Improve your listening and learn about New Zealand, otherwise known as the land of the long white cloud. Discover more about this beautiful country in the southwestern Pacific Ocean.
A message from Gabi in the comments section on the website about episode 340 (names in English):
Hi guys! My full name is Gabriela Raquel Ruiz Sánchez. And I’m your Peruvian Fan! Gabriela is my very first name, Raquel is my middle name, Ruiz is my father’s family name and Sánchez is …. is …. yeah you guessed it right! It’s my mother’s family name!
I’ve also got some Nicknames from my childhood as I had quite nice cute round rosy cheeks (order of adjectives before a noun: http://www.inglespodcast.com/92 ) my father used to call me “globito” which in English is something like “little balloon”, my friends call me Gaby, Gabz, Gabushka (a Ukrainian friend) my close friend call me Gabitch hahhaha …..other friends Gabyota! My cousins sometimes use “Yaki” I simply dunno where it came from!
Other people make fun of my last name “Sánchez” as they relate it to “Chancho” (pig) for the “ch” phoneme, so they can say “Gabriela Raquel Chanchito”, another one that just came to my mind is from my father’s family name “Ruiz” as it is somehow similar in sound with “reír” (laugh) they call my sisters and “las ruizinis” meaning we tend to be smiley and fun gals! Gosh !!! Crazy eh!
Hugs my dearest Reza and Craig!
Audio message from Zeca from Brazil, living in New Zealand
/improved/ /learned/ – ‘ed’ endings on past regular verbs: http://www.inglespodcast.com/60
Listen more than once (repeat example sentences and pronunciation points. You can also slow down the audio on most audio players.
Aotearoa – The land of the long white cloud
2 main islands – The north island and the south island plus 600 smaller islands. Located in the South-Western Pacific Ocean. The antipode to Spain (20,000 km and 25 hours flight from Spain!) 2,000 km East of Australia. The third closest country to Antarctica after Chile and Argentina.
Population approx. 5 million. Capital Wellington – the southernmost capital in the world. Auckland is the largest and most populated city.
The flag of NZ is very similar to that of Australia, but not identical. Both have a Union flag (Union Jack) in the top left quarter, representing their colonial ties with the UK. Both also feature the Southern Cross constellation on a blue background – a constellation that can only be seen in the Southern Hemisphere. The Australian flag has an additional star in the bottom left quarter – the Commonwealth Star of its coat of arms – not used on NZ’s flag. Interestingly, the Kiwis decided to use only the four main stars of the Southern Cross constellation easily visible, whereas the Aussies included a fifth smaller star. Curiously, the stars on the Australian flag are plain white, whereas the NZ flag has red stars with white borders. Lastly, while the Australian stars are 7-pointed except for the smaller 5-pointed one, all the stars are 5-pointed on the NZ flag.
Here you can compare both nations’ flags: https://static.dw.com/image/44816795_401.png
In a referendum in 2016, around 57% voted to keep the current flag rather than change to a new flag mixing the Southern Cross with a silver fern – a symbolic plant found only in NZ – replacing the Union Jack. Here’s the proposed flag.
Polynesians from Oceana in the Pacific first populated the islands around 1280-1350 and developed the Maori culture.
They drive on the left. British were the first Europeans to declare sovereignty over New Zealand in 1841.
They gained independence in 1947 and the British sovereign became the head of state. At the time of recording, Elizabeth II is the Queen of New Zealand.
Today most of the population is of European descent. Maoris are the largest minority at 15% of the total population. The main languages are English and Maori.
There are 9 sheep per person. Highest ratio in the world. NZ lamb is exported all over the world.
The kiwi fruit is not native to New Zealand. It’s from China. It’s named after the flightless kiwi bird. People from New Zealand are also called Kiwis as a nickname (like Aussies and Brits).
It has the longest place name in any English-speaking country (85 letters):
It’s the name of a hill on the North Island. It roughly translates to “the summit where Tamatea, the man with the big knees, the climber of mountains, the land-swallower who traveled about, played his nose flute to his loved one.”
It’s the least corrupt country in the world, along with Denmark. (source: corruption perception index)
Sir Edmund Hillary – first to climb Mt. Everest in 1953 with Sherpa Tenzing Norgay.
Russell Crowe was born in Wellington in 1964 and then moved to Australia.
Dame Kiri Te Kanawa – of half-Maori, half-European lineage, regarded as one of the greatest soprano voices of all time, and also widely admired for her great beauty onstage.
Earnest Rutherford – the father of nuclear physics. He won the nobel prize for chemistry.
Bruce McLaren – racing driver and engineer
Peter Jackson the film director directed The Lord of the Rings, King Kong, The Hobbit
Lord of the Rings was filmed in New Zealand and generated $200 million in revenue. New Zealand appointed a government minister for Lord of the Rings to manage the money!
The first commercial bungee jump was in New Zealand in 1988 at Kawarau Bridge in Queenstown.
We can’t talk about New Zealand without mentioning rugby and the New Zealand All Blacks.
New Zealand has a 77 per-cent winning record in test match rugby, and is the only international men’s side to have more wins than losses against every opponent.
Since their international debut in 1903, New Zealand teams have played test matches against 19 nations, of which 11 have never won a game against the All Blacks. Since the introduction of the World Rugby Rankings in 2003, New Zealand has held the number-one ranking longer than all other teams combined.
The team performs a haka before every match. A haka is a Māori challenge or posture dance.
All Blacks Haka intimidates the French
…and now it’s your turn to practise your English.
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On next week’s episode: How to be Indirect and polite in English
The music in this podcast is by Pitx. The track is called ‘See You Later’
Photo by Ashish Vyas on Unsplash