Peppa Pig Is Turning American Children ‘British’
The incredibly popular Peppa Pig is reportedly giving American children British accents.
Peppa Pig has been a huge hit with children since it aired in 2004, with The Wall Street Journal noting it was the second most in-demand cartoon over the 12-month period ending in February. Despite missing out on first place to SpongeBob Squarepants, the show has seen an increase in views over the COVID-19 pandemic.
On the back of this increased viewership, parents in the US are facing an issue that first emerged in 2019. They believe that their kids are developing British accents from watching the show.
In a new report, The Wall Street Journal found that parents in America are being surprised by the words their kids use and the way in which they say them. California kindergartner Dani reportedly ‘stunned’ her parents when she asked in a British accent, ‘Mummy, are you going to the optician?’
Neither of the parents had ever used the word in front of her, and Dani’s father, Matias Cavallin, said, ‘That’s like a college-level word. At least, I wasn’t using it.’ In another incident, Cavallin noted, ‘On a recent VACATION, my 5-year-old dared tell me that she was loving her HOLIDAY’ – he later added that he told his daughter, ‘We speak American in this house … and Spanish too.’
Many parents won’t be too concerned about their children learning new words in the same language as they speak, and it also appears that the effect isn’t bad for them. When similar stories came out in 2019, it turned out that the concern of accents changing was greatly exaggerated.
Dr Susannah Levi, an associate professor of communicative sciences and disorders at New York University, told The Guardian in 2019 that she was sceptical of claims that the show was shaping the way children speak significantly, explaining, ‘You will learn the dialect that’s around you, which is learned by interactions, not by watching.’
Levi went on to say, ‘Kids at that age are certainly aware of those types of differences and can mimic them, too.’ Mimicking seems to be what is happening in the majority of cases that have been outlined by parents.
Despite the ability to copy and find new words, Levi concluded, ‘It’s really unlikely that they’d [children] be acquiring an entire second dialect from just watching a TV show.’
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