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Winter Nights. TV Watching

vee_new
7 years ago

A couple of BBC TV dramas that are likely to cross the Pond or head South of the equator have been shown over the last few days.

Then There Were None an adaptation of the best-selling Agatha Christie whodunnit really held my attention . . . helped by the fact that I had never read the book so didn't know who the culprit was. Some top-class actors and a suitably rocky seaside landscape all added to the mood. We saw it in three hour-long episodes.

Dickensian is an interesting concept. The characters from many of his books have been 'melded' into a story and have been placed within a few London streets of each other. So the Cratchit's live near the Old Curiosity Shop, which is a few doors away from a young Miss Havisham's Satis House. The Bumbles, Mrs Gamp, Bill Sykes and Nancy drink in the local pub. Marley and Scrooge money-lend to most of the neighbourhood, Inspector Bucket keeps a beady eye on everyone and the ever-falling snow thrown by lovable street urchins stays white and clean.

Apparently a great deal of money was spent constructing a set of long streets with a realistic mixture of fine town houses, shops, churches and filthy alleys much as the old City of London would have looked in the 1840's.

We are being shown it in 20 half hour episodes so we gradually get used to the 'characters'.

As always with these productions the set-dressing and costumes are first class.


What do you 'get' for Christmas entertainment on your TV stations?



Dickensian Trailer

Comments (116)

  • friedag
    7 years ago

    Vee, I'm with you. As Mark Twain said, "The telephone is the rudest g*dd*mn contrivance ever invented."

  • yoyobon_gw
    7 years ago

    Warning: Rant

    I detest the common addiction of having to carrying your cellphone/smartphone in your hand at every moment . Further, I abhor the practice of then answering a call regardless of where you are or what you are doing.....and with whom.

    I have chastised friends who pull out their phones during a group lunch date.

    RUDE !

    And further, I have little use for Facebook .

    In my humble opinion ( with which I tend to be very generous) I feel that these pages are simply self-promoting delusions posted to cause a sort of envy in all who read them.

    Several whom I know do not in the least resemble the "STORY" that they are putting out there for others to agree to believe .

    And sadly, most young people prefer tweeting, texting, instagraming or any other electronic substitute for face to face communication.

    bah.

    "They paved paradise and put up a parking lot."




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    7 years ago

    I don't use my mobile phone a lot but it is so handy for me to let my family member know I am on the train and that they can come and get me, rather than find a call box when I am at the destination and then wait for my lift. I pay $A20 for a voucher and that lasts me a year usually!

    As for Facebook, I don't have it but my family do and keep in touch with each other and friends. It is such a useful tool for communication too. EG, a country town has been completely burned down, in seven minutes! No time to grab more than the pets before taking off so the residents have only the clothes they were wearing. Within days Facebook and other social media had warehouses overflowing with everything needed, clothes, food, toys, and toiletries as cupboards were emptied and donations taken to collection points. Even old but going cars were driven to the area to be given to families after a post on Twitter.

    In such a large area as we have here, communication is vital and a blessing.

  • carolyn_ky
    7 years ago

    My niece says Facebook was invented so that mothers could stalk their children.

    Re my remark about got, I meant to end my post by saying that I noticed the use of the translation to gotten only because of my RP British and Australian cyber friends. I usually use gotten in conversation.


  • yoyobon_gw
    7 years ago

    For most users I would suggest that Facebook was invented so that people could reinvent themselves.

    Just like those gardening magazines showing the most lovely , well-tended, manicured flowers beds.

    All meant to create "peony envy" !

  • vee_new
    Original Author
    7 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    No one in our family is 'on' Facebook. Both DD, who works in PR/marketing with top firms and DS in computer 'forensics' say how dangerous all these electronic devices can be, especially if the info gets into the wrong hands. Over here there are endless problems especially among teenagers with cyber bullying, trolling and horrible sexually inappropriate behaviour/photos of body parts and other stuff too gross to think about.

    And as for the information that can be gleaned from mobile/cell phones even when they are not switched on; it is mind-boggling.

    Below is part of an interview son, Philip, gave to ??? about the ease with which police etc can access your phone info. This article was written 2-3 years ago and phones now hold far more data. Beware electronic progress!

    ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

    Where you’ve been, who you’ve talked to, who you’ve been sleeping with –
    secrets that people wouldn’t even share with their closest friends are
    being spilled into a device that knows you better than any confidant.

    Apple may have publicly denied that it’s tracking people via their
    iPhones, but the police and private forensic experts have no compunction
    about unlocking the secrets stored in smartphones.

    Last year, the National Policing Improvement Agency placed mobile
    phone evidence in the top tier of training requirements for officers,
    teaching them how to secure evidence gleaned from handsets, with 3,500
    officers a year expected to take the course.

    The police and private forensic experts have no compunction about unlocking the secrets stored in smartphones

    On top of in-house expertise, a huge number of handsets are sent to
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    “Now it’s well over half the devices that we see. We see both
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    Your smartphone could place you at the scene of a crime, destroy an
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    “If you’re looking into one crime and find something else on the
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  • vee_new
    Original Author
    7 years ago

    Sorry about the black dots down the left-hand margin. As I can't delete them they are probably some sort of tracking device. ;-(

  • woodnymph2_gw
    7 years ago

    I totally disagree re Facebook, and I am older by far than most of you. I and my closest friends are on it, as are some family members. It can be very useful to find long lost old school friends. My generation are not the narcissistic ones! We use it to stay in touch, share family photos, and just to send innocent greetings. No one needs to share private materials. To do so would be foolish and irresponsible. I think some of you must have in mind what "kids" do. Even my old friends in Germany and Australia use Facebook.

    I no longer own a cell phone, just use the old fashioned land line. Cell phones are mostly useful when one has a breakdown in one's car, or when one is lost. What I find most irritating are those pedestrians who march along the sidewalks of our city, phone almost glued to face, while reading their texts. Too many close encounters on narrow, uneven city sidewalks spells danger!

  • carolyn_ky
    7 years ago

    My nephew tells me I have a dumb phone. I only carry it to please my husband in case I have car or other trouble when I'm out by myself. Well, now I carry it when WE go out because he left the car lights on once at church when it was raining, and when we went back out, the battery was dead. We had to rely on the "kindness of strangers" to call the AAA.

  • annpanagain
    7 years ago

    Carolyn, like you, I have a dumb phone for emergencies and pick up calls.

    My Smartphone, purchased by mistake for one with actual buttons (the area where buttons are displayed on the pack was covered by a banner and I wasn't really paying attention!) is only used for taking pix as it has a good area for me to see what I have taken.

    I made the mistake of pointing it the wrong way for my first snaps. Now I have only a mental picture of the sculptured metal horse I saw on a trip...

    I am still in the TV hell of summer holiday repeat programs but light gleams in the distance as we get trailers for the February line up.

    Still too many reality shows for my taste though.

  • vee_new
    Original Author
    7 years ago

    This Sunday the BBC will be starting the new series of Call the Midwife which I always enjoy watching although it can get rather schmaltzy ((DD always leaves the room as he, in UK man-fashion, doesn't enjoy scenes of blood/birth etc)

    Apparently they are going to 'handle' the problem of the drug thalidomide and the disastrous affects it had on new-borns in the early '60's.

  • carolyn_ky
    7 years ago

    Vee, I remember at the very end of last season's last program, the good doctor gave a new medicine to a young woman with dreadful morning sickness. She asked what it was, and he said "thalidomide." It gave me shivers as I suspect it was meant to do.

    We are now getting Season 6 of Downton Abbey, with a new program after it shows on Sunday night called Mercy Street. It is nurses during our Civil War.


  • vee_new
    Original Author
    7 years ago

    Carolyn, I too had the same reaction when I saw that particular episode.

    I wouldn't be surprised to see some mention of the effects of smoking coming up soon as the Dr, so hard-working and fraught, is seldom seen without a cigarette and often has a nasty cough . . .

    Downton has finally come to an end over here. I was surprised to see that the ratings were much higher for 'Midwife' (they were both on during a Sunday evening . . . prime TV watching time)

  • cacocobird
    7 years ago

    I've recently joined Hulu, and I'm enjoying it. A good selection of foreign films. I mostly wanted New Tricks, and it has all of the seasons. I like Scott and Bailey, too.

