How noisy is too noisy
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Jennifer: Hello there and welcome to 6 Minute English from BBC Learning English. My name is Jennifer and with me in the studio today is Rob. Hi Rob!
Rob: Hello there! In this programme, we take a story from the news and use it to learn some new vocabulary. This one’s all about noise.
Jennifer: What noises get on your nerves, Rob? Are there any noises that you can’t stand?
Rob: I don’t like very loud, repetitive noises – like drilling concrete in the street, for example. It really gives me a headache.
Jennifer: Oh me too! What about when you’re indoors, though? Is noise still a problem?
Rob: Yes, it can be – particularly if you’re trying to concentrate on working or watching something on TV or at the cinema.
Jennifer: Well, the story that we’re going to look at involves a British actress who could not tolerate some loud noises she heard while performing in a London theatre. But more on that in a moment. First of all, though, a quiz question for you!
According to an EU publication, what percentage of people in Europe are exposed to road traffic noise levels which are higher than 55 decibels (dB)? Is it:
Rob: Well, 55dB is quite loud, I think it’s the sound of a normal street with quite a lot of cars and traffic, so I’ll say… b) 50%
Jennifer: We’ll find out if you’re right at the end of the programme. But for now, back to our story about noise. What would you do, Rob, if a noise was really disturbing, or bothering, you? Would you complain?
Rob: I think I’m too polite to complain – I don’t like to make a fuss. I’d probably put up with it and try to ignore it!