shop?
A. OK, what the heck...
    ...Hi, how much is a wash and cut?
C. NT$499. Would you like to request a particular stylist?
A. No, it's my first time here. Anybody who's really good is fine!

45. 4/17/2013  
D. Just lie back and relax. (gives scalp massage)
    Is the level of pressure about right?
A. Yes, it's fine. And I'd like conditioner, please.
D. Sure...I'm going to start the second lathering now...
    (finishes and wraps towel around A's head)
    ...Would you like some Q-tips?...
E. ...How'd you like it cut?
A. I'd like my bangs and the back trimmed,
    and I'd like the rest thinned out a bit and layered.
E. Where would you like the part?
A. On the left, right about here.
E. ...(hands A a mirror) Here, have a look. What do you think?
A. (takes a breath)...It's fine. Here's NT$1000.
E. It's NT$30 extra for the rinse. Here's your change and receipt.
    Thank you, and please come again!...
B. (outside)...So, how do you like it?
A. It could have been worse. But you'll notice that I didn't ask her for her card...
B. (looks at A's hair) Hmm, yeah...
    Mm, maybe you can try that place over there next time...

46. 4/22/2013  
A. (Long yawn...)
B. What's with you? You didn't sleep well last night?
A. Mm, no, not really.
B. Cramming for an exam? Wanted to finish a movie? Too much coffee?
A. None of the above. I was unable to shut out expressions of tenderness
    between my roomie and her new BF...

47. 4/24/2013  
B. Ah, when did that start?
A. Exactly two days ago. They were Skyping till after 3am!
B. Didn't you ask her to save it till daytime?
A. Yeah I did, so then she started using a headset –
    but that didn't do much to shut out the giggles...

48. 4/29/2013   
A. Wow, you look sharp today!
C. Uh, thanks. Must be the new shirt...
A. Yeah, you have really good taste!
C. My girlfriend's the one with the good taste –
    she picked it out for me!

49. 5/1/13   
A. Actually, I don't think it's just the shirt –
    you look really happy!
C. Oh, yeah. I did OK on one of my mid-terms.
A. For which subject?
C. French. I even got a compliment from the professor.
    Made my day!

50. 5/6/13   
A. Happy birthday, Jason! (hands him a wrapped gift) I hope you like it!
B. (Taking the package) Wow! I didn't think anybody would remember!
     This is so sweet of you!
     (opens gift)
Wow! A calculator! Just what I needed – my old one is broken!
     Thanks so much! I love it!

51. 5/8/13   
A. Do you have time this evening?
     I'd like to take you out to a new restaurant I've discovered.
B. I'm overwhelmed! Sure. When and where should we meet?
A. At the Xinsheng side gate at 6pm. See you then!
B. OK, see you then.

52. 5/13/13   
A. I'm leaving for San Francisco this coming Tuesday.
    Would you be available to take me to the airport?
B. What time is your flight?
A. It leaves at 11:40pm.
B. Ah, a red-eye! Sure, no problem!
     I'll pick you up at your place around 8.
A. Thanks so much! This really helps me out a lot!

53. 5/15/15   
B.  Which terminal does your flight leave from?
A.  It's EVA Air, so Terminal 2.
B.  I'll miss you...
A.  We can stay in touch over Skype!

54. 5/20/13   
B.  Where's the closest bathroom in this building, do you know?
C.  Yes, it's at the end of the hall on the right.
B.  Thanks. ... (coming back quickly from men's room) ...
      Uh, could you spare a tissue or two?
      They're out of paper! Or maybe they're just cheap.
C.  Probably the latter. Here you are.
B.  Thanks! (rushes into stall)

55. 5/22/13   
B.  (coming out of men's room)
      You were a Boy Scout, weren't you.
C.  Actually, no, I wasn't.
     I wasn't that crazy about knot-tying. 
     Why do you ask?
B.  Looks like you follow their motto better than I do:
     "Be prepared."
C. This is something everybody should prepare for,
     not just former Boy Scouts, don't you think?

56. 5/27/13    
C. (on cell phone) Hi, Jason, I just saw that it's 9am...and I just woke up....
B. (on break) Weren't you the one who's always prepared?
C. Uh, not this time. I was up till 3am finishing a report last night.
    The alarm didn't go off and I overslept.
    Could you please tell Professor Mei I'm really sorry,
    and I'll get to class as soon as I can?
B. Sure. But is it even worth coming? Class finishes at 10.
C. I'm going to try. I feel terrible about this!
    This is so out of character for me!

57. 5/29/13    
B.  Professor Mei, Rob just called to say
     he's sorry that he overslept and missed first hour.
     He's on his way now.
D. This is pretty out of character for Rob –
     he's always on time with everything.
B. That's what he said.
     He says he was up late finishing a report.
D. Thanks for letting me know...OK, everybody – back to work!

58. 6/3/13    
B.  You look like Rudolph! How'd your nose get so red?
A.  I went river tracing this past weekend in Hualian.
B.  Wow! I've heard about it but never tried it. How was it?
A.  I had a blast! You definitely should try it soon!
B.  OK, so tell me about it!
A.  First you put on a body suit, a life jacket, boots, and a helmet.
     Then you walk over rocks upstream against the current
     with a horde of people.
     You have to work hard to keep your balance and keep moving forward.
    
59. 6/5/13    
B.   You say that was "fun"?
A.   Yes! When you're upstream you dive into the river from a high rock,
      or let yourself down with a rope. It wasn't as scary as it looked.
B.   How do you get back?
A.   You just lie back and float and the current takes you back,
       like a human raft!
       But you have to watch out so your butt doesn't get hit by rocks.
B.    I'll have to try it sometime! I'm not about to be outdone by a girl...

60. 6/10/13     
A.    Is it just me or are we having an...
B.    It's an earthquake! Hang on tight!
A.    You too!
B.    Wow, this is a long one...
A.    ...I guess that's it...for now...

61. 6/12/13     
B.    Nothing came crashing to the floor.
A.    Every time an earthquake hits, my first thought is to wonder
       if it's going to be another 9/21.
B.    Me too. We've been lucky so far.
       Wonder how everything is in the rest of the island.
A.    Hope everybody's OK.
B.    Haha – it's fun watching all the "Earthquake!" posts popping up on Facebook!


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