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Not nervous, just surprising...

Postby MikeEllwood » Tue Mar 11, 2014 11:41 pm

My regular lift from my German evening class wasn't there, and another guy kindly stepped in.

On the way back, it transpired his Mam had been a first-language Welsh speaker from Anglesey, where he had spent many a happy summer holiday (fishing). He said he only knew a few phrases, but we spent the rest of the journey exchanging phrases and he actually knew quite a lot. Should have guessed, as his name is David....

As they say, you couldn't make it up ...
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Re: Not nervous, just surprising...

Postby essenbee » Wed Mar 12, 2014 7:26 am

Rather like Aran's encounter with a Welsh speaker at a hospital in Brum, these happy coincidences are great to hear about - thanks for sharing this Mike. They are good to bring out when someone finds out you're learning Welsh and inevitably ask "When will you ever use that in <insert non-Welsh placename>?" :smile:

Hwyl,

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Re: Not nervous, just surprising...

Postby Aran » Wed Mar 12, 2014 9:44 am

:party:
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Re: Not nervous, just surprising...

Postby AndyL » Wed Mar 12, 2014 11:10 pm

I think that hospitals seem to be the place to find welsh speakers, at least here in the Midlands. Last week (in Derby Hospital) I was getting directions from a hospital volunteer who turned out to be from Llanelli. I couldn't resist asking 'siarad cymraeg?' and was rewarded with a brief but unexpected conversation yn gymraeg. I was pleased when he told me that I had a northern welsh accent. He also said that the northern accent was high, whereas the 'De' accent like his, was low. I've not heard that one before...
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Re: Not nervous, just surprising...

Postby chrome angel » Thu Mar 13, 2014 7:25 am

he's right about the high accent in the north, not everyone speaks in a high pitched voice, but it's certainly noticeable when you listen to the sound patterns of conversations, much higher than my own northern accent. rownd a rownd demonstrates this nicely, particularly when the characters are angry, stressed, happy etc

whenever i've gone back to the north and taken a friend from yorkshire, they've always commented about how 'high' people speak, men and women. i think it sounds nice, expressive and bouyant!

strangely i've noticed when i'm doing the downloads, as i try to develop my accent, it makes me speak that way too....
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Re: Not nervous, just surprising...

Postby MikeEllwood » Fri Mar 14, 2014 1:13 am

AndyL wrote:I think that hospitals seem to be the place to find welsh speakers, at least here in the Midlands. Last week (in Derby Hospital) I was getting directions from a hospital volunteer who turned out to be from Llanelli. I couldn't resist asking 'siarad cymraeg?' and was rewarded with a brief but unexpected conversation yn gymraeg. I was pleased when he told me that I had a northern welsh accent. He also said that the northern accent was high, whereas the 'De' accent like his, was low. I've not heard that one before...


Do you think he meant in pitch (frequency)? I ask, because I sometimes change my pitch to sound a bit more in "tune" with Catrin and especially Aran, to compare my efforts with their example more closely, and I find that I have to raise my pitch significantly from my normal speaking tone.
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Re: Not nervous, just surprising...

Postby MikeEllwood » Fri Mar 14, 2014 1:21 am

chrome angel wrote:he's right about the high accent in the north, not everyone speaks in a high pitched voice, but it's certainly noticeable when you listen to the sound patterns of conversations, much higher than my own northern accent. rownd a rownd demonstrates this nicely, particularly when the characters are angry, stressed, happy etc

whenever i've gone back to the north and taken a friend from yorkshire, they've always commented about how 'high' people speak, men and women. i think it sounds nice, expressive and bouyant!

strangely i've noticed when i'm doing the downloads, as i try to develop my accent, it makes me speak that way too....


:-) I've noticed I've started saying "lovely" (or "lyflu") to the checkout assistants in Waitrose as they are giving me change or cashback or something.....probably too much Rownd a Rownd or Gwaith/Cartref (where I noticed "ti'n lyflu" being used as a chat up line in two episodes, one successfully, one disastrously. I'd better watch my step in Waitrose....at least I have managed not to put a Welsh lilt into it...yet. :D

No kidding, I had written my shopping list in Welsh (as far as possible), and half-way round I got it out to check and started reading it out-loud. I did get one or two looks, and then thought "ha ha", this is a way to smoke out hidden Welsh speakers, but it didn't lead to anything. They probably just thought I was the local, er "eccentric". :ouch:
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Re: Not nervous, just surprising...

Postby chrome angel » Fri Mar 14, 2014 7:07 am

i think it is pitch, i remember getting disastrously lost in the mist above cnicht mountain (by portmadog) and having to hastily descend on the wrong side - we had to ask a local bloke in the street what village we were in, where there was a public phone, loo, etc. i was with a boyfriend from leeds, and this local bloke spoke back in english, but with a really high pitched welsh accent, which i'm used to and thought nothing of it, but my boyfriend was absolutely stunned and the look on his face was hilarious!!!

we said afterwards that my boyfriend sounded like his voice comes from his belly, but this local guy's voice seemed to come from the top of his chest, i have no idea if that's biologically even possible !!!! but that's how it sounded.

Mike you need to watch yourself in waitrose, you'll be getting a name for yourself.....!
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Re: Not nervous, just surprising...

Postby MikeEllwood » Fri Mar 14, 2014 12:34 pm

chrome angel wrote:i think it is pitch, i remember getting disastrously lost in the mist above cnicht mountain (by portmadog) and having to hastily descend on the wrong side - we had to ask a local bloke in the street what village we were in, where there was a public phone, loo, etc. i was with a boyfriend from leeds, and this local bloke spoke back in english, but with a really high pitched welsh accent, which i'm used to and thought nothing of it, but my boyfriend was absolutely stunned and the look on his face was hilarious!!!

we said afterwards that my boyfriend sounded like his voice comes from his belly, but this local guy's voice seemed to come from the top of his chest, i have no idea if that's biologically even possible !!!! but that's how it sounded.


There was a good example on the most recent Rownd a Rownd: Arthur was getting really excited, and his voice went up and up until he was practically "...singin' soprano in the choir". :)


Mike you need to watch yourself in waitrose, you'll be getting a name for yourself.....!


Yndw! :-) We need a supplementary course "how to talk yourself out of trouble....". :dafad:


Talking of Rownd a Rownd, I noticed here: http://www.s4c.co.uk/rowndarownd/
that they are holding open auditions, Bore Sadwrn, 15/03.2014. (oops, that's tomorrow, isn't it).
There is a phone number and an e-mail address listed for anyone interested.
Mae’r gallu i siarad Cymraeg yn hanfodol ar gyfer y clyweliadau.

The ability to speak Welsh is essential for the auditions (google translate)


Could be a fun experience for the advanced learners who might be frustrated actors or just a bit extrovert. :)
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Re: Not nervous, just surprising...

Postby bontddu » Mon Mar 17, 2014 1:38 am

MikeEllwood wrote:Do you think he meant in pitch (frequency)?


He could have been referring to North Welsh as being more formal or the "proper" dialect - checkout diglossia. It's a linguistic term for languages split into two dialects, like High and Low German.

Just found a link for you -

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Diglossia

The first paragraph explains it well.
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