I DIG ENGLISH - just a cool blog about English

I hope you enjoy reading this blog
half as much as I enjoy writing it for you.
Because I have a ball.


Thursday, May 31, 2012

TV Shows: The Ellen DeGeneres Show

Hi guys!


I don't know how to start so I will treat you to a little joke. It's a conversation really:

Me: We're going to the cinema tonight.
Mum: What movie are you going to watch?
Me: The Dictator
Mum: Well, I don't know about that. Isn't it a little bit brutal for you?
Me: Mum, you know Borat, the guy in the mankini. He's in it.
Mum: Oh, ok.

to treat somebody to – zafundować (to give/ to buy)
I don't know about that – sama nie wiem (I'm not sure about that.)
a mankini – a male bikini


So with the introduction out of the way, we can move on to today's topic – American TV shows. I know what you're going to say: they're too happy and contrived and they sugar-coat the reality. I know that and to that I say – who cares? I'll still watch them ;)

out of the way – za nami (done/ finished)
contrived – sztuczne, wymuszone (fake, insincere)
to sugar-coat – upiększać (to make something seem more positive and pleasant that it really is)

But seriously, if you ever think about improving your listening or speaking skills (I mean everyday conversation), TV shows are the best option for you. Although they're scripted, they're usually fast-paced and there's a lot banter and humour to keep you entertained. If you have problems getting all the jokes and cultural references, don't worry. You don't have to get them all at first. But I can promise you that the ones you get will get stuck in your head for a long time and that's a good thing of course.

scripted – odgrywane wg scenariusza (planned and written in advance)
fast-paced – dynamiczny, szybki (dynamic, fast)
banter – przekomarzanie się (conversation which is funny and not serious)
to keep somebody entertained – zabawiać kogoś (to make somebody have a good time)
to get (a joke) – zrozumieć (understand)
a cultural reference – nawiązanie do kultury danego kraju (a mention of a fact related to the culture of a given country)
to get stuck in your head – pozostawać w pamięci/ głowie (to stay in your memory)



My favourite TV show of the moment is the Ellen DeGeneres Show. If you doubt that a female host can be funny, you should check Ellen out. Ironically, it's the moments when she decides to just stay silent (not saying anything) and make a face instead that are the funniest to me. Also, Ellen has this “I don't take myself too seriously” vibe, which is very attractive and puts her guests at ease. Her clothes are a good manifestation of that too. (She's a tomboy.) And I can't go without mentioning that she's very generous both to her guests and the audience, showering everybody who visits the studio with gifts.

a host – gospodarz
to make a face – zrobić minę
to have this “I don't take myself too seriously” vibe – wydaje się, że ktoś nie traktuje siebie zbyt poważnie (to seem to not take oneself too seriously)
to put somebody at ease – sprawiać, że ktoś czuje się z nami swobodnie (to make somebody feel comfortable)
be a manifestation of something – być przejawem, oznaką czegoś (a sign of something, proof of something)
a tomboy – chłopczyca (a boyish girl)
generous – hojny (willing to share with others)
to shower somebody with gifts – obdarowywać (to give a lot of presents to someone)

I've been subscribed to her YouTube channel for quite some time now and I must say I really enjoy the videos that get posted. I don't watch all of them (a couple of videos are posted on most days). I just watch my favourite segments and interviews that are of interest to me. I'm going to share a few of them so that you can get an idea of what Ellen's like and maybe some of you will decide to give her show a try too ;)

of interest to – interesujące dla (interesting to)
to get an idea of what Ellen's like – przekonać się, jaką prowadzącą jest Ellen (to see what kind of person Ellen is)
to give something a try – spróbować czegoś (to try something new)


Now that's my favourite segment. Ellen is very keen on playing games with her guests and she's quite a competitive player ;)

In the following vid, Ellen plays Last Word with Vince Vaughn. In the game, you get a category and you take turns saying words related to that category for 30 seconds. The person who gets to say the last word wins. The categories in this vid are: summer activities and things you see on the beach. Watch the vid to hear Ellen say “butt cracks” and Vince say “undesirables in a speedo”.

to be keen on something – lubić coś (to like, to enjoy)
competitive – lubiący rywalizację (wanting to win)
to take turns doing something – robić coś na zmianę (when one person does something and then, when he/ she finishes, another person does the same thing)
a butt crack – rowek;) (I can't believe I'm translating this – the middle of one's butt)
undesirables – osoby niepożądane (people whose behaviour or appearance makes them unacceptable in society or at a particular occasion)

In this vid Ellen plays Taboo with Katy Perry. Taboo is about guessing secret words that are known and explained by one player. The only twist is that some words are taboo – they can't be used to describe the secret words. Watch the vid to see how difficult it is to explain the words “tickle” and “skinny-dip”.

a twist – nieoczekiwany zwrot, komplikacja (a complication)
to tickle – łaskotać (to touch someone lightly with your fingers, making them slightly uncomfortable and often making them laugh)
to skinny-dip – pływać nago (to swim naked)

In the following video, Ellen and Carrie Underwood play Guess the Animal Noise – a game in which one player imitates animal sounds and the other needs to guess the animal. Watch for the giggles because the video is quite funny.

for the giggles – dla śmiechu (in order to laugh)


Ellen loves discussing babies and animals with her guests. Watch the following clip of her interviewing Charlize Theron, in which Charlize talks about how her dogs help her out with her baby boy. She mentions how one dog steals the baby's pacifiers and the other joins the baby in crying.

overload – nadmiar (too much of something)
a baby boy – synek
a pacifier – smoczek

In the following clip, Ellen talks to Will Smith, who discusses his kids, Jaden and Willow, and the many animals his family owns : cats, boa constrictors, dogs, fish, tortoises and birds. He also tells a funny anecdote about a visit to the White House and the aliens.

a boa constrictor – boa dusiciel
the aliens – kosmici (UFO)


Another funny segment is Clumsy Thumbsy, in which Ellen shows text message conversations go wrong. All because of AutoCorrect, which is supposed to help you save time but doesn't save you the embarrassment.

clumsy – niezdarny (awkward)
a thumb – kciuk
to save the embarrassment – zaoszczędzić wstydu (to prevent someone from feeling ashamed)




Ok, I guess that's all about Ellen for now. Let me know which vid is your favourite. I could also link similar game posts on my Facebook, so let me know if you would like that.

Have a great rest of the week!



  1. Didn't know Borat's costiume is called a mankini. Thanks!