Language and Technology Practice Paper: Question 3 – Radio
The transcript is taken from a live evening football commentary broadcast on Radio 5 in September 2004. The two teams playing are Manchester United and Liverpool.
As the people listening to the radio commentary can obviously not see the match taking place, they rely on the commentators to give them a visual idea of what is taking place. The listeners are trying to experience something that they are not physically involved in and so they rely on the commentators to help them feel part of it He will make sure to mention where the ball is being played and also other factors that may not be football related that you would notice such as the weather. For example, ‘clearly the rain’s had a little bit of impact here…’ letting the listener imagine being at the game. As the transcript is from radio and not television, the commentator must avoid silence at all cost with very few pauses – which the commentators do avoid. Another thing that they must be careful to do is to give the correct details with a sufficient amount for the listener to be able to understand what is occurring in the game but not too much that something else may have already happened and passed by the time the commentator finishes explaining the other thing. This would also involve finding the right speed to speak at to be able to include all of the important facts but whilst also getting an understandable structure to what is being said. Elision is also a huge part of the transcript. The commentators are not worried about using Standard English when speaking, as they are more focused on including all of the information in the short time that they are given to do so. An example of the elision is ‘Liverpool playing towards the…’ The standard way of saying this would be ‘Liverpool are playing towards the…’ but there is no need to include the word ‘are’ as the listeners can still understand what the commentator means and knows he has to speak...
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