‘Rubbish’ is the word of the day.

8 03 2010

Accents.
There is something peculiar about them. One lousy word out of somebody’s mouth and you should be able to tell where a person comes from. From a simple word of hello comes a million ways of saying it.
Hel-low, hullo, allo or even hey is an acceptable greeting.
Usually accents differ from one country to another, or even one province to another. In Canada alone, accents differ almost in ‘time zones’ and not by provinces.

Not in the case of England.

Ahh the British accent. It is undoubtedly hard to pin down what a British accent sound like when almost the next town will have a different accent from the next, and sometimes can be as brutal as understanding another language that isn’t English. And no, don’t even try to mock their accent by copying what Hollywood made us believe all Brits sound like, they’re not all posh and proper like the Queen.

In the small town of Baldock in the heart of England I caught up with a group of young British drinkers in a watering hole called The Engine Pub. ‘Twas a chilly night but a small group have gathered outside to smoke where I joined them. Correction: ‘Twas a chilly night but the entire patron of the bar have gathered outside to smoke where I joined them. As the tourist in town my friend have introduced me to every single one of them where they offered if I’d like a smoke ‘Sorry, I don’t smoke. I’m fine with the beer’ and I took one gulp of the fine brew.

At this point another man stepped out of the bar and joined the small crowd.
“Oh right mate, this is Ashley. He’s visiting from Canada,” introduced my friend.
“Is that right? Welcome to Baldock,” he said then turned his attention to his friends.
“Right, do you want to hear a funny story?”
“Yeah!” cheered the crowd. I like funny stories and I eagerly pressed my ears to listen to a fine British comedy.
And this was his story:

“Neyhmart whone gown to brafthmension nees. Haha, garth brooks woke moyne apple struddle cowabonga gwonwon nasa roysell maine. Hahahaha, anddeyn gowsbow too olsentwins morgrowber then I gown maccarenawoe wayworth mowbobby lorne marone carmentime nofthlemone. Then two nightingale mowed lowallow browndye gobbledygook shamwow quotahorne seyne showarone rubbish.”

I beg your pardon?
The crowd roared into laughter while my eyes wandered in amazement. Was that in English or did I just hear Swahili? While the patio was filled with laughter, my thoughts were filled with…[crickets chirping].

“Did you understand what he said?” asked my friend.
I shook my head and he begged him to tell the story once again.

“Okay. Neyhmart whone gown to brafthmension nees. Haha, garth brooks woke moyne apple struddle cowabonga gwonwon nasa roysell maine. Hahahaha, anddeyn gowsbow too olsentwins morgrowber then I gown maccarenawoe wayworth mowbobby lorne marone carmentime nofthlemone. Then two nightingale mowed lowallow browndye gobbledygook shamwow quotahorne seyne showarone rubbish.”

To this day, I still don’t know what the story was about. Perhaps it was about a tourist lost in translation.

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