  • woodnymph2_gw
    7 years ago

    Caco, what is "Hulu"? I've just discovered "New Tricks" and am loving that series! The 3 men are so funny. It's amazing to me how many excellent British detective series are available. I got these from my local public library and find them quite addictive!

  • cacocobird
    7 years ago

    Hulu is an online streaming service, where you can watch shows on your computer. It costs $7.99 a month if you can live with commercials, and $11.99 if you don't want any commercials. I think for new members they have a one week free trial going on.

    I'm enjoying watching New Tricks from the beginning. They also have Scott and Bailey, another good British detective series. And they have some foreign movies I haven't seen in years and would like to see again. As well as a good selection of classics and more current movies.


  • vee_new
    Original Author
    7 years ago

    I've always enjoyed 'New Tricks' however convoluted the plots, which I don't always manage to follow! It is good to see older actors in anything and the use of interesting outdoor shots of London. A pity it has now come to an end, 'though we do get 'repeats'.

  • vee_new
    Original Author
    6 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    A new series has recently come to the BBC. The Story of China by Michael Wood. I know we are all meant to be 'China watchers' these days and have to admit I have never had any formal 'lessons' about this vast and ancient land, except for the briefest outline in geography classes.

    The programme covers the history of the country way back to the earliest times, when we, on the fringes of Europe, were huddled in caves and dressed in skins.

    Very interesting but SO informative I feel I should be taking notes and memorising the names and dates of dynasties and Emperors. Not easy to take it all in, especially as it is on between 9 and 10 at night . . . but I will happily watch and listen to Mr Wood reading from the telephone directory . . . I can even forgive him that his hair is not turning grey for one of mature years.

    Is much taught about China in US high schools?




    The Story of China

  • sheri_z6
    6 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    Vee, that sounds like a fascinating series, I'll have to look for it when it gets to the US.

    You asked about US high schools, and while our public schools don't offer a China-specific history class, all incoming freshmen do take a Modern World History course that covers some Chinese history. The biggest change I've seen since my kids started school is a huge increase in Chinese language classes offered. One of our magnet elementary schools will start offering Chinese in 4th grade next year (usually the younger kids only get Spanish or French), but right now it's only offered at the high school level. My son has been taking Chinese for the past three years and it's a very popular class. It teaches not just the language, but also quite a lot about Chinese culture. The school even offers a trip to China each year during spring break. I've been very impressed with the program, and I think it's an excellent way to learn about the country.

    I just checked the PBS website and it says the series is "coming in 2016" but I couldn't find an actual air date.

  • vee_new
    Original Author
    6 years ago

    Sheriz your son's school and his course sound most interesting and a far cry from what would be available in England . . . where I don't think much is on offer regarding non-European language teaching.

    Hunting around on line I could find almost nothing 'recent' except the item (below) from the British Council. It would appear that the biggest hurdles for the State schools is a) lack of money b) few qualified teachers c) teachers from China who wouldn't be able to cope with the lack of discipline/interest from the pupils etc and would need full-time support from the 'regular' class teacher. It seems only the private school sector will/does offer such classes.

    But language teaching over here has always been of a low standard. Most students start with either French or German at age 11 and usually stick with it until about 15. Some takes exams and go on to study at A levels (pre University standard) but most will fall by the wayside.

    I remember my French lessons as nothing more than writing out strings of irregular verbs and some vocab' for a test the following lesson. We almost never actually spoke the language except to say "Bon jour Madame" to the teacher.




    Chinese Language Teaching

  • Rosefolly
    6 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    Our local high school offers French, Spanish, Chinese, and Japanese languages, with Spanish and Chinese being the most popular. The nearby high schools offer the same choices.

    I'm about to go on one of my favorite soap boxes, so feel free to skip the rest of this post if you are not inclined to go off tangent.

    This is in large part a reflection of Silicon Valley demographics. My town is only 1/4 European ethnicity, most of the rest being Asian with a smattering of Middle Eastern. For a long time that was mostly Chinese with a few Korean and Japanese families. The recent influx comes mostly from India. I would imagine that one of the languages of India may show up on the offerings at some point. In any case parents often have their kids go to school on weekends for Persian School or Mandarin School or Hebrew School or whatever the family's original language is. No thought of offering Latin, though. That would be like, well, teaching cursive! Unimaginable!

