Saturday, 19 August 2017

Scottish accents v. voice recognition software - and terrible Scots accents in films

Having grown up with a Scottish mother and grandmother, I don't have a problem understanding...

...most Scots accents, as long as the speaker isn't going too fast, and isn't talking dialect or peppering his or her speech with slang. Then again, the only Scots I hear is on the television or when speaking to a Scot who may very well be taking the fact that I speak with an English accent into account. I'm sure I'd have a problem following many conversations between Scottish folk - especially if they're from the same region as their interlocutors. To be honest, there are some parts of this next exchange I'd struggle to grasp (except the swear-words, of which there are many) if it weren't for the helpful subtitles:

As for this one - barely a word!:

I can do a fairly convincing version of several Scots accents - not good enough to fool a Scot, I suspect, but certainly close enough enough to fool the average Englishman, American or Australian. Maybe that's why, of all the versions of regional or foreign accents I've heard actors attempt over the years, inaccurate Scottish accents cause me the most pain. Honestly, I'd rather listen to Dick Van Dyke in Mary Poppins than Mike Doohan as Scottie in Star Trek, Mel Gibson in Braveheart, Christopher Lamber in Highlander, or Mike Myers as Fat Bastard in Austin Powers - and if they had that effect on me, I hate to imagine how pureblood Scottish viewers must have reacted. And I can't believe there wasn't a single Scottish person on those film sets to point out what a truly shite job (to employ a Scottish adjective) the actors were doing. (Yes, they may have been scared of being fired, but I've never thought of the Scots as being shy about expressing an opinion, especially when the subject touches on anything to do with their homeland.) 

Ah, I've just found a video by a Scotsman who isn't shy of expressing an opinion about attempts at Scottish accents in movies. It contains bad language from the start:

1 comment:

  1. For those who find Scottish accents uncompromisingly impenetrable :