Americans can't understand us?!!

Discussion in 'Et Cetera, Et Cetera' started by superbot, Nov 20, 2010.

  1. superbot

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    ...is this true? It has struck me how often I've come across people in the States stating that that they can't always understand British people when they talk,and that they require something called 'close captioning' (?) when viewing British DVD's.When did this all this happen? I'm staggered!!:eek:
     
  2. exwhyzee

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    Yes there are some British accents that I cannot understand at all...its true. I only understand about 75% of this guy YouTube - Cockney Accent

    I know there are other northern accents that I wouldn't understand a word...
     
  3. nudeyorker

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    I don't think it's americans per se but people who have not had a chance to communicate with people with dialects different than their own. I think this happens more often with people who do not live in large cities; because either they do not encounter tourists frequently or everyone in the community speaks with the same regional accent.
    My father was from England and my mother was from France I grew up understanding many differences in dialect because we travelled frequently.
    I have a good friend from Australia and she told me once that people in the midwest could not understand her when she speaks; and she speaks very clearly and eloquently.
     
  4. DaveyR

    DaveyR Retired Moderator
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    Howwww - divvn't yee start tekkin the piss oot of how we taak up North or I'll knack ye.
     
  5. exwhyzee

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    Hey now...I can fake a thick enough Southern American accent that you wouldn't understand either. I have lived here all my life and there are some local accents here that even I cant understand...:biggrin1:
     
  6. superbot

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    But I've never ONCE heard anyone from the UK say they cannot understand US,CAN,SA,AUS,NZ accent!!...Something's amiss!! and as for 'close captioning' I think I'm a wee bit insulted!! Do you think braille cards are in order??
     
    #6 superbot, Nov 20, 2010
    Last edited: Nov 20, 2010
  7. HUNGHUGE11X7

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    I mean no offense by this, but I have several British friends and I am an avid rabid fan of Brit-coms and other BBC programming and some friends I can understand every word while others I cant understand much. I found it depends on 2 things , their Education and the location they are from .
    Take for instance Dame JUDI DENCH, I have never had any problem at all understanding everything she's said but then other kids on soap operas and other Brit shows I am left scratching my head.
    I have a good friend named Evelyn who went to Oxford and I think she's from Cardiff and I understand everything she says. Then I met someone named Jenny at a Pagan group and I think shes from London and went to one year of UNI as she calls it :) . I am forever having to ask her to either repeat or explain herself ...I have found she has a dislike for the letter H.
    We have the same problem here in the USA, some people especially in the South (of which I am from so I can speak about) are harder to understand and also tend to be less Educated and I am forever having to either slow down my speech for someone or slow down my walking lol, we tend to do both in a more languid manner here in the south !


    ~HH~
     
  8. nudeyorker

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    Well... I suspect he was saying this for the comedic effect, but Russell Brand said on Larry King last night that He could not understand Camilla Parker Bowles because her accent was so posh that in was indecipherable.
    Russell Brand: Royal wedding is 'some posh people exchanging jewelry' - CNN.com
     
  9. Incocknito

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    Americans are a bit too quick to use subtitles. I've watched lots of news programmes where Chinese, Japanese, English, Irish, etc people with perfectly understandable English have been captioned.

    A lot of the time I wonder how insulting it must be to be captioned just because a nation who bastardised the English langauge can't understand the "genuine article".

    It seems to me that Americans (at least producers of the media, and possibly the public at large) just don't want to try to understand foreigners.

    As soon as someone doesn't have the same twang as them or skin colour, they get captioned. Which I think is wrong. In the UK captioning is very very rare whereas in America it seems to be commonplace.
     
  10. bigbull29

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    Americans in the Midwest couldn't understand an Australian woman? Huh? I lived in OZ for two years and never had a problem; in fact, I thought some Aussies were easier to understand than most Americans.

    Australian English should be crystal clear to other native English speakers (except for the some of the slang words, etc, but they're quite understandable in context).
     
  11. Joll

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    Dunno wot you mean 'ungYuge11x7. :wink:
     
  12. Domisoldo

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    I have to admit that the contrived BBC News accent annoys the "living daylights" out of me. However, I have no trouble understanding it.

    On the other hand, cockney or thick Scottish English might as well be foreign languages to me.
     
  13. BobLeeSwagger

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    I completely agree. There have been many times that someone was subtitled during a news program or documentary and I was thinking they were unnecessary.
     
  14. Bbucko

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    Two things to keep in mind:

    1) In order to develop an "ear" for accents (much like for foreign languages in general) one needs to be exposed to them often;

    2) Americans tend only to hear their own particular regional accent or TV-speak "California English".

    My father has a heavy Boston accent makes him sound like a cross between a Kennedy and Katherine Hepburn (without the jumps). When he and my mother were first married, they lived briefly in the south (Georgia and W Virginia) as he studied Forestry in college and those were the areas he found work. Evidently he simply could not make himself understood by the locals; my mom's voice just has a touch of Down East Maine and never had a problem :rolleyes:

    My last partner (nine year relationship) had several good qualities, but understanding accents wasn't one of them. The rule for renting movies was No Subtitles, so I could only watch foreign films when he went away. He broke this rule when DVDs came out, but only for British films like Trainspotting or Guy Richie movies, where they suddenly became mandatory.

    FWIW, I've never had an issue comprehending accents, but I grew up watching Monty Python and No, Honestly :biggrin1:
     
  15. D_Rosalind Mussell

    D_Rosalind Mussell New Member

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    I have no problem with accents. Once you learn an individual's pronunciation of certain phonetics it's very easy. Mind you, this comes from a Bostonian that barely pronounces her R's. :rolleyes:
     
  16. Drifterwood

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    I can't even understand myself.
     
  17. pinspotter10

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    I just have to throw in that one time I was in Scotland in a town on the Firth of Clyde (I know, name dropping here) and I had to have another woman in line at the grocery store translate for me what the cashier was saying.
     
  18. D_Andy Cornholer

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    some people just suck with accents mate lol
     
  19. D_Relentless Original

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  20. vince

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    I've lived all over and speak a couple of languages and still there are some dialects of English I can barely understand. Newfie is pretty hard and some of the northern dialects of England are tough if they speak too quickly. Once I met a painter from Liverpool who I honestly thought was speaking Dutch.

    As for captioning in the US... People there don't travel a lot and aren't exposed to other accents as much as the English are. So what's the problem if they use captioning to help understand the dialogue? Who's it hurting and why do you give a fuck what they do?
     
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