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Session 15

Do you think people should take complete responsibility for their local area?
In today’s episode we will be discussing whether it was a good thing for a group of grandmothers to fix the road in their village.

Namoonni naannawasaaniitti ittigaafatamummaa waliigalaa fudhachuu qabu jettee yaaddaa?
Kutaa har’aa keessatti gareen akkoowwan daandiin gandasaanii hojjechuu ilaalchisee kun yaada gaarii ita’uufi dhiisuusaa mar’anna.

Session 15 score

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    Activity 1

Activity 1

Road-mending grandmothers

Look at the Session Vocabulary – make sure you know what these words mean:

  • neighbourhood
  • community
  • safety


In which continent do you think the world’s longest drivable road is?
Listen to the discussion about a group of grandmothers who fix the road in their village and find out the answer.

Listen to find the answers. Then check them on the transcript below.

Show transcript Hide transcript

Yooyyaa! Gara English Together Afaan Inglizii waliwajjin mata duree tibbanaa irratti mari’annuu fi qooqa dubbachuun si barbaachisu si qoodnutti baga nagana dhufte. Ani Caalii dha, akkasumas Fiilii fi Saam naa waliin argamu.

Hi, I’m Phil.

And I’m Sam. Welcome!

Har’a, waa’ee odeeffannoo garee akkowwan araddaa isaanii keessatti waanta addaa addaa fooyyesuuf carraaqanii caqasuudhaan eegalla. Odeessa BBC Monitariingi Niiwis kana haa caqasnu.

News insert
A group of Russian grandmothers grew so tired of waiting for the local authorities to fix their road, that they hired the necessary equipment and did the job themselves, Rossiya 24 reports. The local administration said after an inspection last month that no repairs were necessary. According to Ura.ru, the group - including a 90-year-old babushka - contributed 500 roubles each for building material and set to work with the help of two men.

Egaa ati waa’ee kanaa maal yaadda, akkaataa namoonni hawaasa ofii isaaniin boonan si gamachiiseeramoo angaawoonni gargaaruu dhabuu isaanitu si rifachiise? Egaa waa’ee daandiiwwanii utuma dubbannu battalee torban kanaa kunooti…qophooftee? Adduunyaa kanarraa daandii dheertichi konkoolaata irra oofamuu. Ardii kam keessatti argama sitti fakkaata?

Let’s get back to the story - there’s a problem in your neighbourhood, so you all get together and fix it - that’s showing great pride in your community.

‘Pride’ jechuun boonuu – hawaasni ofiin boonuun gaariidha isa jedhutti gutumaa gututtin waligala.

Yes, I’m inspired by this - I want to build the same pride in my community, and see if my neighbours want to help make our neighbourhood nicer.

Sorry, I’m bit surprised here - did we hear the same story? I can’t believe that you thought that was the most important bit!

You don’t think community pride is important?

Community pride is really important... but surely the most important thing about this story is that a group of elderly people have had to start working on the road.

I liked that…

To me, that’s shocking - how can the authorities not take responsibility for this?

There are two sides to this story, aren’t there? A) Ofitti boonuu hawaasa keessatti arguun gaariidha - garuu B) gumiin angaawwotaa ‘take responsibility’ ittigaafatamumaa fudhachuu qabu jettee maaliif akka yaaddes nan hubadha.

It’s not just about taking responsibility for getting the road fixed - they should take responsibility for the safety of these women working, I mean one of them was 90 years old!

Look, now I think you are starting to be a bit patronising....

What do you mean?

Well, patronising means akkaataa gaarii ta’een badi namaa himudha - and maybe Phil has got a point.

Of course I’ve got a point. Firstly - you don’t know the situation, maybe there were bigger problems the authorities had to fix first - why do you think you know better? I think that’s a bit patronising.

Yeah, but what about their safety?

Well, secondly, these grandmothers knew exactly what they were doing - I think they can decide if they want to take the initiative.

We don’t know the whole situation, but I think it’s impressive how it shows people ‘taking initiative’ sun kaka’umsa fudhachuudha.

And I think it’s really important that if people want to improve something about where they live, that they can take the initiative.

Ani ‘initiative’ fudhee deebii gaafii torban kanaa nan kenna. Daandiin addunyaarraa dheerinaan irra oofamu ardii kam keessatti akka argamu beektaa? Akka Giinees Galmee Addunyaatti, Ameerikaa keessatti argama - Daandii kun Pan-Ameerikaa, Alaaskaa irraa eegakee hanga Ushuwaa’iiya Arjantiinaatti kan fula’uudha. Namoonni daandii sana tolchan umriinsaanii hangam akka turemmo hinbeeku…

I bet they were younger than the people in the story.

Let’s forget about age, let’s think about community pride – why don’t you come and visit mine?

From today’s story I think I’m too young to work on the road.... but I could do some gardening....

Tole, torban kanaaf nagaa otoo sitti hindhaamiin dura, waa’ee jechoota har’a hanga yoonaatti irratti dubbachaa turre haa’ilaallu. ‘Pride’ jechuun boonuu, ‘take responsibility’, jechuun ittigaafatamummaa fudhachuu, ‘patronising’, jechuun akkaataa gaarii ta’een badi namaa himuu’, akkasumas ‘initiative’, jechuun kaka’umsa.
Turtii waliin qabaanneef galatoomaa. Barnoota dabalataa English Together torban ittaanu walitti deebina. Nagaattii.


Meaning & Use

pride (noun)

Pride is 'a feeling of deep pleasure or satisfaction from your achievements, or the achievements of those close to you'. We can use it with the verbs 'have' or 'take', followed by the preposition 'in'. After 'in', like any preposition, we use a noun or a gerund (verb + ing).

Our company has always taken pride in its excellent customer suppor.
She takes a lot of pride in her garden. It's important to her that it looks tidy and that all the plants and flowers are healthy.

The adjective is proud, which we use with the preposition 'of'.
My father is proud of all of his children, and he always tells us.


to take responsibility for (verb phrase)

If you take responsibility for something, you consider something 'to be your duty'. You consider yourself 'to be accountable or to blame for' something. The verb take is irregular, so remember that the past simple is took and the past participle is taken . After 'for', like any preposition, we use a noun or a gerund (verb + -ing).

It's important that everyone in the team takes responsiblity for checking their own work carefully. We cannot accept any mistakes!

patronising (adjective)

Patronising is an adjective which comes from the verb to patronise, which means 'to treat someone with a feeling of superiority'.

My neighbour is very kind, but he always speaks to me like a child! He doesn't mean to be, but he's quite patronising.

initiative (noun)

Intiative is 'the ability to see an opportunity or a problem and to act independently to take that opportunity or fix that problem'. We often use it with the verbs 'use' or 'take'.

We want to hire someone who can use their initiative, imagination, and common sense.
Instead of complaining, why don't you take the initiative and try to think of some solutions?


Road-mending grandmothers

4 Questions

Choose the correct answer.
Deebii sirrii ta’e fili.

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Over to you!

What do you think about what the grandmothers did? Do you think it's good to take the 'initiative' to help your community? Or do you think it's the 'responsibility' of the local authority? Tell us on our Facebook group.

Join us for our next episode of English Together when we will learn more useful language and practise your listening skills.
Turtii waliin qabaanneef galatoomi, barnoota dabalataa English Together torban ittaanu walitti deebina.

Session Vocabulary

  • pride

    take responsibility
    ittigaafatamummaa fudhachuu

    akkaataa gaarii fakkaatuun olaantummaa ofii agarsiisuu


    local authority
    qondaala naannawaa (qondaala sadarkaa gadii)