807 Alaska


Asako talks about her time living in Alaska, the last frontier in America.

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Todd: So, Asako, you lived in the United States for a long time.

Asako: For six years.

Todd: That's a pretty long time.

Asako: That's right.

Todd: Where did you live?

Asako: I lived in Alaska.

Todd: Alaska.

Asako: That's right.

Todd: The last frontier.

Asako: I'm an unusual one.

Todd: So, yeah, cause usually when people go and live in America for a long time, they don't choose Alaska.

Asako: Yeah, that's right, but Alaska is such a beautiful state.

Todd: Why did you choose Alaska?

Asako: Well, I went to university there. There was a university. I wanted to go. That is the reason.

Todd: And then you stayed for six years.

Asako: I fell in love.

Todd: Wow!

Asako: Just beautiful. That's it. Just beautiful.

Todd: So what do you remember most about Alaska?

Asako: Wilderness. Mountains. Glaciers. Mosquitos.

Todd: Mosquitos?

Asako: Mosquitos. Big ones. Really big. You can't see such a big mosquito anywhere else on this island, not on any other place, but huge mosquitos. Some people say mosquitos are actually the state birds of Alaska.

Todd: The state bird. Really. So obviously there's lots of beautiful things and the mosquitos, but what else? Like what was the city like? I mean, was it a big city or a small city?

Asako: Well, the biggest city is called Anchorage, and... but it's not really big-big. In the middle... the biggest street in Anchorage you can see moose.

Todd: You can see moose?

Asako: Yeah.

Todd: Just walking around.

Asako: Walking around. Exactly.

Todd: In the city there's moose?

Asako: Yes. Exactly.

Todd: Now can you go up and pet them like....

Asako: No, never. Never. They are wild things. You can't pet them, but, I mean, they are very, very calm and nice animals but if you meet a mother moose and if there are children, her children are around, they can be really mean. So you don't really pet them. You can look at them and admire them, but that's it. Beautiful things.

Todd: Well, that's good to know.

Learn Vocabulary from the lesson

a pretty long time

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She lived in Alaska for a pretty long time.

We use the adverb 'pretty' to make an adjective a little weaker. For example: pretty big / big / very big, or pretty good /good /very good.  Notice the following:

  1. The weather's pretty hot today.
  2. That's a pretty cool song.

The last frontier

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Alaska is the last frontier.

A 'frontier' is a large, natural, undeveloped area without people.  Alaska is considered the 'last frontier' of the United States because it has some of the only untouched land.  Notice the following:

  1. Actually, the last frontier for humans is space.
  2. My friend says the last frontier on earth is under the sea.

I fell in love

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Asako says I fell in love.

When we begin to develop strong feelings of love we say that we fall in love. We often use the phrase as an informal idiom.  Notice the following:

  1. I fell in love with Italy.
  2. She fell in love with the new iPad.

Big ones

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Mosquitoes. Big ones.

We use the term 'ones' to talk about countable nouns.  Notice the following:

  1. Mountains, big ones.
  2. Jeans, black ones.

Some people say

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Some people say mosquitoes are the state birds.

What 'some people say' is a general opinion of some people about a topic.  Notice the following:

  1. Some people say Italian food is the best in the world.
  2. I don't care what some people say.
Answer the following questions about the interview.

Keep Listening

Below are some more great lessons!

Vocabulary Challenge

Complete the sentences with the words below.
long time • last frontier • fell in love
red ones • people say
  1. They with Greece immediately.
  2. Please bring my new shoes, the .
  3. that he never recovered after his wife died.
  4. She went away for a after she graduated.
  5. Very adventurous people have the desire to explore the .