Friday, June 18, 2010

Ranting Stan's Irrational Hatred Of The Week: Affected Accents

It's pretty hard to explain this one, but basically I'm fed up with the way newsreaders - and particularly BBC newsreaders - feel obliged to assume a dodgy French accent when pronouncing the name of the President of France. For some reason they mumble along in their usual estuary English until they get to his name and suddenly they go all Sacha Distel and it's "Neecoola Saarcorzee"!

Who are they trying to impress? It's bad enough that they insist on calling Peking "Beijing" or Bombay "Mumbai" - they don't call Munich "Munchen" or Rome "Roma" - but now they are starting to adopt a fake foreign accent when they attempt foreign names.

Why? It's pathetic and I hate it.

6 comments:

Mark Wadsworth said...

You're behind the curve here. The big hoo-hah was whether to call the town "Port o'prince" or "Porr-toe-prance".

ranter said...

I agree wholeheartedly, especially when they don't say 'Paree' for example, do it properly or don't do it at all!

The Beeb's bunch of tossers really annoy me over arab/moose-slim names.

JuliaM said...

"...the way newsreaders - and particularly BBC newsreaders - feel obliged to assume a dodgy French accent when pronouncing the name of the President of France."

Oooh, yes! That was getting right on my nerves yesterday. The Radio 2 newsreader soulnded at one point like a bad 'Allo Allo' cast member...

bernard said...

Stanting Ran -

The examples you give are nothing to do with 'affected accents' but to do with 'pronunciation'.
An accent is how you sound in your OWN language, not how you pronounce words in another language.

A good example of an affected accent can be heard nearly every evening on 'The Archers', in the characterture of Linda Snell.
She is meant to sound having a posh voice, but in reality she is a common old bint.
Brian Sewell (art critic) is THE classic example of someone with an affected accent, with his looong draaawn ooout vooowels.

Stan said...

I understand the difference between pronunciation and affecting an accent, bernard.

In this case it isn't simply a newsreader trying to pronounce a name correctly - they have definitely been coming over all "'Allo 'Allo" while trying to say Nicholas Sarkozy. Interestingly, I noticed BBC's Chris Hollins managed to pronounce Nicholas Sarkozy correctly this morning without affecting an accent.

Maybe that's because he has got used to pronouncing foreign names correctly as a result of his work in English football or maybe it#s because he reads this blog!

Yaffle said...

I'm not sure working in sports commentating is such a qualification. At this time of year, none of BBC announcers bother to pronounce correctly the names of Wimbledon's bevy of robo-Slavs - e.g. it's SharApova, not SharapOva.