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Session 14

Which inventions do you think made the modern economy?
Kalaqqawwan kamtu dinagdee ammayyaa tolche jette yaada?

In today’s episode we will be discussing which inventions we think are vital to the modern economy.
Kutaa har’aa keessatti kalaqqawwan kamtu dinagdee ammayyaatiif barbaachisaadha jenne akka yaannuu mari’achuuf deemna.

Session 14 score

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    Activity 1

Activity 1

Inventions that made the modern economy

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

  • practical
  • convenient
  • glass
  • irrigation


Which invention allows us to use the internet? 
a. credit cards
b. glass
c. the global positioning system (GPS)
d. irrigation
e. the pencil
f. the spreadsheet

Listen to the discussion about the inventions that made the modern economy 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 Toomii fi Fiil naa waliin argamu

Hi, I’m Tom.

And I’m Phil. Welcome!

Har’a waa’ee “the inventions that made the modern economy” kalaqawwan  dinagdee ammayyaa tolchanii dubbanna. Filannoowwan jahan hubachuudhaaf odeessa kana caqasi.

News insert
You may have heard the podcast or World Service programme ‘50 things that made the modern economy’. It's presented by the Financial Times journalist Tim Harford and has been a huge success. Now he is looking for the 51st thing. People have sent in hundreds of suggestions, and he’s picked his 6 favourites and they are: the credit card, glass, the global positioning system or GPS, irrigation, the pencil and the spreadsheet.

Egaa, gaafiin torban kana kunooti: isa kamtu akka intarneetii fayyadamuuf nu gargaaraa? Yaadadhu, 'credit cards' kaardii liqaa[baankii], 'glass' burcuqqoo, 'the global positioning system' sirna bakka jirru eeru, 'irrigation' jallisii, 'the pencil' qubeessaa, fi 'the spreadsheet' gabatee qabiiyyeewwan lakkoofsaafi ragaalee irratti hojjachuuf fayyadu ni qabna.

For me, it’s got to be the ones that I use every day. So my top two are: the credit card, and the GPS. I just think that they are the most practical.

You said that they are 'practical', qabatamaadha.

Yeah, they’re very practical. I use my credit card instead of cash and the GPS on my phone instead of a map, so they’re very convenient.

Yes, I think so, 'convenient' jechuun mijaawaa. Don’t you think convenience is important, Tom?

Well, I mean it is, but... Do you know what?  My two choices are completely different than yours! I just think that glass, and irrigation have had a much bigger impact.

Really? Glass? I mean, I like looking through windows as much as anyone else, but it hasn’t exactly changed the modern world, has it?

Well, you say that, but actually – glass is so important for everything that we have today – I mean, microscopes for example...

Yeah, when’s the last time you used a microscope?

Well, think about how many incredible things that scientists have found using microscopes... And, what about those cables that carry information, you know the fiber-optic cables?

Ah, did you hear that? Gaafii duraaf deebiin kunootti. Funyoowwan electriikii burcuqqorra hojjetamee 'fibre optic cables' dandeetti interneetii dabarsu qaba - kanaafuu burcuqqoon intarneetii akka fayyadmnuuf nuu dandeessise jechuudha. Anyway Tom, you’re saying that you think that glass is a really important invention?

I think it’s fundamental!

Yes, it’s 'fundamental' barbaachisaa/waan bu’uraati.

Exactly, so glass is absolutely fundamental because it means that we can have microscopes, fibre-optic cables and the internet.

Ok, ok, maybe you’ve got a point there – but then the next one you suggested was irrigation. Isn’t that just taking water from one place to another?

Oh Phil? Irrigation is another important invention on that list. In fact it’s not just important, it’s life-changing.

We use 'life-changing' kan jireenya jijjiiru to talk about inventions that do that – they change people’s lives.

Yeah, it’s life-changing because it means people can grow food where they couldn’t before – and they can live in a different place – it literally changes people’s lives!

I don’t know, I sort of see what you mean, but your choices just don’t seem that important to me.

Well Phil, you do realise that we’re talking about the inventions that are significant for the modern economy, and not just the ones that make your life more convenient?

Sirri, egaa atoo maal yaadde? Kalaqni barbaachisaa ta’e maali jettee yaadda? Egaa torban kanaaf nagaa otoo sitti hindhaamiin dura, waa’ee jechoota har’a hanga yoonaa irratti dubbachaa turre haa’ilaallu - hundisaanii kalaqawwan waliin hidhata qabu. 'Practical' jechuun qabatamaa; 'convenient' jechuun mijaawaa; 'fundamental' jechuun barbaachisaa/waan bu’uraa; akkasumas 'life changing' jechuun kan jireenya jijjiirudha. Turtii waliin qabaanneef galatoomi; barnoota dabalataa  Afaan Ingilizii waliin-wajjiniitiif 'English Together' torban ittaanu walitti deebina.

Meaning & Use

practical (adjective)

If something is practical then it is useful in a particular situation. We often use it to describe objects.

My computer is really practical. I use it every day to get things done

Having a car is very practical. It means I can get to different places very easily.

convenient (adjective)

If something is convenient then it means that it does not require much trouble or effort. We often use it to describe a situation where little trouble or effort is required. The related noun is convenience.

Being able to get directions on my phone is very convenient.

Living near the city centre is really convenient.

fundamental (adjective)

Something that is fundamental is of great importance. IT can mean that something is the most important element in a larger area.

Discovering gravity was fundamental to the study of physics.

The invention of the microprocessor was fundamental to the history of computing.

life-changing (adjective)

If something is life-changing then it means that it has a very significant impact on people's lives. It is written as two words with a hyphen.

Moving to the countryside was a life-changing decision.

Antibiotics were a life-changing invention.

Meeting her was life-changing, she made him so happy.

Inventions that made the modern economy

4 Questions

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

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Over to you!

Which do you think are the most important inventions? Which have changed your life? 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.
Barnoota English Together ittaanu kan dandeettii caqasuukee ittiin shaakaltuufi qooqa barbaachisoo barannutti walitti deebina.

Session Vocabulary

  • practical



    hiika kan qabu/ fayyida kan qabu

    kan jireenya jijjiiru



    gabatee qabiiyyeewwan[lakkoofsaafi ragaalee] irratti hojjetamu.