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Nowadays we judge status and wealth with cars and clothes – but how was it measured in the past? Today we find out why salt was so important!

ఆధునిక కాలంలో వేసుకున్న బట్టలు, కార్లు, ఇళ్లు బట్టి ఆస్తి అంతస్తులను కొలవగలం. కానీ పూర్వకాలంలో ఎలా కొలిచేవారు? పూర్వం ఉప్పుకు ఎందుకు అంత ప్రాధాన్యత ఉండేది? ఉప్పుకు, ఆస్తికి సంబంధం ఏమిటి? ఈ అంశాలన్నీ ఇవాళ తెలుసుకుందాం.

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Why was salt so important?

People’s perception of salt has changed from the past to the present – so how has it changed and why?
పూర్వం నుంచి ఇప్పటితో పోలిస్తే ఉప్పు పట్ల ప్రజల అభిప్రాయం, అవగాహన మారిపోయాయి. ఎందుకు, ఎలా?

Before you listen/Pre-listening

Consider the following questions:
-How do we measure wealth nowadays?
-Do you think salt a good or bad thing?
-Why could salt have been important in the past?

Listen to the audio and take the quiz.

แสดงเนื้อหาบทบันทึกเสียง ซ่อนเนื้อหาบทบันทึกเสียง

సౌమ్య
హాయ్! బావున్నారా? మీ అందరికీ నూతన సంవత్సర శుభాకాంక్షలు. Listen Here కార్యక్రమానికి స్వాగతం! ప్రామాణికమైన ఇంగ్లిష్ వార్తల కథనాల గురించి తెలుసుకోవాలనుకుంటున్నారా? అయితే ఈ కార్యక్రమం మీకోసమే! ఈ కథనాలను అర్థం చేసుకోవడానికి ఉపయోగపడే భాషను మీరిక్కడ నేర్చుకోవచ్చు. నేను సౌమ్య.

James
And I’m James! Hi everybody! 

సౌమ్య
ఇవాళ మనం wealth and status- ఆస్తి అంతస్తుల గురించి మాట్లాడుకుందాం. So James, how do people in the UK show their wealth or status

James
Well, in many different ways! The clothes they wear, the cars they drive, the shops they visit or the size or location of their house. How about in your country? 

సౌమ్య
మా దేశంలో కూడా అంతే! వేసుకునే బట్టలు, నివసించే స్థలం, కార్లు, నౌకర్లు....వీటినిబట్టి ఆస్తి అంతస్తులు తెలుసుకోగలం కదా! సరే, ఇవాళ ఒక lexicographer అంటే నిఘంటుకారులు - డిక్షనరీ తయారుచేసే వ్యక్తి మాటలు విందాం. పూర్వకాలంలో Salt - ఉప్పును మన ఆస్తి అంతస్తుకు చిహ్నంగా చూసేవారట. ఉప్పేమిటి, ఆస్తికి చిహ్నమేమిటి? ఆశ్చర్యంగా ఉంది కదూ! ఈ సంప్రదాయం ఎప్పుడు మొదలయ్యిందో, దీని వెనుక కథేమిటో lexicographer Suzy Dent చెప్తున్నారు, విందాం. 

Presenter
If you look in the Oxford English dictionary, there are just entry after entry which clearly reflects how important it (salt) has been. But it also became a great symbol of social wealth and social status. You’ll find this in medieval times right up to the 18th century. 

సౌమ్య
Wow, salt was important in medieval times?! But it’s so common nowadays! Medieval times అంటే మధ్యయుగం. 

James
That’s true! Salt was very expensive, and was therefore a way to show you were wealthy, that you could afford salt. 

సౌమ్య
Afford
అంటే స్తోమత కలిగి ఉండడం. ఆసక్తికరంగా ఉంది కదూ! ఉప్పు చాలా ఖరీదుగా ఉండడం వలన ఉప్పును కొనుక్కోగలిగితే ఆస్తిపరులనే అర్థం స్థిరపడిందిట. ఇంకా ఏం చెప్తున్నారో విందాం.

Presenter
The rank of guests at a banquet for example was gauged by exactly where they sat in relation to a silver salt cellar that was placed on the table. The distinguished guests would sit at the head of the table, above the salt, and people who sat below the salt, furthest away from the host, were the ones who were least important. 

James
So the closer to the salt that people were sat, the more important they were! Two common phrases we use in English because of this are ‘above the salt’ and ‘below the salt’ – meaning ‘important’ or ‘not important’. 

సౌమ్య
Above the salt
 అంటే ముఖ్యమైనది, below the salt అంటే ముఖ్యం కానిది. Let’s keep listening to find more of these expressions. 

