166 Norway

Christian talks a little about his country and his hometown.


Todd: OK, Hello!

Christian: Hello!

Todd: What's your name?

Christian: I'm Christian.

Todd: Hey, Christian. And now Christian, where are you from?

Christian: I'm from Norway.

Todd: Norway!

Christian: Yeah!

Todd: Wow, what city in Norway?

Christian: It's called Proshkura.

Todd: Porshkura.

Christian: Yes, it's close to the capital city, Oslo. About 150 kilometers south of Oslo.

Todd: How many people live in this city?

Christian: In my city, 35,000 people.

Todd: Oh, really. (Yeah) Oh, wow. That's pretty small.

Christian: Pretty small. The biggest city in Norway is Oslo and it has 500,000 people.

Todd: That's the biggest!

Christian: That's the biggest. In total, we have 4 and half million people in Norway.

Todd: That must be nice being from a small country, I mean big in land but small in people.

Christian: It's nice. It's not as crowded as Tokyo to put it that way.

Todd: Yeah, so Tokyo's what, three times the people.

Christian: Three times the population of the country, yeah.

Todd: Wow. That's crazy. So what's the best thing about Norway?

Christian: The best thing about Norway, the clean air, the blond girls, and the mountains.

Todd: Do you go in the mountains a lot? Do you mountain climb or hike?

Christian: I ski. I ski as often as I can. Probably once a year I go, try to go skiing when I home, and it's great, I enjoy it, I've been doing it all my life so, yeah.

Todd: So this is downhill skiing.

Christian: Downhill skiing, yeah.

Todd: Do you ever do cross-country skiing?

Christian: Sometimes, I used to do a lot of cross-country skiing when I was younger, but as I got older, it was more downhill skiing. It's a bit easier. Less physical.

Todd: OK, thanks Christian.

Learn Vocabulary from the lesson

to put it that way

Norway is not as crowded as Tokyo to put it that way.

We use 'put something that way' is to explain it in a way that they person you are talking to will understand better. In the case of the example the person you are speaking to is familiar with Tokyo, but not Norway. Notice the following:

  1. Let me put it this way, it's easier than climbing a mountain.
  2. Well, when you put it that way I can understand your point.

three times

Tokyo's three times the population of Norway.

If the population of one city is "three times" bigger than another city then it has 300% more people.  For example, if Norway had a population of 1 then Tokyo would have a population of 3 because 1 x 3 = 3.  Notice the following:

  1. Today feels three times longer because I am sick.
  2. His apartment is three times bigger than mine.

clean air

The best thing about Norway is the clean air.

"Clean air" is air that does not have contamination.  Notice the following:

  1. We prefer to do exercise in a place with clean air.
  2. The leave the city every weekend to enjoy the clean air of the country.

cross-country skiing

I used to do a lot of cross country skiing.

"Cross-country skiing" is skiing on flat land instead of down a hill.  You use your body strength to push you forward.  Notice the following:

  1. There is an excellent cross country skiing trail through the woods.
  2. We went cross-country skiing after the first snowstorm.


Downhill skiing is a bit easier, less physical.

When an activity requires a lot of movement and strength it is a physical activity.  Downhill skiing is less physical because you don't have to move your body a lot.  Notice the following:

  1. I didn't know that swimming was really physical.
  2. He was very tired after a day of physical work around the house.


Answer the following questions about the interview.

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Vocabulary Challenge

Complete the sentences with the words below.
 that way • four times • clean air
cross country • physical
  1. activity helps me with stress.
  2. skiing is really exhausting.
  3. I've eaten pasta already this week.
  4. When you put it it seems like a really bad plan.
  5. It is nice to run in the in the mountains.