Thursday, May 31, 2012

Can the new girl speak English..?

On my first day at work at WAM I bounded into the canoe house with all the enthusiasm of a Labrador puppy and excitedly introduced myself to the WAM young people who were doing the vocational training course:

"Hi I'm Aylssa, I'm from England, and I'm the new Jessica so if anyone needs anything just come see me, and if you could keep me on the right track that would be fab! Thanks!!" *big happy smile*

2 months later I discovered no-one in the canoe house that day understood a word I said... as Alson, my boss, later told me 'they asked if you could speak English, I told them you were from England so you spoke proper English!' What really?! Why didn't they tell me...oh right they thought I couldn't speak English!

It wasn't just the Marshallese people, the Americans couldn't understand me either. For years I wondered what the funny thing was about the English people depicted in Family Guy was about. If you've never seen it basically the recurring sketch is an English bloke guffawing and grunting basically then laughing. That was me. I'm flipping hilarious to be honest but all people heard was a guffaw of noises me manically laughing at myself!

Let me explain...I'm a Geordie which means I'm from Newcastle upon Tyne (well Gateshead really but that's by the by) and we have a distinct accent recently made famous by the lovely Sarah Millican and gorgeous Cheryl Cole, AND which was *ahem* recently voted the sexiest accent in the UK... oh yeah check it out

However 'sexy' it's fair to say I do not, with any stretch of imagination, sound like the Queen or the woman from BBC World News. A former colleague told me once about his family emigrating to Newcastle from Ghana who were appalled by the way Geordies spoke! To be fair I can't understand most of them! The best thing I ever heard about the Geordie accent was from a stand-up comedian who said our accent goes so high pitched sometimes only the whales and dolphins can understand us!

I learnt to speak really slowly (for me) and start saying 'me' instead of 'iz'; 'us' instead of 'wu' - I'm not even entirely sure where this comes from in Geordie but it confuses people no end! Didn't quite unlearn the 'ooooo' sound, and didn't try to speak American English even though 8 year olds took the mick out of my accent no end! I did however start saying some very British things like 'I'm terribly sorry but...' and 'bloody awful' and picked up a couple of crazy sayings from Val like 'holy moly' straight out of 1950s Batman with my now 'Irish' sounding accent must have sounded very strange!

I did leave them with Mint! though which I'm very proud of! For some more Geordie slang check out the video below... Aaaaaam gannin tee kip. 

No comments:

Post a Comment