Listening: “Cycling in London”

CROWN ACADEMY OF ENGLISH

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Pronunciation practice: “must and mustn’t”

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School under a bridge

A group of school children in India are taught in their makeshift classroom – under a railway bridge. The noisy underpass doubles as a classroom for two hours each day after heroic shopkeeper Rajesh Kumar Sharma, 42, built it himself. The rudimentary learning space is situated under a Metro train bridge in a slum area of New Delhi called Yamuna Bank. It consists of two blackboards painted on a wall, two broken chairs for the teachers and simply rugs for the students to sit on. Rajesh – who set up the school after worrying about children from nearby slums missing out on an education – now has around 40 kids attending daily aged between four and 12.


School Rules

CROWN ACADEMY OF ENGLISH

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“Streets of London” ~ Ralph McTell

Stampa il testo riportato sotto e, ascoltando il brano, riempi gli spazi
con i verbi mancanti nel tempo giusto.

Per aiutarti (se serve), ho compilato una lista di alcuni dei verbi che mancano.
Puoi passarci sopra con il mouse per avere il significato.

La versione completa si trova in fondo all’articolo.
Non sbirciare prima di svolgere l’esercizio!

VERB LIST
to careto carryto changeto cryto fadeto hold (held)to keep (kept)to kickto last
to lead (led)to let (let)to lookto make (made)to say (said)to see (saw, seen)
to shine (shined/shone)to show (showed, shown)to sit (sat)to take (took, taken)
to talkto tell (told)to walkto wanderto wear (wore, worn)

Have you  _______  the old man in the closed down market

_______  up the paper with his worn out shoes?

In his eyes you  _______  no pride and  _______  loosely at his side

Yesterday’s paper  _______  yesterday’s news.

 

So how can you _______ me you’re lonely

And  _______  for you that the sun don’t  _______ ?

_______  me  _______  you by the hand

And  _______  you through the streets of London,

  _______  you something to  _______  you  _______  your mind.

 

Have you  _______  the old girl who  _______  the streets of London,

Dirt in her hair and her clothes in rags?

She’s no time for  _______  , she just  _______  right on  _______  ,

_______  her home in two carrier bags.

 

So how can you  _______  me you’re lonely

And  _______  for you that the sun don’t  _______?

_______  me  _______  you by the hand

And  _______  you through the streets of London,

  _______  you something to  _______  you  _______  your mind.

 

In the all night café at a quarter past eleven,

Same old man  _______  there on his own,

_______  at the world over the rim of his teacup,

Each tea  _______  an hour and he  _______  home alone.

 

So how can you _______ me you’re lonely

Don’t  _______  for you that the sun don’t  _______ ?

_______  me  _______  you by the hand

And  _______  you through the streets of London,

  _______  you something to  _______  you  _______  your mind.

 

Have you  _______  the old man outside the Seaman’s Mission

Memory  _______  with the medal ribbons that he  _______ ?

In our winter city the rain  _______  a little pity

For one more forgotten hero and a world that doesn’t  _______  .

 

So how can you _______ me you’re lonely

And  _______  for you that the sun don’t  _______ ?

_______  me  _______  you by the hand

And  _______  you through the streets of London,

  _______  you something to  _______  you  _______  your mind.

 

Riesci a trovare un errore grammaticale tipico del dialetto londinese?


ATTENZIONE
VERSIONE CORRETTA QUI SOTTO

right-wrong

down-arrows

down-arrows


Have you seen the old man in the closed-down market
Kicking up the papers with his worn out shoes?
In his eyes you see no pride and hung loosely at his side
Yesterday’s paper telling yesterday’s news

So how can you tell me you’re lonely,
And say for you that the sun don’t shine?
Let me take you by the hand
And lead you through the streets of London,
Show you something to make you change your mind.

Have you seen the old girl who walks the streets of London
Dirt in her hair and her clothes in rags?
She’s no time for talking, she just keeps right on walking,
Carrying her home in two carrier bags.

So how can you tell me you’re lonely,
And say for you that the sun don’t shine?
Let me take you by the hand
And lead you through the streets of London,
Show you something to make you change your mind.

In the all night cafe at a quarter past eleven,
Same old man sitting there on his own,
Looking at the world over the rim of his teacup,
Each tea lasts an hour and he wanders home alone.

