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Mind your language is a British comedy series from the late 70s. The series focuses on a group of adult students in a London school. The classes take place in the early evening, and are taught by Mr. Brown, though on occasion other individuals take over the class if he is not available. The class consists of foreigners with varying degrees of English proficiency. The humour of the show is derived from the students misunderstanding English words or terms, and plays up to the cultural stereotype of their individual nation of origin.
Oh dearie me! l am losing again. Good evening all. Hello Sid. How you doing? What? How you doing? Very much! l'll have a pint. l said ''how you doing'' not ''what you having?'' What? Never mind! Come on. Hello curly! What can l get you? How about excited? Congratulations. You are the five hundredth person to say that tonight. You win our star award, a beer mat. Thanks! A pint for Sid! Thelma Ritter. Thelma Ritter, eh? l'm Giovanni Cupello. That is not her name! Thelma Ritter's a pint of bitter! It's Cockney rhyming slang. Sure l remember. 42 pence! And a packet of assaulted peasnuts please! Cheers. Thanks a lot. How is the Las Vegas kid doing, eh? Terrible. You never win nothing on this machine. l tell you! lt's fixed. Oh no, lady behind bar is telling me it is nearly time for somebody to be winning the Jack in the pot. l try again! But this time l am not looking! See l tell you, you not win nothing. Yes but l am getting three bars! Look! lf l'm holding them, next time l will be winning. You've already spent one pound. Yes but if l am getting another bar, l will be collecting five pounds. Oh dearie me! l am not having any more ten p's. Could you be changing this please? Sorry Ali, l spent all my change. Max. l got any ten p's. l'll be losing the jack in the pot. Ah professori! Good evening. Good evening. Thelma Ritter, bitter - You've been talking to Sid the caretaker Sure, he's teaching me more of his cockeyned slanging rhyme. Cockney. Excuse me. Max! Yes Mr. Brown. lt's your point of interest! You have to remember what a cockney is. Sure, lt's someone who was born near the sound of Bows Balls Bells. Hockay. You want a drink? No thanks. l just called for some cigarettes Excuse me please Mr. Brown Would you be having any changes for a pound to be putting in machine? You're wasting your money. Ali No l'm sure to be winning. l'm holding three bars - lt's your money! Let's have a look. Good evening everybodies. Good evening Ranjeet. Excuse me! What are you doing you damn fool? l'm having a go on this machine. l'm winning the Jackpot. That is my winnings. How can it being your winnings? l am putting the money, 10 p. ln Here's your ten p. back. Take your dirty hands off my money. lt is my money you bearded bandit. Quiet the pair of you! Why don't you share the money? lt's a good idea! There's five of us.That's one pound each. l mean between Ali and Ranjeet! Then you've both won. You are as wise as a Holy Guru. Thank you. Actually, it's time you all go back to school. lt's your exams tomorrow! You should be taking every opportunity to study. l know. Okay. We go. l go. Come on Ali! You too. Waiter? Pardon? A gin and tonic and a lager please. l'm afraid you're making a mistake. Don't be ridiculous! l know what l want. A gin and tonic for me and a lager for my husband! He's just parking the car. No, you don't understand! l'm a school teacher. That's nothing to be ashamed of. l think it's quite commendable that you should supplement your income by working in a public house. Look Madam, l am not what you think l am. And l am not interested in your personal problems! l just want a gin and tonic and a lager. Yes... Now. A gin and tonic and a lager. Good evening Mr. Brown.
