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Session 4

Can we control pain? In today’s episode we will be discussing whether it’s possible to control physical pain.
Dhukkubbii to’achuu dandeenyaa? Kutaa qophii har’aatiin dhukkubbii qaamarraa to’achuun danda’amu irratti mari’anna.

Session 4 score

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    Activity 1

Activity 1

Can we control pain?

Look at the Session Vocabulary – make sure you know what this word means:

  • ankle


Which do you think is the most painful bone to break?

  • your leg?
  • your neck?
  • your back?

Listen to Sam, Tom and Ammayyuu discussing the topic of controlling pain and find out the answer.

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

Show transcript Hide transcript

Ashamaa! Gara English Together Afaan Ingilizii walii wajjiin mataduree tibbanaa mari’annuufi qooqa dubbachuuf si barbaachisu sii qoodnutti baga nagaan dhufte.
Ani Ammayyuudha. Har’as namoonni biroo na waliin jiru.

Hi, I’m Sam.

And I’m Tom. Welcome to the programme!

Kutaa qophii har’aan akkamin qorannoo haaraatiin sammuun miidhaan qaamarraa yeroo gahu namatti dhagahamu akka to’atu baruuf jirra. Oduu otoo hincaqasiin dura, gaaffiin har’aa kunooti: Lafeewwan namaa keessaa isa kamtu yeroo cabu haalaan nama dhukkuba jedhamee yaadama?

a)    Lukakee

b)    Mormakee

c)    Dugdakee

Caqasi; deebii gaaffichaa booda sitti himna.

Mmm, I’m going to guess the neck. That sounds really painful!

More painful than your back?  I’m not sure about that!

Tole jarana. Waa’ee qorannoo sila dubbanne let’s listen the BBC Radio 4 news story.

News insert
Can we control the pain we feel? New research has shown how brain imaging is being used to help us understand pain, and also pain relief. The study included following a group of very young children taught to cope with pain in a karate class through a series of breathing exercises. The exercises helped the brain change the messages sent from the hurt part of the body so that the messages were either reduced or completely stopped. With fewer signals sent to the brain, the result was less pain.

Do you think it might be possible for us to control our physical pain, Tom? Wouldn’t it be incredible if we could?

Yeah, incredible is the right word. We’re not superheroes, you know. People can’t just control pain. 

But in the story it talked about how children are learning to cope with pain during martial arts classes, like karate. ‘Cope’ means to control, doesn’t it?

Something similar. Cope with jechuun wanta cimuu tokko dandamachuudha. Like we do with Tom. Ha ha!

Aw! Don’t worry, Tom. You’re not that difficult to cope with, really. 

Very funny.

No, but seriously. The story talks about how pictures of the brain are helping us understand pain and pain relief. I think that’s so cool.

‘Pain relief’ jechuun dhukkubbii sitti dhagahaamurraa yoo fooyyoftuu jechuudha. But that’s what painkillers are for, surely?  

Exactly! What else is there to understand about pain relief? You take a pill and the pain hopefully goes away. I don’t need any pictures of the brain to help me understand that. 

Ok, but what if there was an alternative to taking a pill? They say that too many painkillers are bad for your stomach, and they will eventually stop working.  

Well, then you just take more tablets. I used to play football, and I got injured all the time. I had to take painkillers. I couldn’t just push through. 

Eeyyee. Akka Toom dubbatetti ‘push through’ jechuun isa malee ta’u yookiin toluu dhabuudha. You played football, Tom?

Yes, thank you. And I broke my ankle once, and it was far too painful to push through without any help. 

Yeah, I remember that. Those were a fun few weeks…

Waa’ee caba lafeerratti gaaffii duratti si gaafanne haa ilaallu. Lafee kamtu gaafa cabe irra dhukkubbii qaba jedhamee yaadama? According to anecdotal evidence akka ragaa durduriitti Deebiin (c) dha, dugda yookiin dugugguruu.

Oh, my neighbour broke his back once, and he actually said that natural remedies really helped him.

‘Remedies’ jechuun qorichoota. Really? Did natural remedies really help with back pain?

Yeah, don’t tell me natural remedies helped! Next you’re going to say that breathing helps with pain!

Actually, I am! That’s what they taught those children in their martial arts class - breathing exercises to help with pain!

How much pain can children really experience in an exercise class, anyway? 

Do children even know what real pain is?

Of course they do, guys! And research shows that breathing can really help.

Yeah, and so does magic…

Atihoo? Afuura baafachuun dhukkubbi miidhaa qaamarra gaheen mudatu to’achuun ni danda’ama jettee yaaddaa? Qoricha ‘painkillers’ dhukkubbii dandamachuuf fayyadu yeroo hedduu ni fayyadamtamoo ‘push through’ itti fufuuf yaalta?
Kan torban kanaa otoo hingolabiin dura, waa’ee jechoota har’a dubbachaa turree haa ilaallu-hundisaanii dhukkubbii qaamaa waliin hidhata qabu: ‘to cope with’ walsimuu; ‘pain relief’ dhukkubbiin itti fooyya’u,‘ to push through’ isa malee toluu/ta’uu dhabuu yookin immoo fayyadamuu itti fufuu, akkasumas ‘a remedy’ qoricha.
Waan nu waliin turteef galatoomi. English Together Afaan Ingilizii Walii Wajjiin dabalataaf  torban dhufu wal agarra. Gaariitti!

Meaning and use

to cope with (verb)

To cope with something bad means to be able to deal with it successfully.

I don’t think I can cope with driving in the city centre – it’s too busy.
I’ve got a lot of work, but it’s OK, I think I can cope with it.


pain relief (noun)

Pain relief is medication that you take to stop something hurting.

I had to take pain relief after my operation, my leg was hurting so much.
You can get pain relief medication at a pharmacy.


to push through (phrasal verb)

To successfully get past an obstacle or difficult situation.

The weather was terrible, but we pushed through it to get home.
There’s a lot of work to do, so let’s just push through it and finish it.


a remedy (noun)

A remedy is something that solves a problem. We often use this word to talk about medicine.

I’ve got the perfect remedy for your problem.
Drinking honey and lemon is a well-known remedy for a cold. 

Can we control pain?

4 Questions

Choose the correct answer.

Deebii sirrii ta’e filadhu.

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

Over to you!

So, what about you? Do you like to use 'pain relief' or do you prefer to 'push through' when you're in pain? Are there any 'remedies' you like to use when you're ill? 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

  • to cope with
    wal simachuu

    pain relief
    dhukkubbiin yeroo fooyya’u

    to push through
    itti fufuu

    a remedy

    kan hinamanamne

    dawaa dhukkubbii dhorku