English Smart Club
April, 2014 

 

William  Shakespeare  

 

  April 23, 1564 - April 23, 1616

 

    The English playwright, actor and poet William Shakespeare is thought to have been born as the son of the shop owner John Shakespeare and his wife Mary, nee Arden, on April 23, 1564 in Stratford-upon-Avon and was baptized on April 26, 1564.
    Shakespeare came from a wealthy family of townspeople and probably attended grammar-school in Stratford. When he was 18, he married the farmer's daughter Anne Hathaway, who was 8 years his senior. They had three children and it is thought that he worked as a teacher in Lancashire from 1582 to 1590.
    In 1592 William Shakespeare seemed to have already been in contact with the theater in London, in 1594 he was an actor, playwright and member of the acting company called the "Chamberlain's Men", who were known as the "King's Men" from 1603. This company was one of the two leading, financially independent acting companies in London.
    In 1595 he wrote his most poetic works, "Romeo and Juliet" and "A Midsummer Night's Dream". In the years between 1596 to 1599 his comedies transformed from the almost subversive "Merchant of Venice" via "The Merry Wives of Windsor" to the deeply romantic comedies "Much Ado about Nothing", "Twelfth Night" and "As you Like It".
    At the turn of the century his work underwent a transformation, depicting a tragic world view, which can first be seen in "Julius Caesar". This phase of his work included the tragedies "Hamlet", "Macbeth", "Othello" and "King Lear", which deal with religious and political aspects of his time in a very complex manner.
    In 1599 he became a shareholder of the Globe Theatre in London. Before, Shakespeare bought houses and land in his home town of Stratford-upon-Avon, where he lived from 1612 at the latest.
    William Shakespeare died on April 23, 1616 in Stratford-upon-Avon, where he was buried at the altar of Holy Trinity Church.


               Sonnet CXXX

My mistress' eyes are nothing like the sun;          
Coral is far more red than her lips' red;
If snow be white, why then her breasts are dun;
If hairs be wires, black wires grow on her head.
I have seen roses damask'd, red and white,
But no such roses see I in her cheeks;
And in some perfumes is there more delight
Than in the breath that from my mistress reeks.
I love to hear her speak, yet well I know
That music hath a far more pleasing sound;
I grant I never saw a goddess go;
My mistress, when she walks, treads on the ground:
    And yet, by heaven, I think my love as rare
    As any she belied with false compare.

 

 


                      Сонет 130

    перевод С. Маршака

 

     Ее глаза на звезды не похожи,
    Нельзя уста кораллами назвать,
    Не белоснежна плеч открытых кожа,
    И черной проволокой вьется прядь.
    С дамасской розой, алой или белой,
    Нельзя сравнить оттенок этих щек.
    А тело пахнет так, как пахнет тело,
    Не как фиалки нежный лепесток.
    Ты не найдешь в ней совершенных линий,
    Особенного света на челе.
    Не знаю я, как шествуют богини,
    Но милая ступает по земле.
        И все ж она уступит тем едва ли.
        Кого в сравненьях пышных оболгали.

 
 
Top 10 most famous William Shakespeare’s books
 

Top 10 interesting facts about Shakespeare

Quiz

 Let’s check how well you know William Shakespeare!

Going around the world - Stratford
Test for the Best

 

 

march, 2014

Women’s Day

March 8: International Women's Day

March 8th is known as the International Women's Day. This holiday emerged as a political celebration to symbolize the fight of women from all over the world for their rights, full equality with men, democracy and peace. As the time passed, the political motives of the holiday moved to the background and March 8th simply became a women's holiday in Russia and other republics of the former USSR.

March 8th is an official public holiday. This beautiful spring holiday is most often celebrated in the family circle with a festive meal and champagne. Another popular choice to celebrate March 8th is by visiting friends. Men and women give flowers, postcards with poetry, chocolate, and other pleasant gifts to their mothers, wives, grandmothers, sisters and daughters. Some Russian men like to undertake all household duties on this day—starting with washing dishes and ending with cooking dinner and looking after children, so that women can enjoy a full day of rest.

Popular Russian entertainers organize concerts and performances to create the festive mood on March 8th. The best singers and most talented actors perform on stage with songs and poems about love and beautiful women. However, very few Russians celebrate the holiday by going to concerts, theaters or movies. The traditional way to celebrate is at home among friends and family.

What to give as a gift on March 8th?

Flowers are the most popular gift choice on March 8th. Yellow mimosas and roses are especially popular. Candy and chocolate are the next popular choice, followed by perfume and cosmetics. Some people like to give money or gift cards, so that women could pick the best present for themselves. The list goes on and other gift choices include jewelry, household appliances, kitchen utensils, cut glass and China, clothes, footwear, books, DVDs, and even cell phones and cameras. Tastes differ but the rule of thumb is to give something that will please the woman.

