Auf Wiedersehen, Pet to British dialects

Review of the British Series – Auf Wiedersehen Pet.

Level C1; Genre: Comedy / Drama

It is time to look at one of my favourite British soaps – Auf Wiedersehen Pet. This drama, which was first produced in the 1980s and then had follow-up series’ in 2000s, is perfect to improve your English. In particular, it will help you understand different British dialects. Let’s start.

The characters

The characters are all people that many British people know well, but let me tell you about them all:

  • Dennis from Newcastle. He’s the leader of the ‘Magnificent Seven’ (name given to the gang). He sees himself as a hard-working man, who always has problems: in series one: divorce, in series two: working for a thug, series three: working as a driver for a drug-dealer. He also has a short temper. Despite his problems, Dennis knows how to get the best of the group.
  • Neville from Newcastle. He has three children and always worries about them and their upbringing. His wife, Brenda, is like his boss at home, but in the later series’, he becomes more independent by working for British Intelligence.
  • “Oz” from Newcastle, who is xenophobic and drinks a lot. His main passion is his football team Newcastle United, whose shirt he is seen wearing. In later episodes “Oz” finally grows up.
  • Barry from the West Midlands. An electrician, who likes using big words and has a motorbike. He also has problems with women – being divorced twice, but later comes together with his second wife, who is expecting his child.
  • Moxey from Liverpool. He is a convicted arsonist, who seems to always be in and out of prison. He is a plasterer by trade.
  • Bomber from the West Country (Bristol). The tallest of the gang and also the strongest, Bomber is the person who everyone goes to for help.
  • Wayne from London. He is proud of his Cockney roots. He is someone who likes things fast – he drives a BMW sports vehicle. Unfortunately, the actor died in 1985 of a drug overdose.

How Do they meet?

Initially, it was only the guys from Newcastle who started the series as they move to West Germany looking for new jobs. Slowly, but surely all the characters move to find employment. Over time, the other characters join the crew, eventually making it into the ‘Magnificent Seven’. The first series shows the group coming together and making friendships with one another. Furthermore, they also have romances, dramatic events and comic events. They all move back to Britain when the West German tax laws change.

Later series

In later series, the crew come together because one of them needs help for example Barry, in series two, needs help with his house in Wolverhampton. In series 3, “Oz” needs help moving a bridge, only to find out it is a scam. Eventually, a Native American tribe buy the bridge and it is rebuilt in the Nevada. And finally in series 4, the crew have to rebuild the British Embassy in Havana. This ends up with the crew having moral problems: Barry is in prison, Moxey is a guinea pig trainer and last but not least, Dennis is in a relationship with the Wayne’s son’s mother.

Why is this series good for my english?

This series will help you in many ways, but the most important way is that it will help you understand British dialects better. In the UK, almost every region has a different dialects. Due to the characters coming from different regions of the UK: Newcastle, Bristol, London, Midlands and finally Liverpool, you hear just a very few proportion of the dialects. Furthermore, this series will also help you understand the different backgrounds of the characters and why this has an effect on their character.


Pet? what do you pet?

Yes, this three-lettered word is very strange, but interesting. When we think of a pet, we think of an animal that we have at home. Something which is part of the family, be it a dog, a cat, perhaps even something more quiet – a goldfish. But no, I don’t any of these animals, I mean pet as in friend. As a friend? Yes! If you come from Newcastle-upon-Tyne in North East England, you call your friends pet. Dennis, “Oz” and Neville all hail from the city and therefore use this word whenever they talk to each other or other characters.

This series will, in my opinion, bring your English level up much higher. If you’re looking to boost your level of English, this is a perfect series to add to your collection.

Say Auf Wiedersehen, Pet to never understanding British dialects!

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