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Upstream sport commentaries toward British accents

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Ipsenia
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Founded: Apr 03, 2022
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Upstream sport commentaries toward British accents

Postby Ipsenia » Sat Jun 25, 2022 1:43 am

Hi,

I have often seen live televised sports matches using upstream English commentaries (by upstream, it means using original international commentators rather than provided by downstream [local station that I watch the match]). So I closely hear what accent the upstream is speaking. According to my experience, most of upstream commentaries are speaking British accents (or some sort of). At first glance, I thought that they are speaking RP (received pronunciation), because they don't pronounce the final /r/ (non rhotic) as well as saying the clear /a/ instead of /æ/ (the characteristic by convention [which isn't written in articles about British accents]).

This led into conclusion that in order to be commentators, I had to speak British accent (that is, imitating the way they are speaking). Then I tested the hypothesis by asking in Physics Forums. The hypothesis got rejected. One of the commenters there said (with edits):

No. Wrong way to make the decision. Model your pronunciation the way you are taught or are able to acquire. Your ESL teachers probably have their own accents. You may follow those accents or attempt to make a neutral accent ( I am not sure if this is meaningful). Sports commentators in other countries (upstream in this case) have what accent is appropriate for each individual announcer/commentator. This is not something which a person changes to nor from. On the other hand, a few individuals do adjust their accent, but again, I am unsure how common this is.


Later in the thread, another commenter said why RP isn't the case nowadays (note: below is UK-specific, although that I also see matches in other countries/regions [most are European]):

Unless you have been listening to sports commentary from the 1950s, RP is a thing of the past. British television presenters speak with a range of regional accents. Most use what might be called "careful" English - words and phrases that are in general use. The last of the great RP commentators was Henry Bloefeld (and, yes, Ian Fleming did use that name as the Bond villain). He was a radio cricket commentator for decades and made the most of his Eton accent. He was wonderful to listen to. But in my lifetime the great voices of sport have had a range of accents with the RP speakers gradually dying off: Henry Longhurst for the golf, Dan Maskell for the tennis and Bloefeld for the cricket. These days your best bet is a Scottish or Welsh accent, I would say.


From these above, the verdict is: It's OK for aspiring commentators (and myself) to speak whatever accent they are comfortable with (in my case, General American accent due to computer demand). However, with exposure, it's possible to change the accent over time (in this case, I may develop British accent due to sports commentaries).

Thanks.

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Vassenor
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Postby Vassenor » Sat Jun 25, 2022 1:45 am

Ipsenia wrote:Hi,

I have often seen live televised sports matches using upstream English commentaries (by upstream, it means using original international commentators rather than provided by downstream [local station that I watch the match]). So I closely hear what accent the upstream is speaking. According to my experience, most of upstream commentaries are speaking British accents (or some sort of). At first glance, I thought that they are speaking RP (received pronunciation), because they don't pronounce the final /r/ (non rhotic) as well as saying the clear /a/ instead of /æ/ (the characteristic by convention [which isn't written in articles about British accents]).

This led into conclusion that in order to be commentators, I had to speak British accent (that is, imitating the way they are speaking). Then I tested the hypothesis by asking in Physics Forums. The hypothesis got rejected. One of the commenters there said (with edits):

No. Wrong way to make the decision. Model your pronunciation the way you are taught or are able to acquire. Your ESL teachers probably have their own accents. You may follow those accents or attempt to make a neutral accent ( I am not sure if this is meaningful). Sports commentators in other countries (upstream in this case) have what accent is appropriate for each individual announcer/commentator. This is not something which a person changes to nor from. On the other hand, a few individuals do adjust their accent, but again, I am unsure how common this is.


Later in the thread, another commenter said why RP isn't the case nowadays (note: below is UK-specific, although that I also see matches in other countries/regions [most are European]):

Unless you have been listening to sports commentary from the 1950s, RP is a thing of the past. British television presenters speak with a range of regional accents. Most use what might be called "careful" English - words and phrases that are in general use. The last of the great RP commentators was Henry Bloefeld (and, yes, Ian Fleming did use that name as the Bond villain). He was a radio cricket commentator for decades and made the most of his Eton accent. He was wonderful to listen to. But in my lifetime the great voices of sport have had a range of accents with the RP speakers gradually dying off: Henry Longhurst for the golf, Dan Maskell for the tennis and Bloefeld for the cricket. These days your best bet is a Scottish or Welsh accent, I would say.


From these above, the verdict is: It's OK for aspiring commentators (and myself) to speak whatever accent they are comfortable with (in my case, General American accent due to computer demand). However, with exposure, it's possible to change the accent over time (in this case, I may develop British accent due to sports commentaries).

Thanks.


