BBC Voices

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

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  • Is part of (Collection)

    BBC Voices Recordings

  • Recording locations

    Raphoe, County Donegal

  • Interviewees

    Crossan, Mary, 1955 Dec. 05- (speaker, female, housewife), McCarron, Frank, 1920 Oct. 10- (speaker, male, retired County Councillor and inventor), McCracken, Ian, 1937 Sept. 30- (speaker, male, retired teacher), McCracken, Winifred Ann, 1937 Dec. 29- (speaker, female, interviewee, Rodgers, Catherine, 1960 April 07- (speaker, female, office worker), McGlinchey, John, 1941 June 21- (speaker, male)

  • Interviewers

    Donnelly, Deirdre, 1967 July 22- (speaker, female)

  • Producers

    Radio Foyle

  • Abstract

    [00:00:00] Speakers introduce themselves. Description of local area, its history. Discussion about local speech, use of Ulster Scots, attitudes towards Ulster Scots and how this has changed over time. Discussion about their own speech, what has influenced it, how they feel about it, other people’s reactions to it, how speech varies locally. [00:12:45] Continuation of discussion about local speech, Ulster Scots, local words for boys/girls. Mention sister’s speech changing after moving to Dublin. Other people’s reactions to their accent, people changing their speech in different situations/when talking to different people, examples of local speech. [00:20:59] Performance of poem written by friend in Scottish accent, explanation of local words/phrases, language associated with flax industry. Anecdotes about flax workers, people having difficulty understanding her speech, importance of being proud of your accent. [00:32:37] Discussion about language associated with farming, attitudes towards it, language related to working with horses/cattle, influence of Irish/speech of migrant workers on local speech. Variation of speech in Donegal, similarity of Irish and Scots Gaelic, language used in churches. [00:42:35] Discussion about connection between language used locally and religious/political identity, how people were employed locally in the past. How difference in religion/wealth affected/didn’t affect relationships between people in the past and now. Calling people ‘mister/missus’ as opposed to just their name in the past. [00:51:10] Discussion about connection between land and identity, people whose land/village was divided by the border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland. Difficulties with customs in the past, problems caused by creating the border. How situation for farmers has changed on either side of the border in different ways over time, increase in new houses built in local rural areas. [00:59:35] Mention words used to mean ‘mother/grandmother/father’. Discussion about importance of family within close-knit local community, living in overcrowded houses with older family members. [01:05:13] Mention words used to mean ‘main room of house’. Description of various houses, anecdotes about family life in the past. [01:11:19] Mention words used to mean ‘drunk’. Description of local agricultural industries that employed women in the past, mention things that old flour sacks were made into. [01:13:51] Speakers re-introduce themselves. Description of moving to local area from Inishowen, adjusting to different culture and greater religious divide. Attitudes towards behaviour of local landlords in the past.

  • 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 six interviewees are all members of a St. Johnston and Raphoe community group.

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