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Learning English - Words in the News
02 July, 2007 - Published 10:31 GMT
Viking ship
Reconstructed Viking warship

A replica of an eleventh century Viking longboat has set sail from Denmark across the North Sea on a voyage to the Irish capital, Dublin. The vessel is a reproduction of the 'Sea Stallion from Glendalough', the largest Viking warship ever built. This report from Paul Legg:

Listen to the story

Thousands of onlookers cheered the replica Viking longboat as it was rowed out of the port of Roskilde under sunny skies. It's the start of a nine-hundred nautical mile journey for the sixty-five man crew which is expected to take nearly seven weeks.

The original vessel was built in the Glendalough Forest south of Dublin in 1040, at a time when the area was settled by Vikings. It took part in sea battles with the Normans before the Norman Conquest of England in 1066. But the longboat was deliberately sunk, along with four other ships, in the Roskilde fjord in Denmark at the end of the eleventh century to protect the Danish coast from invading Vikings from Norway.

Shipbuilders from Denmark, Norway and the Faroe Islands took part in the building of the replica, using the same methods as the Vikings and with tools made to resemble those employed in the Viking era. But unlike the original crew, today's are equipped with radar and other navigation aids with a support vessel following in case they get into trouble.

Paul Legg, BBC

Listen to the words

onlookers cheered
spectators/observers shouted loudly to show their approval and encouragement

exact copy, reproduction

nautical mile
a unit of distance of 1,852 metres. It is longer than a land mile (1,609 metres)

team of people who work together on a ship

The original vessel
the genuine ship, not its copy

the area was settled by Vikings
Vikings came to the area to live there permanently

intentionally, having planned to do it

entering a country (in this case Denmark) by force with an army

to resemble
to be similar to, to be/look like


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