6 Minute English
Episode 181108 / 08 Nov 2018
We all live in an over-crowded world which is fast approaching eight billion people. Despite that many individuals feel alone and isolated. The BBC did a survey about loneliness involving 55,000 people from all over the world. Neil and Sam discuss the findings and teach you new vocabulary.
This week's question
Where is the most isolated inhabited place on the planet? That's the place furthest away from anywhere else with the fewest people living there. Is it:
a) McMurdo Station in Antarctica
b) Siwa Oasis in Egypt's Western Desert
c) The island of Tristan da Cunha in the South Atlantic
Listen to the programme to find out the answer.
far away from other places and people
a simplistic view of person or group based on certain characteristics such as nationality, age, profession
to be plagued by something
to be tormented by something; to have it causing you problems and difficulties
figure something out
try to understand something
Note: This is not a word for word transcript
Hello. Welcome to 6 Minute English, I'm Neil.
And I'm Sam.
And we are sitting here in New Broadcasting House, in the middle of London. Would you say, Sam, that this is an isolated place?
Oh no, not at all. Isolated means far away from other places and people.
Does that mean then, do you think, that you can't be lonely here, with all these people around and all these things to do?
Ah, good question. Can you be lonely in a crowd? Yes, of course, I think you can be because being lonely isn't about physical isolation. I think you can be lonely anywhere if you feel that you are disconnected from the world around you, if you feel that no one understands you. If you are living happily in isolation in The Scottish Highlands, for example, I'm sure you could feel lonely if you came here to London.
Well, loneliness is today's topic. The BBC has just completed a big survey about it which we will learn more about shortly. But first, of course, a question: Where is the most isolated inhabited place on the planet - by which I mean the place furthest away from anywhere else with the fewest people living there. Is it:
a) McMurdo Station in Antarctica
b) Siwa Oasis in Egypt's Western Desert, or is it
c) the island of Tristan da Cunha in the South Atlantic
What do you think, Sam?
I've got absolutely no idea, so this is just a guess - I think it's the one in Antarctica. I'm going to go with that.
Well, we'll have the answer later on in the programme. Loneliness is seen as a big problem for the mental health of the population, so much so that the British government has a minister for loneliness. But which age group suffers most from loneliness. Here is a BBC report about the research.
James Gallagher, BBC Health and science correspondent
There is a common stereotype that loneliness affects only the old and the isolated. It does, but what this experiment also shows is that loneliness is felt throughout life. People aged between 16 and 24 experience loneliness more often and more intensely than any other age group.
So according to the research, Sam, which section of society is most affected by loneliness?
This might be a surprise, but it's 16 to 24 year olds.
I was surprised by that because like many, I would've guessed that it was older people.
The reporter did say that that was a stereotype. A stereotype is nothing to do with stereo music, but it's the noun we use to describe a very simple and basic judgement of someone and their character and personality based on their age, nationality, profession and so on. So a stereotype of British people is that we can't cook, we have bad teeth, we are very reserved and never say what we mean.
I don't know what you mean, my cooking is wonderful, Sam. And the stereotype is that old people get lonely.
Much like the stereotypes of British people, this may be true in some cases - I've eaten some of your home-cooked meals remember, Neil - but it's not true for the majority. It is young people who feel lonely more often and more intensely. Intensely here means strongly. The feeling of loneliness is stronger in young people than older people.
The reporter goes on to give some explanation for why young people might be more lonely.
James Gallagher, BBC Health and science correspondent
Researchers from the University of Manchester who analysed the data, suggested feeling lonely may plague the young because it's a time of identity change. Figuring out your place in the world and of learning to regulate emotions.
He says that feeling lonely may plague young people, what does he mean there?
If you are plagued by something, it means that it troubles you, it bothers you and not just once, it's something that happens continually or repeatedly.
And he says this may be because at that age we are still figuring out our place in the world. We are trying to understand the world and what we are supposed to do with our lives.
He also suggests that younger people have not yet learned how to regulate their emotions, which is another way of saying to control their emotions.
Right. Time to review this week's vocabulary, but before that let's have the answer to the quiz. I asked: Where is the most isolated inhabited place on the planet? Is it:
a) McMurdo Station in Antarctica
b) Siwa Oasis in Egypt's Western Desert or
c) the island of Tristan da Cunha in the South Atlantic
What did you say, Sam?
I said a).
