South Africa 25

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BIOGRAPHICAL INFORMATION

AGE: 39

DATE OF BIRTH (DD/MM/YYYY): 1966

PLACE OF BIRTH: Johannesburg

GENDER: male

ETHNICITY: Caucasian born of English immigrant parents

OCCUPATION: marine biologist

EDUCATION: We can assume a degree in science.

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

Subject also lived in Gauteng, Port Elizabeth and Natal. He was living in Lawrence, Kansas, in the United States, at the time of this interview.

OTHER INFLUENCES ON SPEECH:

In the recording, subject talks about his accent as influenced by his Afrikaans friends, as well as his private education, and about South African accents and dialects in general.

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): 15/12/2005

PHONETIC TRANSCRIPTION OF SCRIPTED SPEECH: N/A

TRANSCRIBED BY: N/A

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

ORTHOGRAPHIC TRANSCRIPTION OF UNSCRIPTED SPEECH:

(Um) I was born in Johannesburg, South Africa. (Uh) my parents are of are of British descent; they come from (um) the Potters district in, in the UK called Stoke-on-Trent. (Um) so my parents (uh) moved from Stoke-on-Trent; my Dad was offered a job in the steel industry in what was then Rhodesia, what is now Zimbabwe. (Um) and so they moved from ­­ Stoke-on-Trent down to Rhodesia. They lived there for almost ten years (uh) before I was born. (Um) and then moved to Johannesburg in South Africa or a little suburb of Johannesburg called Witbank (um) where they lived and I was born shortly after that. (Um) I lived there for the first two years of my life and then we moved into Johannesburg proper, into a place called Randburg (uh), where I went to school (um) until high school (um). After that I went to boarding school down near (uh) Durban (uh) just inland from Durban, a place called Hillcrest, (uh) Kearsney College which was a private school. (Um) and I was there for the whole of my high school career. (Um) and then went to University down in Port Elizabeth, (um) at a place called the University of Port Elizabeth. (Um) and so my accent has been tinged by a number of these different regions around the country. (Um) there’s definitely a, a very different dialect in the Eastern Cape as opposed to (um) Johannesburg where I, where, where I was born. (Um) and so my accent has been slightly changed through, through living there. My accent is also very much tinged by the fact that (um) Afrikaans is still (um) a fairly predominant language in South Africa. (Um) what you usually find is that (um) people who can only speak English and don’t have a very good grasp of Afrikaans are usually found in the major cities. (Um) but (um) those people who can only speak Afrikaans and have very little grasp of English are usually found, found out in the rural areas because you need to have a rudimentary understanding of English in order to survive in a big city. And so (um) my, my accent is tinged a lot by that, also by the fact that we had to take Afrikaans as a second language. And so (um) learning Afrikaans and, and learning the, the, the linguistic characters of the Afrikaans language also tinges your Afrikaans, (unclear) your English with a little bit of, a little bit of an Afrikaans accent as well. (Um) well I’m now living in Lawrence, Kansas. I came across to, to the United States to marry my wife. We actually met at a, at a museums conference in (um) Edmonton, Alberta, Canada (um) and decided that a long distance relationship wasn’t gonna work and so the only option was for me to move to the United States cause my wife would never get a job in South Africa. So (um) I moved across to the States and we’ve been living in Lawrence now for five years. (Um) I try to get back to South Africa as often as I can. (Um) my mother has Alzheimer’s and so I, I need to try to get back as often as I can. And I’ve just been back about a month ago (uh) to go and visit family and my dad has offered to pay for the whole family to go back once a year so. We try and get back as often as we can but it’s difficult.

TRANSCRIBED BY: Karina Lemmer and Dominik Jaeger

DATE OF TRANSCRIPTION (DD/MM/YYYY): 20/01/2008

PHONETIC TRANSCRIPTION OF UNSCRIPTED SPEECH: N/A

TRANSCRIBED BY: N/A

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

SCHOLARLY COMMENTARY: N/A

COMMENTARY BY: N/A

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

The archive provides:

  • Recordings of accent/dialect speakers from the region you select.
  • 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).

 

For instructional materials or coaching in the accents and dialects represented here, please go to Other Dialect Services.