Talk Summary:

Is learning English so important? Why? How come the Chinese are obsessed with improving their English? What opportunities does it bring? Jay Walker discusses.

To view the official TED transcript of Jay Walker’s speech please click here.


TED Explained:

‘Let’s talk about manias.’


1.      “Mania” is a noun. And it means an excessive enthusiasm or desire; an obsession: A synonym would be “madness”. For example: The entire city has been gripped by basketball mania.


‘Let’s start with Beatle mania: hysterical teenagers, crying, screaming, pandemonium.’


2.      “Hysterical” is an adjective. It means to be marked by excessive or uncontrollable emotion. An example: He couldn’t control his hysterical laughter. 


‘Let’s start with Beatle mania: hysterical teenagers, crying, screaming, pandemonium.’


3.       “Pandemonium” is a noun. It means a very noisy place, wild uproar, noise, disorder; tumult. For example: After the terrorist attack, the streets were in a state of pandemonium.


‘Okay, religious mania: there’s rapture, there’s weeping, there’s visions.’


4.      “Vision” is a noun. It means the act or power of anticipating that which will or may come to be. For example: He had a vision for the company – that it would expand and grow to become the best in the country. 


‘It’s called the Gaokao, and 80 million high school Chinese students have already taken this gruelling test.’

5.      “Gruelling” is an adjective. It means exhausting; very tiring; arduously severe. For example: He managed to run the gruelling 20km marathon. When he finished, he was exhausted.


‘But with English you can become part of a wider conversation: a global conversation about global problems, like climate change or poverty…’


6.      “Poverty” is a noun. It means The state of being extremely poor. For example: The poverty rate is high in Africa, people can barely afford food and water.

Give me more!

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