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Session 25

How important for you is it that people are on time?
Siif, namoonni sa’aatii kabajanii argamuun hagam barbaachisaadha?

In today’s episode we will be discussing how people think about time.
Sagantaa har’aa keessatti namoonni waa’ee yeroo/sa’aatii akkamitti akka yaadan mari’anna.

Session 25 score

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    Activity 1

Activity 1

How late is too late?

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

  • punctuality
  • resignation
  • courtesy


Which of these countries has the least flexible approach to time?

a) The USA
b) Britain
c) Japan

Listen to the discussion 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' kan mata duree tibbanaa irratti mari'annuu fi qooqa dubbachuun si barbaachisan si qoodnutti baga nagana dhufte. Ani Caalii dha, akkasumas Saamiifi Fiil naa waliin jiru.

Hi, I'm Sam.

And I'm Phil.  Welcome!

Hanga yoonaa eessa turte Fiil – walakaa sa'aa dura eegaluutu nurra ture… Kan nama raajummo, har'a waa'ee sa'aati kabajanii argamuurratti dubbanna. Gaafiin siif qabnu kunootti  –  akka Proofeesaar Eriin Meeyeer jehdanitti biyoota kannen keessa kamtu sa'aati kanbajanii argamuurratti ejjenno hinjijjiramne qaba:

a)    Ameerikaa

b)    Briteen

c)    Jaappaan

I'd be interested to know the answer. Do you think Britain is inflexible?

Hmmm, definitely... and you know what - I'm inflexible about time.

Gaariidha, akka sana taanaa, odeessa biyyakee iirraa eegalla – tessuma mana mareerraa daqiiqa lama boodatti hafa kan dhaqe waa'ee seenaa nama siyaasa tokko  fi kan sagantaa Raadiyoo BBC 4's Today irratti dhihaate kana caqasi.

Speaking of dramatic resignations, there was one in the Lord's. The international development minister Lord Bates had failed to arrive in time to answer a question from a Labour peer, Lady Lister. A little later Lord Bates, mortified, got up to the despatch box: 'I've always believed we should offer, rise to the highest possible standards of courtesy and respect in responding on behalf of the government to the legitimate questions of the legistlature. I'm thoroughly ashamed at not being in my place and therefore I shall be offering my resignation to the Prime Minister with immediate effect.'

Polite smiles behind him had turned to dismay, and there were calls of no, but Lord Bates gathered up his papers and strode out. A few peers tried to grab his arm, but off he went.

Wow… daqiiqaa lama qofa barfachuun hojii ofii gad-lakkisuu…waan xiqqoo dhaadheffame fakkaata.

Maybe it is, but punctuality is really important, he should feel bad - he should be on time.

'Punctuality' means 'sa'aatii jedhamerratti ykn sa'aatii kabajuun argamuu' – Ummata Biritish biratti haalaan barbaachisa akka ta'e nanbeeka. But in my country it is not like that.

I think being punctual is always important. It's just a courtesy, isn't it?

Courtesy jechuun 'amala kabajaa qabu/amala gaarii ta'edha, haa ta'u malee kun nama hundaa biratti haala walfakkaataan qaba jette yaadaa? Or is that just your rule?

I think it's a good rule for everyone - it's not courteous to keep people waiting for you.

You seem very sure, but let's turn this around. Say you're rushing to an appointment with someone.

Rushing...  sardamuu/jarjaruu/ariifachuu/ jechuudha, kun waan namni Landan hundi godhuudha.

Yeah, and then you meet someone, someone you haven't seen for a long time and they want to stop and talk. What do you do then? Is rushing off a courtesy here?

umm... ooh... that's different.  Um... yeah it's different.

Akkasumas har'a barfattetta… were you being discourteous to us?

Um, my train was late.

So you see things are a bit more complicated than Phil thinks - I don't think it's punctuality that's important - It's a shared understanding of how to think about time that's important.

A shared understanding jechuun hubannaa waloo - Can you give an example of that, Sam?

Sure, say you are organising a party, so you tell people to come at 9 - thinking they'll be there at 9.30. If someone actually comes at 9.00 you might still be getting ready.

I'd be there at 9.

Hmmm... that's no surprise! Hubannoon waloo sun akkaataa aadaan adda addaa waa'ee sa'aatii itti hubatan natti fakkaata.  Kun akkaan deebii batalle sana himu na godha…. Akka gabaasni Biziness Insaayideer eerutti biyyoota sadan maqaa dhahaman keessa sa'aatii ykn yeroon argamuu ilaalchisee bakka gudda kan laattu biyya Jaapaani.

So, there's somewhere that's less flexible than Britain.

That sounds good.

Erm, yeah, but you'd have to be on time for work there Phil.

Gaari, kuta ittaanurratti yeroodhaan akkamitti akka asitti argamu Fiila wayita irratti hojjetu, mee nu ammo jechoota har’a hanga yoonaatti dubbachaa turre haa ilaallu –. “Punctuality” jechuun sa’aatii jedhametti argamuu, sa’aatii kabajuu jechuudha; “courtesy” jechuun amala kabajaa qabu ykn amala gaarii jechuudha; “rushing” jechuun sardamuu, jarjaruu ykn ariifachuu jechuudha. Akkasumas “shared understanding” jechuun hubannoo waloo jechuudha. Turtii waliin qabaanneef galatoomi; barnoota dabalataa Afaan Ingilizii walii-wajjiniitiin torban ittaanu walitti deebina. Nagaatti.

Meaning & Use

puncuality (noun)

Punctuality is a noun which refers to being on time for things. 
Everyone complained about the punctuality of the city's buses - they were never on time!
I learned that punctuality was important when I got my first job.

courtesy (noun)

Courtesy is a noun that refers to being polite and having respect for other people.
Courtesy is very important when dealing with customers.
I called back to say thank you as a courtesy.

rush (verb)

To rush is to do something quickly, often carelessly and due to a lack of time.
rushed to my child's school to pick them up on time.
I forgot to bring my phone because I was rushing to leave the house.

shared understanding (noun)

shared understanding is when people have the same expectations or knowledge of something in particular.
It is important for all employees to have a shared understanding of the company's expectations.
We had a shared understanding of what each person in the team had to do.

How late is too late?

4 Questions

Choose the correct answer.

Deebii sirrii ta’e fili.

Congratulations you completed the Quiz
Excellent! Great job! Bad luck! You scored:
x / y

Over to you!

Do you think it is important to be punctual? Does it annoy you when people are late? Do you think we should be more understanding when people are late? 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

  • punctuality
    sa’aatii jedhametti/ sa’aatii kabajuun argamuu

    amala kabajaa qabu

    Ariiffachuu/ sardamuu

    shared understanding
    hubannaa waloo

    Hojii/aangoo ofiin gad lakkisuu