    This is a stimulating place to live, though not always smooth and easy. We have a superb public library, the busiest in the state. I like living here most of the time. It feels very international, while still being my home. I have lived here 26 years now. As it grows, it seems to be developing into more of a small city rather than suburbia centered around a shopping mall. Many of the very long term residents are resisting this change, but in my opinion, it will actually become more neighborhoodly (made up word) rather than less so. Cities have neighborhoods in a way that suburbs generally do not.

  • annpanagain
    6 years ago

    In Australia, two of my grandchildren learned some Japanese for the hospitality business. My GS actually went there for a year's working exchange visit and being a good looking blond was very popular with the local girls, I'm told!

    Vee, I took French for five years and we always spoke to M'selle in French with a British accent (like Petula Clark , said a gallant Frenchman once!). I learned Latin for four years but non-verbally! My schoolgirl French was very useful when I visited France, even some fifty years later when we went through the Chunnel which had just opened. I had a really good British "French Mistress" and her teaching stayed with me.

  • vee_new
    Original Author
    6 years ago

    Ann, you were lucky to have such an excellent language teacher. Unknown to us 11 year olds it was our French teacher's first job and she was both inept and by the end of her lessons a quivering wreck. Looking back it seems terrible how we treated her; in my case just by doing my own thing and drawing on the brown-paper cover of my vocab book. It never reached the stage of open rebellion, or blood shed but she was unable either to hold our attention or keep order. At the end of one lesson the Head Mistress appeared, saying nothing, and sat at the back of the class. This was probably more mortifying to the teacher than to us pupils.

    Do you realise that Petula Clark is now in her 80's! How did that happen?




    1945 News Reel

  • annpanagain
    6 years ago

    Vee, I went to a Grammar School just after it was changed from fee paying to a scholarship school. We had most of the original Mistresses, some rather more amenable to the change from teaching middle class girls than others!

    They were very well educated and passed it on to us, I didn't realise how fortunate we were then.

    As for Petula, well, I am nearly 80 myself now and "tempus fugit!" if I still remember my Latin. Strange how things come back to you. Someone was explaining how the coffee machine I was trying to use in a self serve restaurant, worked, with the ingredients divided into three parts.

    "Like Gaul" I muttered...

  • sheri_z6
    6 years ago

    Rosefolly, this may not be the norm, but our public school system does offer Latin at the high school level. After one year of mediocre high school Spanish, my daughter switched to Latin and loved it.

  • woodnymph2_gw
    6 years ago

    When I was growing up in Atlanta, the private high school I attended required us to take 3 years of Latin, as well as a choice of French or Spanish. At first I hated Latin, but later on found it useful in terms of meanings of various English words' roots, etc. It seemed to boost my vocabulary.

    As I had already had 3 years of Spanish in grammar school, I opted for 5 years of Spanish in high school. Our Spanish teacher had the thick Catalonian accent, which sounded affected to me, at the time (like a lisp). I don't recall much Spanish today because I never had the total immersion I had with French, when I lived a year in Paris.

  • carolyn_ky
    6 years ago

    I had the two years of language (chose Spanish) required for a BA degree, and those two years were separated by a quarter of a century. As you might imagine, I don't know much Spanish! I lucked out in my second year, as the teacher was a Cuban refugee with a very soft heart. The biggest laugh of the last semester was when he was going around the room asking in Spanish and requiring the answer in Spanish if we used to watch television when we were children. I was the only one who answered no.

    My daughter took four years of Latin in high school, thinking it was required for a nursing career. By the time she went to nursing school, it was no longer required; but, like Mary, she says it has helped her all through her life.


  • msmeow
    6 years ago

    Somehow I managed to get through 12 years of public school, 4 years of college and 2-1/2 years of grad school without really taking any foreign language! I was a music major for my first two years of college and they had classes teaching singing in Italian, French and German, and the school counted those as language classes.

    I started this past summer taking a Spanish class offered by my town. I've done three or four segments so far. I've also been using a free app called Duolingo and feel like I have a fairly good understanding of Spanish. I can read it pretty well, but I don't practice talking with anyone so I'm not sure how well I could hold up. :)

    Donna

  • woodnymph2_gw
    6 years ago

    Duolingo is supposed to be wonderful. I have a friend learning French, and he recommends it highly.

