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  • "Love Actually" is a British romcom from 2003, set in London at Christmas time. It follows

  • the lives of eight couples and their love stories. Now, it divides opinion. Some people

  • love this film. Some people not so much. Regardless of whether you love it or hate it, I think it's

  • a great film to learn English and to learn about British culture. So today that's exactly

  • what we're gonna do. I can't wait. So let's run the intro.

  • Welcome to Eat Sleep Dream

  • English. If you haven't met me before, my name is Tom and I teach fresh, modern British

  • English so that you can take your English to the next level and achieve your life goals,

  • whatever they may be. Now, today we're looking at "Love Actually". How can "Love Actually"

  • help us to learn English. I'm gonna divide this video up into two main sections. The

  • language section and the culture section. Let's start with the language section and

  • particularly with the accents. "Love Actually" does a good job of having a variety of accents.

  • Both regional British accents and international ones. The main accent you're gonna hear is

  • received pronunciation or RP as it's also known.

  • - The lobster?

  • - Yeah.

  • - In the Nativity play?

  • - Yeah, first lobster.

  • - There was more than one lobster present at the birth of Jesus?

  • - Now received pronunciation comes in different forms, and not just one. It's regarded by

  • many as the standard english that you'll hear and that's because it avoids non standard

  • grammatical forms and slang vocabulary. As I said there are many examples of RP in "Love

  • Actually". So if you take Hugh Grant and Emma Thompson, they speak with a sort of main stream

  • RP accent. It's quite posh, very well pronounced, all the sounds and syllables are very well

  • pronounced

  • - We will of course try to be clever, but lets' not forget that America is the most

  • powerful country in the world, I'm not gonna act like a petulant child.

  • - There are also examples of contemporary RP, which is maybe a little looser with some

  • of the sounds. So for example you might get a glottal T. So they might say wa'er instead

  • of water. But generally they're using RP. Kris Marshall in "Love Actually" is an example

  • of a contemporary RP.

  • - American girls would seriously dig me with my cute British accent.

  • - So contemporary just means modern, so this is a modern version of Received pronunciation.

  • We've also got Martine McCutcheon, who plays Natalie, the prime minister's assistant. She's

  • from London, Wandsworth, in the film which is in South London, but she uses broadly a

  • London accent with features of a cockney accent,

  • - No, I've um, I've just spli' up with my boyfriend actually so I'm back with my mum

  • and dad for a while.

  • - Then you've got Liam Neeson who plays Daniel and he has a Northern Irish accent.

  • - I think it's brilliant. I think it's stellar apart from one obvious, tiny little, baby

  • little hiccup.

  • - There's also a soft Welsh accent from Joanna Page who plays just Judy.

  • - Nice to meet you, Chuck. You got met right though. I'm just Judy.

  • - There's also a Scottish accent.

  • - We all do. That's why we're making the new version.

  • - A Geordie accent which come from Newcastle.

  • - I understand you've got a prize for our competition winners.

  • - And there are a variety of American accents as well.

  • - Two years, seven months and three days and I suppose an hour and thirty minutes.

  • - Now in terms of learning English, "Love Actually" is fantastic for British English

  • vocabulary. Particularly in formal words and phrases. It's also super rude. I'd totally

  • forgotten how rude it was. I watched it back. There's a lot of swear words in it.

  • - Is Natalie here?

  • - Oh, where theis mycoat?

  • - Geez, here's a short scene that we're gonna look at really quickly. To see what kind of

  • vocabulary they're using here. Now what I want you to do is to watch it once, see how

  • much you understand. Then afterwards, I'll explain some of the vocabulary and we can

  • watch it again and see if you understand more. Alright, here we go.

  • - I've just worked out why I can never find true love.

  • - Why's that?

  • - English girls, they're stuck up, you see? And I am primarily attracted to girls who

  • are, you know, cooler, game for a laugh. Like American girls, so I should just go to America.

  • I'ma get a girlfriend there instantly. What do you think?

  • - I think it's crap, colin.

  • - That's where you're wrong. American girls would seriously dig me with my cute British

  • accent.

  • - Okay, so in this scene, you've got Kris Marshall telling his friend that he wants

  • to go to America because he thinks he'll be more successful with women out there because

  • of his British accent. Now, let's pick out four words there. Stuck-up, first of all.

  • Stuck-up is an adjective and it means that you think you are superior to those around

  • you. You think you are better than anyone else. So he describes English girls as being

  • stuck-up. You've to the phrase game for a laugh. Game for a laugh, or up for a laugh

  • as well is another way of saying that. And that means you are keen to have fun. So he

  • says he is attracted to girls who are game for a laugh, who are up for a laugh, so girls

  • who are keen to have fun. Crap, okay some people see this as a bit of a rude word. It

  • means not very good, okay? So if you say something is crap, you're saying it's not good at all,

  • it's very bad. So, Kris Marshall's friend here is saying that his idea is not very good.

  • And dig, which I think probably comes from American English, just means like. So, they

  • might dig my accent, means they might like my accent. So if you dig something, you like

  • it. Very informal. Okay let's watch the scene again. See how much you understand now. Okay,

  • let's pick out some other words and phrases that are really useful.

  • - How far is this place?

  • - Just around the corner.

  • - Alright.

  • - Just around the corner. Just around the corner means really close. Like not far away.

