BBC Voices

Conversation in Holyhead (Caergybi) about accent, dialect and attitudes to language.

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  • Is part of (Collection)

    BBC Voices Recordings

  • Recording locations

    Holyhead (Caergybi), Anglesey

  • Interviewees

    Jones, Eric Gareth (Gary), 1950 Feb. 27- (speaker, male, interviewee), Evans, Jeffrey Maurice (Jeff), (speaker, male), Gray, Ann Margaret, 1942 Nov. 26- (speaker, female), Williams, Jean Alexandra, (speaker, female)

  • Interviewers

    Morgan, Anita, 1932 August 06- (speaker, female)

  • Producers

    Radio Wales

  • Abstract

    [00:00:00] Speakers introduce themselves. Discussion about first hearing their voice on tape, other peoples reactions to their accent, thinking in Welsh. Attitudes towards regional accents, which accent they would/wouldnt like to have if they didnt have a Welsh accent, Queens English, accent and identity. Discussion about accents holding you back, mention this might have happened to Neil Kinnock. South/North Walian accent, people ridiculing Welsh accent/people, people looking down on them because of their speech, changing speech when talking to different people.[00:11:16] Discussion about local words in Welsh/English, different words used in South/North Wales. Anecdote about misunderstanding direct translation of phrase from Welsh to English, words for meals in Welsh/English. Mention when she speaks Welsh/English. Story about first hearing people speaking Welsh on moving to local area from South Wales, saying both words on bi-lingual street sign for years, changing name of local valley, origin of name. Discussion about South/North Walian foods, description of various potato dishes.[00:20:32] Mention how his children speak, picking up language from friends. Discussion about people changing/keeping accent after living away from local area, variation in local speech.[00:23:50] Discussion about attitudes towards swearing and use of swear words, lack of respect today. Comment that girls are more likely to swear than boys these days. Discussion about influencing the speech of their children in terms of swearing, influence of media, definition of a swear word, offensiveness of swear words. Discussion about swearing in Welsh/English, debate about existence of swear words in Welsh language, interviewer swearing in Welsh at her dog.[00:28:32] Mention Welsh word used by grandparents that she doesnt hear used now. Explanation of nicknames for various local people. Mention family connections with sea, attitudes towards discouragement of accents.[00:32:02] Discussion of words used to describe EMOTIONS. Comment that unwell is used by some women as euphemism for being on their period.[00:36:38] Discussion of words used to describe PERSONAL ATTRIBUTES. Comment that there arent many slang words in Welsh, they use English slang when speaking Welsh. Discussion about changing children from being left-handed to right-handed.[00:42:07] Mention words used to mean main room of house. Anecdote about mother laying out dead body in front room of house. Description of use of various rooms of house now and in past. Discussion about different meanings of cwtch. Mention words used to mean childs soft shoes worn for physical education. Description of shoes/clothes worn in past, attitudes towards shopping/wearing clothes now/in past, comment that people are more wasteful now. Mention words used to mean jumble sale.[00:51:05] Discussion of words used to describe WEATHER AND SURROUNDINGS. Mention words used to mean trousers, phrases used to alert people to the fact that their flies are undone in English/Welsh.[00:54:26] Discussion about their use of English/Welsh, future of Welsh language. Relationship between Welsh language and identity, Welsh childrens right to learn Welsh, how English language has become more prevalent in Wales.[00:59:14] Discussion of words used to describe ACTIONS. Mention words used to mean attractive/moody/unattractive.[01:02:31] Discussion of words used to describe PEOPLE AND THINGS. Mention words used to mean running water smaller than a river/to play truant/narrow walkway between or alongside buildings. Comment on their use of Welsh/English language, the language they think in.[01:08:35] Comment that her speech changes when talking to different people. Anecdote about trying to use Welsh language hed just learnt in bank but cashier didnt speak Welsh. Discussion about learning Welsh, reasons why he has stopped. Comment that the dog next door to him only understands Welsh.

  • 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 four interviewees are all local councillors. Jeff Evans is the current Mayor of Holyhead and is locally born. Councillor Gary Jones is a former Mayor of Holyhead and also locally born.

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