    The odd thing about Spanish is that the way it is spoken in Spain is completely different than the way it is spoken in the Western Hemisphere. The Castilian accent is quite distinctive.

    Is it an illusion that when we hear Europeans speaking either Spanish or French, they seem to be speaking rapidly? Or when they listen to Americans speaking English, does it appear to them that we speak too rapidly to follow? What do you think?

  • vee_new
    Original Author
    6 years ago

    Mary, by Western Hemisphere I presume you mean the 'Americas' as we in Europe regard ourselves as part of the WH.

    I suppose for anyone listening to a 'foreign language' with which they are not familiar, must sound as though the speaker is 'gabbling'. Presumably the longer one is immersed in another country/language the easier it becomes to follow.

    I do know 'real' French people visiting Quebec for the first time who were unable to understand anything the so-called French-speakers said to them.

    I think all English people (that is the ones who speak English rather than what Americans call British) have no difficulty understanding people from the USA. We have been exposed to Hollywood movies and US politicians for so long. I have heard that some Americans cannot understand us when we speak to them . . . and I recounted here a while ago that when I was last in the States staying with relatives local guests, on finding I was from the UK said "Oh my! You are from England? Say something!" When I did they fell about laughing, which I found rather embarrassing . . . It certainly shut me up. ;-(



  • woodnymph2_gw
    6 years ago

    Vee, sorry, I should have clarified. I meant "the Americas".

    When I was in L'Alliance Francaise, years ago, we had some Quebecois as members. I, and the native French had a great deal of trouble understanding our Canadian friends when they spoke French. And it was not just the idioms they used, it was the accent.

    Regarding Americans having issues understanding the British, I am watching the "New Tricks" series. I have some trouble understand the gentleman with the "brogue" (is he Irish or Scots?) but I really have problems understanding the man with the heavy "Cockney" accent! I am tempted to opt for subtitles! It is quite different from the "plummy" accents we hear on the BBC, etc. (Oxbridge?)



  • msmeow
    6 years ago

    I am enjoying Duolingo very much! And it's free, which is nice. :)

    My Spanish teacher is from Guatemala. When she first came to the US and was living in Miami, she said she had a terrible time understanding the Cuban Spanish there! She said part of the reason was because they talk so fast.

    We used to have a British man in our choir. One day my friend told him she loved his accent, and he said, "Really? I love your accent, too!" LOL

    Donna

  • vee_new
    Original Author
    6 years ago

    Mary re the accents on 'New Tricks' The Cockney is played by Dennis Waterman, who also sings the title song . . . and who's wife (he has had several) used to teach my daughter English (!) . . . he was in the popular TV series 'Minder' and 'The Sweeney', both 'Cockney' parts.

    The Scot Denis Lawson plays his character as a tough Glaswegian.

    We hear fewer and fewer 'plummy' accents on the BBC these days. I know that diversity is the order of the day but it would be good to listen to people who use correct grammar and don't pepper their speech with glottal stops.

    If you understand any of the conversation below . . .go to the Top of the Class!

    One speaker is/was a disgraced BBC so-called personality the other the, then, leader of the Labour Party.

  • vee_new
    Original Author
    6 years ago

    Donna, it seems many people from the US are susceptible to a 'British' accent sometimes unwisely so.

    Some years ago there was a case in the US where an Englishman had married a girl from, I think, Boston. He turned out to be a total low-life who, after murdering both his wife and child in their home, fled back to England. It took quite a while for the police to find the gruesome remains and eventually the guy was picked up by the English police and returned to the US. When reporters and police interviewed the neighbours they all said he couldn't have done it because he spoke with such a beautiful 'British' accent. Oh! you of too much faith. :-((



  • friedag
    6 years ago

    Back to "The Story of China" for my bit. Thanks, Vee, for telling us about that series! You know how I feel about Michael Wood, as I've said on other threads. ;-)

    About a year ago, I was on a reading-about-China kick. I even started a thread looking for recommendations. There was a good response, but I got the idea that China is not one of the main interests of RPers. It hasn't been for me, either, but I'm not sure why because it is an immensely fascinating country in its history and culture.

