South Africa 33

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BIOGRAPHICAL INFORMATION

AGE: 80

DATE OF BIRTH (DD/MM/YYYY): 14/02/1937

PLACE OF BIRTH: Port Elizabeth, South Africa

GENDER: male

ETHNICITY: white/Caucasian/South African

OCCUPATION: retired

EDUCATION: degree in educational psychology

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

Though the subject was born in Port Elizabeth, South Africa, and spent his very early formative years in Pretoria, he spent the majority of his childhood in two countries just to the north of South Africa: Namibia (Windhoek, Walvis Bay) and Zimbabwe (then Rhodesia). The majority of his life has been spent in Cape Town.

OTHER INFLUENCES ON SPEECH:

The speaker mentions attending school in Namibia with fellow students whose first languages included English, German, and Afrikaans, and that they generally had “a rough accent.” His father was English-speaking while his mother’s first language was Afrikaans. The subject’s wife of more than 50 years hails from Leicester, England, although she lived in Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe) and Cape Town (South Africa) herself from the age of 13.

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

RECORDED BY: Nadia Barnard

DATE OF RECORDING (DD/MM/YYYY): 25/10/2017

PHONETIC TRANSCRIPTION OF SCRIPTED SPEECH: N/A

TRANSCRIBED BY: N/A

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

ORTHOGRAPHIC TRANSCRIPTION OF UNSCRIPTED SPEECH:

Well, I was born in, ah, Port Elizabeth in the Eastern Cape in South Africa, but that has no bearing on anything whatsoever because I was very quickly flown off to, ah, Rhodesia – then Rhodesia. And I was there for I think two years, and then I moved down to Pretoria where I was until the age of 6. So possibly my very early, ah, formative years for learning English was in Pretoria.

Um, at the age of 7, I went to Windhoek [Namibia] to an Anglican church school – boarding school – um, where I would have, ah, mixed with boys who had a rather rough accent. And, ah, from there to Walvis Bay [Namibia], where I mixed with boys for the next seven odd years with an even rougher accent. And not only that, but, ah, they, ah, were a mix of Afrikaans, German, and English, so out of that you got something almost unpronounceable.

I was, um, quite a bookworm. The, the school was extremely rough: We had a fight just about every afternoon, and, ah, as I say the, um, there were a lot of boys who were Afrikaans so your — the English you were learning was in a very Afrikaans vari- variation of it. And, ah, so I’d be talking that language but I, ah, spent an enormous amount of time, ah, learning by myself, and one of my favorite authors was Dickens. So I picked up a very archaic brand of English, plus a lot of complicated words, which I didn’t know how to pronounce. And, ah, when I got down here, I’m forever being corrected on wrong pronunciation. Ah, because of this, I think I picked up a lot of my vocabulary, ah, simply by reading and not talking because I doubt that, ah, many of the boys, ah, used any of those words whatsoever. And I had the- this advantage that every afternoon I, ah, would, ah, either be reading or I was actually being self-educated by, ah, going to the docks and, ah, going on the ships from America and, ah, getting magazines from America. And I learned more from those magazines, which was, ah, Popular Science, Popular Mechanics, and Science Illustrated. I learned more from those magazines than I ever learned at any school whatsoever.

TRANSCRIBED BY: Nadia Barnard

DATE OF TRANSCRIPTION (DD/MM/YYYY): 25/10/2017

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:

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