Twitter Is Calling For GBBO To Start Recognizing Language Barriers

Unless you were raised in the U.K., you'll likely find yourself pausing "The Great British Bake Off" to look up the strange terms that spill deftly from the mouths of Paul Hollywood and Prue Leith as they introduce each challenge. Most of us are well versed enough in British vernacular to know that "biscuit" means cookie, "football" means soccer, and "knickers" means underpants, but "Bake Off" unlocks a whole new lexicon of baking terms that a non-Brit could easily mistake for something else. Between a pasty, a bap, a plait, a fairy cake, a treacle, a self-saucing pudding, and a grandfather grain (via MyRecipes), it's easy to get confused.

On the second episode of GGBO's latest season (which premiered Tuesday on Channel 4 and will drop on Netflix on September 23), one non-British contestant fell victim to this language barrier. When the judges instructed her and her fellow amateur bakers to "feather" their biscuits for a technical challenge (i.e. to swirl the top layer of royal icing in a marble-like pattern), she thought they were asking for edible decorations in the likeness of actual feathers. Although the resulting chocolate feathers were skillful and lovely, she still got points off for misunderstanding the assignment. On Twitter, fans defended her interpretation of the niche baking term and called on GGBO to clarify its instructions.

Feathering vs. feathers

After "The Great British Bake Off" posted a photo of the biscuits in question on Twitter this week, fans came to the defense of their creator, Syabira Yussof. While Yussof wasn't sent home for her mistake, GGBO still poked light fun at her biscuits, which were topped with delicate white chocolate feathers, in the Twitter caption. Users swooped in with praise for Yussof's confections. "I actually think it shows more skill," wrote one user. "They're great." 

Noting Yussof's Malaysian roots (she came to the U.K. in 2013 to pursue her Ph.D., per her bio), several users called on the show-runners to make sure that future technical assignments are clear for contestants born outside of England. "As a non-brit i feel the natural urge to support every other non-brit on #GBBO ESPECIALLY when they do the wrong thing due to the language barrier," wrote one user. "like yes babes you are so right you've made it even're so valid."