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Author Topic: Accents  (Read 5810 times)

Offline JimBob

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« on: 06/04/2009 01:49:09 »
'Ello, Dearies,

At least that is what some say in the movies - don't know if it is even close. I was flipping through the channels and came across BBC-America. As I listened (Ashes to Ashes) guess what?

SUBTITLES! Yes, each word spoken by some of the people appearing with Cockney??? accents - words cut off and lazily pronounced - were in the subtitles.

So What 'ja fink? Are we going to have two three or more derivatives of the English Language? We already have several versions of American  English-Creole and Jamaican English, etc.



 

Offline Chemistry4me

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« Reply #1 on: 06/04/2009 06:57:12 »
Eh? What are we talking about here?
 

Offline DoctorBeaver

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« Reply #2 on: 06/04/2009 10:02:08 »
There are already a number of variations on English - American and Strine being the 2 most widely-known. And, as Jim rightly pointed out, there are also Jamaican (or WI in general) and Creole (although I am not familiar with the latter to any great extent).

But where would one draw the line between a dialect and a variation? What about Scottish English? There are words in use in Scotland that are totally unknown in the rest of the English-speaking world. And as for Geordie (Newcastle dialect) that is a total mystery to most English speakers. If there is 1 British dialect that needs subtitles it's Geordie!

May I please, though, ask that no-one refer to the way Dick Van Dyke talks in Mary Poppins as Cockney!
 

Offline graham.d

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« Reply #3 on: 06/04/2009 16:50:57 »
Yer fergerrin scouse, Dr B. Actually there are no real dialects left in the UK, just accents which carry some leftovers.

Has anyone watched the US TV series "The Wire". Now that would benefit from subtitles.
 

Variola

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« Reply #4 on: 06/04/2009 17:38:47 »
Eh? What are we talking about here?

I dunno I couldn't understand Jambib's accent!!
 

Offline DoctorBeaver

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« Reply #5 on: 06/04/2009 18:11:42 »
Eh? What are we talking about here?

I dunno I couldn't understand Jambib's accent!!

The Texarse drrraaawel.
 

blakestyger

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« Reply #6 on: 06/04/2009 19:37:04 »
Has anyone watched the US TV series "The Wire". Now that would benefit from subtitles.

I love The Wire though not for the same reasons a lot of people have been giving.

Perhaps you really do have to pay close attention in case you miss something and yes, the plot does have many layers. But that's just like life - I only get about half that's going on around around me and I miss lots of stuff but I still enjoy it and it still has meaning.

The use of language is revealing too - the way diAngelo explains how chess works in relation to how they do their dealing was a masterpiece. And that bit where they examine a crime scene where the only exchange between the two is the F-word - with all those tones and nuances.
« Last Edit: 06/04/2009 19:40:09 by blakestyger »
 

Offline rosalind dna

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« Reply #7 on: 06/04/2009 19:44:32 »
I disagree because I've heard and known people with all sorts of
dialects and yes accents, think of the different accents that come from the Uk, comprising of the Northern and southern Welsh accents also from Scotland too, Ireland as well.

Yes Doc you are right about the different accents/dialects coming from different people from Jamaica and elswhere
 

paul.fr

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« Reply #8 on: 06/04/2009 22:05:44 »
Has anyone watched the US TV series "The Wire". Now that would benefit from subtitles.

I love The Wire though not for the same reasons a lot of people have been giving.

Perhaps you really do have to pay close attention in case you miss something and yes, the plot does have many layers. But that's just like life - I only get about half that's going on around around me and I miss lots of stuff but I still enjoy it and it still has meaning.

The use of language is revealing too - the way diAngelo explains how chess works in relation to how they do their dealing was a masterpiece. And that bit where they examine a crime scene where the only exchange between the two is the F-word - with all those tones and nuances.

If I had a gripe about the wire, it would be that the series are not long enough, 62 episodes over 5 seasons was just not enough. The complexity of the plot lines could never be fully unravelled with just 12 or 13 episodes each season.

But this is the way with the writers works, his previous series, also set in Boston, was cut short, in fact season 2 of Homicide: Life on the Street only had four episodes! four episdodes!!!
 

Offline MonikaS

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« Reply #9 on: 07/04/2009 16:11:29 »
There are already a number of variations on English - American and Strine being the 2 most widely-known. And, as Jim rightly pointed out, there are also Jamaican (or WI in general) and Creole (although I am not familiar with the latter to any great extent).

Creole is a technical term for two or more languages mixing, with one language giving the major part and the other(s) giving vocabulary and sometimes gramatical structures. Creole languages are vastly different from the language they derived from and are considered "real" languages by most linguists. So there is Jamaican English as a true variant of English, but Jamaican Patois/Creole as another language based on English. Theories about how creole languages develop are quite interesting and subject to much debate.


Quote
But where would one draw the line between a dialect and a variation? What about Scottish English? There are words in use in Scotland that are totally unknown in the rest of the English-speaking world. And as for Geordie (Newcastle dialect) that is a total mystery to most English speakers. If there is 1 British dialect that needs subtitles it's Geordie!