    Students in the educational system of Hawai'i probably get more exposure to Chinese studies than do most of those on the U.S. mainland, which tend to be mostly Eurocentric. It's understandable that Chinese and Japanese are the two most popularly studied 'foreign' languages in Hawai'i because over 50% of the residents of the Islands are Asian in ethnicity. Pacific Islanders, too, make up a large percentage, so studying the Hawaiian language is also popular, particularly as a source of pride and distinctiveness (much like that of Welsh in the UK?). Also, English might be considered a "foreign" language for many, certainly as a second language (ESL). Remedial English classes are offered in nearly all the schools from Kindergarten through college.

    Some (many?) Americans certainly can be gaga over British accents. I remember whenever Tony Blair (and other PMs) gave a speech and Americans listened to him, they would often remark, "Can't understand half of what he says, but it sure sounds good!"

  • Rosefolly
    6 years ago

    Sheri, I do wish I had taken Latin instead of French, which I have never really used. As a serious gardener I would have found it genuinely useful. I do ask for plants by their Latin names when I am dealing with professionals, say "I want a Quercus douglasii and a Ribes sanguineum" rather than "I want a blue oak and a pink flowering currant". It is not showing off; it is the best way to avoid plant identification error.

    Well, I did not. And it is too late now. But one of my daughters took two semesters of Latin when she was in college. I have always been very impressed by that.

  • annpanagain
    6 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    Rosefolly, in the four years of studying Latin, we never learned any plant names! In fact we had to take the course designed for boys ,back in the early 50s so did "Caesar's Gallic Wars" and had other similar books to translate! I'll bet this was coursework set out in Victorian times or even earlier and there was no reason to update it...

    I don't think you have missed out on much! I hope the courses are a lot more interesting now.

  • vee_new
    Original Author
    6 years ago

    re Americans not being able to understand spoken English ie that spoken by an English person. I can understand the difficulty with strong or obscure accents and dialect words or even slovenly speech and maybe if someone had lived all their lives halfway up a mountain-side wearing buckskins, shooting incomers and married to their close relatives . . . but surely the average American isn't like that?

    Is it just because they haven't been exposed to other speech patterns?

  • friedag
    6 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    Vee, understanding any speech pattern is aided by frequency and relative familiarity with what is heard. It is 'normal' for average English persons to think that the English spoken as it is in the UK is easy for them to understand because they hear it every day.

    'Average' Americans, though, might not hear UK English spoken daily, so they may have to make a mental adjustment and concentrate more intensely on what the speaker is saying and still they can miss words or not comprehend them instantly. Contrary to popular ethnocentric belief, it has little to do with stupidity. Probably not any great number of average Americans listen regularly to speeches by UK PMs or MPs. They probably don't listen to or watch British newscasts, sitcoms, dramas, and talk shows daily, either. (Some Anglophile U.S. RPers might, however.) So, yes, exposure has a lot to do with immediate understanding. The more you hear -- as someone mentioned above about immersion in French -- the easier it gets.

    Some (but by no means all) Americans equate rapidity of speech with intelligence. To them fluidity is something to admire, even if the speaker is blathering inanely and spouting nonsense. That's the humor (to many Americans) in listening to Brit speakers: they sound good even when they don't make sense -- shades of listening to Shakespeare's plays in school, perhaps. :-)

  • vee_new
    Original Author
    6 years ago

    Thanks Frieda, it never occurred to me that rapidity of speech might equal intelligence. I can certainly understand Americans not hearing English 'English' spoken frequently (and few UK folk would choose to spend time listening to political speeches either where plenty of blathering and nonsense is heard!) Perhaps UK ears are just better tuned to hear others speaking our language.

  • sheri_z6
    6 years ago

    From an American standpoint, it does sometimes take a bit to understand a British accent, but I've never found them difficult, it just takes a few minutes to adjust to the different intonations. That said, I live in New England, I'm a bit of an Anglophile anyway, and I've heard British accents all my life via PBS and BBC America so I may be in the minority. Now some Irish and Scots accents -- yikes. It takes me a while, but I can usually understand the speaker if I can just listen for a bit. Rapid speech would definitely be difficult.