Well, I'm afraid to say the answer is actually c) the island of Tristan da Cunha in the South Atlantic. It has a population of fewer than 300 and it's only accessible by a 6-day voyage by ship from South Africa.
So not a popular place for a weekend break!
Indeed not. Now it's time for a recap of our vocabulary. The first word was isolated which Tristan da Cunha certainly is. It means far away from other place and people.
Then there was stereotype the noun for a simplistic view of person or group based on their nationality, age, profession and the like.
Intensely means strongly.
Being plagued by something means it causes you problems and difficulties.
If you are trying to figure something out, you are trying to understand it.
And to regulate something means to control it.
Well, sadly, that's the end of the programme. Hopefully you won't feel too lonely without us, remember we are always here on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, our App and of course the website bbclearningenglish.com. See you soon. Goodbye.
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It's been described as the world's largest and most democratic classical music festival. Neil and Finn guide you through the BBC Proms
Episode 150903 / 03 Sep 2015
What an awful sound - cracking your knuckles! Listen in to Rob and Neil to find out if it's a useful skill or just an annoying habit
Episode 150827 / 27 Aug 2015
Was Charles Darwin the only man with ideas about evolution? Rob and Neil talk about someone else who discovered it first.
Episode 150820 / 20 Aug 2015
What are the modern day dilemmas in using a lift? Rob and Neil discuss the awkwardness and irritation of being in one
Episode 150813 / 13 Aug 2015
Should young people be made to vote in elections or should we choose? We discuss the ideas behind compulsory voting
Episode 150806 / 08 Aug 2015
What do we need our chins for? Rob and Neil discuss how we got them and what our chins say about us
Episode 150730 / 30 Jul 2015
Why do gibbons sing duets and what has this got to do with the evolution of the human language?
Episode 150723 / 23 Jul 2015
Skinny models: What does the law say about walking the catwalk?
Episode 150716 / 16 Jul 2015
The dangers of computer games. How good are they for our health?
Episode 150709 / 09 Jul 2015
It's amazing! What part of our body have scientists discovered can heal and help us?
Episode 150702 / 02 Jul 2015
Do you chew gum and what do you do with it when you've finished? Listen to Rob and Finn discussing the history and chemical properties of gum and why it's messing up our streets whilst explaining some related vocabulary
Episode 150625 / 25 Jun 2015
Food banks provide food to people in the UK who can't afford to buy their own. Rob and Finn discuss this how they work and how they help many of the country's poorest
Episode 150618 / 18 Jun 2015
Listen to Neil and Rob discussing mood swings, risk taking, and why people make fun of teenagers, while they also explore some related vocabulary.
Episode 150611 / 11 Jun 2015
How can remote parts of the world get access to the internet? Neil and Catherine discuss a new idea for spreading knowledge
Episode 150604 / 04 Jun 2015
What makes us angry and why is aggression useful? Neil and Catherine discuss human behaviour.
Episode 150528 / 28 May 2015
Big bushy beards have become so fashionable that there's now an art exhibition dedicated to them
Episode 150521 / 21 May 2015
A London apartment block has front and back entrances for private and social housing - or so-called rich and poor doors. Does it make sense to you? Listen to a discussion whilst learning some housing-related vocabulary
Episode 150514 / 14 May 2015
Fifty years ago, on 18 March 1965, Soviet astronaut Alexei Leonov took the first space walk. Listen to Rob and Neil describing the struggles of that ground-breaking space mission whilst explaining some related vocabulary.
Episode 150507 / 07 May 2015
Furniture with built-in wireless charging technology - like a coffee table is now being sold. 'Built-in' means the technology is included as part of the table. So you just pop your phone on the table, and technology does the rest!
Episode 150430 / 30 Apr 2015
Many animals face extinction. But people are realising that they must act now to stop further losses. A scheme to save the Asian elephant in China could provide an answer.
Episode 150423 / 23 Apr 2015
How does music make you feel? Research shows that it actually influences us more than we realise - whether we're at the movies, the supermarket, or down the pub
Episode 150416 / 16 Apr 2015
Coffee is now the most popular drink in the world. But what about the economics and politics of coffee production? It's as complicated as getting the right flavour in your cup
Episode 150409 / 09 Apr 2015
Rob and Neil put on their sunglasses to find out more about this special star and teach some related vocabulary. We promise you won’t be blinded with science!