As a non native speaker of English some dialects are really hard for me. I was in Newcastle and had a very hard time to understand people, it took some time for me to develop an ear. When I travelled up north to visit some more friends it got easier, the scottish variant of English is easier for me to get. On the other hand... the southern English dialects, including Cockney are next to impossible for me to understand.
TV and radio have been great levelers of dialects, which is a good thing IMO, but it's still somewhat sad to see those local forms disapear.
 

Offline JimBob

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« Reply #10 on: 07/04/2009 17:29:07 »
Eh? What are we talking about here?

I dunno I couldn't understand Jambib's accent!!

The Texarse drrraaawel.


At least I don't need subtitles.
 

Offline MonikaS

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« Reply #11 on: 07/04/2009 21:37:30 »
Found a great site about accents and dialects of the UK
http://www.bl.uk/learning/langlit/sounds/

They have examples for all areas of the UK, contrasting older with younger dialect speakers and RP speakers of the same area. It's fun to listen and take note of the differences. They have transcripts and notes to point out what to listen for.
 

Offline JimBob

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« Reply #12 on: 07/04/2009 23:54:36 »
SEE??

They say "dialects" on this referenced site.  It is the BRITISH LIBRARY !!!!!!

 

MDriver1981

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« Reply #13 on: 08/04/2009 04:59:53 »
What kind of name is Jim Bob? Can one picture a girl telling someone that she is dating a man named "Jim Bob"?
 

Offline Karen W.

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« Reply #14 on: 08/04/2009 06:07:40 »
Yes I can.. I think Jim Bob is a fine Name.. and I see no problem with that! Any girl should be proud to say that!

BTW what does that have to do with accents?
 

Offline MonikaS

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« Reply #15 on: 08/04/2009 08:38:23 »
Accents are differences like tomaahto vs. tomayto, or dropping the aitches. As soon as grammatical and lexical differences are around too it's a dialect, like Geordie with using bairn instead of child.
On a more general term you speak of variations, which can mean both, depending on context. I.E. "He's speaking a british standard variation of English with a strong Geordie accent." or "She's using Geordie gramatical variations, but a modern Received Pronunciation."
<Language major FOG mode off>
 

Offline graham.d

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« Reply #16 on: 08/04/2009 13:31:37 »
Most of the reasons people have difficulty in understanding other people (at least in the UK) is down to accents (i.e pronunciation). There are very few words in each region which could be said to be dialect (a few hundred maybe). If you go back 150 years or more there were genuine dialects where many of the words would be regionally specific and their etymology could be traced back many centuries. I can remember speaking with an old man in Lancashire many years ago who used a germanic pluralisation (a Lancashire dialec usage now extinct I think) of "en" at the end of many words. "Eyes" would be "eyen" for example. Many words would be unique though the general grammatic structure was recognisably english.

The definitions of accent and dialect are as Monika describes but when there are very few words it maybe misleading to describe a region as having a dialect (IMHO).
 

Offline benep

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« Reply #17 on: 08/04/2009 13:38:26 »
i love Jamaican accents lol :p
 

Offline graham.d

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« Reply #18 on: 08/04/2009 13:58:43 »
Having played cricket with a mostly West Indian side for many years, I can testify that many of the way English is spoken by them (at least to each other -  they were kind to me) is closer to a dialect. The roots (of, say, Jamaican) almost certainly originated as a pidgin of a variety of African languages and English. However, much of the modern West Indian variants are heavily influenced by American "street" language.

All these definitions are rather blurred into each other.
 

Offline MonikaS

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« Reply #19 on: 08/04/2009 15:46:02 »
I wouldn't even go as far back as 150 years, Graham. The wireless from 1922 onwards equalised the dialects with its use of "BBC English" aka RP. The BL site has some great older recordings, mostly from the 50s and you'll still hear the dialectal forms, but tempered, since they are interviewed which means they are in the formal register and they wouldn't use the full dialect.
But even today you can hear the dialects, just listen in local pubs or in busses and trains. I always do that when I'm in the UK, luckily for me almost all people can shift closer to RP when they are talking to me or I'd have a hard time to understand them.

I always listen for older speakers here in Germany too, who will have at least some archaic forms left in their informal language. When they switch to the formal register they tend to hypercorrect pronunciation. Grammatical variants are somewhat harder to detect for the untrained ear either in Enlish or German.

Here in Germany we have the problem of the so called "Kanak Sprak", spoken mostly by young men with a turkish migration background. Linguistically it's very interesting and most speakers can switch to forms closer to standard German. People regard it as a sociolect which denotes low class and not much of an education. On the other hand... the code switching these kids can do is sometimes amazing.
 

Offline JimBob

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« Reply #20 on: 08/04/2009 18:11:46 »
What kind of name is Jim Bob? Can one picture a girl telling someone that she is dating a man named "Jim Bob"?

Who would date someone named MDriver1981? Both are screen names.
 

Offline graham.d

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« Reply #21 on: 08/04/2009 18:13:09 »
Yes, you are right that there were distinct dialects in the UK until relatively recently, but I think that they have been gradually disappearing since the industrial revolution. However, it is certainly true that the wireless and the much greater economic migrations of people in the last 50 years accelerated this greatly.
 

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« Reply #21 on: 08/04/2009 18:13:09 »

 

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