BBC Voices

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

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  • Is part of (Collection)

    BBC Voices Recordings

  • Recording locations

    Greyabbey, County Down

  • Interviewees

    Cromie, William (Wullie), 1936 Oct. 11- (speaker, male, interviewee), McAvoy, William (Wull), 1923 May 10- (speaker, male), Thompson, Mark, 1972 Jan. 17- (speaker, male), Young, Sally, 1939 Dec. 21- (speaker, female)

  • Interviewers

    Spurr, Chris, 1950 March 10- (speaker, male)

  • Producers

    Radio Ulster

  • Abstract

    [00:00:00] Speakers introduces themselves, mention where they have lived. Discussion of words used to describe EMOTIONS. [00:03:20] Discussion of words used to describe ACTIONS. [00:05:03] Discussion of words used to describe PERSONAL ATTRIBUTES. [00:07:39] Discussion of words used to describe WEATHER AND SURROUNDINGS. [00:09:50] Discussion of words used to describe PEOPLE AND THINGS. [00:12:15] Discussion of words used to describe CLOTHING. [00:13:07] Discussion about local speech, how it has changed over time, Ulster Scots, attitudes towards it, future of Ulster Scots. Explanation of use and meaning of local words, fishing/farming words. Descriptions of their schooldays, teachers having difficulty understanding their speech, having to change their speech, discovering later that they were speaking Ulster Scots, his son’s speech. Being able to understand Chaucer written in Old English, changing his speech when he started working, being able to use both English and Ulster Scots. [00:24:49] Discussion about resurgence of interest in Ulster Scots, future of Ulster Scots, enthusiasm for books about local area, how the Troubles might have helped to preserve Ulster Scots. Need for preservation of Ulster Scots, richness of Ulster Scots, parallels with Scottish Gaelic, difficulty of translating Ulster Scots into English, lack of knowledge about Ulster Scots in Belfast. Anecdotes about speaking Ulster Scots in various countries. Similarities between Ulster Scots and German/Norwegian. [00:39:07] Continuation of discussion about Ulster Scots, other people’s attitudes towards it, Ulster Scots words for animals. Amusing anecdotes about people trying to anglicise Ulster Scots words. Discussion about food/meals, plant remedies for various ailments, eating plants. Discussion about local words. [00:56:22] Discussion about the future of Ulster Scots, what is being done to preserve it, children’s use of Ulster Scots now and in the past, attitudes towards Ulster Scots in schools. Spelling and pronunciation in Ulster Scots. [01:07:07] Discussion about use and meaning of various local words. Amusing anecdotes about people using Ulster Scots. Agricultural Ulster Scots terms. Description of blacksmith hooping a wheel in the past. Local street/place names, names of rocks along the coast. Geographical/cultural connections with Scotland, similarity between Ulster Scots and language spoken by Galloway Irish people. [01:21:04] Discussion about local surnames, links with Scotland, difference between spelling and pronunciation, pronunciation of numbers. More local words/phrases. Discussion about first milk produced by cows after giving birth, what it was called, what was done with it. Discussion about making tea/hanging out washing/washing clothes in the past, names for insects. [01:33:56] Stories about local characters. Description of jobs people had in threshing-mill in the past, making mattresses out of the chaff.

  • 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 friends from rural backgrounds in the Ards area of County Down and are members of the Ulster Scots Language Society.

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