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  • - Hello, muggles, today we're learning English with the half-blood wizard himself, Harry Potter

  • - Holy Cricket, you're Harry Potter! I'm Hermione Granger.

  • - We're going to watch clips from Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone and we're gonna

  • study Harry's British English accent and learn lots of fantastic vocabulary along the way.

  • So, hop on board the Hogwarts Express and let's learn some English!

  • Let's start with

  • Harry Potter's accent. He speaks with received pronunciation, which is a British English

  • accent that's associated with education and with privilege. Now, it has no geographical

  • boundaries, so you can find it anywhere in the UK, although it is connected with London

  • and the South of England. Here's an example.

  • - A key part of received pronunciation is clarity, it's being understood by the person

  • listening to you. So therefore it's very important for each sound to be clear. So in this example,

  • the consonants are very clear. For example, that. The T at the end of that he pronounces

  • very clearly.

  • - Hagrid, what is that?

  • - In other accents, that would be dropped, it would be tha', but with Harry Potter and

  • received pronunciation, that.

  • - In this example, the H of hear in some accents of British English, that would be dropped,

  • it'd be 'ear, but in received pronunciation it's nice and clear, you're saying every single

  • sound, hear.

  • - Can you hear me?

  • - Now, Harry does use examples of connected speech, this is where we join sounds or we

  • omit sounds.

  • - For example there, talked to. Now, that ed of talked is a tuh and in the next word

  • is a tuh, too, so the first tuh disappears, so it's talk to, talk to a snake.

  • In this example, he says often off-en. There are two different ways to say this word: off-ten or

  • off-en. It's up to you, it's up to the individual speaker which one you prefer, there's no change

  • in meaning, it's exactly the same. Often or offen.

  • - Here again is another example of a word that could be changed in sound, ee-ther or

  • eye-ther. Ee-ther, eye-ther. It doesn't matter which one you choose, they're completely interchangeable.

  • - Okay, here Harry uses up, up, he uses the uh sound, uh. Now, in England, this sound

  • divides the country in half. In the South they say uh and in the North it's oo, oo. So

  • in the South uh-p, in the North oo-p. Take the word butter, butter. Now, I'm using that

  • uh sound, buh, buh-tter. In the North of England, bu, bu-tter, bu-tter. Muh-ther, in the South

  • of England, moo-ther in the North of England. Sh-uht in the South of England, sh-ut in the

  • North of England. Now, speaking of different accents, this is something that I love about

  • Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone is there are a variety of British English accents.

  • We'll look at a few of those right now. So let's start with Harry's best friend Ron Weasley.

  • He speaks with a London accent. It has features of RP, of received pronunciation, but also

  • of cockney. It's a kind of mixture between the two. Very common in London and the southeast

  • of England.

  • So, in this example, he's showing features of cockney, so things like the glottal

  • T. So the glottal stop of bit, it's not bit, it's bi'. It's not toast, it's toas'. It's

  • not mate, it's ma'e, ma'e. So that glottal T sound.

  • - [Ron] Take a bi' of toas', ma'e, go on!

  • - Even just the word mate is quite an informal word, and probably wouldn't be used by some

  • speakers of received pronunciation, but in Ron's accent it's a very common word. Also,

  • that broader vowel sound t-a-ke, t-a-ke. So it's not take, it's t-a-ke. So a slightly

  • wider mouth position when he says that.

  • - Ah, here's another example! That T disappears, shu' up, not shut up, shu' up. And Harry.

  • Now, if he was a true cockney, he would drop that H, it'd be 'arry, shu' up, 'arry. As

  • I said, his accent is a combination of received pronunciation and cockney and sort of general

  • London influence, so he's using that H there, Harry.

  • - Shu' up, Harry!

  • - We've also got Neville. Now, Neville speaks with a Yorkshire accent, this is a northern

  • accent and it's very distinctive.

