Could you understand every word in this video?

Hello everyone,

I’d like to know if you can understand each word in this video that is offered by BBC if you are a non-native English speaker?

The video:

More details:

If you are a native speaker, would you please do me a favour? Please help me write down what the journalist and the interviewees were saying. And what will be your comment on this matter? Many thanks.

In my case, I could only understand a few sentences:

[i]beyond that,I don’t personally have a sense of indication, satisfation

I lost everything. When you lost everything, it doesn’t matter. It’s really difficult. I retired and now I am forced back to work

we lost 3 million, ?? 10 million, 1 billion… …[/i]

A very clever con, and wonderfully executed.The rich are so greedy to acquire even more that they are the easiest people to con.

First you need someone who is very well known ( but broke ) to tell his wealthy friends about a fantastic scheme that is netting him millions.

He emphasise that others can only be let-in on the deal by a personal introduction by him. And so the trap is set.!!!

You pay the fools 10% of their own money, and pyramid further clients.

This wasn’t the actual con that he performed, but take away the bogus share-dealing and the bones of the con remain.

He has been caught, ( but unluckily ) and will deservedly get a zillion years in jail.

This has been a really challenging exercise for me. When I first listened to the extemporaneous speech, I figured that this would be trivial; “of course” I had heard everything. But as I played it over and over again to catch every sound, I realized just how much of it was sentence fragments, without even the basic structure of subjects, objects, and verbs! The interesting part here was that, as a native speaker, I never even noticed the fragments, the nonsense sounds; I was just hearing the bigger picture, and the mind just filled everything else in, stitching the sound pieces into what I had initially thought were complete sentences. I can see that this is not as easy when you are listening to each sound individually.

I didn’t want to clutter this thread with such a long transcription, so I placed my whole effort here. We can discuss it below, of course.

As for my personal views on the Ponzi scheme… well, yes, it was bad. But I also look at this video and ask myself why otherwise-intelligent people invested seven figures or more all in the same place!? I think sheer greed led many of them to ignore a basic rule of portfolio diversification.

[size=75]-- David Beroff
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Thank you for your sharing, Bill and David, and for your transcription as well, David. I do really really appreciate your effort. I wasn’t aware of that a 2 minutes video can contain so many words/informations until I watched your transcription. Now I know, listening is another barrier I have to overcome besides speaking… My biggest problem is that I always focus on some words and trying to catch each single word they said, but I often fail.

As a English learner, I am always eager to know if you can get what I said, and if what I said sound natural to you. I’m also very pleased to know what you would say to express the same idea as mine. Thus, I could absorb a lot of natural English. That’s why I asked for you comment. :slight_smile:

P.S. Please correct me if you find any mistakes in my post.

David, as was suggested earlier, when someone presents you with an apparently win-win situation, and this is reinforced by the recommendations of friends, and you are made to feel " special " by being offered this opportunity, then you take the bait and put everything you have into it, because, after all, THIS cannot fail.! ( So many commas. )

You may ask, " How are you so positive in your thoughts about this farce ?"

And I will reply, " Because I fell for the same type of con in the UK. " I too was wiped out, and I have never recovered from it really.

GREED is the driving force behind people’s gullibility to fall for these cons, and it was my own fault for allowing it to come about.

Those people didn’t become victims of Madoff’s swindle because they were stupid, or even because they were greedy. Remember, he also scammed a lot of charities. He was able to trick them because he was smart at what he did.

I got a lesson in this early in life when a man approached me on the street and asked me for a ride home. At the end of the ride, he walked away with $15 of my money that I hadn’t intended to give him. I had only planned to give him change for a $5 bill. I felt like an idiot at first until I analyzed what had happened and realized how well-rehearsed and ingenious his scam was. He had talked a fast deal, constantly changing the subject in a friendly way, confusing me, while at the same time making me think I was in control of the situation. He had obviously been well trained to do this, and he did me an enormous favor that I’ve carried throughout my life. He didn’t succeed because I was stupid, but because he was so skillful. That lesson in swindling techniques was worth much more than the $15 it cost me.

The most ingenious thing about Madoff’s scam was that in many cases it appeared possible. If he had come around promising a 100% return every year, most investors would have told him to drop dead. I know that to some people he promised returns as high as 45%, but in many cases all he promised was a consistent 10%, which is completely believable. Some legitimate investment funds can return that much rather consistently, partly by building up cash reserves for down times, and partly by selling short and using put options to make money when the market drops. Many insurance companies sell annuity plans that pay completely consistent dividends month in and month out, so such a consistent return sounds possible, if the number isn’t too high. Additionally, a lot of people (like me) make quite a bit of money when the price of a stock goes down, just by trading in put options. So, if a really experienced fund manager says he can return 10% consistently, it sounds possible.

Another ingenious part is getting some of those people to turn over all their money to him, despite the fact that they probably knew not to put all their eggs in one basket. That required what is called an “affinity scam”, which basically means convincing the person that you’re one of his group and wouldn’t try to cheat him. The world is full of that kind of scam. The swindler says, “Hey, we’re both Jewish [or Catholic, or evangelical Christian, or Italian, or Chinese, or women, or anything], so you know I wouldn’t scam you.” People fall for this. When I was about 20 years old, car salesmen used to think they could gain my confidence by convincing me they smoked marijuana (it didn’t work on me, but it must have worked on somebody whose brain had been dulled by pot). When traffickers want to lure girls into prostitution, they often bring a woman of the target’s own nationality to convince her, because a lot of girls naïvely assume that no one would betray her own countrywoman.

Madoff’s victims didn’t have to be greedy, and they had to be only a little foolish.

Thank you for your sharing ,and also for giving me such an impressive reply (as you always do), Jamie.

