Friday, 25 January 2013

American English

I do a lot of knitting.  And now I do some spinning as well.

While I'm doing these things I listen to talking books. In England I would probably listen to the radio, but I'm in rural France and the radio here is about as interesting as that slurry they spray on the fields in Spring. Cr*p.  So talking books are the answer for me and very good they are too.  Until you get the kind that are written with an English setting but read by an American who doesn't know how to pronounce British English.

I'm currently listening to a novel by Penny Vincenzi called  No Angel...

Click this cover for a sample of No Angel.

... set in England during WWI and read by Carrington MacDuffie.

Now the book is described as '...a highly entertaining family saga...' and, although I am finding it rather boring and over-long, the worst thing about it for me is that Ms MacDuffie has NO IDEA how to pronounce quite a lot of the words!  For example she pronounces Paschendaelle as Pars-en-dah-ler (and that's not even an English word!); the -shire bit of any English county as shy-er ( as in wur-cest-er-shy-er);  clerk as clur-k and makes sure to drop the leading 'h' off every suitable word when speaking in a 'London' accent - a la Dick Van Dyke in Mary Poppins!

I'm not sure how much of the book is left to listen to, but the reader (sorry - 'performer' ) in this case has spoiled the listening for me, so I'm going to stop right now and begin a new book. 

 Maybe I'm just one of those grumpy old women... I also hate to see an apostrophe 's' on a plural, such as a sign saying PEA'S at the greengrocers....


Babajeza said...

Me too, me too. And I am not even English. By the way, s and apostophes is the topic in my English class (beginners). And because the German genitive has no apotrophe, the students sometimes get all mixed up. But 's is now officially allowed for a genitive in German. But there is the 's, short form of is and has too. And what about students'? Oh man! ;-)

Elizabethd said...

I couldn't bear it!
And apostrophes....don't get me started, it is one of my pet peeves!

Debra in France said...

Penny I am with you on this one! I listen to audio books in the car, and the pronounciation is often appalling - mainly when read by Americans. I yell at the cd player everytime they mis-pronounce.

Floss said...

Ben has changed his work GPS to speak to him in an Irish accent - he found that the 'British' voice just had the American phrases read in a UK accent, and it drove him mad in the same way... and anyway, a nice bit of Irish is pleasant company when driving around Europe!

I listen to Radio 4 over the internet - can you do that?

Anita said...

Talking about audio books have you ever read the book 'Ma, he sold me for a few cigarettes' by Martha Long? I reckon that would be a good story to listen to.
Cheers, Anita.