What do Russians think about March 8th?

In contemporary Russia, March 8th is first of all the day of warm feelings and excitement. One third of Russians think so, according to a poll conducted by the leading Russian sociological company VCIOM. Some Russians think of it as a tradition (16%) or an opportunity to make a pleasant surprise to women (15%). The holiday is viewed as just an extra day off by 14% of Russians, while 10% of Russians associate it with gifts and flowers. The International Women’s Day is a very special and important day for 7% of Russians, and only a few think of it as waste of money (2%).

 

It’s not required to buy an expensive gift to show that you care about a person. Many women will be pleased to receive a postcard with a poem and a few words of congratulations. Even if you are away from your wife, mother, grandmother or sister, you can always send her a postcard or write an email. Here is a poem that you can use on the occasion of March 8th.


Women’s Day

It’s a time to celebrate,

All the women in our lives.

Our mothers and sisters,

Daughters and wives.

 

We must remember,

To appreciate and respect.

With their beautiful hearts,

How our days they affect.

 

Each woman is gentle,

Caring and kind.

We must respect,

Both her body and mind.

 

By 7 “b” form

Women's Day Quotes


"Women are the real architects of society.” 
by Harriet Beecher Stowe

"The fastest way to change society is to mobilize the women of the world."
by Charles Malik

"Woman's guess is much more accurate than a man's certainty.”
by Rudyard Kipling

"A charming woman doesn't follow the crowd. She is herself.”
by Loretta Young

"The loneliest woman in the world is a woman without a close woman friend.” The Life of Reason, 1905-1906"
by George Santayana

 


"A free race cannot be born of slave mothers."

by Margaret Sanger 

 

Woman is in the lap of A, B, C..... 

 

Interesting facts about women 

Quiz

 Going around the world – The Netherlands 

 

The best Women’s Day Postcard Contest

 

Test for the Best

 

February, 2014  

The Olympic Games 

     These days The Winter Olympics are taking place in Sochi, Russia.  The Olympic Games are the most expected and most amazing event for everyone in the world. But what are the Olympics? Read the article to find more information!

     The Olympic Games are the biggest and most famous sports event in the world. There are three kinds of Olympics – the Summer Olympics, the Paralympics and the Winter Olympics.

     The Summer Olympics take place in July or August. There are 28 Summer Olympic sports. Boxing and running are the oldest sports. Tennis and the martial art taekwondo are two of the newest ones. One of the most famous 21st century Olympians is Jamaican runner Usain Bolt. He has longer legs than the other runners. He’s also very tall – 1.96m – and his arms are well-built. Bolt is the fastest athlete in the world. He can run the 100 m in 9.58 seconds and the 200 m in 19.19 seconds. He has Olympic gold medals for both events.

 

     The Paralympics are an event for athletes who have got special bodies. American swimmer Jessica Long, for example, hasn’t got legs, but she has got lots of medals.

 

     The Winter Olympics are in February or March. There are 15 sports in the Winter Olympics. Ice hockey is one of the most popular of all. It’s also one of the hardest, because it’s so fast. The Canadians, Czechs, Finns, Russians, Slovakians, Swedes and Americans are the best ice hockey players of all. The sport is a favourite hobby in their countries.

 

 

 

 

        Yelena Isinbayeva is a Russian pole vaulter. She has two                

      Olympic gold medals and she is the winner of many        

    other awards. She is the best female pole vaulter of all  time! 

 

            Michael Phelps is an American swimmer. He has got 18 

     Olympic gold medals. That makes him the most

                   successful Olympic athlete in history. He has got more  

 world records than any other swimmer.

 

          Lionel Messi is one of the best footballers in the world.         

He  is shorter than most footballers, but he is faster than  

other players. Messi is one of the most famous athletes in  

 the world.

     

            Evgeny Plushchenko is a Russian figure skater. He is the 2006 Olympic gold medalist, 2014 Olympic Team gold medalist, 2002 Olympic silver medalist, and 2010 Olympic silver medalist, a three-time World champion, a seven-time European champion, a four-time Grand Prix Final champion, and a ten-time Russian national champion. Plushenko is the only male figure skater in the modern history of the sport to have won four Olympic medals competing in four Olympics 2002 Salt Lake Winter Olympics, 2006 Turin Winter Olympics, 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics, and 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics.

