There is nothing more inaccurate than the notion that ‘English is the international language’. It is NOT English, it is a concoction of ‘pidgin’ droppings and bad grammar which is fine and dandy in conversation or buying something in a shop but it should be kept well away from influential broadcast/media, schools or nannies for that matter. Why is gold so precious? Well, it takes a large population of millions to produce just one artistic genius or any vocation for that matter, but when there is no perceived qualification required for the intangible arts or product, then standards disintegrate to dust eventually. Advertising (an art) and broadcasting (an art) in all its forms in Bahrain and across the region so often produces hideous embarrassment. “FEELING STATION NOW OPEN” – sounds like an interesting place. Sing song news readers and old but gold; ‘A navy jet crashed in the North Sea this afternoon but the pilot ejaculated to safety’, well lucky him. We have presenters, spieling nonsensical garbage and zero content respectively about the time and frequency aimed at 5 year-olds. Welcome to Bahrain. It wasn’t like this 25 years ago.
Sadly, awareness is near zero too. Huge banners on every lamppost proclaiming; ‘NEWER AIRCRAFTS”, shop signs with “WELCOM ENGLISH SPORKEN HERE” – “KNOW BARKING ON BAYMUNT” and newspaper classifieds; “SOFA AND BED SHIT FOR SELLING”. Familiar? We even have ‘MILF TAILORING’? Now the mind boggles. It is not just Bahrain;BUT WE SHOULD BE RISING ABOVE THIS with so much more pride. That is difficult when a huge chunk of the population are expatriates many of which can’t write their own language let alone speak a modicum of Arabic or English.
There is not a mother tongue English speaker who understands what ‘brosted’ means, but whatever it is they do it to chickens. The British or American DO NOT ‘avail’ themselves of anything except in a massage parlour perhaps- and please don’t call us ‘pumpkins’ with your endless pishy, same script radio commercials. This bastardized English is all over the world, on every street and in all households now, with the Indian accent the most dominant. How quick was that? It was just a short decade ago, that only the dexterous Dutch spoke English fluently enough for commerce, without the aid of American movies. The British were so grateful especially if they just shouted louder to be understood in foreign countries. The rest of world were still singing Frère Jacques and struggling with ‘Dick and Dora’. Fortunately, most Bahrainis speak an amount of English and the Arabic flavor compared to some country accents is quite pleasing to hear ‘in conversation’, especially soft-spoken female.
At great risk of shattering the egos and delusions of some of the nicest guys one could meet – having this heavy accented farrago broadcast-pumped into one’s ears by the likes of the BBC or our own local radio and TV, generally and tediously tires one out as quaint as it sometimes sounds. The ‘IFOLD TOWWER’ and ‘ION FISHER’ sort of have a ring to them. The appalling IVR systems (Interactive Voice Response) are just atrocious, but nobody cares or perceives it as bad and culprits innocently can’t hear themselves. Conversely, a foreign presenter speaking broken Arabic has more chance of Stealing Mozart’s Yamaha synthesizer from the back seat of his Lamborghini in a shopping mall, than being accepted to broadcast on an Arabic channel. So why torture the English?
We now have Radio Bahrain amateurishly advertising on its own airwaves for DJs and presenters, knowing full well they mean only Bahraini need apply. This will not improve quality, professionalism or bring the art to any perceived standard ‘to aspire to’ whatsoever. In fact, having to advertise for talent on your own airwaves, is totally unheard of and unethical anywhere else and really does depict the level of absent professionalism.
All major countries have ‘professional’ English channels with native language speakers anchoring. It is all for international ‘POLITICAL CREDIBILITY’, not just because a few expats are resident. If there is to be an English language station, then hire proficient, professional, “talented” English speakers (of any nationality) and stop all the inept jingoism.
Bottom line; slick professionalism and boodles of content are what’s needed to create something to aspire to, not more mumbo jumbo, which so few listen to, especially with the might of the Internet crushing radio and TV to insignificance if it doesn’t compete at extraordinary levels of competence. Sadly, there is about as much chance of attaining such a desired mature platform here as seeing a transgender toilet installed in the City Centre.
Radio Bahrain was a tower in its heyday (not a towwer), until that fell down one day – and loved to death with an air of freedom and wellbeing and fabulous for tourism. But wannabe amateurs and wholly incompetents, flying the National Flag, given gauche positions in authority reigned. Naturally intimidated by the few sitting competent they gradually committed a sort of genocide, cleaning out any potential threats. It is now an oblivious embarrassment so just close it down if you can’t provide the goods.