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Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Dialects and the Treasures of Britain

As all will know, there still is a rich variation in accent and dialect to be found in the different parts of the UK. In the British Library Collections we can freely sample local voices online and also view writings and images in many differerent and fascinating categories as you will see. Many of the 650 recordings were made in the 1950's and sometimes later recordings can be compared to hear the shift towards more standard english.
To hear a particular Dialect open the website; go to Advanced Search, then choose the option to search by Place Name or Postcode, Enter. Type in the name of a place in England, for instance: Dudley [in the West Midlands, heart of the Black Country], then scroll down to Object Type, and choose Recorded Speech, then click on search. I found two recordings, the first of which is:

Quarry Bank Dudley. Roy talks about his early work driving the pit ponies at the Beech Tree Colliery in the 1940s. ...

Turn your sound on and Click the recording and it will play for you. Choose whatever place you like and recordings from that or nearby places can be found. Fascinating I hope you agree.

1 comment:

Out of Shape Attorney said...

Very interesting. I went to the British collections website and listened to a few recordings - fascinating stuff. My own history (way, way, way back) is British, so maybe that's why I find it so interesting. Sounds like you've traveled quite a bit and have a great chronicle of those travels. A great resource hopefully for your family and friends!

All best, OOSA.