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Tuesday, April 14, 2009

English Conversation - A New Drink

Hello, this is Fred.

My name's Fred; I'm an American English teacher here in Vietnam. Now I also teach online at my website:

Today I have something interesting here at my desk. I live in Vietnam so I'm learning Vietnamese and I'm also learning about Vietnamese culture. When you learn about English you also learn English or, you know, Western culture, American culture, English culture, whatever.

And so sometimes you learn about some new foods or new things you've never seen before.

What I have here is this strange drink that we bought on the street today. It looks like coffee but it's not coffee. I've never tried it before, but my wife insists that it's good for me, so I must drink it.

I don't know what to call it. I have the Vietnamese name; in Vietnamese it's called 'che dau den.' I didn't know what it was when we bought it on the street, but we brought it home and I see inside- can you see that? It has beans. What are those? Not kidney beans, what are they called? Black beans? I'm not sure.

So, in English there would be no way to translate this. I mean, what would you call this in English? We don't have it, so there's no word for it. I would call this, in English, 'a drink made from black beans and sugar.' You know? There's no word for it.

Black beans... okay. Here, I'll give it a try and see how does it taste? I'm a little bit scared. New things, you know? New culture, new language...

Okay, let me try.

Wow! That's kind of good. Kind of good! Let me try some beans. My wife, she put it on ice because it makes it a little more tasty. Here, I'll try some beans. It's kind of sweet, has sugar in there, water and beans. I can't taste much else, so maybe that's all it is, is beans and water... Actually, that's kind of good. It's tasty. Because it's sweet.

I just wanted to show you my new drink. I would translate it into English, but there's no translation. Sometimes you just have to make up new words in your own language to describe something. It's 'a drink made from black beans and water and sugar.'

Okay, thanks a lot. Once again, my name's Fred. It's spelled F-R-E-D. I'm an American; I've been teaching English in Vietnam since 2001.

Come by my website:, sign up for some lessons, and let's talk about English together, study English together.

Okay, thanks. Bye bye.