# Facts and figures

Listen to the lecturer giving some facts and figures to practise and improve your listening skills.

Do the preparation task first. Then listen to the audio and do the exercises.

### Transcript

… and the next part of this talk is on the Panama Canal. It's amazing how this one small section of a small country can be so important to the world. Let's learn a little bit about the canal itself, before we look at how it connects to everything else.

The Panama Canal is an artificial waterway in the Central American country of Panama that connects the Atlantic and Pacific Ocean. It is only 82 kilometres long. If you go around South America by ship then you need to travel another 15,000 kilometres. So the canal saves a lot of travel time. It takes around 8 to 10 hours to cross the canal.

The French started building the canal in 1881, but they couldn't finish it. The project was started again in 1904 by the United States and the canal was finally finished in 1914. Many people died while they were building the canal, some say up to 25,000. For the rest of the 20th century, the United States controlled the canal, but gave control back to Panama in 2000.

Every year, around 40,000 ships come through the canal. These are mostly commercial ships. They transport goods for trade between Asia and America, or Europe. In 2016 the government of Panama made the canal bigger, so that now 99 per cent of ships can pass through it.

Let's now turn to the role of the Panama Canal in the global economy …

### Topics

Submitted by Suraj paliwal on Sat, 02/01/2021 - 04:51

I'm not good with numbers. If anyone want to practice with me English then reply me. This is most effectively way to learn, understand anything.

Submitted by Khin Yee Mon Khaing on Fri, 01/01/2021 - 00:55

I am bad with numbers. Thus the lesson teaches me a lot. Thanks a million.

Submitted by susanavali on Wed, 09/12/2020 - 16:43

It's difficult to know the differences between some numbers like 14 and 40. How can we find the right numbers?

Hello susanvali,

There are differences in the sound of 'teen' and 'ty' and in the stress patterns here.

'14' has the stress on the second syllable (fourTEEN) and the sound of 'teen' is long - the same sound as in three, tree and eat.

'40' has the stress on the first syllable (FORty) and the sound of 'ty' is shorter.

You can hear the pronunciation in dictionary entries:

> https://dictionary.cambridge.org/us/dictionary/english/forty

> https://dictionary.cambridge.org/dictionary/english/fourteen

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

Submitted by Sergio1994 on Mon, 30/11/2020 - 16:01

Thank you for the lessons on the history of the Panama Canal, this helped me a lot to practice my English and keep learning.

Submitted by TalhaÖzkan on Thu, 26/11/2020 - 20:38

I do not like Math, but while I was preparing for the university entrance exam, I studied hard Math. So I am good with numbers.

Submitted by GabrielaE on Fri, 20/11/2020 - 23:23