So how can you tell me you’re lonely,
And say for you that the sun don’t shine?
Let me take you by the hand
And lead you through the streets of London,
Show you something to make you change your mind

Have you seen the old man outside the Seaman’s Mission
Memory fading with the medal ribbons that he wears?
In our winter city, the rain cries a little pity
For one more forgotten hero and a world that doesn’t care.

So how can you tell me you’re lonely,
And say for you that the sun don’t shine?
Let me take you by the hand
And lead you through the streets of London,
Show you something to make you change your mind.


Port out, starboard home

Where does the word POSH really come from?

Port = babordo
Starboard = tribordo

Today the English word posh is generally used to mean luxurious, elegant, fashionable or even upper-class, but where did the word come from originally? Well, the most popular story is that posh was first used by British travellers going out to India by sea from Britain in the 19th and early 20th centuries. Being British born and raised, these travellers were not used to the heat of the southern sun and, if they were wealthy enough, they would book a cabin on the side of the ship which was not in the direct sunlight: the port (left) side of the ship for the outward journey and the starboard (right) side of the ship for the return journey. This led to the birth of the expression “port out, starboard home” and consequently, according to the story, also led to the invention of the acronym P.O.S.H. which was supposedly written on the tickets of these travellers.

Most modern reference sources tend to disregard this explanation since there is no written evidence of the acronym P.O.S.H. ever having been used in this way. The video above also debunks the theory on the grounds that a passenger starting his journey from India would need a different acronym S.O.P.H. (starboard out, port home) but this is a debatable point since, in my view, an Englishman starting his journey in India would still have considered it a return (home) journey and not an outward journey. The real problem is the lack of written evidence, but this does not in itself totally debunk the theory since the word posh could have been used only in spoken, colloquial English.

However, the more accredited theory is that the word posh comes from the Romani word posh-hórri meaning half-penny. The Romani people originally migrated to Britain from South Asia and Romani slang was in use in England at the end of the 19th century. This half-penny meaning could possibly have come to mean money in general and later the idea of possessing mony and therefore generally being wealthy. It is also known that in British slang at the end of the 19th century the word posh could also be used to refer to a dandy which may explain its current meaning of elegant and fashionable.

The truth is that there is no definitive proof for any of these possible explanations. Personally, I’m fond of the “port out, starboard home” acronym theory, however improbable it may be. The thought of expressions such as “travelling posh“, “going posh“, “having posh tickets“, “being posh travellers” appeals strongly to the whimsical side of my nature. It also leads me to imagine a hypothetical conversation at the turn of the 20th century:

“Good morning, Clifford. What splendid tidings do you bring with you on this cold winter’s morning?”
“Well, Edmond, the news is that Edith and I leave for India at the end of the month.”
“I say, that’s jolly good news indeed! Are you travelling posh?”
“Of course we are, my dear friend. You know how delicate Edith’s skin is these days.”

Who can say if such a conversation may one day actually have taken place.

 P.S. Amongst the papers in my family archives I recently found part of a letter written either by my great-great-grandfather or by my great-great-uncle sometime in the 1930’s in which it says: “I am going out to Cape Town on the port side of the boat and returning on the starboard side.” Evidently this method of travel was still being used in that period.


“Vincent” ~ Don McLean

Tengo a precisare che la traduzione in italiano offerta qui è studiata per la sua utilità
come vicinanza al testo originale e come scelta di vocaboli e non pretende
minimamente di avvicinarsi alla bellezza poetica del testo originale.

Starry, starry night
Luccicante notte stellata
Paint your palette blue and grey
Dipingi con tinte di blu e di grigio
Look out on a summer’s day
Ti affacci in una giornata d’estate
With eyes that know the darkness in my soul
Con occhi che conoscono il buio nella mia anima

Shadows on the hills
Ombre sulle colline
Sketch the trees and the daffodils
Disegni gli alberi e i narcisi
Catch the breeze and the winter chills
Cogli la brezza e il freddo dell’inverno
In colours on the snowy linen land
In colori sulla terra di lino innevato

Continua a leggere…

“Word Crimes” by Al Yankovic

A bit of summer fun for intermediate students!

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