  • - Here's an example of that oo sound. So, in received pronunciation it's c-uh-me, uh,

  • uh, but in a Yorkshire accent it's c-oom, oom, oo. And you also have there baa-throom,

  • baa-throom. This is another sound that distinguishes the North from the South. So in the North

  • of England, that A has a aa, it's an aa, but in received pronunciation and southern accents,

  • it would be ah, so bah-throom, bah-throom. In Yorkshire and northern accents, baa-th,

  • - Okay, he says aa-fternoon, aa-fternoon. In a southern accent and received pronunciation,

  • ah-fternoon, so ah. So that aa and ah, there is a division between the North and the South.

  • So another example might be fast. Fah-st in received pronunciation, faa-st in a northern

  • accent like a Yorkshire accent. Now, it does depend on the speaker, so sometimes someone

  • with received pronunciation might say faa-st or someone with a northern accent might say

  • fah-st. It depends on the speaker but those are general rules. Before we continue, guys,

  • I just wanna say a big thank you to Cambridge University Press for sponsoring this video.

  • Now, you guys know how much I love Cambridge University Press, I think they do some fantastic

  • work. I use their books in my lessons, I've used their books in my lessons for the last

  • 10 years, and now they have a brand-new YouTube channel dedicated to teaching English on YouTube.

  • I think that's fantastic! So, it's called Learn English with Cambridge and what I want

  • you guys to do is to go to the description below this video, click the link and subscribe

  • to their channel, and you'll get weekly videos from them. And it's free, it costs you absolutely

  • nothing, how fantastic is that? Now, what's the channel like? Well, it's got five teachers

  • from around the world, which is really cool, it gives it that global feel. So the teachers

  • are George in the UK, Rebecca in Brazil, Greg in Spain, and Maria and Andres in Colombia.

  • And, as I said before, I love that since that English is a global language, that this is

  • for everyone, it's very inclusive. These guys are fun, they're energetic, and they make

  • learning English an enjoyable experience. And they all teach the kind of English that

  • you're gonna need in everyday situations. So whether it's asking for a cup of coffee,

  • or ordering a cup of coffee, or asking for directions, they have those kinds of videos.

  • Now, they're releasing one video a week and they're quite short videos, one to two minutes

  • long, which I think is great. Short, bite-size amounts, okay? So you can watch at any time,

  • anywhere. So, I want you guys to go to the description below, look at that link, click

  • on it, and then go and subscribe to Learn English with Cambridge. Okay, let's look at

  • Hagrid! Now, Hagrid has an incredible West Country accent. It's very strong, it's very

  • distinctive.

  • - You'll notice here he's dropping the Hs, so it's 'e's and 'ave. And he says dunnae,

  • dunnae. Dunnae is a spoken representation of doesn't he, but it's merged together as

  • one, so dunnae, dunnae.

  • - Norbert?

  • - Yeah, well, 'e's gotta 'ave a name, dunnae?

  • - You got the vowel sounds there of pub, pub. Not puh, but pu, it's a kind of uh sound.

  • I won it off a stranger I met down the pub. Okay, I need to work on my West Country accent.

  • - I won it, off a stranger I met down the pub.

  • - And, of course, you have McGonagall with her soft Scottish accent.

  • - Well, thank you for that assessment, Mr. Weasley. Perhaps it would be more useful if

  • I were to transfigure Mr. Potter and yourself into a pocket watch?

  • - But perhaps the most distinctive is Hermione, with her conservative RP. Harry, I would say,

  • has contemporary RP, but Hermione has conservative RP, which is just a little bit more formal.

  • For example.

  • - You're Harry Potter. So every sound is given full attention. Pah, Pah-tter, not Puh-tter,

  • Pah-tter. The sound of that ah is made at the front of the mouth to create that ah sound,

  • ah. Also the T is so clearly pronounced, that true T, Pah-tter. Let's look at another example.

  • - Ah, now in this one scene, we get to understand the importance of word stress. It's not levi-osah,

  • it's levi-o-suh. That change in stress allows Hermione to perform her spell perfectly. If

  • you get it wrong, then you can't perform the spell. Now, that's much like in real English,

  • there are some words where if we change the stress of the word, it has a different meaning.