But I’m sorry I didn’t get exactly what had happened to you (because my English is still so poor):

If I understand you right, it’s you take him for a ride, right?

Then, He tried to make a deal with you, and during your conversation, he confused you by constantly changing the topic while you were concentrate on your driving.

I like this sentence and I hope someday I could say something as excellent as it is in English. :slight_smile:

Infin1ty, I think you misunderstood what happened.

I agreed to drive the man home. From the age of 16, we drive a lot in the US, so by the age of 20 or 24, we have no problem concentrating on driving and talking at the same time.

During the ride, the man mentioned that he needed change. He didn’t tell me how much change he needed, but he asked me where I lived. Based on where I lived, he started by talking about a large amount of money, but as he heard my responses, he realized I didn’t carry so much cash around, so he gradually lowered the amount and finally settled on getting change for a $5 bill, because he thought I’d have $10 or $20 on me. After I stopped the car and parked, he began the swindle.

When he had me making change for the $5 bill, he started talking in a very friendly but confusing way. He would talk about the money, then switch to the previous night’s baseball game on TV, then to music, then to the money, and kept changing so fast that I never had time to focus on what he was saying at the moment, because he was already talking about something new.

At the same time, he had me swapping bills with him. Maybe I had given him five $1 bills, and he would say, “Okay, let me give you back the five, and you give me two more ones, and I’ll give you back 50 cents…” This was all done very fast, and interspersed with a lot of conversation about other subjects. Because he’d spoken so fast and made a simple transaction so complicated, a minute or two after he’d left my car, I realized that I had given him a total of $20 in exchange for $5.

We call this kind of swindler a “quick change artist”, and they are very good at what they do. My father was a banker and said that the bank tellers have to be trained to detect the scam and to stop as soon as things get confusing. Most people who work has cashiers in retail stores are tricked by such a person at one time or another.

One time a cashier really did make a mistake in my change, and I had to explain what she had done. My explanation was so complicated that pretty soon I realized I sounded like a quick change artist and that the lady would never give me the right change, because she thought I was swindling her. I finally just left my name with the lady and told her, “Your cash register will be out of balance at the end of the day, and when it is, you’ll know it’s my $10.”

I’ll bet you $10 you never got your money back.

Oh, you did? Great, 'cuz I need change for this $20 bill. Just don’t look at it too closely… :wink: LOL

Reminds me of when two of my friends and I went to dinner. The bill came back as $25, and we all threw in a $10 bill. The waitress came back with five $1’s, so we each took one, and told her to keep the other $2 for the tip. (Yeah, we were young and cheap.)

So, starting with $30, we each paid $9, or $27 total, and the waitress got $2. What happened to the other dollar?

[size=75]-- David Beroff
[color=red]FREE English Videos, Private Lessons, and more at !![/size]

Thank you for such a detailed explanation, Jamie. I totally agree with you on this point: He didn’t succeed because I was stupid, but because he was so skillful. In addition, I’d like to say that he took advantage of you kindness. You are so kind that you gave him a ride and helped him change his money. Instead of thanking you, he tricked you as a reward. Compared with swindlers who trick others by using their greed, I think those who presume on other people’s good nature are even worse.

Hey, David, now you are tricking us too? (I’m kidding) Each of you paid $9, a total of $27, which included the bill($25) and the tip($2). The other dollar does not actually exist. :slight_smile:

I await your answer in natural English. :lol:

Very good! :slight_smile: Yes, it was a trick, one of two in that post. :slight_smile: (Can you spot the other one?)

I’m not saying that all of us Americans are swindlers, but suffice to say that one needs to be very careful and aware of one’s surroundings, especially when traveling to unfamiliar places!

[size=75]-- David Beroff
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Here’s the other one. You told him that was a $20 bill, but actually it was not. And then you asked him for the charge. :wink:

I can’t agree more.

Yip! :slight_smile:

[size=75]-- David Beroff
[color=red]FREE English Videos, Private Lessons, and more at !![/size]

Hey man. I am not native speaker and I am here maybe 3 months. If you couldn’t understand (get -p.s. usually they very seldom use word understand, they prefer to use word get) - you better improve your English. Believe me its very (pretty) simple. Try to pay more attention to your comprehension.

I’m a native speaker, and I couldn’t understand your second sentence.

Raufjfdp said:

Wow; talk about failing to understand! Just because you think you’re an expert, (and judging from your posts, you’re not), does not give you the right to criticize anyone else. As I mentioned above, I’m a native speaker of over four decades, and it still took me many passes to be able to capture every single sound in my transcription; there are many, many subtleties in extemporaneous speech. Others here have far less experience, and they are here precisely because they want to learn through a variety of experiences. Let them do so, or leave.

[size=75]-- David Beroff
[color=red]FREE English Videos, Private Lessons, and more at !![/size]

Dear David,

There’s no doubt that you are a native speaker of AmE. And according to reliable sources that you have been speaking the language for at least four decades. :wink: I don’t have a problem with being criticized if there’s something right in other’s words. Making mistakes and being corrected are very important to me. That can prevent me from making the same mistake over and over again. :slight_smile: Just out of curiosity, is it real that Americans rarely use the word ‘understand’ and prefer to use ‘get’ instead?(I got/get it/copy it/copy that?) 8)

Before coming here I heard more lie from teachers like you that my English is quite good. Here in US I understood how bad my English is. If you are proud you cant learn English even for four decades – it’s your business. But I said a truth that it’s very easy to understand cause I have difficulties understanding English. I met here many accents, many differences in speech. Informal English is absolutely different from formal British English. You criticize me because my criticism. Its very funny.

Yes I don’t know exactly about others states of US. In Mississippi state people to say I understood you they use “gothca” a lot. It means - I got you, got you, etc… Especially students and Afro-Americans.