Letters

Speaking English

Written By : James Bentley Suva . I congratulate Lauren Robinson-Frey and Sophie Foster for their quality and standard of English presentations on Fiji Television. In particular I emphasise the
29 May 2008 12:00

Written By : James Bentley Suva . I congratulate Lauren Robinson-Frey and Sophie Foster for their quality and standard of English presentations on Fiji Television.
In particular I emphasise the quality of their “English pronunciation”, an area in which they are distinctly superior to other television and radio presenters.
The two ladies display quality pronunciation as well as diction and enunciation so that their presentations are clearer and easier to understand.
This is desirable when communicating information to the public who pay for all commercial media transmissions.
Too often television and radio audiences endure poorly pronounced English words.
There seems to be great difficulty with “or” words such as “word” often pronounced “ward”; “work” is turned into “walk”; “worker” turns out as “walker” and “world” as “walled.”
Imagine the “Walkers Union” the “Rugby Walled Cup” and the “Chief Executive for Walks.”
Basic words such as “says” and “men” are mispronounced on a daily basis. Reference to an advanced Oxford Dictionary would help a great deal. They come with a pronunciation guide and should be readily available at media establishments.
Reference to this dictionary would also assist the proper pronunciation of words ending in “ary” or “ory” such as “dictionary”, “military”, “obligatory” and “observatory”.
With these words there is confusion between English-English (Oxford) and American-English (Webster).
Reporters making voice-over presentations on television news and sports segments could also review aspects of their English pronunciation.
“Tomorrow” has been mispronounced for years.
There is difficulty with stress when pronouncing words such as “necessary” and “challenge”.
The Oxford Dictionary can also help in this regard.
In my view, the local English teachers are largely to blame for the poor English language ability of our children.
Our young people have learned English with pronunciation flaws and it is difficult to correct these aberrations of teaching primacy.
For success with re-learning, the presenter must first admit to language aberrations.
This may be difficult and may need the intervention of media executives. He or she must then pursue remedial language sessions which can be a combination of face to face and language laboratory sessions.
If this cannot be managed, I suggest that electronic media organisations employ more people with the language proficiency of Ms Robinson-Frey and Ms Foster.
The pursuit of excellence is long overdue.




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