20. Beware of Bad Pronunciation


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This is a podcast for learners of English as a second language. Use it to improve your vocabulary, listening, pronunciation, idioms and cultural awareness. This podcast is about how you should be a bit careful of the reliability of some videos on the internet.

Transcript to Tracy Goodwin’s video:

“Now let’s practise the short ‘o’, and again I’ll give you words and sentences. I’ll say them standard American first, followed up with the British dialect.

Hot Hot

Coffee Coffeh!

Fought FOTT!

Not NOT

Bobby Bobbeh

Fond Fawned

Now some sentences:

Ron opted to ignore Dot

Lost coffee is not to be fought over

The dog was lost in the fog

The loft smelled like strong coffee”


OK, that’s Tracy Goodwin’s advice. Unfortunately, most of it is plain wrong. Sorry Tracy.

Here are some of the comments made on her YouTube page:

Somewhere in England there’s a bunch of poor Americans walking around talking like complete dicks because of this lady. Never in my life have I heard anyone say coffee like that. Ever. And I’ve live in England all my life.

Dear oh dear, that is class. Coffeeeeeeeeh. Brilliant. Do you do french accents too? Ha haw he haw

Never in all my days in Britain have I heared anyone say coffie like that.

HAHAHAHAHAHAHA

She doesn’t have a clue. English people can understand Americans. We’re not retards that need to be spoken to in our ‘dialect’.

LOL lol lol lol!!!! The way she says coffEH is sooooooooooooooooooooo funny!!! i have a west coast accent but live in the UK, and let me tell you, that is sooooooooooo not how these people talk. Like, not one bit!!! Especially the way she says coffee, it is so not friggin’ “coffEH”! LOL. and that barbie thing she was on about is not bobby!!!! Certainly not!! LOL, what a freak! She ain’t no expert! ;]]]

hahahahahaha

UPDATE (April 2014)
I was thinking about this podcast episode recently, and I was a bit worried that I’d been unfair to Tracy, or that it was a bit cruel to publicly shame her. I was considering removing this episode, because I think it’s not very nice to make fun of other people online. I decided I’d have another look at Expert Village, and Tracy’s videos. I watched some more videos from Expert Village – and it made me realise again – these videos are terrible! I’m sorry, but it’s just not fair to label Tracy as an expert in speaking with a British accent, and in fact many of the other videos on ‘Expert Village’ are absolutely laughable. They’re not experts, much of the advice is wrong and in some cases dangerous. It makes me wonder how this channel operates. Who are the people in the videos? Who is in charge of Expert Village? How do you get a video on this network? In some cases, the so-called ‘experts’ seem to be embarrassed by their videos. Have a look at this video below. It’s a compilation of some of Expert Village’s biggest failures. I started with sympathetic intentions, but now I think Expert Village probably deserves all the criticism it gets.

19 thoughts on “20. Beware of Bad Pronunciation

  1. Anton

    The most funny thing of Tracy speach for me was when she said “British dialect”. Actually, American English is a dialect of British English. Ha-ha British dialect! It’s Ridiculous! Maybe Tracy think that UK was opened by Christopher Columbus :). In my opinion she should have said “British accent”. Don’t make me laugh Tracy!

    Luke you was a bit sarcastic, but all comments was objective.

    Reply
  2. Linguistics

    Obviously she has some pronunciations which are completely un-britsih.

    But you were really rude to British people with regional accents and it’s inaccurate to say that you can’t understand Coffeh and you’re never heard it. Are you saying you don’t understand northerners? Her pronunciation is spot on for Manchester and it’s surrounding areas- not at all one small region of England.

    You need to be careful of your proscriptive teaching. If an EFL student was to come to England they’d hear this everywhere up north and wherever there is Northern diaspora. This, to them, is “correct English”.

    And her pronunciation is spot on for “over” for upper class people from regions like Chelsea.

    Obviously as natives it’s funny to hear her mix her regional accents.

    You’re not an expert in dialectology- BE CAREFUL ABOUT WHAT YOU’RE BEING TOLD ON PODCASTS LISTENERS.

    Reply
    1. Luke Thompson Post author

      Ok, but there is no consistency to what she’s teaching. Some of it sounds like a Manchester dialect, but it’s not all like that. Also, I’m very proud of all the dialects in the UK. My criticisms of her were about her presenting her lesson as how to do ‘the British accent’, and the fact that she is presented as an expert. In fact, a lot of what she teaches is a total mishmash of different regions, and a lot is just wrong. I’m not the only person who had this reaction to the video. In fact, this is quite a well-known video online and many many people were similarly shocked and surprised by it as I was.
      Have a look at this video

      Reply

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