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Old 26.01.2012, 21:56
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Breaking news - Germans better at spelling than the BBC

The end is nigh, I tell you. My very German friend, A., just posted the following screen shot of the latest Masterchef episode (she watches it with subtitles, as English is not her first language) on her wall with the caption "I did not expect this from you, BBC". Well, neither did I.
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Old 26.01.2012, 23:24
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Re: Breaking news - Germans better at spelling than the BBC

I haven't watched this episode yet...

... but is it possible that the error was in fact made by whoever was speaking? A lot of English people (at least where I come from) do use the phrase 'could of' instead of 'could have done'... not that that makes it correct, but the transcriber could just have repeated the mistake made by the presenter / participant.

Last edited by Vlh22; 26.01.2012 at 23:25. Reason: Correction
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Old 27.01.2012, 01:37
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Re: Breaking news - Germans better at spelling than the BBC

Good spot!

Generally though I find subtitling far more accurate and extensive in the UK. I rely on it quite a bit, but find the number of shows on Swiss and (especially) German TV with subtitles to be low in comparison.

For live programmes they sometimes use voice recognition software and that can make some hilarious mistakes. My favourite was the one about selling puppies for Remembrance Day, but there's plenty more...

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/arti...subtitles.html
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Old 27.01.2012, 01:43
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Re: Breaking news - Germans better at spelling than the BBC

Two observations.

1. I don't see any spelling mistakes.

2. The person may have spoken using incorrect grammar, in which case the subtitles are correct. It's not up to the subtitler to correct for errors of speech.
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Old 27.01.2012, 07:19
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Re: Breaking news - Germans better at spelling than the BBC

The majority of modern day english do not speak 100% gramatically correct to start with so this most like a direct interpretation. There is more and more of a tendency to shift to effective speech rather then gramatically correct which is helped along even more by sms, electonic chat mechanisms and other formats.

It is also a secret plan to make sure the english feel threatened
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Old 27.01.2012, 08:08
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Re: Breaking news - Germans better at spelling than the BBC

If the subtitles were in Swiss German, you could spell it any way you like. Like life language changes and evolves for the better or worse depending on your point of view.
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Old 27.01.2012, 10:24
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Re: Breaking news - Germans better at spelling than the BBC

And here is ze translation für unsere Deutsche readers:

"Possibly is didn't the pastry allowing for long as it could cook"

Alles klar?
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Old 27.01.2012, 11:26
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Re: Breaking news - Germans better at spelling than the BBC

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The majority of modern day english do not speak 100% gramatically correct to start with so this most like a direct interpretation.
English grammar is not codified or written down in an absolute form (unlike many other European languages) meaning that grammar is constantly evolving.

In this case, as others have said, the subtitle was probably quoting what someone said. My impression is that "could of" is just as likely to be said in spoken language as "could have"" .. indeed in many parts of the country, would be exclusively said. So, if you follow the gentle evolution rule of English grammar, it is probably not even incorrect anymore to use this construction when speaking.

Of course, there is always the old school brigade who equate breaches of grammar with total world anarchy, but I am not one of them.
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Old 27.01.2012, 12:09
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Re: Breaking news - Germans better at spelling than the BBC

This is not new, the subtitles are mostly done by speech recognition software that usually makes a complete hash of it!

Anyway here is an old article which shows some of the funny gaffs let alone the gramatical errors. Link here and here

Which includes things like:

  • 'The Arch Bitch of Canterbury' instead of the Archbishop of Canterbury.
  • 'Ed Miller Band' instead of Ed Milliband.
  • A call for a solemn moment of silence which came out as 'We will now have a moment's violence'
  • Pigs on a farm nibbling on 'wellies' was subtitled as 'willies'
On a slighly unrelated note, watch this to appreciate the importance of breaking sentences when reading the news which otherwise will have a completely different meaning...

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Old 27.01.2012, 12:24
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Re: Breaking news - Germans better at spelling than the BBC

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So, if you follow the gentle evolution rule of English grammar, it is probably not even incorrect anymore to use this construction when speaking.
Rubbish; "have" is a verb, "of" is a preposition.

It's just poor, lazy English.
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Old 27.01.2012, 12:28
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Re: Breaking news - Germans better at spelling than the BBC

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Of course, there is always the old school brigade who equate breaches of grammar with total world anarchy, but I am not one of them.
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Rubbish; "have" is a verb, "of" is a preposition.

It's just poor, lazy English.

(although I am probably not a member of the old school because my poor grammar knowledge precludes me!)
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Old 27.01.2012, 12:39
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Re: Breaking news - Germans better at spelling than the BBC

I think my main point was that even a German lady who was casually watching the programme (not a live programme, by the way) spotted the mistake and the Beeb didn't. But it looks like it's a minor problem compared to the Arch B*tch if Canterbury. I mean - really?
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Old 27.01.2012, 12:52
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Re: Breaking news - Germans better at spelling than the BBC

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In this case, as others have said, the subtitle was probably quoting what someone said. My impression is that "could of" is just as likely to be said in spoken language as "could have"" .. indeed in many parts of the country, would be exclusively said. So, if you follow the gentle evolution rule of English grammar, it is probably not even incorrect anymore to use this construction when speaking.

Of course, there is always the old school brigade who equate breaches of grammar with total world anarchy, but I am not one of them.
Wot wuz said is wot I would of said maybe before, butt so many kidz dont geddit that for there future its a real big ting to b-able to reed and right innit. And others than need to bee able to reefer to wot iz ritten and reed it too or else their will be miss understandings.


gosh I feel smug
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