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  • Hello and welcome to News Review from BBC Learning English.

  • I'm Neil. Joining me today is Tom. Hi Tom.

  • Hi Neil. Good morning and hello to our audience.

  • What's our story today?

  • Our story today is about Myanmar,

  • where the military has taken control of the country.

  • OK. Well, if you want to test yourself on any of the vocabulary

  • you learn in this programmedon't forget there's a quiz

  • on our website at bbclearningenglish.com.

  • Now, let's find out some more about this story from this BBC radio report:

  • So, there was an election in Myanmar in November 2020.

  • The army, or the military, in Myanmar claim

  • that this election was fraudulent or a fake.

  • As of the time of recording, the army have taken control of Myanmar

  • and for one year they have created a state of emergency,

  • and the military have detained several politicians,

  • including the famous Aung San Suu Kyi.

  • OK. Well, you've been looking at this story

  • and how it's being reported in the headlines.

  • You've picked out three words and expressions, which are really useful.

  • What have you got?

  • 'Coup', 'at a crossroadsand 'deal a killer blow'.

  • 'Coup', 'at a crossroadsand 'deal a killer blow'.

  • So, let's have a look then at your first headline with that word 'coup'.

  • My first headline, Neil, is from right at home at the BBCthe headline:

  • 'Coup' – takeover of government by force.

  • Now, this is a funny little word, isn't it?

  • Because it sounds really different to how it's spelt:

  • we say 'coo' not 'coop'. Why is that?

  • Well, yeah, we should note the irregular pronunciation.

  • C-O-U-P: we pronounce it 'coo' – no 'p'.

  • This is because it originally comes from the French language...

  • OK. ...which has a different set of rules.

  • Yes, OK. And this word often goes with other words.

  • It works in combination with some other words commonly, doesn't it?

  • What are they?

  • Yeah. So, some common collocations of 'coup':

  • we have 'major' – a 'major coup';

  • 'attempted' – an 'attempted coup';

  • a 'failed coup' – one that didn't work;

  • and my favourite collocation is 'bloodless' – a bloodless clue... sorry!

  • A 'bloodless coup' – a 'bloodless coupis a 'coup' when there is no violence

  • and this is interesting because it sort of suggests

  • that normally we could expect violence in a 'coup'.

  • That's right. When we talk about 'coups' we're not talking about

  • the democratic transition of one government to another; we're talking about

  • usually an army or armed forces taking control of a government...

  • Yeah, by force. ...illegally

  • That word 'force' is really important, isn't it?

  • Yeah. I have seen this word though used differently,

  • in connection sometimes with sportSo, let me give you an example:

  • My favourite football team is Portsmouth Football Club

  • because that's where I'm from, but unfortunately Portsmouth are not

  • a very good football team at the moment – they are in the lower divisions.

  • So, if I read in the news that Portsmouth had signed Lionel Messi

  • to play for them, I would say: 'Wow, what a coup for Portsmouth!'

  • That means an unexpected successit's got nothing to do with military takeovers.

  • Yeah. So, we can have a 'coup' as an important and unexpected achievement.

  • Now, Neil, I don't know anything about football,

  • so I don't really know what you're talking about in that respect.

  • I'm going to give my own example:

  • say the Queen came to the BBC buildings and I said to her:

  • 'Would you like to come and do news with us... News Review next week?'

  • And the Queen said, 'Yes. That would be great.'

  • And she came and did News Review with usthat would be a 'coup':

  • an unexpected and important achievement.

  • It would indeed be a 'major coup' for BBC Learning English;

  • nothing to do with military takeovers...! OK. Let's get a summary:

  • If you'd like to watch another video about seizures of power,

  • we have the perfect one for you: an anniversarywhat's it all about, Tom?

  • It is a hundred years since the Russian Revolution.

  • This is an old News Reviewor a News Review from the archive

  • and you can find it by clicking the link.

  • Yeah, it's from 2017, which washundred years from 1917, of course.

