Tuesday, 27 November 2012

Joey Barton English/French?

I wasn't intending to write a post today but couldn't resist after reading this BBC article and hearing the footballer Joey Barton (from Liverpool) speaking English in a "French" accent.
After years of nothing but trouble in the UK (both on and off the pitch), this season he has moved to the south of France to play for Marseille. In the very international world of modern football Barton must have played alongside numerous foreign teammates who had to struggle with English (and generally have made fantastically impressive attempts). Poor Joey seems to think that by speaking with a French accent and making basic grammatical errors (!) French journalists will understand him better.  It's quite sweet of him really.
Here is a transcript with the errors and unnatural phrases in red - if you're learning English perhaps you can identify the problems and improve Joey's English!
You can listen to the interview here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/football/20509103
Yesterday I make one tackle and all everybody speak about is this tackle. Nobody speaks about the 50-yard pass that kills Balmont and it causes a red card for him. And nobody talks about the shot that Landrew would have been happy to see, you know he didn’t see the ball never mind have a chance to save it. So for me it’s important that people talk about the qualities I bring as a footballer, and I’m a little bit bored, y’know from the English media, hopefully the French media have…has more about it than the English media and concentrate on stupid little incidents like this. For me I think my best position is deep-lying midfielder,  y’know, because I have good engine to stop attacks, I can tackle and also I think from this position, certainly in France,  I’m….very dangerous because I have a good pass from distance, you know, as I’ve shown in games before if I can play in a deep position and take the ball – an’ I have players with the quality of Ayew, the Ayew brothers, Gignac when he comes back,  Valbuena, Amalfitano - if I can get the ball in a deep position it’s a big problem for teams in France.
Of course grading your language (selecting your language to be appropriate for the level of the audience with whom your speaking) is something all (good) teachers do.  Here's another interesting BBC article about "speech accomodation" - http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-20508309 

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