    As far as "falling for" the accent, I admit guilt! I once took a college class just to be able to listen to the professor speak. He could have been reading the phone book and I would still have been entranced.


  • msmeow
    6 years ago

    We were watching This Old House or a similar show, and the host, Norm Abrams, is from Maine or somewhere "up east" and has a very strong New England accent. He was visiting a lumber mill in the south (Alabama, I think) where they fish old trees out of rivers and ponds and cut them up into lumber. Anyway, the lumber mill guys had very strong southern accents. Someone (the producer, maybe?) decided the show needed subtitles for the southern men! My DH & I (both from Florida) thought that was really hilarious. We thought we needed subtitles for Norm's accent. :)

    Donna

  • vee_new
    Original Author
    6 years ago

    Donna, now that is worrying when people can't understand the language of their fellow country men! But it can happen here in the UK.

    Below is a clip from Rab C Nesbitt's TV show. His character is from Govan very much the wrong side of the tracks of Glasgow where their 'speech patterns' are impenetrable.



    Glasgow Speech

  • vee_new
    Original Author
    6 years ago

    Donna I just pulled up a 'Norm Abrams' TV prog on Youtube and can understand everything he says, straight away; plus I now know how to build my own garage workshop.

  • msmeow
    6 years ago

    LOL, Vee! Yes, we can understand Norm, too, but he does have quite a strong accent. I guess we can understand him because there are a large number of northerners here in FL. Some just come for the winter, others come and stay. :)

    Donna

  • sheri_z6
    6 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    Vee, I tried listening to Rab C. Nesbitt for a bit, and I got perhaps 2/3rds of what the characters were saying, but it took a lot of concentration. I couldn't understand the young man in the suit at all and stopped there.

    Donna, I'm surprised TOH subtitled the southerners, I can't imagine anyone having much difficulty understanding them, although Louisiana accents can be difficult and sometimes trip me up.

  • woodnymph2_gw
    6 years ago

    I'm southern,from GA, lived in VA, and when I visit the Piedmont area of North Carolina, I have trouble understanding the accents of my own relatives!

    I watch so much British TV series, and have a close friend here who is English, so I do fairly well at understanding accents from across the Pond. Often, however, I am baffled by the accents of Scots from Glasgow, and some Irish accents. There is a Glaswegian who lives in our building, and even after 5 years, I have to ask him to repeat everything he says.


  • carolyn_ky
    6 years ago

    Have I told you all about my experience with asking an Edinburgh taxi driver what area something was in? He replied with what sounded to me like Widow Fron. I said excuse me, and he said the same thing. I said I wasn't understanding him, and we proceeded with a sort of verbal game of charades. Finally, he held up two fingers close together and said, "Widda--like sma'. Oh, little! Yes! and Fron--like country. Farm? No, country in Europe. Oh, France. Yes! The area is called Little France because it was where many French refugees from the Revolution settled. We were both laughing heartily by the end.

  • Kath
    6 years ago

    I'm always tickled when US folks say how much they like my accent :)

    I used to have trouble with a Glaswegian accent, but living in Wales for 10 months and watching only BBC cured me of that. I will admit that a strong Northern Irish accent will usually confuse me. New Zealand (fush and chups) and South African pose no problems, and most US accents are fine due to long exposure on TV and film.

    Australians do tend to talk quickly, so sometimes I find I have to repeat myself.

    I did five years of French in high school, and was quite put out (and still wish it wasn't so) that Latin was offered for the year before me and the year after, but not for me. However, I was able to use my French in Paris, to read signs if not to actually communicate.

  • msmeow
    6 years ago

    Kath, do we in the US recognize your accent is Australian? I can usually tell Aus vs. British, but not always! :)

    Our local NPR station has an Australian and a New Zealander and their accents are similar to my ear, but I can tell them apart. LOL

    I have a story similar to Carolyn's. There is a pastor of a church here in town who is from South Africa. He told me he once went to the store and the check out clerk (a young black woman) asked where he was from. He told her South Africa and she looked astonished and said she didn't know there were any white people in Africa! Well, he laughed and pointed out that since he was from S Africa and now lived in the US, that made him more African-American than she was. :)

    Donna

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