Today’s English listening lesson we are going to talk about a famous Greek word and our conversation will cover some new English vocabulary, and set out an everyday conversation with English listening practice.
We’ve recently released our latest podcast bundle of 50 English lessons, with over 300 podcasts to choose from we’ve introduced discounts if you buy more than one bundle. You can find out more about the discounts here.
Typically, our English lessons are around 10 minutes long, we do this for a reason; it makes the content manageable, too much vocabulary, and you will forget some. It also makes listening to our lessons content many times less daunting. Also, being only 10 minutes you can listen in short bursts and still fit a whole lesson in during your day.
There's nothing like the Eureka moment, of discovering something that no one knew before.
⭐ Stephen Hawking, Lecture, The Future of Theoretical Physics and Cosmology
I mention this because recently we have been asked by several people to make the lessons longer. I’d be interested in what people think about this, maybe making the lessons for 20 minutes and my question to you is would this be more useful?
I think having so many lessons, 377 as of today, you can bundle a few together if you want a longer lesson. Let me know what you think about this.
Eureka Archimedes Polymath Collection
Hi there and welcome to this podcast from Adept English.
Some news first of all from the Adept English website. You’re familiar with our podcasts, of course. But did you know that the latest 75 podcasts are free to download on our website at adeptenglish.com? You might it helpful to have a collection of podcasts on your mobile phone or your tablet, so that you can follow Rule Three of the Seven Rules of Adept English.
Rule Three says ‘Use the time when you’re busy doing other things to do your English language practice.’ That’s important because it makes sure that everyone can find time to do language practice. So there are 75 Adept English podcasts that you can download for free.
But we also have podcasts in bundles which are available to buy – so you pay a small fee to download 50 podcasts all at once. Yes, that’s 50, 5-0 podcasts – so that is a lot of English language listening material and we call each group of 50 podcasts ‘a podcast bundle’.
If you find listening to this podcast helpful, then having 50 podcasts, ready to go on your phone would mean lots of lovely English language listening. Because we put out two podcasts a week, one on a Monday and one on a Thursday, then of course, the number of podcasts grows all the time.
So we’ve just added another podcast bundle – you can now get episodes 251 to 300 as a bundle. And just to make it even better, we’ve introduced discount codes on our website. This means that if you buy more than one podcast bundle, you get a discount – that means you pay even less! The more podcasts you buy, the bigger the discount you get. 50 podcasts is a lot of listening.
You can work out just how much from the length of our average podcast. So can you imagine how much your English would improve if you listen to 50 podcasts! And now there are six bundles of 50, 300 podcasts in total. That’s crazy!
Anyway, today’s podcast. One of the words we use in English, which comes from the Greek language is ‘Eureka’! ‘Eureka’ is spelt E-U-R-E-K-A. We might even talk in English about having a ‘Eureka moment’. We were talking about this, this week with my son, about the origins of this word, as an exclamation. We say ‘Eureka’ when we’ve been struggling with a problem, possibly an IT problem and suddenly we solve it. We suddenly work it out. ‘Eureka!’ we say. It means literally ‘I found it’, ‘I found the answer’!
So you probably know the story already, behind this word. But hearing it in English, may be good practice for you. The story goes as follows. Archimedes, was a Greek mathematician – that means someone who’s skilled at maths, and he was also a scientist, an engineer, an astronomer – that means someone who studies the stars, the planets. In fact, Archimedes is often termed a ‘polymath’, P-O-L-Y-M-A-T-H. A ‘polymath’ is someone who is clever at a lot of different subjects.
And Archimedes was very clever. His idea for raising water inside a pipe – through the means of a ‘screw’, a spiral which turns inside the pipe - is called The Archimedes Screw. And this invention is still used today, for irrigation. ‘Irrigation’, I-R-R-I-G-A-T-I-O-N is when you need to move water around, so that you can water your crops, your plants. Bear in mind that Archimedes is thought to have lived from 287 to 212BC – so he was rather ahead of his time. And for that invention still to be in use today is a real achievement.
If you’re one of those people who didn’t enjoy geometry at school, that’s G-E-O-M-E-T-R-Y, Archimedes was responsible for some of what you had to learn. Archimedes was the person who first calculated pi. That’s pi, P-I, which is usually represented by the Greek letter pi, π.
The ancient Babylonians had got as far as 3.12 and the ancient Egyptians got to 3.16, but Archimedes was the first one to calculate π with accuracy. There are many numbers to the right of the decimal point but it starts 3.14159. And all of those calculations to work out the area of a circle, the circumference of a circle – that’s all the way around the edge – well they were worked out first of all by Archimedes.
And Archimedes’ Eureka moment? Well, he’d been given a job by Hiero, a Greek tyrant. A tyrant, T-Y-R-A-N-T, is a leader who has absolute power – and who uses it destructively, who’s a bad person to those around. Hiero suspected that he was being cheated on a gold crown. A crown, C-R-O-W-N – is something made of metal that a king or queen might wear on their head. Instead of the crown being made of pure gold, Hiero suspected that silver had been added, so that the crown weighed the same, but wasn’t pure gold. How to check this?
Well, this was the job given to Archimedes. And Archimedes’ thinking was that as gold is a heavier metal than silver, the crown would have to be bigger to achieve the same weight, if it contained silver. But how to measure the volume of a complicated shape like a crown? Pi, π was not going to help with this problem. Well, the story goes that Archimedes was in his bath. Some versions of the story have him in the public baths – the ancient type of baths that you share with other people.
A photograph of children wearing golden crowns discussed during this conversation in English.
He was thinking deeply about how the level of the water rises when you get into the bath, and it goes down when you get out. And ‘the penny dropped’ as we say in English. He realised that putting an object under water displaces water, pushes the water upwards by exactly the volume of the object. And this was a good way to calculate volume of an irregularly shaped object.
His ‘Eureka’ moment therefore was when he realised this and had him running through the streets, apparently naked, no clothes on! His discovery had been so exciting to him that he forgot to get dressed! And he was running and shouting ‘Eureka! Eureka! I’ve found it!’
Whether or not this story is true is unclear. But that’s why the Greek word ‘Eureka’ is in the English language. Thinking back to school, I remember using ‘a Eureka pot’ in Physics to help calculate volume. I’m interested to know – is ‘Eureka’ used in the same way all around the world? Has ‘Eureka!’ made its way into your language? Do you say it too? Let us know!
Anyway, I hope that was an interesting retelling of something which you may have learned at school already. I don’t know about you, but I find these things much more interesting as an adult, than ever I did when I was at school having to learn them.
Enough for now. Have a lovely day. Speak to you again soon. Goodbye.