Presenter
If you look at Shakespeare, for example, you will find salt as a symbol of liveliness and freshness. So Shakespeare talks about the 'salt of youth'.

సౌమ్య
So someone who is lively and passionate about their job for example has the salt of youth? Lively అంటే చురుకుగా, ఉల్లాసంగా. Passionate అంటే అత్యంత ఇష్టంతో, మక్కువతో అని అర్థం. 

James
Exactly! Let’s listen for more. 

Presenter
And of course in the Bible you’ll find ‘the salt of the earth’, people who have great kindness and integrity

సౌమ్య
Salt of the earth
అంటే దయతో, నీతిగా, చిత్తశుద్ధితో ఉండే వ్యక్తి అని అర్థం.   

James
Yes! People who do things for others are the salt of the earth

సౌమ్య
So all of these phrases are very positive, which shows how important salt was to people in the past. 

James
That’s right, but that seems strange! Nowadays, salt is something which people try to avoid. A salty diet is not very good for you. 

సౌమ్య
Has this changed the way that people use the word salt James? 

James
Yes, in fact it has! 

Presenter 2
But now, in modern times there’s been a shift in that, you know, we demonise it now as a bad thing.

Presenter 1
Yes, actually in slang we might just be able to detect that downturn because salty now, in slang, means irritable really or hostile even. 

సౌమ్య
ఆధునిక కాలంలో Salt అంటే అర్థం మారిపోయింది. ఉప్పుకున్న విలువ మారిపోయింది కాబట్టి అర్థం కూడా మారిపోయింది. Salty describes someone who is aggressive or bitter. Aggressive అంటే దూకుడుగా, bitter అంటే కఠినంగా అని అర్థం.So, have the phrases we use with salt changed with people’s opinions? 

James
That’s right – people’s attitudes to salt are now quite salty

సౌమ్య
Are there any other negative phrases with salt

James
'To rub salt in the wound'
means to make someone who is already sad or upset feel even worse. 

సౌమ్య
To rub salt in the wound
అంటే పుండు మీద ఉప్పు రుద్దడం. 

How about you? Do you have a salty attitude to salt? Are you salt of the earth? Here are some other phrases we learnt today – above the salt అంటే ముఖ్యమైనది, below the salt అంటే  ముఖ్యం కానిది. To rub salt in the wound - పుండు మీద ఉప్పు రుద్దడం. The salt of youth – ఉల్లాసంగా, చురుకుగా ఉండే వ్యక్తి. Thanks for joining us and see you next week for more Listen Here!

Language features

Listen to today’s clip in full here
Source: The Food Programme

above/below the salt

To be above/below the salt means to be important/unimportant.

  • In medieval times lords used to sit above the salt.
  • In medieval times, servants used to sit below the salt.

the salt of youth

To have the salt of youth means to have vigour and passion.

  • He has worked exceptionally hard on the project – he really has the salt of youth.

salt of the Earth

To be the salt of the Earth means someone is kind and has integrity.

  • Peter always does his best to help his colleagues – he is salt of the Earth.

to rub salt in the wound

To rub salt in the wound means to make someone who is already sad or upset even more sad or upset.

  • Not only did Rob lose his job, but he also lost his house, which really rubbed salt in the wound.

Why was salt so important?

4 Questions

Choose the correct answer.
సరైన జవాబు ఎంచుకోండి.

ยินดีด้วยคุณทำแบบฝึกหัดเสร็จแล้ว
Excellent! เยี่ยม! แย่หน่อย! คุณทำคะแนนได้:
x / y

Join us for our next episode of Listen Here! when we will learn more useful language and practise your listening skills.
Listen Here! కార్యక్రమంలో మమ్మల్ని మళ్లీ కలిసి మీకుపయోగపడే భాషను నేర్చుకోండి, మీ శ్రవణ కౌశలానికీ పదును పెట్టుకోండి.

หลักไวยากรณ์จากบทเรียนย่อย

Session Vocabulary

  • wealth
    ఆస్తి

    wealthy
    ఆస్తిపరులు

    status
    అంతస్తు

    medieval
    మధ్యయుగం

    afford
    స్తోమత కలిగి ఉండడం

    vigour
    శక్తి/పరాక్రమము

    passion
    అత్యంత ఇష్టం/మక్కువ

    integrity
    నీతిగా, చిత్తశుద్ధితో

    aggressive
    దూకుడుతనం

    disagreeable
    సరిపడని/అసమ్మతి

    salty
    ఉప్పగా