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General Listening Quiz

“Japanese Public Bath – Script”

Listening Exercise

Listen to the recording and read along with the conversation. Review the key vocabulary and the sample sentences. The story describes the very old-style baths that are often not seen today.

Nate: Hey Phil: Have you ever been to a Japanese public bath? I hear it’s quite an experience.

Phil: Yes, and what an experience.

Nate: What do you mean?

Phil: Well, it’s nothing like visiting a swimming pool in the States.

Nate: Well, what do you do when you go to a public bath?

Phil: First, you take off your shoes before you enter.

Nate: Okay.

Phil: Then, you pay an entrance fee to the man or woman at the front counter. [Um-huh]. Next, you get undressed in the dressing room. And I was very surprised . . . and a little embarrassed to see that the woman who took my money was sitting on a platform where she had a clear view of the men’s side of the dressing room. [Really?] This allows the workers to keep an eye on the patrons‘ belongings while they’re in the bath.

Nate: Wow. And do you wear a bathing suit or something?

Phil: Oh no! You don’t wear anything. Then you go into the main bathing area and wash your body while sitting on a small stool about 40 centimeters high.

Nate: On a stool!?

Phil: Yeah. It was really hard getting used to bathing in that position. Sometimes, even, people wash each other’s backs.

Nate: Oh really. So, what do you do after that?

Phil: Well, after you’ve rinsed off all the soap, they usually have two or three large baths where you can soak for a while.

Nate: Do you actually share the bath with other people?

Phil: Yeah. Traditionally, the bath played an important role in the community. It gave neighbors an opportunity to socialize while bathing.

Nate: Huh. Interesting.

Phil: When you’re all done bathing, people relax in the dressing room by watching TV, drinking tea or juice, or talking to friends. It’s quite an experience.

Vocabulary and Sample Sentences

  • platform (noun): a raised area where you can sit
    – The members of the local government were sitting on a platform overlooking the audience.
  • clear (adjective): not blocked or covered
    – Once the table is clear of dishes, we will start the game.
  • patron (noun): customer or visitor
    – Patrons are asked not to eat or drink in the art gallery.
  • belongings (noun): possessions
    – Please do not leave your belongings unattended while in the amusement park.
  • stool (noun): a small chair often made of wood or plastic
    – The young boy sat on a stool as he shined my shoes.
  • rinse (off) (phrasal verb): remove soap or dirt from something using water
    – Please rinse off before you get in the swimming pool.
  • soak (soak): leave something in water or other liquid for a period of time
    – I enjoy soaking in the tub to relax and forget about the worries of the day.
  • socialize (verb): to talk to or associate with others in a friendly manner
    – I’m having a pool party this weekend as a way of socializing with some new neighbors.
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