The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Nothern Island icon

The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Nothern Island



НазваниеThe United Kingdom of Great Britain and Nothern Island
Дата конвертации31.07.2012
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The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Nothern Island


The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Nothern Island is often called Britain, the United Kingdom, or just the UK. The UK is situated in the British Isles, so is is an island state. It consists of these countries: England with London as a capital, Scotland, whose capital is Edinburgh, Wales (capital Cardiff), and Nothern Ireland with Belfast as a capital.

The two main islands are Great Britain (where England, Scotland and Wales are situated) and Ireland. Nothern Ireland and the independent Irish Republic are there. The Irish Sea separates these two islands.

The UK is separated from the continent by the English Channel and the Strait of Dover. Before, the British Isles were part of the continent. The nearest point and to Europe is the Strait of Dover. The UK is also washed by the Atlantic Ocean in the north and the North Sea in the east.

Everyone who was born in Britain isBritish. People from England are English. People from Scotland, Wales or Nothern Island are Scottish or the Scotts.

More than 56 million people live in Britain. Many of them live in big industrial cities. It is a fact that foreigners are often surprised that much of land in Britain is open country. There are many lonely hills, quiet rivers, deep lakes and just farmlands especially in the south of the country.

Everyone in Britain speaks English. But in some parts of Scotland and Wales people speak different languages as well. A Scottish person has to listen carefully if he wants to understand a Londoner ora Welsh person.

As you know, the flagof the United Kingdom is known as the Union Jack. It is made up of three crosses: the cross of St.George (the patron saint of England), the cross of St. Andrew (the patron saint of Scotland) and the cross of St. Patrick (the patron saint of Ireland).

The climate in the UK is generally mild because of the Gulf Stream and it is usually described as cool, humid and changeable.

Some plants and animals growing and living in the UK have become its symbols. For example, poppy is the symbol of peace, the red rose is the national emblem of England, the thistle is the national emblem of Ireland.

Wildlife in the UK is much like that of Europe, to which it was once joined. Many animals are now protected by law. About 50 land animals are found in the UK, foxes, hares, rabbits, deer among them.

Some 230 kinds of birds live in the UK. The most numerous are blackbirds, sparrows and starlings. Robin is the national bird of the UK.

But wildlife in Britain is in great danger because of pollution. Many British rivers have become “biologically” dead. There is no fish in them, and wildlife around them is not growing the way it should.

Cultural matters now.
In the UK many things are the other way round than on the continent

On the continent people seldom speak about weather. If they do, it usually means they have no other topics to discuss. In En­gland, if you don't say “It's a nice day today, isn't it?”, people are surprised and think that you are very dull.

On the continent ^ Sunday papers appear on Monday; in England they appear on Sunday.

On the continent some people like cats, others don't, but in England cats are very special animals. Everyone loves them and takes care of them.

On the continent people are proud of their knoledge. They try to show off it and often quote Greek and Latin writers. In England only those who don't know them or who haven't read them do it.

You can offend people on the continent in many ways, for example, if you laugh at them or make jokes about their life and jobs. But the English take everything with a sense of humour. You can easily offend them only if you tell them they have no sense of humour.

People on the continent either tell you the truth or lie, in England they hardly ever lie, but they don't tell you the truth either.

On Sundays on the continent even the poorest person puts on his best suit and tries to look nice and respectable. In En­gland even the richest man dresses in some old clothes and doesn't shave.

Many continentals think life is a game; the English think cricket is a game.

On the continent people have good food. In England people have good table manners.

By the way, there is a book by George Mikes “How to be an Alien” in which he describes some peculiarities of the English character. He writes:

“When you are introduced you have to ask the question: "How are you?", your new friend will answer: "How are you?" Do not forget, however, that though he asks this question he doesn't care very much if you are well or dying.”

One part of George Mikes's book is about tea. It is quite a well-known national drink of Great Britain and Ireland.

George Mikes with a mild humour says that when you are in England you have tea for breakfast, then you have tea at eleven o'clock in the morning, then after lunch, then you have tea for tea, then after supper, and again at eleven o'clock at night.

George Mikes says that you must not refuse any additional cups of tea. The only thing that George Mikes doesn't understand is the fact why the British like to drink tea which is badly spoiled. The English do not drink tea clear or tea with lemon and sugar. They pour a few drops of cold milk into it, and no sugar at all. So, they have colourless, tasteless drink and only then they enjoy it, only then it becomes the national drink of the country.




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