Mariel: Oh, yeah. Yes, I am.
Todd: What city are you from?
Mariel: I live in a city called Espoo, which is right next to Helsinki, but I was born in the center of Finland in a place called Jyvaskyla.
Todd: Right in the middle?
Mariel: Yeah, pretty much right in the middle.
Todd: So is that way out in nature in the forest, or is it a big city?
Mariel: It's a reasonable size city, maybe the fifth largest in Finland, but it is very, a very natural place still. It's surrounded by lakes and forests and lots of cliffs and really beautiful scenery. Yeah.
Todd: Well, that sounds nice.
Mariel: Yeah. Yeah, I love it there. I go back there every year to visit my hometown.
Todd: Now does your family still live in your hometown?
Mariel: No, they live down south near Helsinki.
Todd: OK, is that common? Everybody moves to the big city.
Mariel: Pretty much, yeah. Especially young people. They want to get jobs and go to schools near Helsinki. Yeah.
Todd: Now is Finland part of the European Union?
Mariel: Yes, it is since 1995.
Todd: OK, so because it's part of the European Union do a lot of young people decide to leave Finland and go live in other countries?
Mariel: The Finnish young people are actually very outgoing and they're very interested foreign cultures so a lot of people take a year or two just to travel, just to see the world, visit some places, and yeah, a lot of people go out to other countries to study as well. Yep, mainly Europe but also a lot of my friends for example went to India for six months or to South America.
Todd: OK. Sounds fun.
Todd: But because you're in the European Union you can go live in France or Germany or Spain if you want, correct?
Mariel: Yeah. It's very easy. Just go.
Todd: But do most Finnish people prefer to stay in Finland or do a lot of people like to go move to warmer climates?
Mariel: Finnish people are very patriotic. We really love our country. We like to visit other places but I think even if we live abroad for a long time most people always some back to Finland. I think especially if they want to have a family because Finland is a very safe place and it's very good to raise your kids in Finland.
Todd: Sounds like a nice place.
Mariel: Yeah, I think so. You should come and visit.
Todd: Oh, I'd love to.
Pretty much right in the middle.
The term 'pretty much' is similar in meaning 'almost'. Notice the following:
- It's pretty much finished.
- It's almost finished.
It's a reasonable size city.
When something is reasonable, that means we are happy with it or it is acceptable. Notice the following:
- That's a reasonable price.
- He's a reasonable guy.
Yep, mainly Europe.
'Yep' simply means 'yes'. It is informal and used more frequently in spoken rather than written English. Notice the following:
- Yep, I agree.
- Yep, It is.
Finnish people are very patriotic.
People who are patriotic love their country. Notice the following:
- Younger people seem less patriotic.
- My dad's really patriotic.
It's good to raise your kids in Finland..
To 'raise your kids' means to take care of them as they grow up. Notice the following:
- It's expensive to raise kids these days.
- I could never raise kids on my salary.