History of the English Language

 

 

 

Inspiring Speech: The Great Dictator

In the transcript below the video, some of the difficult vocabulary is highlighted in bold. These words are explained in the vocabulary glossary at the bottom of the page.

Charlie Chaplin wrote, directed, produced and starred in The Great Dictator, which was released in 1940.

The film is an explicit satire of Hitler at a time when America was still at peace with Germany and nothing was coming out of Hollywood that attacked Nazism and the Third Reich. The film is a must-see, as it is one of the all-time classic movies working on several levels....and it is so much better for you than watching reality TV like X-Factor or Big Brother! T

he final segment of the movie where Chaplin speaks for the first time ever on camera is mesmerising. This clip has been viewed millions of times on Youtube here.

But here below you can see the same speech with images that help explain the vocabulary used.

Hopefully, this will go viral, as it is such an inspiring speech and is just as relevant now as when it was first released. If you have trouble understanding, there are some words explained afterwards in the Vocabulary glossary.

But first try to use the pictures to help you understand what is being said.

Please watch this all the way to the end. It is truly one of the greatest speeches you will ever hear.

 

 

 

You can buy the film here or here, but it's probably best to buy it in your own country so that you can get the correct subtitles with your copy.  

 

 

Difficult Vocabulary Glossary

gentile
somebody not Jewish
misery
extreme sadness
Greed
selfishly wanting power or money
Poisoned
to give sb or sth a substance that causes death
barricaded
to close something in to a place with an obstruction, so as to restrict movement
goose-stepped
marching style of an army (commonly associated with the Nazis)
abundance
a large quantity of sth
cynical
only thinking about your own interests
despairing
having no hope
bitterness
angry and hurt because of a bad experience
dictators
a ruler of a country that has total power & usually got that power through force or violence
liberty
freedom
perish
to die suddenly and possibly violentlly
brutes
a savage person or animal
despise
to hate very strongly
enslave
to make sb your slave
regiment
to organise in a strict way
drill
to train soldiers by lots of repetition
cattle
cows
cannon fodder
soldiers that are used in war to be sent to their death
decent
kind, honest, respectable, nice, good
intolerance
not accepting other people's beliefs or behaviour that are different from your own
reason
sth that is right, practical or possible
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