Burkini in France – level 3

29-08-2016 07:00

It´s rare that an item of clothing sparks such controversy, even to the point of polarising a nation, but after recent incidents of women being asked to remove their burkini in French beach resorts, it’s safe to say that this piece of fabric, has truly got people talking.

The so-called burkini is a linguistic melange of the Muslim garment, the burka, with a bikini. A swimsuit that covers a woman’s body, leaving only her face, hands and feet exposed.

Seemingly inoffensive, in 2009 a woman was banned from a public pool in Paris for wearing the item. Now, in the secular country, many French resorts are banning the garment entirely.

Although not everyone agrees, this French beach-goer says, “If someone besides him want to wear a burkini, he wouldn’t really care and that the majority of the population sees the ban as an infringement of rights.”

However, Prime Minister Manuel Valls defends the hard-line approach, calling the burkini a symbol of enslavement of women. He says that asking someone to remove their burkini is like if a woman in a public area were indecent, they’d too be asked to cover up.

Many critics argue that the ban could provoke violent reaction from Islamic terrorists in a country that’s already endured a slew of attacks. It may just be a piece of material, but for many, clearly, the burkini has a lot more underlying meaning to it.

Difficult words: spark (start), controversy (an emotional public discussion), polarise (divide into two groups), melange (a mixture), garment (an item of clothing), inoffensive (not offensive – rude), secular (not religious), entirely (completely), infringement (limiting something), hard-line (uncompromising, strict), enslavement (making somebody a slave), indecent (not being normal), endure (undergo), slew (a large number of something).

Source: www.ondemandnews.com


If you read and listen to two articles every day, your reading and listening skills can improve fast. You can learn quickly and after some time you will not have to translate into your own language. You will simply understand. Why should you do this?

When you listen to people in your native language, you do not translate. You simply understand. The same has to be in English. When you learn English, you have to learn the whole sentences in context.

Students, who translate English texts, do exercises and do tests are very good at translating, doing exercises and doing tests, but they have problems with understanding English in real life. In real life, nobody waits for your translation. People usually use simple English when they speak but they use it fast. You have to understand with no translation to your native language. If you translate, you cannot be part of communication because you are thinking about the language too much. These words are maybe hard to read but they are true.

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