Monday, July 03, 2006

I Will Not Buy This Tobacconist; It Is Scratched

Mental Mac from Essex poses an interesting question.

He'd like to know how we manage the lingo on Corrie, are we all ex-pats or are there subtitles.

No subtitles, my friend and I think the majority of us are homegrown Canucks or came over from other parts when we were wee.

So, anyone want to answer his question? How is it that you get by with the language?

Myself, I've been watching the show for a dog's age and have attuned my ear to the accent and lingo, and have even taken to using Manchester slang in my real life.

I also think that in Canada, we had a lot more exposure to British programming than say our buddies in the states. (I'm talking B.B.B.C.A - BEFORE BBC America)

I will say that I had a bitch of a time understanding Raquel and I gave up entirely trying to figure out what the Jamie and Warren Barlow say - I hear the lisp, I tune out.

This probably explains why I never got into Eastenders.

Having said that, my hovercraft is full of eels.


John said...

I now have a PVR so whenever, say Jack and Vera are having a row, I wind it back a few times to figure out what they're saying.

But more than that, I've been watching the show for almost 4 years now and I've been so used to the accent that I've stopped hearing it, for the most part.

lolagranola said...

I agree that it comes from watching a lot of Brit tv and movies, not to mention books. Starting at age 8, my favourite authors were Brit. It didn't take me long to figure out that torch=flashlight, and every other Briticism I came across. At the age of 13, my friends and I could recite whole Monty Python skits ("But the palindrome of Bolton would be Notlob"). As an adult, I usually preferred any film BUT "Summer Blockbuster, American Style", thus many a UK film played in my home. By the time I discovered Corrie a few years ago, the only step left was regional dialect. I still occasionally check out words in the UK slang dictionary (

And thanks to an ever expanding cable universe, I watch things like Little Britain, Waking the Dead, The Kumars at No. 12, Eastenders, and a bazillion other shows, with geographical origin often being the only common thread.

The only question I have left is: What the hell language does Warren speak?

lolagranola said...

And I think it should be obvious that I meant The Kumars at No. 42.

As far as I know, The Kumars at No. 12 are only distant relatives and rarely broadcast from their home.

GoBetty said...

Watching Dr. Who and reading books from childhood and young-adulthood (The Secret Garden, Tom's Midnight Garden, The Lion The Witch And The Wardrobe, Daphane du Mauriers... and many others...) you pick up the rythmn. The slang and speed of Corrie-speak today isn't like my childhood favourites, but they did prepare me for it a little.

Anonymous said...

My parents are ex-pats. They lived in Essex and London. All my relatives live in the UK. When I was younger, people always used to say I had a British accent, but I'm not so sure now. My parents still do, but I don't notice it except - strangely enough - when I hear them on the phone or answering machine.

I watch EastEnders, no problem. (I hardly notice some of the accents.) I've had people say they have a hard time understanding it.

As for Corrie, I pick most of it up, though little Chesney and Sophie can sometimes be hard to understand. They also talk really fast. (I also record the omnibus on a VCR with mono audio which doesn't help.)

Yeah, I've also watched a lot of Brit TV. Python, Little Britain, Are you being served?, Black Adder, Kumars, etc. Having Brit parents helps as I know some of the slang.

Now my brother-in-law, who is of Canadian parents, initially had trouble understanding the accents and lingo on EastEnders, so he kept having to ask my sis what was going on for a while. Now he's used to it. He loves Little Britain too.

Steve said...

Most recent arrivals to Canada in my family tree, as far as I know, were two of my great-grandparents, in the late 19th century. So definitely not an expat.

Before I started watching Corrie (my wife's a fan), I'd spent years watching the likes of Monty Python, The Goodies, The Two Ronnies, Red Dwarf, Blake's 7, Doctor Who, etc, not to mention reading British music papers like the NME and Melody Maker and a number of British novelists. And listening to lots of British bands.

Following the dialogue is pretty easy now, except occasionally when the kids or the Londoners are talking.

The fun now is trying to make out what music is playing in the background. I got a kick out of David blasting "Transmission" by Joy Division while Gail tries to cozy up with Phil, though I wonder how many kids David's age know who Joy Division was (well, the goth wannabes might). They were a Manc band, though. And what I wouldn't do to have the Ciaran and Shelley Buzzcocks scene on DVD...

John said...

I think in the UK bands like Joy Division aren't considered as alternative as they are over here so it's not all that unusual for a kid like David Platt to know who they are and maybe even enjoying them. But I think he just played it to bug Gail. It's probably Sarah-Lou's CD that she plundered from Katy's collection when she offed herself.

I remember them using 'Love Will Tear Us Apart' when Fiz was trying to decide between Kirk and Tyrone.

And the Specials' 'Too Much, Too Young' when the whole Katy story was
going down.

Anonymous said...

I forgot I had posted that comment. I remember once trying to enter Chicago and had to ask the customs man to repeat himself a few times before I could comprehend him....