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随身英语

Capital cities 首都城市

各国的首都是全世界的重要城市中心。他们通常是政府所在地,政治和经济中心,有的也是王室和上千万人的家园。《随身英语》讨论这些城市所处位置的重要性,以及一些国家首都搬迁的原因。

Vocabulary: geography 词汇: 地理

Think of the UK and you’ll probably think of London. Picture France and you’ll no doubt conjure up images of Paris and its iconic Eiffel Tower. To many, capital cities define a country. They’re often the seat of power, the economic and political hub and sometimes the home to royalty - along with millions of city dwellers. For a place with so much influence, it’s important to get its location right.

Sometimes we have to look into history to find the reasons why a capital city ended up where it did. The site of what is now London was by the river: easy to settle, easy for trading and easy to defend. However, it’s not located in the country’s centre and there’s often criticism from far-flung corners of the nation that they are forgotten by the decision makers in the capital. Other countries have taken a different approach by establishing their capitals in the geographical centre so they can exert control and project unity, like Madrid in Spain for example.

Occasionally, there have been reasons to relocate a capital. St Petersburg, founded by Peter the Great in 1703, was Russia’s capital from 1712-1918, before the government changed it to Moscow. This was partly because Moscow was more central, and the government decided it was less likely to be invaded by another country.  

And now in Indonesia there are plans to move its capital, Jakarta. Its new location is yet to be decided, but the reason for the move is that this megacity is sinking at one of the fastest rates in the world. It’s been built on very swampy land and isn’t helped by lots of groundwater being extracted to use for drinking water and washing. The city is overcrowded too and roads are often gridlocked.

Of course, if you can’t move your capital city, why not construct a brand new one? Brazil moved its capital from coastal, crowded Rio de Janeiro to inland Brasilia in 1961 - the idea being to build a brand new capital "to bring progress to the interior of Brazil", as architect Oscar Niemeyer described it. And more recently, Nay Pyi Taw was built in 2005 as Myanmar’s new capital. This remote city is four times the size of London and has huge roads, golf courses and a zoo – but few people.

词汇表

iconic 标志性的,非常出名的
seat of power 政府所在地
hub 中心
city dwellers 城市居民
influence 影响力
site 地点,位置
settle 定居
trading 贸易
defend 保护,防卫
far-flung 遥远的
geographical 地理上的
relocate 迁移,搬迁
central 中心的
megacity (人口超过1000万的)大城市
swampy (地面)湿软的
groundwater 地下水
gridlocked 交通拥堵不堪的
construct 修建
remote 遥远的

测验与练习

1. 阅读课文并回答问题。

1. Where is the capital of Spain located?

2. What is sinking at one of the fastest rates in the world?

3. How crowded is Myanmar’s new capital city?

4. True or false? Russia’s old capital city, St Petersburg, was renamed Moscow in 1918.

5. Which word used in the article means ‘situated not near a coast or sea’?

2. 请在不参考课文的情况下完成下列练习。选择一个意思合适的单词填入句子的空格处。

1. Sorry I’m late. There’s been an accident and the roads are ______.

griddlelocked         gridlocks          gridlocked        gridlock

2. My company has decided to ______ to Manchester so I’m going to have to look for another job.

settle                     relocate            construct         remote

3. My parents haven’t called me for a while, probably because they’re on holiday in some ______ corner of the world.

far-fling                 flung-far            far-flunged       far-flung

4. Heathrow airport is London’s major ______ for flights to most parts of the world.

iconic                    hub                   central              construct

5. 5. Our new house has a great ______ location – it's near the coast so it's coolm but we have a great view of the mountains.

geography            geography        geographical    geometry

答案

1. 阅读课文并回答问题。

1. Where is the capital of Spain located?
It is located in the geographical centre of the country.

2. What is sinking at the one of the fastest rates in the world?
The capital city of Indonesia, Jakarta.

3. How crowded is Myanmar’s new capital city?
Not very crowded. It has huge roads, golf courses and a zoo – but few people.

4. True or false? Russia’s old capital city, St Petersburg, was renamed Moscow in 1918.
False. St Petersburg was Russia’s capital from 1712-1918, before the government moved it to Moscow.

5. Which word used in the article means ‘situated not near a coast or sea’?
Inland. "Brazil moved its capital from coastal, crowded Rio de Janeiro to inland Brasilia in 1961."

2. 请在不参考课文的情况下完成下列练习。选择一个意思合适的单词填入句子的空格处。

1. Sorry I’m late. There’s been an accident and the roads are gridlocked.

2. My company has decided to relocate to Manchester so I’m going to have to look for another job.

3. My parents haven’t called me for a while, probably because they’re on holiday in some far-flung corner of the world.

4. Heathrow airport is London’s major hub for flights to most parts of the world.

5. Our new house has a great geographical location – it's near the coast so it's cool, but we have a great view of the mountains.


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