  • It doesn't literally mean like round a corner, it just means like, yeah, nearby. So in this

  • scene the school is very close to the house.

  • - I um, I was hoping you'd win. Not that I wouldn't be nice to the other bloke too, just

  • always give him the boring biscuits with no chocolate.

  • - Could there be a more British word than bloke. Bloke just means man, like a average

  • man. Now, you put an adjective in front of that so he's a nice bloke, he's a good bloke.

  • - No one's ever gonna shag you if you cry all the time.

  • - Ah, shag. Now this is an informal word to mean to have sex. They use it quite a lot

  • in this film.

  • - Oh bingo. That's lovely.

  • - Bingo, alright, I like this one, bingo. If you want to show a kind of satisfaction,

  • that something has happened that you wanted to happen or that's positive, you would say

  • bingo. So if you're looking for something and then you find it, you say bingo, got it,

  • like yes. In this example Keira Knightley is looking at the video footage of her wedding

  • and it's exactly what she wanted so the outcome is positive, so she says, bingo, this is perfect.

  • Alright, we've looked at the language. Now let's move on to the culture. And Firstly

  • as a Londoner I have to say that I do love the amount of footage they have of London.

  • It's almost like a love letter to the city. If you've seen it before you will have noticed

  • that it does feature Rowan Atkinson, aka Mr Bean.

  • - Looking for anything in particular, sir?

  • - It's Mr Bean. Perfect, doesn't matter what character he does, in any film, or any TV

  • series, he's always Mr Bean to me. Or Johnny English as well. Obviously it's a film that

  • stars a host of famous, British actors, you got Keira Knightley, Emma Thompson, Hugh Grant,

  • Colin Firth, Liam Neeson, the list goes on and it also has a cameo from two super famous

  • British TV hosts. Ant and Dec.

  • - So Billy, three weeks till Christmas, looks like the real competition is going to be Blue.

  • - Up until recently they have been the faces of British main stream TV. They host a lot

  • of live reality TV, so things like "I'm a celebrity, get met out of here", "X-factor"

  • etc. I grew up with these guys, they've been on TV ever since I can remember. So, it's

  • a nice little cameo that they make. "Love Actually" is essentially a Christmas film

  • and it has lots of little traditions of Christmas that we celebrate here. So for example one

  • thread of the story is how Bill Nighy is trying to get a Christmas number one. Now this is

  • a huge thing, or at least it was when I was a child, when I was growing up. There is always

  • a battle between musicians to get the Christmas number one, which is the most popular song

  • at Christmas. It's a tradition, there's always a lot of hype about it, who's gonna be Christmas

  • number one? In the film Bill Nighy is battling with Blue which was a boyband from that time

  • and he wins. I'm sorry to spoil the story there, but yeah. He won. So to be number one

  • at the top of the charts at Christmas is a huge thing in Britain.

  • - And the big question is, who is number one on the radio one chart show tonight? Is it

  • Blue? Or the unexpected Christmas sensation from Billy Mac? Well, you might have guessed

  • it although you may not believe it, it's Billy Mac. Another traditional part of Christmas

  • is to have a Nativity play. This is a play put on by children at school, that tells the

  • story of the birth of Jesus. It's usually a primary shool, so very young kids of six,

  • seven, eighth years old and it's usually a very sweet event. Parents will attend, grandparents.

  • I went to my niece and nephew's Nativity plays and it's always really lovely. There's someone

  • plays Mary, one plays Joseph there's the sheep. There isn't usually an octopus in a Nativity

  • play, but "Love Actually" wanted to give it a bit of a twist, so yeah.

  • - ♪ put it in your pocket, save it for a rainy day ♪ ♪ Catch a falling star and

  • put it in your pocket ♪ ♪ Never let it fade awayanother big part of Christmas

  • is a Christmas party. Or a work Christmas party. So every office or most offices will

  • organize a party for their staff and usually it gets quite crazy, gets quite wild and a

  • lot of regret. People say things, do things that they regret the next day. Yeah, gets

  • pretty crazy. there might something called a secret Santa. This is where you are given

  • a name of someone in the office and then you have to buy them a gift. And they don't know

  • who's bought them the gift, it's a secret, hence secret Santa. And sometimes there's

  • a price limit on that, so it could be five pounds, ten pounds, yeah, usually quite fun.

  • There were also carol singers. Carol singers are singers that go around houses, knocking

  • on doors and they will sing traditional carols for money and then they'll give that money

  • usually to charity. As you can see in "Love Actually" the prime minister does carol singing.

  • Again, not very traditional that one, Theresa May hasn't knocked on my door and sung a song.

  • what a strange image that is. Anyway.

  • - Are you singing carols?

  • - No, no I'm not.

  • - Please sir, please.

  • - Please.

  • - Well, I mean I suppose I could.

  • - Please

  • - AlrightGood King Wenceslas looked out ♪ ♪ On the Feast of Stephen

  • - I also love that in this film there are little aspects of British culture in there,

  • so for example there are some Waitrose bags in one scene. Waitrose is a supermarket here,

  • quite high end supermarket. And I just love that they've got that in there.

  • - See the problem is his mum always used to talk to him you know?

  • - Also there's a picture of Margaret Thatcher, so Hugh Grant, playing the prime minister

  • talks to Margaret Thatcher. Margaret Thatcher was prime minister in the 1980's here in Britain.

  • - You have this kind of problem? Yeah, of course you did you sorted minx.