Session 7

Robots can often look like humans, but how does this make us feel? Listen to this programme to learn great language around this topic.
ሮቦት መብዛሕትኡ እዋን ናይ ሰባት ቅርጺ ኣለዎም-እዚ እንታይ ዓይነት ስምዒት የሕድረልና? ጽን ኢልኩም ብምስማዕ ነዚ ኣርእሰቲ ዝምለከት ቋንቋ ተማሃሩ።

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    Activity 1

Activity 1

What happens when we see robots that look like us?

Robots can often look like humans, but how does this make us feel? Listen to this programme to learn great language around this topic.

ሮቦት መብዛሕትኡ እዋን ናይ ሰባት ቅርጺ ኣለዎም-እዚ እንታይ ዓይነት ስምዒት የሕድረልና? ጽን ኢልኩም ብምስማዕ ነዚ ኣርእሰቲ ዝምለከት ቋንቋ ተማሃሩ።

Before you listen

Consider the following questions:
1) What image do you think of when you hear the word ‘robot’?
2) How would a robot with a human face and body make you feel?

Listen to the audio and take the quiz.

Show transcript Hide transcript

ኣቕራቢቋንቋትግርኛ
ሰላም፡ እንቋዕ ናብዚ ሓቀኛ ዛንታት ቋንቋ እንግሊዝ ሰሚዕኩም ንክትርድኡ ዝሕግዘኩም መደብ Listen Here ብደሓን  መጻእኩም። ኣነ ተክለማርያም በኪት ኢየ።

Tom
And I’m Tom. Hi everyone!

ኣቕራቢቋንቋትግርኛ
Let me ask you a question. Do you like robots, ብሰብ ዝተሰርሓ ደረቕን ሜካኒካዊ ነገር ኢዩ።

Tom
Robots? I suppose – think about all the robots in factories. They’re useful.

ኣቕራቢቋንቋትግርኛ
What about if a robot looks like a friend, or a parent?

Tom
Agh, no! That’s really weird.

ኣቕራቢቋንቋትግርኛ
I thought you might say that! Today’s clip is from BBC Radio 4 The Why Factor። እዛ ተዛራቢት ሳይኮሎጂስተ እያ። ንሳ ንሮቦት ሰብኣዊ ቅርጺ ብምሃብ ‘relatable’, ኣገደስቲ ወይ ጠቐምቲ ብዛዕባ ምግባሮም ክትዛረብ እያ። እዞም ሮቦት ክህቡና ዝኽእሉ ሓገዝ ወይ ጠቕሚ ንምግላጽ እንታይ መላ እያ ተጠቒማ?

Insert
The overall idea of making something relatable is a good one. But it’s when those features become almost too close for comfort that they become unsettling rather than friendly and welcoming. There is a point at which rather than liking them more you start to reject them.

Tom

She said we can find robots ‘unsettling’. When they look like us, they’re ‘too close for comfort’.

ኣቕራቢቋንቋትግርኛ
‘Unsettling’ ማለት ዘይምርጋእ ማለት እዩ። ‘too close for comfort’ዝብል ኣገላልጻ ከኣ፡ ንሓደ ዘንጸላሉ ሓደጋ ወይ ከየጋጥም እትፈርሖ ነገር ንምግላጽ እትጥቀመሉ ኮይኑ “ኣብ ሓደጋ ኣለና” እዩ ዘስምዕ። 

Tom
So, if my boss began to ask me about my love life, that might be ‘too close for comfort’.

ኣቕራቢቋንቋትግርኛ
Right!

Tom
I also like her expression, ‘there is a point at which’. This expression suggests a change in something.

ኣቕራቢቋንቋትግርኛ

Right!  እዚ ማለት እቲ ለውጢ ኣብ ርእይቶና እዩ ዝምርኮስ። እቶም ሮቦት ናይ ደቂ ሰባት ቅርጽን መልክዕን ስለዘለዎም ኣብ ክንዲ ንፈትዎም ክንጸልኦም ንጅምር። That’s the point at which we change our opinion, right?

Tom
Correct!

ኣቕራቢቋንቋትግርኛ
OK. There’s a point at which we need to move on. ነቲ ዝተረፈ ፈነወ እስከ ንስማዕ። ሮቦት ኣብ ስምዒትና እንታይ ዓይነት ሳዕቤን ኣለዎም። 


Insert
So, if you imagine a typical factory robot, you don’t really think of it as a person. If you then humanise that by making it more friendly, giving it, eventually, a face and hair and smiling eyes, you would expect that your liking for it would just continue to increase. But it actually doesn’t. There’s a point at which your emotional response dips off sharply and rather than it being appealing, you really don’t like it, you want it to go away.

