Open Menu
 
The new English teacher (Catherine Tate)
Touch a word or the <play> button for sound
Click on a word or on the <play> button for sound
Click on a word or on the red <play> button for sound

David Tennant is Catherine Tate's new English teacher in a sketch performed for Comic Relief 2007. Will she be bothered, though?
See if you can understand some of it.

You can see David Tennant in a fragment from an episode of Doctor Who.

You can watch a video with the whole sonnet Cathrine is reciting: When Love Speaks.

The one and only, Miss Catherine Tate:

-I can’t believe we’ve got double English.
-English is well dry.
-I don’t see what's so great about reading anyways.
-No, reading's for losers.
-Innit though. At least we got a new teacher today.
-Yeah, right, that’ll be a laugh, won’t it?

-Morning.
- All right.

-As I’m sure you’re aware my name is Mr. Logan, I’m your new English teacher. Nice to meet you all. Hope you’re all ready to get to grips with some Elizabethan literature. Let’s all turn to page fifty three, in our poetry text books. I think we’ll dive straight in with the Bard himself.
-Sir?
-Yeah?
-Are you English, sir?
-No, I’m Scottish.
-So you ain’t English then.
-No, I’m British.
-So you ain’t English then.
-No I’m not but as you can see I do speak English.
-But I can’t understand what your saying, sir.
-Well, clearly you can.
-Sorry, are you talking Scottish now?
-No, I’m talking English.
-Right. Don’t sound like it.
-Okay, whatever you want. Now, let’s get on with Shakespeare.
-I don’t think you’re qualified to teach us English.
-I am perfectly qualified to teach you English.
-I don’t think you are though.
-You don’t have to be English to teach it.
-Right, have we got double English, or double Scottish?

-Is your name Lauren Cooper by any chance?
-Yeah. Why?
-Your reputation precedes you.
-Innit though?
-So, Shakespeare’s sonnets--
-Sir?
-A sonnet is a poem--
-Sir?
---written in fourteen--
-Sir?
---lines--
-Sir?
--- the last two of which--
-Sir?
---must form a rhyming couplet--
-Sir?
-Yes Lauren!
-Can I aks you a question?
-Not just now.
-Can I aks you a question now?
-Just wait.
-But can I just aks you a question? I only want to aks you a question. Can I aks you a question? I’m just aksing you a question. Can I aks you a question?
-What is it?
-Are you the Doctor?
-Doctor Who?
-It is you!

-I don’t know what you’re talking about.
-You look like Doctor Who though!
- I’m not Doctor Who, I’m your English teacher.
-I don’t think you are though.
-Lauren.
-I think you’re a nine hundred and forty five year old Time Lord.
-Listen.
-Did you just pitch up from Mars?
-Don’t be ridiculous.
-You know your house, right.
-What?
-You know your house?
-Yeah.
-Is it bigger on the inside?
-Be quiet.
-Have you parked the TARDIS on a meter?
-Can we please get back to Shakespeare! Thank you. So...
-Do you fancy Billie Piper sir?

-Right. You are the most insolent child I have ever had the misfortune to teach!
-Thank you.
-You’re pointless, repetitious and extremely dull.
-A bit like Shakespeare.
-You’re not even worthy to mention his name, William Shakes -- William Shakespeare was a genius, you, little madam are definitely not. Now just sit there, keep your mouth shut or I will fail you in this whole module right now!

-Ammist I bovvered? Ammist I bovvered forsooth?
-Lauren.
-Looketh at my face.
-I don’t--
-Looketh at my face.
-Stop it.
-Is this a bovvered face thou see before thee?
-Right, I’m calling your parents.
-Are you disrespecting the house of Cooper?! Are thou calling my mother a pox ridden wench?
-Enough.
-Are thou calling my father a goodly rotten apple?
-Lauren.
-But he ain’t even a goodly rotten apple.
-Listen to me.
-But he ain’t even a goodly rotten apple, though.
-That’s enough.
-Face, is –
-Lauren.
---bovvered--
-Lauren, enough.
---Look at it--
-Enough
---Look at it--
---Stop, that’s it--
-But my liege--
--- No, stop--
---My liege --
---Shh, enough--
---My liege --
--- No--
---My liege --
---Enough--
---Bovverd, face, this, bovvered--
---Lauren--
-*Scottish accent* You take the high road and I’ll take the low. *normal voice* I ain’t even bovvered. I ain’t bovvered. Look, face, bovvered, bovvered, face, bovvered, I ain’t even bovvered. My liege, I be not bovvered forsooth, I be not bovvered. Face, bovvered, I ain’t even bovvered, face, bovvered, Shakespeare, sonnets, I ain’t even bovvered.

My mistress' eyes are nothing like the sun,
Coral is far more red than her lips' red.
If snow be white, why then her breasts are dun;
If hair be wires, black wires grow on her head.
I have seen roses damasked, red and white,
But no such roses see I in her cheeks;
And in some perfumes is there more delight
Than in the breath that from my mistress reeks.
I love to hear her speak, yet well I know
That music hath a far more pleasing sound.
I grant I never saw a goddess go:
My mistress when she walks treads on the ground.
And yet by heaven, I think my love as rare
As any she belied with false compare.

