Born: 21 October 1946
Lives: Edwardstone, Suffolk
Time lived in area: All my life
Charlie talks about sitting and listening in on a conversation between a group of old suffolk men and how the youngsters of today are not able to hold such conversations.
Language of interview: English
Duration: 0:52 (mins/secs)
The participants were asked to describe how they spoke in their own words.
How do you describe your accent: "Suffolk."
Have there been other influences on the way you speak: Not Given
Do you have skills in languages other than English?: No
Other languages: None
Wen I ad occasion to go int hospital and I were in there a whole week, right and I tell you what, I was in there wi' some youngsters and I tell you what, they just sat there and they played on them little w, w, and I tell you what, they hardly talked to one another and I wen fa a wander down to the back and next little bit a ward t' me, there was some ald boys in there, the youngest musta bin abowt seventy five. Not one of um was in bed, they were all down in the little alcove down the other end and I tell y' what, the telly were'nt on and there they were talkin and talkin and talkin. And they was, thers were, there was six suffolk boys there, ald boys there and I tell you what, I went in and I just sat and I listened and that was just wonderful to listen to and they were ald suffolk boys with real good old suffolk dialects and they knew what to talk abowt and they could talk for hours and hours and hours cus they ad somethin to tawk abowt. Where as today, now, if they can't talk about sex, football or video games, they're buggered are'nt they!
Jonnie Robinson, Curator, English accents and dialects, British Library Sound Archive, writes
There are a number of features of Charlie's accent that are typical of many speakers in East Anglia. Listen particularly to the way he pronounces the vowel sounds in words in the following three sets: right, seventy-five, I and dialects; occasion, played, today and games and down, about, hours and now. As with many rural accents of England, the East Anglian accent is occasionally confused with a West Country accent due to a number of shared features, but one of the crucial differences is that East Anglian speech is non-rhotic - that is, speakers like Charlie here do not pronounce the sound after a vowel in words like youngsters, hardly, wander, other, weren't, hours and buggered. Also listen to the vowel sound Charlie uses in the word go and the weak vowel he uses when pronouncing words ending in , such as nothing, talking and something. Above all his omission of the sound in the word something is an extremely distinctive feature of East Anglian speech.
An interesting grammatical feature of East Anglian dialect is the widespread use of that as the neuter subject pronoun where most dialects simply use it. Listen to the statement that was just wonderful to listen to.