Ukulele & Languages

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Mind Your Language : Language Fun

19 2010

In my search for language-related videos, I came across Mind Your Language, a British comedy TV series from 1977 which I had never seen before and which I found rather hilarious.

Mr Brown, played by the late British actor Barry Evans, is a young teacher hired in a school for adults to teach English as a Foreign Language to a crowd of students from various horizons and very diverse levels of English.

The series Mind Your Language focuses on stereotypes from different countries as seen from a British perspective, explores multi-cultural interactions between students, which often are a great source of funny misunderstandings.

Student nationalities represented in the season 1 of the series are :
Italy, Germany, China, Japan, India, Greece, Spain, Pakistan and France.

Here is the very first episode of Mind Your Language

Episode One, Part One

Episode One, Part Two

I was surprised to read that the series had been cancelled in 1979 as some people found it offensive or even racist.

Of course the series is definitely not meant to be taken litterally and one must possess a minimum amount of sense of humour to appreciate it.

France for example is represented by the openly seductive character of Danielle Favre and could mislead people into thinking that French girls are easy. Germans could be offended to be pictured as dull and efficient, Chinese as being obsessed by Mao’s red book, Italians for being loud and so on and so forth.

Every nationality is equally misrepresented in the series however, so it is in my opinion a bit excessive to consider it racist. I for one found it great fun to explore English as (mis)understood by people from different nationalities.

Buy the DVD’s:

From the UK (Season 1 to 3, Region 2 DVD):
Mind Your Language – Complete LWT Series [DVD]

From the US (Season One, Region 1):
Mind Your Language, Vol. 1

From France (Seasons 1 to 3, Region 2 DVD)
Mind Your Language – Series 1-3 – Complete [Import anglais]

3 Comments »

  1. Ken Keenan on the 19th of August 2010 @ 20:51

    It’s funny that this should be cancelled in 1979 but “‘Allo, ‘Allo!” (which in my opinion was far more offensive) ran from 1982-1992! I’m blaming it on Maggie Thatcher!

  2. Armelle Europe on the 19th of August 2010 @ 21:25

    Ken: I agree with you that Allo, Allo! is more offensive than Mind Your Language.
    The funny thing is that even though the series was cancelled in England, it was still adapted and exported to several other countries, including India and Pakistan.

  3. Herman on the 21st of August 2010 @ 10:03

    Pure reality I think!

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Language Fun

A place for language lovers where I’m trying to demonstrate how fun it is to learn other languages and how much of a culture you understand through its language.
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