Merry Christmas everyone!
From ABA English we hope you have a beautiful day surrounded by family and friends.
And if your culture does not celebrate Christmas, we hope you too are also having an amazing day full of love and goodwill.
Have you watched the Oscar winning film, The King’s Speech? It is based on the true story that in 1932 George V gave a speech to the people of England, a motivational speech to give them hope after two World Wars.
Since then, all monarchs have given a Christmas Message on the 25th of December. It is a popular activity for British people to watch this speech after Christmas dinner.
We thought it was a great opportunity to read, listen and understand the original King’s Speech.
Are you ready? It’s quite long, but a combined English and History lesson! 😉
1. Read the text
2. Understand the vocabulary
3. Listen to the original speech
“In this grave hour, perhaps the most fateful in history, I send to every household of my peoples, both at home and overseas, this message, spoken with the same depth of feeling for each one of you as if I were able to cross your threshold and speak to you myself.
For the second time in the lives of most of us we are at war. Over and over again, we have tried to find a peaceful way out of the differences between ourselves and those who are now our enemies, but it has been in vain. We have been forced into a conflict for which we are called, with our allies, to meet the challenge of a principle which, if it were to prevail, would be fatal to any civilized order in the world.
It is a principle which permits a state, in the selfish pursuit of power to disregard its treaties and its solemn pledges, which sanctions the use of force, or threat of force, against the sovereignty and independence of other states. Such a principle, stripped of all disguise, is surely the mere primitive doctrine that might is right, and if this principle were established through the world, the freedom of our own country and of the whole British Commonwealth of nations would be in danger. But far more than this, the peoples of the world would be kept in bondage of fear, and all hopes of settled peace and of security, of justice and liberty, among nations, would be ended.
This is the ultimate issue which confronts us. For the sake of all that we ourselves hold dear, and of the world order and peace, it is unthinkable that we should refuse to meet the challenge.
It is to this high purpose that I now call my people at home and my peoples across the seas, who will make our cause their own. I ask them to stand calm, firm, and united in this time of trial. The task will be hard. There may be dark days ahead, and war can no longer be confined to the battlefield, but we can only do the right as we see the right, and reverently commit our cause to God. If one and all we keep resolutely faithful to it, ready for whatever service or sacrifice it may demand, then with God’s help, we shall prevail.
May He bless and keep us all.”
Fateful – having important results.
Example: “My life changed on that fateful November; my life was never the same again”
Household – the people in a family or other group that are living together in one house.
Example: “The whole Smith household was sick with the flu”
Overseas – in or to a foreign country that is across a sea or ocean.
Example: “The army went overseas to fight”
Threshold – a piece of wood, metal, or stone that forms the bottom of a door and that you walk over as you enter a room or building.
Example: “James stood on the threshold of my door and declared his love”
Forced into – to make (someone) do something that he or she does not want to do.
Example: “We were forced into working extra hours without being payed”
Conflict – a struggle for power, property, etc.
Example: “The conflict lasted years between countries”
Allies – a country that supports and helps another country in a war.
Example: “England and its allies fought against Germany”
Prevail – to defeat an opponent especially in a long or difficult contest.
Example: “Good prevailed over evil”
Disregard – to ignore (something) or treat (something) as unimportant.
Example: “I disregarded your message because I thought it was for someone else”
Treaties – an official agreement that is made between two or more countries or groups.
Example: “All the countries in the UN signed the treaty”
Solemn -very serious or formal in manner, behavior, or expression.
Example: “The president’s speech was very solemn”
Pledges – a serious promise or agreement.
Example: “The whole group pledget to be loyal to each other”
Sovereignty – a country’s independent authority and the right to govern itself.
Example: “The country still didn’t have a claim to sovereignty”
Principle – a moral rule or belief that helps you know what is right and wrong and that influences your actions.
Example: “My best friend has great principles; she’s a lovely girl”
Stripped of – to take (something) away from someone in a forceful way.
Example: “The coronel was stripped of his power”
Bondage – the state of being a slave. Often used figuratively.
Example: “He struggled with the bondage of drug addiction”
Ultimate – greatest or most extreme.
Example: “It was the ultimate act of patriotism”
Issue – something that people are talking about, thinking about, etc. : an important subject or topic.
Example: “Clarissa is very concerned with social issues”
Hold dear – to keep something in high regard.
Example: “She held all of her grandmothers possessions very dear”
Refuse – to say that you will not accept.
Example: “We refused to clean up the classroom; we did not make it dirty”
Firm – not weak or uncertain.
Example: “Matthew had a firm control over the project”
Confined – trapped in a small place.
Example: “They were confined within the other company’s ideas”
Battlefield – a place where a battle is fought.
Example: “Hundreds of soldiers died on the battlefield”
Reverently – showing a lot of respect.
Example: “A reverent crowd of believes showed up at the church”
Resolutely – very determined : having or showing a lot of determination.
Example: “She is a resolute competitor; she never gives up”
Faithful – having or showing true and constant support or loyalty.
Example: “Toby is a very faithful dog”