Sunday, 20 November 2011

Accented Deliveries

Teresa Teng  邓丽君
When we returned to New Zealand one of the our more pleasant discoveries was that two television Chinese channels had sprung up in our absence.

In recent weeks we have been watching the CCTV4 stage shows from Taiwanese television which feature a range of singers giving their rendition of popular Chinese musical hits.

Lately the theme for these shows has been movies, starting with the films from the old Shanghai studios, before the Communists took over, and moving towards the present.

Last night the focus was on the films of the Taiwanese actress Lin Chin Hsia who retired in 1994 and is married to Esprit Clothing billionaire Michael Ying.

I have written before that I have been a big fan of the music of the late Teresa Teng& for many years and have a large collection of her CD's and music. But before any reader accords this Ang Mo the kudos for an in-depth knowledge of the Mandarin language or Hokkien dialect I must point out that I am woefully deficient in both.

Lin Chin Hsia  林青霞 
This has not prevented me from appreciating the artistry of great Chinese performers and many of the older Taiwanese singers of both sexes fall into this category.

It is my personal opinion that many of today's Taiwanese performers are more costume than substance and I suspect that the older singers received better training through a more classical regime? Their pronunciation and delivery contains none of the breathlessness of today's generation.

Which bring us to English premier football, or more particularly the BBC's Sportsworld Have Your Say, which warbles from my radio each Sunday morning. "Warble" may be giving the programme too much credit as I find the accents of the British premiership coaches almost indecipherable.

Comments from the English coaches on the performance of their respective teams bare no resemblance to the 'Queens English' which was drummed into me as a child.

For the most part I simply cannot decipher what these excitable folks with their strong brogue are talking about - the rendition is a speech impediment on steroids.

Give me the sultry sounds of Cantopop any day.

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