Britlish

The Bat and the Weasels

IPA Symbols | Pronunciation | Literature | Vocabulary | Listenings

IPA Symbols

The International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA) is an alphabetic system of phonetic notation that was devised in the 19th century as a standardised way of representing the sounds of speech in written form. The British English IPA chart consists of 44 symbols representing the pure vowels (monophthongs), the gliding vowels (diphthongs), and the consonant sounds of spoken British English. The Britlish Library contains a wealth of Activities to help you to learn, remember, and use the British English IPA symbols efficiently whether you are a student or a teacher.

Pronunciation

No matter how good your English grammar and vocabulary may be, if your pronunciation is so bad that nobody can understand a word you say, then your English won't be much good as a means of communication. You might be good at grammar, have a broad vocabulary, and be able to explain all the aspects and tenses of English, but it's not much good if you can't be understood when you speak. I have designed these Activities to help you to improve your pronunciation, as well as other areas of your English.

Literature

Some students like to sit back and listen to some interesting English. It doesn't get much more interesting than some of the old classics from English literature. These Activities have been created to help you get the best from the vocabulary found in some of the old classics. As you listen and read your way through these Activities, you will also broaden your understanding of English culture.

Vocabulary

Did you know that there are over 600,000 words in English? That's a lot of words, and far more than any human being could ever manage to learn. Even Shakespeare only used around 55,000 different words in all of his works. Mind you, he did actually invent quite a few of them. To get a good mastery of English, you do need to expand your vocabulary as much as possible. The more words you know, the better your English will be. The Activities here will help you to quickly develop your vocabulary.

Listenings

Reading is the easiest way to take in English. Listening is a much harder skill and one that has to be developed as you study the language. There are lots of speech features that arise when native English speakers speak English. These speech features, such as elision, simplification, intonation, stress, and rhythm, and the way in which speakers may miss out sounds or whole words, are important to understand if you are to be able to listen to and fully understand spoken English. These Britlish Library Activities will help you to develop you listening skills.  

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This lesson, The Bat and the Weasels, advises us to be clever enough to analyse a situation and adapt ourselve to it in the most advantageous way in order to survive, or briefly, to be adaptable if you want to survive. These phonetic Aesop English language lessons will help you to master the 44 British English IPA symbols, and hopefully learn some new vocabulary.  

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The Bat and the Weasels

A Bat blundered into the nest of a Weasel, who ran up to catch and eat him. The Bat begged for his life, but the Weasel would not listen.

"You are a Mouse," he said, "and I am a sworn enemy of Mice. Every Mouse I catch; I am going to eat!"

"But I am not a Mouse!" cried the Bat. "Look at my wings. Can Mice fly? Why, I am only a Bird! Please let me go!"

The Weasel had to admit that the Bat was not a Mouse, so he let him go. But a few days later, the foolish Bat went blindly into the nest of another Weasel. This Weasel happened to be a bitter enemy of Birds, and he soon had the Bat under his claws, ready to eat him.

"You are a Bird," he said, "and I am going to eat you!"

"What," cried the Bat, "I, a Bird! Why, all Birds have feathers! I am nothing but a Mouse. 'Down with all Cats,' is my motto!"

And so, the Bat escaped with his life a second time.

Set your sails with the wind.

/ ðə bæt ənd ðə ˈwiːz.l̩z /

/ ə bæt ˈblʌn.dəd ˈɪn.tə ðə nest əv ə ˈwiːz.l̩ / ˈhuː ræn ʌp tə ˈkætʃ ənd iːt ɪm / ðə bæt beɡd fər ɪz laɪf / bət ðə ˈwiːz.l̩ wʊd nɒt ˈlɪs.n̩ /

/ ju ər ə maʊs / hi ˈsed / ənd ˈaɪ əm ə swɔːn ˈe.nə.mi əv maɪs / ˈev.ri maʊs ˈaɪ ˈkætʃ / ˈaɪ əm ˈɡəʊ.ɪŋ tu iːt /

/ bət ˈaɪ əm nɒt ə maʊs / kraɪd ðə bæt / ˈlʊk ət maɪ wɪŋz / kən maɪs flaɪ / waɪ / ˈaɪ əm ˈəʊn.li ə bɜːd / pliːz let miː ˈɡəʊ /

/ ðə ˈwiːz.l̩ həd tu əd.ˈmɪt ðət ðə bæt wəz nɒt ə maʊs / ˈsəʊ hi let ɪm ˈɡəʊ / bət ə fjuː ˈdeɪz ˈleɪ.tə / ðə ˈfuː.lɪʃ bæt ˈwent ˈblaɪnd.li ˈɪn.tə ðə nest əv ə.ˈnʌð.ə ˈwiːz.l̩ / ðɪs ˈwiːz.l̩ ˈhæ.pənd tə bi ə ˈbɪ.tər ˈe.nə.mi əv bɜːdz / ənd hi suːn həd ðə bæt ˈʌnd.ər ɪz klɔːz / ˈre.di tu iːt ɪm /

/ ju ər ə bɜːd / hi ˈsed / ənd ˈaɪ əm ˈɡəʊ.ɪŋ tu iːt ju /

/ ˈwɒt / kraɪd ðə bæt / ˈaɪ / ə bɜːd / waɪ / ɔːl bɜːdz həv ˈfe.ðəz / ˈaɪ əm ˈnʌ.θɪŋ bət ə maʊs / daʊn wɪð ɔːl kæts / ɪz maɪ ˈmɒ.təʊ /

/ ənd ˈsəʊ / ðə bæt ɪ.ˈskeɪpt wɪð ɪz laɪf ə ˈsek.ənd ˈtaɪm /

/ set jə seɪlz wɪð ðə wɪnd /

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