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580 The Irish Economy


Marion talks about the growing Irish economy.

Todd: Hey, Marion, I was reading in the newspaper the other day that the economy in Ireland is doing really good.

Marion: Yeah, it has been doing really well now for quite awhile, for a number of years. We call it the Celtic tiger phenomenon. Yeah.

Todd: That's cute. The Celtic tiger in reference to the Asian tiger (yeah) which used to be the growing Asian economies.

Marion: Yeah, exactly. So Ireland kind of has that place in Europe at the moment, has had like I say for quite a few years now.

Todd: Like what industries are going really well in Ireland. What's making this happen?

Marion: Above all, the computer industry. Yeah, I mean, we have lots of computer companies, companies making those computer chips.

Todd: Right, right.

Marion: I think actually I read somewhere that Ireland is the number one producing country of either those computer chips or some other element of a computer, cause I was very surprised and shocked that my small country could be number one in that arena, so we also have quite a number of people who move to Ireland from other places in Europe so we have a lot of speakers of different languages in Ireland and that has been used to set up call centers so for example, if you buy a mobile phone in Italy and something goes wrong with your mobile phone, you ring up a help desk, and say, "Oh, sorry, my phone is broken, you know, can you help me?" and the person who responds to you will probably be sitting in a call center in Ireland.

Todd: That's pretty cool.

Marion: Yeah, there's so many of them in Ireland. Actually, I've worked for three of them at different stages of my life, so we have ones for computer companies, for mobile phone companies, and what else, for some insurance companies actually, and banks. Yeah.

Todd: That's pretty cool. Actually, I read that one of the reasons for the turn around is the good university system, or the education system in Ireland is quite top notch.

Marion: Yeah, well, I mean, education has been very important all the way along in Ireland because of the fact that Irish people weren't allowed to have an education under british rule. Then once we got independence, you know, all along people were fighting to have education for their children and children used to be taught in hedge schools so the teachers were inside of a field basically, teaching kids and then if the policeman came of something, everybody would scatter, and you know, they didn't have anything, any like resources or anything, so in the minds of Irish people I think education has a a special place, and it is true that the university system is very well thought of and very well recognized throughout the rest of Europe I think.

Todd: Ah, well, sounds good. Thanks Marion.

Learn Vocabulary from the lesson

phenomenon

We call it the Celtic tiger phenomenon.

A 'phenomenon' is an unusual or remarkable occurrence.  Notice the following:

  1. What's the most incredible phenomenon you've ever seen?
  2. The fact that the pilot survived the plane crash is a real phenomenon.

arena

I was very surprised and shocked that my small country could be number one in that arena.

In this case, 'arena' can be replaced with area of competition.  This could be physical competition, like in the Olympics or a more indirect competition, such as economics.  Notice the following:

  1. In the financial arena he is below average, but he makes me laugh.
  2. He's never been very good in the dating arena.

turn around

I read that one of the reasons for the turn around is the good university system.

A 'turn around' is when something that is worsening turns and begins to improve or vice versa.  We use this phrase to a lot to talk about the economy.  Notice the following:

  1. This year the company made an even better turn around than expected.
  2. We are expecting a turn around in the second half of the game.

top notch

The education system in Ireland is quite top notch.

If something is 'top notch,' it is of a very good quality or level.  Notice the following:

  1. You are a top notch friend.
  2. The party last night was top notch.

well thought of

It is true that the university system is very well thought of and very well recognized throughout the rest of Europe.

If you are 'well thought of,' you have a good reputation and others think highly of you.  Notice the following:

  1. Which computer company is the most well thought of?
  2. She was never very well thought of as an author, but I liked her books.

 

Answer these questions about the interview.

Keep Listening

Here are some more great lessons!

Vocabulary Challenge

Complete the sentences with the words below.
phenomenon • arena • turn around
notch • thought
  1. He found a job easily, because he went to a notch university.
  2. A eclipse of the sun is a that will occur very few times in your life.
  3. There was a huge near the end of the game, and we ended up winning.
  4. In the of the art world, he is very respected.
  5. Their company is very well of in the world of graphic design.