South Africa 7

Both as a courtesy and to comply with copyright law, please remember to credit IDEA for direct or indirect use of samples.  IDEA is a free resource;  please consider supporting us.


BIOGRAPHICAL INFORMATION

AGE: 31

DATE OF BIRTH (DD/MM/YYYY): 1969

PLACE OF BIRTH: Cape Town, South Africa

GENDER: female

ETHNICITY: Caucasian South African

OCCUPATION: speech and voice teacher

EDUCATION: Subject doesn’t give details, but we can assume speech/language studies.

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

Subject has also lived in Johannesburg.

OTHER INFLUENCES ON SPEECH:

Subject describes her own accent as that of Cape Town, not Johannesburg. She says it closely resembles Standard British

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

RECORDED BY: Yvette Hardie

DATE OF RECORDING (DD/MM/YYYY): 24/05/2000

PHONETIC TRANSCRIPTION OF SCRIPTED SPEECH: N/A

TRANSCRIBED BY: N/A

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

ORTHOGRAPHIC TRANSCRIPTION OF UNSCRIPTED SPEECH:

South Africa’s an an amazing place, I think, and th.. it has an incredibly vibrant spirit. I love living there. I know that the public image of Johannesburg will be sort of, um international image of Johannesburg is one of fear, probably, um of the crime rate, and of, y’know all the stories that seem to be publicized all the time, which tend to give a quite a negative image. For myself I find living in Johannesburg tremendously exciting and invigorating. I love the fact that there is such a vibrant mix of cultures. I love the fact that there are so many languages spoken in the place where I live and I personally don’t feel unsafe, although I know one does need to be careful. My accent is a Cape Town accent and, to American ears, probably sounds quite British. In fact there are many people in S’th Africa who speak the way I do, and a character that you might know would be Elsa from “The Road to Mecca,” Athol Fugard’s play. Um there are a range of accents in South Africa. South African accents depend very much on, first of all, what your home language is — whether you speak English, Afrikaans, Zulu, Xhosa, Tsonga, Sotho, South Sotho, North Sotho (there are eleven official languages) — and then secondly where you come from in the country, and then of course factors such as socio-economic conditions, um the cultural groups that you move in etcetera. All of those things influence the way we speak, as is the case in every other accent in the world. There is no one homogenous S’th African accent. There in fact would be probably no one standard. There are pa… there are there are a range of standards, depending on whether you are a White speaker, a Coloured speaker, a Black speaker, and of course what your home language is. The Afrikaans accent is probably the one which is considered to be typical. In all the movies that I’ve seen that have used usually bad actors to portray South Africans and they will have them doing bad South African accents — um, usually Afrikaans accents and they will be incredibly heavy and over-exaggerated. Afrikaans accents also have a wide range within them, depending on the kind of area that the person comes from. There are rural accents, there are city accents, even suburbs: from one suburb to another you will hear different sounds coming from people. The Coloured accent is a particularly interesting case in point, in that there are so many political issues around the whole idea of “Coloured”. Um in South Africa some Coloured people consider the term “Coloured” to be offensive and so would refer to themselves as being Black. However, other Coloured people like the term “Coloured”, and in fact embrace it, because they see it as something which sets them apart from Black people. And, indeed, in South Africa the Coloured community is a very homogenous community. And then there are other Coloured people who try and bridge this political debate and call themselves “so-called Coloured”, which is um a way of compromising, I guess. So we have a lot of different Coloured accents. We have Indian accents as well. We have a large Indian population in South Africa, and for most Indians English would be their home language um although they may also speak some Indian languages. And then, of course, we have the majority who are Black speakers um and come from all these different language groups.

TRANSCRIBED BY: Kevin Flynn

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

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: Yvette Hardie

DATE OF COMMENTARY (DD/MM/YYYY): 24/05/2000

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.