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BBC 6 minute English-Is a door just a door

BBC 6 minute English-Is a door just a door

BBC 6 minute English-Is a door just a door


Transcript of the podcast

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

Rob: Hello and welcome to 6 Minute English. I’m Rob

Neil: … and I’m Neil. Hello

Rob: Hello, Neil! You look pleased today, Neil

Neil: I am pleased. I just moved into my new flat

Rob: OK, fantastic! Congratulations! Where is this new flat

Neil: It’s in the city. It’s a one-bed flat so it’s bijoux – meaning small but attractive. There’s a balcony, I’ve got a couple of deckchairs, and a barbecue

Rob: I can’t wait to see it. It sounds perfect. Well, today we’re discussing housing – and why in some buildings there are separate entrances for rich and poor residents! So, are you ready for today’s quiz question, Neil

Neil: I’m all ears

Rob: OK, so you mean you’re listening carefully

Neil: I am

Rob: Right. What does ‘social housing’ mean? Is it housing for people who

a) to buy or rent at a low price

b) who want to live together sharing facilities? or

c) who aren’t able to pay any rent at all

Neil: OK, I think the answer is a) to buy or rent at a low price

Rob: OK. Well, we’ll see if you were right or wrong later on in the programme. So, have you met your neighbours yet, Neil

Neil: Yes – I bumped into one couple as I was leaving for work this morning

Rob: I see. Bump into means to meet somebody by chance. So were they friendly

Neil: Well, they complained about me blocking the communal area with my bike – also about my guitar playing. But apart from that, they seemed nice

Rob: A communal area is an area that is shared by a number of people. Well, I hate to say it, Neil, but your guitar playing is annoying

Neil: Oh, Rob, genius isn’t appreciated here, I think. OK… Let’s listen to the journalist Tom Bateman talking about rich and poor doors

Tom Bateman, journalist

In front of us here is a 20-storey building. Right about me I got tinted blue glass windows and balconies on every floor as you look from the street. And there is a very plush foyer. A sign in the window says luxurious penthouses with spectacular views

Neil: But this is what the journalist Tom Bateman saw when he went around the other side of the same building

Tom Bateman, journalist

So as you come down the side of the building, you can see the windows – quite small windows – of the flats above here – certainly no balconies. This is a big grey concrete wall and as you walk down an alleyway towards the other door

Rob: So this building has one entrance with a plush – or expensive and luxurious – foyer. And foyer means entrance hall. Then there’s another entrance down an alleyway – or narrow passage between buildings

Neil: This entrance leads to flats with small windows and no balconies. Why’s that, Rob

Rob: That’s because the alleyway entrance is the so-called ‘poor door’. There’s no swanky foyer or tinted glass windows for these residents because they pay less rent than the people living in the apartments at the front

Neil: Swanky means something fashionable and expensive that is designed to impress people. And tinted glass is coloured glass – so people can’t look through your windows

Rob: That sounds useful! Do you have tinted glass windows, Neil

Neil: No, I don’t. Tinted sunglasses are all that I can afford. So what do you think about having a rich door and a poor door for the same building, Rob

Rob: Well, some people think it’s terrible. They say it’s segregation – or separation and different treatment of people – and I can’t believe the poor-door people put up with it really

Neil: To put up with something means to accept something that is annoying without complaining about it. The thing is, though, the poor-door people don’t pay nearly as much rent. And they don’t have to pay the same service charges that the rich-door people pay

Rob: A service charge is an amount of money you pay to the owner of an apartment building for things like putting out the rubbish. Well, let’s listen to an experience of a poor-door resident

Abdul Mohammed, resident of One Commercial St, City of London

We can’t use the lift… because it’s for the rich people. So whenever the doors open, I use it. So they try and tell me off for using it. I say, here, come, take me to court – I don’t mind

Neil: So what has Abdul been doing that the rich-door residents don’t like, Rob

Rob: Well, he’s been using their lift because it’s near his apartment door

Neil: And what does Abdul mean when he says, come, take me to court

Rob: He’s inviting the rich-door residents to take legal action against him, but Abdul doesn’t really think he’s doing anything wrong

Neil: OK, it’s time to hear the answer to today’s quiz question

Rob: Yes. What does ‘social housing’ mean? Is it flats or houses for people

a) to buy or rent at a low price

b) who want to live together sharing facilities? or

c) who aren’t able to pay any rent at all

Neil: And I said a) to buy or rent at a low price

Rob: And you were right! So well done for that, Neil. Now, shall we listen to the words we’ve learned on today’s programme

Neil: Good idea. We heard

bijoux bump into communal area plush foyer alleyway swanky tinted segregation to put up with something service charge

Rob: Thank you. Well, that’s the end of today’s 6 Minute English. I hope you felt at home with us on today’s show! Please join us again soon

Both: Bye

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