  • Let's have a look at your next headline.

  • My second headline is from Sky Newsthe headline:

  • 'At a crossroads' – at a point of change.

  • Yeah... Now...

  • I know what a 'crossroads' is, TomIt's when one road crosses another one.

  • Yeah, and it makes a cross form.

  • Yeah, 'crossroads' are wherefor example, four roads meet.

  • And what do you have to do there, Neil?

  • Well, when you approach a 'crossroads', you have to make a choice:

  • a choice about which direction you are going to go in future.

  • So, that is the literal meaning, but we're not talking literally here are we?

  • No, it's figurative. So, if 'atcrossroads' is at a point of change,

  • we are at the point of change because one way or another

  • we need to make a decision about which way to go.

  • Yeah. OK. For example, when I was eighteen years old

  • I'd finished what we callLevel in the UK, or in England,

  • and you have a choice then:

  • are you going to then study furthergo to university?

  • Or perhaps get a job? And that is like being 'at a crossroads'.

  • We'd say, 'That's a crossroads in your life.'

  • You have a choice about what direction to take in the future.

  • You've wrapped it up perfectly. I'm not sure what else I can tell you on that one.

  • 'At a crossroads' – at a point of important change

  • and we need to make a decision about which way to go.

  • OK. Shall we get a summary of that:

  • We've been talking about 'crossroads'

  • and we have a story about roads, don't we, Tom?

  • We do. It's a 6 Minute English – keeping cars out of city centres.

  • You can watch this: click on the link and drive across to YouTube or the site.

  • OK. Let's have a look at our next headline please.

  • My next headline is from The Telegraphanother UK paper. It says:

  • 'Deals a killer blow' – ends something suddenly and violently.

  • Now, this is an interesting expression:

  • it's made up of lots of words that I know

  • but I can't really get the sense overall,

  • so shall we start with 'killer' and 'killer blow'?

  • Yeah. So a 'killer blow' – I imagine – probably comes from boxing.

  • So, a 'blow' is a strike or a hit,

  • so a 'killer blow' would be the one that ends the fight

  • the one that knocks your opponent out.

  • Yeah. It's got a very, kind of, violent sense, hasn't it?

  • Yes, definitely.

  • What about this word 'deal'? I know in cards, playing cards, you 'deal'.

  • It means you hand out or give somethingIs there a sense connected here?

  • Yeah. If you giveif you 'deal a killer blow',

  • you 'give' someone a 'killer blow', which... it's just the verb that it takes.

  • Yeah. OK. And of course when we're talking about boxing,

  • that's – kind ofliteral, isn't it?

  • We're not using it literally here, we're using it figuratively.

  • This is figurative here. So, in the headline it's talking about

  • the 'killer blow' to Myanmar's fledgling democracy.

  • 'Fledgling' means young, so it's endedthe opinion of the writer

  • is that this military coup has suddenly ended this young democracy in Myanmar.

  • OK. And we hear this often – this expressionused

  • in connection with business, don't we?

  • Yes. In your everyday life you could use it with relation to business.

  • For example, Covid: if you're instruggling... if you own a struggling business

  • and then Covid comes and there's all these economic changes,

  • we could say: 'Covid has dealt your business a killer blow.'

  • Yeah. If it, sort of, ends itif it finishes it.

  • Yeah. OK. Well, let's get a summary of that:

  • Time now, Tom, for a recap of our vocabulary please.

  • A recap of today's vocabulary: 'coup' – takeover of government by force.

  • 'At a crossroads' – at a point of change.

  • And 'deals a killer blow' – ends something suddenly and violently.

  • If you want to test yourself on the vocabulary,

  • there's a quiz on our websitebbclearningenglish.com.

  • And you can find us all over social media.

  • Stay safe. Join us again next time. Goodbye.

  • Bye.

Hello and welcome to News Review from BBC Learning English.

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Myanmar: Military takes control - News Review

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    林宜悉 posted on 2021/02/04
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