View previous topic | View next topic

I happened to hear on the radio....

Page 27 of 28
Goto page Previous  1, 2, 3 ... , 26, 27, 28  Next

extremophilesheep
1389913.  Wed Sep 15, 2021 8:05 am Reply with quote

It was Kirsty Young in "my" time but it's still an easy accessible program. I've not listened to many episodes with Lauren Laverne but she doesn't seem that hard to understand.

 
AlmondFacialBar
1389919.  Wed Sep 15, 2021 8:36 am Reply with quote

Oh for enlightened accent tuition...

In the early eighties we were expected to speak either the discreet Estuary of the people on the listening comprehension records (the Clark family from our text book was from Epping) or BBC English, neither of which was particularly accomplishable for a bunch of kids in rural Germany, and I was in constant trouble for sounding largely American. In the mid-eighties an acquaintance who had grown up bilingually German and English in Sussex was in constant trouble for... apparently mispronouncing his As (i.e. not pronouncing them like Alan Davies), and in the early noughties a then colleague's daughter who had come here especially to pick up English naturally while she was still young enough was in trouble after going back for having a (respectable middle class, not Commitments) Dublin accent. I'm not even sure I want to know how they'd handle Mackem or Scottish.

Considering that my English teacher student contemporaries were already taught that there is no quality difference between accents in the early nineties and... Well, see, colleague's daughter, I really wonder WTF is going on with the way Germans teach English.

:-)

AlmondFacialBar

 
Alexander Howard
1389927.  Wed Sep 15, 2021 9:11 am Reply with quote

I expect German educationalists are most concerned about 'proper' accents from their own culture. I am told it is difficult it is for Bavarians or Austrians to be taken seriously (which is why they don't get Arnold Schwarzenegger to dub his own parts in German).

I knew an academic whose native accent was cut-glass old-style BBC English, and who was also fluent in German. He said that when he was in conversation in Germany, he was asked "Bist du von Hannover?"

They say that our "posh accent" originated as an imitation of the Hanoverian kings so maybe it cut both ways.

 
AlmondFacialBar
1389930.  Wed Sep 15, 2021 9:31 am Reply with quote

The Hannover accent is known to German speakers for two things:

- Its closeness to whatever constitutes Standard German.
- Its wonky As

The latter meaning that it's not particularly standard either.

As for Bavarian and Austrian accents, the reason why that used by another well-known Austrian was so fucking weird even to German ears is that he was aware of his native accent's not very disciplined or military connotations and so he tried to give it a Prussian vibe. Let's just say that whatever caused people to vote for him in 1933, it wasn't that.

And no, German doesn't really have an accent that is regarded as better, posher, more respectable etc than the others (if you listen to Germany's heads of state and government since 1949 you'll notice that they all spoke in distinct regional accents, from Konrad Adenauer's Cologne or Theodor Heuss's Swabian to Angela Merkel's Northeastern or the fact that Frank-Walter Steinmeier sounds rather like my dad), but German speaking Europe is extremely tribal, with a lot of cultural bias between different dialectal continuums. Hence, yes, yer average German speaker would perceive the Terminator movies as comedies if Arnie dubbed them himself because the idea of an action hero with a Styrian accent is fucking hilarious even to Styrians. At the same time, however, I'd have a hard time finding a job in Bavaria because they think of people with Northern accents as ignorant country bumpkins there.

In short - we don't think of any particular accent as proper German, but what we do have to some extent outside academic circles is the same bias regarding English accents that you have yourselves. Basically, the right accent to speak in is dictated from above (even if it's Estuary) and if you divert from it, that needs to be corrected. And yes, that about the Hannovarian kings is probably true, largely because George I couldn't be arsed to learn English properly.

