Do you understand a word I say?

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#1
Scotland
435 Posts
Joined Aug 2012
I have just watched an interesting biopic of the Proclaimers and much water was made about them singing in their own accent. One of their most famous records which P&O use at sail aways was banned in the USA because they thought the word "haver" was rude (it's not).

It reminded me of a club dining experience I had where those at the table had a real problem with my accent. I don't think that I have a particularly broad accent but those we dined with really struggled. After a few days they "tuned in".

Have you had issues with people understanding you or indeed you understanding other people?
#2
Kent, England
6,001 Posts
Joined Mar 2008
I sometimes have a problem with a Rab C Nesbit accent but do know that crew members can have difficulty understanding my English. We talk to the crew just like we would at home and all those regional variations, Idioms etc can be confusing, especially if they are peculiar to where you live.
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#4
Durham, England
575 Posts
Joined May 2010
I sometimes have trouble making myself understood, even in nearby Yorkshire, although I have little trouble understanding most other British accents. The problem arises with regional dialects. My home county, Northumberland has at least four regional dialects, which are quite different. Folk from other parts of the UK group us all together as Geordies, which we most definitely are not.
While on a cruise to Norway I had a long conversation with an elderly Norwegian and I discovered that a fair few words used in our part of the world are similar or identical to words spoken in Norway. He spoke good English and he found me very easy to understand.
My mother had a very broad Northumbrian accent and once when she was in Norway, she was mistaken for a German - by a German lady.
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#5
Cardiff/Hampshire
477 Posts
Joined Aug 2010
I'm afraid to say that I have always have trouble understanding a Scots accent, despite my husband's maternal grandparents being Glaswegian. They lived in London for 50 years but never lost their accent. I never understood a word 'Little Nan' ever said!

In my job, I deal with Edinburgh call centres a lot and have even more trouble as it is impossible to lip-read over the telephone. Strangely we were watching Kevin Bridges last week on an old 'Live at the Apollo' and he was doing a piece about this very subject. It was funny and really resonated in our household. However, on a more positive note, apparently a Scots accent has been declared the most trustworthy British accent .
#6
UK
193 Posts
Joined Jun 2006
Originally posted by davecttr
I sometimes have a problem with a Rab C Nesbit accent but do know that crew members can have difficulty understanding my English. We talk to the crew just like we would at home and all those regional variations, Idioms etc can be confusing, especially if they are peculiar to where you live.
A very good point. I have often thought how difficult it must be for crew with so many different accents that even people from the UK cannot always understand. And we all have an accent of some kind.
#7
Scotland
435 Posts
Joined Aug 2012
Yes it must be hard for the crew dealing with so many different accents and also words. I use words that are not standard English without even thinking about it eg when the horseradish dish comes round I'll have a "wee bit".

I have also heard people from other ares using the odd colloquialism that I did not understand.
#8
68 Posts
Joined Apr 2014
[quote=BORDER REIVER;53362110]While on a cruise to Norway I had a long conversation with an elderly Norwegian and I discovered that a fair few words used in our part of the world are similar or identical to words spoken in Norway. He spoke good English and he found me very easy to understand.

I had to smile at this. Once on a Norway cruise, I took a few pictures of signs we came across. Privat parkering and Varm Ovn come to mind. I don't think a translation is needed.

Regional accents aren't usually a problem for me, but I will admit to using subtitles occasionally when watching fast talking comedians on TV.