Spain in crisis after Catalan vote: BBC News Review reviews

June 16, 2022

Spain is in crisis after violence during an unofficial referendum in Catalonia. Neil and Catherine teach you how to use language in the news in your everyday English.

[Cover image: GETTY IMAGES]

The story:
Catalans are going on strike today to protest the violence that marred the region’s independence referendum on Sunday.

Catalonia’s regional government says over 90% of Sunday’s voters opted for independence, but only 40% of Catalans voted.

Key words and phrases:

map out
make a detailed plan

goes it alone
does something on its own, without help from others

step back from the brink
decide against an action which may have a bad result

To do:

Visit our website and try our quiz to see how well you’ve learned today’s language:

Click to rate this post!
[Total: 0 Average: 0]
  1. Catherine and Neil are great, very nice time with you, Catherine you explain as if you know what we understood and what we didn't 👏👏👏👏

  2. I'm from Spain and all Spain was from Iberian people. We lived in peace and we respected each other. After the Romans invaded, then the cisigoths, then the arabs and finally the Catholic Kinds with the inquisitions and reconquest that stopped in 1495. All of Spain had to convert Religion, and customs and speak Castilian. ALL of Spain went through a long process of this. Not only Catalans…if they are trying for independence it is becasue they are closer to France and it is more convenient business wise, and their region happens to be in that adavantage. Their language difference is not different but old IBERIAN tongue.. Yes we in the Iberian peninsula ALL used to speak differently!! It's Proven historically!
    (((But it's cool to be rebellious))) and young people in Spain don't or can't work!!! So Tell any young people in any part of Spain to manifest in the streets and break what they want for their freedom…

  3. A created region as culture with a life as a state of a country to a movement as solution for a country as goverment as a non Spain.

  4. You have no ideia how we learn from you!!! Thanks so much!

  5. Reply
    sureshchandra pandya June 16, 2022 at 7:52 pm

    I love English language, so I am eager to learn more English. I am from India.
    Thank you.

  6. we say map something out or map out something ??

  7. Anybody who's talking about hate or doing bad things to people , they're on the emperor's side.
    George lucas

  8. how dare Catalans vote for independence against communism.

  9. Reply
    Rosario Castillejos June 16, 2022 at 7:52 pm

    Thank you. I've been learning a lot with you.

  10. does the word marred on bulletin right? Or married instead? Mar?

  11. it would be amazing if there were pdf available also one could use as listening speaking material

  12. Reply
    ANTONIO CIUDAD GASCON June 16, 2022 at 7:52 pm

    your information received is bad

  13. Reply
    ANTONIO CIUDAD GASCON June 16, 2022 at 7:52 pm

    To comment on the topic there is what to know the story. Your comment is a horror of mistake. Sorry for my English

  14. I often listen to the radio of this program, and now I see them. Great!

  15. thanks for everyone who exerted affort for this channel …

  16. Thanks BBC

  17. I love to learn English. I'm from Thailand.
    I try to listen to English youtube. I'm glad to see you Neil and Catherine. I wanna say big thank to all of you.

  18. It's a wonderful learning method

  19. I'd say that the referendum was illegal more than unofficial. There is a difference.

  20. Reply
    Linh Nguyễn Hải June 16, 2022 at 7:52 pm

    It is a long time to see you again.

  21. thank you bbc

  22. Reply
    kongkrit selakhun June 16, 2022 at 7:52 pm


  23. My name is Y. I'm from Viietnamese

  24. I love your programmes

  25. Hello and welcome to News Review the program where we show you how to use the language from the latest news stories in your everyday English.

    Hi, I'm Neil. joining me is Catherine.
    Hello Catherine?

    Hello Neil.

    So what's our story today?

    Ok. so today' story is about the future of Spain.

    OK. future of Spain.
    Let's hear more from this BBC world service news bulletin

    So a story from Spain there. now independence referendum was held in a Spanish region of Catalonia on Sunday.
    A referendum is where the public make their opinion on a particular issue known by going to voting station and saying what they feel.
    Now this referendum was unofficial in fact.
    The Spanish government didn't recognize this referendum.
    But it happened in many places.
    The police was sent trying to stop it from happening and there was a quite lot of violence
    people got hurt.
    Now about 40% of Catalan people went to vote
    in this referendum and of those 40%, 90% chose to vote for independence or gave their opinion about the independence.
    Now today there was a strike happening in Catalonia which was a protest about the violence there. so quite complex story today from Spain.

    Ok yes it's a complicated story explained clearly.
    and you've been looking around world media
    and how the story is being reported
    and picked out three words and expressions you can use in your everyday English.