:-)

AlmondFacialBar


Last edited by AlmondFacialBar on Wed Sep 15, 2021 11:05 am; edited 2 times in total

 
extremophilesheep
1389931.  Wed Sep 15, 2021 9:35 am Reply with quote

To be honest, I'm not up to date with how English is being taught in secondary schools here, and the Radio 4 recommendations are to do with adult education, anything from jolly evening classes just to chat in English with no pressure to do a test to the Cambridge English education courses.

Whereas AlmondFacialBar and I seem to have had to endure the same dull French family, there was a difference in English. I can't remember anything at all from our secondary school English book, but in primary school we had to suffer from a series of book called WalkieTalkie (it was the eighties...) in which posh Rosemary, silly Susan and Judy and their friends Roy (black), Karim (unspecified Asian origin) and Ted (who on hindsight must have represented the whole of Ireland on account of his ginger hair but we Dutch kids didn't pick up on that). They didn't do anything exciting either.

I've never been to London but should I ever go there I will surely complain to the men I see there that they are not wearing a suit, bowler hat, umbrella and carrying a newspaper under their arm, which tells me they're not London men at all.

On a similar note, should I go to London I must probably insist on bringing my dear but unpredictable friend with me who apparently answered the question "how do you do?" with "bacon and eggs please."

 
AlmondFacialBar
1389933.  Wed Sep 15, 2021 9:40 am Reply with quote

extremophilesheep wrote:
Whereas AlmondFacialBar and I seem to have had to endure the same dull French family, there was a difference in English. I can't remember anything at all from our secondary school English book, but in primary school we had to suffer from a series of book called WalkieTalkie (it was the eighties...) in which posh Rosemary, silly Susan and Judy and their friends Roy (black), Karim (unspecified Asian origin) and Ted (who on hindsight must have represented the whole of Ireland on account of his ginger hair but we Dutch kids didn't pick up on that). They didn't do anything exciting either.


Colour me impressed that your English book acknowledged the existence of people of colour, cos that didn't happen for me until 9th grade. The Clarks and their friends were all as white as snow and the most exotic resident of their East Anglian neighbourhood was a German girl called Helga who I guess was there for us to identify with. Her dad was a foreign correspondent for German media and her mum was never mentioned (cos of course she wasn't).

:-)

AlmondFacialBar

 
Brock
1389935.  Wed Sep 15, 2021 9:52 am Reply with quote

extremophilesheep wrote:
To be honest, I'm not up to date with how English is being taught in secondary schools here, and the Radio 4 recommendations are to do with adult education, anything from jolly evening classes just to chat in English with no pressure to do a test to the Cambridge English education courses.


I still find it hard to believe that Just A Minute is recommended for improving one's English. This is a programme where people are encouraged to interrupt each other, frequently interpret subjects in a devious fashion, and speak in deliberate circumlocutions to avoid repeating themselves!

As a lesson in clear English, I'd recommend people to listen to someone like Viji Alles reading the Six O'Clock News.

 
AlmondFacialBar
1389938.  Wed Sep 15, 2021 10:07 am Reply with quote

Brock wrote:
extremophilesheep wrote:
To be honest, I'm not up to date with how English is being taught in secondary schools here, and the Radio 4 recommendations are to do with adult education, anything from jolly evening classes just to chat in English with no pressure to do a test to the Cambridge English education courses.


I still find it hard to believe that Just A Minute is recommended for improving one's English. This is a programme where people are encouraged to interrupt each other, frequently interpret subjects in a devious fashion, and speak in deliberate circumlocutions to avoid repeating themselves!


All of which means that ESL learners need to think on their feet when listening to it and get a better idea of the different ways English is actually used. They won't get that from a BBC continuity announcer. Indeed, as an ESL learner myself, I'd say "clear" English is the least of a favour anyone could have done me because it's also the least likely variety you'll encounter in conversation. I'm still not quite over the accent of the lady I asked for directions the first time I was in London at the age of 14. To say it was nothing like anything I had ever heard in school is putting it mildly.

