British Myths and Stereotypes | Spoken Like a Native

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was absolutely, in my opinion over the top and you didn't hear very much criticism about either about the queen or about the royal have family in general. And that was a bit suffocating. If you ever turned on the TV or the radio provided by the, you know, by main mainstream radio or TV channels, everything was about the death of the Queen and the funeral. And it was just too much really. And I think that highlighted to some people, okay, we are, in some sense kind of hanging on to this idea. And a lot of people were shocked by the fact that many people went down to wait in a queue to walk past the coffin of the Queen. And they waited hours and hours overnight, and some people said it was the best experience of their life. But people like me, I remember my family watching this coverage on the news and thinking, we're just not I mean, we're Scottish. So like I said, generally not really in favor of monarchy. It just seemed a little bit crazy. I personally don't know anyone who's a big royal fan. So yeah, I think there, there is often a difference between the image that is put on to the media about what British people like and their opinion. But I doubt that there's going to be any French style revolution anytime soon, just purely for tourism reasons. So on that kind of pessimistic note, let's go down to the next one. So the next myth is this idea that there is such a thing as a British accent. Okay, so why is this a myth? Well as because of course, there are many, many different British accents. So it's not only one. And I wonder if you or someone learning English can think of what voice Do you think of when you think of British English? Maybe it's someone like Stephen Fry, a very posh, Cambridge educated public speaker, maybe it's the new monarch, King Charles, maybe it's Queen Elizabeth the Second who died the end of last year, there are usually the big representatives of British English tend to have what's called RP or received pronunciation, they have a very classic way of speaking, which in most cases has been trained by education and the workplace that we're in sometimes with actual classes of elocution of how to speak. But in reality, that's quite a small, elite group of people with a lot of money and privilege or the aristocratic the upper class, who speak in a very posh way. Nowadays, the media is using a wider range of different accents. But you can still see there's this emphasis on trying to tone down the regional accents when we have people talking on the news talking on TV. And that's because our regional accents are quite different. And for some people, it's quite difficult to understand someone, for example, from the northeast of Scotland, they might find that accent particularly different and difficult if they're from the southeast of England, for example. And so if you have to guess, how many British accents Do you think exist? If you think about Northern Ireland, if you think about Scotland, Wales, England, how many different accents Do you think we could identify is actually more than 40. So there's more than 40 Different British accents. I'm going to give you a couple of examples here. Just to give you a flavor. The first person that you're going to hear is a woman who was called Diana Mosley. She was a famous aristocrat who was friendly with Hitler. I find the way that she talks, absolutely fascinating. And I really love it. So let's hear her Oh, she
14:04 sounds real perplexed me because you did keep on saying you will pull. Now it was poor in comparison to the very rich I'd imagine, wasn't it?
14:14 Of course, that's utter nonsense we've well, for but we were poor compared with rich people. I'll put it like that.
14:20 But was it your father who insisted that
14:23 he inherited in rather difficult way because I think the Romans dusty or just doubled death daughters, and so he also thought Richard felted, just on the edge of being better, Paul.
14:36 So in case you didn't catch that, that was Diana Mosley and incredibly wealthy upper class woman saying that she didn't feel or her her father didn't feel rich. When they were growing up. He perceived himself to be poor. And you can see in the way that she speaks there's a lot of something which we call vocal fry, which is when you can Under, relax, you don't really vocalize properly. And the way the Vows are made is quite distinctive. There are probably hardly any people at all who really speak like that nowadays it's an accent more or less from the past. But if you listen to the royal family, they kind of they're similar. So the next person, let's have a listen to Jonathan Ross and Romesh Ranganathan. Both of them are from the kind of southeast of England.
15:37 Here, I think you're just a delight on TV. I love watching you. I love when you do comedy. You are of course a vegan. Yes, I sort of. I've been on it for about 10 seconds. I should mention it. Yeah. You've been filming away a lot. You've done a lot of travel shows. I
15:50 know you went to Albania, which is
15:53 when I got a tattoo, I've got the Albanian exactly the same one. Yes. So double headed. Eagle. It's so crazy that you know, I know. Yeah, a mistake.
