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Mumble Acting on tv

Discussion in 'Personal' started by JosieWhitehead, Aug 17, 2019.

  1. JosieWhitehead

    JosieWhitehead Star commenter

    I wouldn't say I'm going deaf - but how often nowadays have you had to turn on the subtitles because the enunciation of our English language has been so bad that you just cannot understand it? When I was a child, spoken English was considered an important and I remember how we had to learn poems and stand in front of our classrooms and perform them, without paper to look at, throwing our voices clearly across the room and putting expression into our voices. How glad I was that we did this. I taught secretarial subjects where, for shorthand, the exam pass was 98% and every single word had to be heard by even those in the furthermost corner of the room. Nowadays I can hardly understand what some teenagers and others are saying because of poor enunciation. How about you?
    towncryer likes this.
  2. dumpty

    dumpty Star commenter

    I am sure this was an issue the papers took up a while ago and some series in particular was being attacked for it.

    The live subtitles are based on a computer voice recognition device I believe - and boy does it also get confused time after time.

    What is most telling is it often has the biggest issues when newsreaders are reading - you would expect these people to be trained in delivering lines well.
  3. magic surf bus

    magic surf bus Star commenter

    Some of it may be about the volume deliberately being boosted during the ad break to get the attention of those who leave the room. Catch 22 on C4 was particularly bad for it - the advert volume on our TV was about twice the programme's volume.
    JosieWhitehead likes this.
  4. Ivartheboneless

    Ivartheboneless Star commenter

    Didn't we have all this with a BBC dramatisation a couple of years back? Was it Jamaica Inn or Cold Comfort Farm, or something like that? Films often aren't much better. Then there was Marlon Brando, King of Mumble, and early Robert DiNero. Bring back mid-Atlantic accents and projected enunciation!
    peter12171 and JosieWhitehead like this.
  5. JosieWhitehead

    JosieWhitehead Star commenter

    Well, it's not just on tv. I was stood by two young people the other day and although they were speaking quite loudly, understanding their English voices was almost impossible. You would think they'd invented a 'private language'. When I did my teacher training, they filmed one lesson and we saw ourselves as our students would see and hear us. No speaking whilst writing on the blackboard in those days. However, you could hear yourself as a student sitting on the back row could hear you and, if your enunciation of the words was poor, you could quite easily hear this. I just wonder whether spoken English is as important as written English in today's English language lessons?
  6. smoothnewt

    smoothnewt Star commenter

    Anything made in the US and the subtitles go on straightaway. We were looking forward to season 2 of Succession last Monday, and it was clear from the get-go that without the subtitles we wouldn’t have stood a chance!

    We saw an absolutely first class production of Jesus Christ Superstar at the Barbican on Thursday, which was marred slightly by Judas’ poor enunciation. The performers used hand-held mics, which was possibly a factor. Judas had a fantastic voice, but the lyrics were just not as clear as they needed to be.
  7. Oscillatingass

    Oscillatingass Star commenter

    Speaking clearly is seen as a middle class thing, so the BBC seem to want their newsreaders and actors to mumble because it so much more in keeping with their agenda.
    peter12171 and JosieWhitehead like this.
  8. JosieWhitehead

    JosieWhitehead Star commenter

    Sometimes it seems as if they speak so quickly that one word is glued to the one before and the one afterwards. Nowadays our youngsters spend a lot of time in nursery school and I guess that most of the English they'll hear comes from other little ones who are struggling to speak English, and then they start 'the big school' and how do the teachers cope with those who haven't learned enough English, especially spoken English, to understand what they are saying?
  9. smoothnewt

    smoothnewt Star commenter

    There are one or two youngish political pundits on TV who affect a glottal stop. This would not irritate me if it were a natural part of their speech, but they are inconsistent in their use and it comes across as fake. Consequently I can’t take them seriously.
  10. HelenREMfan

    HelenREMfan Star commenter

    We have the sub titles on anyway as MrREMfan has hearing issues. I do agree though. Speaking as someone with an "Honours" certificate from the Royal College of Music circa 1960 in elocution - I can still recall de La Mare's "The Travellers" and Tennyson's "Break, Break, Break" from my presentation, I find people are woeful at speaking. Several years of having to address 200 Year 11s focuses one too and not to mention projecting one's voice across hockey fields and swimming pools meant people got to hear me!
    Of course all that is terribly out of fashion. I wonder whether current English teachers ever ask pupils to read out loud to a class/whatever or do they shy away from being unpopular by making our snowflake generation unhappy?
  11. JosieWhitehead

    JosieWhitehead Star commenter

    I do agree with you wholeheartedly. What about other species learning to speak our English language well? Look here: (little laugh):
  12. lanokia

    lanokia Star commenter

    I recall the programme SS-GB.

    I'd read the book, was a big fan of the genre... watched one episode, couldn't make out much of anything from the dialogue...

    Didn't watch anymore.
  13. JosieWhitehead

    JosieWhitehead Star commenter

    Perhaps we should ask the owners of the little budgie for some tips to help with the speaking of English, but without the American accent.
  14. Doitforfree

    Doitforfree Star commenter

    Modern tellies often have terrible sound. The speaker is skinny and on the side so it's never going to be much use. You might find an external speaker would alleviate some of the problem.
  15. oldsomeman

    oldsomeman Star commenter

    When I trained as a teacher it was not the loudness of my voice but the accent they worried about, Being a good Scouser I had a broad accent. I was encouraged, and went to elocution lessons and learnt to speak in a clear voice. So much so that when I go back home to my town of Liverpool .my voice sound strange to the dialect tones of the locals. However, I am glad I did as I can project a clear voice, over distance, and normally find my words are clear and understood.
    smoothnewt and JosieWhitehead like this.
  16. JosieWhitehead

    JosieWhitehead Star commenter

    I guess I had a West Midlands accent at one time, although not very strong, but I have moved around a lot over the years until we came to beautiful Yorkshire, and I think this irons out your accent. I'm a little bit worried about the 'poetry performances' which I see when I'm invited into children's classrooms. Usually I see a little group of children come to the front, piece of paper in hand, and then they mumble into it with heads down and sometimes I only recognize what they're performing when I hear an odd phrase that I recognize. In fact it is often students for whom English is a second language who recite their poems better. Mainly I've visited classrooms via skype across America, but I know that there also, poetry performances are important. I feel it is so sad.
  17. nizebaby

    nizebaby Star commenter

    I blame marlon brando.
  18. JosieWhitehead

    JosieWhitehead Star commenter

    It could be that they're not hearing enough well-spoken English in their early years. Perhaps I'm wrong. However, I have a close friend (Italian) who has a 6 year old daughter who has been visiting me since she was very little. At a young age she was thoroughly enjoying running up and down singing Old Macdonald and all the other songs. I spoke to her in English, of course, but then she'd go back to Italy for the year and reappear next summer. Aged 3 mother came to do her PhD here and her daughter went to playschool. No problem. She switched from Italian to English in a flash and soon was chattering in English and speaking it well. Now, aged 6 you would not know she wasn't English, but she can switch just as quickly back to Italian. No problem with speaking clearly 2 languages. This is the age to learn your 2nd language for sure - and well before reading and writing starts.
    Flowersinspring likes this.
  19. Ivartheboneless

    Ivartheboneless Star commenter

    I already blamed him!
    Just had Channel 4 on with some incomprehensible film and couldn't hear the dialogue. Suddenly advert break and its twice as loud!
  20. stanley4shoes

    stanley4shoes Occasional commenter

    A lot of the mumbly series/actors are particularly hard to lip read too, which suggests they are mumbling rather than it being a sound issue

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