Learning to Listen to English

by Lorraine on October 21, 2010

A number of years ago there was a neat little TV program I reeeeally liked and enjoyed……It was about a group of young people somewhere in England who were attending veterinary college. It was filmed in what I almost believed to be a make-believe setting — I mean, Wow! The school itself was situated in a dreamy and bucolic expanse of small rolling hills of bright green, big beautiful trees, perhaps a couple of bubbly streams coursing over shallow bedrock……..that’s what I mean by the scenery appearing to be almost surreal in its green perfection. Hah. Really beautiful. The television series followed these [frequently] hapless young adults thru very tough courses of animal husbandry. There was just one itty-bitty distraction, though……….

I just had dinner~~~with “Vets in Practice” to keep me company. The TV picture was fine, it’s just the way the people talked that I had some problems de-coding. OK, maybe it’s me, maybe I’m not used to the real Briton as opposed to the enunciating perfection of British actors on TV. Know what I mean?

The British accent is so luverly, as a rule, why then is it so darn hard to understand when just ordinary people are speaking in the course of their ordinary lives? I sometimes stop chewing my food to see if that helps to understand what they are saying. Nope, that’s not it.

I turn up the volume. No help there, the mumbling I’m hearing is just exaggerated with it being louder. Here and there I get a few clear words……

The dog’s owner:: “ah so it’s a scan of her belly you’ll be wantingta borndlly signeeey farrrily blingera?”

Me:: WHAT?

The vet:: “Yeash I’ll corkknie dingalridiny
dkwooodkj not to mention her furry bottom”

Oh please. Is there some secret to deciphering the villagers’ enunciation? After all, they DO speak English over there, right?? But I just keep chewing — and they just keep talking like they’re chewing, too — on their words. * sigh*

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Kitty November 19, 2010 at 10:43 am

Ha! That’s funny mom… (at Keith’s expense)

Lorraine October 24, 2010 at 8:18 pm

Well! Huh to you, too. Hmpff. I would take offense but I can’t…..many Americans also spit out perfectly good English words but for some reason it sounds mushy and sometimes pretty unintelligible.

Isn’t it just a darn shame everyone can’t enunciate their words (if they’re using English) as perfectly as you and me??

In any case, I always looked forward to that particular program, it was a really neat treat. Þ

Keith October 24, 2010 at 3:16 pm

Do you know that I have the same problem with you rural yanks?

If I’m watching an American film on DVD; like “New in Town” last week, I had to replay certain bits over and over again before I grasped what was being said! Renee Zellwegers’ diction was great, but everybody else sounded like they had a mouthful of marbles.


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