Conversation in Glynneath (Glyn-Nedd) about accent, dialect and attitudes to language.
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Glynneath (Glyn-Nedd), Neath Port Talbot
Gittins, Idris, (speaker, male, retired miner/factory worker/union shop steward), Gittins, Mary, (speaker, female, retired secretary), Williams, Christina, (speaker, female, housewife), Williams, David, (speaker, male, student), Thomas, Anne, (speaker, female)
Morgan, Anita, 1932 August 06- (speaker, female)
[00:00:00] Anecdotes about first time they heard their voices on tape. Speakers introduce themselves, mention where they have lived. Discussion about attitudes towards regional accents, accents they would like to have. Other peoples attitudes towards their accent, anecdotes about positive/negative reactions, changing accent to fit in on moving to Pembrokeshire aged six. Discussion about variation in speech across Wales: changes from village to village, possible reasons for existence of so many different accents in England.[00:10:12] Anecdotes about people being judgemental about them because of their accent. Discussion about changing speech in different situations/when talking to different people, telephone voice, talking posh, how speech changes when drunk. Comment that most of the ridicule regarding Welsh accent occurs within Wales itself. Mention positive reaction to her accent in Montgomery. Attitudes towards getting rid of all regional accents. Anecdote about being mistaken for Anthony Hopkins in Madrid, nickname given to local colliery-worker who returned from working in London with posh accent.[00:17:22] Explanation of various local words and sayings in English/Welsh, words used in Pembrokeshire. Mention nickname for local man. Explanation of phrase used by miners in colliery in past.[00:23:19] Discussion about attitudes towards swearing and use of swear words, how it has changed over time, miners swearing in collieries but not outside in company/in front of women, young people/girls swearing now, acceptability of swear words. Discussion about attitudes towards speech/accent of young people in family. What has influenced Davids accent, other accents people have mistaken it for. Comment that he wouldnt drop his accent for any reason.[00:29:48] Explanation of phrase used by father: cool head, sharp mandrel, how he got his nickname. Mention common local nicknames, some politically incorrect, explanation of more nicknames, some used by teacher at local school to ridicule pupils from the Valleys. Discussion about being treated differently at school because they were from the Valleys, differences between Valley People and Townies in past, being judged because of their accent/fathers job in collieries, having speech training at Neath Grammar School. More local nicknames and words/phrases.[00:37:45] Discussion of words used to describe EMOTIONS.[00:39:04] Discussion of words used to describe CLOTHING. Discussion of words used to describe PEOPLE AND THINGS.[00:41:27] Discussion of words used to describe ACTIONS. Mention words used to mean attractive/unattractive/moody. Continuation of discussion of words used to describe PEOPLE AND THINGS. Mention words used to mean running water smaller than a river/to play truant/insane/annoyed/pleased. Mention phrase used by daughter-in-law to mean angry.[00:44:03] Discussion of words used to describe PERSONAL ATTRIBUTES. Discussion of words used to describe WEATHER AND SURROUNDINGS. Continuation of discussion of words used to describe CLOTHING. Continuation of discussion of words used to describe ACTIONS.[00:46:47] Discussion about speaking Welsh and pride in being Welsh. Anecdote about having instant rapport with men she met in Portugal who had Welsh accents, feeling proud to be Welsh at rugby matches. Discussion about North Walians speaking Welsh when they go into pubs in North Wales, whether they would feel more Welsh if they spoke the language, sending grandchildren to Welsh school, feeling more Welsh after learning the language. Anecdote about racism experienced by friend in North Wales.[00:54:30] Discussion about regional accents they dislike and wouldnt like to have, Welsh and English peoples attitudes towards posh English cut glass accent. Anecdote about Cornish man with posh English accent buying her pub and bringing his dead mothers ashes with him in a cask. Comment that people speak Welsh in Argentina and a language similar to Welsh in certain parts of France. Mention regional accents they would like to have. Speakers re-introduce themselves.
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 members of the same family from the Neath valley. Idris is married to Mary; Christina, Mary and Anne are sisters and David, aged 19, is Christina's son.