Bite me, alien boy!

-That’s better. A rose by any other name would smell as sweet.
- I still ain’t bovvered.

Part of the fun here is that the cheeky student speaks horrible English (dialectal non-educated colloquial English of the cockney variety), while the Scottish teacher speaks very good cultivated English (though with a little Scottish accent). Nevertheless, she is questioning his English all the time, just because she is English and he is not. So get ready for a lot of non-standard forms (many of them are widely used in the street).

Another important thing is that the English Teacher is the actor David Tennant, most famous for his character "Doctor Who", a humanoid alien known as "the Doctor" who travels through time and space in his spacecraft, the TARDIS, which normally appears from the exterior to be a blue 1950s police box (similar to a big telephone box from the outside).

THOUGH = The student ends many of her sentences with this word. It means nothing really, just a vulgar mannerism.

THE ONE AND ONLY = Someone who is completely original and inimitable.

DOUBLE ENGLISH = A two-hours lesson of English.

WELL DRY = very boring (coll).

ANYWAYS = A colloquial corruption of "anyway".

INNIT = A colloquial corruption of the colloquial form "AIN’T IT?" (=isn’t it?). The form AIN’T is the colloquial negative form of the verbs "to be" and "have" in the present tense.

WE GOT A... = We’ve got a...

MORNING= Common, conversational form for "good morning".

YOU’RE AWARE = You know.

GET TO GRIPS WITH something = Get to know something.

BARD = A literary form for "poet". "The Bard", with capital letter, is Shakespeare.

WHATEVER YOU WANT = You can say this, or simply "whatever", to end a conversation when you don’t want to continue arguing.

GET ON = Continue.

YOU’RE QUALIFIED TO TEACH = You have the necessary knowledge and academic titles to teach.

I DON’T THINK YOU ARE THOUGH = Nevertheless (=but), I don’t think you are.

AKS = Dialectal form of ASK.


DOCTOR WHO? = This is the name of a famous television character from an old British TV series (see preview here). They use here a very popular format for jokes in English called "knock-knock jokes". Here’s an example:
Knock Knock!
Who's there?
Police.
Police who?
Police let us in; it's cold out here.

(In BrE, the word "police" is usually pronounced like "Please", with the only difference that the end is /s/ instead of /z/)
On this video, the joke stops half way, because the usual question "doctor who?" is, in itself, a joke.

TIME LORD = A character from the TV series "Doctor Who".

PITCH UP FROM MARS = Succeed in coming here from planet Mars.

ON THE INSIDE = Notice the use of the preposition. We say "ON the inside/outside", not IN.

TARDIS = It’s a time machine and spacecraft in the British science fiction television programme "Doctor Who".

METER = Parking meter.

FANCY = If you fancy someone, you like them, probably a bit in love.

BILLIE PIPER = Another character from "Doctor Who".

INSOLENT = Arrogant.

DULL = Boring.

AMMIST I BOVVERED FORSOOTH... = Now she starts talking in an Old English fashion and then she recites a sonnet by Shakespeare. This first sentence means "am I really bothered?". AMMIST is the verb "am" with an ending "-ist" added to it to make it look more Shakespearean (though that is fake old English). And "forsooth" means "in truth".

BOVVERED= The expression "am I bovvered?" or "I ain't bovvered" became famous in 2006, on this show you see here, and now it is one of the most famous catch phrases used by teenagers in the UK. It simply means "I don't care", "I couldn't care less", "I don't give a fig", "so what?". It is a corruption of the verb "bother", which means "to be anxious, worried". So "am I bovvered?" is a rhetorical question, and the implicit answer is "of course I'm not, because I don't give a damn".

ARE THOU CALLING= The pronoun THOU (pronounced / is the singular form of "you". At present, it is only used in some British dialects, by the Amish comunity in the USA, in the Bible (King James version) and for prayers. In correct Old English it would be "art thou a-calling".

LOOKETH AT MY FACE= Loot at my face. This is, again, fake old English. The ending -ETH is the equivalent of modern -S for the third person singular, but here it is used for the imperative.

MY LIEGE= My Lord (Old English)

ALIEN = Foreigner or extraterrestrial. In this case, both meanings suit him, since he’s Scottish (not a foreigner but he is to her eyes) and an extraterrestrial (because she’s comparing him to Doctor Who).

A ROSE BY ANY OTHER NAME WOULD SMELL AS SWEET= A very famous sentence by Shakespeare, from "Romeo and Juliet". This expression (commonly used today) means that no matter the appearance, the essence doesn’t change, so she’s still a jerk even if she can speak like Shakespeare and recite sonnets (just my interpretation).

I STILL AIN’T BOVVERED = I still don’t care.

6:10            
 
 
© Angel Castaño 2008 Salamanca / Poole - free videos to learn real English online || M-E widgetsInfoPrivacyTerms of useContactAboutwhy?
This website uses cookies to improve your experience. We'll assume you're ok with this, but you can opt-out if you wish. Accept Read more