Why don't Most British People Speak RP?
站长按：在中国，普通话作为官方语言的地位日益巩固。然而在英国，说所谓“标准口音”的人据调查只有百分之三。（是的，你没听错。）为什么大多数的英国人不遵循标准的发音["standard pronunciation" or RP(received pronunciation)]，却喜欢操着一口地方口音呢？
难道英国人不觉得有些口音土的掉渣、怪得离奇？难道英国人不认为RP English是"perfect English"？要知道我们中国大陆学英语伊始接触的却都是RP English呀。学好英语的一个重要标准就是发音准确、纯正，不能南腔北调的。难道这种观念过时了吗？这期的BBC你问我答节目中，主持人将和你一道探寻答案。
Have you been trying very hard to speak English with the 'standard' pronunciation, or RP (received pronunciation)?
You may be surprised to find just how small the number of RP speakers is in the UK. As a matter of fact, most people speak with a regional accent.
Why then don't the majority of British try to speak that 'perfect English' while the Chinese learners of English are trying to adopt RP?
Listen to Lily's report and find the answer. Afterwards challenge yourself to a mini quiz.
Lily: This is Ask About Britain, the programme where we answer your questions about British People and how they live their lives, I’m Lily and with me here is
Sun: 大家好，我是孙晨 。今天的问题来自沈徐钇。Her English name is Michelle
Lily: And her question is about the way the British people speak.
Li: Well, Michelle’s is asking why don't the majority of British people in this country speak with a standard pronunciation __the received pronunciation, which is often shorted to be RP.
Lily: And of course with that expectation in mind when the Chinese students come to the UK, most of them would be surprised at just how few the number of people who speak RP.
Sun: We put the questions to a BBC presenter, Vicki, here is what she said:
RP is an expression which is used in the media and it’s the kind of English that used to be spoken on television or radio. In fact RP English is not standard English in the sense that it’s not what most people speak. It’s very rare that you’ll find someone who really speaks RP English, probably the queen is one of the few people who speak that way.
Lily: Notice that she said, RP used to be spoken on television or radio, that means it’s no longer the case , let’s learn this expression: used to be
Lily: For example : I used to be a teacher of English
Sun : and I used to be a student at Cardiff University.
Lily: Vicki also points out that RP is not standard English in the sense that most people don't speak that way.
Sun: 也就是说，从使用人数这个意义上来说，RP 不是标准英语。因为它不能反映绝大多数人的讲话语音。
Lily: Trevor, a friend of mine , said that RP is linked to the old class system in Britain:
I think….if anything … it is linked to the class system that where of these things were derived from, so if you are upper class there is pressure to
speak that way.
Sun: Trevor 认为 标准英语语音来源于英国等级制度，上阶社会一律要服从标准的语模式。也就是我们讨论的RP.
Lily: Thanks ，Sun chen ，for the translation but let’s look at some of the words he used ， class system
Sun: 等级制度 class system
Lily: derive from
Sun: 源于；从哪而来derive from
Lily: upper class and lower class
Sun: 上层社会upper class 和下层社会lower class
Lily: But that’s all in the past, according to Trevor fashion has changed :
But, you know, fashions have changed, and now it’s quite popular for people even with northern accents to be on the media. But there’s less pressure now to conform. In any event you’ll actually – [it would] be a bit difficult if you were brought up in Cornwall, which is the South West of England – to try and put on a Received Pronunciation accent is quite difficult.
Lily: He said it is very popular to speak with regional accent on the media , popular
Lily: He also said there is less pressure to conform
Sun: conform 循规蹈矩。 他的意思是说，在人们没有外界压力的时候,也就不需要拿腔拿调地去模仿标准音了, to put on a Received Pronunciation
Lily: Today we are discussing Michelle’s question: Why don't most British speak RP. In fact, a lot of people are quite proud of their regional
Sun : 没错，我的一个英国朋友，Andrew 就是英国北方人听听他怎么说：
I come from the North ….I work in London and people comment on my accent ……but I have no desire to change the way I speak…….I just don't think it is important
Sun: Andrew 显然对自己的北方口音很自豪， 他说，他没有改便口音的愿望，no desire to change. 看来英国社会早已经不再那么强那种字整腔圆的纯正语音了。
Lily: Yes , even for job interviews, pronunciation is no longer the key to success . Alison Burger is working for a recruitment consultancy and she said as long as you are articulate and eloquent and have
the skills , then you get the job.
Sun: Alison Burger 在一家招聘咨询公司工作recruitment consultancy (招聘咨询公司) 她使用了两个关键词
Lily: articulate –a-r-t-i-c-u-l-a-t-e articulate
Lily: and eloquent----e-l-o-q-u-e-n-t eloquent
Sun: 能言善辩, 有说服力的. Now let’s listen to Alison
When employers are looking for prospective employees they are going to be looking for skills and experience ,as long as some one is articulate and eloquent and can make themselves understood the employers are not bothered about the what accent they bring to the role
Lily: Actually you would be surprised if I tell you that there are only 3%
of British who actually speak RP.
Sun: 你说什么? 只有百分之三的英国人讲话是标准语音! 这么说,学英语的人也用不着在语音上下太大工夫啰!差不多就行了, 连英国人自己都不讲究我们还….
Lily: Hold on, Sun chen , althought you don't have to speak RP, you do need to speak clearly and effectively , let’s recap the last two most important words we have learned today: articulate
Lily: and eloquent
Lily: I’m afraid that’s all we have time for today, but if you have any other questions about Britain, please email us at
Lily : Bye for now
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