16:07 So Romesh Ranganathan, the guy who was speaking at the end is a comedian. So he's always making fun of himself. He's he has Sri Lankan origins. But as you can see, from the way he speaks, he speaks exactly like anyone from the area that he's from, which I think is very near to London. He sounds exactly like anyone else would. And Jonathan Ross, as well as a very famous guy who is a TV presenter and radio presenter, mainly. And he has this kind of quite working class London accent. Now, there will be a transcript for these episodes that I'm doing. So if you want to follow along, you can use the transcript to help your comprehension your understanding, but in the first time that you listen, you don't have to worry about understanding everything. All I want you to do is to focus on how different different accents can be within the same country and see if you can hear the differences between them. And now moving on, we're gonna go to Wales. So here is Rod Gilbert, who is a Welsh comedian, in case is difficult to follow. He is going to be talking about how he tries to get good presents for people but he receives bad presents
17:26 get the rubbish I give people good things. It's not that it's not that problem of you know, I give people good I give my girlfriend an iPad. She gave me she gave me a toothbrush. Firstly, a cheeky cow was like giving somebody deodorant. This is I wouldn't remind you that ultimately to express this is the monstrosity she got me. How much did you spend on this? She said oh, it was on sale. It was really cheap. It was only 179 19
17:57 Again, what Gilbert is another comedian. I really recommend his stuff. He's really funny. You can search for him on YouTube. It's robbed as an R H O D Gilbert. I think he's really talented comedian and he's from Wales. And you can see there has a slightly more singing type quality to the Welsh accent and they also often trill they also make the sound. But yeah, you can see all the variety of the different accents. So let's have a listen to Lorraine Kelly and Robert Carlyle. So there's an interview between Lauren Kelly and Robert Carlyle and Robert Carlyle is a actor. If you've seen Trainspotting then he is the scary character he's called Begbie. He's a hard man. He's like a gangster very violent guy. He's a very good actor. He's been in many things. So let's have a listen to the Glaswegian the accent from Glasgow.
19:01 You know that we are loved the first one so much. And there's always a wee bit of I'm not sure is it gonna be as good as you probably felt like now let's start with
19:09 the same thing. I've been looking forward to dinner about certain trepidation as well because so many people loved the first film through the world people love this movie. So yeah, you had to try make sure you got it right. Absolutely.
19:20 You did all of us at all the days that it was never really Nene don't know this was gonna happen. It was just a matter of getting everything in place. Do you think
19:27 Well, I mean, it's we'd always thought that it was a nice thought it was always gonna happen at some point.
19:32 Because you know, here's the hard man, it's difficult for us to show a clip this time in the morning because of the issue. And it seriously it really did that must have been great for you as well to show a lot more to
19:45 the was an actual fight, does another book and fight called the blades office which came out in the springtime they're not going to text back beyond to a different place.
19:53 So how are you doing with the ability to understand for me, all of the accents sound amazing, different. Great, really lovely to listen to. But I wonder if you get in touch tell me which accents are more difficult or more easy to understand. Did you hear anything that Robert Carlyle and Lauren Kelly were saying, or is all just a blur. If you are struggling to follow what's being said, you can look at the transcript as you're listening. You can also skip back to the beginning of the clip, play it again. Repeat it as many times as you need or just skip ahead to the next one. Most podcast platforms will have the facility for you to slow down or speed up what's being said. So they were Glaswegian. They're from Glasgow. And so let's continue our little tour with Sarah Milliken. If we go a bit south from Scotland, we go to the North East of England to the Newcastle area.
21:01 Some of you might have noticed I've got new glasses. I went to the optician, I went into the little room with the lady and the computer. She brought my record up on the screen. She said Can I ask you a question? I said yes, of course. She said, Have you been going somewhere else? And I thought I've never been accused of cheating on me. optician said No Why should have not your eyes tester since 2012 was quite a long time ago, which surprised me. I've been wearing glasses since I was six years old. Give me a well if you also wear glasses. Maybe some of you are like me, I normally love an eye test because to me, it's a fun quiz. And then I can see again like once.
21:38 So that's Sarah Millican who is a professional comedian. The same as rod Gilbert and Romesh Ranganathan, who I mentioned before, and she has a beautiful Newcastle type accent, as you can hear, she speaks quite fast. But what you could do is search for her videos on YouTube and slow them down. So there's something you can always do, which I think is really good idea for your language studies is to speed up or slow down what you're listening to or watching. Depending on if it's really easy, or if it's too difficult. It can really help you get used to vocabulary or ways of speaking, that are not something that you're familiar with. So just getting used to branch out and try different things just make it slightly easier for yourself. Okay, and the next example, if we go from Newcastle, we go down the country a bit in England, and we go to the north of England, Yorkshire area, and we go to Sheffield, these are musicians, you've probably heard of the Arctic Monkeys, and they're from Sheffield.
