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From the history of printed books


Many years ago a town crier ran through the streets and shouted out all the news. Now we live in the Atomic Age, where too many things happen too quickly, and have some more convenient possibilities to find out what is happening in the world. Reading books and newspapers is one of them.

The first books printed on the paper appeared 500 years ago. Before that time the only way of making books was to write them out by hand. No one knows when writing first began, but scientists have found drawings on the walls of caves and scratchings on bones which are at least 25,000 years old.

The invention of paper played an important part in the development of books. In the 11th century the art of papermaking reached Europe but no trace of printing was found in Europe until 1423. It is known that Johann Gutenberg secretly tried out ways of printing in Strasbourg, Germany, in 1440. The knowledge of the methods of printing spread so quickly over the Europe that by the year 1487 nearly every country had started printing books.

Later people began to learn how to make paper quickly and cheaply and of better quality. As a result of this, books became much lighter and smaller.

The first person who printed books in English was William Caxton, the first Russian printer is Ivan Fedorov.

The first book printed in the Russian language appeared in Moscow
in 1564. Up to that time there were only handwritten books in Russia. The house built for printing books was not far from the Kremlin. At that time it was one of the best buildings in the Russian capital.

By the 16th century books looked as they do today and since then a very little change has been made in their appearance.



appearance [ə`piər(ə)ns] – внешний вид

Atomic [ə`tomic] Age – атомный век

by hand – oт руки, вручную

capital – столица

cheaply [`t∫i:pli] – дёшево

convenient [kən`vi:niənt] – удобный

drawing [`dro:wiŋ] – рисунок

handwritten book – книга, написанная от руки

Kremlin – Кремль

of better quality – лучшего качества

paper – бумага

possibility – возможность

printed book – печатная книга

printer – зд.: типографщик

quickly [`kwikli] – быстро

scientist [`saintist] – учёный

scratching [`skræt∫iŋ] – рисунок, нацарапанный на камне

town cryer [`kraiə] – городской глашатай

to shout out – выкрикивать

to find out – искать, находить

to print – печатать


Questions for self-examination:

1. When were the first books printed?

2. Who was the first persons printed books in English and in Russian?



6.1. Holidays in Great Britain

Reading and Writing

1. Scan the text "Holidays in Great Britain" to get the full idea of it. Find the paragraphs about:

- the public holidays in the UK;

- the way the British celebrate Christmas;

- the traditional celebration of Guy Fawkes Day.

2. Find in the text the English equivalents to:

- быть красиво украшенным;

- собирать благотворительные пожертвования;

- являться семейным и религиозным праздником;

- встречаться для совместного обильного рождественского ужина;

- время для посещения друзей и родственников.


Read and translate the text for getting the detailed content.


Holidays in Great Britain


There are fewer public holidays in Great Britain than in other European countries. They are: Christmas Day, Boxing Day, New Year's Day, Good Friday, Easter Monday, May Day, Spring Bank Holiday, and Summer Bank Holiday. Public holidays in Britain are called bank holidays, because the banks as well as most of the offices and shops are closed.

The most popular holiday in Great Britain is Christmas. Every year the people of Norway give the city of London a present. It's a big Christmas tree and it stands in Trafalgar Square. Central streets are beautifully decorated.

Before Christmas, groups of singers go from house to house. They collect money for charity and sing carols, traditional Christmas songs. In many churches a carol service is carried out on the Sunday before Christmas.

The fun starts the night before, on the 24th of December. Traditionally this is the day when people decorate their trees. Children hang stockings at the end of their beds, hoping that Father Christmas will come down the chimney during the night and fill them with toys and sweets.

Christmas is a family and religious holiday. After visiting church, relatives usually meet for the big Christmas dinner of turkey and Christmas pudding. And everyone gives and receives presents. The 26th of December, Boxing Day, is the first holiday after Christmas Day. This is the time to visit friends and relatives or perhaps sit at home and watch football.

New Year's Day is less popular in Britain than Christmas. But in Scotland, Hogmanay (New Year's Day) is the biggest festival of the year.

Besides public holidays there are some special festivals in Great Britain. One of them takes place on the 5th of November. On that day, in 1605, Guy Fawkes tried to blow up the Houses of Parliament and to kill King James I. He didn't succeed. The King's men found the bomb, took Guy Fawkes to the Tower and cut off his head. Since that day the British celebrate the 5th of November. They burn a dummy, made of straw and old clothes, on a bonfire and let off fireworks.

This dummy is called a "guy" (like Guy Fawkes) and children go out before the 5th of November and say: "Penny for the guy". If they collect enough money they can buy some fireworks.


