This week in Perfect English with Danny Podcast, we will be talking about global problems. We will talk about natural disasters, the verbs we use with natural disasters, the people involved in disasters and finally the top ten global problems. 

We started talking about natural disasters in episode 136, so click the link below if you want to listen to that episode first.

Check out episode 136 – Global Problems – Natural Disasters 1

In this episode, we will continue talking about natural disasters.

Episode 137 – Global Problems – Natural Disasters 2

Episode 137 Transcript

Danny:

Hello and welcome to another episode from Perfect English with Danny. Today we will continue talking about our theme for this week, global problems. In the last episode, we started talking about natural disasters; we talked about famine, landslide, drought and epidemic. Today, we will continue talking about natural disasters.

But before we start, let me remind you that in order to make things more understandable, we will translate the keywords into as many languages as possible in the show and in the link you will find in the description of the episode, you can find the translations into 62 languages and today’s episode transcript. There are also the interactive and downloadable activities at the end of the week. These are very useful to retain the new words you learn and add them to your active vocabulary bank.

So, without further ado, let’s get cracking.

Hi Ben, what other natural disasters do we want to talk about today?

Ben:

There are still quite a few, so let me switch roles today and ask you to guess the disaster we are talking about. How does that sound?

Danny:

Sounds great. Let’s do it!

Ben:

All right, so it is a sudden, violent burst of energy, for example one caused by a bomb. What is it?

Danny:

Well, it doesn’t usually happen naturally, but it can occur in a natural way, especially in volcanoes. It usually has a force and a shockwave, so it can kill you if you are anywhere within the blast radius.  

Ben:

That’s right!

Danny:

It is an explosion. E X P L O S I O N, explosion.

Ben:

I must admit that we should be including this in man-made disasters, but it can happen naturally.

Danny:

Yeah, that’s right. Explosions can occur in nature due to a large influx of energy. However, most natural explosions arise from various types of volcanic action.

Ben:

That’s right, so explosion in English is:

French: explosion

Spanish: explosión

Italian: esplosione

German: Explosion

Portuguese: explosão

Arabic: انفجار

Danny:

That’s great. What’s the next question?

Ben:

You’re really excited about that, aren’t you?

Danny:

You bet!

Ben:

All right. So, this one is an extremely violent wind or storm usually faster than 120Km/h.

Danny:

Well, that’s a tricky one.

Ben:

Tell me if you want to give up.

Danny:

No, no, of course I don’t want to give up. It’s just that we call it different names. Well the most common name is a hurricane, H U R R I C A N E, hurricane, but it can also be called, typhoon, or cyclone. Typhoon is spelled T Y P H O O N, and cyclone is spelled C Y C L O N E, and of course there is the tornado that usually occurs in a hurricane. Tornado is spelled T O R N A D O.

Ben:

So, are you saying that hurricane, typhoon, cyclone, and tornado are all the same?

Danny:

Not really, especially for a tornado. A tornado is not the whole storm system; it is a violent windstorm consisting of a tall column of air that looks like a funnel or a cone turned upside down, which spins round very fast and causes a lot of damage. It usually occurs during a hurricane. But as for cyclone, typhoon and hurricane, yes, they are all the same. They’re simply a violent storm system with winds reaching 120 Km per hour or usually much faster than that.

Ben:

But why do we call them different names?

Danny:

Scientists just call these storms different names depending on where they occur. For example, In the Atlantic and northern Pacific, the storms are called “hurricanes,” after the Caribbean god of evil, named Hurrican. In the northwestern Pacific, the same powerful storms are called “typhoons.” In the southeastern Indian Ocean and southwestern Pacific, they are called “severe tropical cyclones.”

Ben:

Oh, I see. Well, to be honest. I thought there were some geeky scientific differences between these three words. I didn’t know it was just a matter of where they occur.

Danny:

No, as I told you, they all have the same meaning, and I have to say that hurricane is the most common word of the three, so let’s focus on this word in our translations.