Hello Sid, how are you? l'll have a gold watch. Pardon? A scotch. l wasn't offering you a drink. You are? Never mind. A scotch for Sid! 20 cigarettes for me. And a gin and tonic and a lager for that lady over there. She thinks l am a waiter. What? She thinks l'm a waiter. How long have we been doing it? What? This waiting. l'm not! l'm not a waiter. You are? Never mind. One pound 60 please. Well actually these drinks are for that lady and gentleman over there. They've still got to be paid for. Yes but... Never mind l'll pay for them and they can pay me later. How much is it for the gin and tonic and the lager? 72. 72. Good health. Good health. There you are! 72 p. please. Didn't l see you take a drink of my lager? Yes, it was only a sip. Oh yes l suppose you were tasting it to make sure it was fit to drink. lt was purely accidental. l've a good mind to report you to the brewery. Frankly, l couldn't care less what you do. Your attitude is typical of the working class mentality. lt's people like you that are ruining the country! You're nothing but a peasant. And you sir are a bourgeois snob! 72 p. please. l refuse to pay for a drink that has been contaminated by your lips. l see. All right don't pay for it! Have it on me! Here you go! Silence. This is disgraceful! Ten minutes past seven and Mr. Brown has not arrived. But you are mistaken! He is here, isn't he Anna? Ja. That's right! He's always early. Yes please. Tonight, he was being so early that he was here ten minutes before he arrived. He's just gone out. Where has he gone out to? Tea room. Toilet. l beg your pardon! Toilet . Tea room. Would you like to try again? Vot they mean is, first he goest to tea room, then he goes to toilet Yeah. Hello Miss Courtney, sorry l'm late. But you're not. Really? According to your students, you were here all the time. Oh yes well... And where exactly were you? We told you, he... l'm asking Mr. Brown. Well? Ah yes... What is going on? l don't know, but from their sign language l think they're trying to say l was having a cup of tea in the toilet. Actually Miss Courtney, l'll tell you the truth! l am late, and the reason is this! l'd just called to the pub opposite for some
cigarettes l was mistaken for a waiter, bought two drinks for two people l'd never met before was called a peasant and finished up by pouring a glass of lager over a man's head. You're an even bigger liar than your students! l would have thought you'd have made an effort to be early this evening. After all, it's your last chance to teach them something before they take their exams tomorrow. Yes, miss Courtney you're quite right as usual. Not that l think any of them have the remotest chance of passing ln your places please. She thinks ve are stupid. l think she may have a point. Por favore. Yes Juan. What you think about this exam? You think we pass? Do l think you'll pass? Juan, for the past 13 weeks, you've all been coming here to study 13 weeks of hard work, diligence and application, 13 weeks of blood toil and sweat. Slowly, little by little, you have improved. When you sit down to take your examination tomorrow l will have no doubts whether you'll pass or not! You haven't a cat in hells chance! Quiet! Oh blimey, you are not giving us any confidence. Maybe some of you may manage to scrape through but l shall be most surprised if you all pass. l shall pass to plove supeliolity of lepubric of China. Yes we'll see about that! ln the meantime, l want tonight to talk about the exam and afterwards if any of you have any questions about any points you're not sure of they'll just ask and l'll do my best to answer them. Excuse me please. Not yet Taro. l want to talk about the exam first. Then you can ask a question. Ah so. Now the first thing is l shall not be taking you. Excuse please Mr. Brown, where will you not be taking us to? l mean l shan't be here tomorrow when you take your exam. Jelly good! We can be reading all the answers from our books There will be somebody here. Oh dear. l am thinking l am going to be up a gummy tree. ln any case, you're not supposed to cheat. lt's customary for another teacher from another school to take an examination of this kind. Excuse me please. Later Taro please. Ok. When you take your examination, the lower Cambridge certificate is not too difficult. The exam is divided into 3 parts. There will be an oral exam and a written one! Then comes dictation. ls that his name? ls that who's name? The man who is going to be taking us to be doing the examination! Dick Tation. Dictation is when a person reads something out aloud and another person copy it down. Like a short fingered typist Short hand typist. Yes please. Excuse me please. You can ask your question in a moment Taro. When you've completed your examination, the papers are taken away to be marked. And you will be notified of the results by post. So please make sure you write your names clearly on your papers. Christian name and surname. l cannot do that. Why not? l am not a Christian. lf you want to be pedantic about it Ranjeet, write your surname and forename. l am not having four names also. The prefix fore in this case is spelt FORE and means first for example ''forefinger''. Uno momente! Four finger - one thumb. No not four fingers. Si, si. One, two, three, four
