Business English Course

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A:  Let me get the first round

B:  Don’t worry about it, tonight’s on me.  I’m sure you’ve had enough trouble with your exporting business.

A:  Thanks man.  I appreciate it.  It’s been pretty tough with the increased labor costs, the high price of oil, and the new import tariffs that many of the importing countries have.

B:  What about the higher currency?  Has that made it less competitive?

A:  Actually, we’re pretty lucky with that.  We import a lot of our inputs, which allows us to lower our prices.  It offsets a lot of our losses from the higher currency.  

B:  Are you still profiting?

A:  A little bit but the margins are razor thin.  The good thing is that it forces some of the weaker players out of the game.  We’ve learned to be more efficient and when the situation improves for exporters I think we’ll be in better shape than ever.  A:  Let me get the first round. 

B:  Don’t worry about it, tonight’s on me.  I’m sure you’ve had enough trouble with your exporting business.

A:  Thanks man.  I appreciate it.  It’s been pretty tough with the increased labor costs, the high price of oil, and the new import tariffs that many of the importing countries have.

 


Key vocabulary and phrases that are discussed in the podcast:

First round:  This refers to the first time buying drinks in a bar.  In western culture, if you go to a bar with your friends, you often order one drink for each person.  This is called a “round”.  When everyone finishes their first drink, someone might offer to pay for the “second round”.  People often take turns paying for rounds.

On me:  If someone says this is “on me”, it means that the person will pay for it.  Don’t worry, dinner is on me tonight.  That means, “I will pay for the dinner tonight”.

Man:  Sometimes male friends call each other “man” when they are talking to each other in a casual situation.  “thanks man” or “How’s it going man” are common things to hear between male friends.  Girls usually don’t use this term to address their male friends.

Import tariffs:  This is a type of tax that is paid when a product is imported.  Countries use import tariffs to make their own local products more competitive.  This is a hotly debated topic.  Many people disagree with any import tariffs and would only like to see pure competition. 

Currency:  A word that means “the type of money”.  What kind of currency is your bank account in?  My bank account is in Canadian dollars. 
Excuse me, which kinds of currency will you accept?
We accept all the major currencies.

Inputs:  The materials that are used to make a finished product.  For example, If you were making Coca cola, two of the inputs would be sugar and water.  Sometimes labor costs and any other thing that is paid for such as electricity are referred to as inputs.

Offsets:  Something that counteracts against or balances something else.  I lost money in the stock market, but the price of my house increased which helped to offset some of that loss.

Margins:  This is referring to profit margin.  This is the difference between the selling price and the cost of making something.  If it costs you $2.00 to make something and you sell it for $2.01, that is a very thin margin.  If you make something for $1.00 and sell it for $25.00, that is a huge profit margin.

Razor thin:  Razor thin is a way to describe something that is extremely thin.  “As thin as a razorblade”.

Forces some of the weaker players out of the game:  The different competitors are often referred to as players in the marketplace.  The competition is sometimes referred to as the “game”.  Ford and General Motors are two huge players in the Auto industry.

Better shape:  A better position or a better situation.  If we can cut our costs, I think we’ll be in pretty good shape next year.

 

 


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