Belfast Telegraph

US TV adds subtitles for Girls Aloud Nadine Coyle

Anger voiced after US TV chiefs subtitle singer’s words on show

By Donna Deeney

Girls Aloud singer Nadine Coyle has once again hit the headlines because of her distinctive Londonderry accent.

Currently appearing as a guest judge on reality US TV show America’s Next Top Model, her strong Derry dialect has led to her being subtitled for the American audience.

Beauty Nadine, who is well placed to judge the show’s fledgling models, has never compromised on her love of her home city.

She recently appeared at an event to promote Derry to the American tourist market as part of the Clipper Yacht race and for the 2013 UK City of Culture celebrations.

The American decision to subtitle her has been labelled as simple prejudice.

Linguistics expert Dr Loretto Todd of the University of Ulster said it is tantamount to racism to make an issue out of the way someone talks. She said: “Let us not forget, every single human being has an accent of some sort or other, and there is absolutely nothing wrong with Nadine Coyle's accent.

“There is a rhythm to her accent, as there is to all Northern Ireland accents, and it just happens to be a bit faster than the South of England accent, which I think is at the core of why they are making so much of the way she talks.

“I have heard her speak and I think she is very clear.”

Dr Todd suggested that perhaps the continuing onslaught on Nadine’s Derry accent is that because of her profession, she is seen as fair game.

She explained: “I do not think we’d be having this conversation if we were talking about someone from a different profession, but because she is a singer, it seems appropriate to criticise her.”

It’s not the first time that the speech of a member of Girls Aloud has been lost in translation across the Atlantic.

Cheryl Cole's Geordie accent is reportedly the reason that she was axed from the American version of X Factor.

Nor is it the first time Nadine's tones have fallen on deaf ears.

Jonathan Ross, no stranger to speech impediments, said in 2008 that he could not understand a word she said.

Nadine also copped a lot of flak on a recent UK tour for what many people deemed an irritating transatlantic twang after years of living in the US.

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