Ben:

Sure thing. So, hurricane in English is:

French: ouragan

Spanish: huracán

Italian: uragano

German: Orkan

Portuguese: furacão

Arabic: إعصار

Danny:

I can see that the Spanish translation is the actual name of that evil Caribbean god I mentioned earlier.

Ben:

That’s right. Most of the words that come from that area are originally Spanish. Actually, they all speak Spanish in South America, except for Brazil, where they speak Portuguese.

Anyway, let’ move on to our next disaster. It is a shaking of the ground caused by movement of the Earth’s crust.

Danny:

Yeah, this happens when the earth starts to shake beneath you and it can be weak and even unnoticeable, but sometimes, it can be severe and devastating. We usually measure its strength by the Richter scale, right?

Ben:

That’s right!

Danny:

It is an earthquake, E A R T H Q U A K E, earthquake. Did you know that earthquakes happen all the time; we just don’t feel most of them because they are very weak.

Ben:

Yes, according to a study I read about earthquakes, almost a million earthquakes occur around the globe every year, but more than 90% of these are not felt by humans, only by a seismograph.

Danny:

What’s a seismograph?

Ben:

Oh, a seismograph is an instrument for recording and measuring the strength of earthquakes.

Danny:

I see.

Ben:

So, according to that study, about 900,000 earthquakes occur every year, but their magnitude is 2.5 or less, so we never feel them. We start to feel an earthquake when its magnitude is between 2.5 and 5.4, and about 30,000 of these occur every year, but these earthquakes cause little or no damage. It gets more serious when it reaches 5.5 to 6 and we have about 500 of these every year. An earthquake at that magnitude can cause slight damage to buildings and other structures. Between 6.1 and 6.9, it is considered a strong earthquake and we have about a hundred of these every year. These can cause a lot of damage in very populated areas. It becomes a major earthquake when it reaches 7.0 to 7.9 and we have about 20 of these every year; these can cause real damage. But when it reaches 8.0 and more, it is called a great earthquake, which happens once every 5-10 years, and this one can destroy communities near its epicenter.

Danny:

Wow, you do know a lot about earthquakes, man.

Ben:

I’m just curious about things that happen on our planet.

Danny:

Since you know that much about earthquakes, which was the strongest earthquake recorded in history?

Ben:

Well, it’s the Valdivia earthquake in Chile in 1960. It reached a magnitude of 9.4 to 9.6, but the worst earthquake ever recorded was the earthquake that happened in the Indian Ocean in 2004 and hit the coastline of many countries, but mostly Indonesia. It has the highest death toll in the history of earthquakes, 227,898 dead. That day was the day everyone in the world knew the meaning of the word tsunami.

Danny:

Yes, I remember that fateful day. So, just to make sure our listeners know what a tsunami is. A tsunami is a very large wave, often caused by an earthquake, that flows onto the land and destroys things. So, how about the translations of earthquake.

Ben:

Yep. Earthquake in English is:

French: tremblement de terre

Spanish: terremoto

Italian: terremoto

German: Erdbeben

Portuguese: terremoto

Arabic: هزة أرضية

Danny:

Thank you, Ben. Now, we still have three natural disasters left. I will ask you now. What do you call it when a large amount of water covers an area which is usually dry, for example when a river flows over its banks or a pipe bursts?

Ben:

Oh, you’re talking about a flood here. F L O O D, flood. And yes, a flood can be small with no damages, except for some financial ones, when a pipe bursts for example, and it can be devastating causing the death of many people when a dam bursts causing a major flood, especially in rural areas and low lands where people have literally nowhere to hide.

Danny:

That’s right.

Ben:

And flood in English is:

French: inondation

Spanish: inundación

Italian: inondazione

German: Flut

Portuguese: enchente

Arabic: فيضان

Danny:

That’s great! Now, another question for you, Ben. What is a mountain from which hot melted rock, gas, steam, and ash from inside the Earth sometimes burst?

