Germany 26

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BIOGRAPHICAL INFORMATION

AGE: 36

DATE OF BIRTH (DD/MM/YYYY): 14/11/1984

PLACE OF BIRTH: Göttingen, Niedersachsen (Lower Saxony), Germany

GENDER: female

ETHNICITY: Caucasian (German and British ancestry)

OCCUPATION: editor of children’s books

EDUCATION: magister (roughly equivalent of master’s degree)

AREAS OF RESIDENCE OUTSIDE REPRESENTATIVE REGION FOR LONGER THAN SIX MONTHS:

The subject has lived her entire life in Germany, except for six months in Liverpool, England. She spent seven years in Bonn, Germany, for her university studies, before moving to Hamburg, where she has lived and worked ever since.

OTHER INFLUENCES ON SPEECH:

The subject’s native language is “Hochdeutsch” (High German). Her mother’s family is British, but she was not brought up bilingual. Bonn, where she lived for seven years, has a very specific German dialect, which she acquired while there. But after many years living in Hamburg, in northern Germany, she says her German accent “has gone back to normal.” She speaks English with her Swedish partner, has English-speaking friends, and occasionally speaks English for her job.

Starting from seventh grade, the subject attended a bilingual school (English/German) for seven years, and she had a minor in English Studies (Anglistik) at university. So her light accent is more a result of her studies than the fact that her mother is British, especially considering her mother moved from England to Germany at age six, speaks German flawlessly, and conversed with her daughter almost exclusively in German throughout their lives.

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

RECORDED BY: Phyllis Cohen

DATE OF RECORDING (DD/MM/YYYY): 23/07/2021

PHONETIC TRANSCRIPTION OF SCRIPTED SPEECH: N/A

TRANSCRIBED BY: N/A

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

ORTHOGRAPHIC TRANSCRIPTION OF UNSCRIPTED SPEECH:

Ah, well, I, I’ve been reading for all my life. Um, and I cannot, I cannot remember myself not being able to read. Um, and, uh, so doing something with books, it seemed kind of natural. I always wanted to become an astronaut, but that’s, um, not a very likely career path for [laughs], for, uh, me, and so at some point I realized that I should probably do something else. And then I thought “OK, uh, books; you like books.” So I, uh, and I had no idea after school what to do, so I just looked what can you study that involves books, and then I saw Comparative Literature, and, um, that just sounded like fun because you could read and compare things to other media. And I, um, like, I like books, but I also love films, and TV, and, um, all kinds of other media, and so that, that seemed like a good thing. And then I studied, um, for a long time — seven years, um — but I don’t regret that at all. It was a very good time with a lot of learning to be done.

Um, but at some point that was over, like, “OK, what do I do now?” [laughs] And I always loved children’s, um, children’s books. It’s, uh, just, um, I do read adult books every now and again, but really, um, there’s so much fantastical ideas in children’s books or YA books, um, that, uh — yeah, I just always, ya even before I became an editor, I read a lot of, like, children’s books. Um, and I had actually written my, my final thesis on, uh, “intersexuality in children’s literature.” And it’s a very fun topic to, uh, look into. And then I thought, “OK, let’s do something with that because that’s, um, something you never ever got bored of yet in your life.”

Um, and then I started applying. And, um, after I had actually, uh, secured my first job, I, um, or like not “job” but, but “internship,” um, I realized that a lot of people actually try to get these jobs very much and, like, these “internships” very much, and um, uh, I felt a bit guilty ‘cause I was older and this hadn’t always been my absolute dream job. For a lot of people, it is. But then as soon as I started working at it, I understood why because, um, I kind of fell in love with it. And I never wanna, I didn’t wanna go to adult, uh, fiction at all. Um, they take it very seriously [laughs]. And with children’s books, you can, um, you can actually have fun, I think. Not that you can’t have fun with adult literature — I’m being mean here — but, um, you can actually, um, have a lot of, uh, different topics and a lot of, um, ideas and be a little bit silly, and also, um, work with books that are super important for children to make them remember books being so important in my childhood.

[The subject speaks the following in Hochdeutsch (high German)]: Hallo, oder wie man hier im Norden sagt: “Moin!” Das Wetter ist sonnig, aber kühl, das ist oft so hier oben. Deswegen mag ich es hier. Auch im Hochsommer weht meistens ein Lüftchen und alle paar Tagen gibt es einen ordentlichen Schauer oder sogar ein kräftiges Gewitter. Das mag ich dann am liebsten.

[English translation: Hello, or how you would say here in the North: “Moin!” The weather is sunny but cool, which is often the case up here. That’s why I like it here. Even in the middle of summer, there is always wind, and every few days there is proper rain or even a thunderstorm. That’s when I like it the most.]

TRANSCRIBED BY: Phyllis Cohen

DATE OF TRANSCRIPTION (DD/MM/YYYY): 26/07/2021

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.

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