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It’s Party Time in Glasgow!

Luglio 2014
Non solo calcio! A Glasgow dal 23 luglio al 3 agosto si tengono i Commonwealth Games, una sorta di Olimpiade tra i regni della regina... L’edizione è interessante, dato che in settembre, la Scozia deciderà se rimanere con la Gran Bretagna o votare per l’indipendenza.

di Mark Worden

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Celtic Park, Glasgow
Celtic Park, Glasgow

Speaker: Justin Ratcliffe (Standard British accent)

From July 23rd to August 3rd Glasgow will host the 20th edition of the Commonwealth Games. This is a major sporting event similar to the Olympics, but this year it will be particularly significant. This is because later this year the people of Scotland will vote in an important referendum. In September they will decide whether they want to become independent from the rest of Britain.

SCOTLAND THE BRAVE

In the Olympics Scottish athletes are members of the United Kingdom team. But in the Commonwealth Games Scotland, England, Wales and Northern Ireland compete separately, and this happens in other sports like football. Rugby is different: there is a united Ireland team, with players from both Northern Ireland and the Republic.

COLONIAL

The Commonwealth is the heir to the British Empire. The “British Empire Games” began life in 1930. After the Second World War many countries in the Empire became independent, but they joined a new federation called “the British Commonwealth.” This included many former colonies like Australia, New Zealand, Canada, India, Pakistan and a number of countries in Africa and the Caribbean. There are 70 nations and territories in the Commonwealth, and many of them have great athletes. The Americans won’t be there, but the Jamaicans will.

POLITICS AND SPORT 

If the referendum is a factor in this edition, then this is not the first time that politics has played a part in the Commonwealth Games. Under Apartheid South Africa became a major problem. Nigeria boycotted the 1978 Games in Edmonton in Canada. This was in protest against the presence of New Zealand, whose rugby team continued to play against South Africa. And many countries boycotted the 1986 Games in Edinburgh because of British prime minister Margaret Thatcher’s support for South Africa’s Apartheid regime. South Africa is a former British colony, but it was expelled from the Commonwealth in 1961. It was readmitted in 1994, after the end of Apartheid.

A GREAT YEAR...

Will politics play a role in this year’s Commonwealth Games? Scotland’s First Minister, Alex Salmond, says it won’t. We asked Linda Fabiani, a Glaswegian of Italian origin who is the SNP (Scottish National Party) MSP (Member of the Scottish Parliament) for East Kilbride. She says: “Glasgow is brilliant at organising parties and this will be one big party, not only in terms of sport, but also in terms of the cultural programme.” She adds: “We have the Commonwealth Games and then the referendum and golf’s Ryder Cup in September. What a year for Scotland!”


THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK

South Africa is now part of the Commonwealth, but it wasn’t during the Apartheid era.
Ireland is another former British colony: Northern Ireland is part of Great Britain but the Republic, which is independent, isn’t part of the Commonwealth.
The Commonwealth Games have changed name many times.
They were originally called “The British Empire Games.” After the Second World War they became the “British Empire and Commonwealth Games,” then the “British Commonwealth Games.” Today they are simply called the “Commonwealth Games.”


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Explains

Scotland the Brave. Scozia la coraggiosa. Brave in inglese è un false friend: significa coraggioso e non bravo, che si dice good. Stranamente il pubblico inglese usa la parola italiana bravo quando applaude una compagnia teatrale (si usa sempre il singolare maschile anche se si tratta di una donna o se gli attori sono tanti).

This is not the first time that politics has played an important part. Non è la prima volta che la politica ha avuto un ruolo importante. Anche se la parola politics (politica) finisce con la lettera “s” è singolare e non plurale. Politics significa politica nel senso della vita politica. L’aggettivo relativo è political.
Per dire politica nel senso di una posizione, un orientamento si dice policy, che in inglese significa anche polizza: an insurance policy è una polizza assicurativa.

The Empire Strikes Back. È il titolo originale di “L’Impero colpisce ancora”, un film della serie Star Wars.