Thursday, January 08, 2009

還記得歌舞劇《窈窕淑女》嗎﹖的確﹐很多時候﹐無論外表衣著如何裝扮﹐只要一開口﹐一個人的出身﹐以至家底﹐便要原形畢露。中國人的傳統智慧裡有所謂「言多必敗」﹐其實也有這一層的意思。

話雖如此﹐要做到一聽對方說話﹐便猜得到講者的底世﹐也不是一件易事。至少﹐聽者要有一定的閱歷﹐知道什麼人會講什麼話。假如對外來週邊的文化沒有一點認識﹐就算講者說話露了底﹐聽者依然一頭霧水﹐摸不著頭腦。

要靠聽別人說話﹐來知道對方的一點﹐最簡單又最容易掌握的﹐當然﹐就正如那一套著名歌舞劇所言﹐是從對方說話的口音﹐猜到講者在哪兒生活﹑長大。因為這不大需要多曉得別人的文化。只要多聽﹐然後懂得把不同的音調和抑揚頓挫分門別類便成。甚至不用知道對方說話的內容。

在《窈窕淑女》裡﹐女主角起初一開口﹐便教人猜得到她來自貧窮的倫敦東部﹔在JEFFREY ARCHER新作《PRISONER OF BIRTH》裡﹐那位主角能夠成功逃獄﹐關鍵不在於他的身形和相貌跟快要出冊的NICK十分相像﹐而在於他能夠辛苦地把自己那腔東倫敦的口音改掉成伊頓公學的口音。NICK是貴族出身。

上週末﹐本來打算到NOTTING HILL那邊的一間西班牙餐廳吃晚飯。我們是早訂了座位。可是﹐卻碰上了地鐵故障﹐最後﹐便在BAYSWATER下車﹐到皇朝去。可能是經濟不景關係﹐竟然用不著等位。甫進入酒樓﹐知客便引我們到一張二人桌去。

鄰桌坐了五個華人。三男兩女。正用粵語大聲高談闊論。於是﹐我們不得不「偷聽」他們的說話。

聽著他們的高聲闊論﹐我不禁再次搖頭嘆息。做了英國殖民地超過百年﹐竟然未能學懂英國人的禮儀。現在回歸中國十一個年頭﹐實在不知道要到何年何月﹐香港人才曉得在餐廳裡放低聲浪﹐以免騷擾別人用膳。

其中一個女生﹐應該只聽得懂粵語﹐不懂得講。因為每次聽罷其他人的說話﹐她都是用英語作答。她說話聲音最小﹐也坐得離我最遠。我其實聽得不大清楚她的說話。忽然﹐她身邊的一個男生也用上了英語答話。

聽著他那些英語﹐我有點寬容。

原來﹐他們都不是香港人。至少﹐那幾個只懂放大喉嚨說話的男生﹐都不是香港人。可能是多看香港的電視節目和港產片﹐他們那腔粵語的確能騙得到人。(至少﹐騙倒了我。)不過﹐他們那腔英語﹐就教他們這群星洲騙子原形畢露。星加坡人的英語﹐老是要加重每個字的尾音。世界上就只有他們會這樣子講英語的。

他們竟然這樣大膽冒認香港人﹐讓人以為香港人這樣討厭﹐用膳時候如此不懂禮儀。不過﹐果然﹐「言多必敗」。他們最終還是露出了馬腳。

6 comments:

readandeat said...

何以見得一講廣州話你就以為對方是香港人呢?

我覺得你是打從心裡開始就不喜歡香港人。

Exile from Hong Kong said...

I know lots of white Americans who speak very loud in restaurants. As a matter of fact, I have seen inconsiderate people from all cultures and backgrounds who like to raise their voices in restaurants. Hong Kongers certainly aren't the only ones. I think that judging people by their accents is just as bad as judging people by the kind of clothes they wear. I try not to do that because I think it is wrong.

The Man Who Loves Everton said...

readandeat,

hey, they are speaking in hk cantonese. i believe you can differentiate hk cantonese from others like guangzhou. so can i (obviously, not now).

how can you tell that i don't like hk ppl from my heart? and, i'm afraid you are wrong. i think i'm so pro-hk that i even wrote to irish newspaper to praise her last year (at the same time, to scorn singapore).

The Man Who Loves Everton said...

an exile from hk,

perhaps that shows people why british is better than american. haha.

btw i'm not saying to judge people from accents. i'm just saying to know the background of the people from the accents. i think there is a difference.

of course, hk ppl is not the only inconsiderate people in the world. but can we be the only considerate people in the world? i think that's the question.

The Sweet Piscean said...

我也有這樣的經驗,在日常的工作中,偶爾也有接觸到國外的供應商,他們也會問我說得一口British accent,然後再問我在英國那兒讀書.

幾句說話就會「出賣」了你...也要挺得意的事情~

The Sweet Piscean said...

這也是打開話匣子的開始...