Boxing Day – второй день Рождества, день рождественских подарков (в этот день принято дарить подарки)

Christmas ['kris(t)məs] – Рождество (25 декабря)

Easter [`i:stə] Monday – первый понедельник после Пасхи

Father Christmas – Дед Мороз

Good Friday – Великая пятница (пятница на страстной неделе)

Guy Fawkes [,gai 'fo:ks] – Гай Фокс – глава "Порохового заговора"

Hogmanay [`hogmənei] – Хогманей, канун Нового года

Houses of Parliament ['pa:ləmənt] – здание английского парламента

King James I – Джеймс I (король Англии с 1603 г. пo 1625 г.)

May Day – майский праздник, праздник весны (отмечается в первое воскресенье мая)

New Year's Day – Новый год

Norway [`no:wei] – Норвегия

Spring Bank [bæŋk] Holiday – весенний день отдыха (в мае или начале июня)

Summer Bank Holiday – летний день отдыха (в августе или сентябре)

Trafalgar Square [trə`fælgə ,skweə] – Трафальгарская площадь

Tower ['tauə] – Тауэр



bonfire [`bonfaiə] – костёр

Christmas tree – рождественская ёлка

Christmas pudding ['pudiŋ] – рождественский пудинг

carol ['kærəl] – кэрол (рождественская песня религиозного содержания, славящая рождение Христа), carol service – рождественское богослужение

charity [`t∫æriti] – благотворительность

chimney [`t∫imni] – труба

church [t∫ə:t∫] – церковь

dummy [`dΛmi] – кукла, чучело, манекен

festival [`festivəl] – празднество, праздник

local [`ləuk(ə)l] – местный

old clothes [`əuld `klo:ðz] – старая одежда

penny – пенни, пенс

relative ['relətiv] – родственник

to decorate ['dekəreit] – украшать

service ['sə:vis] – служба (церковная)

straw [stro:] – солома

stocking ['stokiŋ] – чулок

sweet [swi:t] – сущ. конфета, любая сладость

toy – игрушка

turkey ['tə:ki] индейка

to be less popular – быть менее популярным

to blow up [bləu`Λp] (blew [blu:], blown [bləun]) – взрывать

to burn [bə:n] (burnt [bə:nt]) – жечь, сжигать

to carry out – проводить, осуществлять, to be carried out – проводиться

to celebrate ['selibreit] – праздновать, торжественно отмечать

to cut off smb's head – отрубить кому-л. голову

to give and receive [ri`si:v] presents – дарить и получать подарки

to hang [hæŋ] (hung [hΛŋ]) – развешивать

to let off fireworks ['faiəwə:ks] – устраивать фейерверки

to succeed [sə`ksi:d] – достигнуть цели, преуспеть в чём-л.


For self-examination

Answer the questions:

1. What public holiday in Great Britain do you know?

2. What is a "bank holiday"?

3. What is the most popular holiday in Britain?

4. When is Christmas celebrated?

5. How are the traditional Christmas songs called in Britain?

6. What do the British do on Boxing Day?

7. What is the name of New Year's Eve in Scotland?

8. When is Guy Fawkes Night celebrated?

9. What do you know about Guy Fawkes?

Fill in the blanks:

1. The most popular holiday in Great Britain is _______.

2. Before _______, groups of singers go from house to house.

3. The 26th of December, _______, is the first holiday after Christmas Day.

4. _______ is less popular in Britain than Christmas.

5. In Scotland, _______ (New Year's Day) is the biggest festival of the year.

6. The 5th of November is ________ Day.


Put the words in the correct order to make a sentence:

1) there are, public holidays, fewer, Great Britain, in, than, European countries, in, other;

2) the most, holiday, popular, in, is, Christmas, Great Britain;

3) traditionally, the, day, this is, when, decorate, people, their, trees;

4) public holidays, besides, there are, special, some, in, Great Britain, festivals;

5) Hogmanay, is, festival, the biggest, of, year, the, Scotland, in.

4. Make up a plan (logical scheme) and then summarize the content of the text "Holidays in Great Britain".

6.2. Holidays in the USA

Reading and Writing

1. Scan the text "Holidays in the USA" to get the full idea of it. Find the paragraphs about:

- the way the Americans celebrate the Independence Day;

- the traditional New Year's Day celebration;

- the traditional celebration of Thanksgiving Day.


2. Find in the text the English equivalents to:

- состоять из людей разных национальностей;

- отмечаться на всей территории США;

- обмениваться подарками и добрыми пожеланиями;

- отмечаться со времён первого праздника урожая;

- предлагать бездомным традиционное обильное питание.


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