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Unit 1: The Experiment

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  1. 1 The Experiment

Session 1

The Experiment is a collection of short series that are a little different to our usual programmes - but still help you improve your English.

Our first series, We say - You say, shows how YOUR language can help you remember English expressions.

Wayiitiwwan marii boqonnaa kana keessaa

Wayitii marii qabxii 1

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    Activity 1

Activity 1

We Say - You Say

We say...

In English we say a leopard can't change its spots or a leopard doesn't change its spots to mean someone won't change. He or she will always be the same person and their bad habits are here to stay.

Examples:

I told Karen she had to study more if she wants to pass her exams but a leopard can't change its spots – she won't do it.

Freddie promised he wouldn't get into trouble at school but I don't believe him – a leopard can't change its spots.

Vidiyoo daawwadhuuti shaakala kana xumuri

Barreeffama agarsiisi Barreeffama dhoksi

Sian
A leopard can't change its spots means someone won't change. They'll always be the same person they've always been and they'll always have the same bad habits.

Examples:

I told Karen she had to study more if she wants to pass her exams but a leopard can't change its spots – she won't do it.

Freddie promised he wouldn't get into trouble at school but I don't believe him – a leopard can't change its spots.

How do YOU say it?

Jiaying
You say 'a leopard can't change its spots' - in Chinese we say  江山易改,本性难移 which means, dynasties may come and go but a person's nature doesn't change.

Keehwan
So, a leopard can't change its spots, well in Korean we have a similar phrase, we say -세살 버릇 여든까지 간다 and it basically means the habits of a three year old lasts until the age of 80 - and this basically means 'a leopard can't change its spots'.

William
'A leopard doesn't change its spots' - well in Spanish we have a similar saying - Genio y figura hasta la sepultura - You carry your temper and personality to the grave.

Sian
So, those are a few examples of 'a leopard can't change its spots' in other languages, what do you say?

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Did you like that? Why not try these?

6_yt_cover_wild_goose.jpg 6minvocab_li_7_lexical_sets.jpg tims_pron_21_YT.jpg 

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You say...

In Chinese - 江山易改,本性难移 (Dynasties may come and go but a person's nature doesn't change)

In Korean – -세살 버릇 여든까지 간다 (The habits of a three year old lasts until the age of 80)

In Spanish - Genio y figura hasta la sepultura (You carry your temper and personality to the grave)

To do

Try our quiz to see what you've learnt about the meaning of today's expression:

How well do you know this phrase?

4 Questions

Decide if these examples correctly use the phrase 'a leopard can't change its spots'

Baga gammadde! Qormaata xumurteetta
Excellent! Great job! Carraa badaa! Qabxii argatte:
x / y

What do you say in your language?

Go to our BBC Learning English Facebook page and tell us!