Saturday, 17 August 2013

Learn English with Ricky Gervais transcription Summary

Here are my comments on the phonetic transcription of "Learn English with Ricky Gervais", which you can find here:

I have marked some features of Ricky's pronunciation and Karl's pronunciation.

For example, like many British English-speakers, they both tend towards a glottal stop ( / ʔ / ) rather than a pronounced / t / in words such as "right":

"Right": / raɪʔ / rather than / raɪt /
"won't": / wəʊnʔ / rather than / wəʊnt /
"what": / wɒʔ / rather than / wɒt /

However, one feature of Ricky's comedy, also used by Karl, is to pronounce the / t / for comic effect and emphasis.

An example in this skit is when Karl asks:

What teabags have you got?
| ˈwɒʔ tiː bæɡz hæv jə ˈɡɒt |

Usually the "got" would be / ɡɒʔ / but by pronouncing the / t / it just makes the whole situation all the more hysterical.

Other details I marked include the difference between Karl's "northern English" vowel-sounds and Ricky's "southern English" vowel-sounds:

"stuff": / stʊf / rather / stʌf /
"none": / nʊn /
"stunk": / stʊŋk /
"up to someone": / ʊp tə ˈsʊmwʊn /

"ask": / æsk / rather than "ask" / ɑːsk /

Time to add the subtitles to the video.