I'm assuming this is things like ESPN rebranding Sky Sports' F1 coverage. In which case it's just a matter of them deciding it's cheaper to use someone else's broadcast rather than going to the expense of flying crews out to every single event on the calendar.
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Kerwa
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Postby Kerwa » Sat Jun 25, 2022 2:42 am

You should try and sound like Ray Hudson.

People don’t use RP anymore.

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Ipsenia
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Postby Ipsenia » Sat Jun 25, 2022 8:32 pm

Vassenor wrote:I'm assuming this is things like ESPN rebranding Sky Sports' F1 coverage. In which case it's just a matter of them deciding it's cheaper to use someone else's broadcast rather than going to the expense of flying crews out to every single event on the calendar.


First, I'm writing the TS in the terms of upstream and downstream, as in software development. Downstream is the local TV station for which there is a sports coverage that I watch. Since I'm from Indonesia, the downstream can be RCTI, TVRI, SCTV, O Channel, etc. For the upstream, sometimes I can't identify what the upstream these downstream is acquiring the coverage from. I used to see FOX Sports as their upstream for F1 coverage! That can be described as "rebranding" that you say.

In many cases, in order to fund the coverage, downstream has its own sponsors. The most notable is SUPER SOCCER, a soccer portal affiliated to cigarette brand Djarum Super, as downstream sponsor for many European soccer matches (say EPL and UCL). And it's the convention in Indonesia to reveal the downstream sponsors by prefixing "Sesaat lagi" and appending "Terima kasih" bumpers to the program.

Back to question on commentaries; downstream, like upstream, has its own host and analysts, which walk through the pre-game, half time, and post-game analysis. Downstream can choose to comment during the actual game (as in case for local soccer league and badminton), or passing to upstream (as in the case for many other matches). Even when downstream choose the former, the commentaries are made from the same studio as for the analysis. In case of the latter, most of the times downstream will say "Selamat menyaksikan", following by unmuting the upstream English commentaries.

Another question that I stumbled when thinking about this thread is: Do Indonesians understand what upstream is commenting? For most of them, no, because they don't understand English, albeit in recent times they bit-by-bit start to learn the language. That's why downstream analysts decipher, analyze, and draw conclusion from the upstream.

Thanks.
Last edited by Ipsenia on Sat Jun 25, 2022 8:34 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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USS Monitor
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Postby USS Monitor » Sat Jun 25, 2022 8:58 pm

If you want to be an English-language sportscaster, you should focus on just getting really fluent in the language and immersing yourself in the sport you want to report on. Don't worry too much about imitating a specific accent.
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Outer Sparta
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Postby Outer Sparta » Sat Jun 25, 2022 9:02 pm

I wish we had more legendary commentators like Murray Walker. You got his classic voice and commentary style along with the hum of the 80s and 90s F1 cars which evoke pure nostalgia.
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The Archregimancy
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Postby The Archregimancy » Sun Jun 26, 2022 12:02 pm

Kerwa wrote:You should try and sound like Ray Hudson.

People don’t use RP anymore.



Well, you've never met me, obviously.

RP with a slight Edinburgh tinge is clearly the best accent.

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Ipsenia
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Postby Ipsenia » Sun Jun 26, 2022 9:28 pm

USS Monitor wrote:If you want to be an English-language sportscaster, you should focus on just getting really fluent in the language and immersing yourself in the sport you want to report on. Don't worry too much about imitating a specific accent.


Ah, I see!

But I think watching these sports on local station is a part of immersion. Currently, I speak American accent (because of computer exposure). However, by continuously being immersed by watching these coverages like that above, I may develop British accent (just for sake of becoming sportscaster!)
Last edited by Ipsenia on Sun Jun 26, 2022 9:29 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Krasny-Volny
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Postby Krasny-Volny » Mon Jun 27, 2022 5:56 am

Ipsenia wrote:
USS Monitor wrote:If you want to be an English-language sportscaster, you should focus on just getting really fluent in the language and immersing yourself in the sport you want to report on. Don't worry too much about imitating a specific accent.


Ah, I see!

But I think watching these sports on local station is a part of immersion. Currently, I speak American accent (because of computer exposure). However, by continuously being immersed by watching these coverages like that above, I may develop British accent (just for sake of becoming sportscaster!)


The more effort you put into mimicking a specific accent, the more stilted, unnatural and odd you sound. People can generally tell you’re trying to put it on. I’ve been told I speak with a distinctive accent, but I hardly notice it unless others are trying to mimic it.

My advice is to not think about accents at all, and just let the words flow naturally without thinking about them, so your speech doesn’t come across as being unnatural.
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Minoa
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Postby Minoa » Thu Jun 30, 2022 8:31 am

What matters the most to me is that the sports commentaries are clear and understandable, and not over the top (as in excessive yelling à la WWE, I think).
Last edited by Minoa on Thu Jun 30, 2022 8:32 am, edited 1 time in total.
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