Advantages So many. A magnet for immigrants over the centuries.
Disadvantages Live here to find out!
Many moons ago, in another life, I lived in Sweden. I was employed by one of the Universities there, in the Continuing Education Dept, teaching adults. More specifically, I was attached to the TOFL (Teaching Of English as a Foreign Language) section and my job was mainly concerned with Technical, Medical and Scientific English.A lot of my students were very high powered, knowledgeable professionals whose general English would be already excellent and only needed help with the terminology and use of English in specialized areas that an ordinary TOFL teacher knew little of.
A lot of our sessions drifted rather off the point as they got me into discussions on this, that and the other. One of their favourites topics was "The United Kingdom" and I was supposed to be their fount of all information. I was English, ergo, I must know everything about these islands! Or so they thought!Quite a few of their questions would do well to be repeated here for the benefit of ciao members who are not from these islands and indeed, some of us brought up here might learn something too! The answers to the questions have been amended to take into account changes made in the last 20 years.
Q1.WHAT`S THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE "UNITED KINGDOM" AND"GREAT BRITAIN"?
The term "United Kingdom" is short for "The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland". "Great Britain" itself is composed of the countries of England, Scotland and Wales. So the UK is made up of 4 countries and GB of 3. These are political and economic units.
SO WHAT`S THE "BRITISH ISLES" THEN?
Q3.SO IS "IRELAND" ALL PART OF THE "UK"?
"Northern Ireland" or "Ulster" as it is also known, is still part of the UK, although many people would want it to join with the southern part of Ireland and form a united Ireland, politically.
No. The major part of the island of "Ireland" became independent from the UK in the early 20th Century. The Republic of Ireland was originally called the "Irish Free State" and then "Eire". Although it has very strong ties with the rest of the "British Isles", it is an entirely separate country.
Q4.WHY DO PEOPLE IN SCOTLAND NOT LIKE TO BE CALLED "BRITISH" OR "ENGLISH"?
Northern Ireland is rather more difficult to categorize. The community in that part of the UK is polarized between the Catholics and the Protestants. Most Protestants, who form the majority of the population, want to remain part of the UK and call themselves British rather than Irish.
The inhabitants of the UK are a complex bunch of people and it is difficult for those overseas to known quite how to refer to them. Allegiance is technically to the crown and thus all are British citizens, but most of us will not call ourselves British. Rather we will call ourselves by the country of our birth or family heritage eg. English, Scottish or Welsh.
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