My British friend here in the USA mentioned that she sat down to watch the telly last night and (don’t judge her for this) there was a programme on called Party On on the E! Channel. Yes, it’s a reality show that is dedicated to ‘exposing the best party scenes the world has to offer via its “exclusive resorts and gorgeous beaches.” Brits and Americans hang out and party, basically. I guess someone has to do that.
But, my British friend said, that the Brits were being subtitled in last night’s episode! What?! This is a clip from the show (sans subtitles). The guy’s not that hard to understand is he – really?!!!
To be fair, though, before we moved the States we watched The Wire and we had to subtitle that because this little British girl couldn’t get her head round the street talk. Well, now, let me tell you, I am totally in the know-how about ‘re-ups’ and ‘Five-O’ etc ;)
But Party On is not the only show on U.S TV to subtitle those hard-to-understand-British accents….The Saturdays (fyi, a British girl group, if you’ve not heard of them) have a U.S reality show coming out and that will be subtitled for the American audience because of their very British accents.
Apparently the producers were convinced that the audiences would have trouble understanding the girls. To be honest, I don’t really know why they bother subtitling, because my guess is that none of them will say anything that is going to be earth-shattering, but who am I to judge? ;)
It’s not all the conversations that need subtitles, mind you, but the producers have been forced to transcribe most of their scintillating conversation so viewers can understand their musings.
Subtitles come into play particularly when Frankie (Essex girl) and Una (Irish filly) are speaking.
The Daily Record notes that in one exciting conversation, chat turns to the bedding in their LA mansion, and (thankfully for all mankind) their words are flashed up on the screen to clarify this momentous chat.
Later, Frankie breaks down in tears and the titles reveal her words: “I just feel like I can’t even do my job any more.” Fascinating.
An American TV source said: “While the show is fun, it will not be likely that all of America will understand what The Saturdays are actually saying.
“They may have good diction and clarity of speech in the UK, but their UK accents simply aren’t understood by some Americans.
“It’s going to be tough to change that because they speak slowly and properly.
“The show is good fun and very dramatic but, in truth, if people cannot understand them, it might bomb.”
We wait with bated breath!
Don’t let us forget the hard times some of our British celebs have on the telly in the USA – it’s not the first time our Brit stars have found it hard to appeal to the ears of our American cousins.
Cheryl Cole’s Geordie twang was said to have confused viewers in X Factor. You decide (and stay watching for the British class/accent comment!)
Even the brillopads Scouse accent fell prey to American producers who subtitled footie stars Steven Gerrard and Jamie Carragher in ‘Being Liverpool’. I did not know this was a show. Neither does my husband, thankfully.
Freezing rain = school delay
This is my first experience of freezing rain. I thought it was a kind of ‘we’re just delaying the schools because there’s some really cold rain’, but it’s true – it is freezing rain, and it is really slippy. Yikes.