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Słuchaj i ucz się – S-43. Celebrating Birthdays

Wersja do druku

Voice 1


Welcome to Spotlight, I'm Christy VanArragon.


Voice 2


And I'm David Bast. Spotlight uses a special English method of broadcasting. It is easier for people to understand, no matter where in the world they live.


Happy birthday to you!
Happy birthday to you!
Happy birthday, happy birthday!
Happy birthday to you!


Voice 1


You have probably heard this song before. Many people around the world sing some version of this song at their birthday celebrations. Today's Spotlight is on birthdays!

probably - prawdopodobnie

around the world - na całym świecie

version - wersja

birthday - urodziny

celerbation - obchody, uroczystość

Voice 2


Birthday celebrations began shortly after ancient people developed the calendar. Until that time, people did not have a way to measure years, months and days. The first evidence of birthday celebrations is from ancient pagan cultures. These cultures believed that evil spirits were more dangerous on a person's birthday. So they celebrated birthdays with family and friends. They hoped that filling the day with laughter and joy would protect the person from evil spirits. Most people brought happy thoughts and wishes for the year. But some people also brought gifts. Gifts were considered a very good influence for the birthday person.

ancient - starożytny

develop - wynaleźć

a way - sposób

measure - mierzyć, odliczać

evidence - dowód

pagan - pogański

evil - zły

spirit - duch

dangerous - niebezpieczny

celebrate - obchodzić, świętować

fill with something - wypełniać czymś

laughter - śmiech

joy - radość

protect - chronić

thought - myśl

wish - życzenie

gift - podarunek, prezent

consider - uważać (coś za)

influence - wpływ

birthday person - solenizant

Voice 1


Birthday celebrations slowly became more popular in the modern world. There is evidence of kings and other important people celebrating birthdays. But historians believe that it was many years before common people celebrated birthdays too. Eventually, birthday celebrations became a tradition around the world. Not everyone celebrates the same way. But here are some popular traditions and how they began.

modern - współczesny

important - ważny

historian - historyk

common - zwykły

eventually - w końcu

the same way - tak samo

Voice 2


In many cultures, people eat cake on their birthday. This sweet treat is baked like bread. Some people believe that the Greeks started this tradition. Other people believe it was the Germans. But both cultures put candles on the cakes. The Greeks believed that these small fires made the cake shine like the moon. The Germans put a candle in the middle of the cake to represent the light of life.

cake - tort

treat - poczęstunek, przysmak

bake - piec

bread - chleb

candle - świeczka

shine - lśnić

represent - symbolizować

Voice 1


Ancient people believed that the candles were like prayers to the gods. When a person blew the candles out, he made a wish. Then the smoke from the candles went up to the gods to send them his wish.

prayer - modlitwa

gods - bogowie

blow out - zdmuchnąć

make a wish - pomyśleć życzenie

smoke - dym

Voice 2


You may still blow out candles and make a wish today. Have you ever had your wish come true?

come true - spełniać się

Voice 1


Remember the birthday song that we sang at the beginning of this program? Well, that song is over one hundred years old. It has been translated in many different languages. And it is one of the most popular songs in the English language.

at the beginning - na początku

translate - przetłumaczyć

Voice 2


So, how do you celebrate birthdays in your culture? Let's hear some of the traditional ways that people have celebrated birthdays around the world.


Voice 1


In Germany, someone in the family lights candles early in the morning. They burn all day in honor of the birthday person. There are as many candles on the cake as the age of the birthday person, plus one for good luck. In the evening, the birthday person blows out all the candles. If she blows them all out at once, her wish will come true.

early - wcześnie

burn - palić się

in honor - na cześć

for good luck - na szczęście

at once - od razu

Voice 2


In Nepal, the birthday person gets a mark on his forehead. The mark is made with a mix of rice and yogurt. It stays on the birthday person's head all day for good luck.

mark - znak

forehead - czoło

stay - pozostawać

Voice 1


In Vietnam, every person's birthday is on the same day! They celebrate birthdays on the first day of every New Year. In the morning of the New Year, parents give birthday children special red paper envelopes. These envelopes contain lucky money.

envelope - koperta

contain - zawierać

lucky - szczęsliwy

Voice 2


In Japan, children's third, fifth and seventh birthdays are thought to be very lucky. Children who are three, five, or seven are invited to a special festival on November 15. At the festival, families visit a special place of worship. They give thanks for good health. They ask for more years of blessing for their child. Then, a family will have a celebration. Girls and boys will wear their best clothes. And the child will receive many gifts.

invite - zapraszać

festival - święto

worship - cześć, kult

give thanks - składać podziękowania

blessing - błogosławieństwo

receive - otrzymać

Voice 1


In Israel, a child sits in a special chair on his birthday. Family and friends decorate the chair with fresh flowers and greens. Then, everyone gathers around the chair. They lift the birthday person into the air together as many times as her age. And, of course, one more for good luck!

greens - zielone rośliny

gather - gromadzić się

lift - podnosić

into the air - w górę

Voice 2


In Mexico, birthday celebrations often include a pinata. A pinata is a paper figure shaped like an animal or flower or other object. Parents hang it from the ceiling. And they fill it with sweet candy treats. The only way to get the candy out is to hit the pinata with a stick. So, children will gather around and take turns hitting the pinata. But, they are not able to see! The adults cover their eyes with a cloth. This makes the game more challenging. It is very special when the pinata is finally broken. The child who breaks it will have good luck. When it is broken, candy falls all over the ground. Then the children run to pick it up.

include - zawierać, obejmować

shaped like - w kształcie

ceiling - sufit

take turns - robić coś po kolei

candy treats - słodycze

be able to do sth - być w stanie coś zrobić

adult - dorosły

cover - zakrywać

cloth - opaska

challenging - wymagający

pick up - zbierać

Voice 1


In Canada, a family will catch the birthday person, and spread butter on her nose. This fat makes the nose very slippery. People believe that this means that bad luck will not be able to catch them. In other parts of Canada, the birthday person will get hit! The birthday person receives one light hit for each year they have been alive. And one for good luck!

catch - łapać

spread - smarować

fat - tłuszcz

slippery - śliski

light - lekki, łagodny

hit - klaps

Voice 2


There is a similar tradition in Argentina. There, the birthday person receives a pull on the ear for each year. And in Ireland, a father may turn a birthday child upside down, and gently hit the child's head on the floor - one light hit for each year, and one for good luck!

similar - podobny

a pull on the ear - pociągnięcie za ucho

turn - odwrócić

upside down - do góry nogami

gently - delikatnie

Voice 1


You may have special birthday traditions in your own family. In my family, the birthday person can choose the food for their birthday dinner. We eat a cake that my father has designed. There are usually presents for the birthday person. And we all sing the birthday song!

design - stworzyć, przygotować

Voice 2


Some of these birthday celebrations may be similar to the celebrations in your culture. Or you may not celebrate birthdays at all. Every culture is different.


Voice 1


If you do celebrate birthdays, maybe your birthday is today! If that is true, we would just like to wish you a very special...


Voice 1


The writer of today's program was Sara DeKoster. The producer was Michio Ozaki. The voices you heard were from The United States. Computers users can hear these programs, read our scripts and see our wordbook on our website at This program is called "Celebrating Birthdays."


Voice 2


Our email address is Or, you can write to us on our website. You can also find Spotlight on Facebook. Just search for Spotlight Radio. We hope you can join us again for the next Spotlight program. Goodbye!


Oprac. Marta Barszcz


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