Feb 142013

In this week’s 6 Minute English: a message from the Second World War attached to the leg of a dead pigeon has proved difficult to understand.

Callum and Neil learn more about secret codes and messenger birds.

This week’s question:

Who was the first person recorded to use written codes to keep his communications secret?

a: Julius Caesar

b: King Harold

c: Tutankhamun

Listen out for the answer at the end of the programme.



a pigeon: a common bird which can be trained to fly back to a particular place wherever it is released from
a chimney: a brick structure in a house which takes smoke from a fireplace up and out of the house, usually through the roof
to crack / to break (a code): to work out the meaning of a hidden message
a one-time pad: a technique for creating unbreakable codes
random: unique, unpredictable, without any pattern


6 Minute English – Messenger bird from the past Transcript Video


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Source: BBC Learning English

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