What did he say again?

    Illustration: Small Talk
    Von Dagmar Taylor

    Conversations

    First, read the two versions of the short conversations. Then cover up the idiomatic version and read the simpler version again. Can you remember how to say the same things idiomatically? 

     

    1

    First, the idiomatic way

    Mark: Hi, Nick. It is Nick, isn’t it?
    Nick: Hi, Mark! I haven’t seen you in/for donkey’s years (UK, ifml.)seit einer Ewigkeitin donkey’s years. It’s been so long that I thought you’d to drop off the grid (ifml.)in der Versenkung verschwindendropped off the grid. What are you up to: to be ~ sth. (ifml.)so machenup to these days? Still to earn a crust (UK, ifml.)seine Brötchen verdienenearning a crust writing blurb (ifml.)Informationen, Werbetextblurbs for websites...?

    Now, more simply

    Mark: Hi, Nick. It is Nick, isn’t it?
    Nick: Hi, Mark! I haven’t seen you for a long time. It’s been so long that I thought you’d stopped contacting people. What are you doing these days? Are you still earning your living writing short texts for websites?

     

    2

    First, the idiomatic way

    Jacquie: It was good to to touch base (with sb.) (ifml.)jmdn. kontaktierentouch base last week, James.
    JamesYou can say that again! (ifml.)Das kannst du wohl sagen!You can say that again!
    Jacquie: I really enjoyed to chew the fat (ifml.)quatschenchewing the fat. I’ve been a bit out of the loop: to be ~ (ifml.)außen vor seinout of the loop recently. Catching up with you really to make sb.'s dayjmdn. glücklich machenmade my day.

    Now, more simply

    Jacquie: It was good to get in contact last week, James.
    James: That’s true.
    Jacquie: I really enjoyed having a long chat. I’ve been a bit isolated recently. Catching up with you really made me happy.

     

    3

    First, the idiomatic way

    Martin: Carole, it was good to to run into sb.jmdn. zufällig treffenrun into you last week. Thanks for heads-up: the ~ (ifml.)den Hinweisthe heads-up about that new flight connection to Munich.
    Caroleno worries (Aus, ifml.)kein ProblemNo worries, Martin. It’ll sure beat: It sure beats (ifml.)es ist immer noch besser alssure beat taking the red-eye (flight) (US, ifml.)Nachtflugred-eye every Sunday night.

    Now, more simply

    Martin: Carole, it was good to see you last week. Thanks for telling me about that new flight connection to Munich.
    Carole: My pleasure, Martin. It’ll certainly be better than taking the late-night flight every Sunday.

     

    4

    First, the idiomatic way

    Roger: Hi, Tim. Fancy seeing you here! (UK)Na so was, dich hier zu sehen!Fancy seeing you here!
    Tim: Roger, you catch sb. on the hop (UK, ifml)jmdn. überraschen, überrumpelncaught me on the hop. Great to see you again! What are you doing these days?
    Roger: Oh, you know, same old, same oldwie immersame old, same old

    Now, more simply

    Roger: Hi, Tim. I didn’t expect to see you here!
    Tim: Roger, you took me by surprise. Great to see you again! What are you doing these days?
    Roger: Oh, you know, the same as I always used to do.

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