Friday 12 November 2010

/deɪvɪd ætn̩brə/

credit: National Portrait Gallery, London
Inspired by the two blogs I mentioned in my blog entry of the 9th of November  I fetched the CDs of David Attenborough's Planet Earth from my cabinet yesterday and continued extracting the sound track and transcribing the text of the first three series for later analysis, something I had started in January this year. Extracting the sound track is a bit time-consuming; one can download the subtitles from the Internet, but the ones I found are not a hundred per cent precise.
I can thoroughly recommend (without getting any royalties from BBC) this set of DVDs to anyone who's interested in nature and in Sir David's voice. The photograph of Sir David was presumably taken in 1969. The DVD box came out in 2006.


  1. People who supply subtitles do so chiefly for the hard of hearing so they offen deliberately omit things they dont consider essential for broadly understanding what's been sed and re-phrase synonymously in order to make the subtitle take up less space. Curiously one sees occasionally also expansions of colloquial contractions.

  2. @JWL: You're quite right! Helping the HoH by supplying subtitles has to make up for the slower reading speed.
    At one place of the DVD, however, the subtitle reads: "They seem to form a cordon around the impala" (DA is talking about African hunting dogs). What one hears is not /kɔːdən/, but something like /pɔːtən/ - a slip of the tongue which escaped the attention of both Sir David and the sound engineer.

  3. Not /ætɪnbrə/? That is the only way I would say it.

  4. @vp: There are several possibilities:
    /ˈætənbərə, ˈætəmbərə/. The 1st schwa may optionally be inserted; the 2nd schwa may be deleted. /-ˌbʌrə-/ is marked as British English non-RP pronunciation in LPD3, though not in EPD17.