:-)

AlmondFacialBar

 
extremophilesheep
1390140.  Fri Sep 17, 2021 8:07 am Reply with quote

And yet clear English is often found on Just a Minute as people will speak more slowly to win time. Something several other BBC shows could profit from too as the contents are superinteresting but often go right over my head as I can't keep up and people try to cram way too many words in one second like there's a new show called "Just a Second" (like with one of my favourite shows, Nathalie Haynes stands up for the classics).

 
crissdee
1390179.  Fri Sep 17, 2021 2:22 pm Reply with quote

AlmondFacialBar wrote:
The Clarks and their friends were all as white as snow and the most exotic resident of their East Anglian neighbourhood was a German girl called Helga.


In fairness, that was a pretty accurate representation of Epping in those days!

 
Dix
1390186.  Fri Sep 17, 2021 4:20 pm Reply with quote

Brock wrote:
extremophilesheep wrote:
To be honest, I'm not up to date with how English is being taught in secondary schools here, and the Radio 4 recommendations are to do with adult education, anything from jolly evening classes just to chat in English with no pressure to do a test to the Cambridge English education courses.


I still find it hard to believe that Just A Minute is recommended for improving one's English. This is a programme where people are encouraged to interrupt each other, frequently interpret subjects in a devious fashion, and speak in deliberate circumlocutions to avoid repeating themselves!

As a lesson in clear English, I'd recommend people to listen to someone like Viji Alles reading the Six O'Clock News.


Listening to Paul Merton going on for more than a full minute on the subject of Sudoku without knowing how they work is an education in itself!

It all depends on what level you're at.

I've found Just A Minute very very useful in getting from being good at understanding English to being really good at understanding English.
The first few times I listened I was completely in shock at the speed that (primarily) Mr Merton and His Fryness were going at. The rules are simple and it doesn't matter if you don't catch everything that is going on. But if you hang in there, you will.
Listening to carefully enunciated news bulletin won't challenge you in the same way.

 
extremophilesheep
1390266.  Sun Sep 19, 2021 5:03 am Reply with quote

Yes, good point. Most people whose first language isn't English but have good enough English skills will not struggle with news bulletins of course, but listening to Paul Sinha's General Knowledge is a bit of a stretch. And while In Our Time (also often recommended) is usually interesting, it's more dynamic things like Just a Minute that are quite helpful in actual use of language.

Similarly, tv shows like To buy or not to buy (one of my time, learning English with subtitles on but the lovely Kristian Digby was one of the first not being a newsreader I felt I could also understand very well without subtitles), Homes under the Hammer (which thanks to subtitles taught me the presenters were not talking about the oddly specific "masturbate room"), Cash in the attic, Flog it, Antiques Road Show, Countryfile - all shows where you learn every day English in interactions, usually clearly spoken but not over the top so.

 
extremophilesheep
1390267.  Sun Sep 19, 2021 5:07 am Reply with quote

Now that made me think about the forgotten Kristian Digby and a weird discussion/argument I once had with someone on a forum. Arguably, he was a goodlooking man. But apparently I couldn't say that, because he was gay. That struck me as a weird pigeonholing thought - you can't say someone is goodlooking because they're gay and you're not? People who claim the internet was a nicer place before all the social media are not completely wrong but it wasn't all rosy either. Just different.

 
Jenny
1390296.  Sun Sep 19, 2021 9:50 am Reply with quote

When I was learning German in secondary school, we were taught that German was easier for Yorkshire people because our flat northern a sounds were closer to how German should sound.

 
crissdee
1390302.  Sun Sep 19, 2021 12:23 pm Reply with quote

extremophilesheep wrote:
Arguably, he was a goodlooking man. But apparently I couldn't say that, because he was gay.


WTAF???????

 

Page 27 of 28
Goto page Previous  1, 2, 3 ... , 26, 27, 28  Next

All times are GMT - 5 Hours


Display posts from previous:   

Search Search Forums

Powered by phpBB © 2001, 2002 phpBB Group