    Yes, looking at the headlines and three really useful words we have.
    The first one is MAP OUT.
    Secondly we have GOES IT ALONE

    So the first one Map Out what's the headline?

    Ok so we're looking in the Chicago Tribune
    and their headline is:
    Catalonia, Spain map out their next moves after chaotic vote for independence

    Map Out: meaning make a detailed plan.

    Yes, so, if we think about a map, if you're lost
    you want to find your way somewhere you're going from somewhere to somewhere else.
    You get a map and look at it.
    you might look at a map on your phone or you might look at a paper map.
    and that map, from looking at that map.
    you know exactly what to do, where to go to get where you need to be.
    so go along, turn left, long a bit more, turn right around corner. very detailed. and it allows you to plan of your actions.
    So using this idea of making a plan for your actions is what the word Map Out means in the wider sense. Make a plan for your action.

    and the element of detail is important here.
    A map usually isn't just a rough drawing or diagram of somewhere.
    It's a very detailed one.
    and ( ) interested in detail when we use this expression.

    Absolutely. and it's also not for something small. you don't map out what you're gonna have for launch.

    Unless it's a very complicated launch.

    Special lunch. Yes.
    You map out things like, you can map out your career. you can map out a project.
    you can map out a plan or a process.
    So it's really making a very detailed plan for something that's quite important.

    And a quick note on this grammar of this phrasal verb.
    we say to map out something or to map something out

    Yes, it's a separable verb in most cases.

    Ok, let's have a look at your second headline.

    Alright now we're going to look at FoxNews
    their headline is:
    A look at what might happen if Catalonia goes it alone.

    GOES IT ALONE: does something on its own without help from others.

    Yes. without help ( ) very important.
    Imagine that you're working on a project and you've got lots of people involved working on it helping you, maybe you want them to help.
    maybe you don't want them to help.
    probably if you don't want them to help
    you'd prefer to go it alone and that means do something by yourself without help from anybody else.

    It's often applied to for example members of music groups decide to go it alone.

    ( ) yes, indeed.

    ONe direction, really famous boy band.
    There were five of them but after few years
    one of their members, ( ) decided he had enough he wanted to leave the band and have a solo career.
    So ( ) decided to go it alone and ( ) quite successful I believe.

    Yeah, that happened in the past so could I say he went it alone?

    You could, but it doesn't sound ( ), it doesn't sound that really natural.
    You'd be more likely to add a verb in the past tense. in this case ( ) decided to go it alone.
    So we usually use it in the simple present tense or present continuous. he's going it alone.

    And it's not just pop band obviously. it can be anything. you decide you don't wanna work with anybody.

    And our final headline.

    Ok so Financial Times today, it's an opinion piece and their headline is:
    Catalan separatists must step back from the brink

    STEP BACK FROM THE BRINK: meaning decide against an action which may have a bad result.

    Yes, and key word here is Brink. B.R.I.N.K
    now imagine Neil you're walking along the street or you're walking along outside somewhere
    and suddenly the ground you're walking on stops.
    and you're looking in front of you at your feet.
    and there is a drop

    Like a cliff.

    Like a cliff, yes, now you're standing right at the edge
    and that edge where you're stand is called Brink
    If you take one more step even a small one.
    there's going to be disaster.
    You're going to fall over and break every bone your body got ( ).
    So it's very dangerous situation.
    You're on the brink of this edge.
    So best thing you can do to stay safe is take a step back, step back from the brink.
    stay away from danger to a place of safety.
    So we're using the idea here idiomatically to say in this case
    The Catalan separatists are about to do something quite, to get involved in something
    very dangerous.
    This opinion piece is saying
    Don't do it. move back. stay safe.

    That's interesting. isn't it.
    because there's another expression using brink
    in which the consequence isn't necessarily bad.

    Yes, absolutely. if we use the word step back from the brink it means avoiding danger.
    If we just use the phrase on the brink to be on the brink of something it means something is going to happen but it could be either good or bad.
    We could say Catalan, Spain is on the brink of disaster for some people.
    and we could say that scientists are on the brink of discovering a cure for cancer for example which would be a good thing.
    So on the brink of means something good or bad is about to happen.

    My twitter account: @leea01040389363
    My google plus:

  26. Catherine is great at explaining stuff.

  27. No please Catalonies

  28. Reply
    achim langenkaemper June 16, 2022 at 7:52 pm

    the english i learned from bbc was ,that world trade centre 7 collapsed 20 minutes before it actually did. this is not entirely to learn english here, this is manipulation of thoughts and minds, you can learn the languague by talking about non political subjects as good as. very thin ice here

Leave a reply

Reviews We Trust
Register New Account
Reset Password