Walter Scott's Personality Parade blurb on Alex

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Robert K S
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Walter Scott's Personality Parade blurb on Alex

Post by Robert K S »

Today's Parade reported Alex speaks five languages: English, Spanish, Italian, Russian, and Swahili.

Anyone want to call BS on any of these? And where's French?

(ETA: Alex recently answered this question with slightly less [tongue in] cheek.)

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Re: Walter Scott's Personality Parade blurb on Alex

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If my appearance was any indicator, he seems to speak "Sorry" as well.

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Re: Walter Scott's Personality Parade blurb on Alex

Post by debramc »

When I was taping a few weeks ago someone in the audience asked him that question (I wouldn't be surprised if he gets asked at almost every taping) and he gave a very similar answer. I think it also included Swahili. It was obviously very much kidding, but you never know what people will actually choose to believe... Can't remember if he really left out French or not.

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Re: Walter Scott's Personality Parade blurb on Alex

Post by Robert K S »

Alex has traveled to Africa at least seven or eight times, and I know Alex has done charity work in Africa with WorldVision, but that was in Zambia, and I don't think Swahili is a major language there, so it seems improbable that Alex would've had any chance to become anything approaching fluent.

Here's the link to the online version of the Parade blurb, but it includes a photograph instead of the caricature of Trebek used for the print version.

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Re: Walter Scott's Personality Parade blurb on Alex

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I haven't looked at the linked video or read the piece referenced, but I know that Alex struggles with pronunciation of basic French terms that (I would think) everybody* knows. In spite of his (partly) French heritage, his French is far from what one could call fluent.

*I don't know if everybody (in other countries) would know French words & phrases that everybody in Canada is exposed to on a regular basis, but most people outside Canada, and French-speaking countries, can pronounce "c'est la vie" reasonably well. But there was a FJ! clue with a similarly-familiar-to-non-French-speakers French word, which Alex pronounced nothing close to correct. I cannot remember the word (or how I might look it up), but it seems every time a French word or phrase shows up in a clue, Alex botches it.

Brian

ETA: I remember now what the word was... it was tous (pronounced too -- meaning all). Alex pronounced it toose. Even if it were followed by a vowel (and therefore the 's' pronounced), it would still be more like tooz.
...but the senator, while insisting he was not intoxicated, could not explain his nudity.

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Re: Walter Scott's Personality Parade blurb on Alex

Post by vellore »

The last time I heard this question posed to Alex, he responded that he spoke English and French, but that he knew how to pronounce words in several other languages. Apparently when he was involved with CBC quiz shows in Canada long ago, he hosted both the English-language Reach for the Top and its French-language equivalent, Genies en herbe.

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Re: Walter Scott's Personality Parade blurb on Alex

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bpmod wrote: But there was a FJ! clue with a similarly-familiar-to-non-French-speakers French word, which Alex pronounced nothing close to correct. I cannot remember the word (or how I might look it up), but it seems every time a French word or phrase shows up in a clue, Alex botches it.

Brian
OTOH, there was a player called Theriault, and Mr Trebek said it in French. Though the player told him that's not how he himself said it.
vellore wrote:The last time I heard this question posed to Alex, he responded that he spoke English and French, but that he knew how to pronounce words in several other languages. Apparently when he was involved with CBC quiz shows in Canada long ago, he hosted both the English-language Reach for the Top and its French-language equivalent, Genies en herbe.
I didn't even know that "Genies en herbe" had an English equivalent. And I don't recall hearing about a bilingual episode...
Unless they showed it only in Montréal.

FWIW, his pronunciation of French words seems ok to me, though it's a bit stilted. I don't imagine he has the occasion to speak French very often.

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Re: Walter Scott's Personality Parade blurb on Alex

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I don't know where they got those languages except as a joke. Alex's Spanish is worse than poor and I have wished he prepared by going over the pronunciations beforehand. With Spanish he generally accents the wrong syllable, but the clue writers themselves have a poor knowledge of the language. As I pointed out in a previous post, where I just remembered the general gist of it, the clue was their translation of an English language book into Spanish, but they added a syllable to the Spanish verb in the clue, rendering it a different tense. The contestant translated the clue correctly but that was not the name of the original book, of course. I felt strongly that she should have been called back, but they had no idea their clue was wrong. As for Russian, he gets it right once in a while but not most of the time.

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Re: Walter Scott's Personality Parade blurb on Alex

Post by laubla999 »

Zee2 wrote:I With Spanish he generally accents the wrong syllable, but the clue writers themselves have a poor knowledge of the language.

I quite agree : they should have native speakers check their clues. For Spanish at least, it should not be too hard to find one around LA!

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Re: Walter Scott's Personality Parade blurb on Alex

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laubla999 wrote:...hard to find one around LA!
Ah, no. 'LA' is French. I think you mean 'EL'

:D

Brian
...but the senator, while insisting he was not intoxicated, could not explain his nudity.

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Re: Walter Scott's Personality Parade blurb on Alex

Post by seaborgium »

Zee2 wrote:With Spanish he generally accents the wrong syllable, but the clue writers themselves have a poor knowledge of the language. As I pointed out in a previous post, where I just remembered the general gist of it, the clue was their translation of an English language book into Spanish, but they added a syllable to the Spanish verb in the clue, rendering it a different tense. The contestant translated the clue correctly but that was not the name of the original book, of course. I felt strongly that she should have been called back, but they had no idea their clue was wrong.
I think you're jumping to conclusions there. My suspicion is that they merely reproduced the title that appears on the cover of the Spanish translation of the book (which makes more sense than the verbatim translation anyway; the absence of "will" from the English title doesn't automatically make the verb present tense).

P.S. I'm right! (Spoils a clue in LIBROS EN ESPAÑOL from the 10/25 game.) (And check out the other title! Kinda drives my point home that book titles aren't always word-for-word between languages.)

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Re: Walter Scott's Personality Parade blurb on Alex

Post by vellore »

Alex's role as Reach for the Top host was parodied brilliantly by Eugene Levy on SCTV in the late 70s (I think), in a skit entitled "High Q" You'll also spot John Candy, Joe Flaherty, Catherine O'Hara and Dave Thomas. Watch an episode here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=96I1GiHm ... re=related

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Re: Walter Scott's Personality Parade blurb on Alex

Post by laubla999 »

bpmod wrote:
laubla999 wrote:...hard to find one around LA!
Ah, no. 'LA' is French. I think you mean 'EL'

:D

Brian

Good point! :D

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Re: Walter Scott's Personality Parade blurb on Alex

Post by Zee2 »

SEABORGIUM,

Thanks for the better explanation, but I still don't think it was fair, although the bottom line is that she did not know the correct title in English. Titles are not up to the translator of a book, any more than titles of articles in the newspaper. I wish they were.

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