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Improve your vocabulary, listening or reading skills with the quizzes below.
Vocabulary Quiz
absorbed • blunt • small talk
delve • immigrants
  1. We aren't very close.  All we ever say is just .
  2. Now, let's into the problem here.
  3. She was so in her book that she didn't even hear him come home.
  4. Life can be very difficult for in the United States.
  5. He is so when he speaks that some people think he is rude.
Comprehension Quiz
Answer the following questions about the interview.
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861 Tokyo vs. New York
Mari grew up in both Tokyo and NYC and discusses the difference between the two.

  • Transcript
  • Audio Notes
Vocabulary notes (text only) explain key vocabulary and phrases from the interview.


Even if they're absorbed they'll tell you.

When we are 'absorbed' in something, we give it all of our attention and don't notice other people or things around us.  Notice the following:

  1. He was absorbed in the newspaper.
  2. They were absorbed in serious conversation.


They'll be very blunt.

In speech, the word 'blunt' means to be very short and direct.  Notice the following:

  1. His blunt response sounded impolite.
  2. I'll be blunt: the answer is no.

make small talk

People make small talk.

'Small talk' is friendly conversation between people who often don't know each other, such as "The weather's nice today, isn't it?"  Notice the following:

  1. They drank coffee and made small talk.
  2. I'm not good at making small talk.

delve into your personal life

They don't delve into your personal life.

When we 'delve into' something, that means we try to learn more information.  Notice the following:

  1. During the interview, they began to delve into his personal life.
  2. While making small talk, I rarely delve into anyone's personal life.

city of immigrants

New York City is a city of immigrants.

'Immigrants' are people who move to another country to live and work. Often these people become citizens of the new country.  Notice the following:

  1. America is actually a country of immigrants.
  2. He was born in a city of immigrants.