That skit in Little Britain, in which the Indian woman keeps getting asked to repeat a phrase that is totally intelligible? It used to happen to me when I lived in England, despite the fact that I set aside my Malaysian accent for the convenience of my British coursemates.

Once, when I was in a train from Oxford to Paddington, I chatted with a blind man all the way through and He never asked me to repeat myself. Not even once.

When it finally came up that I was Malaysian, he said he’d never have guessed from my accent. I was being considerate, as I didn’t want him to find it hard to understand me.

The difference between him and my coursemates was that my coursemates could *see* I was foreign.

One thought on “Pardon? 

  1. This makes me so angry. Personally, I never much liked Little Britain: I thought the humour heavyhanded once the joke had been made, repeating itself in a welter of catchphrases and overacting. It was, to my mind, LCD comedy, taking the mickey out of caricatured stereotypes. Here it self-evidently a one-joke sequence, and I suspect some of the laughter may be at the expense of the student rather than the obnoxious ‘tutor’.

    Having said which, it says a lot about the laziness and insularity of some British people, not to mention a xenophobic streak, and is sadly all too prevalent.


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