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Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Gie us an aw day tae the toon and accents with SIRI -apple's assistent

According to an interview I heard a couple of years ago on the CBC, businesspeople using standard English sometimes need and interpreter when in Glasgow.
He added: "We're not necessarily looking for people who are particularly skilled in linguistics, just candidates who can help out clients who may struggle with native Glaswegian."
James Lillis said: "When new employees come to Scotland and hear the Glasgow accent, it can be a problem. Drivers have to learn to understand what is meant when a customer says, for example, 'Gie us an aw day tae the toon' (Give me an all day ticket to the town)."

I'm glad this came up - I heard the news earlier on the BBC. I imagine most Scots will be having a wry chuckle to themselves about it, like myself.
The problem is nothing new, as we can see from the Burnistoun lift sketch below:
[Iain] Where's the buttons?
[Rob] Oh no, they've installed voice-recognition technology in this lift, they have no buttons.
[Iain] Voice-recognition technology? In a lift? In Scotland? You ever tried voice-recognition technology?
[Rob] No.
[Iain] They don't do Scottish accents.
[Rob] Eleven.
[VOICE] Could you please repeat that?
[Iain] Eleven.
[Rob] Eleven. Eleven.
[Iain] Eleven.
[VOICE] Could you please repeat that?
[Rob] EL-EV-EN.
[Iain] Whose idea was this? You need to try an American accent. "E-leven. E-leven."
[Rob] That sounds Irish, not American.
[Iain] No it doesn't! ELEVEN.
[Rob] Where in America is that - Dublin?
[VOICE] I'm sorry. Could you please repeat that?
[Rob] Try an English accent. "Eelevin! Eelevin!"
[Iain] You from the same part of England as Dick van Dyke?
[Rob] Let's hear yours then, smartass.
[VOICE] Please speak slowly and clearly.
[Iain] Ee-lev-en.
[VOICE] I'm sorry. Could you please repeat that?
[Iain] ELEVEN. If you don't understand the lingo, away back home to your own country!
[Rob] Ooo, it's that talk now, is it, away back home to your own country?
[Iain] Oh, don't start Mr. Bleeding Heart, how can you be racist to a lift?
[VOICE] Please speak slowly and clearly.
[Rob] Eleven. Eleven. Eleven. Eleven.
[Iain] You're just saying it the same way!
[Rob] I'm going to keep saying it until it understands Scottish, alright?
[Rob] Eleven. Eleven. Eleven! Eleven!
[Iain] Oh just take us anywhere, ya cow! Just open the doors!
[VOICE] This is a voice-activated elevator. Please state which floor you would like to go to in a clear and calm manner.
[Iain] Calm? Calm? Where's that coming from? Why is it telling people to be calm?
[Rob] Because they knew they'd be selling this to Scottish people who'd be going off their nuts at it!
[VOICE] You have not selected a floor.
[Rob] Aye, we have! Eleven!
[VOICE] If you would like to get out of the elevator without selecting a floor, simply say "Open the doors, please".
[Iain] Please? Please?? Suck my wully.
[Rob] Maybe we should just say "please".
[Iain] I'm not begging that for nothing.
[Rob] Open the doors, please.
[Iain} "Please!" Pathetic.
[VOICE] Please remain calm.
[Rob] Oh! My! God! You wait until I get up there...just wait for it to speak...
[VOICE] You have not selected a floor.
[Rob] Up yours, ya cow! If you don't let us through these doors, I'm gonna come to America, I'm gonna find whatever desperate actress gave you a voice, and I'm gonna go to the electric chair for ye!
[Iain] Scotland, you bastard!
[Rob] Scotland!
[Iain] FREEDOM!!
[Iain] Goin' up?  

It reminds me of this clip from Not The Nine O'Clock News, featuring the Big Yin and his future wife, Pamela Stephenson above!!!

Personally, I've always thought that there should be subtitles on UK TV for any programmes featuring Scottish accents......icon_wink.gif

Anyone care to enlighten me on the linguistic and social stratification of Glaswegian?

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