Peppa Pig is causing a whole generation of tots to speak with an accent
If you are a parent of a child who has ever watched Peppa Pig (or are a fan yourself), you know how catchy their accents can be. For some reason, little kids talking in an English accent seem so much less annoying than other kids, and it seems that kids are catching on. OK, perhaps not deliberately, but parents have been noticing their accents take on a “Peppa Pig effect” when their kids watch the popular series.
Janet Manley, the Senior Features Editor at Romper and mom-of-two, coined the phrase when she noticed her 20-month-old daughter began copying the accent of Peppa Pig characters during a long flight to Australia (which is code for a whole lot of necessary screen time). Shortly after, Manley realized she wasn’t alone.
A fellow mom tweets, “The most entertaining aspect of my life right now is that my toddler has been watching Peppa Pig and now speaks with a British accent.”
The most entertaining aspect of my life right now is that my toddler has been watching Peppa Pig and now speaks with a British accent.
— Jess Steinbrenner (@Steinbrennerjes) February 9, 2019
Parents from all over have shared similar experiences and it’s impossible not to picture every one of them in perfect Queen’s English:
We loved “stabilizers” (aka training wheels), “camper van” and “Daddy Pig, are we there yet?”...all in the accent!— Mindy Fuder (@mindyfuder) February 10, 2019
Oh bloody hell ya say— Mikey Pete (@mikeypete329) February 9, 2019
Ha! The "Peppa Pig Effect" where kids are learning to speak and read in an English accent. I bloody love it. Of course, I already speak like Peppa Pig.
— Joe Bonar (@joebonka) February 14, 2019
Parents are saying Peppa Pig is making their kids speak in a British Accent
Do they really think a children's tv show will have an effect on how people talk?
Are they smurfin kidding me?!?!?
— NarNar (@NarinVann) February 12, 2019
My daughter has picked up a few Peppa Pig-isms: she refers to a merry-go-round as a "roundabout." I don't correct her because it sounds so cute!— Petty Crocker (@MaraliGrace) February 5, 2019
The little guy I look after started saying “Buh-nah-na” (banana), cracked me up!— Megan Kelly (@meg211) February 5, 2019
Of course, we need something for the grown-ups, too:
The kids can watch peppapig, which is cute for the little ones, but I get my accent from watching "BBC Luther" Zowiieee!— TreeeHouse (@MyTreeHouse24) February 5, 2019
I would like a cuppa of that tea!!#Yum
In an interview with Romper, Dartmouth College Spanish and Portuguese language program director, Roberto Rey Agudo, said “a matter of exposure” is absolutely why you may hear kids pick up the accent.
Agudo says the mimicry is “because Peppa Pig has been such a phenomenon with the 2- to 5-year-old crowd and it’s considered cute, whereas I don’t know what other shows have that kind of currency right now.”
Peppa Pig is certainly targeting the right age range for kids to pick up nuances of language, but it can happen at any age. My husband is British and our kids, though raised in America, have picked up phrases and accenting certain words for years. They always want to know if they have to do their homework “straight away” and sometimes let slip that they’re headed out to play in the “back garden.”
Whilst (see what I did there) listening to certain kid’s programs over and over (and over) can get on any parents’ nerves, admittedly hearing your kid say “I love muddy puddles” to the tune of Peppa is pretty darn adorable. Plus, who doesn’t want to go on holiday instead of vacation. It sounds so much fancier.
The show has been available internationally for years and shows no signs of slowing down with audiences. It’s currently watched in more than 200 countries and is worth over $1 billion worldwide. And the most important point of all: If your kids are watching Peppa Pig, that means (minus the excessive snorting) they aren’t watching Barney. And for that, we thank whomever created the series.