Ben:

Oh, I bet everyone knows about that; it’s a volcano, my friend. V O L C A N O, volcano.

Danny:

But why do earthquakes kill more people than volcanoes, although volcanoes are pure fire and ash and they really represent all the rage there is in nature?

Ben:

The answer is easy. We do have the technology today to predict the eruption of a volcano way ahead of when it happens, so we have enough time to evacuate people from the area that will be affected by the volcano, but unfortunately, we still don’t have that technology to detect earthquakes before they happen with a reasonable amount of time to evacuate people from the epicenter. We usually detect an earthquake just before it occurs.

Danny:

Oh, I see. So, back to volcano, how do we say volcano in different languages?

Ben:

Well, volcano is:

French: volcan

Spanish: volcán

Italian: vulcano

German: Vulkan

Portuguese: vulcão

Arabic: بركان

Danny:

OK, and now for the last natural disaster we want to talk about. What is a large mass of snow that falls down the side of a mountain?

Ben:

Oh, that usually happens when there is a steep slope with a snow cover and a weak layer of snow on top, and there should be a kind of a trigger to make that happen. You are talking about an avalanche. A V A L A N C H E, avalanche.

Danny:

That’s right. And sometimes, we use avalanche in a metaphorical way to talk about a very large quantity of things that all arrive or happen at the same time, such as an avalanche of questions, or tasks.

Ben:

That’s right. So, Avalanche in English is:

French: avalanche

Spanish: avalancha

Italian: valanga

German: Lawine

Portuguese: avalanche

Arabic: انهيار ثلجي

Danny:

Thank you very much, Ben for helping me out today. So, today we have learned about the following natural disasters: explosion, hurricane, earthquake, flood, volcano and avalanche, and don’t forget about the ones we talked about in the last episode, famine, landslide, drought and epidemic. These were the natural disasters we wanted to talk about. Remember that you can practice these words by the end of the week with our interactive and downloadable activities that will be available at the end of the week and will include all the keywords we talk about during the week.

Also, do not forget that we will include the translations of the keywords we talked about today in 62 languages you will find along with the transcript of this episode if you click the link you can find in the description of the episode. This is Danny and Ben saying thank you very much for listening to another episode from Perfect English with Danny. We will see you in the next episode.

