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BBC 6 minute English-Broken hearts

BBC 6 minute English-Broken hearts

BBC 6 minute English-Broken hearts


Transcript of the podcast

Note: This is not a word for word transcript

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

Rob: And hello, I’m Rob

Neil: Today’s topic is about our health and in particular our hearts. How’s your heart, Rob

Rob: Er, fine, I hope, as far as I know

Neil: Do you take care of it

Rob: Well, not my heart specifically, but my health in general, yes. I like to exercise regularly and I try to eat healthy foods

Neil: So that cheeseburger I saw you eating just now was a healthy cheeseburger

Rob: Fake news! You’re making that up, Neil! Don’t believe him, listeners. It would break my heart if people thought I ate junk food

Neil: Now that’s an interesting expression. ‘It would break my heart.’ We say that when we talk about things that upset us. Of course, we don’t really mean that our heart is actually breaking

Rob: However, you do sometimes hear stories about people who they say died from a broken heart

Neil: That is today’s topic – can you die from a broken heart? First though, the quiz question. The first human-to-human heart transplant took place in 1967. But what country was it in? Was it

a) South Africa

b) USA

c) China

What do you think, Rob

Rob: Well, I think it is definitely a) South Africa

Neil: OK, we’ll give you the answer at the end of the programme. Now back to the subject of broken hearts and if you can die from one. Dr Nikki Stamp is an Australian heart surgeon. She’s written a book, helpfully called ‘Can You Die From A Broken Heart?’ She was a guest on the BBC Radio 4 programme Woman’s Hour and was asked that very question. Does she think it is possible

Dr Nikki Stamp

Yes, short answer is yes. It’s a little bit more nuanced than that. For most of us when we have a broken heart whether it’s bereavement or a relationship coming to an end we will be fine. We’ll muddle our way through it, we’ll take not so good care of ourselves but we’ll get there. However the physical effects still happen and it is a big stress on your emotions obviously but also on your body

Neil: So she says ‘yes’ it is possible to die from a broken heart. But Rob, is it as clear and simple as that

Rob: Well, no. She said it was a bit more nuanced. This means it’s not a simple relationship. A situation that is nuanced has small but possibly important differences

Neil: She mentioned a couple of situations where we say that people could have a broken heart, didn’t she

Rob: Yes, she talked about times of great unhappiness and emotional stress. One of the ones she mentioned was bereavement. Bereavement is the intense feeling of sadness we get when someone close to us dies

Neil: The other situation where we say people are broken-hearted is, as Dr Stamp said, when a relationship comes to an end. So if your boyfriend, girlfriend, husband wife or lover decides they no longer want to be with you

Rob: So these are times when we use the expression to be broken-hearted. But thankfully, they don’t usually lead to death. She said that usually we muddle through. This expression means that we get through our sadness. Maybe slowly and maybe we don’t think clearly and don’t make the right decisions – but in the end, we mend our broken hearts

Neil: For some people, a few people though, the emotional stress does have an effect on the body, it does lead to physical symptoms and sometimes, sadly, death. Here’s Dr Stamp again. Which expression does she use instead of the word died

Dr Nikki Stamp

And then for some people, you will die of a broken heart. We do tend to see that in elderly people who you know, like a few weeks after grandma passed away, grandad passed away not long after

Rob: She says that dying of a broken heart can happen with older people and she used the expression passed away rather than the word died

Neil: Dying from a broken heart may be quite rare, but heart problems still exist for many, particularly those who are very overweight. This is a problem in many parts of the world. But why is that

Rob: Dr Stamp says that we are increasingly time-poor. We have less and less free time, as we are spending more time working

Neil: This leads to our not doing as much exercise and eating more convenience food rather than making our own food from healthy ingredients

Rob: The doctor says that we are not prioritising our health as we should be. Prioritising means deciding how important different things are. So we are not thinking of our health as being as important as we should

Neil: Right, well we’re quite time-poor in this programme, so it’s time for the answer to our quiz. In which country was the first human-to-human heart transplant carried out? The choices were South Africa, USA or China. What did you say, Rob

Rob: Yeah, I was sure it was South Africa

Neil: Well, you were right to be sure because the answer is South Africa. Congratulations if you got that right. Now just time to recap today’s vocabulary

Rob: Yes, we started off with nuanced. This adjective means something is not as simple as it might seem. There may be small but important things that need to be considered

Neil: Then there was bereavement. The sadness we feel when someone close to us has passed away

Rob: Passed away was one of our other words, and it’s a more gentle way of saying died

Neil: We also had the phrasal verb muddle through. This expression means to get to the end of a difficult situation somehow. Not always by making the right decisions but in the end, getting there

Rob: Being time-poor was the expression for not having enough free time

Neil: And finally prioritising was the noun for deciding how important different things are. Well that’s all from 6 Minute English today. Don’t break our hearts, do join us again, but in the meantime you can find us in all the usual places: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, and of course our website bbclearningenglish.com, where you can find all kinds of audio programmes, videos, activities and quizzes to help you improve your English! Thanks for joining us and goodbye

Rob: Bye

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