Today Sarah and I went to Camden Market, one of the most multi cultural places in the UK. There we managed to talk to several passers by about the way they talk, discussing what situations they’ve been in where they’ve had to alter their accent. We also spoke about the connotations people often made about their personalities when hearing them talk, e.g. a young lady told us that coming from Essex often meant people assumed she was stupid. The audio is great, and we will be sharing some of it on the blog very soon.
On Friday, Sarah and I held a small gathering at my place where we recorded over 20 people reading this paragraph;
The UK is probably the most dialect-obsessed nation in the world. With countless British accents shaped by our history, there are few English-speaking nations with as many varieties of language in such a small space. The way we talk is influenced by many factors; our friends, our family and our jobs. It’s one of the only parts of our identity we can change without spending a penny. It creates our first impression, it can change when we are on the phone, and it makes people say ‘bath’ wrong. Whether you’re from Liverpool, London, Leicester or Bristol, we all have something unique to us, the way we talk.
This is the intro paragraph for the documentary. Our plan is to record as many people from different places around UK reading it aloud. After we have finished collecting all the audio, we are planning to edit everything together, so there are different accents saying different phrases and words. We managed to record people from all over including Plymouth, Norfolk, Leciester, Lancashire and Nottingham.
Sarah and I would love to say a massive thank you to everyone who gave up their Friday afternoon to help with our project.
Today Sarah and I had the pleasure of travelling to York to interview two of the Professors from the Languages and Linguistics Department, Paul Kerswill and Dominic Watt. We discussed a wide range of topics with both, such as the history of accents and dialects, the roles they play in our personal identities and which regional accents are perceived as the most (and least!) favourable.
Paul spoke to Sarah and I about a new phenomenon that we personally hadn’t heard of before, the Jafaican accent! He spoke to us about how this ‘new’ accent is starting to develop in the south east of England, click the link below to hear more!
We would like to thank both Paul and Dominic for their contributions to the documentary, and for getting us even more enthused to learn more about different accents and dialects in Britain.
Sarah and I are very happy to have secured an interview with Sarah Shepherd, a voice coach running her own business in London. Sarah has a very impressive CV, working on productions such as;
Bridget Jones’s Diary, Pride & Prejudice, RocknRolla, Atonement, Wimbledon and Harry Brown.
If you would like to find out more about Sarah, click here to view her website. We cannot wait to meet her and will be posting photos and audio after the interview!
Dom Watt is a senior lecturer in Forensic Speech Science at the University of York. He has had several publications concerning different areas of speech, and is continuously conducting new research.
Sarah and I are interviewing him for the programme next Tuesday. We will be posting photos and audio on the blog, but if you would like to find out more beforehand, check out his website here.