  • For example, pres-ent and pre-sent. Pres-ent, the stress on the first syllable is a noun,

  • and it means a gift. So, thank you for my birthday pres-ent, thank you for my birthday

  • pres-ent. Shift the stress to the last syllable, pre-sent, and it becomes a verb and it means

  • to introduce something, so often maybe a TV show. So, I've been asked to pre-sent the

  • news, I've been asked to pre-sent the news. So there the stress is on the last syllable,

  • pre-sent, and it becomes a verb. So you can see there the importance of word stress. Levi-osah,

  • levi-o-suh. Another really interesting feature in Harry Potter's accent is the formal, polite

  • structures that he uses. He's a very polite child and he uses long, polite sentences to

  • request things. For example.

  • - Can you tell me where I might find Platform 9 3/4? He's requesting to find where this

  • platform is. Can you tell me where I might find? Such a long way to ask where's Platform

  • 9 3/4? That's how you could say it, excuse me, where's Platform 9 3/4? But that's quite

  • direct and less polite. What Harry is doing here is making it a less direct question that

  • creates the impression that it's more polite. So, can you tell me where I might find Platform

  • 9 3/4 is more polite. And that's a very useful general rule with English, is if you are making

  • requests, the longer the sentence, the more indirect it is, also means the more polite

  • it is. Okay, let's look at some great vocabulary that appear in Harry Potter and the Philosopher's

  • Stone.

  • - Bits and bobs, this is a noun and it just means an assortment of small items. You don't

  • necessary need to mention what they are, they're just little things. So, for example, I could

  • say, I'm just going to the shops to get some bits and bobs. Now, I don't want to list all

  • the things that I'm gonna get, milk, eggs, bread, you don't care, I'm just gonna say

  • bits and bobs and that just means a few things, little items.

  • - And over there all your bits and bobs for doing your wizardry.

  • - Light reading is just reading content that's not too demanding, it's quite easy to read,

  • it doesn't have complicated words, it's quite pleasurable. So, for example, just a magazine

  • could be light reading. So you might say, "I bought this magazine "for a bit of light

  • reading on the train journey." Obviously, the opposite of light reading would be heavy

  • reading, that'd be more complicated, dense text. Here Hermione is being quite funny,

  • she says it's a bit of light reading for her, that big book, but for Ron, it's not reading,

  • that's quite dense reading, so it's quite funny.

  • - To break in. To break in a phrasal verb and that is when people intrude into a house

  • or into a building without permission in order to steal something or take something. So a

  • robber would break in to someone's house. So an example sentence, last night robbers

  • broke in to the museum. Last night robbers broke in to the museum.

  • - Ah, to sneak out, this is a great phrase! To sneak out is to leave somewhere without

  • anyone noticing, to do it quietly, secretly so that people of authority don't notice.

  • So maybe if you're a teenager in a house and you sneak out to see your friends, you do

  • it without your parents noticing, and that's the same here, the kids are talking about

  • sneaking out of Hogwarts. The past of sneak is snuck, snuck. So last night I snuck out

  • to see my friends.

  • - Nighty night is a phrase that we use, usually with children, to say good night. So if I'm

  • saying good night to my niece or my nephew, I would say nighty night. It's not something

  • you would probably use with another adult, but it's up to you, you can do what you want.

  • - Here's a wonderful phrase, holy cricket! Hermione here is showing surprise. "Holy cricket,

  • you're Harry Potter!" Now, I don't know how many people would say holy cricket, it's a

  • fun phrase but I don't think I would say it. There are other ways you might say this. Oh

  • my goodness could be a phrase. If they redid Harry Potter now maybe Hermione would say

  • OMG. "OMG, you're Harry Potter!" Possibly. But oh my goodness, oh my gosh, oh my God,

  • OMG, wow, jeez, gee wiz, there are lots of options. Okay guys, I hope you enjoyed that

  • lesson with Harry Potter. If you would like me to look at the second Harry Potter film,

  • then let me know if the comments below and I could maybe do another video for you guys

  • looking at the accents and language in that film. Remember to click the link below and

  • subscribe to Learn English with Cambridge. But until next time, guys, this is Harry Potter,

  • the half-blood wizard, saying good-bye. Guys! It's me, the Chief Dreamer! Shh, don't tell

  • anyone!

- Hello, muggles, today we're learning English with the half-blood wizard himself, Harry Potter

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Learn English with Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone

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    Summer posted on 2020/04/28
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