Your Country

Where is your country located? Which part of your country do most people live in? What are the main industries in your country? What are some of the good things about living in your country?
Vocabulary
  • Diverse (adj.) - including many different types of people or things.
  • Varied (adj.) - containing or changing between several different things or types.
  • A contribution/ make a contribution (noun/collocation) - something that you contribute or do to help produce or achieve something together with other people, or to help make something successful.
  • Rugged (adj.) - (of land) wild and not even; not easy to travel over; strong and simple; not delicate.
  • Westernmost (adj.) - furthest towards the west of an area.
  • A trait (noun) - a particular characteristic that can produce a particular type of behaviour.
  • A coastline (noun) - the particular shape of the coast, especially as seen from above, from the sea, or on a map:
  • Hospitality industry (collocation) - is a broad category of fields within the service industry that includes lodging, food and drink service, event planning, theme parks, and transportation. It includes hotels, restaurants and bars.
  • Mainstay (noun) - the most important part of something, providing support for everything else.
  • The Highlands (geographical name); Scottish Highlands:
  • Kilts (noun) - a skirt with many folds, made from tartan cloth and traditionally worn by Scottish men and boys:
  • Haggis (noun) - a dish from Scotland consisting of different sheep's organs cut up with onions and spices and cooked inside a sheep's stomach:
  • Scottish fudge (name of the dish):
  • Prosperous (adj.) - successful, usually by earning a lot of money.
  • Strike a balance between (idiom) - if you strike a balance between two things, you accept parts of both things in order to satisfy some of the demands of both sides in an argument, rather than all the demands of just one side.
  • A downside of (noun) - a disadvantage of a situation.
  • Detrimental (adj.) - causing harm or damage; These chemicals have a detrimental effect/impact on the environment.
Questions and answers
italki: Find a native language teacher online
Maria: Rory, tell me about your country.

Scotland, freedom! No, actually. I'm not sure what to tell people when they ask me about my homeland. I'm sure they get pretty good idea about it from all the media around it, which is probably just as diverse and varied as the country itself right now, when I think about it. It's a small place relative to somewhere like Russia or America, but I think we make up for it by our character and cultural contributions to the world. Um, I suppose you could say it's quite a rugged place, a bit like people as well as. This has Probably enabled us to make all of these contributions in the first place.

Maria: Where is your country located?

It's in the north of the island of Great Britain, which itself is in Western Europe. And we're part of a union of countries which share the same island. I suppose it's one of the westernmost country in Western Europe, maybe apart from Iceland, of course.

Maria: Which part of your country do most people live in?

Well, most people live in cities and other population centres in what's called the central belt. So that's close to the border with England. Actually, it's north of the border with England, but it's located deeper into the country than the Highlands and Islands. And and all of the major cities are near the coasts, although I think that's a common trait in just about every country, to be honest... Every country with a coastline.

Maria: What are the main industries in your country?

Well, until recently, the hospitality industry was probably our mainstay, along with tourism. Everybody wants to see the Highlands and Islands and take pictures next to people wearing kilts. I think we have some significant exports in terms of food and beverages as well. Like everybody has heard of whiskey and haggis and Scottish fudge, for example. So those are the main ones. But you can see they're quite varied.

Maria: What are some of the good things about living in your country?

Well, for all the jokes that we tell about freedom, we have a lot of freedom and wealth. For all the people complain that we don't, I think our country is actually quite prosperous. It's not perfect and it's not prosperous and great all the time. But we do a pretty good job of striking a good balance between constraining and encouraging people. It could always be improved, but I think there are a few other places that do a better job than we do.

Maria: What are some of the bad things about living in your country?

Well, I suppose one of the downsides of people having so much opportunity is that they do things that aren't always beneficial for society. We have problems with people having terrible health conditions, for example... Mentally and physically. A lot of the times though these detrimental sides to things come about as a result of poor personal choices. So in the same way, they can be fixed by people making the right ones, which they've got the opportunity to make.
Maria: Is your country popular with tourists?

Well, I think so. Compared to a lot of other places in the global south, for example. Yeah, lots of for example, lots of American tourists... they come because they have Scottish roots, so they're interested in Scotland, for example? Um, I imagine London and England as a whole might be more popular, but Scotland gets its fair share of tourists.
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