Want to understand English people and their culture better? In this listening and culture lesson, I’ll talk you through some of the things you might not already know about life in England. For example, I’ll explain to you why some English people wear paper red flowers in the month of November. I’ll explain some of the things you may have observed, but don’t quite understand if you are new to English culture – such as some of the weird adverts you may have seen on television with talking meerkats in them. There are lots of topics to cover in this lesson: holidays, life events, the big brother state, culture, and more. Join me and learn more about life in England, while improving your listening comprehension at the same time.
Voice acting to tell you ‘The Story of The Hare Who Lost His Spectacles’ by Jethro Tull. The accent I am speaking in is a mixture of Northern English dialects combined with voice acting/theatrical emphasis. This one might be hard for you to understand if you are not a native speaker of English, therefore this performance has subtitles/captions enabled.
Lyrics to ‘The Hare Who Lost His Spectacles’
Owl loved to rest quietly whilst no one was watching
Sitting on a fence one day, he was surprised when suddenly a kangaroo ran close by
Now this may not seem strange, but when Owl overheard Kangaroo whisper to no one in particular,”The hare has lost his spectacles,” well, he began to wonder…
Presently, the moon appeared from behind a cloud and there, lying on the grass was hare
In the stream that flowed by the grass a newt
And sitting astride a twig of a bush a bee
Ostensibly motionless, the hare was trembling with excitement
For without his spectacles he appeared completely helpless
Where were his spectacles? Could someone have stolen them?
Had he mislaid them? What was he to do?
Bee wanted to help, and thinking he had the answer began:
“You probably ate them thinking they were a carrot.”
“No!” interrupted Owl, who was wise
“I have good eye-sight, insight, and foresight
How could an intelligent hare make such a silly mistake?”
But all this time, Owl had been sitting on the fence, scowling!
A Kangaroo were hopping mad at this sort of talk
She thought herself far superior in intelligence to the others
She was their leader, their guru. She had the answer:
“Hare, you must go in search of the optician.”
But then she realized that Hare was completely helpless without his spectacles
And so, Kangaroo loudly proclaimed, “I can’t send Hare in search of anything!”
“You can guru, you can!” shouted Newt
“You can send him with Owl.”
But Owl had gone to sleep
Newt knew too much to be stopped by so small a problem
“You can take him in your pouch.”
But alas, Hare was much too big to fit into Kangaroo’s pouch
All this time, it had been quite plain to hare that the others knew nothing about spectacles
As for all their tempting ideas, well Hare didn’t care
The lost spectacles were his own affair
And after all, Hare did have a spare a-pair.
I did a really fun and funny interview with hosts Jay-Jay, Dom and Randell from New Zealand’s biggest breakfast radio show. We talk about what makes a seductive, sexy voice. Listen to a three minute clip of our chat by clicking the player below:
Accents of the USA
Perdita Lawton voice over artist gives us some tips, tricks and phrases to speak as characters with American accents…
New York Bronx Accent – to sound like you’re from the Bronx say ‘coffee’ as many times as possible while eating a bagel.
Standard American Accent (East Coast) – try saying, ‘I’ll get a cheeseburger and fries’ or ‘I love cheeseburger and fries’. **Calm down we’re only joking. 😉
Jade’s Lisping American Nerd Accent- don’t speak clearly and be as nasal as possible.
Perdita’s Annoying Valley Girl Accent – speak in a high pitched, excitable tone of voice while saying ‘loves it’.
Mountain Hillbilly Accent – slow down your speech and say, ‘Brendon come in off of that porch,’ or, ‘don’t you be giving me none of that horse shit!’
Check out Perdita Lawton’s website for information about her work as a voice over artist.