001 – Noisy Neighbors – Real English Conversations


Hi, Lori here with another hot, steaming fresh edition of Real English Conversations. Remember, you can find the full transcript at our website, Better at English dot com.

As you can hear, my cold is almost better now. Thanks to Katja and Marco for the nice get well wishes!

Today’s conversation is between me and my friend Michael. We discuss my annoying neighbor and his habit of playing a very irritating song at very high volume, usually on Friday and Saturday evenings. I’m pretty sure it’s a live version, too, so it’s much longer than the original, thus extending my torture.

My best guess is that he plays it to get himself in the party mood. Here in Sweden, people usually “party” at home, that is, sit around and drink with their friends and make a lot of noise, until around 11 pm. After that, they go out to the bars, pubs and clubs. I think that’s because in Sweden, it’s so darn expensive to buy drinks when you’re out. So it’s good to drink a load of cheap alcohol at home to get a good healthy buzz going before you out on the town. I’m telling you this as a form of public service announcement in case you ever decide to come to Sweden. Now you know what to do when it’s time to party…

Right then! Let’s get on with it: here’s the conversation.

Conversation transcript

Michael: So, do you live in a house or an apartment?

Lori: I live in an apartment.

M: Okay but, but I thought you said that you were a musician? How do you get around playing your music when you live in an apartment?

L: Well, well, I’m lucky because, umm, with the equipment I use – I can use headphones to practice so I don’t need to make a lot of noise and, and bother the neighbors.

M: Okay, that’s good because that’s, that’s yeah, that, I would think that would be a problem for somebody playing music.

L: Oh man, tell me about it! I have this neighbor — I’m not sure which one it is, if he’s the one directly above me or if he’s on one of the adjoining apartments, but every weekend – Friday, five, six p.m. he’s getting ready to party. And the way he gets ready to party — You know that song “Relax” by…who who’s that, what, “Relax”?

M: Frankie Goes To Hollywood? That one?

L: Oh my God, yeah yeah yeah… yeah

M: From the 80s?

L: Yeah [sings] “Relax, don’t do it…” You know that song?

M: I’m afraid I do.

L: He blasts that song so loud. Like, over and over and over again. Every weekend. And it drives me crazy. And…

M: I, I guess that’s his “getting-ready-to-go-out” music.

L: It must be. But it’s SO annoying. I mean, ANY song but “Relax”!


Vocabulary list

Get around
Used this way, to get around means to avoid or solve a problem. Lori gets around the problem of making noise that would annoy the neighbors by using headphones when she practices.
If you bother someone, you annoy, irritate, or disturb them.
Tell me about it!
If someone tells you something that you agree strongly with, you can say “Tell me about it!” You often say this before you start talking about your own experiences with the topic, just like Lori does here.
Very near, next to, or touching. Lori means the apartments (flats) that are next to hers, the ones that share dividing walls.
The word party can be used as a verb. When someone from southern California talks about partying, they mean engaging in adult-type parties, usually involving lots of alcohol, music, and adult socializing.
I’m afraid

A synonym for “unfortunately.” Michael means that he is not happy about knowing the song Relax, probably because he hates the song.
To blast something means (in this case) to play audio at very high volume. Lori’s neighbor blasts the song “Relax” on his stereo. (Sometimes she gets her revenge by blasting Rammstein.) She has another neighbor whose TV is always blasting Dr. Phil (the TV show) in the afternoons.
Drives me crazy
If something drives you crazy, it makes you feel extremely irritated, frustrated, annoyed, or angry.
Lori uses the modal verb must to show that she is very confident that she knows the truth about her neighbor’s reason for blasting “Relax,” but not 100% sure.
Any song but “Relax”
The Any X but Y construction means that you would prefer any X to Y. Lori would prefer her neighbor to play any song but the “Relax.”

Thanks for checking out this edition of Real English Conversations here at Better at English dot com. Before I sign off, I’ve got a couple of favors to ask. I recently posted a question on the website, asking my site visitors about their favorite books in English. It would be great if you listeners could stop by the website and post your favorite books in the comments section, or just send me an email and let me know. I mainly read a lot of heavy, dry non-fiction, so I’m not very good at recommending light reading for pleasure. So I’d really value the input from all you non-native speaker listeners out there.

My second favor is this: I wonder how my listeners would feel if there was some mild swear words in the podcast. I don’t mean gross profanity or the F word or anything like that, but just normal everyday swear words that you might run across in everyday conversation. I think it’s important for you to be aware of these words and understand them as part of your all-round education in conversational English. But I would hate to post something that would offend my listeners. So please email me at info at better a English dot com or go to the website and comment and let me know what you think. I’d really appreciate your input!

That’s all for today — see you next time!