Australia 15

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BIOGRAPHICAL INFORMATION

AGE: 64

DATE OF BIRTH (DD/MM/YYYY): 1938

PLACE OF BIRTH: Warsaw, Poland

GENDER: female

ETHNICITY: Caucasian (Polish-Jewish)

OCCUPATION: teacher

EDUCATION: tertiary educated

AREA(S) OF RESIDENCE OUTSIDE REPRESENTATIVE REGION FOR LONGER THAN SIX MONTHS:

The subject lived in Poland, Russia, Kazakhstan, and Sweden before moving to Australia at the age of 11, in 1949.

OTHER INFLUENCES ON SPEECH:

The subject spoke Polish, Russian, Yiddish and Swedish before learning to speak English.

The text used in our recordings of scripted speech can be found by clicking here.

RECORDED BY: Geraldine Cook

DATE OF RECORDING (DD/MM/YYYY): 14/11/2002

PHONETIC TRANSCRIPTION OF SCRIPTED SPEECH: N/A

TRANSCRIBED BY: N/A

DATE OF TRANSCRIPTION (DD/MM/YYYY): N/A

ORTHOGRAPHIC TRANSCRIPTION OF UNSCRIPTED SPEECH:

When the war broke out, we left Warsaw, uh, on a train for, um, f-, somewhere in Russia.  We had no idea which, which city we were going to or where we’d finish up.  And, um, when we arrived, um, in Russia and were stopped at one of the stations, um, my father was asked if he would, uh, sign naturalization papers so that we could become, uh, true Russian free citizens.  And being worried that, um, we might’nt get out of Poland when the war finished, my father refused.  So, uh, as enemy aliens, because at that time, um, because of the signing of the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact, um, Polish citizens were enemy aliens, and as such we were sent to one of Stalin’s holiday camps in Siberia.  But, um, after a while when they started getting prisoners of war and they needed these camps for more worthy, um, people they packed us all onto a train and, um, just sent us off into the nether.  And, uh, we finished up, um, living near the Urals, in the Urals some of the time, but we spent a lot of time moving around until we finished up in a place called Zhambal, which was in Kazakhstan, just near the border of, um…oh, what was it?  Kyrgyzstan, I think it was.  And, um, at the end of the war as soon as we heard that the war had ended, my father said, “Right!  We’re going to leave right now before they change their minds.”  And it was fortunate that we did because many of the Jews who r-, uh, remained in Russia, who dilly-dallied in getting out, um, and of course those who’d ta-, who’d signed naturalization papers, didn’t get out for years and years later.

TRANSCRIBED BY: Lynn Baker

DATE OF TRANSCRIPTION (DD/MM/YYYY): 03/04/2008

PHONETIC TRANSCRIPTION OF UNSCRIPTED SPEECH: N/A

TRANSCRIBED BY: N/A

DATE OF TRANSCRIPTION (DD/MM/YYYY): N/A

SCHOLARLY COMMENTARY:

English is her fifth language, which she learned before the age of 12. While her accent has the inflections of General Australian English, it could also be categorized as cultivated or educated Australian, and closer to Standard British English. There is an emphasized enunciation with this speaker that may have developed as a result of her primary-school training in the 1960s and retained over 30 years of teaching. She still speaks Yiddish and Polish within her community. The subject talks about her family’s attempts to obtain a visa to Australia from Sweden in the unscripted part of the recording.

COMMENTARY BY: Geraldine Cook

DATE OF COMMENTARY (DD/MM/YYYY): 14/11/2002

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  • Text of the speakers’ biographical details.
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  • In most cases, an orthographic transcription of the speakers’ unscripted speech.  In a small number of cases, you will also find a narrow phonetic transcription of the sample (see Phonetic Transcriptions for a complete list).  The recordings average four minutes in length and feature both the reading of one of two standard passages, and some unscripted speech. The two passages are Comma Gets a Cure (currently our standard passage) and The Rainbow Passage (used in our earliest recordings).

 

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