4.17.2009

Deciphering the Scottish accent

A lot of people are talking about Susan Boyle, the Scottish singer who surprised the superficial crowd and judges on one of those star-manufacturing TV shows.

Well I noticed in the media-frenzied aftermath that there were a number of interviews that were done in Scotland that also display the variety of their accents. I found two videos that really show how hard it is to understand what they're saying, though I did notice that their news readers and TV talent are much clearer, probably because they have to communicate with a nation and beyond.

Unfortunately, the folks who posted the videos won't let us embed them on our own blogs, so I've provided a couple of links:

This Scottish TV interview is really hard to understand--it's as if the interviewer and Susan Boyle were so comfortable with each other, they just spoke naturally enough so that those of us outside their country would really have to strain to grasp what they're saying.

These TV interviews (the poster combined them in one video) contain Scottish accents that are clear, though at times they lapse into a thicker accent and slang that is definitely not American.

It just goes to show that English isn't a language that even us native speakers can understand :D

9 comments:

neil wykes said...

If you can understand one of the greatest sitcoms to come out of Scotland, you're doing all right:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BFfKWJ_56_Q

mj said...

Thanks--I'll make this a post too.

Mahndisa S. Rigmaiden said...

04 26 09

MJ:
Thanks for posting these interviews. I've always found Scottish, Irish and Welsh accents interesting! The rhythms and intonations are so melodic. Anyhow, just dropping by to say hey. I hope all is well on your end. I don't blog as much anymore but just wanted to send a smile your way:)

mj said...

I'm sure other folks hear some type of melody in some American accents as well.

Thanks for visiting and I know you've been really busy.

Silas said...

Actually, the question of what Scots speak is under debate, with some people claiming that it's usually within a range between 'Scottish English' (considered a dialect of English) and a separate language called 'Scots' (not to be confused with Scots Gaelic), and the dividing line is not always clear.


Scottish English: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scottish_English

Scots:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scots_language

mj said...

Thanks--that's why you're a language fan and friend!

cleverblok said...

I am the poster that uploaded the link These TV Interviews its ITV that made me put the embeded disabled , i would have loved to have been able to have allowed the video to be seen on any website

i did closed caption the video so if you found accents difficult these enabled captions allowed you to follow the video cleverblok

mj said...

That's too bad they disabled the embedding, and it would've gotten ITV more exposure, but thanks for the explanation. I understood the accents, I just had to strain to understand :D

pictishbeastie said...

Of course there's always the fact that they're speaking Scots which is actually a different,although related, language from English,so you're not actually a "native speaker"! God forbid that any of our Imperialist overlords acknowledge the existence of the Scots Language as that certainly wouldn't fit their incredibly confused agenda to keep us under their control. On the one hand you keep telling us we're useless scroungers and on the other you tell us you love us really! Never mind,we'll be independent ,and extremely wealthy,in a couple of years! SAOR ALBA!