New transport on two wheels

دوره: انگلیسی شش دقیقه ای / درس 184

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New transport on two wheels

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The bicycle is the most popular form of two-wheeled transport in the world, but could we all soon be using hoverboards? Listen to Neil and Finn's conversation and learn some new words.

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Note: This is not a word-for-word transcript

Finn Hello and welcome to 6 Minute English. I’m Finn…

Neil … and I’m Neil. Hello.

Finn Today we’re talking about one of the latest forms of transport on two wheels.

Neil Yes. We’re not talking about bicycles here.

Finn No, we’re talking about a… self-balancing transport device. What a complicated name! Now a device is an object which has been created for a particular purpose. But yes, you need to balance on this device which means you need to stand on it and not fall over.

Neil Well this device has other names as well. It’s called a rideable because you ride on it like you ride on a bicycle - or you can call it a self-balancing scooter - or others call it a hoverboard.

Finn That’s perhaps because it looks like a skateboard perhaps… but it’s different, isn’t it?

Neil Yes it is, it is a bit different. And we’ll be finding out more about hoverboards in a moment, but first it’s time for our quiz question. I’m going to make a statement and I want you to tell me, Finn, if it is true or false. OK?

Finn OK.

Neil Here in the UK, it’s illegal to ride a hoverboard on the pavement. Is that true or false, Finn? What do you think?

Finn Well, I’ve actually seen someone riding a hoverboard on the pavement so I’ll say it’s false. I think it’s legal to ride one on the pavement.

Neil OK, then. We’ll see if you’re right at the end of the programme.

Finn OK. So, Neil have you ever tried riding on a hoverboard?

Neil No, I haven’t, but I would like to give it a go. It looks like a skateboard, but it is different - it moves differently - and it goes in a different direction - it goes… sideways.

Finn Yes. And, you know, the other big difference is that it is motorised. And when you change your balance the wheels turn. So when you lean forwards - you move forwards - and when you lean back you slow down and stop… and if you lean even further back, then you actually move backwards.

Neil Yes. So it’s hard to keep your balance. Like a skateboard, you need to practise to get good at this.

Finn And I’m no good at skateboards. And I think, you know, if you don’t practise you’ll fall off the hoverboard lots of times.

Neil BBC reporter Emma Ailes has tried a hoverboard. Who else has tried one of these rideables? Listen to her report.

INSERT Emma Ailes, BBC Reporter So you may have seen in recent weeks celebrities like Justin Bieber and Lily Allen riding one of these. It’s a self-balancing transportation device or some people call them rideables. I’ve never had a go but I am going to integrate one into my life in the next couple of days and see how I get on.

Neil And that was the BBC reporter Emma Ailes. She said that she’s going to integrate riding a h overboard into her everyday life and so perhaps she’ll travel to the BBC on a hoverboard. Now to integrate means to combine things to make them more efficient.

Finn Or maybe she’ll go shopping on a hoverboard. Now she talked about celebrities - famous people - who are using hoverboards.

Neil Yeah. She mentioned two celebrities - singers Lily Allen - who’s British. And Justin Bieber - he’s from Canada. So people are using hoverboards all over the world.

Finn Neil, you were telling me about a guy you saw last weekend.

Neil Yes, I was at a shopping centre and there were all these kids - teenagers - watching this guy using a hoverboard. Of course they all wanted to try it. You could hear them shouting: “Can I have a go? Can I have a go? Can I have a go?” Now, to have a go means to try something.

Finn Yes. Now what was our reporter’s experience of using a hoverboard? How did she get on? Did she learn how to use it? Did she enjoy using it?

INSERT Emma Ailes So overall this is really good fun and I definitely recommend giving it a go. But there are some downsides. It’s really heavy, it’s illegal to use it on the pavement and it’s quite embarrassing being stared at. So are two wheels better than two legs? For me, probably not.

Finn So that was the BBC reporter Emma once again. And she tried to use the two wheels of the hoverboard to move around but she said she prefers moving with her two legs.

Neil But she did say this about using a hoverboard - it’s good fun and she definitely recommends that people try it - they should give it a go!

Finn But she said there are also some downsides - some bad things. First, it’s heavy.

Neil Yes, it’s not very easy carrying a heavy hoverboard.

Finn Also when she uses it everyone looks at her and they don’t stop looking - they stare at her and she says that’s embarrassing.

Neil And there is one more downside about using a self-balancing scooter. And this is also the answer to our quiz question… I asked if it’s true or false that it’s illegal to ride a hoverboard on the pavement in the UK.

Finn And I said that it’s false.

Neil And you are… wrong. It’s illegal. There is a law here about that.

Finn Yes, I realised I guessed the wrong answer when I heard that clip from Emma’s report there.

Neil Yes. Their use is illegal under Section 72 of the Highway Act 1835 for use on the public pavements and roads in the UK.

Finn Oh, very impressive, Neil. Now, you can use a hoverboard, I’ve heard, on private property if you have permission from the owner but NOT on public pavements and roads.

Neil OK. Well, next time you see your friend Justin Bieber, Finn, tell him that.

Finn I will. Now, that’s all for today. Please do join us again soon.

Neil Please do. And let’s hear the words before we go.

Finn OK. We heard:







to get on

to have a go


private property

That is it now. And we’ll see you next time.

Neil Goodbye!

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