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Phonetics with M-E

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Arabian accent may be a bit difficult to understand for English people. This Iraqi man doesn't agree.

- Once a stronghold of forces loyal to captured dictator Saddam Hussein, the city of Tikrit, here in Northern Iraq, is now firmly under the control of American forces. Or is it? These members of the Iraqi Resistance Movement, still loyal to Sadam Hussein, think otherwise.

- The Americans tell lies. Each day our forces grow stronger, each day we move closer to our goal of driving the infidel... Wh... what are they?

- Nothing. Carry on!

- Uh... driving the infidels from our motherland. We are not afraid to... are they subtitles? Th... they are, aren't they?

- No.

- What do I need subtitles for? Can't you understand what I'm saying? I studied English at the bloody American University in Cairo.

- Well, obviously, I can understand what you're saying...

- Oh... you... you see how they condescend to us with their SUBTITLES.

- Oh... Maybe it's teletext, you know, for the hearing-impaired...

- Oh... teletext!

- No, a lot of TV's come with teletext nowadays...

- Wai... wait. Say something again.

- My friend has a...

- Hey! How come he doesn't need subtitles?

- Well, obviously he's comprehensible.

- Whaaa... and I'M NOT?

- Look...

- I speak PERFECT English! She sells sea shells by the sea shore. Peter piper picked a peck of pickled peppers. Round the ragged rocks the ra... dooorrghhh!

- The situation remains as dangerous and volatile as ever, here in Northern Iraq. While the rebuilding continues...

- What? What? I CAN'T UNDERSTAND YOU! SPEAK ENGLISH! Where are YOUR subtitles? Oooh! You think you're so good! Look at me! I don't need subtitles!

- Terry Downs, Irak.

- SHUT UP!!!

STRONGHOLD= An area dominated or occupied by a special group.

FIRMLY= Strongly.

AMERICAN FORCES= American soldiers, American army.

OR IS IT?= Or maybe it isn't.
We often use this construction when we are not sure of something we just said. Usually used as an afterthought:
- you're French. Or are you?
- They live in London. Or do they?

OTHERWISE= In a different way.

GOAL= Objective, aim (same word as in football)

DRIVING THE INFIDEL...= driving the infidel from our motherland = sending them away, pushing them out.

INFIDEL= non-Islamic people

CARRY ON= Continue, go on.

MOTHERLAND= the territory where somebody was born (even if they don't live there anymore)

BLOODY= we use "bloody" as a swear word (a bad word) to emphasize strongly something in a negative way when we're angry.
Although it is a swear word, it's quite soft, not nice but not too bad either.

THEY CONDESCEND TO US= They think we are inferior so they treat us as if we were children, in a helpful but paternalistic way, because they look down on us.

THE HEARING-IMPAIRED= People who can't hear very well, or people who are deaf (can't hear at all).
We can use the structure THE+ADJECTIVE to refer to the group of people having that quality (but we can't do it with any adjective, only with some of them). Example:
- the poor = people who are poor
the rich, the handicapped, the blind, etc.

HOW COME?= Why? (coll.)

COMPREHENSIBLE= If someone or something is comprehensible, it/they are easy to understand.

VOLATILE= ephemeral, fleeting, very unstable, that changes rapidly.


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