Offensive Road Sign – level 3
In North London and near a synagogue, someone put up a road sign to warn people about the presence of Jews. A Jewish community group reported the sign to the police and said that it was anti-Semitic.
The rabbi said that the consequences of the sign were that it ‘traumatised people’ and reminded them ‘of some of the darkest periods in recent Jewish history’.
Then people found out that the sign was supposed to be provocative but not anti-Semitic; it was part of an art project by a French artist named Franck Allais, who had placed 27 signs showing silhouetted figured around London. The artist apologised and explained that he thought that the red triangles on his signs had no ‘bad’ meanings. Nevertheless, a local council removed the offensive sign from the Jewish neighbourhood.
Difficult words: Semitic (relating to the Jewish faith), traumatise (hurt and upset someone), silhouette (a shadow of something).
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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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