Conversation in Flint (Y Fflint) about accent, dialect and attitudes to language.
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BBC Voices Recordings
Flint (Y Fflint), Flint
Bevan, John Derek, (speaker, male, family hardware firm), Davies, Lawrence (Nic), (speaker, male, millworker), Lloyd Jones, David, (speaker, male, retired police officer), Roberts, Vernon, (speaker, male, retired police sergeant/social worker)
Morgan, Anita, 1932 August 06- (speaker, female)
[00:00:00] Speakers introduce themselves. Description of The Flint Male Voice Choir in which they all sing, places they have travelled to, people they have sung with. Anecdote about being praised by adjudicator at recent competition. Mention Flint Young Musician of the Year event. Anecdotes about first time they heard their voice on tape, experience of seeing himself on video for first time.[00:06:33] Discussion about Flint accent, other peoples attitudes towards their accents, people picking up Flint accent, pride in accent. Comment that he wouldnt encourage children to change their accent. Mention being mistaken for Scouser/Scot/Geordie, people being unable to guess where theyre from. Description of how accent varies locally from his experience of moving around county as a child, evacuees from Liverpool picking up local accent during Second World War. Anecdote about daughters accent being corrected when working in London, mistaking Asian accent for Welsh lilt in Luton, friend being surprised at crew of ship speaking Welsh because they didnt look Welsh. Mention nickname the Gogs for people from North Wales. Attitudes towards people who leave local area and return with different accent.[00:15:38] Discussion about Welsh language, advantage of being Welsh when time-share touts try to speak to them abroad, future of Welsh language, is it cool to speak Welsh? Anecdote about friends grandson learning Welsh song at local Welsh school. Discussion about pride in Welsh heritage, more now than when he was a child, choir increasing this. Anecdote about choir member from Warrington having Welsh dragon on doormat/car and Welsh kilt. Description of tartan clothes worn when singing in choir, importance of Welsh accent.[00:21:39] Mention where they are from, where they have lived, how speech varies locally, speech of young people, how his speech was influenced by his parents. Discussion about changing accent when singing to reflect origin of song, using American accent when singing, singing in different languages.[00:26:14] Discussion about use of swear words and attitudes towards swearing, why people swear. Comment that swearing has lost all its impact now. Anecdote about learning swear words when young from building site where father worked. How attitudes have changed over time: reluctance to complain about use of swear words in public now, increased acceptance/use of swear words by women. Attitudes towards comedian Billy Connollys frequent use of swear words. Discussion about Welsh swear words, comment that there are no filthy ones, using English swear words with io on the end to be cool when speaking Welsh. Mention police training on indecent language, how bugger has become accepted word. Anecdote about how he got his nickname Nic.[00:34:57] Discussion of words used to describe EMOTIONS. Mention childhood memory of mother crying because King George V had died.[00:38:23] Discussion of words used to describe PERSONAL ATTRIBUTES.[00:38:40] Mention words used to mean main room of house. Description of 1950s parlour, house he lived in as child. Mention mothers habit of taking oven shelf wrapped in fabric into bed at night to warm fathers feet, cow pat poultice used by aunty. Anecdote about meeting girl for date who was eating a raw onion like an apple, colleague building electric fire for his parents.[00:42:14] Continuation of discussion of words used to describe EMOTIONS. Mention clemmed used to mean hungry. Description of rooms in house he lived in as child, experience of being ill with diphtheria during Second World War, doctors being more family-orientated in past, Co-op insurance man becoming part of family, local policeman drinking pint in fathers pub when on duty. Mention word for main room of house.[00:46:40] Continuation of discussion of words used to describe WEATHER AND SURROUNDINGS. Mention phrases his South Walian mother used to say, words used to mean childs soft shoes used for physical education, change in fashions of childrens shoes. Discussion about Welsh phrase that is equivalent to spend a penny in English.[00:51:25] Discussion about nicknames, anecdotes about how local people/family members came to get them, nicknames transferring to other family members and lasting through generations, possible reasons for frequent use of nicknames in Wales. Story about needing to know peoples nicknames in order to make grocery deliveries when young.[01:02:30] Discussion of words used to describe ACTIONS. Mention words used for a slingshot, words used to mean attractive/unattractive/moody.[01:05:14] Discussion of words used to describe PEOPLE AND THINGS. Description of growing up in large family of eight children, having a babys drawer in sideboard even after children had all grown up. Mention words used to mean running water smaller than a river/to play truant.[01:09:49] Discussion about how speech varies locally, possible reasons for this, difference in one speakers vocabulary despite having grown up not very far away from the others. Irish influence on language used in Flint, rivalries between nearby local villages, linguistic influence of people moving to area for various thriving local industries in past/being close to England.[01:13:57] Discussion about attitudes towards regional accents, which ones they would like/not like to have, anecdotes about experiences that have informed these opinions. Amusing anecdotes about accidental misuse of language. Comment that some of the people who speak good English today are from Celtic backgrounds, for example Huw Edwards, and those who speak good Welsh usually speak better English than English people.[01:22:30] Discussion about being judgmental about peoples accents/other people judging them on theirs. Mention words/phrases used in Flint/Wales, anecdotes about their use. Discussion about speech of young people, their misuse of borrow/lend, not pronouncing th, influence of television on speech. Anecdotes about peoples amusing use of language. Speakers re-introduce themselves, mention their age, where they were born/live now, their jobs.
Recording made for BBC Voices project of a conversation guided by a BBC interviewer. The conversation follows a loose structure based on eliciting opinions about accents, dialects, the words we use and people's attitude to language. The five interviewees are all long standing members of The Flint Male Voice Choir.