BBC Voices

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

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  • Is part of (Collection)

    BBC Voices Recordings

  • Recording locations

    Portree, Isle of Skye, Highland

  • Interviewees

    MacDonald, Iona, 1961 Oct. 07- (speaker, female), Nicolson, Alistair, 1941 Nov. 02- (speaker, male), Ross, Alister, 1939 Sept. 18- (speaker, male)

  • Interviewers

    MacLachlan, Cailean, 1952 Dec. 14- (speaker, male)

  • Producers

    Radio Scotland

  • Abstract

    [00:00:00] Speakers introduce themselves, mention where they have lived and their use of English/Gaelic. Discussion about speaking/learning Gaelic at school, use of English in Isle of Skye, how this has changed over time, influence of television, influence of Glaswegian speech. Discussion about influence of Gaelic on spoken English, thinking in a different language to the one he is speaking, using Gaelic words when speaking English.[00:14:08] Discussion about Gaelic words used in Highlands/Islands English, explanation of their use and meaning. Use of glottal stop in Highlands/Islands speech, possible reasons for this.[00:21:31] Discussion of words used to describe CLOTHING.[00:23:42] Discussion of words used to describe EMOTIONS.[00:28:17] Discussion of words used to describe ACTIONS.[00:32:43] Discussion of words used to describe PERSONAL ATTRIBUTES.[00:43:05] Discussion of words used to describe WEATHER AND SURROUNDINGS. Discussion about English words used in Gaelic that have a slightly different meaning than when used in English, reasons for meanings of words changing over time. Mention uses of various rooms of house in past.[00:57:04] Discussion of words used to describe PEOPLE AND THINGS. Mention ways of differentiating between maternal/paternal grandmothers. Anecdote about the day she changed from calling mother mummy to mum aged twelve.[01:12:23] Discussion about their English speech/accent, foreigners not having difficulty understanding their English in comparison with people from other parts of United Kingdom, possible reasons for this, what influenced their spoken English as they grew up. Amusing anecdote about being unable to understand child from Falkirk with very strong central Scots accent.

  • 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 three interviewees are all friends who have spent most of their lives on the Isle of Skye.

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