22:44 We've always tried to sort of naturally go somewhere else. But it also picks up where the other one left off and away. And we tried to do that a little bit. And it's anything other than that feels a bit forced. So I think it is yeah, I think it all makes sense as a journey. How did you go about looking for that light bulb moment,
23:04 I suppose with this one. So when when did that come for you, Matt,
23:07 it's hard to pinpoint the moment just because of the way it worked. Like a lot of it was put together like after the fact we had like all these elements to like, make into a record.
23:17 So that's Sheffield, for you. One last accent before we move on to a different topic, I would encourage you though, go and search each of these accents get some practice in listening to them. There's so much variety, I know I haven't chosen I haven't shared every different type of facts. And that's possible. But I mainly wanted to make sure that we had Wales and Ireland and Scotland in there in the mix. And we have a few different English ones there too. So one last one from Northern Ireland. This is Jamie Dornan,
23:51 we, if there's any phrase that use more than Crocketts, we will be like, Oh, I'm gonna have a weak cup of tea, even though you have a totally normal sized cup of tea that will basically say a weak cup of tea. Or if you're like at a shop, the man or woman will be like, do you want to be back with that if you're just getting a normal size bag, it's very strange.
24:08 That kind of quick accent tour of the UK. Of course, I can't cover all of them. I'm planning to another episode in the future, not just about British accents, but about the different wide range of pronunciation that you can hear. So I would encourage you to listen to a range of different accents. And really don't, don't be put off if something sounds really strange because you're excluding people from being able to understand them. And there's a huge variety. It's not just the upper class English people who speak English. So I would encourage you to listen to as many accents as possible. Maybe not in the same day. But as you go through especially as you get more confident in your listening. That's one thing that will make it give you a chance And when you wanting to focus on your listening is to try different accents. And the key in my experience with listening with language learning is persistence. You don't have to understand everything you just keep going. And if you can repeat, that's the great thing about podcasts about videos, YouTube, and so on. You can repeat as many times as you want, until you get it. And with YouTube, of course, you can Netflix or whatever streaming you use, you can put on the subtitles, you can slow things down and you can speed it up. So I hope that I've demonstrated that there is not just one British accent, there's a huge range of different British accents. Okay, now. So this is the part two of our myths and stereotypes about Britain and British people series. So unfortunately, I'm not going to finish it today, because there's just too much I've waffled on too long. I've put in my clips. And I think you'll will get bored of this topic. So we're going to move on to a different topic for next time. So thanks very much for listening. And remember to join speak meters and take part in our video chats are conversations. It's not like a lesson. It's like having a friendly conversation, but with some help. And the next episode, I'll be filling you in on some interesting phrases to help you sound more native. Well, thanks for listening, guys. See you soon, buddy. Well, that's it for today. Thank you for listening. What do you think about today's topic? Remember that you can get in touch by leaving a comment or by joining the Speak meters community. Follow speak meters on Instagram, and subscribe to Spoken like a native on your favorite podcast platform. You can also leave a comment and like the stream on YouTube or other video platforms. And please leave a review it really helps us to find new listeners who are looking for fun language learning content. Lastly, but not least, don't forget to head over to To take part in live conversations hosted by friendly native speakers. See you next time.
