A BRIT IN THE USA REPORTS
Some days ago I was sitting in my New York flat watching the CBS Sunday Morning News, probably the most prestigious and serious news show on commercial TV in America. Its entertainment section featured a long interview with Susan Boyle, a Scottish woman who won the Britain’s Got Talent show. The interview was remarkable. 8.1. E|e () It was rather so because it carried subtitles in English so that Americans could understand her!
It’s true that some British accents are impenetrable to many foreign ears, sometimes even hard to understand in other parts of the UK. 8.2. F|f () Obviously, CBS thought otherwise.
I suspect this may be the start of a trend. Some British movies now carry subtitles in America when there are strong regional accents. I’ve even heard some English southerners demand subtitles when certain Scottish trade unionists are on TV.
The diversity of British voices is one of our glories, but if you can’t be understood even by other English-speaking countries, then clearly there is a problem. 8.3. B|b () For example, Princess Anne had a tough time being understood when she visited some teenagers in New York during her visit to the States.
I have appeared regularly on US TV for almost three decades now, and fortunately, no US broadcaster has yet found it necessary to use subtitles. 8.4. D|d () In matters of the heart it’s dangerous to be misunderstood.adapted from: www.bbc.co.uk
A. Even I struggled to understand some folk when I was back in the Glasgow region recently.
B. I should add that some Americans also find very upper-class British accents hard to understand.
C. CBS explained that her Scottish accent was ‘a little difficult’ to understand.
D. Just to be sure, however, I think I’ll take an interpreter to my Valentine’s Day lunch.
E. Not because of anything that was said, though.
F. But I wouldn’t have thought Ms Boyle’s accent that hard to decipher among her fellow
Brits or even Americans.