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BBC 6 minute English-Drinking around the world

BBC 6 minute English-Drinking around the world

BBC 6 minute English-Drinking around the world


Transcript of the podcast

NB: This is not a word-for-word transcript

Rob: Hello I’m Rob. Welcome to 6 Minute English. I’m joined today by Neil. Hi Neil

Neil: Hi Rob

Rob: Today we’re talking about something many of us are familiar with – drinking in a bar or a pub. Now Neil, do you have a favourite bar or pub

Neil: Well, I have a few favourites. One in particular is a pub I used to go to after work with friends and colleagues where you got personal service – they brought the drink to you, which is very unusual in this country

Rob: It certainly is! I like the old-fashioned-style English pubs, with plenty of ale on offer, cosy little corners to sit in and a roaring log fire. I’m not so keen on those bright, loud and modern bars – and the drinks are expensive there too

Neil: You’re very traditional, aren’t you, Rob? Well, let’s talk more about places to drink around the world soon and highlight some drinking-related vocabulary. But first, how about a question

Rob: Of course. In the UK the word ‘pub’ is short for public house – and there are over 50,000 of them with many different historical names. But do you know which name is the most popular pub name? Is it

a) The Red Lion

b) The Crown

c) The Royal Oak

Neil: That’s difficult. There are lots of pubs with those names but I’m going to guess c) The Royal Oak

Rob: We’ll find out if you are right or wrong later. So let’s start talking about boozing – an informal way of saying drinking alcohol. As you know, in the UK we have the pub as a place where we can socialise – or meet friends – and drink together. But all around the world people have places to come together and share a drink – and not necessarily an alcoholic drink

Neil: A pub is also sometimes called a tavern or even a saloon – that’s the sort of drinking den you would see in an old cowboy film! But a bar tends to be the most well-known word for describing a place to have a drink

Rob: A bar is also the word to describe the long wooden counter that drinks are put on when you order – or ask for – a drink. There are some amazing bars to drink in around the world. I drank in one in Sweden that was completely made of ice: even the glasses were made of ice

Neil: I find wherever I go in the world there is always an Irish-themed pub where you can usually get a pint of Guinness! In fact it’s claimed the highest pub in the world, on the route up Mount Everest, is an Irish pub

Rob: Well, walking up there must be thirsty work. One of the remotest pubs in the world is in a corner of Greenland. BBC correspondent Rob Crossan recently reported from there for the BBC. Let’s hear the words he uses to describe the pub and the customers

Rob Crossan, BBC correspondent

There’s only one pub, a windowless bunker where country and western music plays whilst local men and women, mostly dressed in tracksuits, woolly hats and hiking boots, sit almost silently around the sparse collection of ripped banquettes and wobbly wooden chairs

Neil: A very lonely place. The only pub around. It has no windows and he compares it to a bunker – that is a place that is usually underground and built to protect people from bullets or bombs

Rob: Well, a pub is normally a place to have a good time – but this doesn’t sound like a fun place, because nobody is talking and there is not much furniture to sit on – it’s sparse

Neil: Yes, just a few ripped banquettes – these are small seating areas arranged around a table. And some wobbly, wooden chairs. Not the place for a riotous evening

Rob: Well, maybe it is. When the drink starts flowing and everyone comes together on a dark, cold Greenland night, it could be fun. The only problem is that alcohol is a bit limited, as Rob Crossan explains

Rob Crossan, BBC correspondent

Only beer is available, the Danish brands – spirits were completely banned in this part of Greenland five years ago due to the quite astonishing levels of consumption by the local population

Neil: So you can only drink beer. Consumption – or the drinking of – spirits has been stopped, or banned, because people drank too much of it. Well Rob, you know you don’t have to drink to have a good time

Rob: That’s true. It’s not good for your health and you get a terrible hangover – you feel ill – the next day. Maybe I’ll have an orange juice next time I go to my local boozer – or pub

Neil: So come on Rob, what is the most popular name for a British boozer

Rob: Yes, is it

a) The Red Lion

b) The Crown

c) The Royal Oak

Neil: I think it’s c) The Royal Oak

Rob: You’ve probably drunk in a few Royal Oaks, haven’t you

Neil: Yes, I have

Rob: But you’re wrong. The answer is actually The Red Lion. There are 518 Red Lion pubs in the UK. There are some more unusual names for British pubs too, such as The Axe and Compass, The Ferret and Trouser Leg, and The Slurping Toad! OK Neil, there’s just time to remind us of some of the vocabulary we’ve heard today

Neil: Yes, we heard

ale traditional boozing alcoholic drink drinking den a bar themed thirsty work riotous consumption hangover boozer

Rob: Thanks Neil. We hope you’ve enjoyed today’s programme. Please join us again soon for 6 Minute English from BBC Learning English. Right Neil, do you fancy a pint now

Neil: Absolutely, I’ll drink to that

Both: Cheers

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