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Enough beating around the bush, let's get this episode underway. Hello, so this is episode three of Spoken like a native. This is part two of myths and stereotypes about Britain and British people. In the end, this topic has become quite big for me. So I think what I'm going to do is talk about a few today and then I'll move on to a different topic and we'll pick up the myths later on. So Britain's are royalists, and the UK is a monarchy. What's the Royalist? Well, Aurora, this is someone who believes that the monarchy is a great idea they supported they love the king. I always about to say the Queen because the Queen has always been there until recently. Now we have her son, the King King Charles. Okay, so what's the answer? The short version are Britain's royalists, to some extent, about 54% of us are, is the UK a monarchy? Yeah, but not really in a technical sense. Does it sound complicated? Well, it kind of is, as the English poet Tennyson once noted, Britain is a crowned Republic, one in which the monarch reigns but but does but does not rule. Currently, the monarchy has a broadly ceremonial role. That means that to all intents and purposes, the UK behaves like a republic. But the monarch and the royal family have a role in national rituals and procedures. The King is the head of state, but his powers are symbolic and ceremonial. And this is important, he remains politically neutral. The king receives daily dispatches from the government. So that's like daily updates daily information. And they have to be written down because everything's, you know, official and old fashioned, he gets them in a red leather box. So he gets these pieces of paper in a red leather books every day, including things like policies and upcoming events, as well as documents that he needs to sign. So basically, he needs to sign off on everything. But he doesn't decide anything. And he doesn't give his opinion about anything that either the government or the opposition are doing or talking about, in my experience, most British people I know are vaguely in favor of the monarchy, for purely pragmatic or utilitarian reasons. So in the fact of having a royal family with a long and interesting history, and many fascinating buildings and artifacts, means that this attracts a lot of tourism and foreign interest to the country. So for the reasons of maintaining tourism, why not maintain an active royal family? It's a lot of what you can call pomp and circumstance that attracts people. People go to London and they watched the changing of the guard or they go and stand outside Buckingham Palace, and they look through the gates and they see the nice pretty horses, or they go to the Tower of London. That's quite interesting place. And lots of things that you can go and see you can see the crown jewels. But what do the opinion polls say? An opinion polls when they go an independent institution. It's the whole purpose of this place called YouGov is to find out what people think about things and they get people's opinions by surveying them based on different types of categories. So they try and get a broad range of types of people living in the country. So the latest opinion poll regarding the monarchy shows about 54% of people surveyed having overall positive views about the institution of monarchy. So that means that they thought, when they were asked the question, is it good to have a monarchy Do you approve generally, not about Charles specifically. And so 54% of people were in favor, but they thought it was a positive thing generally. But we see the opinions vary a lot comparing each member of the royal family. So if you look at King Charles and Prince William, they were held in very positive regard, or mostly by 62% for King Charles and 69% of respondents thinking, so Charles was 62, William was 69% of people were in favor of him or had a positive opinion. But if we look at Prince Harry's results, he only had an approval rate of 26%, which is not good. That might change in the future, we'll see what happens. Actually, 64% of people had a negative view of him. Things were quite bad also for his wife, Megan, but basically the same. However, things were even worse for Prince Andrew, who was on the scene positively by 7% of people, and disliked by 86%. Imagine at your a prince of a country and 86% of your population, your so called subjects, in the old fashioned sense do not like you. However, the Queen's other children, Prince Edward and princess had over 50% positive ratings. If you don't know why Andrew is so unpopular, then a quick Google search should explain it for you. The less said about him, the better. But it's hard to avoid thinking that the behavior of Andrew and the scandals provoked by Harry bring the monarchy and therefore the country into disrepute. But I would like to answer that with a quote from Oscar Wilde, there is only one thing in life worse than being talked about, and that is not being talked about. Therefore, the scandals and also the positive contrast provided by Prince William, and also Charles, bring attention to an ancient part of British culture. And we do live in an attention economy. Of course, a lot of British people would prefer the UK to be a republic and to abolish the Royals, seeing them as parasites and outdated fossils from a bygone era. This is especially true in the smaller nations that are in the UK, such as in Scotland, whose politics have historically been more socialist than England. And where class divides are much less prominent. We can see that in the data where royals have a slightly lower rate of favor in Scotland than in England. Actually looking at Wales, I was surprised that they were quite positively viewed but Wales is closer to England, I guess, many people complain about the money that the British royal family receives from the taxpayers of the UK, of course, to have something that looks and feels like a proper monarchy, you have to spend a lot of money on educating clothing, housing, and serving a group of people who have to look and feel and seem like a different class of people, a, an elite. So that does cost a lot of money to keep them in that way, with very high quality, every aspect of their life has to be really cared for a lot. And they of course, they need security, and they need staff. Lots of things like that, and the properties that they own or they live in are expensive to keep. So to quickly summarize, the UK is a ceremonial monarchy, but we have a democratically supposedly elected government, who make political decisions about things that concern people. There are aspects of the UK, which are not extremely democratic, but be basically a democracy. We have a monarchy, which serves a ceremonial role, and about 50% of people are in favor of it. So you can't necessarily say that all British people are hugely in favor of the monarchy. I think actually the death of the Queen and in some ways highlighted some some what would you say some points of conflict, because on the media, everything about what was happening with the death of the Queen, and with what was going to be coming afterwards with the funeral

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