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23 September 2014
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The Voices Recordings

About this interview
Students Eight pupils from Bethesda, North Wales, talk about how their Welsh accent is perceived - and how they enjoy their first language of Welsh.

Hayley Parker, Dewi Goulden, Huw Geraint (Huw) Jones, Catrin Ann Roberts, Jenna Tugwell, Hedd Carden, Huw Tomos (Huw) Pritchard, Delyth Briggs,

Click on names to find out more about the participants.

Relationship of interviewees: Pupils at a school

Where: Bethesda, Gwynedd

Language of interview: English
About this interview
Voice clip 1
The group talk about what words they use for different phrases, for example - to play truant. They also explain how Welsh and English intermingle and how English words can be made 'Welsh' simply by adding an 'io' to the end.

This clip contains language which some may find offensive.

Voice clip 2
The group talk about how being around different accents can affect your own. Also, how the Welsh accent can sometimes be ridiculed in other parts of the UK and the stereotypes attached to being Welsh.

This clip contains language which some may find offensive.

Voice clip 3
The group talk about their accents and the use of the Welsh language. They explain how speaking Welsh gives them an element of uniqueness and individualism.

Voice clip 4
The group talk about how they would use Welsh as the language of love. They also discuss which accents they like and dislike - with Irish and Scouse coming out on top.

More clips from this interview

Jenna Tugwell
Jenna reveals how she changes her accent, depending on the situation, and that can mean she adopts an American or Indian accent.
Interview's notes

Long description of interview: The interview is with seven pupils at Ysgol Dyffryn Ogwen in Bethesda in North Wales. The pupils are all around 17 years old and all have Welsh as their first language. Jenna Tugwell was the most vocal and the group discussion took off on the subject of swearing.

Recorded by: Anita Morgan, Radio Wales
Interview's notes

Jonnie Robinson, Curator, English accents and dialects, British Library Sound Archive, writes:

These speakers talk about a fascinating aspect of speech in bilingual communities - the use of hybrid forms that show features of both languages. It's well-known that speakers often insert, for instance, an individual English word or phrase into an otherwise exclusively Welsh statement, or indeed the other way round, but this group discusses the use of innovative forms produced by blending the two languages.

The suffix is common to a number of Welsh verbs and these speakers use words with a clearly English root combined with a Welsh verbal marker to produce highly original forms such as skipio ysgol or dodgio meaning to play truant. Clearly both these terms are common to the whole group, but individuals also cite the usage of cookio and hateio - the latter in preference to Welsh casàu.

As they readily concede, the dominant influence around them is English, perhaps particuarly in terms of youth slang, although one speaker feels that even older members of her family show the same tendencies. Above all, though, this cross-fertilisation of language shows how our sense of cultural identity is often expressed through our linguistic behaviour - these young speakers are conscious of wanting to sound both modern, but also within a traditional Welsh context and achieve this in an extremely distinctice and creative way.



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