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English Listening: “Ira Glass on Storytelling”

Pozdravi!

(that’s “hello” in Slovenian).

Ira Glass is an American public radio personality, and host and producer of the radio and television show This American Life. Now, the following quote and video were meant for artists and people doing creative work BUT we believe it also applies to those learning a new language.

Learning a new language is challenging and, in many ways, also a creative project. So we wanted to share this quote with you. Once you have read and understood the text, watch the video below!

“Nobody tells this to people who are beginners, I wish someone told me. All of us who do creative work, we get into it because we have good taste. But there is this gap.

For the first couple years you make stuff, it’s just not that good. It’s trying to be good, it has potential, but it’s not. But your taste, the thing that got you into the game, is still killer. And your taste is why your work disappoints you. A lot of people never get past this phase, they quit. Most people I know who do interesting, creative work went through years of this. We know our work doesn’t have this special thing that we want it to have. We all go through this. And if you are just starting out or you are still in this phase, you gotta know its normal and the most important thing you can do is do a lot of work. Put yourself on a deadline so that every week you will finish one story.

It is only by going through a volume of work that you will close that gap, and your work will be as good as your ambitions. And I took longer to figure out how to do this than anyone I’ve ever met. It’s gonna take awhile. It’s normal to take awhile. You’ve just gotta fight your way through this”.

Vocabulary

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Taste – the feelings that each person has about what is appealing, attractive, etc. : the feelings that cause someone to like or not like something.

Gap – a space between two people or things.

Couple – two or a few of something.

Killer – very impressive or appealing.

Deadline – a date or time when something must be finished : the last day, hour, or minute that something will be accepted.

Ambitions – a particular goal or aim : something that a person hopes to do or achieve.

Video

Ira Glass on Storytelling from David Shiyang Liu on Vimeo.

 

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