This is (allegedly) an actual recorded telephone
conversation that took place between an English-speaking traveller and
a member of Room Service in a Far East hotel. The translation follows.
Read the passage aloud and note down which sounds
made by the Chinese speaker approximate to the sounds of the English speaker.
Note what sounds are omitted and which sounds are replaced by alternative
sounds. Finally, write a summary of the pronunciation differences in a
form which would help a Chinese speaker to improve his or her English
Incidentally, beware any tendency to mock the unfortunate
speaker. Most English speakers would have much greater difficulty attempting
Chinese. Remember also that the transcription will inevitably have been
produced for comic effect. Possibly by someone who has listened to Manuel
from Fawlty Towers ...
Room Service: "Morny. Rune-sore-bees"
Morning, room service
Hotel Guest: "Oh, I'm sorry. I thought that I'd dialled
RS: "Rye, rune-sore-bees. Morny. Djewish toe odor sunteen?"
Right, room service. Morning, do you wish to order
HG: "Uh....yes. I'd like some bacon and eggs."
RS: "Ow july den?" How would
you like them?
RS: "Aches. Ow july den? Pry, boy, pooch...?" Eggs.
How would you like them? Fried, boiled, poached.?
HG: "Oh, the eggs! How do I like them? Sorry. Scrambled
RS: "Ow july dee baycome? Crease?" How
would you like the bacon? Crisp?
HG: "Crisp will be fine."
RS: "Hokay. An santos?" OK. And
RS: "Santos. July santos?" Do
you like toast?
HG: "Um.....I don't
know.....I don't think so"
RS: "No. Judo one toes?" No.
You don't want toast?
HG: "Look, I feel really bad about this, but I don't know
what "Judo one toes" means. I'm sorry."
RS: "Toes! Toes! Why djew don juan toes? Ow bow cenglish
mopping we bother?" Toast! Toast! Why don't
you want toast? How about English Muffin with butter?
HG: "English muffin! I've got it! I understand now. You
were saying toast! Fine. An English muffin would be just fine."
RS: "We bother?" With butter?
HG: "No. Just put the bother on the side."
RS: "Wad?" What?
HG: "I'm sorry. I meant butter. Please put the butter on
RS: "Copy?" Coffee?
HG: "I feel terrible about this but..."
RS: "Copy. Copy. tea, mill...?" Coffee.
Coffee, tea, milk....?
HG: "Coffee! Yes coffee please and that's all."
RS: "One minnie. Ju odor strangle aches, crease baycome,
cenglish mopping we bother honey sigh, and copy. Rye?" One
minute. You ordered scrambled eggs, crisp bacon, English muffin with butter
on the side and coffee. Right?
HG: "Whatever you say."
RS: "Hokay. Tendjewberrymud." OK.
Thank you very much
HG: "You're welcome."