This is my forefinger. No, it's only one. l wonder if l should cancel tomorrow. Por favore? Never mind. Excuse please. Yes you can ask your question now Taro. Requesto permission to visit toilet. Yes of course, sorry. Thank you. Has anybody else got a question? Yes, after tomollow, will we see you again? That depends on so many things, whether l'm engaged for another term or whether any of you decide whatever the results of your exam to come back for a further course. l will give you my address! You can come and see me any time Quiet, quiet! Mr. Brown, can you spare a moment please? Certainly, l suggest you all study your verbs until l return. As you know, another teacher will be taking the exam tomorrow. Yes. The gentleman who used to be the principal of this college will be supervising your class. He's in my office now! l thought it might be a good idea if you met him. l'd like to. Do try to make a good impression. lt does no harm if he's favourably disposed towards you. This is our English teacher Mr. Brown lt's you. lt's a small world, isn't it? Silence please! Exam in progress. Good evening Mr. Cupello! All ready for your examination? Sure, everything's gonna be ''Oki talki'' Bueno Serra everybody. Has anybody got a pen? Yes. But prease lemember who it berongs to. Sure l will. What are you doing? l tell you! l just been studying my verbs! So l'm gonna write them down on my hand so l don't forget. Typical of western dishonesty. l think it's a good idea. You want to write verb tenses on your hand too? No, l'm ok on verbs but not good on pronouns. So write pronouns. No need. l already write them on handkerchief. Smart! lt is wrong to cheat. Don't you agree Ali? Not at all, l am also cheating. You have got something written on your handkerchief? No, it is in my hat. This is terrible! lf you are found out, you will be disqualified Old japanese philosopher he say ''Man who deals flom bottomo, usually end up on top''. You as well? Taro not good on adverbs. So have some written on chair seat. Good evening everyone.Nice to see you all are bright and early. l expect you're feeling a bit nervous. l am not nervous. Good. l am putrified. Petrified. Well do your best! l'm not supposed to be here so l shall be in the pub. All right? All right. But if you all call in when you finish your exam, l'll buy you all an end of term drink. Good luck Taro. Thank you. You must be nervous! That's the first time you haven't stood up and bowed. Good luck Juan. Muchas gracias. Good luck Giovanni. Thanks professori. You're not too nervous to shake hands, are you?
Si l am very nervous. Nonsense, come on. That didn't hurt, did it? Not a lot. Ranjeet That's funny, where did that ink come from? Maybe your pen has got a leak. Let me see your hand Giovanni. There's nothing there professori. The other one. There's nothing there either. There's something there now, isn't it? Oh no, my pen is got a leak as well. And l suppose while it was leaking, it just happened to write a few verbs down. Sorry professori, my verbs is a bit bad. l suggest you clean all that off. l don't seem to have a handkerchief myself . Max has got a hankerchief! l got no handkerchief . What's that sticking out of your top pocket? Oh that, lt's not a proper handkerchief. Maybe Ali's got a proper handkerchief. Let me see that handkerchief Max. l see, pronouns are your weak point. lt's right l'll keep this. How many other little tricks have you been up to Ali? You're very quiet, are you keeping something under your hat? Blimey, how are you guessing that? l didn't! While l'm thinking of it, Taro would you like to stand up please? Very ingenious! Now Juan, where's your little crib hidden? Por favore? Never mind por favore! l know it's somewhere, it's written all over your face. No, no write on my face. This is no laughing matter. Come on Juan, where is it? Under table. Ranjeet. A thousand apologies. Danielle, Anna, Jamila, Su Lee? We no cheat! Plefer to pass exam on own melits. l'm grad... glad to hear it. Some last minute coaching Brown? No, no l just came in to wish them luck. They're going to need more than luck. Goodbye Mr. Brown. Listen, l'm sorry about yesterday. Goodbye Mr. Brown. Goodbye! Good luck. Now l want absolute silence during this examination, understand? Same again! Don't you think you've had enough? How can l have had enough? l'm still standing. You've been to the loo once. That doen't mean anything. You're making it up. Hello Sid . Same again, thank you. Half a bitter please Mavis and whatever Sid's drinking. Sid tells me you're not married. That's right l'm not. l'm not married as well. Congratulations. l haven't even got a boyfriend. Really? How about you? l haven't got a boyfriend either. Not a regular one anyway! Look, have a drink on me alright? These are for you. There you go Sid! There's your pre-exam. Pre cheer! You learned it, aint you? Yeah. Good old chap How's your Lil? She's still living. You don't mean that.
