Quebec 5

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BIOGRAPHICAL INFORMATION

AGE: 75

DATE OF BIRTH (DD/MM/YYYY): 1934

PLACE OF BIRTH: Beaumont, Alberta, Canada

GENDER: male

ETHNICITY: Quebecois

OCCUPATION: retired from a job that required him to travel extensively in North America

EDUCATION: college

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

Subject lived for 70 years in Granby, Quebec, Canada.

OTHER INFLUENCES ON SPEECH:

Subject’s first language is French. His work involved traveling throughout North America, so in school and adulthood, he took pains to learn English well.

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

RECORDED BY: Paul Meier

DATE OF RECORDING (DD/MM/YYYY): 01/12/2009

PHONETIC TRANSCRIPTION OF SCRIPTED SPEECH: N/A

TRANSCRIBED BY: N/A

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

ORTHOGRAPHIC TRANSCRIPTION OF UNSCRIPTED SPEECH:

I was born in Alberta, believe it or not. I was born in small town called Beaumont, which is very near Edmonton, and I think today it might be part of Edmonton.  And my parents and our family moved to Quebec, um when I was not even 5 years old.  So we, ah, we had the place in Granby in the eastern townships, which is east, southeast of Montreal, and, uh, I grew up there on a farm and did a lot of things because on a farm necessity brings us to do all kinds of things; so anyway and I went to school, er, to primary school in the country and then to the city and did my, ah, my  grades and then I went to, ah college and university, but my university I did that at night.  I took the years to, to get a BA and, er, that was my education.  While, while I was working in the company doing, ah, service to clients in the technical, er technical, er, applications.  Then I went into, er, another company and worked in marketing, and then I traveled all over the place and I traveled the Midwest as a matter of fact.  I went to Chicago, I went to New York, and Boston, everywhere, to Winnipeg, and to Toronto, and, er, that was interesting.  But then after, er, several years I took another job, er, still in marketing but working on projects for investments and, er, that’s, er, when I stopped working on a regular basis.  Er, then I took … I retired sort of thing, and since I’m retired I think I’m more busy than I was before.  When you’re French and live in Quebec, um, of course, all your surrounding is French, so the only way you get a little of English is in your, er, in school, in your, er, special course in English, like once a week, or, sort of thing.  And, ah, when I, er, I er, got out of school I took a job in a company where my boss spoke only English [laughs].  Then I was kind of forced to, er, to, ah speak whatever I could speak out so that was a hard thing.  But then a couple of years later I had a ski accident, ah, broke a leg in many places, and then I stayed home for, at my mother’s, for, ah, three-and-half months, and there was nothing to do and it was, it was a hard, a hard thing to sit around and do nothing, so I started to get some books in English, read some, lit-literature and of course a lot of this I didn’t understand, so I had my big dictionary and went over it to see the sense of whatever I was reading and, er, managed to do that every day for all that while and then when I, when I went back to work it was fun to see, um, people speak English in the way I had seen it in the books you see, and then I could write and read and everything.  Of course the accent, er, it was even worse than it is today and, er, it took a long time to get it going, er, fluently. [Subject reads in French: On demeure jeune tant qu’on s’émerveille, comme l’enfant.  L’enfant ne voit aucune limite.  Tout est ouvert pour lui.  On demeure jeune tant qu’on est ouvert à la beauté, la grandeur, et la bonté, et tant qu’on est réceptif à l’infinité de son univers et aux possibilités sans limite que l’on a pour réussir.  Pour rester jeune il nous faut retrouver l’enfant en nous, s’émerveiller et voir l’immensité.  L’aventure de la vie attend chacun de nous si nous avons le courage de faire le premier pas vers notre but.]  [He translates as follows:] One remains young, as long as one sees the world’s wonders, like the child.  The child does not see any limit.  Everything is open for him.  One remains young as long as one is open to the beauty, the grandeur, and the good, and as long as one is receptive to the infinity of one’s universe and to the unlimited possibilities which everyone has to succeed.  To remain young, we have to find again the child in us, see the wonders and the immensity.  Life’s adventure is awaiting each one of us, if we have the courage to make the first step toward our goal.

TRANSCRIBED BY: Paul Meier

DATE OF TRANSCRIPTION (DD/MM/YYYY): 01/12/2009

PHONETIC TRANSCRIPTION OF UNSCRIPTED SPEECH: N/A

TRANSCRIBED BY: N/A

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

SCHOLARLY COMMENTARY:

The subject speaks with a mild French accent, although you will observe his stress pattern on “in-ter-EST-ing.” Notice his un-idiomatic English in “brings us to do all sorts of things,” “all your surrounding is French,” “so the only way you get a little of English,” and in other places, where he seems to be thinking in French and translating literally into English.

COMMENTARY BY: Paul Meier

DATE OF COMMENTARY (DD/MM/YYYY): 01/12/2009

The archive provides:

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  • Text of the speakers’ biographical details.
  • Scholarly commentary and analysis in some cases.
  • 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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