Wednesday, 19 September 2012

woe a knee

credit: Ric James

John Maidment in his blog of the 18th of September rants about one of Jeremy Paxman's questions in the academic quiz show University Challenge. Paxman asked the two teams:
""Wo ai ni" , "te dua" and "t'estimo" are the respective Mandarin, Albanian, Catalan equivalents of which three word English sentence?" The bone of contention was Paxman's pronunciation of the Mandarin sentence, which should have been /wɔ ai ni/, but was ejaculated by Paxman as /wəʊ  eɪ niː/. If I had to ask this question I would have needed a transcription. Why didn't the team behind the quiz show provide it?

Be it as it may - if you care to hear the question, here it is: 

video

credit: BBC Two

8 comments:

  1. This was a quiz competition. The task was to get through Paxman's foreign accent in order to understand what he was was trying to say. Even if he'd been given more training on these sentences he'd still have an accent. The only alternative approach would be recordings by authentic speakers of these languages.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Very good suggestion! If a question is related to a piece of music, the candidates get to hear a musical clip; JP doesn't sing it out to them. So why not play a recording made by a NS.

      Delete
  2. Bamber Gascoine would never have committed such a /faux pas/.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I guess you mean the TV presenter Bamber Gascoigne?

      Delete
  3. Replies
    1. John, that was definitely not what you said when you watched the quiz show, or was it?

      Delete
    2. No, it definitely was not.
      BTW, thahks for the plug, Petr.

      Delete