Translations into 62 languages

Englishexplosionhurricaneearthquakefloodvolcanoavalanche
Frenchexplosionouragantremblement de terreinondervolcanavalanche
Italianesplosioneuraganoterremotoalluvionevulcanovalanga
Spanishexplosiónhuracánterremotoinundarvolcánavalancha
GermanExplosionHurrikanErdbebenFlutVulkanLawine
Portugueseexplosãofuracãotremor de terrainundarvulcãoavalanche
Chinese爆炸飓风地震洪水火山雪崩
Japanese爆発ハリケーン地震洪水火山雪崩
Korean폭발허리케인지진홍수화산눈사태
Arabicانفجاراعصارزلزالفيضانبركانانهيار ثلجي
Afrikaansontploffingorkaanaardbewingvloedvulkaanstortvloed
albanianshpërthyesstuhitërmetpërmbytjevullkanortek
Azerbaijanipartlayışqasırğazəlzələdaşqınvulkanqar uçqunu
Basqueleherketaurakanlurrikarauholdesumendimendizale
Bengaliবিস্ফোরণহ্যারিকেনভূমিকম্পবন্যাআগ্নেয়গিরিধ্বস
Belarusianвыбухўраганземлятруспаводкавулканлавіна
Bulgarianексплозияураганземетресениенаводнениевулканлавина
Catalanexplosióhuracàterratrèmolinundacióvolcàallau
CroatianEksplozijauraganpotrespoplavavulkanlavina
Czechexplozehurikánzemětřesenízaplavitsopkalavina
Danisheksplosionorkanjordskælvoversvømmelsevulkanlavine
Dutchexplosieorkaanaardbevingoverstromingvulkaanlawine
Esperantoeksplodouraganotertremoinundovulkanolavango
Estonianplahvatusorkaanmaavärinüleujutusvulkaanlaviin
Filipinopagsabogbagyolindolbahabulkanpagguho ng yelo
FinnishräjähdysHurrikaanimaanjäristystulvatulivuorilumivyöry
Galicianexplosiónfuracánterremotoinundaciónvolcánavalancha
Georgianაფეთქებაქარიშხალიმიწისძვრაწყალდიდობისვულკანისზვავი
Greekέκρηξητυφώναςσεισμόςπλημμύραηφαίστειοχιονοστιβάδα
Gujaratiવિસ્ફોટહરિકેનભૂકંપપૂરજ્વાળામુખીહિમપ્રપાત
Haitian Creoleeksplozyonsiklòntranbleman tèinondasyonvòlkanlavalas
Hebrewפיצוץהוריקןרעידת אדמהמבולהר געשמפולת שלגים
Hindiविस्फोटतूफानभूकंपबाढ़ज्वर भाताहिमस्खलन
Hungarianrobbanáshurrikánföldrengésárvízvulkánlavina
IcelandicsprengingFellibylurjarðskjálftiflóðeldfjallsnjóflóð
Indonesianledakanbadaigempa bumibanjirgunung berapisalju longsor
IrishpléascadhInvestcrith talúntuilebolcánavalanche
Kannadaಸ್ಫೋಟಚಂಡಮಾರುತಭೂಕಂಪದಪ್ರವಾಹಜ್ವಾಲಾಮುಖಿಯಹಠಾತ್
LatinCREPITUStempestatismotusinundatioMONS IGNEUScadentem;
Latviansprādziensviesuļvētrazemestrīceplūdivulkānslavīna
Lithuaniansprogimasuraganasžemės drebėjimaspotvynisvulkanaslavina
Macedonianексплозијаураганземјотреспоплавивулканлавина
Malayletupantaufangempa bumibanjirgunung berapiruntuhan
Maltesesplużjoniuraganterremotgħargħarvulkanvalanga
Norwegianeksplosjonorkanjordskjelvoversvømmelsevulkansnøskred
Persianانفجارطوفانزمین لرزهسیلآتشفشانبهمن
Polishwybuchhuragantrzęsienie ziemipowódźwulkanlawina
Romanianexplozieuragancutremurpotopvulcanavalanşă
Russianвзрывураганземлетрясениенаводнениевулканлавина
Serbianексплозијаураганземљотреспоплававулканлавина
Slovakvýbuchhurikánzemetraseniepovodeňvulkánlavína
Slovenianeksplozijaorkanpotrespoplavvulkanavalanche
Swahilimlipukokimbungatetemeko la ardhimafurikovolkanoBanguko
Swedishexplosionorkanjordbävningöversvämningvulkanlavin
Tamilவெடிப்புசூறாவளிபூகம்பம்வெள்ளம்எரிமலைபனிச்சரிவு
Teluguపేలుడుహరికేన్భూకంపంవరదఅగ్నిపర్వతంఆకస్మిక
Thaiการระเบิดพายุเฮอริเคนแผ่นดินไหวน้ำท่วมภูเขาไฟหิมะถล่ม
Turkishpatlamakasırgadepremselvolkançığ
Ukranianвибухураганземлетрусповіньвулканлавина
Urduدھماکےسمندری طوفان کے لئےزلزلےسیلابآتش فشاںہمسھلن
Vietnamesetiếng nổbãođộng đấtnúi lửalở tuyết
WelshffrwydradcorwyntdaeargrynllifogyddllosgfynyddAvalanche
Yiddishיקספּלאָוזשאַןהוראַגאַןערד-ציטערנישמאַבלווולקאַןלאַווינע

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