Episode Summary: I talk with a South African about life before and after apartheid.

English Level: B2 🇿🇦🇨🇦

Show Notes:

  1. Shaun Introduction (0:20)
  2. What are some changes you’ve noticed since the last time you were in South Africa? (2:30)
  3. What are your memories from life in South Africa? (5:03)
  4. Can you talk about the uncertainty people felt when Apartheid ended? (9:56)
  5. Did your family consider leaving South Africa after Apartheid ended? (13:31)
  6. What do you tell people who say life was better under the old regime? (18:02)
  7. Is it possible for the different groups in South Africa to co-exist? (24:39)
  8. What is something Germans misunderstand about South Africa? (26:56)
  9. Final Words (29:35)

Vocabulary Words:

  1. Nostalgic (adj.): feeling happy and also slightly sad when you think about things that happened in the past.
  2. Nomad (noun): a member of a group of people who move from one place to another rather than living in one place all of the time:
  3. Foreigner (noun): a person who comes from another country.
  4. Aware (adj.): knowing that something exists, or having knowledge or experience of a particular thing:
  5. Noticeable (adj.): easy to see or recognize.
  6. Arbitrary (adj.): based on chance rather than being planned or based on reason:
  7. Oppressed (adj.): governed in an unfair and cruel way and prevented from having opportunities and freedom:
  8. Uncertainty (noun): a situation in which something is not known, or something that is not known or certain:
  9. Talisman (noun): an object believed to bring good luck or to keep its owner safe from harm
  10. Incredible (adj.): extremely good.
  11. Serene (adj.): peaceful and calm; worried by nothing:
  12. Nepotism (noun): the act of using your power or influence to get good jobs or unfair advantages for members of your own family:
  13. Astounded (adj.): very surprised or shocked.
  14. Disparity (noun): a lack of equality or similarity, especially in a way that is not fair.

Phrases to Remember:

  1. to be left behind: If a person, country, or organization is left behind, they remain at a lower level than others because they are not as quick at understanding things or developing.
  2. to rule over: To exercise absolute authority or control over someone or something.
  3. sheltered existence: To have a life in which you are protected too much and experience very little danger-excitement-or change.
  4. to snowball: increase rapidly in size, intensity, or importance.
  5. to be instrumental: serving as a means of pursuing an aim or policy.
  6. to be well run: managed in a skillful way a well-run organization.
  7. to look out for: be vigilant and take notice.
  8. polar opposite: an idiom often used to describe people and ideas that are opposites.
  9. grassroots-level: the common or ordinary people, especially as contrasted with the leadership or elite of a political party, social organization
  10. bucket list: a number of experiences or achievements that a person hopes to have or accomplish during their lifetime.

Mistake to Avoid:

(incorrect use of a word) economic NOT economical (26:47)

Comprehension Questions:

  1. How long was Shaun away from South Africa before his last trip?
  2. What is a predominant memory from Shaun’s childhood?
  3. When was Mandela elected as president?
  4. (True or False) Shaun knew that apartheid was going on as a young boy.
  5. What did Shaun think about having a black president when he was a child?
  6. What is to blame for the current problems in South Africa?
  7. What is Jacob Zuma most known for?
  8. (True or False) The problem facing South Africa is not enough is being done to bridge the gap between rich and poor.

Question to consider:

What do you know about South Africa and would you like to visit it one day?


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Originally a South African, Shaun has been living in Germany long enough to know a thing or two about integrating, but will also never truly feel like he fits in in Germany. He started The Germany Experience because he loves connecting with people and highlighting the stories that we all can relate to as outsiders in Germany.

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