Learn English with English, baby!

Join for FREE!

Ali Krieger - Sink or Swim

Ali Krieger - Sink or Swim English, baby! Video Lesson
阿里·克里格 - 自主沉浮

Date: Oct 26 2011

Themes: Celebrity, Sports

Grammar: Gerunds vs. Infinitives


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

Go Super to Listen Go Super!

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

Go Super to Listen Go Super!

If for some reason, you suddenly found yourself alone in the middle of the ocean, you would have only two options: sink or swim. You could give up or try to survive. The choice would be yours.

In English, we say someone will “sink or swim” anytime it is up to them to succeed or fail. When Ali Krieger isn’t playing for the US Women’s National Team, she plays club soccer for FFC Frankfurt in Germany. Over the last few years, she has learned a lot of German. We recently got the chance to see her German tattoo and talk to her about how she had to sink or swim when she got to Germany.

在英语中,当成败与否全凭其自身时,我们会说某人将“sink or swim”(自主沉浮)。当阿里·克里格不为美国女子国家队效力时,她在德国 FFC 法兰克福一家俱乐部中踢球。在过去的几年中,她学习了不少德语。我们最近有机会看见她的德文纹身,并询问她刚到德国时,如何“自主沉浮”。

3. Watch - Watch the video without reading the dialog.


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

Log in to Listen

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





Ali:  I’m Ali Krieger from the US Women’s National Team. Thank you for having me on.

Jason:  So you recently learned, over the last few years, a lot of German. I was just wondering, what’s your strategy for learning a language? How did you go about learning German?

Ali:  You know, I didn’t know a word of German until I went to Frankfurt. Honestly, they threw me in the courses, the German classes. I’m now in German 8, so I’m still learning and I love to speak the language. I love to learn. But also, I was lucky enough that I landed on the team and I automatically can speak with the girls. Not all of them speak English, which I didn’t expect them to. So I had to learn pretty quick. You have to sink or swim, and I decided to swim a bit and try to test the waters and see how much I can learn. I learned all of it in Germany because you have to live, and in the lifestyle and the people you meet, you need to know their personality. You need to know your way around, and that was the only way possible.

Jason:  When Ali got to Germany, she didn’t know any German. She had to learn it or fail. That’s what she means when she says she had to sink or swim.

Ali:  So I had to learn pretty quick. You have to sink or swim, and I decided to swim a bit and try to test the waters and see how much I can learn.

Jason:  I gather you have a German tattoo. Can we get a shot of that?

Ali:  It means “love” in German, “liebe,” it just describes and represents my experience there in Germany and how much love I have for the country, for the land, for the people, for the culture. It just is a good story to tell. When people ask me, “Hey, what does your tattoo mean?,” that’s really cool. I’m able to express how much I love the country and my whole experience and opportunity there.

Jason:  That’s awesome. Thanks so much for talking with us. Can I get you to give me a high five and say, “English, baby!”?

Ali:  English, baby!


Grammar Point

Go Super to learn "Gerunds vs. Infinitives" from this lesson Go Super!


Go Super to take Quiz Go Super!


Lesson MP3

Go Super to download full lesson MP3 Go Super!

Go to the TOEFL® page >


Go Super to Listen Go Super!

Ali didn’t know any German when she got to Germany. She had to sink or swim, and she decided to swim. She learned German and she is glad she did. She loves Germany and the German people.

If Ali hadn’t learned German, her experience there would not have been the same. It might have been bad. She might not have stayed with her team.

Ali had to sink or swim. She had to learn German to succeed. When have you had to sink or swim?

For more with Ali, see the first half of this interview or visit our blog.



Log in to Comment



South Korea

die or live ??? if we don’t try one thing, we can’t know if it sinks or swim. if we swim a little bit, we can go on swimming , and finally we can land on some points. i agree. we don’t know our future. on the way to the point, we have to know our way around, in the case of it, i think friends are very helpful to know our way around. we can do something to check the way we are going on is right or not.

10:01 PM Oct 25 2011 |

1 person likes this




Am I wrong or Ali Krieger speaks with a German accent ?  

07:43 AM Oct 25 2011 |

Likes (22):

See all >

Share this lesson:

  • Share on Facebook
  • Share on Bebo
  • Share on Myspace
  • Share on Twitter
  • Email this to a friend
  • Share on Sina

Post Ebaby! lessons on your blog:

Ebaby! Cast