Learn English Article 132
World Cup 2018 English Listening Practice
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Hi there, I’m Hilary and welcome to this latest podcast from Adept English. If your English needs improving – and you would like to arrive at the place where you can have a conversation in English, then Adept English is here to help you. Listen to our podcasts, try out our courses. For the courses, we give you a 30 day money back guarantee. And we do that because we’re confident you’ll like our courses and that they will help you. And you can try out our Seven Rules of Adept English Course – because that’s absolutely free. And in that course, you learn how to learn a language – methods and ideas that you might not have come across before – so very well worth it!
Anyway, today’s podcast. There’s a football World Cup going on at the moment and I do love a World Cup. I’m not sure I could say that I enjoy the games where England are playing – that’s far too stressful. But it’s enjoyable at the moment to watch the other matches, ones where I don’t mind so much what the result is. So I know that many of you will be enjoying the football at the moment – but if you don’t like football, don’t worry – this podcast is not so much about football. What I thought would be a good idea is to use this opportunity for you to learn the English names of the countries in the World Cup. It’s not something that we necessarily pay attention to – but in different languages, the names of the other countries of the world are sometimes different, sometimes the same! So we don’t always call a country the same name as its inhabitants do. So let’s go through the groups and talk about the countries who are competing in the World Cup – and what their country names are in English. I’ll say a little bit about each country, then even if you don’t recognise the name, you will know it, without have to translate, without having to look it up – just like the method we use on our courses!
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So, here goes. Group A to begin with. Well, this group has in it Russia, Egypt, Uruguay and Saudi Arabia. Now Russia is the country of Vladimir Putin – and of course the host nation. ‘Host nation’ means the country where the World Cup is happening. Vladimir Putin is pretty keen on football, so I’m sure he’s going to be there at every match where Russia play. Egypt is also in Group A. That’s one country name that’s hard to spell in English – it’s E-G-Y-P-T. If you’re not sure, this country is in North Africa, it has the pyramids, and the River Nile – and it’s capital is Cairo. So that’s Egypt and the people of Egypt are called Egyptians. Also in Group A there is Uruguay. This country is in South America and its capital is Montevideo. In Spanish it’s pronounced Oo-ruguay – but Uruguay in English. If you aren’t sure yet which country it is – Luis Suarez is their star player. And the last country in Group A is Saudi Arabia. This country speaks mainly Arabic and it’s a Muslim country. Its capital is Riyadh and it’s the worlds largest producer of oil. So that’s Saudi Arabia.
Onto Group B. I think the first two are names that you’re likely to know already. Spain – or in Spanish España and Portugal – they’re the same, Portugal is pronounced ‘Port-oo-gal’. So those ones you’ll know. But also in Group B, there is Iran, which is what we call a Middle Eastern Country. Like Saudi Arabia, Iran is a big oil producer – and its capital is Tehran. There are 80 million people in Iran! And the last team competing in Group B is Morocco. Now Morocco is a country of 35 million people, and situated in North Africa. If I say to you Marrakech, Tangier, Casablanca – you’ll probably recognise this country. And it’s spelt M-O-R-O-C-C-O, Morocco in English.
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In Group C, we have France – or ‘la France’ if you’re French speaking. Think of Emanuel Macron and Camembert cheese, champagne and the Eiffel Tower. Notice I say ‘France’, but that’s because I’m from the north of the UK. You’ll hear it also pronounced ‘France’ - either is fine in English, but that’s the southern way of saying it! Then also in Group C, we have Australia – English speaking and right on the other side of the world. It’s probably the same name in your language – but think about koala bears and kangaroos. Its capital is Canberra. Also in Group C, Denmark, a Scandinavian country – quite small and its capital is Copenhagen. It is linked to Sweden by the Oresund (oar-sun) Bridge. And finally in Group C, Peru. Peru is another South American country – they’re good at football in South America, aren’t they? Peru has Macchu Picchu – somewhere that everyone wants to visit once in their lifetime – and their capital is Lima. So that’s Peru.
