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Session 10

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!
ਅੱਜ ਕਲ੍ਹ ਅਸੀਂ ਕਿਸੇ ਦੀ ਕਾਰ ਜਾਂ ਕੱਪੜੇ ਦੇਖ ਕੇ ਉਸਦੇ ਰੁਤਬੇ ਦਾ ਅੰਦਾਜ਼ਾ ਲਗਾਉਂਦੇ ਹਾਂ। ਭਲਾਂ ਪੁਰਾਣੇ ਜ਼ਮਾਨੇ ਵਿੱਚ ਇਸ ਦੇ ਕੀ ਮਾਪ ਦੰਡ ਹਨ? ਅੱਜ ਅਸੀਂ ਪਤਾ ਕਰਾਂਗੇ ਕਿ ਲੂਣ ਇੰਨਾ ਮਹੱਤਵਪੂਰਨ ਕਿਉਂ ਹੈ।

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    Activity 1

Activity 1

Why was salt so important?

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!
ਅੱਜ ਕਲ੍ਹ ਅਸੀਂ ਕਿਸੇ ਦੀ ਕਾਰ ਜਾਂ ਕੱਪੜੇ ਦੇਖ ਕੇ ਉਸਦੇ ਰੁਤਬੇ ਦਾ ਅੰਦਾਜ਼ਾ ਲਗਾਉਂਦੇ ਹਾਂ। ਭਲਾਂ ਪੁਰਾਣੇ ਜ਼ਮਾਨੇ ਵਿੱਚ ਇਸ ਦੇ ਕੀ ਮਾਪ ਦੰਡ ਹਨ? ਅੱਜ ਅਸੀਂ ਪਤਾ ਕਰਾਂਗੇ ਕਿ ਲੂਣ ਇੰਨਾ ਮਹੱਤਵਪੂਰਨ ਕਿਉਂ ਹੈ।

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.

Show transcript Hide transcript

Hello! Welcome to Listen Here! ਮੇਰਾ ਨਾਮ ਰਾਜਵੀਰ ਹੈ ਅਤੇ ਇਸ ਪ੍ਰੋਗਰਾਮ ਵਿੱਚ ਅਸੀਂ ਤੁਹਾਡੀ ਖ਼ਬਰ ਜਗਤ ਵਿੱਚ ਵਰਤੀ ਜਾਂਦੀ ਅੰਗਰੇਜ਼ੀ ਭਾਸ਼ਾ ਸਮਝਣ ਵਿੱਚ ਮਦਦ ਕਰਦੇ ਹਾਂ।

And I’m James! Hi everybody!

ਅੱਜ ਅਸੀਂ ਦੌਲਤ ਅਤੇ ਸਮਾਜਿਕ ਰੁਤਬੇ ਬਾਰੇ ਗੱਲ ਕਰ ਰਹੇ ਹਾਂ। So James, how do people in the UK show their wealth or status?

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?

ਪੰਜਾਬ ਵਿੱਚ ਤਾਂ ਹਰ ਜਗ੍ਹਾਂ ਦੌਲਤ ਦਾ ਪ੍ਰਦਰਸ਼ਨ ਕੀਤਾ ਜਾਂਦਾ ਹੈ ਘਰ ਬਣਾਉਣਾ ਹੋਵੇ ਜਾਂ ਵਿਆਹ ਕਰਵਾਉਣਾ ਹੋਵੇ, ਕੁਝ ਵੀ ਹੋਵੇ ਬਹੁਤੀਂ ਥਾਂਈ ਸਮਾਜਿਕ ਰੁਤਬੇ ਦਾ ਇਹ ਹੀ ਮਾਪ-ਦੰਡ ਹੈ। ਅੱਜ ਦਾ ਕਲਿੱਪ ਸੁਣਦੇ ਹਾਂ ਸ਼ਬਦਕੋਸ਼ ਤੇ ਕੰਮ ਕਰਨ ਵਾਲੀ Suzy Dent ਦੱਸ ਰਹੀ ਹੈ ਕਿ ਕਿਵੇਂ ਕਿਸੇ ਜ਼ਮਾਨੇ ਵਿੱਚ ਲੂਣ ਨੂੰ ਆਪਣਾ ਰੁਤਬਾ ਦੱਸਣ ਲਈ ਇਸਤੇਮਾਲ ਕੀਤਾ ਜਾਂਦਾ ਸੀ।

Suzy Dent
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 18ੂth century.

