How to Talk about Currencies

Not each one of us is a financial specialist. And not each one of us is keenly interested in the sphere. But almost all of us watch TV and/or read the press, at least occasionally. It means there is a chance we might get news on currency rates, stock market reports, etc. After all, we all concern ourselves with our own prosperity, and that’s why this post should be useful to everybody. Let’s start with currencies and what can happen to them…

Currencies can:

  • rise / appreciate against (USD/Euro etc.): The dollar appreciated against the euro by 15 per cent. The euro has risen 1.3% from its low for the year.
  • soar / surge / swellThe dollar surged 4.2%. The dollar soared to its strongest position so far. The dollar swells by 0.5%. 
  • fall / decline / drop / slump / slide / diveThe pound may slump 10%. The Russian ruble is falling / declining in value for a second straight day. The Russian ruble slid 1.3% against the dollar on Friday. The Russian ruble dropped more than 3% against the U.S. dollar Wednesday and dived to a 2-year low on Thursday.
  • dip / plunge / tumbleThe lira plunged to fresh lows against the US dollar. The Turkish lira has tumbled another 7%. The Turkish lira dipped to a low of 6.30.
  • go up/down against (USD/Euro etc.): Currency rates go up and down due to two basic factors in economics that you might have already heard of: supply and demand.
  • float / fluctuateIn the modern world, most of the world’s currencies are floating. Exchange rates are constantly fluctuating.
  • weaken: The Japanese yen is getting stronger as the US dollar weakens
  • strengthen / firm upThe U.S. dollar firmed up on the first day of trading. The Chinese yuan strengthens to 6.7 against USD.
  • gainThe dollar gained around 3.5% in 2016, its fourth straight year of advances. 
  • climbThe Turkish lira climbed 3% against the dollar on Monday but has now stabilized.
  • rally (= recover): All eyes are on the Turkish lira this morning with the currency rallying sharply in early trade today.
  • be devaluedVenezuela moved to shore up its crumbling economy on Monday, devaluing its currency.
  • be dogged (= have problems/difficulties because of sth./sb.): The British pound was dogged by the surprise Brexit vote.
  • slipThe euro has essentially gone nowhere, slipping by just 0.2% over the last week and a half.
  • trade: The currency trades at 6.9 to the dollar.
  • jump: The yen jumps as the dollar falls. 
  • hit/plumb/touch/sink (to) record high/lows: The yen hit record highs against the dollar. The Russian ruble plumbs new depths on the sanctions. The currency sinks to the record low. Qatar’s currency has touched a 19-year low in the wake of the Gulf diplomatic crisis. 
  • shed its value: The ruble has shed more than 8% of its value agains the dollar. 

The list above is rather long, but note that there may be many more possibilities.

Now, watch the video to get some information on something which is replacing modern national currencies – cryptocurrency.

Useful vocabulary from the video:

  • to deduct money from a paycheck – to subtract or take away (an amount or part) from a total
  • to get paid via direct deposit – the electronic transfer of money from one bank account to another (American English)
  • mutual fund – an investment program funded by shareholders that trades in diversified holdings and is professionally managed (American English)
  • chip and PIN – a way of paying for goods by debit or credit card whereby one enters one’s personal identification number in an electronic device
  • impediments in the system – hindrances or obstructions
  • ubiquitous currency – present, appearing, or found everywhere
  • hidden in plain sight – seemingly hidden, but actually not hidden and easy to find
  • to underpin a system – to support, justify, or form the basis for
  • blockchain – a digital ledger in which transactions made in bitcoin or another cryptocurrency are recorded chronologically and publicly
  • cumbersome – slow or complicated and therefore inefficient
  • to allocate – to distribute (resources or duties) for a particular purpose
  • trade-off – a balance achieved between two desirable but incompatible features; a compromise

What do you think of the statement “Money is about a collective story that we tell each other about value, a collective fiction”? Do you agree with the speaker upon the future of money? Would you like to be able to discuss these things with a business English teacher and improve your business English skills? Sign up for a business English course and improve your English! And, by the way, we accept bitcoin.