    

Ole Einar Bjørndale is a Norwegian professional biathlete. He is the joint-most successful Olympian in the history of the Winter Games with 12 medals. In 1992, he won his first career medal at the junior world championships. A year later in 1993, after winning a record three junior world championship titles, Bjørndalen made his Biathlon World Cup debut. His breakthrough came in 1994 when he featured on his first World Cup podium in a sprint race held in Bad Gastein, Austria. Bjørndalen's first participation at the Olympic Games was during the Lillehammer 1994 Winter Olympics, which were held in his home country of Norway. He obtained his first major victory on 11 January 1996 in an individual competition held in Antholz-Anterselva, Italy.                              By 6 “v” class

 

 
Sochi Olympic Symbols   

 

Winter Olympic Games

 

Sochi – the heart of Winter Olympics

 

Top 10 world’s most outstanding athletes

 

Going around the world - London 

  Test for the Best
 
January, 2014   

Books and Reading

 

The Printed Word

Reading is an important part of our lives. We read books to get information or just to entertain ourselves. But not many people know how books appeared and who invented them. Do you want to learn something new? Then this article is for you!


The earliest books were written on tablets of wood or pieces of bark. In Greece and Rome, the tablets of wood were covered with wax, and writing was impressed upon them with a small stick called “stylus”. These tablets were held together on one side with thin strips of leather or metal rings. In Assyria and Babylonia clay tablets were used for writing and the words were drawn with a piece of wood. The earliest books of the ancient world were written on papyrus and skins of young animals.

Books were quite common in ancient Rome: there were many booksellers and the first public library was founded there about 39 BC. Only the rich could buy books or make their slaves copy books from important libraries. By the time of Middle Ages all books were handwritten and often beautifully decorated. Libraries used to chain books to the shelves so that they couldn’t be removed from the building. But very few people could read them.


The invention of printing was a really great event in history. The first people to invent printing were the Chinese. The best known German inventor of printing is Johann Gutenberg.

Printing spread quickly over Europe. The first printing press in England was set up by William Caxton at Westminster in 1476, and the first printing press in Russia – by Ivan Fedorov in Moscow in 1564. Printed books soon reached a very high standard. Eventually there were more and more people in Europe who could read and they wanted more and more books. That led to opening more libraries.

 Early libraries were used only by scientists.  But they grew in number and began to be used by the public. Now most countries have their own national libraries. The world’s largest is the US Library in Congress. It holds about 90 million items – books and manuscripts. The library was founded in 1800 in Washington. Bibliotheque Nationale inFrance dates back to the 17th century and the British Museum Library in London was set in the 18thcentury. The State Public Library in Moscow was founded in 1862 and has unique collections of books.

       Bibliotheque Nationale

 

                

The Library of Congress in the USA          The British Museum Library

 

  

         The State Public Library

 

                           Interesting facts

 

 

 

 

Top 10 books we have read in English

 

   A Literary game     

                               

 Going around the world - Singapore

 

 

             

 December, 2013      

New Year’s Day and Christmas

       It is well-known that New Year’s Day is one of the most favourite people’s holidays. It is celebrated all over the world, but the celebration of the holiday varies in different countries. Would you like to know more about the holiday? Then this article is for you!

       New Year's Day is observed on January 1, the first day of the year on the modern Gregorian calendar as well as the Julian calendar used in the Roman Empire since 45 BC. The Romans originally dedicated New Year's Day to Janus, the god of gates, doors, and beginnings for whom the first month of the year (January) is named.


        On New Year's Day
, people in certain countries gather on beaches and run into the water to celebrate the new year. It is very popular in Canada, the Republic of Ireland, the United Kingdom, the United States, and the Netherlands. These events are sometimes known as polar bear plunges, and are sometimes organized by groups to raise money for charity.

       In the United Kingdom there are many celebrations across the towns and cities, particularly in Scotland.

                                                         

       In London, England, thousands gather along the Embankment on the River Thames to watch the fireworks around the London Eye. The New Year officially starts when Big Ben strikes twelve. 

 In Scotland, there are many special customs associated with the New Year. These are a part of the Scottish celebration Hogmanay, the Scots name for New Year's Eve. The famous street party in Princes Street in Edinburgh is     

one example.

       In Greece and Cyprus, families and relatives switch off the lights at midnight, then celebrate by cutting the vassilopita (Basil's pie) which usually contains one coin or equivalent. Whoever wins expects luck for the whole year. After the pie, a traditional game of cards  called triantaena  follows.

In the Philippines, New Year's is considered part of the Christmas holiday. Noise is made on New Year's Eve with firecrackers and horns  to dispel evil spirits and to prevent them from bringing bad luck to the coming new year. Tables are laden with food for the Media Noche (midnight meal), and a basket of twelve, different round fruits is displayed to symbolise prosperity in each of the coming twelve months.

       In Spain, it is customary to have 12 grapes at hand when the clock strikes 12 at midnight. One grape is eaten on each stroke. If all the grapes are eaten within the period of the strikes, it means good luck in the new year.

                                       

 Top-10 best X-mas movies

 

          Top-10 best X-mas and New Year songs 

1. Happy New Year - ABBA 

 

     The best Happy New Year and Christmas

 Postcard Contest     

 

Quiz  

 

Дополнительная информация