How Do You Start A Conversation...

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How Do You Start A Conversation...

Postby Guinness Fan » Fri Oct 25, 2013 2:35 pm

Where I work, I'm one of the very few native English speakers....Which is cool ~ but, at times, frustrating...Every morning I meet with colleagues from all over Europe (who are not native English speakers) for a cup of coffee and a congenial chat.... Potlitics are pretty much off-limits, but the topics we discuss are far ranging and there's no "political corectness" as both males and females take part in the conversations...

As one of the few native English speakers, I'm running out of generic topics to stimulate discussion with my non-native English speaking colleagues (who want to practice their basic English speaking skills)... This week we've discussed;
(a) The need for kids to learn a second language (yeah for us English speakers! ~ all present were in favour of English as a second language)
(b) Is the Euro becoming the currency of choice over the Dollar?
(c) The price of a man's haircut (sorry ladies - there were no women present)...
(d) How Europe has changed (politically, militarily, economically) since the "Wall" has come down

So, being the native English speaker, and host of the morning coffee (and running out of topics), I'm looking for recommendations as to future topics of conversation.... that are non-political/ "politically correct" and appropriate for Eastern & Western Europeans....

Any recommendations for topics?...............
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Re: How Do You Start A Conversation...

Postby olywaguy » Fri Oct 25, 2013 7:31 pm

--Sex and dating practices of different countries would be of interest to me.
--Body language and gestures of different cultures.
--Art
--Slang and speech patterns
--Accents
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Re: How Do You Start A Conversation...

Postby nimby » Sat Oct 26, 2013 9:20 am

I'm terrible at starting conversations with strangers. I'm too shy. But with friends, I usually pick a controversial topics, blurt out an unpopular opinion, and let things roll from there.
"Why do we have asteroids in the hemisphere and hemmorroids in the a$$ ? "
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Re: How Do You Start A Conversation...

Postby Guinness Fan » Wed Oct 30, 2013 5:20 pm

Nimby; I'm surprised ~ you don't seem like the shy type!
olywaguy; Thanks for the suggestions! I'll try and work them into topics of conversations. Trying to find "common ground" to start a conversation amongst Eastern/Western and non-Europeans should be an Olympic-level sport.
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Re: How Do You Start A Conversation...

Postby mickk3 » Fri Nov 22, 2013 9:24 pm

*how is your countrys most popular beer representative of your country (inspired by your Guinness slogan - although I prefer Smithwicks, meself)?

*if your army was filled solely with women, no men, what would the effect be on the election process in your country?

*how does climate change already effect your personal finances?

*who's had a more adverse effect on the state of the modern world; Adolph Hitler or George W Bush?

*of the following list, which invention changed the world most profoundly, and why -
a)internet
b)penicillin
c)the internal combustion engine
d)the telephone
e)contraseptives
f)the wheel
g)the compass
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Re: How Do You Start A Conversation...

Postby Guinness Fan » Mon Nov 25, 2013 3:50 pm

Olywaguy - Thanks - slang is a common conversation-starter at our morning coffee sessions. I'm often asked to expain "American slang" that is used on TV and in movies...Many a time I've been lost for words as I've never heard the expression before....

Mick3 - EXCELLENT ideas - THANKS! And I'll add airconditioning to your list of things that have changed the world....
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Re: How Do You Start A Conversation...

Postby olywaguy » Tue Nov 26, 2013 12:01 am

What slang are they asking you to explain?
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Re: How Do You Start A Conversation...

Postby Guinness Fan » Tue Nov 26, 2013 12:36 pm

Ah, the list is large...Here's a few recent examples;
- to stop on a dime
- whip a cookie
- rap sheet
-riding shotgun
- a backhanded compliment
- cut the cheese
- a deadbeat dad
- to dis someone
- redneck
- moolah
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Re: How Do You Start A Conversation...

Postby olywaguy » Tue Nov 26, 2013 10:46 pm

Those would be hard to explain for sure. Maybe this can help.

http://onlineslangdictionary.com/

However, I've never heard of "whip a cookie." That sounds British to me.
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Re: How Do You Start A Conversation...

Postby DeckApe » Tue Dec 03, 2013 8:54 am

I had to look up "whip a cookie" myself. Apparently it's the same as spinning a doughnut.*

*Note to the non-US crowd: that's standing on the brake and gas simultaneously in one's vehicle and turning the wheel all the way to the left or right and spinning the car around in a circle, often leaving a certain amount of rubber behind on the asphalt.
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Re: How Do You Start A Conversation...

Postby nimby » Thu Dec 05, 2013 10:01 pm

Thanks. I had no idea what that meant and was too afraid to ask. :D
"Why do we have asteroids in the hemisphere and hemmorroids in the a$$ ? "
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Re: How Do You Start A Conversation...

Postby DeckApe » Wed Dec 11, 2013 12:32 pm

My pleasure. I had to have a Canadian explain "hoop" to me, so we're even. :shock: :lol:
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Re: How Do You Start A Conversation...

Postby nimby » Wed Dec 11, 2013 1:52 pm

DeckApe wrote:My pleasure. I had to have a Canadian explain "hoop" to me, so we're even. :shock: :lol:

I thought that was an generic gay man's term. Silly me. :oops:
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Re: How Do You Start A Conversation...

Postby DeckApe » Sun Dec 15, 2013 6:15 pm

Nope, the gentleman who explained it is hetero. :D
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