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Six Degrees of Babel

Six Degrees of Babel

Date: May 02 2007

Themes: Pop Culture


1. Learn Vocabulary - Learn some new vocabulary before you start the lesson.

2. Read and Prepare - Read the introduction and prepare to hear the audio.

Have you ever met a stranger and realized that you are both friends with the same person? It often seems like we live in a very small world. Some people believe that everyone in the world is connected by no more than six steps. This idea is called six degrees of separation. Babel is a recent film that explores this idea. Listen to Amanda tell Mason about the movie.


1. Listen and Read - Listen to the audio and read the dialog at the same time.

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2. Study - Read the dialog again to see how the vocab words are used.





Amanda:  So you know how Departed took Best Picture over Babel?

Mason:  Oh yeah! That was great, that was great.

Amanda:  What do you think about that? Because I couldn’t disagree more.

Mason:  Well I didn’t see Babel, but everyone kept telling me it was okay, it was kind of slow.

Amanda:  It was a little bit slow.

Mason:  And I like slow movies, that’s not a red flag for me, but…

Amanda:  It’s kind of a Six Degrees of Separation concept..

Mason:  Mm hmm.

Amanda:  ...but it takes families in four different countries…

Mason:  K.

Amanda:  ...so the United States, Mexico, Morocco and Japan.

Mason:  Yeah?

Amanda:  And it shows how they are directly related, how each action that they take or decision that they make in their lives actually affects one of the other families.

Mason:  That’s interesting.

Amanda:  And they’re all connected. So if you’re not someone who likes to follow one scene or one country to the next and then back up in time and go forward…

Mason:  So it’s not a completely linear storyline?

Amanda:  Not at all. And if you leave for a second, you’re gonna miss out.

Mason:  You’re just gone?

Amanda:  You’re not gonna understand.

Mason:  Huh. That’s funny. That’s the best review I’ve probably heard of it. I thought it was just another Brad Pitt vehicle.

Amanda:  That’s the funny thing. Brad Pitt, Cate Blanchett, the only big-name stars?

Mason:  Yeah.

Amanda:  They were barely in it.

Mason:  Huh.

Amanda:  That was the interesting part to me. But they had to use them to publicize the movie.

Mason:  I’ll go rent it.



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Lesson MP3

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Amanda says that she wishes Babel had taken Best Picture, an award given to one movie each year. Mason heard mixed reviews about the film so he didn’t see it. He heard it was too slow.

Amanda liked Babel because its storyline connects four families in distant countries. This storyline makes the move a little bit difficult to understand.

Mason had dismissed Babel as a film created for Brad Pitt, but Amanda tells him that Pitt was barely in it. Mason likes Amanda’s description of the film, so he says he will rent it.

What do you think about Babel and the idea of six degrees of separation? Are you connected to anyone famous? How many steps does it take to get from you to that person?



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Yeah, i agree what myrashik said about this director’s works. The director Alejandro González Iárritu is very talented, although he hasn’t produced a long list of films like other famous directors, every work of his is impressing. And he’s really good at tell the story in Six Degree Seperation concept. I also very like Amores Perros which is a ealier work than Babel, it maybe because there’s no big stars like Pitt and Blanchett so that this film is not that well-known than Babel. BTW, did anyone watch his new film Biutiful starred by Javier Bardem? Is it good?

09:35 PM Jun 18 2011 |




I've seen it, and it's a good one. But there are also 2 other movies of this director – 21 gramms and Amores Perros. And they're much better then Babel. Especially, Amores Perros – it's one of my favourite movie.

12:28 PM Mar 17 2010 |




i think i've got used to the british accent, so i feel a little bit foreign when i listen to the video…

05:58 AM Dec 24 2008 |




I like to learn english , and I want want this kind of lessons , i mean the lessons within the same degrees …

05:48 PM Jun 09 2007 |




This one is fit me well , i think _ I am a Chinese , i am a teacher , and i want to learn english more …

05:45 PM Jun 09 2007 |



Saudi Arabia

It’s the moment movie!
As it want to formularize an answer for a question:
What can be happen when we stop hearing to each other – because everyone busy with his\her self- his\her language!?
the legend say as narrated by the ancient era that the humankind were spoken one language before they build Babel tower, this tower was symbol for their collaboration and efforts for reach to the sky.
God decide while he monitors their efforts to destroy the tower and their one language with it to be more than 70 languages. To never can they be collaborating with each other in the future and rebuild tower to reach to the sky.
This legend uses so much to explicate this contrast between races and languages.
Example of that, the tableau :
“The confusion of the tongues” by Gustave Dore.
“Babel”, its beautiful and smart name to wonderful movie!

02:06 PM May 16 2007 |

querubin lizarazo


I congratulate for interesting job . I'd apreciate you for sending me anither wirks

07:33 PM May 12 2007 |




it is quite godd

07:34 AM May 07 2007 |



Babil is ver nice and paradox a film

10:49 PM May 04 2007 |



I will rent it to see.

07:55 PM May 04 2007 |




I’ll also go rent it.

02:02 PM May 03 2007 |





01:23 AM May 03 2007 |



Iran, Islamic Republic Of

I watched it & I thing It`s intersting movie specialy parts that Brad Pitt acted.U see how small things can make big problem & all of these things related eachother.

01:48 PM May 02 2007 |

muddasar rasheed


its really very interesting.it belongs to somewhat reality

11:54 AM May 02 2007 |

Josh K

Josh K


It’s movie with impact on all world.
It’s bigger

10:57 AM May 02 2007 |

Man Kit

Man Kit

Hong Kong

Although the movie seem very slow. It’s very novel and interesting for me.

02:46 AM May 02 2007 |




I haven’t watch this movie but I feel there is a state of confusion by many people talking at same time or using different languages.
[babel of voices].
But it is very interesting movie

11:59 PM May 01 2007 |



I’m interested in the idea of six steps.It’s a good idea.

08:25 PM May 01 2007 |




i haven’t watch Babel. it seems interesting.

06:12 PM May 01 2007 |

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