BBC Voices

Conversation in Bishopthorpe about accent, dialect and attitudes to language.

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  • Recording date


  • Is part of (Collection)

    BBC Voices Recordings

  • Recording locations

    Bishopthorpe, North Yorkshire

  • Interviewees

    Cook, Aaron, 1978 Sept. 25- (speaker, male, sales rep.), Cook, Jennie, 1952 Feb. 27- (speaker, female, guest house owner/television and radi cook), Harding, Carol, 1946 May 27- (speaker, male, guest house owner)

  • Interviewers

    Foster, Neil, 1976 May 23- (speaker, male)

  • Producers

    Radio York

  • Abstract

    [00:00:00] Speakers introduce themselves. Discussion of words used to describe EMOTIONS. Mention Yorkshire words and pronunciations she has picked up since moving there. Description of Yorkshire accent, similarity to German accent. Discussion about York accent; use of and attitudes towards regional terms of endearment.[00:11:31] Discussion about changing/modifying accent. Anecdote about Aaron speaking with very Yorkshire accent on Blue Peter (childrens television programme) when young. Experiences of looking Chinese and speaking with Yorkshire accent, what affects the accents you pick up; making an effort to speak properly when talking to guests in guest house. Attitudes towards regional British accents. Mention words used to mean tired.[00:19:07] Discussion of words used to describe ACTIONS. Comment that she uses Malaysian words when she doesnt want other people to understand, situations in which she does this. Anecdote about husband using rude Malaysian word in Malaysia to great effect. Why she didnt teach her children Hokkien or Malay.[00:25:31] Discussion of words used to describe PERSONAL ATTRIBUTES. Mention meaning and uses of cack; remark that mother was made to write with right hand at school despite being left-handed; she wouldnt comment on anyone who was born ugly, only people who havent made the best of their appearance.[00:31:32] Discussion about influence of television on language/speech, use of and attitudes towards swearing, how British people are perceived by Malaysians, loss of values and morals in United Kingdom. Anecdote about asking schoolgirls to stop swearing in front of her young daughter.[00:42:23] Continuation of discussion of words used to describe PERSONAL ATTRIBUTES. Comment that she would tell both men and women in public if she thought they looked attractive.[00:45:53] Discussion of words used to describe WEATHER AND SURROUNDINGS. Anecdote about Portuguese person not understanding bog for toilet.[00:49:14] Discussion of words used to describe PEOPLE AND THINGS. Description of using mate when forgotten names of people while out in town.[00:56:17] Discussion of words used to describe CLOTHING.

  • Description

    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 interviewees are Jennie Cook, a Malaysian-born guest-house owner in York, her son, Aaron, and her friend Carol Harding, who runs a neighbouring guest house.

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