Land and People
I. Different Names for Britain and its Parts
1.Geographical names: the British Isles, Great Britain and England.
2.Official name: the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.
3.The British Isles are made up of two large islands-Great Britain (the larger one) and Ireland, and hundreds of small ones.
4.Three political divisions on the island of Great Britain: England, Scotland and Wales.
(1) England is in the southern part of Great Britain. It is the largest, most populous section.
(2) Scotland is in the north of Great Britain. It has three natural zones (the Highlands in the north; the Central lowlands; the south Uplands) Capital: Edinburgh
(3) Wales is in the west of Great Britain. Capital: Cardiff
(4) Northern Ireland is the fourth region of the UK. Capital: Belfast.
5.The Commonwealth (of nations) is a free association of independent countries that were once colonies of Britain. It was founded in 1931, and has 50 member countries until 1991.
II. Geographical Features 英国的地理特征
1.Geographical position of Britain:
Britain is an island country surrounded by the sea. It lies in the North Atlantic Ocean off the north coast of Europe. It is separated from the rest of Europe by the English Channel in the south and the North Sea in the east.
2.The north and west of Britain are mainly highlands; and the east and southeast are mostly lowlands.
III. Rivers and Lakes 河流与湖泊
Ben Nevis is the highest mountain in Britain (1,343m).
Severn River is the longest river in Britain (338km).
Thames River is the second longest and most important river in Britain. (336km).
Lough Neagh is the largest lake in Britain which is located in Northern Ireland. (396 square kilometres).
River Clyde is the most important river in Scotland.
Snowdonia is the highest mountain in Wales.（1,085m）
IV. Climate 气候
1. Britain's favorable climate 英国有利的气候条件：
Britain has a maritime climate-winters are not too cold and summers are not too hot. It has a steady reliable rainfall throughout the whole year. The temperature varies within a small range.
2.The factors influence the climate in Britain:
1）The surrounding waters tend to balance the seasonal differences by heating up the land in winter and cooling it off in summer;
2)The prevailing south-west winds or the Westerlies blow over the country all the year round bringing warm and wet air in winter and keeping the temperatures moderate;
3）The North Atlantic Drift passes the western coast of the British Isles and warms them.
Britain has a steady reliable rainfall throughout the whole year. The average annual rainfall in Britain is over 1,000mm. There is a water surplus in the north and west, and a water deficit in the south and east.
V. The People 人口
1.population distribution 人口分布：
Britain has a population of about 57 millions and it is very unevenly distributed. 90% of the population is urban and only 10% is rural. The population of Britain is made up mainly of the English (81.5%), the Scottish (9.6%), the Welsh (1.9%), the Irish (2.4%), the Northern Irish (1.8%) and other peoples (2.8%).
2.The difference between the ancestors of the English and Scots, Welsh and Irish:
The ancestors of the English are Anglo-Saxons, the Scots, Welsh and Irish are Celts.
3.The difference in character个性差别：
The Welsh are emotional and cheerful people. They are music lovers and are proud of their past.
The Scots are said to be a serious, cautious and thrifty people, and they are also hospitable, generous and friendly.
The Irish are charm and vivacity. 爱尔兰人充满魅力，生性活泼。
4.The difference in speech between southern England and northern England:
Southerners speak the type of English close to BBC English; In northern England, regional speech is usually "broader" than that of southern England.
5.The Welsh keep their language and culture in this way: 威尔士人以这样的方式使他们的语言及文化保持活力。
Throughout the year they have festivals of song and dance and poetry called Eisteddfodau. The great event of the year is the National Eisteddfod. On these occasions competitions are held in Welsh poetry, music, singing and art.
6.The main problem in Northern Ireland: 北爱尔兰存在的主要问题：
The fight between the Protestants who are the dominant group, and the Roman Catholics, who are seeking more social, political and economic opportunities.
About three million have come to Britain to live and find work since World War II.