The 2018 World Cup is about to kick off in Russia. Many of us will be glued to our TV screens to follow the ups and downs of our own nation's teams and to see who finally becomes the world champion.
But not everyone will be sharing the excitement of the tournament. In this programme we hear from people with different viewpoints; Neil and Rob discuss the vocabulary they use.
This week's question:
The mascot for Russia 2018 is a wolf called Zabivaka. What does his name mean in English?
a) The winner
b) The one who scores
c) Fair play
Listen to the programme to find out the answer.
world-class(someone or something is) the best in the world
to fancy your chancesto believe you may succeed at something, even if you might not
get behind support (someone or something)
underdog person or team least likely to win
sportsmanship fair and honest behaivour
hype lots of talking and publicity to make people interested in something
Note: This is not a word for word transcript
Rob Hello and welcome to 6 Minute English, I'm Rob…
Neil And hello, I'm Neil. And Rob, I have to say, I am very very excited!
Rob Why's that, Neil? Are you going on holiday?
Neil Come on, Rob. You know why. The 2018 World Cup is about to start in Russia. Four weeks of world-class football to watch. By world-class I mean 'some of the best in the world'.
Rob Yes, yes, I know that. But to be honest, I'll just be taking a passing interest – I've got better things to do!
Neil Better things to do? Well, I'm going to be glued to my TV to watch the 32 countries compete for the title of World Cup Champions. And if you love football…
Rob …or not…
Neil … we've got some useful vocabulary to learn.
Rob But let's start with a question for you to answer, Neil, to see how much you really know. Now, the mascot for Russia 2018 is a wolf called Zabivaka. What does his name mean in English? Is it…
a) The winner b) The one who scores or c) Fair play
Neil Well, my Russian is a little rusty – so I'll go for a) The winner.
Rob OK. I'll reveal the answer later.
Neil OK, but now I have a question for you, Rob. Who won the last World Cup in Brazil in 2014?
Rob Come on! It was Germany, Neil. And they beat Lionel Messi's Argentina in the final. Both teams are among the favourites again this time, but there'll be lots of countries who fancy their chances of lifting the World Cup trophy. That means they think they are likely to succeed, even though they might not.
Neil So you do know your football, Rob! Anyway, the final will take place in the revamped – or much improved - Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow on July 15th 2018. Did I say I was very excited? Well, I'm not the only one. We asked some people what they think about the World Cup. And here are Keith and Jane describing their feelings…
Keith It's a four-week festival of football, isn't it? And everyone kind of gets behind their country. You also get to know about football teams in parts of the world you don't really think about very often, so it's that double-sided thing of the actual football itself - which is exciting - but also the stories that happen off the pitch as well.
Jane I'm really excited. I can't wait for it to start. One thing – there's going to be great telly every night. It's great to see the underdogs that are going to come through and have a really sensational tournament. I think it's the enthusiasm of the crowds and the love of football that people have.
Neil So two football fans there. Keith used some good alliteration – that's words beginning with the same letter – four-week festival of fun. He talked about people getting behind their country – not literally going behind their team, but supporting them. Who are you supporting, Rob?
Rob Well, my home team is England – but I'm not confident they'll do well. That doesn't matter to Jane though – she said it's fun to see the underdogs do well. The underdog here means the team considered to be the weakest and the least likely to win. You could say Iceland are the underdogs in this tournament.
Neil Maybe, Rob. So you can see why everyone is excited by the World Cup!
Rob Not everyone, Neil. For many people, they're not bothered by the tournament. We could say 'it's not their thing' and there are different reasons for it. Let's hear from some other people - Jeff and Inga…
Jeff There's not a lot of sportsmanship in it now. I find that it's very corporate and there's a lot of what I would call cheating going on – people taking dives, people falling over because somebody looked at them the wrong way on the pitch.
Inga Not really that excited. It's just too much hype about nothing really. The World Cup is a great event if you are into football, but I'm not so I can't be really bothered.
Rob There you go, Neil. Some sensible people there! Jeff thinks football has changed and now lacks real sportsmanship – that's fair and honest behaviour – he even claims some players cheat.
Neil I'm not sure about that, Rob. But maybe he's right about the tournament becoming very corporate, which means it's sponsored by big companies who like to decide how the tournament is run.
Rob And Inga thinks there is too much hype. This means there is a lot of talk and publicity to make people interested in something. Well, there is certainly a lot of talk about the World Cup, but we have to remember it's not everybody's cup of tea!
Neil Well, it is my cup of tea, Rob. Now, can we have the answer to that question, please?
Rob Yes. Earlier I said the mascot for Russia 2018 is a wolf called Zabivaka. What does his name mean in English? Was it… a) The winner b) The one who scores c) Fair play
Neil And I said a) The winner – because football is all about winning, isn't it?
Rob It's the taking part that is important, Neil. And you took part in my quiz and got it wrong. The answer is b) The one who scores. Now let's have a brief reminder of the vocabulary we've discussed today, starting with world-class.
Neil That means 'some of the best in the world'. We should see some world-class football in Russia.
Rob If we're watching it, Neil. Next we had fancy their chances. If someone 'fancies their chances' they think they are likely to succeed, but they might not.
Neil Let's move on to get behind. If we get behind someone – like our national football team – we support them.
Rob Are you getting behind our national team, Neil?
Neil Nope, I'm supporting the underdog Iceland, Rob. That's a word to describe the team or person least likely to win. Next we discussed sportsmanship – that describes fair and honest behaviour.
Rob And finally we talked about hype which means 'lots of talking and publicity to make people interested in something'. Well, we've had enough hype about the World Cup today and we're out of time.
Neil Yes, but don't forget to join us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube for more Learning English fun. Thanks for joining us and goodbye.