Episode 150402 / 02 Apr 2015
The UK has become the first country to approve legislation allowing the creation of babies with genetic material from three people. Listen to Neil and Harry’s conversation and learn some related vocabulary.
Episode 150326 / 26 Mar 2015
What are some art galleries banning to protect their paintings? Find out with Neil and Harry
Episode 150319 / 19 Mar 2015
An electronic device under your skin?! Workers in Sweden take part in experiment which allows them to get in and out of their office without a key, ID or password. Listen to Neil and Harry’s chat and learn some related vocabulary.
Episode 150312 / 12 Mar 2015
This year marks the 50th anniversary of Winston Churchill’s death. He is known throughout the world for his role in defeating Nazi Germany but he also made mistakes. Listen to Neil and Mike’s discussion, and learn new vocabulary.
Episode 150305 / 05 Mar 2015
We live in a richer world. But the gap between rich and poor is still very wide in individual countries. How to change this? Listen to Rob and Harry’s discussion, and learn some related vocabulary.
Episode 150226 / 26 Feb 2015
The price of vaccines has escalated and some poor countries are struggling to prevent children from catching certain life-threatening diseases, says Medecins Sans Frontieres. Listen to Rob and Neil’s discussion, and learn some related vocabulary.
Episode 150219 / 19 Feb 2015
Will thinking computers be the end of humans? Listen to Rob and Neil’s chat and learn some related vocabulary.
Episode 150212 / 12 Feb 2015
About 37,000 tourists are expected to visit Antarctica this season. But should they be going to a region with such a sensitive environment? Listen to Rob and Neil’s conversation and learn some new vocabulary.
Episode 150205 / 05 Feb 2015
At a time when more people compete for fewer jobs, are you sure you present your skills and abilities well to a potential employer? Listen to Rob and Neil's conversation and learn some related vocabulary.
Episode 150129 / 29 Jan 2015
Going to a party where you don't know anyone? Listen to Rob and Neil's advice and learn some related vocabulary
Episode 150122 / 22 Jan 2015
We use computers for everything nowadays. Are we forgetting our own abilities - and losing our talent? Listen to Rob and Neil's discussion, and learn some related vocabulary
Episode 150115 / 15 Jan 2015
Smoking in cars with children might be banned in England. Listen to Neil and Rob's chat and learn some related vocabulary
Episode 150108 / 08 Jan 2015
Is bullying just an attempt to give a bad name to what is part of human nature? Listen to Rob and Neil’s chat and learn some related vocabulary.
Episode 150101 / 01 Jan 2015
What would you put in your time capsule? Listen to Rob and Neil’s chat and learn new vocabulary
Episode 141225 / 25 Dec 2014
When enemy soldiers sang together in WW1. Listen to Rob and Finn’s chat and learn some related vocabulary.
Episode 141218 / 18 Dec 2014
The London school where students speak 42 different languages
Episode 141211 / 11 Dec 2014
Laughter isn't always the best medicine, says research
Episode 141204 / 04 Dec 2014
Are your pictures, documents and videos safe online? Listen to Rob and Finn's chat and learn new vocabulary
Episode 141127 / 27 Nov 2014
Nowhere to park? How the sharing economy is changing the way we use our space
Episode 141120 / 20 Nov 2014
How can science fiction help the world? Rob and Finn discuss a project which aims to inspire through stories of a bright future
Episode 141113 / 13 Nov 2014
Why is eating meat bad news?
Episode 141106 / 06 Nov 2014
Do real-life superheroes exist or are they just cartoon characters?
Episode 141030 / 30 Oct 2014
Rob and Finn discuss the World Health Organisation's recommendations on e-cigarettes
Episode 141023 / 23 Oct 2014
Should we eat less sugar? Listen to Rob and Neil and learn new vocabulary
Episode 141016 / 16 Oct 2014
Is learning English getting easier? Find out what's new
Episode 141009 / 09 Oct 2014
Why do we buy so much food and not eat it all? Learn more about food waste
Episode 141002 / 02 Oct 2014
Is it right to sleep at work? Rob and Finn discuss the benefits of sleeping on the job.
Episode 140929 / 29 Sep 2014
Is the way we see famous people a new thing? Learn about the first 'modern celebrity'.
Episode 140821 / 21 Aug 2014
Bored? You're not alone. Rob and Finn discuss how to deal with boredom and teach some related vocabulary. We promise you won't be bored!