Tom
She talks about our emotional response to robots. She says our emotional response ‘dips off sharply’ when we see humanized robots.

ኣቕራቢቋንቋትግርኛ
To humanise, ሰብኣውነት ማለት ኢዩ. ‘Dip off’ ሓረጋዊ ስም ኮይኑ ምንቁልቋል ማለት እዩ. It’s commonly used with the adverb, sharply.

Tom
So, when our emotions dip off, they decline sharply.

ኣቕራቢቋንቋትግርኛ
I hope our audience numbers don’t dip off sharply! እታ ሳይኮሎጂስት ‘would’ ምኾነ ዝብል ናይ ግምት መግለጺ እያ ሂባ። እቲ ግምት ሰባት ንዝተላለዩዎ ሮቦት ክፈትዉዎ ይኽእሉ ይኾኑ ዝብል እዩ። ን ‘would’ ከመይ ገይራ ከምዘድመጸቶ ደጊምና ንስማዕ።

Insert
If you then humanise that by making it more friendly, giving it, eventually, a face and hair and smiling eyes, you would expect that your liking for it would just continue to increase. 

Tom
She uses would, a short form of would. Say it with me.

expect
would expect
you would expect

I would expect that you’d like to continue?

ኣቕራቢቋንቋትግርኛ
የቐንየልና። ቅድሚ ምውዳእና እቲ ተዛራባይ ንኽልተ ተጻረርቲ ሓሳባት ብኸመይ ከምዝገለጾም ንርአ። ኣብዚ ክንሰምዖን ከነስተብህለሉን ዘሎና ክልተ ምሉኣት ሓሳባት ኣሎ። ኣየናይ ቃላት እዩ ተጻራሪ ሓሳባት ዘቕርብ።

Insert
There is a point at which rather than liking them more you start to reject them.

There’s a point at which your emotional response dips off sharply and rather than it being appealing, you really don’t like it, you want it to go away.

Tom
She says rather than!

ኣቕራቢቋንቋትግርኛ
‘Rather than’
ተጻራሪ ሓሳባት እዩ ዘንጸባርቕ. Tom, rather than continuing, perhaps we should try to finish today’s show?

Tom
Well, I’d prefer to continue rather that stop, but that’s OK. All this talk about human robots is making me feel very unsettled.

ኣቕራቢቋንቋትግርኛ
ስለምኽትታልኩም ነመስግን። ብሩኽ ምሸት።

Tom
Thanks and see you next time!

Listen to today’s clip in full here.
Source: The Why Factor

Language features

too close for comfort
If something is too close for comfort, it makes us feel worried or frightened because it is very close to us. We can use this expression to describe things which are physically close to us. 

That car nearly hit me! It was too close for comfort!

We can also use it figuratively to suggest unwanted familiarity or similarity.

Robots with faces scare me. They look a little too close for comfort!

a point at which
A point at which is a fixed expression which suggests an instance immediately before change. We can use this expression in different tenses by changing the form of [to be] which comes before.

I like working freelance, but now I’ve got a son I work full-time. There’s a point at which a person needs a stable income.

After being with my husband for ten years, there was a point at which I wanted to be free. We are now divorced.

rather than
We use rather than to introduce a contrasting idea. It is often used with parallel structures. A parallel structure is when two things (nouns, adjectives etc.) are directly contrasted to each other.

Rather than going to the cinema, let’s go the restaurant.

I prefer drinking tea rather than coffee.

What happens when we see robots that look like us?

3 Questions

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ቕኑዕ መልሲ ምረጹ።

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What do you think about robots? Are they a good thing or a bad thing? Tell us on our Facebook group.

Join us for our next episode of Listen Here, when we will learn more useful language and practise your listening skills.
ኣብ ዝቕጽል መደብ Listen Here ኣገደስቲ ናይ ኢንግሊዝኛ ዝርርብን ናይ ምስማዕ ክእለትኩም እተመሐይሹሉ መደብ ሒዝናልኩም ክንቀርብ ኢና’ሞ ብሰላም የራኽበና።

Session Vocabulary

  • robots
    ብሰብ ዝተሰርሓ ደረቕን ሜካኒካዊ ነገር

    relatable
    ዝመሳሰል

    unsettling
    ዘይምርጋእ

    to dip off
    ምንቁልቋል

    to humanise
    ሰብኣውነት