Yeah. You know when l was courting her, l used to worship the ground she walked on. Now l worship the ground that is coming to her. That's not a very nice thing to say . No, but it's more sincere. You take my tip son, stay single. l haven't much choice at the moment. l can't afford to get married! Still l've got Josephine. Who's Josephine? ls that your bit of crumpets? No my siamese cat. My students will be all hard at it now . Yeah, there's a lot of it about. l was talking about their exam. l shall miss them next term. Cheer up son. What you want is another drink. Yeah, good idea! Yeah, this time l'll have a pint. A penny for them! l was just wondering how my students were getting on with their exams. l expect they'll be all right. l hope so. l won't know what to do with myself now that the term's over in the evenings lt must get a bit lonely for you living on your own. l don't live on my own exactly! l've got Josephine. Yeah she's marvellous! l don't know what to do without her. She's very affectionate! Every morning she wakes me up by nibbling in my ear. That must be nice for you. l didn't allow her in the bedroom at first. No? lt wasn't as clean as she might be. She used to sleep in the bathroom. That sounds a bit uncomfortable. No, she was quite happy on the floor. She must think a lot of you to put up with that. She does! Every evening when I come back home, she runs up to me and rubs up all against my leg. How erotic! She's Siamese. Oh well that explains it. The trouble is like most Siamese she's inclined to be a bit oversexed. She sounds it. l'm thinking of having her doctored. And l thought you were such a nice fellow. Pardon? Nevermind. Where is Sid? He's gone back to the school. That is if he can find his way back. Sid. Yes Miss Courtney. You reek of drink. l beg your pardon? Drink. lf you insist. l'll have a drop of your sherry. You had more than enough already. Have you finished? Yes please.
How'd you do? l'm very well! How do you do? l mean how did you get on with your exams? We hope we have not let Mr. Brown down. Miss Courtney! Would you care for a sherry before you go? l'd be delighted. Do sit down! lt takes me back... Here in the old office. l expect you miss the hurly burly of the school life. Yes l sleep nights now. There we are. Thank you. You know Miss Courtney, l didn't know you indulged. l don't really, just an occasional sherry. Ready for another? Everyone got a drink? Yeah. l just would like to say l wish you all every success. lt's been great teaching you and l shall miss you. You have been giving us much wisdom. l am so sad. You are a vonderful teacher. Si, si. We never forget our English teacher. Yes. You are the nicest impelionist l have met. Professori, lt's been a real pleasure. Si, it won't be the same next time. We owe you big debto. Well cheers! Cheers. Good health. l really must be going! l'm meeting my wife. Just one moment before you go Mr Short. How do you think the foreign students got on with their exams? Terrible! How do you think you got on with your exams? Fantastic! The answer to the question: ''What is a sentence?'' The chappie in the turban answered: ''A sentence is what you get when you are sent to prison''. The questions were being very easy to answer. To the question: ''What is the past participle of l write?'', the Spanish fellow answered, ''l have wrotten''. l answer everyting OK. The Chinese lady was writing backwards. Of course, l don't know how they answered the other questions but if what l saw is anything to go by, then l shall be very surprised if any of them pass. Goodbye Miss Courtney. l'm very proud of you all! l know you wouldn't let me down! Shall we have another drink? Yes. Whose round is it? Yours. Waiter! Oh dear. What are you doing with my wife? Nothing, l just... You stupid fool. l'm terribly sorry. Let me buy you both a drink. No, no, no please, please. Have this one on me!
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