Now Group D has Croatia – famous cities in Croatia are Zagreb, Dubrovnik and Split. The Croatian football strip is rather like the middle of the Croatian flag – red and white check. Also in Group D are Iceland, in the World Cup for the first time in 2018. If you’re English, then you’ll remember that Iceland beat us in the Euro 2016 tournament – but actually, they’re a team we quite like to support! It’s amazing that they’re in the World Cup, when you bear in mind, there are only 338,000 people in Iceland, so good luck to them! Argentina are also in this group – Buenos Aires is the capital – and they’re not having such a happy time in this World Cup. Not yet, anyway. But they have Lionel Messi, so I’m sure they’ll be OK. And finally in Group D, Nigeria. Another North African country. Many people think that the capital of Nigeria is Lagos, but you would be wrong – it’s Abuja. There are over 500 languages spoken in Nigeria – but the official language is English!
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Onto Group E, where we have two more South American teams. It’s known as Brasil (bra-zeal) to its inhabitants, but in English we say Brazil. Brazilians love football – and of course they once had Pélé, now they have Neymar. My daughter seems to like him – I wonder why?! And of course, Costa Rica also. I’m pretty sure that Costa Rica will be the same in your language, but if you’re in doubt, it’s known for its coffee, its jungle and its capital, San José. There are lots of English speakers in Costa Rica – so hello to you, if you’re listening from there. Also in Group E, Serbia were first in the World Cup in 2010, but here they are again in 2018, and they’ve already beaten Costa Rica. Famous Serbians - Novak Djoković, the tennis player. And finally in Group E, we have Switzerland. It’s probably called something different in your language – but Switzerland is a small European country. It has German and French speakers. Geneva, Zurich, Berne are all well known places in Switzerland, if that helps you.
Group F has Germany – Deutschland to its inhabitants, think of Angela Merkel and Helmut Kohl. So Germany. Then we have Mexico – I expect we will see some Mexican waves during this tournament. And ooh, guess what - Mexico beat Germany in the first group match. That’s a bit of a shock! Also in this group Sweden, another Scandinavian country and the capital is Stockholm. Think Abba and Ikea and you’ve got the right place. Also in this group – South Korea. Not to be confused with North Korea and Mr Trump’s friend, Mr Kim. No, South Korea is famous for its capital Seoul, for K-Pop and for its businesses like Samsung, Hyundai and LG.
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In Group G, we have Belgium. Well, if I say the capital is Brussels, then you’ve probably got it. But a much nicer place to go and visit in Belgium is Bruges. Nice chocolate there. In Group G there is another South American country – Panama. Again, I’m pretty sure that’s recognizable to you – it’s likely to be the same in your language too. But Panama is the land which links North America and South America. By the time this podcast is live, they’ll have played England in their group, England v Panama – and I’ll probably have hidden behind the sofa, because it will be too stressful to watch. So, England are in this group too – and the other team in Group G is Tunisia. Tunisia is again, in North Africa, its capital is Tunis. Famous places are the ancient city of Carthage, Monastir and Hammamet.
And finally in Group H, we have Japan, Senegal, Poland and Columbia. So Japan, I think you’ll recognize that name? The capital is Tokyo and other famous cities are Kyoto, Osaka, Kobe, Hiroshima and if you live in Japan, you speak Japanese. Next we have Senegal, so another West African country, where the main language is French. Can you think of the capital city of Senegal? Well, Dakar is the capital. Next is Poland – so another European country. Poland – they’re quite keen on football there too. And the Polish capital is Warsaw and in Poland, they speak Polish – or Polskie (pol-skeh). And finally, the last team in Group H is Columbia. South America are well represented in this tournament. Columbia is like Costa Rica, famous for its coffee. Spanish speaking of course, and the Columbian capital is Bogotá. I can’t imagine that Columbia is called anything different in your language – but there we are!
I hope that helps your awareness of what other countries in the world are called in English – or those in the World Cup at least. Enough for now. Have a lovely day. Speak to you again soon. Goodbye.
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