Views #346 | Intermediate 4

Parasite Child

Heidi and Todd discuss the concept of adults still living with their parents.
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Todd: So Heidi, we're talking about demographics and population. Now we actually both live in Japan. So you are from Mongolia. I'm from the U.S. and we go to the same university. You're a student. I'm a teacher. Now in Japan, have ever heard the term 'parasite child'?

Heidi: Yes, I heard. Yeah.

Todd: Can you explain what parasite child is?

Heidi: Well for me, parasite child is even if you get older, you're still living with your parents and not paying for anything. Just getting money from your parents probably. That's the term of the parasite child.

Todd: Right, exactly. And in Japan, it's also quite a big issue because they have a population that's shrinking, and so they want people to get married and have children, but lots of children actually get a job, are professionals, like doctors and lawyers even, and they still live with their parents, so they don't move out and start families and these are often called a parasite child cause they continue to stay at home. Now do you have this in your country in Mongolia?

Heidi: Well, I don't know if it's called parasite or not, but then in Mongolia, the young couples are still living with their parents, and not paying anything as well, and they're just working and making money for themselves and not paying for the family. Well, the reason why is in Mongolia the apartment cost is really expensive and for the young couples it's really hard to afford for the apartment, so that's probably the reason they are still living with their family.

Todd: Wow, that's interesting. So you're saying they're actually together, like a married couple and they still live with their parents.

Heidi: Yes, that's right.

Todd: And you said the main reason is because the apartments are really expensive?

Heidi: Yes, that's really expensive and even if they get the loan from the bank, they can't pay like less than ten years, so it's kind of hard to like afford for it, so...

Todd: Actually, that's really surprising because as you mentioned earlier, you're country is really big. Like you don't have a problem with land, so you would think that housing would be very cheap?

Heidi: Well, the problem is people are living in the capitol city. Even if you have big land, but the capitol city is really small, and there are so many people who wants to live in the capitol city, and the capitol city land is really expensive, and even if you want to build your own house, it costs a lot so there are not many people who wants to live in another city than Ulon Bator, which is the capitol city of Mongolia.

Todd: Now because it's a big city, is it also hard for people to actually get houses, like they have to live in apartment buildings.

Heidi: Yeah. Mainly Mongolian people are living in the apartments. Yeah.

Todd: Wow, that's really interesting to find out about. It's actually I think quite similar in America surprisingly these days where some people, young people, are starting to live at home.

Learn vocabulary from the lesson!



What are the demographics of your population?

Demographics refers to the make up of a population. It refers to the people of an area by age, sex, race, and so on. Here are some sample sentences:

  1. The demographics of most universities consists of young, smart students from good families.
  2. The demographics of a football match in the Premier League in England is mainly young males between the age of 20 and 40.

shrinking (to shrink)


They have a population that's shrinking.

When something shrinks it gets smaller in size. If you put clothes in hot water, sometimes they shrink. If the population of a city gets smaller each year because people move out of the city, then the city population is shrinking. Shrink is an irregular verb, so you have the verb forms shrink, shrank and shrunk. Here are some sample sentences.

  1. My waist is shrinking because now I walk to work.
  2. My shirt has shrunk so much, I can't wear it anymore.

move out


They still live with their parents, so they don't move out.

This phrasal verb, move out, means to leave one's house or residence for another house or residence. The term move out often refers to young people leaving their parents home to live on their own. Notice the following sample sentence:

In the United States, most teens move out of their parents house by the time they are 21, but with the bad economy, many young people do not move out until much later.

you would think


There is a lot of land, so you would think that housing would be very cheap.

The phrase, you would think, lets the speaker know what is being said is not logical. Here are some sample sentences:

  1. In the United States, all supermarkets have a wide variety of cheap fruits and vegetables, so you would think people would eat healthily, but in reality they don't.
  2. Bob got a promotion, so you would think he would be happy, but he is not because he does not want extra work.

find out about


That is interesting to find out about.

When you find out about something you get information about it. Notice this is a three-part phrasal verb for it has three words. Here are some sample sentences:

  1. You should find out about a job, before you start working there.
  2. My wife found out about my affair, so we are getting a divorce.

Vocabulary Quiz

You would think • shrinking • move out
find out • demographics
  1. Most children of the house by the age of 20.
  2. he can surf because he is from Hawaii, but he cannot.
  3. The of the city is changing due to immigration.
  4. I need to my schedule before the term starts.
  5. The number of jobs in farming is .

Answer the following questions about the interview.

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