Friday, 3 September 2010

you'll have had your tea

I am currently sharing an office with a person from Edinburgh who speaks in that way, and I am getting used to the accent.  I doubt I will ever be able to reproduce it though.  Linguists cannot usually mimic, and vice versa, for reasons unknown to me.  Regular readers will also know that I am "accro" (an addict) of the weekday soap "Plus Belle La Vie" set around a "quartier" of Marseille.  Currently there is a hilarious storyline which, in sum, involves a home-swap holiday which has brought a Scottish couple to stay in the quartier for a week.  They are allegedly from Edinburgh, although the wife is quite clearly English (red hair does not a Scot make) and the husband sounds like Glasgow to my ears.  They are called Ray and Maureen Murray.You'd think they could have found two actors who could do Edinburgh, not that many viewers are going to be able to tell.  They speak far better and more idiomatic French than an actual Scottish couple like them would do, but they speak English to each other, and the man is prone to irascible outbursts in it, to no-one in particular, usually when he is offered some local speciality to eat.  It is very unusual to hear this much of any foreign language in a mainstream broadcast, as no doubt it would be in the UK too, and I suspect only PBLV, with its many millions of viewers and its established place in francophone popular culture (it is also shown in Belgium, Switzerland and Quebec) can get away with it.  One of  Ray Murray's outbursts last night involved (at about 8.15 pm) the words "For fuck's sake!" The Murrays are of course subtitled when they speak English, and the subtitle for this was "Pour pitie!" (approximately "for pity's sake").  Language at that level is no more allowed in France on terrestrial TV at this time in the evening than it would be in the UK (although in respect of nudity and anything sexual much more is allowed in France - there have been storylines in PBLV where I haven't quite known where to look) and it struck me that if this is OK in English does it happen with other languages?  Culturally interesting to me anyway.  It is my dream to appear in an episode of PBLV, and now I know they let Anglos in - well, Mr Producer, if you're reading...

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