Wow, salt was so important in medieval times, ਮਤਲਬ ਮੱਧਕਾਲੀਨ ਵਿੱਚ! But it’s so common nowadays!

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

ਮਤਲਬ ਆਪਣੀ ਗੁੰਜ਼ਾਇਸ਼ ਅਨੁਸਾਰ ਕਈ ਚੀਜ਼ ਲੈ ਸਕਣਾ। Let’s listen on - how was salt used to show people’s social status?

Suzy Dent
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.

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’.

Above the salt 
ਮਤਲਬ ਲੂਣ ਤੋਂ ਵੱਧ ਮਹੱਤਵਪੂਰਨ, below the salt ਮਤਲਬ  ਘੱਟ ਮਹੱਤਵਪੂਰਨ. Let’s keep listening to find more of these expressions.

Suzy Dent
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

So someone who is lively ਮਤਲਬ  ਜ਼ਿੰਦਾਮਿਜ਼ਾਜ਼ ਅਤੇ passionate ਯਾਨੀ ਕਿ ਜੁਝਾਰੂ ਵੀ ਹੈ about their job for example has the salt of youth?

Exactly! Let’s listen for more.

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

Salt of the earth ਉਸ ਵਿਅਕਤੀ ਦਾ ਚਿਤਰਣ ਕਰਦਾ ਹੈ ਜੋkindਮਤਲਬ ਦਿਆਲੂ ਹੋਵੇ ਅਤੇintegrityਇਮਾਨਦਾਰੀ ਨਾਲ ਆਪਣਾ ਜੀਵਨ ਜੀਵੇ।

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

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

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.

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

Yes, in fact it has!

Suzy Dent
But now, modern times ther e’s been a shift in that, you know, we demonise it now as a bad thing.

Salty ਉਹਨਾਂ ਵਿਅਕਤੀਆਂ ਨੂੰ ਚਿਤਰਤ ਕਰਦਾ ਹੈ ਜੋaggressiveਬਹੁਤ ਹੀਜੁਝਾਰੂ ਹੋਣ ਜਾਂbitterਕਸੈਲੇ ਸੁਭਾਅ ਦੇ ਹੋਣ। So, have the phrases we use with salt changed with people’s opinions?

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

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 ਮਤਲਬ ਬਹੁਤ ਮਹੱਤਵਪੂਰਨ, below the salt ਭਾਵ ਮਹੱਤਵ ਰਹਿਤ । The salt of youth ਜੋ ਵਿਅਕਤੀ ਸਿਹਤਮੰਦ ਅਤੇ ਜੁਝਾਰੂ ਹੋਵੇ। Thanks for joining us and see you next week for more Listen Here! Bye!

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.
ਸਹੀ ਜੁਆਬ ਚੁਣੋ।

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Join us for our next episode of Listen Here when we will learn more useful language and practise your listening skills.
Listen Here ਦੀ ਅਗਲੀ ਕੜੀ ਵਿੱਚ ਸਾਡੇ ਨਾਲ ਜੁੜੋ , ਜਿਥੇ ਅਸੀਂ ਸਿਖਾਂਗੇ ਹੋਰ ਵਰਤੋਂਯੋਗ ਇੰਗਲਿਸ਼ ਭਾਸ਼ਾ ਅਤੇ ਤੁਹਾਡੇ ਸੁਣਨ ਦੇ ਹੁਨਰ ਦਾ ਅਭਿਆਸ ਕਰਵਾਵਾਂਗੇ।


Session Vocabulary

  • wealth




    ਬਰਦਾਸ਼ਤ ਵਿੱਚ





    ਨਾ-ਮੰਨਨ ਯੋਗ