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Who will Translate for the G-20 Summit Translators? September 11, 2009

Posted by lyndastucky in Communication, Uncategorized.

Truly a “Burgh thing! From Randy Bish of the Tribune Review…
Pittsburgh is spending a lot of time these days cleaning up for the G-20 summit!  There are volunteer opportunities everywhere.   If cleaning up our city is important, I was wondering if cleaning up our speech might be in order, as well.  I’m talking about Pittsburghese as was so succinctly portrayed by Randy Bish in his recent political cartoon. Like other types of cleaning going on around the city, our local speech could benefit from a facelift, as well.  I am aware that not everyone wants to change the way they speak and asking, “Yinz  going dahn tahn to da G-20 summit n’at?” is a perfectly fine way of speaking for many.  But I also know that there are those who prefer a way of speaking that exudes professionalism and a positive image just as a clean city does.
I have heard and been a part of some discussion that is centered on whether or not we should try to eliminate Pittsburghese for the sake of visitors from around the world attending the G-20 Summit. It’s been argued that non-fluent foreigners won’t be able to understand us anyway because we are speaking English and that even if we should change, it is nearly impossible to change the accent.  Additionally, people from other regions or culture groups don’t need to change their accent (e.g. Ebonics or Southern drawl)—why should we? 

I like Pittsburghese to an extent because it does bring a certain uniqueness to our region.  However, there is a perception that Pittsburghese sounds uneducated and gives a “working class” image.  There is nothing wrong with this.  But if you are a professional and desire a professional image, speaking Pittsburghese will not achieve this goal.  Think of the leaders that you know and individuals who are in the public eye.  More often than not, they do not have an accent.   The way you choose to speak certainly depends on your audience and the goal that you are trying to achieve. Impressions are important and the impression that we make in this city as the dignitaries from around the world arrive here at our doorstep will be a lasting one. 

If you believe professionalism is important for your image in light of the upcoming G-20 summit, join me on my site for a FREE evaluation of your skills to get a head start on changing some habits to portray the image you desire.

Perhaps you don’t know if you speak Pittsburghese but would like to find out.  Here is an opportunity for you.  Go to www.clearly-speaking.com to take an assessment.  You call in the evaluation and I will listen to it.  Then I’ll send you a personal note about your skills.   All this for free! 

Meanwhile, as the translators come to town, I will make myself available to them to translate Pittsburghese when they get stuck on yinz, worsh, gumbans, dittent, sahside, and slippy. 

Lynda Stucky, the unofficial Pittsburghese Translator for the G-20 Summit!

Would you like to volunteer to clean up Pittsburgh? Go to https://www.pittsburghg20.org.  Click on the green-and-purple link at the center of the page, and chose one of the G-20 Cleanup projects listed. (Help is especially needed along Route 51, West Liberty Boulevard and Banksville Road.)

The best source for all the updates and information related to the Pittsburgh Summit, including details on city-wide programming, transportation and security is at this website.  



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