Sri Lanka 4

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BIOGRAPHICAL INFORMATION

AGE: 67

DATE OF BIRTH (DD/MM/YYYY): 13/04/1952

PLACE OF BIRTH: Colombo, Sri Lanka

GENDER: female

ETHNICITY: Tamil

OCCUPATION: retired scientist

EDUCATION: master’s degree in molecular biology

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

The speaker lived in Colombo, Sri Lanka, until she was 18 years old. She spent four years in college in Peradeniya, Sri Lanka, as well as two and a half years in Jordan and two years in Scotland. She has spent the last 37 years in the United States (two years in Texas, nine years in North Carolina, and 26 years in Mississippi).

OTHER INFLUENCES ON SPEECH:

The speaker grew up bilingual, speaking Tamil and English. Her English teachers were from the United Kingdom.

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

RECORDED BY: Abbie Cathcart

DATE OF RECORDING (DD/MM/YYYY): 03/04/2020

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 have had many dreams that have scared me. It’s tough to pick up one. Um, OK, I’ll tell you about a strange thing that happened. Um, I dreamt once that, uh, uh, uh, a distant relative of mine — we call everybody uncles and aunts — a distant relative of mine, um, who was already dead: I dreamt of him. And in my dream, he’s getting married and, um, his bride was a dark, uh, dark-skinned, uh, very good-looking woman, and the bride is constantly crying, and he was seated next to her, kind of petting her hand, trying to console her. So when I woke up, I told my mother about the dream because it was a strange dream, and my mother very casually said — this is, this is the Eastern beliefs right dreams and stuff — so my mother very casually said maybe he’s gonna take somebody. So y- the way she k- the way the casual way she said it kind of, you know, shook me. I was, I’ll, I will, I was like taken aback. And then, a week later, this relative’s son-in-law was visiting Sri Lanka d- visiting Sri Lanka — he was waiting at the bus stop and just collapsed at the bus stop and died. It was an aneurysm, brain aneurysm that he had no idea about. And then I realized in my dream the bride that I saw was this person’s wife: you know, my uncle’s daughter.

[Subject speaks Tamil]: நான் ஒரு சிறிய தீவில் பிறந்து வளர்ந்தேன். அந்த தீவின் தலைநகரம் கொழும்பு. நான் வளர்ந்த இடம் அதுதான். எனக்கு நான்கு உடன்பிறப்புகள் உள்ளனர்: ஒரு மூத்த சகோதரி, இரண்டு மூத்த சகோதரர்கள், ஒரு தங்கை. நாங்கள் இருந்த இடத்திற்கு அடுத்த தெருவில், என் மாமாவின் குடும்பம் வசித்து வந்தது. என் மாமாவுக்கு மூன்று குழந்தைகள் இருந்தன. நாங்கள் எட்டு பேரும் நாங்கள் ஒரே குடும்பம் போல வளர்ந்தோம். எங்களுக்கு இரண்டு செட் தாய்மார்களும் இரண்டு செட் தந்தையர்களும் இருந்ததைப் போல எங்கள் அம்மா, தந்தை, என் மாமா மற்றும் அத்தை இருவரும் எங்களை வளர்த்தார்கள். எங்களுடையது ஒரு நடுத்தர குடும்பம். தந்தை ஒரு வழக்கறிஞர், அம்மா ஒரு இல்லத்தரசி. மாத சம்பளம் இல்லை. சில நேரங்களில் நிறைய பணம் வந்தது, சில நேரங்களில், கொஞ்சம் பணம் வந்தது, ஆனால் பணம் எங்களுக்கு ஒருபோதும் பெரிய பிரச்சினையாக இருக்கவில்லை. நாங்கள் இருந்தபோது, நாங்கள் செலவிட்டோம். எங்களிடம் இல்லாதபோது, நாங்கள் நிர்வகித்தோம். ஆனால் பணம் இல்லாதது ஒருபோதும் வெட்கக்கேடானதாக கருதப்படவில்லை.

[Transliteration: Nāṉ oru ciṟiya tīvil piṟantu vaḷarntēṉ. Anta tīviṉ talainakaram koḻumpu. Nāṉ vaḷarnta iṭam atutāṉ. Eṉakku nāṉku uṭaṉpiṟappukaḷ uḷḷaṉar: Oru mūtta cakōtari, iraṇṭu mūtta cakōtararkaḷ, oru taṅkai. Nāṅkaḷ irunta iṭattiṟku aṭutta teruvil, eṉ māmāviṉ kuṭumpam vacittu vantatu. Eṉ māmāvukku mūṉṟu kuḻantaikaḷ iruntaṉa. Nāṅkaḷ eṭṭu pērum nāṅkaḷ orē kuṭumpam pōla vaḷarntōm. Eṅkaḷukku iraṇṭu ceṭ tāymārkaḷum iraṇṭu ceṭ tantaiyarkaḷum iruntataip pōla eṅkaḷ am’mā, tantai, eṉ māmā maṟṟum attai iruvarum eṅkaḷai vaḷarttārkaḷ. Eṅkaḷuṭaiyatu oru naṭuttara kuṭumpam. Tantai oru vaḻakkaṟiñar, am’mā oru illattaraci. Māta campaḷam illai. Cila nēraṅkaḷil niṟaiya paṇam vantatu, cila nēraṅkaḷil, koñcam paṇam vantatu, āṉāl paṇam eṅkaḷukku orupōtum periya piracciṉaiyāka irukkavillai. Nāṅkaḷ iruntapōtu, nāṅkaḷ celaviṭṭōm. Eṅkaḷiṭam illātapōtu, nāṅkaḷ nirvakittōm. Āṉāl paṇam illātatu orupōtum veṭkakkēṭāṉatāka karutappaṭavillai.] [English translation: I was born and brought up in a small island. The capital of that island is Colombo. That is where I grew up. I have four siblings: one older sister, two older brothers, one younger sister. In the street next to the one we were in was where my uncle’s family lived. My uncle had three children. All eight of us grew up like we were one family. Our mother and father and my uncle and aunt together brought us up like we had two sets of mothers and two sets of fathers. Ours was a middle-class family. Father was a lawyer; Mother was a homemaker. There was no monthly salary. Sometimes a lot of money came; sometimes little money came, but money was never a big issue for us. When we had, we spent. When we didn’t have, we managed. But not having money was never considered as shameful.]

TRANSCRIBED BY: Abbie Cathcart (under supervision of Deric McNish); Tamil transcription, transliteration, and translation by the speaker.

DATE OF TRANSCRIPTION (DD/MM/YYYY): 06/04/2020

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

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