Tuesday, 20 September 2011
Chinese with British accent = weird?
With my new found interest in photography I have been looking through some videos on YouTube about the topic. One of the video channel I've been frequent is Digital Rev TV. It is basically a web series with the format that is not too dissimilar to Top Gear except featuring cameras instead of cars. Although it is based in Hong Kong the entire series is presented in English by a British Chinese guy Kai Wong, who described by many viewers as the Chinese version of Jeremy Clarkson. His presenting style is humourous, cheeky and very articulate but one thing that seems to fascinate people is the presenter's flawless 'British' accent. This is not a big deal to us and Kai is most likely a BBC who was brought up in the UK, speaking with a regional English accent is as natural as walking on two legs. However for others it seems to be something unbelievable or impossible. Although most of the comments are camera related, but you get remarks directed at Kai's accent popping up once in a while. Here's a collection of some of them:
And there's some positive ones:
At least a few people have some common sense:
So you get the picture. Whenever people see a Chinese face they often assume we speak English (or none at all) with some stereotypical Chinese accent. It seems even the American accent is more acceptable on an Asian face, maybe because we used to seeing them on TV and films more often than British Chinese. At least this is mostly the case for people outside the UK. I know we get told how people are fond of the typical British accent (mind you many also hate it too), however when it's spoken by a Chinese person it somewhat becomes an alien concept. Thus why we see the ignorant comments and reactions like above on the Digital Rev videos. The British Chinese population (especially ones who speak with an English accent) is so minuscule in the global community we barely get much recognition at all and our existence appears to be an anomaly to many.