Sunday, April 13, 2008

Cunning linguists

Digital Polish language channel TVN Lingua has bought two seasons of the UK version of Big Brother as an example of English as a ‘living language’.

One of the housemates to feature in the programmes is Jade Goody. Jade became a Big Star in Britain because of her Big Brother appearances; so big, in fact, that she was invited back for last year’s Celebrity Big Brother.
Unfortunately, Goody was thrown out of the house after a bizarre dispute with Bollywood star Shilpa Shetty (video example here - Jade is the one in glasses)

So what kind of ‘living English’ can TVN Lingua viewers expect from Our Jade? Well, here are some of the quotes that got her in trouble during last year’s Celebrity BB. To Bollywood star Shetty, on Celebrity Big Brother, January 2007:

You're a fucking loser and a liar. Go back to the slums.

You're not some princess in fucking Neverland. I don't give a shit. You're not some princess here.

Your head's so far up your arse you can smell your own shit…

And so on. But what use would Goody and the rest of the housemates be to Poland’s aspiring linguists? The Guardian UK:

Urszula Majewska, the chief executive of the Polish TVN Lingua channel, said the programme was an ideal way to show how English was actually spoken, but admitted that she "wouldn't recommend it for teenagers".

Well, quite. BTW, Urszula Majewska’s qualifications for being chief executive of a TV channel rests only, I am informed, with the fact that she was once personal assistant to head of TVN Mariusz Walter and is a graduate of English Studies at Warsaw University.

Oh, and once TVN Lingua viewers get the hang of Goody’s ‘living language’ then maybe they can stay up for the adult show Zabawy z jezyczkiem…which is a play on language meaning either’ Play with language’ or…‘Play with the tongue’.

I see TVN really is full of cunning linguists.


michael farris said...

A triumph of form over content.

The churlish spewage of an ignorant chavette become worthy of study because they're in something sort of like English.

I suppose the BB franchise can be moderately amusing in terms of there-but-for-the-grace-of-good-sense schadenfreude but I sense this is filler to take up time on the airwaves rather than any real attempt at language instruction (I hope and pray).

Anonymous said...

Wait, you're saying that someone in the UK still speaks English???

Anonymous said...

This is possibly the most fucking stupid idea I've ever heard of.

Still, Poles do seem to consider the word 'fuck' to be just very slightly ruder than 'damn', i.e. a hell of a lot less rude than the k word, so perhaps it's not so bad after all.

Yes. Everyone in the UK speaks English, just like what Jade does, nar-ta-meen?

beatroot said...

Is Kurwe as bad/worse than the modern 'fuck'? I think not. Fusk is less bad than it was but still ...

Metka by Traczka said...

Beatroot, it's Kurwa not Kurwe :-)

beatroot said...

It was a ...tipo...toopoo....tapo

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